Monday, July 22, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Zionism, Anti-Semitism, and the Post-Biden Democratic Party
In one of Joe Biden’s final interviews before he dropped out of the presidential race, Complex Networks’ Speedy Morman asked him: “Are you a Zionist?” It is not the first time Biden has been asked the question, though it’s not exactly a common question in national politics. Biden’s answer hadn’t changed: “Yes.”

The president then said that people who love to make trouble for Zionists don’t know what the word means. Do you, the president asked his interviewer with obvious relish, know what a Zionist is? Morman then vindicated Biden’s contempt for him on the spot by weaseling out a weak “I just ask questions, I don’t answer.”

Biden’s announcement on Sunday that he will be ending his political career after one term in the White House left me wondering: How would Kamala Harris answer that question if asked tomorrow? How would anybody else in the upper echelons of the president’s party, the keys to which he is now handing over, answer it?

The Democratic Party’s changing of the guard is almost certainly a milestone in American politics, a bold notch on the timeline marking a point of departure for the party’s approach to anti-Semitism and the Jewish state. The party’s standard bearer 24 hours ago considered himself a Zionist and routinely condemned—even if his administration took no appropriate action against—Jew-baiting mobs on campus. The party’s standard bearer today fears and admires those mobs for, in her preposterous words, “showing exactly what the human emotion should be, as a response to Gaza.”

Members of the Biden-Harris administration who resigned over the president’s support for Israel against Hamas see Harris’s succession in that light. Lily Call, a former Interior Department staffer and member of the virulently anti-Israel group IfNotNow, expressed hope that Harris might enact an arms embargo on Israel. “I’ve worked for Kamala, and I know she’ll do the right thing,” Call told Politico.

Josh Paul, who resigned as a State Department point man on weapons transfers because Biden insisted on arming our Mideast allies, told Politico that Harris will probably be better (i.e. more evenhanded in her treatment of Israel and Hamas) than Biden. As I explained in December, Paul displays a remarkably aggressive ignorance on all things Middle East, and seems to have been particularly radicalized by his misreading of a story about donkeys in Gaza. This is the other reason for concern: U.S. agencies are apparently littered with a combination of entitled but inexperienced activists and historically illiterate fame-chasers. Things can easily get out of hand without a president who knows how to say “no” to them.
Jonathan Tobin: Biden’s legacy is a world in flames
Now that President Joe Biden has finally bent to the will of his party’s leaders and donors, the praise for his presidency is nearly universal on the left. The paeans to his personal greatness and acclaim for his time in the White House accelerated once his infirmity became clear in the June 27 debate with former President Donald Trump.

Liberal corporate media spent years covering up the president’s cognitive decline, including accusing any journalists who brought up the subject of spreading “misinformation.”

But once the lies were exposed, those who were mostly likely to know the truth about Biden—like former President Barack Obama, Vice President Kamala Harris, congressional leaders and Hollywood fundraisers such as actor George Clooney—turned on him, albeit while still improbably praising him as one of our greatest presidents. Like Marc Antony in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, they “came to bury” Biden, but thought to praise him first.

Trump’s iconic defiance after a failed assassination attempt, a Covid diagnosis and the closed purses of big Democratic donors were the final blows that appear to have forced Biden to drop out, thus rendering the process by which he had gained the nomination a sham. That Biden announced his withdrawal via a social-media post—and on Elon Musk’s X, which liberals have denounced for its free-speech policies, at that—rather than bothering to record a message telling the country himself, was perhaps a fittingly feeble end to this dispiriting drama.

This will now be followed by the extravagant and equally disingenuous choruses of praise for Harris, as she now likely becomes the focus of the Democrats’ last-ditch efforts to prevent a Trump victory. But before we begin the task of separating truth from partisan hyperbole with respect to the vice president, it is appropriate to take a moment to unpack the notion that the Biden presidency was as great as those slipping the knife between his shoulders have been telling us.
Seth Frantzman: Biden stands down, with Middle East in crisis
US President Joe Biden’s decision to drop out and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris will have ramifications in the Middle East, a region already in crisis. While many countries in the region have been watching the last several weeks of political chaos in America and have likely prepared for this scenario, there will be bad actors seeking to take advantage of the US domestic political chaos.

On the other hand, if Biden shifts focus solely to his politics amid the presidential race, he may try to nail down his legacy in the Middle East by pushing robust policies. “Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year. Democrats – it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this,” Biden wrote late Sunday night.

This will set up a chaotic process within the Democratic Party. Change can be good, bringing new leadership to the spotlight, but an orderly transition of power is what makes democracies stable. Countries in this region are already wary of the United States because of the political chaos it has endured over the last decade. Many find the US less reliable than in the past, and key American partners and allies have been drifting into the arms of Russia, China, and others.

Enlrage imageThis drift began years ago. Countries such as Turkey, a NATO member, have leaders who are openly anti-West and authoritarian. Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for instance, tried to block Sweden from joining NATO and has been working closely with Russia and Iran. Meanwhile, many Gulf states are also hedging and have been open to working more closely with China, as well as the countries in the BRICS and the SCO, two economic blocks closer to China and Russia than to the West.

Qatar, a major non-NATO ally of the US, continues to openly host Hamas and work directly with Iran. It has sought to benefit from the October 7 war triggered by Hamas by serving as a mediator, but it has its own interests; it is unclear if these coincide with those of the US and the West.
From Ian:

Jacques Gauthier to Israel: ‘Never allow people to tell you you’re trespassers’
The United Nations has long referred to Judea and Samaria as “occupied” Palestinian land, and the global body’s principal judicial arm, the International Court of Justice in The Hague, issued a non-binding ruling last Friday declaring that “occupation” to be “unlawful.”

French-Canadian attorney and scholar Jacques Gauthier told JNS recently that the United Nations, countries, nonprofits and others that use the term “occupied territories” in this way misunderstand international law and legally recognized treaties.

“Never allow people to tell you that you’re trespassers. It’s your land,” Gauthier, who is not Jewish, told JNS. “It’s been given to you, in law.”

Gauthier, whose scholarly work focuses on the Jewish people’s legal rather than biblical claims to the modern State of Israel, thinks that the 1920 treaty that emerged from the conference in San Remo, Italy, ought to be as well known as the Balfour Declaration.

Great Britain didn’t control the region of Palestine at the time, and its Balfour Declaration was just that—a declaration, not an international legal document.

But the San Remo agreement, which incorporated the principles of the declaration from three years prior, had the legal imprimatur of international support.

The 1920 San Remo agreement “is the most momentous political event in the whole history of the Zionist movement,” Gauthier told JNS.

‘A good cause’

Montreal-born and educated in Paris until elementary school, Gauthier didn’t know much about Jews as a child. “My environment, my schooling, exposed me in a very limited way to the State of Israel or the issues that preoccupy me now,” he told JNS.
Under Trump, Soleimani was eliminated. Another 4 years will see Iran weak again
REGRETTABLY, DURING the Obama and Biden administrations, the Islamic Republic reinvigorated its cycle of fire and terror. It aligned with Russia in the conflict in Ukraine and played a crucial role in the terrorist attacks in Gaza against Israel, instigating actions from Hezbollah, the Houthis, and the Popular Mobilization Forces. The Islamic Republic fears Trump’s possible return.

Trump knows that the Islamic Republic does not represent the people of Iran. They have only one popular, legitimate, and trustworthy representative and that is Prince Reza Pahlavi, who believes in friendship with Israel, the United States, and the West. Some of Trump’s advisers have met with the prince in Washington. Perhaps Trump and the CIA will support regime change in Tehran. Although the Islamic Republic has repeatedly called for Trump’s execution and death on television, this issue was not taken seriously during Biden’s tenure.

Rather, Biden paid attention to the mullahs’ superstitions. On May 2, 2022, during President Joe Biden’s speech at a reception celebrating eid al-fitr. he remarked, “I didn’t understand the concept of the ‘hidden imam’... so I sought guidance and enlisted the expertise of a distinguished Islamic studies professor to collaborate with me.” The hidden imam is a theological notion within Shia Islam and does not possess an external, tangible presence, being a construct tied to Shia religious history. [The hidden imam is believed to have been born but disappeared, and will remain hidden until he reappears to bring justice to the world at the end of time, a doctrine known as “the occultation.”] The Islamic caliphate regime claims to be sustaining the authority of the hidden imam until an alleged reappearance. Tragically, advocates of Khomeini, such as the terrorists of Fadā’iyān-e Islam, brutally targeted intellectuals like Ahmad Kasravi who dared to label this contemporary imam as counterfeit (March 11, 1946).

Trump might, with the help of the CIA, realize that the mullahs commit murder based on these superstitions – and not repeat Carter’s 1979 mistake in sanctifying a savage mullah as a divine representative on Earth.

The flawed cycle of Washington-Tehran relations after 1979 must change if the world in the 21st century seeks stability and peace.
Ruthie Blum: ‘If only we had known’
It’s the neighbors’ reactions that the network didn’t realize it was exposing as equally vile. What came across in the report was the mind frame of Gazans, even those not affiliated with Hamas. Take Abu Muhammad el Tahrawi, for instance.

El Tahrawi described Dr. Aljamal as “a pious man,” one who “leads the prayer, then goes back to his home. He didn’t mix with people, didn’t complain about other people, and no one complained about him. He was a man who minded his own business.”

Expressing surprise that Aljamal had been holding hostages in his home, el Tahrawi told CNN, “Had we known, had he told us, we would have taken safety precautions, hide or move [sic] to somewhere else.”

Wow. One might have expected him to say that if he and others in the community had been aware of hostages in their midst, they would have informed Israeli authorities or tried to help the innocent victims in some other way.

But, no. El Tahrawi was referring to the danger of being in the crossfire between Hamas and the Israeli heroes who swooped into Nuseirat and saved Kozlov, Jan, Ziv and Argamani.

Which brings us to Argamani’s jailers. According to CNN, “local people were reluctant to share many details about [the Abu Nar] family, but they did express surprise and concern that a hostage had been held in their midst.”

Calling Abu Nar “ordinary” and a “normal man,” Khalil al-Kahlot, a civil servant in Gaza, said, “He had young children at home. No one would expect him to hold a hostage like this, in homes and among people.”

Another neighbor, this one anonymous, added, “They are people in Hamas, but we did not know that. If we had known there was something there, no one would have stayed in the area.”

Again, not an ounce of sympathy for the hostages—only distress at not having been told in time to relocate. In this context, it’s worth reiterating what I wrote a mere four days before “Operation Arnon” in Nuseirat (renamed after National Counterterrorism Unit Chief Inspector Arnon Zamora, who was killed while leading the mission):

“[I]t’s a fact that only terrorists captured and interrogated by the Israel Security Agency have provided information on the whereabouts of hostages. No Gazan ‘civilians’ have come forward to do so voluntarily. The argument that they fear Hamas repercussions simply doesn’t cut it anymore, however. Even in Nazi Germany there were citizens who risked their lives to do the conscionable thing. Yad Vashem created a special title for such gentiles—The Righteous Among the Nations—who protected Jews at great peril to themselves.”
  • Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon


One paragraph of the ICJ ruling says:
67. Following an increase in acts of violence from the West Bank, in the early 2000s Israel began building a “continuous fence” (hereinafter the “wall”) largely in the West Bank and East Jerusalem...
Why would the ICJ say a fence is a wall?

For the answer, we look at the original 2004 ICJ ruling against the separation barrier:

67. As explained in paragraph 82 below, the "wall" in question is a complex construction, so that that term cannot be understood in a limited physical sense. However, the other terms used, either by Israel ("fence") or by the Secretary-General ("barrier"), are no more accurate if understood in the physical sense. In this Opinion, the Court has therefore chosen to use the terminology employed by the General Assembly. 
Paragraph 82 does not clear things up:
82. According to l.he description in the report and the Written Statement of the Secretai-y-General, the works planned or completed have resulted or will resuli: in a complex consisting essentially of:
(1) a fence with electronic sensors;
(2) a ditch (up to 4 :metres deep);
(3) a two-lane asphalt patrol road;
(4) a trace road (a strip of sand smoothed to detect footprints) running parallel to the fence;
(5) a stack of six coils of barbed wire marking the perimeter of the complex.
The complex has a width of 50 to 70 metres, increasing to as much as 100 metres in some places. "Depth barriers" may be added to these works.
So a small part was  a wall, most of it was a fence along with other supporting features to make it more difficult to cross. (Over time, Israel has indeed replaced more of the fence with a wall as the fence was constantly breached.)

"Barrier" seems more accurate than either "wall" or "fence," but the ICJ adopted the UN's biased language as the way to refer to it, effectively enshrining anti-Israel bias in its decision. After all, a "wall" evokes draconian measures to limit human rights, like the Berlin Wall. 

The ICJ did the same thing, as we've seen, with the term "Occupied Palestinian Territory" that is employs in last week's decision. Gaza was not occupied before Israel's response to October 7, but the UN has called it all "oPT" since the 1990s, so the ICJ - instead of correcting the nomenclature - adopted it and then justified it after the fact.

Even the very question the ICJ was tasked to advise on was loaded with anti-Israel bias baked in. 

What are the legal consequences arising from the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, from its prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and from its adoption of related discriminatory legislation and measures?

The ICJ should be objective and reject this biased language across the board. Instead, it adopts it. 

Which is yet another reason this is a kangaroo court.




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  • Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon


Friday's ICJ ruling claims that Israel is violating the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) because it treats Palestinians and Israelis who live in the territories differently:

They accurately quote Article 3 of CERD:
States Parties particularly condemn racial segregation and apartheid and undertake to prevent, prohibit and eradicate all practices of this nature in territories under their jurisdiction.  

They rule that Israel is violating CERD: 

The Court observes that Israel’s legislation and measures impose and serve to maintain a near-complete separation in the West Bank and East Jerusalem between the settler and Palestinian communities. For this reason, the Court considers that Israel’s legislation and measures constitute a breach of Article 3 of CERD. 
But they ignore the part of CERD that allows Israel to treat Palestinians and Israelis differently, in Article 1:
This Convention shall not apply to distinctions, exclusions, restrictions or preferences made by a State Party to this Convention between citizens and non-citizens.
Israel allowed to treat citizens differently from non-citizens. Every nation does the same, treating citizens and non-citizens differently under the law (voting, passports, army recruitment.) Citizens have rights and responsibilities that non-citizens do not have. 

Furthermore, there are Israeli Arab citizens who live across the Green Line, even in "settlements" outside Jerusalem, and they are treated the same as Israeli Jews. In some ways, they have more legal rights than Israeli Jews do, since they may buy homes in Area A where Jews are forbidden to enter. They prove that there is no racial discrimination in the West Bank - the only discrimination is the type that CERD explicitly allows, that between citizens and non-citizens.

The ICJ, by deliberately ignoring the very first article of CERD, proves that it has no interest in the actual law. 

It's bad enough when an NGO like Human Rights Watch selectively quotes international conventions  to prove their predetermined point.  

The ICJ is supposed to be above that.

This one section proves that it is just as biased, just as much of a propaganda organ, as every other anti-Israel organization.  And  it proves that any decision it renders about Israel is not worth the paper it is written on.


------

Much of the ICJ argument relies on mentioning that a small number of "settlers" are "non-Israeli Jews" who receive some of the same benefits as Israelis in Judea and Samaria.  and it seems to try to use them as proof that Israel is engaged in racial discrimination. However, nations have much latitude in how they treat different classes of non-citizens, including prospective citizens, often giving them rights that other non-citizens  like tourists do not get. On the other side, Palestinian Arabs who work in Israel receive some of the benefits of citizens, like minimum wage and other work benefits. Flatly calling these policies "discrimination" under CERD is false and intentionally  misleading. 





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  • Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 2016, legal scholars Abraham (Avi) Bell and  Eugene Kontorovich published a paper in the Arizona Law Review arguing that Israel has the presumptive legal right to the West Bank and Gaza based on the well-known legal principle of uti possidetis juris. 

Briefly, uti possidetis juris is a principle, accepted by everyone as part of customary international law, that maintains existing territorial boundaries when a state achieves independence. Bell and Kontorovich argued that since Israel was the only state to emerge in 1948, and the international community never accepted that any other nation (Jordan and Egypt)  held legal title on the West Bank and Gaza, that Israel held the best legal claims to those territories under international law unless it voluntarily gave those claims up.

While the argument sounds convincing, I am not a legal expert. As with other legal arguments given by Zionists and Israel - such as the argument that the League of Nations gave legal rights to the Jews of the entire territory of Palestine -  I always wonder whether they hold water in the larger community of international law scholars.  How much of these arguments are sound and how much of them only appears that way to me as a Zionist myself? After all, no one seems to have even considered applying uti possidetis juris to the disputed territories before 2016 even though hundreds of articles had been written on the topic of Israel's legal borders in the 49 years before Bell and Kontorovich's article. 

In her dissenting opinion of the ICJ ruling saying Israel's "occupation" was "illegal," ICJ Vice President Julia Sebutinde of Uganda writes that  uti possidetis juris is most definitely a factor - and, arguably, the factor -  in determining who has legal rights over the territories.

70. Under international law there are several principles upon which legally enforceable borders are established, including effective control, historical title, and treaties. Uti possidetis juris is one of the main principles of customary international law intended to ensure stability, certainty and continuity in the demarcation of territorial boundaries of States emerging from decolonization or mandates such as the British Mandatory Palestine. In effect, the principle of uti possidetis juris transforms the colonial and administrative lines existing at the moment of birth of the new State into national borders. The principle applies to the State, as it is “at the moment of independence”, i.e. to the “photograph” of the territorial situation existing then. As the Court explained in the Burkina Faso/Republic of Mali case, the doctrine ensures that: 
“By becoming independent, [the] new State acquires sovereignty with the territorial base and boundaries left to it by the [administrative boundaries of the] colonial power . . . [The principle of uti possidetis juris] applies to the State as it is [at that moment of independence], i.e., to the ‘photograph’ of the territorial situation then existing. The principle of uti possidetis [juris] freezes the territorial title; it stops the clock."  
...72. As stated above, when Britain terminated its stewardship over what was left of the Mandate for Palestine in 194777, according to the principle of uti possidetis juris, the administrative boundaries of the Mandate for Palestine on 14 May 1948 became the borders of the independent State of Israel (the only State to emerge from Mandatory Palestine at the time of Britain’s withdrawal).

...73. Israel’s independence would thus appear to fall squarely within the bounds of circumstances that trigger the principle of uti possidetis juris. Applying the rule would appear to dictate that Israel’s borders are those of the Palestine Mandate that preceded it, except where otherwise agreed upon by Israel and its relevant neighbours. Indeed, Israel’s peace treaties with neighbouring States to date — with Egypt and Jordan — appear to reinforce it. These treaties ratify borders between Israel and its neighbours explicitly based on the boundaries of the British Mandate of Palestine. Likewise, in demarcating the so-called “Blue Line” between Israel and Lebanon in 2000, the United Nations Secretary General relied upon the boundaries of the British Mandate of Palestine79. Given the location of the borders of the Mandate of Palestine, applying the doctrine of uti possidetis juris to Israel would mean that Israel has territorial sovereignty over all the disputed areas of Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza, except to the degree that Israel has voluntarily yielded sovereignty since its independence. This conclusion stands in opposition to the widely espoused position that international law gives Israel little or no sovereign claim to these areas
By using the argument of uti possidetis juris in her dissent, Sebutinde has elevated it in respect to determining the legal borders of Israel. The argument has been largely ignored since the publication of the paper, but Sebutinde ensures that it is now part of the conversation. And there is nothing on the ICJ website that disagrees with it. 

-----------------

I can only find one serious objection to this argument, written by Ariel Zemach in Fordham International Law Journal in 2019. where he argues that in this case (unlike every other of uti possidetis juris,) the Palestinian right to self-determination trumps the principle because they formed a majority of the population of British Mandate Palestine in 1948. I can see that this argument has emotional weight, but I do not see how it has legal weight; it is a sui generis situation so there is no other precedent for overriding uti possidetis juris with a different principle. (One can counter-argue that if it wasn't for British anti-Jewish policy,  Jews could easily have been the majority of Palestine as they would have fled there from Europe during the Holocaust if they could have. Their rights to self-determination should not be limited by an arbitrary and antisemitic immigration policy that contradicted the League of Nations.) 

And even Zemach concludes that the principle of self-determination has nothing to do with the legal determination of national borders. "The bulk of the international community recognizes a Palestinian entitlement to the whole of the West Bank, but because of the lack of Palestinian possession of this territory—a corollary of the status of the West Bank as an occupied territory—such international recognition carries no constitutive effect," he concludes. So while he might disagree with Sebutinde, he would also disagree with the majority ICJ claim that the entire West Bank is presumptively "Palestinian." 




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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

  • Monday, July 22, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon


From the New York Times:
The Israeli bombing of a vital Yemeni port controlled by the Houthi militia is not expected to deter the group from further attacks but is likely to deepen human suffering in Yemen, regional experts said.

Yemeni scholars and former American officials who study the country said that the Israeli strikes would do little harm to the Houthis. Instead, they said, the attack was likely to exacerbate suffering in Yemen, which is experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises after a decade of war.

“The target of the strike does more to hurt the average Yemeni than the Houthis’ ability to launch attacks on the Red Sea or Israel,” said Adam Clements, a retired U.S. Army attaché for Yemen.
The article quotes other "experts" who describe how the airstrikes will hurt civilians and will not deter the Houthis.

It is an old journalistic trick, and one that news editors keep using - because it works.

First determine the editorial policy towards an event. Then find "experts" to support that position. 

It gives the appearance of journalism, but it is the opposite. It is an editorial disguised as journalism. 

I have yet to see a single article mention the last time Israel attacked the port of an enemy, and its effectiveness. Without knowledge of that earlier incident, all the analysis in the world is useless.

In 2020, Israel reportedly launched a devastating cyber-attack on  Iran's Shahid Rajaee port in response to a failed Iranian cyber-attack to poison Israel's water infrastructure.

For days, the port was inactive. Hundreds of commercial trucks were stuck on the roads to the port scores of ships could not unload their goods and were forced to wait in line in the Persian Gulf to dock there. 

It was a well-calibrated attack. It did not cripple Iran. which depends on sea traffic in order to survive, but it showed that Israel could easily have done that if it wanted to. It sent a strong message to the Iranian regime not to try to mount a similar cyberattack on Israel again.

At the time, the New York Times quoted an 'expert" as well: "[A]ccording to one intelligence assessment, the Revolutionary Guards will respond by attacking Israel again," the NYT wrote.

Four years later, we are not aware of any similar Iranian attempt since then. Israel's threat to Iran's economy worked. 

The "experts" were wrong.

The Saturday attack on Hudayah was as at least as much a message to Iran as it was to the Houthis. Any self-proclaimed expert  that doesn't realize this simple fact, and who doesn't reference the cyberattack on Shahid Rujaee, is not an expert at all. 

The so-called experts  are probably correct that the Houthis, who are insanely antisemitic to the point that cursing Jews is one of the four major tenets listed on their flag and one of the others is "death to Israel," would not be deterred by a strike on their combined military/commercial port at Hudaydah. They don't care if their own people suffer; on the contrary, like Hamas, the Houthis are basing their military strategy on the idea that their enemies care more about their own civilians than they do. But they will listen to Iran, and Iran heard the Israeli message that the next attack might not be towards Yemen but against their sponsors in Iran itself.

You know what hasn't deterred the Houthis? Six months of restrained US and Western  activity in the Indian Ocean meant to protect shipping to the Persian Gulf.  The allis deliberately avoided attacking Hudaydah because of its potential impact on civilians in Yemen. And as a result, the Houthis could continue to import weapons from Iran with impunity. 

Israel's attack changed the equation. It is too early to know whether it will be successful or not, but clearly the Western response so far - while stopping scores of rockets and drones towards Israel and other targets - has not deterred the Houthis one bit. 

One other important point about the New York Times pseudo-analysis: it supports human shielding as a tactic by Hamas and the Houthis. after all, the article is saying, anything that hurts civilians must be avoided at all costs. Every one of the analysts quoted emphasized the potential of the port attack hurting innocent Yemeni civilians. The media is saying that as long as terrorists use civilians to protect their own military assets, they should be untouchable. 

This is an immoral position. And until the media understands and reports on the cynicism behind these decisions by Islamic terrorists to endanger their own people, and place the blame on their deaths squarely on the terrorists and not on those defending themselves from terrorists, the media is on the terrorists' side.





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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

Sunday, July 21, 2024

  • Sunday, July 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon



Egypt's El Balad reports:

Indecent dancing at the Faculty of Nursing in Ismailia 

An account on TikTok posted a video of a girl dancing in a provocative manner, which caused an uproar in Egypt, prompting it to be deleted later.

The girl, Farah Saeed, appeared in a video clip dancing at her graduation ceremony at the Faculty of Nursing at the Suez Canal Academy for Advanced Sciences in Ismailia, where she was criticized and accused of provocative and inappropriate dancing among her fellow young men, which caused a crisis for the girl that prompted her and her mother to respond to these accusations.

Farah Saeed said that she was overwhelmed with happiness for coming in first in her class, graduating, and achieving her dream that was the culmination of her mother’s hardship and fatigue in order to reach this moment. She did not imagine that the video clip would spread on various social media sites in this way, and she was shocked when she read the comments, some of which contained insults, slander, and attacks on her reputation and honor, contrary to her reality.
Videos of the dance show that she is dressed modestly and she is simply very happy. But now she and her mother are being subject to insults throughout Egypt.



If Saeed would threaten to inject Jewish patients with poison, she would be hailed as a hero. 

But dancing? 

Egyptians have to draw the line somewhere.




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

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From Ian:

David Collier: Unforgivable: BBC deliberately deceives with dog attack story
Last week the BBC ran a story about a young man with Down’s syndrome in Gaza who was they said was mauled and ‘left to die’ by the IDF.

How does the BBC know this story is true? Because the mother told them it was.

Digging into the story unravelled the truth – and it is as shocking, as it is extreme. The BBC not only provided cover for Hamas – whitewashing a terrorist family – putting a highly distorted and edited narrative online – and blaming the death of a Hamas human shield on Israel – the BBC journos then deliberately butchered an IDF statement to make sure the truth was never told.

The problematic journo
My first real suspicions about the article were raised by the involvement of BBC Journalist Haneen Abdeen. She was one of the three journalists involved in creating the article and the only native Arabic speaker. These situations create a massive agency problem for the BBC, and one that they apparently remain oblivious to. The other two journalists (Fergal Keane and Alice Doyard) become dependent on the integrity and motivations of a single Palestinian journalist – and this skews the output in favour of an anti-Israel position from the beginning. Abdeen has even run and promoted anti-Israel events – so she can hardly be considered an impartial journalist. Abdeen also has form, and in November she was the Arabic speaking BBC Journalist that helped put together an entirely fake story (100% junk) that platformed a terrorist supporter and promoted a bunch of lies about trapped young footballers.

Her involvement as the lead Arabic speaker suggests that the BBC never honestly sought evidence to rigorously challenge the story they promoted.

The witnesses and probable cause
Mohammed Bahr had Down’s syndrome. His family home was in a combat zone and was raided by the IDF on the 2/3 July.

The first mention of Mohammed online comes from his brother Mekael at 8pm on July 3. He was not a witness – but he tells the story of the IDF arresting his two brothers (Adam and Saif) at a family home in the east of Al-Shujaia neighbourhood near Gaza City. Only after letting us know about his arrested brothers, and telling us his mother, sisters, and other ‘women of the family’ were there – does he tell us that another brother, Mohammed, was injured by a dog. This post is accompanied by pictures of his brothers and another image of Mohammed sitting alone by a bed.

But here is the thing. The person who introduced Mohammed to the world – Mekael Bahr- works for Islamic Jihad. He is a journo at their TV station, ‘Palestine Today’. He is a paid terrorist-supporting propagandist. Here is Mekael given VIP press treatment at the 29th anniversary celebration of the Islamic Jihad. He posted the footage on his Instagram. alongside hashtags praising ‘Jihad’.

Then there is the face of the BBC article, the mother Nabeel Al Yazji. Nabeel was a witness to what happened. I tracked down her FB account. It turns out her husband was killed in 2002 and buried in Hamas colours:

The BBC article even ackowledges she is a widow (did they not bother to check)? Which means the BBC’s key witness was the wife of a Hamas terrorist. The third key voice was a sister, ‘Sarah’. She was also in the home and a witness to the event. Her timeline is FULL of glorification of violence, murderous terrorism and the adoration of Hamas officials.

We are told of two brothers who were arrested in the house by the IDF (Saif and Adam). The Facebook timeline of one of them, Adam, carries numerous images of weapons. And this is him on the right in this image:

All this immediately creates TWO massive problems with the BBC article
1. Context. There was ample information available online to show that this house, this family, would rightly be considered a family of terrorists. There was EVERY reason to treat this house as a military target – and the use of dogs as a way of mitigating risk – becomes a clear and obvious military strategy. The article implies (lying through omission) that the IDF randomly used dogs against a peaceful civilian family. This is a false image and in the circumstances it is a highly misleading and demonising one. 2. Nobody is denying Mohammed was bitten by a dog – but the details and the narrative of the event and what followed are dependent on the honesty of the witnesses. This is a family that literally works with Islamic Jihad propaganda channels and has a history of supporting Hamas and providing fighters for the ’cause’. How can the BBC rely at all on what they are being told?
Where did BBC 'special correspondent' Fergal Keane get his latest Gaza story?
Did Fergal Keane and his team get this story from the ‘Middle East Eye’ contributor Maha Husseini who, according to one of her colleagues was “the first journalist to break this horrible story” and whose own article is illustrated with the same main photograph as that appearing in the BBC’s report? Given the lack of transparency on the BBC’s part regarding the sources of stories it publishes about the Gaza Strip and its insistence on not identifying the ‘freelancers’ presumably paid with licence fee funding, it is of course impossible to say.

What we do know based on the BBC’s past record is that despite the fact that Hamas is a proscribed organisation in the UK, the corporation has in the past used contributions from employees of the clearly partial and politically motivated Hamas-linked NGO ‘Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor’ which was founded and is headed by a person who publicly lauded Hamas’ October 7th atrocities.

An alternative explanation is of course that Keane and his team are simply of the opinion that content put out by a partisan, Muslim Brotherhood supporting media outlet with ties to the regime which hosts and has funded the Hamas terrorist organisation is worth copying – despite their inability to fact check and verify such content.
US President Joe Biden withdraws from presidential race, endorses Kamala Harris
US President Joe Biden announced in a post on X that he will be exiting the race for president.

This comes amid weeks of speculation about Biden's health and increasing pressure from the Democratic Party to withdraw.

In the statement to X, published on Sunday, he said, "I believe it is in the best interest of my party and the country for me to stand down and to focus solely on fulfilling my duties as President for the remainder of my term."

"I will speak to the Nation later this week in more detail about my decision."

In his statement, Biden thanked Vice President Kamala Harris and expressed his "heartfelt appreciation for the American people for the faith and trust you have placed in me."

"We just have to remember we are the United States of America," his statement concluded.

It was unclear whether other senior Democrats would challenge Harris for the party's nomination, who was widely seen as the pick for many party officials - or whether the party itself would choose to open the field for nominations.

The president later posted "My fellow Democrats, I have decided not to accept the nomination and to focus all my energies on my duties as President for the remainder of my term. My very first decision as the party nominee in 2020 was to pick Kamala Harris as my Vice President. And it’s been the best decision I’ve made. Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year. Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this."
Joe Biden dropped out of the presidential race. What now?
How does this impact the Democratic Party?

This decision by Biden could significantly shift the already fraught dynamics in the Democratic Party, within which several prominent voices had already been calling for Biden to step down from the race before the announcement.

In the past, potential candidates within the party would begin positioning themselves for a presidential run, leading to a competitive primary season. However, we are already quite close to the elections, so that may not be true. A candidate will most likely be announced very soon.

Is Biden becoming a lame duck?
A president becomes a lame duck after a successor is elected, during which the outgoing president and the president-elect typically initiate the transition of power.

While no new president has been elected yet, Biden is no longer in the race, so he may very well take on that title sooner rather than later. It represents a significant waning in his influence. Has this happened before?

This is not the first time a US president has decided not to rerun for office. In 1849, President James K. Polk chose not to run for a second term.

President Lyndon B. Johnson announced he would not seek re-election in 1968 amidst the Vietnam War and domestic turmoil.
  • Sunday, July 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Last week I reported on two dramatic series from Turkey that both cast Theodor Herzl in a role of the head Jew that aims to destroy the Ottoman Empire.

Turkpress reports on other such series that include antisemitic tropes of Jews controlling the world's money - even as far back as the Crusades.

A Jewish character named  Ephraim in a drama about Saladin,"Conqueror of Jerusalem," tries  to establish a Jewish kingdom extending from the Nile to the Euphrates with Jerusalem as its capital. He uses the influence of money to control the Crusaders in Jerusalem, Ashkelon, and in Gaza, and clearly reveals the secret to his follower Simon by also showing him gold chests. He has great influence over the Crusader queen of Jerusalem and the Crusader leaders, who in real life murdered or tried to convert every Jews they came across.

In another series called "Barbaros Hayreddin," a woman named Luna is one of the Jewish merchants in Istanbul who has influence with Jewish families who form the backbone of the world’s financial world. She is one of the children of forty bankers in the world who control all the world's money, and are moved by the Jewish leaders or their supreme council to control the Christian West and end the Islamic Caliphate during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent.

The idea of Jews ​​controlling the world's money by the Jews appeared in any other Turkish historical dramas. In "Ertugrul," they are Jewish merchants present throughout the Abbasid state, controlling some of the Caliphate palaces in the Levant, controlling the Muslim trade, and participating in schemes to overthrow major political leaders. 

The article lists other series with the same theme. 

Anyone who pretends that Turkey has no antisemitism is either ignorant or delusional. 



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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

  • Sunday, July 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

In this summer's Commentary magazine, Arthur Herman writes, "China and Artificial Intelligence: The Cold War We’re Not Fighting."

It describes how much China is investing in artificial intelligence - and for what purposes.

It is the most frightening article I have read in a long time. While it is not specifically about Israel, Israel is affected as well as the entire Western world - and Western civilization. 

In short, China is planning to use AI to achieve global hegemony. And the West is not doing nearly enough to stop it.

 Even as anti-AI activists in the U.S.—among them some of the technology’s original innovators—were calling for a moratorium on research a year ago, China was paving the way toward an AI-dominated future none of us wants. For the past seven years, China has been moving ahead with its plans to become the world’s AI superpower. This includes building the next high-tech industrial revolution for victory on the battlefield and creating a total surveillance multiverse.

China is ramping up AI investment, research, and entrepreneurship on a historic scale. Its generative AI spending is set to reach 33 percent of the world’s AI investment by 2027, up from 4.6 percent in 2022. Those investments will probably reach $13 billion by then, according to a new report from research firm IDC.
What would China do with AI?

Hudson Institute scholar Koichiro Takagi sees the Chinese military’s interest in AI research and applications centering on four main areas (bearing in mind that under Chinese law, anything that private companies develop in AI automatically belongs to the People’s Liberation Army).

One area is the autonomy of unmanned weapons, including the development of drone swarms, about which more later. 

The second is processing large amounts of information through machine learning. For example, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is building a network of unmanned weapons and undersea sensors in the waters surrounding China to gather data it can analyze with AI/ML.

The third is using AI to speed up military decision-making, including what’s called “strategic reasoning.” AI can sift through multiple options for actions on multiple fronts and domains to arrive at an optimal solution—something that would take a human-led council of war hours, even days, to achieve.

Fourth is the military’s interest in cognitive warfare, or actively influencing the brain and neurological systems of their human opponents, to shape the enemy’s will to fight or subdue an opponent without a fight. (The most science-fictional of the four, it is the one about which we have reason to be skeptical, at least for the present.) 

But probably the most striking and notorious developments within the Chinese AI monolith today are AI’s applications for the total surveillance state.
China is surging ahead on facial recognition, using it to monitor not only Uighurs but every Chinese citizen. Chinese made cameras and communications equipment are used worldwide; they use them to monitor Chinese dissidents but also, potentially, the entire world. 

And it gets even worse:

In 2015, then-president of the Academy of Military Medical Sciences He Fuchu insisted that biotechnology will become the new “strategic commanding heights” of national defense. Since then, Fuchu has become vice president of the Academy of Military Sciences, which leads China’s military science enterprise.

Zhang Shibo, a retired general and former president of the National Defense University, has named biology as one of seven “new domains of warfare.” In the wake of Covid and the possibility that the virus in the Wuhan lab was being developed for biowarfare purposes, these matters need to be taken very seriously.

In all these cases, AI applications can be useful for not only identifying but manipulating and attacking an entire category of persons or groups through targeted viruses and diseases. This is because, at the most basic biological level, DNA itself is nothing more than data—data that can be exploited using AI and machine learning.

In that sense, the combination of China’s earlier interest in biotech and its obsession with advancing artificial intelligence may allow China’s military and intelligence services to develop comprehensive digital profiles of specific individuals, nations, and races—a form of high-tech racial profiling that a Himmler or a Mengele might have only dreamed about. By targeting specific weaknesses within a population’s genomic makeup, it might be possible to develop weapons that could harm a specific subpopulation or race.

Even more frightening, scientists at the Suzhou Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Technology are using mouse embryos to develop ways to provide key growth information to an AI caretaker, which can then rank the embryos in terms of overall health and genetic potential—enabling researchers to manipulate the growth of embryos to achieve optimal results. In short, the Chinese vision of AI includes a new paradigm for genetic engineering, conducting eugenics on a massive high-tech scale.
This is an unprecedented threat to the West.

What can we do to defend ourselves?

The article falls short on that count, only mentioning generalities, saying "the United States needs to develop an overall AI strategy that aims not just at countering China’s moves in AI but advancing American AI supremacy."

That's good as far as it goes, but it doesn't deal with the problem now.

I am not an AI expert, but it seems to me that there are some tactics that can - and indeed, must -  be done today. 

AI depends on the quality of the data that it is trained on. I use AI to create most of  my cartoons, but the underlying data being out of date means that when I ask for a drawing of an editor speaking to a newsroom, invariably both the editor and the reporters are tie-wearing white males that one would see in 1940s movies about newspapers, and do not resemble newsrooms of today at all.


The AI algorithm works exactly as it should. But its input data is bad.

The old computer adage of "garbage in, garbage out" applies to AI as much as to every other program. To disrupt the Chinese surveillance state, for example, Western state hackers should be breaking into Chinese databases and modifying the oceans of data the AI is using. For example, changing the faces of people the Chinese consider enemies to include many faces of Chinese government officials. Poison the data so that the entire enterprise is unreliable.

Old-school hacking is also necessary to understand Chinese strategy.  A trove of leaked documents earlier this year revealed a great deal of information about the extent and methodology of Chinese surveillance, and this sort of thing needs to happen more often. Here is where Israel can contribute a great deal, although it requires more expertise on Chinese thinking than Israel probably has now. 

Similarly, injecting our own backdoors into Chinese software libraries and source code now can pay dividends later. Supply-chain attacks are effective in both the physical and cyber spaces. 

Like it or not, AI is the future. We need to take advantage of current Western AI superiority to come up with better cyberdefenses and better cyber-offenses to not only stay ahead of the Chinese threat but also to hamper it. 

The Chinese already invest a lot of resources into infiltrating Western technology companies and universities to steal the latest innovations. Not only does the West need to do a better job monitoring the spies, but it should be doing the same to Chinese military and commercial AI researchers, both for intelligence and potentially for sabotage. In retrospect, the US government actions against Israel's Pegasus spyware  were shortsighted - because technology like that, which can turn phones into spy devices, are what is needed to stay ahead of the enemy. 

Of course, major companies like Microsoft and Amazon must do a better job in defending themselves from not only today's attacks but from novel attacks coming that are created or improved by AI. World governments are depending on these companies to protect their own data, and as we've seen just this past week, even the most advanced software companies can screw up and cause massive outages. Here is another area Israel, as a cybersecurity leader, can be used effectively. There is a reason Google is about to pay a record amount for a relatively new Israeli cloud cybersecurity company. 

The cognitive warfare component is not as science-fictional as the article implies. We already have years of data on how nation-states have manipulated - or failed to manipulate - public and political leaders' opinions. An AI crafted social media campaign is certainly possible, and we are not far from an AI-created campaigns of fomenting antisemitism or anti-American feelings in Europe and Africa, for example. Perhaps it is already happening. The West needs to do the same to increase discontent within China (and Iran, Russia and North Korea), and AI can brainstorm ways to do that. 

Western AI needs to be ahead of Chinese AI even in doing evil things like DNA hacking (or building an undetectable suitcase nuclear bomb.) We will need AI to come up with ways to defend against these, but we will also need AI to even identify them before they happen.  Laws that protect us from the negative repercussions of AI can also hamper our ability to combat it, and we need to carve out carefully created exceptions to not subvert human rights while being able to anticipate and if necessary attack the enemy in ways we cannot even imagine. It is scary, but not as scary as the alternative of unchecked Chinese dominance in the field.

The war is happening now. We need to treat it as such. 




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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

  • Sunday, July 21, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
The Reddit BDS group says that  Blond:ish  had two upcoming concerts in Lebanon and Egypt canceled because of pressure by anti-Israel activists. They are still on her own webpages as of this writing.)

According to their announcement, this is this letter she posted right after October 7 as evidence of her Zionism and reason for her to be on their blacklist:


These past days have been the heaviest of nightmares for so many. This situation hit too close to home on many levels. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this unjustifiable tragedy, and every day that innocent lives are taken by this conflict. My prayers are with all the victims and their families, and for the kidnapped dancers to be returned home safely. 
I can't even begin to imagine the pain and fear you're going through right now, and the trauma. I'm praying for better and brighter days, for peace and freedom between Israel & Palestine. 
We, as members of the dance community who frequently attend parties and live in this world, were put under attack in Israel at a peaceful festival by a terrorist group that barbarically took the lives of innocent humans. Do you understand that this could have happened to any of us, meaning you and me? 
We are now not safe from these threats. I hope we can find common ground to work from. A terrorist organization created carnage,- murder, rape, kidnapping of babies, children, and dancing with the dead. This barbarism can never be justified. Humanity has taken a dark turn, and innocent lives on both sides are being lost due to political and terrorist agendas that many of us do not understand. 
I want to make it very clear that while I stand with Israel against the Hamas attacks, it does not equate to supporting violence towards innocent Palestinian civilians, who have been losing their lives due to this horrific conflict. One thing I learned this week, is people ARE NOT their governments, and as a dance community, I hope we can remain unified, even stronger than ever. It's important that we don't remain silent. Let's unite in our condemnation of these specific acts of terror. 
We dance together worldwide, transcending differences in agendas, religion, ethnicity, race, color, sexual orientation, size, and shape. The most important thing now is taking action in our communities, as music has always been the greatest connector since the beginning of time, which is now being tested in the most horrific ways. 
This letter expressing sadness at innocent lives being lost and innocent people being kidnapped is considered a reason to be boycotted!

I'm not even certain  Blond:ish posted this. I cannot find it on her Instagram. I saw it was posted by a different band called The Collektives on October 13.

It doesn' t matter - the main accusation against Blond:ish by BDS itself is her supposedly being against a terrorist attack on music lovers. 

BDS proves yet again that it does not support peace. it does not support Palestinians. It does not support Gaza. It has only one aim: the murder of Jews with impunity. 

While BDS was mainly protesting her calling people who murder Jews terrorists, a musician in Egypt gave an additional reason to cancel her planned concert there: because she is a lesbian.









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

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!

 

 

Saturday, July 20, 2024

From Ian:

John Spencer: Vilifying Israel's Use of 2,000-Pound Bombs Only Ends Up Costing More Lives
This week, Israel very likely killed the long-time head of Hamas's military, Mohammed Dief, with multiple 2,000-pound bombs. This comes directly after United States announced it was lifting the restriction on 500-pound bombs shipments to Israel but keeping a block on larger diameter munitions to include 2,000-pound bombs. In his press conference on the issue, President Joe Biden laid out his rationale. "I have not provided them 2,000-pound bombs," President Biden said. "They cannot be used in Gaza or any other populated area without causing great human tragedy and damage."

President Biden's remarks reflect the conventional wisdom about these powerful weapons. Like all conventional wisdom, it is at least in part misguided and unfair. To be sure, the war in Gaza has been incredibly destructive, and thousands of Palestinians have tragically been killed. Unfortunately, widespread destruction and high civilian casualty rates are common in urban warfare. And in Gaza, the numbers are as high as they are because Hamas has cynically dug itself in beneath densely populated areas.

The penetration depth of a 2,000 pound bomb, depending on the kind and whether it must go through concrete, is believed to be from 16 feet to more than 30 feet. Hamas's military wing is hidden in more than 400 miles of tunnels, some as deep as 200 feet underground. And to Israel's north, Hezbollah, like Hamas, has spent years digging tunnels deeper and deeper to protect what is believed to be an arsenal of over 100,000 rockets, missiles and drones. Southern Lebanon is referred to as the "Land of Tunnels" due to the miles of deep buried underground networks.

Israel has used its 2,000-pound bombs against what it assessed to be military targets in bunkers and tunnels, even while knowing that there would be unavoidable civilian casualties—just as the United States has done in its past wars.

Some weapons experts and veterans have recently claimed that the United States has rarely used 2,000-pound bombs. That's simply not true.

During the first Gulf war, the United States dropped more than 16,000 2,000-pound bombs on Iraqi targets. During the opening month of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, it dropped more than 5,000 of these bombs in Baghdad, a city of over 5 million residents at the time and other urban areas. The U.S. dropped four of the bombs on just one building in a residential neighborhood in Baghdad, after receiving intelligence reports that some senior Iraqi officials, possibly including Saddam Hussein and his two sons, were there.

The current debate over the use of 2,000-pound bombs is part of a much larger fight over the use of all bombs in urban areas. It can be traced back years to the creation of a massive human rights advocacy coalition, led by Human Rights Watch, established in 2011. This coalition sought to have all bombs, missiles, artillery, and mortars banned from use in any urban area, termed "populated areas," no matter the context, situation, or even if a military was able to evacuate all the civilians from the area.

The war on bombs was eventually titled "explosive weapons in populated areas" (EWIPA). A political declaration was crafted whereby nations would commit to restrict or ban their forces from using all of these weapons in urban warfare. To date, 87 countries have endorsed the political declaration committing to adopt and implement national policies and practices to reduce civilian harm in urban warfare by restricting or refraining from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

The unhappy reality is that urban warfare is inherently destructive—and also unlikely to end any time soon. As a scholar of urban warfare, I have concluded and presented to the United Nations that banning bombs and artillery in urban warfare would perversely result in more destruction, not less. Restrictions on the use of bombs in cities sucks the fight into cities from rural areas. And once in the city, if the attacking army is deprived of those weapons, defenders engage in protracted block-by-block street fights that lead to mass destruction and thousands of lost lives. Without bombs or artillery, urban battles become bloody sieges. And this drags out war.
Australian investigation into WCK strikes expected to back Israel's official response
Following an IDF strike on the World Central Kitchen aid truck, which killed seven international aid workers in April, the Australian government opened an investigation into the incident in which an Australian citizen was killed.

In addition to the Australian citizens, citizens from Poland, Canada, the UK, and the US were also killed in the strike.

As a result, the Australian government appointed retired Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin to serve as Special Adviser to the Australian Government on Israel's response to the Israel Defense Forces strikes.

Biskin was chief of the Australian Defence Force from 2014 - 2018 and Chief of the Air Force from 2008 - 2011. He has significant expertise in air operations, having served as a fighter pilot at the beginning of his military career.

As part of his mission, he was required to examine several areas, including IDF policies and procedures for operational incidents and measures to prevent such incidents from happening again.

According to a report by the Australian published on Thursday, Binskin's report is "set to largely back the Jewish state’s official response to the tragedy."

Citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, Biskin "although mistakes were made," was satisfied with the IDF's response and civilian safeguards and was "in line with those of Western counterparts ­including Australia."

The report has not yet been released, with the Australian saying that Biskin must first brief the government before briefing the family of Zomi Frankcom.
IAF strikes Houthi targets in Yemen in retaliation for Tel Aviv attack
Israeli Air Force jets struck Houthi terrorist targets in Yemen on Saturday following a deadly drone attack by the Iran-backed group in Tel Aviv the previous day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed.

“From the beginning of the war, I made it clear that Israel would harm anyone who harms us,” Netanyahu said in public remarks on Saturday night. “Accordingly, earlier today, I convened the Security Cabinet and asked it to support my proposal to attack the Houthi targets in Yemen.”

The strikes, which Israel said hit several “military targets” in the port city of Hodeidah, appeared to be the first on Yemeni soil since the Houthis joined the war against the Jewish state in support of Hamas in October.

“The Israeli Air Force struck dual-use infrastructure used for terrorist activities, including energy infrastructures,” IDF Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said.

Netanyahu said the strikes were a “direct response to the drone attack that killed an Israeli citizen and wounded several others. It also followed the Houthi’s aggression against the State of Israel since the start of the war. Over the past eight months, the Houthis have launched hundreds of ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and drones towards Israel.”

An Israeli man was killed and four other persons were wounded at 3:12 a.m. on Friday when what the Israel Defense Forces described as an “aerial target” exploded in a residential neighborhood in central Tel Aviv. The slain man was identified as Yevgeny Ferder, 50, who immigrated from Belarus around two years ago to escape the Russia-Ukraine war.

Medics treated a woman in her 20s and a man in his 30s for shrapnel wounds at the scene before evacuating them to the hospital. Two others were wounded either by shrapnel or the shockwave of the blast.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they used an advanced suicide drone dubbed “Jaffa.” Hagari confirmed that the UAV was an Iranian-made Samad-3, which was upgraded to increase its strike range.

Netanyahu said on Saturday that the retaliation against the Houthis hit targets some 1,120 miles from the Jewish state. “There is no place that the long arm of the State of Israel cannot reach,” he said.

Friday, July 19, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: A Peacekeeping Force in Rafah Would Be Built to Fail
In 2006, as Israel and Hezbollah fought the Second Lebanon War, the UN was accused of broadcasting sensitive IDF troop movements on its website. The initial defense of UNIFIL, the UN multinational forces in Lebanon, was that the IDF broadcast troop movements too and the UN wasn’t saying anything the IDF wasn’t also publicizing.

At the time, I figured there was an easy way to figure this out: Why don’t I just call the UNIFIL commander on the ground in Lebanon and ask him? So I did. And he admitted to me, on the record, with no sense of shame or wrongdoing, that the accusations were accurate. He didn’t see a problem with it.

My story got me temporarily blacklisted by the UN media office, even though it was someone in Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s office who’d given me the commander’s mobile phone number in the first place. In other words, the UN didn’t think its intervention in a war between Israel and Hezbollah was inappropriate. But it was, and the ensuing scandal blindsided the UN and offended its sense of entitlement and impunity.

The key point is this: International forces ultimately answer to their host, and they are hosted by Israel’s mortal enemies.

I thought of this story, and the long history of failed stationing of international forces throughout the Arab-Israeli conflict, when I read that the European Union has been negotiating with Israel and the U.S. to take over responsibility for the crucial Rafah border crossing. That crossing, and the tunnels underneath it, is the main artery of support keeping Hamas alive and able to start wars every few years. When Israel moved out of Gaza, Egypt cracked down on smuggling temporarily but then turn a blind eye to it.

With the IDF currently controlling the Gaza side of the crossing, Egypt has been withholding humanitarian aid to Palestinians in protest. Now EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell has made clear that the EU, in conjunction with figures in the Palestinian Authority, wants to take over the crossing.

According to Bloomberg, Borrell wants the crossing transferred to EUBAM, an EU agency that helped run it between 2005 and 2007, but first “the fighting in Gaza needs to stop and the issue of who governs the territory must be solved, the spokesperson said.”

But as EUBAM’s own history shows, “solving the issue of who governs the territory” isn’t the point. It’s who comes out of that process actually governing the territory that matters. After all, that issue was “solved” in 2005, which led to EUBAM’s founding. Two years later, that issue was “solved” again when Hamas took power and EUBAM was sent packing.
Seth Mandel: America’s Unhealthy Polarization on the Hostages
We are nine months into a war, and it can be easy to forget what it was like on October 7 and October 8 and October 9. Though it sounds like we’re having a debate about the Israeli military’s response, we aren’t—the people who would disrupt a Democratic convention’s attempt at praying for the hostages do not believe any Israeli military response is justified, just as they don’t believe Israeli existence is justified. We have somehow let the public debate on this issue get stuck on the question of whether Israel’s response has gone too far, as if that has any relevance at all to the fate of those murdered or kidnapped on October 7.

As I detailed last month, some of the legal complaints made by pro-Palestinian students against their universities amount to objections that the schools denounced the bloodshed of October 7. As these students see it, such a statement implies a lack of justification for Hamas decapitating a child or burning a peace activist beyond recognition. You have to balance the crimes of each side, according to these students—that is, you must balance Hamas’s crime of murder with Israelis’ seemingly equal crime of existing.

In a sane world, it would be unthinkable to oppose events for American hostages at an American political convention. But because these hostages are Jews, this country has become somewhat polarized over whether they deserve their fate. (I say “somewhat” because these progressives are outnumbered among the general population and within the Democratic Party by non-sociopaths; it’s just at Democratic Party events that—though they are still a minority—they have enough sway to impose their heartlessness on everybody else in the room.)

I have no doubt the hostages will be mentioned—prominent Democrats are among some of the hostages’ greatest advocates—but the sincerity and decency and affection we saw this week is highly unlikely to be repeated. That says something about our political culture that will long outlast this war and this election.
John Ware: 7 October and the Alt-Media: a critical examination
For Jews everywhere – not just Israelis – the denial that Hamas committed atrocities on 7 October has a familiar historical ring. Yet it is a fact that Hamas and their supporters have insisted their ‘fighters’ did not massacre music festival goers, or rape women, or ill-treat hostages. Direct to camera, one Hamas Politburo member after another has flatly denied that the Qassam Brigades did any such things. Also direct to camera was the evidence that they did murder unarmed civilians, sometimes sadistically, their violence immortalised by Hamas’s own body cams. which they proudly broadcast for propaganda purposes.

Outright ‘Atrocity Denialism’ in the face of irrefutable facts is the latest civilisational clash between those of us struggling to maintain the norms of society – and a growing constituency who seem beyond reason. And this clash couldn’t be more fundamental because it is about basic facts and evidence, irrespective of what one may think about Israel or the way it is conducting the war in Gaza. The mainstream media has broadly given credence to Israeli claims that Hamas committed widespread sexual abuse on 7 October. But polling shows that most British Muslims don’t believe this. Just one in four accept that Hamas engaged in murder or rape. Over the last two decades, the mainstream media has been losing the trust of British Muslims. A majority now consider the BBC to be pro-Israel. Some of that vacuum is being filled by online alternative media outlets who typically challenge narratives they say the mainstream media don’t.

In 2019, the Community Security Trust showed how UK based alt-media accounts and networks of Labour-supporting Twitter accounts promoted, endorsed and spread the idea that allegations of antisemitism against Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party were fake news. Now a number of UK and US based alt-media outlets have been aggressively trying to show that allegations of widespread rape by Hamas and other armed groups are also fake. Today in Fathom, our entire issue is given over to John Ware’s investigation of the journalistic scruples – or the lack of them – that these outlets have deployed in making their case.

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.

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