Monday, July 01, 2024

From Ian:

‘Iran is fighting us on a seven-front war,’ Netanyahu tells JINSA delegation
The first thing that the Jewish state must do is to defeat Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a delegation of retired U.S. Jewish military leaders at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv last week.

“People who do this thing to us are not going to be there. We have a long battle,” he told the delegation from the Washington-based Jewish Institute for National Security of America. “I don’t think it’s that long, but we’ll get rid of them.”

Netanyahu added that “Iran is fighting us on a seven-front war: Obviously, Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis, the militias in Iraq and Syria, Judea and Samaria, the West Bank, Iran itself.

“They’d like to topple Jordan. Their goal is to have a combined ground offensive from various fronts, coupled with a combined missile bombardment,” he said.

Netanyahu added that Israel must “deter the other elements of the Iran terror axis.

“But we have to deal with the axis. The axis doesn’t threaten only us. It threatens you,” he said. “It’s on the march to conquer the Middle East. Conquer the Middle East. Conquer. That means, actually, conquer. Conquer Saudi Arabia, conquer the Arabian Peninsula. It’s just a question of time.”
ADL, victims sue Iran, Syria and North Korea over Oct. 7 support
The Anti-Defamation League filed a federal lawsuit on Monday, alongside more than 100 American victims of the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel and their family members, accusing Iran, Syria and North Korea of providing material support for the attacks.

The lawsuit ultimately seeks compensation for the victims and their families, which would likely be paid out from the U.S. Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism fund. It accuses the three rogue states of providing military, tactical and financial support to Hamas.

“Iran is the world’s leading state sponsor of antisemitism and terror — along with Syria and North Korea, they must be held responsible for their roles in the largest antisemitic attack since the Holocaust,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement. “We are doing everything possible to hold Hamas terrorists and those who support them accountable, including putting all of ADL’s weight behind this effort.”

Greenblatt said he’s hoping that the case will “bring justice” for some of the victims and “create a record” of the Hamas atrocities, as supported by foreign states.

One plaintiff, Nahar Neta, whose mother, Adrienne Neta, was a U.S. citizen who immigrated to Israel in the early 1980s and was killed in Kibbutz Beeri, said, “While nothing will ever undo the unbearable pain Hamas caused our family or recover the brutal losses we’ve suffered, we hope this case will bring some sense of justice.”

“It’s important for us to be able to tell our stories so the world can hear how Hamas has terrorized Israel, the Jewish people, and many American citizens,” Neta continued.

ADL filed the case with law firm Crowell & Moring. It’s the first such case filed since the Oct. 7 attack and the largest of its kind, the ADL said in a statement. James Pasch, ADL’s senior director of national litigation and the group’s lead counsel on the case, noted in a statement that Iran, Syria and North Korea have all been held responsible in U.S. courts for their support for attacks harming U.S. citizens, and adding that there’s “clear evidence” that each supported Hamas. Crowell & Moring has been involved in terrorism cases relating to the UTA flight 772 bombing and bombings of U.S. embassies in Beirut and Nairobi, Kenya, and said it has won $18 billion in judgments.
The peace campaigner who came to kill
Eight months before Machmud arrived at Batia Holin’s home to kill her, the two had jointly launched an exhibition aimed at promoting peace and unity between Israelis and Palestinians.

After connecting through a Facebook group for residents on the Israel-Gaza border, the pair spent months sharing pictures on WhatsApp of daily life from both sides of the fence. This seemingly heartfelt exchange blossomed into a poignant exhibition entitled Between Us, dedicated to bridging the divide. Due to the dire risks involved, they never spoke directly. ‘Normalisation’ (interacting with Jews) is the most serious crime a Gazan can commit.

“We didn’t discuss politics,” Batia tells me as we walk along the Gaza barrier fence on the outskirts of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, where Machmud – who told her he was a 28-year-old photographer from the Gazan town of Shuja’iyya – was one of 300 Hamas terrorists who breached the border on the morning of October 7 and entered her kibbutz.

The 71-year-old, who has lived on the kibbutz for more than 50 years, has dedicated her life to coexistence. The idea of collaborating with a Palestinian across the border, someone who experienced the same sights and sounds yet lived a vastly different reality, deeply resonated with her sense of purpose.

“Machmud and I wanted to show the world that, despite the circumstances in which we live, we share the same hope for a brighter future. That despite the obstacles, most people on both sides of the fence just want to live in peace.” Batia Holin beside a banner displaying pictures of hostages from Kibbutz Kfar Aza that remain in captivity.

Their exhibition opened in Israel on 4 February 2023 in nearby Kibbutz Nahal Oz (where 14 people were killed and seven abducted), with plans for it to tour the United States. One of its most striking exhibits was photographs of the Mediterranean Sea, showing the same beach border from opposite perspectives: one looking north, the other south.

Machmud was, of course, unable to be there in person, so he wrote Batia a touching email: “I hope this project will influence and improve understanding, quality of life and security on both sides of the fence. I hope that with the help of my photos, Israeli society and the whole world will know that the Gaza Strip is not only a place of rockets and missiles but a place worth living in. I hope that with the help of my photos, Israeli society will see that in Gaza the people are simple, love life and are not fighters and terrorists. This exhibition, for me, is hope for a peaceful life.”

Today, in the wake of such unimaginable brutality, Batia’s dreams seem heartbreakingly naïve. Her faith has been so profoundly shattered that she fears there may not be a single adult in Gaza who shares her vision of peace. “The hardest feeling is the sense of total betrayal,” she tells me.

“The sense that everyone in Gaza was involved, even those who claim to oppose Hamas. I realise how awful that sounds. It truly is awful. But I cannot think anything else today. The past 17 years since Hamas took over Gaza have been difficult and it’s got worse over time. Before the attack, people called life here 90 percent heaven, 10 percent hell. Now it just feels like hell.”

Batia heard Machmud’s voice for the very first time at 10am on October 7 when she received a phone call from an Israeli number she did not recognise. He told her he was inside the kibbutz and asked if Israeli soldiers were nearby.

“I was so confused,” recalls Batia with a shudder. “At first, I thought Machmud must have heard about the attack and was calling out of concern. It didn’t take long to realise he had a different reason. He wanted to cause me harm. I didn’t speak to him. I just hung up. I didn’t have time to think about the call until two days later. Terrorists were everywhere. My husband and I were just trying to survive. Later, I gave all the details I had about Machmud to the army. His phone number, personal information he’d shared, screenshots of our chats. I have no idea what happened to him.”

Judge Rejects Biden Admin Bid To Dismiss Lawsuit Over 'Illegal and Dangerous' $1.5 Billion Palestinian Payment Plan
A U.S. district court rejected the Biden administration’s bid to dismiss a landmark lawsuit alleging it engaged in an "illegal and dangerous $1.5 billion terrorism subsidy program for the Palestinians."

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled on Friday that the lawsuit brought by victims of Palestinian terrorism can proceed, marking the second time the Biden administration’s motion to dismiss the case has been rejected. The court, in its latest decision, said there is evidence the Biden administration continued awarding taxpayer cash to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)—the leading aid organization in Gaza—even after Congress blocked funding to that group due to its support for Hamas’s military infrastructure.

The lawsuit, originally filed in December 2022 by American victims of Palestinian terror attacks and Rep. Ronny Jackson (R., Texas), alleges the Biden administration violated federal law when it restarted aid to the Palestinians, including for programs in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. This money, they argue, subsidized terrorism and contributed to the Palestinian government’s "pay to slay" program, which provides imprisoned terrorists and their families with monthly stipends.

The latest decision paves the way for the case to "move forward, tearing away the veil from the Biden Administration’s illegal and dangerous $1.5 billion terrorism subsidy program for the Palestinians," America First Legal, a watchdog group handling the lawsuit on behalf of terror victims, said in a summary of the case provided to the Washington Free Beacon.

"This administration has been illegally funding terrorism by providing taxpayer dollars to Palestinian terrorists who want to bring harm to American and Israeli interests," said Rep. Jackson. "This critical decision will help to hold the Biden administration accountable and ensure that the national security of the United States and Israel is prioritized over the illegal funding of terrorism with American taxpayer dollars."

The court agreed that America First Legal provided sufficient evidence that the Biden administration’s financial support for UNRWA "is undiminished," even after Congress outlawed funding to the group following revelations its employees participated in Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel. UNRWA facilities have also been used as Hamas command centers, and weapons stockpiles have repeatedly been discovered in the agency’s buildings.

Ruthie Blum: Has Israel’s security apparatus learned nothing from Oct. 7?
If Mohammed Abu Salmiya hadn’t filmed a couple of hate-filled videos upon his triumphant return to Gaza on Monday morning, the Shifa Hospital director’s release from Israeli incarceration would have remained under the radar.

But Abu Salmiya, one of some 50 Palestinian detainees let out of the Sde Teiman military base in southern Israel and whisked back to the terrorist enclave from whence they came, was proud to highlight his ordeal.

It’s lucky he did. Otherwise, the fact that he’s now back in the business of using his illustrious license and position to store weapons and abuse hostages would have escaped notice—not only of the Israeli public, but of the very government that’s supposed to have learned a lesson or two on and since Oct. 7.

In his clips, Abu Salmiya failed to mention his own key role in Hamas’s atrocities, which involved aiding and abetting the perpetrators of the massacre and mass abductions. This isn’t mere speculation; all evidence of Shifa operations is fully documented, with footage, photos and Israel Security Agency Interrogations galore.

Naturally, this didn’t stop the Shifa chief, who was arrested in November, from accusing the “enemy” of criminal behavior toward the “hundreds of doctors, nurses and medical technicians” in Israeli prisons. Nor did it prevent him from encouraging the “resistance” to fight to free all Palestinian terrorists—or from having the nerve to call on human-rights organizations to visit them and see the “tragic” conditions under which they’re being held.

“The prisoners have lost weight—at least 25 kilos,” he said. “Everyone is suffering.” About the starving hostages, some of whom he happily harbored in his facility, he had nothing to say. He was too busy vowing to resume his “medical” work and rebuild Shifa.

Dr. Mengele is grinning in his grave.

Two people not the least bit amused are Avi and Adi Marciano, whose 19-year-old daughter, Noa—an Israel Defense Forces field observer—was murdered on Shifa grounds.

“Noa was abandoned before Oct. 7, by not having been listened to,” her father posted on Facebook after learning the news about Abu Salmiya’s newfound freedom. “She was abandoned on Oct. 7 when they didn’t come to save her. She was abandoned again afterwards when they didn’t do enough to bring her home alive. And now, seven months after we buried her, the State of Israel decides to release those responsible directly or indirectly for her murder.”

He went on, “Sorry, my child, that even now they continue to abandon you. I am willing to accept the release of those involved in the murder of my daughter only as part of a hostage deal. Not like this.”

It turns out that Israel has been quietly releasing hundreds of Gazans each month, typically in the middle of the night. The IDF tends not to confirm or deny this information after it is publicized by Palestinians in the Strip.
Caroline Glick: SHOCKING: Israel Releases 50 Palestinian Prisoners for Nothing
The IDF releases 50 Palestinian prisoners including the head of the Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the progressives in both Israel and the US show their true colors and the lie of the Biden presidency comes out in the first Presidential debate with Donald Trump.

Ministers trade blame with Shin Bet after Shifa Hospital director is released to Gaza
Both Gallant and Netanyahu were quick to distance themselves from the release of the Palestinian detainees.

“The authority for incarcerating security prisoners and their release is under the Shin Bet and the Israel Prison Service, and is not subject to the approval of the defense minister,” Gallant’s office said.

The Shin Bet is under the jurisdiction of the Prime Minister’s Office, while the IPS is under Ben Gvir’s National Security Ministry.

Netanyahu’s office said that “the decision to release the prisoners followed discussions at the High Court on a petition against the detention of prisoners at the Sde Teiman detention facility.” (Abu Salmiya was not being held at Sde Teiman, but at Nafha Prison, according to the Israel Prison’s Service.)

“The identity of the released prisoners is determined independently by security officials based on their professional opinions,” the statement continued, adding that Netanyahu had ordered an immediate investigation into the matter.

Responding to the uproar, the Shin Bet said that it had been forced to send prisoners back to the Gaza Strip due to a lack of space in Israeli jails and that it planned to phase out the use of the Sde Teiman detention facility.

The agency said that a decision had been made recently to only hold Palestinian detainees at Sde Teiman for short periods, and as such, it and the IDF were required to release dozens of detainees from prisons to make room for more significant terror suspects.

“For about a year now, the Shin Bet has been warning in every possible forum… about the incarceration crisis and the obligation to increase the number of [cells], in light of the need to arrest terrorists in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,” the agency said in a statement

“The incarceration crisis leads to daily cancellation of arrests of suspects involved in terror activities, and to direct harm to the security of the country,” the Shin Bet continued, claiming that overnight, several planned arrests of wanted Palestinians, including some who were planning terror attacks, had been canceled.

“Unfortunately, these requests… which were forwarded to all the relevant parties, chief among them the national security minister, which is responsible for this, were of no use, and in practice, the number of [cells] did not increase as needed,” it said, referring to Ben Gvir.

The Shin Bet added that it was against releasing West Bank Palestinian detainees, due to “immediate” fears they would return to carrying out attacks, as well as members of Hamas’s elite Nukhba force and other Gazan terrorists involved in the fighting and attacking civilians.

As such, and in accordance with “the state’s need as determined by the National Security Council,” it was decided to release several detainees who did not pose a significant threat, the agency said, adding that the release was carried out after “examining the perceived danger of all the detainees.”

Biden debate performance won’t sway Israel-Hezbollah war considerations, experts say
President Joe Biden’s halting performance in last week’s presidential debate is unlikely to impact short-term decision-making in Jerusalem as Washington continues diplomatic efforts to prevent an escalation into all-out war on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, but it could have longer-term effects, experts told Jewish Insider on Sunday.

Thursday’s presidential debate came amid efforts by the U.S. to push for a diplomatic solution to avoid a war between Israel and Hezbollah, which has launched barrages of missiles and rockets into Israel since Oct. 8. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been unable to return to their homes for months, and Israeli leaders have warned the situation is untenable. U.S. special envoy Amos Hochstein warned Lebanon last week that Washington would not be able to restrain Jerusalem and would help Israel defend itself from the Iranian proxy in the event of an escalation.

Defense and diplomatic analysts in Hebrew-language media across the political spectrum said a weak showing by a U.S. president would embolden Israel’s enemies, in a response so uniformly anxious that it warranted its own New York Times writeup.

Yet some experts were more circumspect when asked if the debate impacts Israel’s considerations regarding Hezbollah.

Shira Efron, senior director for policy research at the Israel Policy Forum, said, “I don’t think the debate performance necessarily emboldens the bad guys, Iran or Hezbollah … and I don’t think Israel thinks it emboldens them.”

“According to all assessments, they have no interest in a full-scale war at the moment,” Efron noted.

Asher Fredman, senior managing fellow at the Misgav Institute for National Security and Zionist Strategy, pointed out that Biden is not directly conducting the negotiations with Lebanon, such that Hochstein can continue regardless.

In addition, Fredman said, “it doesn’t appear the Biden administration is going to hold back munitions that Israel needs. I think Israel is not particularly counting on the U.S. to help beyond that.”

“I think that obviously the American position is going to be important, but I don’t think Biden’s debate performance has a direct impact on Israel’s calculations vis-a-vis Hezbollah at the current moment,” he added.

However, Fredman said, Israel’s enemies may believe they have more leeway for malign acts between now and the presidential election in November.

“While President Biden’s performance at the debate may not directly impact Israel’s short-term calculations with regards to Hezbollah, it may well encourage Iran to use the next half year to advance its nuclear weapons program,” he said. “In such a case, Israel will be forced to decide whether it is prepared to act militarily against Iran’s nuclear program, which would likely lead to a high-intensity war with Hezbollah as well.”
Jewish leaders tell CNN their faith in Biden has faltered in light of antisemitism, Hamas war
While US President Joe Biden's campaign has regularly reached out to Jewish Democrats, his support among Jewish voters may be dwindling, CNN News suggested last week, attributing his declining popularity to the ongoing war against Hamas and the rise in US antisemitism.

Biden's campaign, which makes a point to regularly host a "Jewish Women for Jew" Zoom call and plans to hire an interfaith director to engage Jewish voters better, was the subject of numerous complaints sent to CNN.

Jewish leaders reportedly privately complained to the site that Biden had failed to engage enough with them directly and that they felt failed by the Democratic Party - some describing their situation as being "politically homeless."

The Jewish leaders charged that Biden had failed to do enough and expressed concerns that he could not control his own party.

“I’ve had a couple of people say point blank, ‘How could any Jew vote for a Democrat?’” said Troy Zukowski, the West Michigan chair of the Michigan Jewish Democrats. “I’m not so concerned about Jews who may vote for Trump. I’m more concerned about those who may vote for third-party spoiler candidates or not vote at all.”

Jewish Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro pointed to several areas of concern, namely the rise and acceptance of antisemitism and the conflation of antisemitism and Israeli government actions. However, Shapiro did not feel concerned that Jews would abandon Biden.
McCaul: Biden admin ‘effectively withholding seven weapon systems’ from Israel
The Biden administration has held up transfers of seven weapon systems to the Jewish state, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Shannon Bream on the program Fox News Sunday.

“This is what is most disturbing to me—is that we’re withholding weapon systems that I have signed off on and Congress has appropriated with the intent of sending those weapons to Israel,” McCaul said. “Remember the supplemental? They were effectively withholding seven weapon systems.”

“I can’t get into the details,” the congressman said. “That is not helping Israel.”

Bream noted that Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, had said that the United States would have difficulty defending the Jewish state against a Hezbollah attack.

“I respect him, Gen. Brown. I know him, but the fact is we’re not helping them,” McCaul said of Israel.

Robert Greenway, director of the Allison Center for National Security at the Heritage Foundation, wrote that the Biden administration was holding up the seven arms shipments as Iran reportedly is sending weapons to Hezbollah.

David Milstein, a former adviser to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s presidential campaign, wrote that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right to release a video stating that it was “inconceivable” that the Biden administration was withholding weapons from Israel.

“Those who criticized him were wrong,” Milstein wrote.

US AG should investigate Amal Clooney’s role in ICC case against Israel – Israeli NGO
The US Attorney General Merrick Garland should investigate Amal Clooney’s assistance to the International Criminal Court’s case against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli NGO Shurat HaDin has argues.

According to Shurat HaDin, the wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney and human rights attorney has violated federal law by illegally participating in the International Criminal Court's (ICC) "investigative actions" against Netanyahu for war crimes while she was on US soil.

Representatives of the NGO have sent a letter to Garland on the issue. The document was sent by attorneys Robert J. Tolchin of New York and Shurat HaDin President Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel-Aviv. Shurat HaDin represents hundreds of Hamas terrorism victims, including victims of Hamas' October 7 massacre in Israel, in legal actions against the terror group and its financial supporters.

“The American law is extremely clear: no agent of the ICC can operate or assist in ICC investigative actions against Americans or their allies while residing in the US,” said Darshan-Leitner. “As President Biden stated, it is outrageous that this biased court in The Hague would attempt to prosecute Israeli officials as they battle the Hamas murderers, rapists and terror gangs in Gaza.”

The letter to Garland notes that Amal Clooney, at the bequest of ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan, participated in an investigative panel convened to evaluate evidence of suspected war crimes and crimes against humanity in Israel and Gaza. The panel was tasked to review the legal analysis underpinning the Chief Prosecutor’s intended application for warrants against two Israeli leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant, as well as several Hamas leaders.

Ms. Clooney has spoken publicly about her involvement with the ICC investigative panel and boasted of her actions to assist in indicting the two Israeli leaders. The Shurat HaDin letter requests that the Attorney General subpoena the email, phone records and passports of Clooney in order to discover her whereabouts and communications with the Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague and determine if she acted illegally while on American territory. Clooney is not an American citizen.

On ICC sanctions vote, Allred breaks with other Democratic Senate hopefuls
Rep. Colin Allred (D-TX) stood alone last month among Democratic House members seeking Senate seats when he voted against a bill placing sanctions on the International Criminal Court.

“I remain deeply committed to ensuring that Israel has the resources it needs to defend itself against Hamas and free the hostages while we work toward a sustainable peace,” Allred said in a statement to Jewish Insider. “I support pushing back on some of ICC’s findings and conclusions, but I fear this bill would have unintended consequences.”

Allred’s vote puts him at odds with the other House Democrats hoping to advance to the Senate in November, Reps. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Adam Schiff (D-CA). They did not respond to requests for comment on their own votes.

Gallego and Slotkin’s decisions to vote for the ICC sanctions drew condemnation from some on the left and in the Muslim community.

Allred, running to unseat Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) — an outspoken critic of the administration’s Middle East policy — has a generally pro-Israel voting record, but has broken with pro-Israel groups at times. That marks a contrast with his opponent, who has remained outspokenly pro-Israel.

In late April, Allred broke with other moderate Democratic colleagues in expressing concern about crackdowns on anti-Israel protests on college campuses.

“Our campuses should be places where all students feel safe. Jewish students must be able to attend classes free from any sense of intimidation, and students who seek to protest peacefully must be allowed to do so consistent with campus policies and their First Amendment rights,” Allred said in a statement. “Overly aggressive responses to peaceful protests serve neither of these interests. We can and must both protect students’ rights and their right to safety.”

Hamza Howidy: Why Does the Media Ignore Hamas' Crimes Against Palestinians?
These inhumane acts, along with the agony that Gazans have undergone since October, prompted many to demonstrate anew during this war. They demonstrated in Khan-Younis in front of Yahya Sinwar's house; others protested in the north, asking that Hamas free the captives and cease the war. They received the same response from Hamas that I did: They were fired upon.

And once again, the global media largely overlooked these crimes.

Daring to take some food in the midst of a war or protesting Hamas isn't the only activity Hamas has persecuted us Gazans for; attempting to play any part of delivering this aid to those in need, or even considering playing any role the day after the war, is enough to get anybody the death penalty from Hamas.

That's what happened to the Abu-Amro tribe leader, along with two members of his tribe who were killed by Hamas militants a few days ago.

A couple of months ago, they beheaded the head of a clan leader in the north of Gaza and issued a statement on social media: "We murdered him, and we will do so to anyone who stands against us and cooperates with Israel."

Others who publicly criticized Hamas during the war were reported missing.

In addition to this, many of Fatah members were placed under house arrest by Hamas "for security reasons," and anyone who left his home was kidnapped. That's what happened with the Gazan Yossef Shahein—yet the global and Arab media never spoke about these crimes.

Al Jazeera, which employs hundreds of journalists in Gaza and has several offices there, never reports on these murders.

This systematic terrorism perpetrated by Hamas against the major tribes in Gaza and against dissidents is intended to undermine the plan for Gaza when the war ends, which will necessarily involve empowering civil society to run civil affairs in Gaza in the future. Hamas plans to copy the Taliban model in Gaza after the war, going underground and trying to fight from the shadows. They hope that will keep them in power so they can continue terrorizing both Israelis and Palestinians.

Where is the outrage?

This biased journalism has horrific repercussions. It was the reason for Hamas' success in silencing opposition in Gaza, and it is inflaming global mobs who swallow Hamas' propaganda and go to the streets raising the Hamas flag, wearing masks and chanting for terrorists, deceptively depicting all Gazans as Hamas members who wish to continue living under its authoritarian rule.

It's a horrific abandonment of Gaza's innocent civilians. It's clear their suffering only matters when it can be blamed on Jews.
UN official called 'terror sympathizing antisemite' by Israeli ambassador as calls grow for her dismissal
The walls appear to be closing in on an official for the United Nations over allegations of antisemitism. The official, Francesca Albanese, the special rapporteur on the Palestinian territories, recently made news after criticizing the Jewish state for its successful June rescue of four hostages held by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Israel’s outgoing ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, told Fox News Digital, "Francesca Albanese is the very definition of a terror sympathizing antisemite. Her role at the U.N. is dedicated toward one goal: the destruction of the State of Israel. I’m not surprised that the secretary-general, who is motivated by hatred for Israel, is not doing anything about her justification of terror against Israelis."

"Enough is enough," U.N. Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer told Fox News Digital. "Francesca Albanese must be removed from her position immediately. For far too long, Albanese has abused her U.N. mandate to spread Hamas propaganda. She is the first U.N. special rapporteur in history to be condemned by France, Germany and the U.S. for antisemitism."

He added, "It’s time for the U.S. and other democracies to take action to fire Francesca Albanese now. This can be done by the adoption by the Human Rights Council of a resolution. Until that happens, they need to condemn her strongly for spreading antisemitism and abusing her mandate by illegally engaging in overtly political and cynical lobbying activities."

Albanese’s June 8 post on X said of the rescue mission, "This is ‘humanitarian camouflage’ at another level. Israel has used hostages to legitimise (sic) killing, injuring, maiming, starving and traumatising (sic) Palestinians in Gaza. And while intensifying violence against Palestinians in the rest of the occupied territory and Israel. Israel could have freed all hostages, alive and intact, 8 months ago when the first ceasfire (sic) and hostage exchange was put on the table. Yet, Israel refused in order to continue to destroy Gaza and the Palestinians as a people. This is genocidal intent turned into action. Crystal clear."

Alex Gandler, deputy spokesperson for Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, wrote on X about Albanese: "Your unwavering support of Hamas and Palestinian civilian kidnappers of civilians is truly a piece of grotesque art. Wrong side of History Lady."

Washington criticizes Arab League’s revocation of Hezbollah’s terror designation
The US comes out against the Arab League’s decision to revoke Hezbollah’s classification as a terror organization.

“There is no question that Hezbollah remains a dangerous terrorist organization and a destabilizing force in the Middle East,” State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel says when asked about the decision, announced by Arab League Assistant Secretary-General Hossam Zaki in a statement to Egyptian media.

“We believe that there’s no reason to take steps to remove such a designation, and we have continued to urge governments around the world to designate ban or restrict Hezbollah. Sixteen governments from across the world have heeded this call since 2019, and we will continue to have those conversations,” Patel says.
Hezbollah drone attack wounds 18 IDF soldiers
Eighteen Israel Defense Forces soldiers were wounded, one seriously, by a Hezbollah suicide drone attack near a kibbutz in the northern Golan Heights on Sunday afternoon, the army confirmed.

According to the IDF Home Front Command, several suspicious “aerial targets” infiltrated from Lebanon around 4 p.m. on Sunday, setting off air raid sirens in the Galilee panhandle and northern Golan Heights.

According to local media reports, one of the UAVs impacted in the area of Kibbutz Merom Golan, wounding troops stationed there.

Haifa’s Rambam Hospital confirmed on Sunday night that three wounded soldiers were brought to its emergency room by helicopter. One was listed as being in serious condition and required surgery.

“Two victims arrived in mild to moderate condition; they are conscious and suffering from shrapnel injuries,” said a spokesperson for the hospital, adding that, “in the evening, another casualty was brought in; he is also conscious and will remain under observation.”

Hezbollah has attacked Israel’s north nearly every day since joining the war in support of Hamas on Oct. 8, firing thousands of suicide drones, rockets and anti-tank missiles at Israeli border towns, killing more than 20 people and causing widespread damage. Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians remain internally displaced due to the ongoing violence.

The Iran-backed terror group took responsibility for Sunday’s attack, claiming it sent a “swarm of drones” towards an Israeli military site in response to Israeli Air Force strikes against targets in Southern Lebanon.

Israel’s Ynet news outlet reported that Hezbollah claimed at least nine attacks on the Jewish state on Sunday, including the launch of a volley of heavy Falaq rockets towards Moshav Beit Hillel in the Eastern Galilee.
Hamas manages to fire 20 rockets from Khan Yunis for first time in months
Hamas managed to fire 20 rockets from Khan Yunis into Israel for the first time in months on Monday, as the IDF was trying to wrap up the larger and more intense fighting stage of the war.

The IDF withdrew from Khan Yunis in southern Gaza on April 7, and since then, it has been an open secret that Hamas has been returning to the area in large numbers.

But until Monday, there was hope that the IDF’s systematic destruction of rockets and rocket-launching platforms would prevent any larger barrage of rockets from places it had already been through.

Apart from a brief period in early May, when the IDF first invaded Rafah, and Hamas responded with several days of increased rocket fire from Rafah specifically, there has been very little rocket fire from Gaza since January.

According to an IDF statement on Monday, some of the rockets were intercepted, while others landed in open areas near the Strip.

The Eshkol Regional Council reported a similar number of rockets being fired at the area, but noted that nearly all had fallen in open areas.

“About 18 rockets were launched into our territory. Most of them fell in open areas outside the communities, and one rocket was successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome,” the Council reported. “One of the rockets fell in the area of Kibbutz Holit’s fence.”

IDF announces death of Sergeant Ori Itzchak Hadad, 21, from the Nahal Brigade
Sergeant Ori Itzchak Hadad, 21, from Beersheba, from the 931st Battalion of the Nahal Brigade fell in combat in the southern Gaza Strip, the military said on Monday.

During the incident in which Sergeant Ori Itzchak Hadad fell, another soldier from the Nahal Brigade was severely wounded. He was evacuated to a hospital to receive medical treatment.

The Hesder Yeshivot Association mourned Sergeant Hadad, Walla reported. "Sergeant Ori Itzchak Hadad was a student at the Itamar Hesder Yeshiva and fell in the Mitzvah War. On behalf of the heads of the Hesder Yeshivot, all the rabbis, and the students, we embrace the family, the yeshiva's rabbis, its students, and alumni," the associated said.

"We pray for the decisive victory of our heroic soldiers over our despicable and cruel enemies. May his soul be bound in the bundle of life," they concluded. Nahal Brigade operated in southern Gaza

Earlier in the afternoon in southern Gaza, the IDF announced that Nahal Brigade soldiers under the command of Division 162 identified a terrorist who launched an anti-tank missile at them in Rafah, and quickly directed the Israeli air force to eliminate the terrorist.

Early in the morning, several alarms were activated in the Gaza border area, in Kibbutz Kissufim, Nir Oz, Dekel, Sufa, Sde Avraham, and in Ein Hashlosha.

Approximately 20 rockets were identified crossing from the Khan Yunis area in the Gaza Strip to the border area following the alarms. Some were intercepted, and there were no impacts and no casualties.

Remains of the Nir Oz kibbutz are a vision of pure evil
For nearly seven decades, the Nir Oz kibbutz was an oasis rich in nature, with chirping birds, beautiful botanic gardens and juicy pomegranates.

More than 400 Israelis — many of them liberal peace activists — lived there in a joyous, tight-knit community.

But the paradise, less than a mile from the Gaza border, was shattered on October 7. By some accounts, as many as 700 terrorists, including Hamas Nukhba forces, brutally attacked the kibbutz. They killed or kidnapped 117 residents and destroyed 60% of the homes.

What remains is a heartbreaking memorial, a gut-wrenching crime scene and a vision of pure evil.

Every aspect of human life has stopped.The air is thick with the smell of death and destruction — an acrid, charred odor that conjures the stench in New York City after 9/11.

People are welcome to experience it for themselves — a new iteration of “terror tourism” that lets shellshocked visitors bear witness. They can weave in and out of modest, single story burnt-out homes, walk on crunched shards of glass, open refrigerators filled with trays of burnt eggs and see a laundry basket filled with barely recognizable, toddler-sized fairy princess dresses.

“The paradise we called home turned into hell on earth in just a few hours,” reads a grim visitor brochure from the kibbutz.

Irit Lahav, a 57-year-old jewelry designer who lived at the kibbutz, leads journalists through the most intimate parts of people’s homes.

She and her adult daughter miraculously survived as terrorists attempted to break into their home for eight hours before help arrived.

“We accepted death and said our goodbye words to each other,” she said as a cool breeze swept across the kibbutz playground, where dozens of kids, including the young Bibas boys, once played.

Ariel Bibas was 4-years-old and brother Kfir was just 9 months when they were taken hostage, along with mother Shiri Bibas

Last week, Kfir, the youngest Israeli taken hostage, celebrated the grim milestone of having lived more of his life as a hostage than as a free boy.

“It’s still hard to accept it happened,” said Dalit Ram Aharon, a longtime Shiri Bibas friend who lived on the kibbutz. “Kfir is the cutest baby I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Social media influencers unite against antisemitism at major NY summit
In a landmark effort to counter rising antisemitism and present Israel's narrative on the global stage, the Combat Antisemitism Movement has launched the largest-ever global influencer summit in New York City. Bringing together more than 300 social media influencers, celebrities, and thought leaders, the event aims to address the surge in antisemitism and combat misinformation about Israel in the digital age.

The "Voices for Truth: Influencers United Against Antisemitism" summit, held Sunday at The Glasshouse in New York City, marked the first day of this groundbreaking initiative. Hosted in partnership with the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the event featured prominent figures, including New York City Mayor Eric Adams, Bravo Host and Producer Andy Cohen, and social media influencer Montana Tucker.

Sacha Roytman, CEO of CAM, emphasized the urgency of the moment: "This is our chance to make a difference. To stand up for Jewish people and our values and the protection of minorities. To stand by is not an option anymore. Bring back activism and community leadership as a way of life."

The summit comes at a critical time when many Jewish influencers have faced increased hate and lost brand deals for defending Jews and supporting Israel in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught, in which terrorists killed over 1,2000 Israelis, mostly civilians, and took over 250 hostage. The event provided a platform for these voices to unite, share experiences, and strategize on effectively using their platforms to counter antisemitism.

Israeli Consul General in New York Ofir Akunis addressed the complex narrative landscape: "We live in a world in which lies become truth, truth becomes a lie, victims become aggressors and aggressors become victims. But know this: Those who started this war will be defeated. We will not be victims of violence anymore. Enough. Enough."

Adams highlighted the power of digital platforms in shaping public opinion, "You are now on the precipice to decide which direction we go in. You only have to pick up your device to change the course of history. This is your moment to use your platforms to change the course of what we're experiencing across the globe. There's no room for hate in our city or on our globe. We can turn this around."

Cohen emphasized the importance of Jewish pride and visibility, "Be proud of being Jewish and don't shy away from showing it publicly. And sometimes the simplest displays or gestures are the strongest and most effective. Many of you have large social media platforms, and that simply by representing Jewish culture with pride to your followers, you will have more of a far-reaching impact than you may even realize."

Tucker, recipient of the CAM Impactful Activism Award, spoke about the challenges and determination of Jewish advocates, "Jews today have a voice, we are strong, we are powerful, and we are resilient. We are fortunate to have social media to use our platforms to reach people all the around the world. We have experienced brand deals fall through, death threats, but we'll continue to fight every single day, and we will not give up."

The summit also featured Grammy-nominated artist Matisyahu in a thought-provoking fireside chat about modern-day antisemitism, followed by a live musical performance.

The Quad: The Forgotten Hezbollah War About to EXPLODE
"Without American support, without Israeli-American collaboration, there is no way that Hezbollah would just cease to exist." "They have about 10 times the weaponry that Hamas have."

This week, the Quad (Fleur Hassan-Nahoum and guest hosts Chama Mechtaly and Malkah Fleisher) discuss the imminent war in the North. While all eyes have been on Rafah and Gaza, a far more dangerous war has been brewing in the North with Iran proxy Hezbollah and has left 60,000 Israelis homeless. Who's to blame? and more importantly, what can be done? They also discuss what life has been like for those in Judea and Samaria since the Oct.7th attack.

Fleur Hassan-Nahoum interviews Liat Cohen-Raviv, a resident of Metula and founder of a civilian forum for the north of Israel. She discusses the situation in her hometown, a border town with Lebanon that has been heavily affected by shelling and of the North in general. Cohen-Raviv highlights the challenges faced by the community, including destroyed houses, the displacement of residents and the feeling that since Oct. 7th they have been forgotten.

And, of course, Scumbags and Heroes!
Scumbags of the Week: Benjamin Netanyahu, Parisian teenagers, and Jamaal Bowman.
Heroes of the Week: Mijal Bitton, the Jews of Judea and Samaria, and Ben Stiller.

00:00 The Ongoing Conflict with Hezbollah in the North of Israel
02:24 The Displacement and Destruction in Israeli Communities
06:41 The Importance of Cooperation between Israel and the US
13:18 Challenges and the Need for Unity in Israeli Communities
18:39 Interview Liat Cohen-Raviv
33:46 Scumbag of the Week: Individuals who have made negative contributions
39:40 Heroes of the Week: Individuals who have made positive contributions

‘Disgraceful’: War memorials in Canberra vandalised with pro-Palestinian messages
Sky News host Peta Credlin says the Canberra war memorials vandalised are “disgraceful scenes” plastered with pro-Palestinian messages.

“Those disgraceful scenes out of Canberra, where four war memorials, quite close to the Australian National War Memorial have been vandalised with pro-Palestinian messages,” Ms Credlin said.

“This is the third time since March this area has been targeted by vandals, but police, yet to lay any charges.”

Sky News host slams acts of vandalism on Australian war memorials
Sky News host Danica De Giorgio discusses the “disgraceful” acts of pro-Palestinian vandalism of Australian war memorials in Canberra.

“Take a look at this disgraceful act of vandalism in Canberra - four war memorials near the Australian War Memorial were vandalised,” Ms De Giorgio said.

“Pro-Palestinian graffiti with slogans such as ‘from the river to the sea’ was discovered.”

Motion moved in the Senate to condemn pro-Palestinian vandalism of war memorial sites
Senator Jacqui Lambie has moved a motion in the Senate to condemn the vandalism of the memorial sites by pro-Palestinian protesters near the Australian War Memorial.

Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell says the Greens indicated they were against the motion.

“We’re on Fatima Payman watch at the moment because we’re going to see a series of motions testing out whether she abstains, whether she crosses the floor; this is the first,” he said.

Why Fatima Payman crossing the floor was wrong
First-term Western Australian Senator Fatima Payman became the first Federal Labor parliamentarian to cross the floor since 2005, and the first in government since the 1980s.

It’s a rare occurrence because Labor Party rules mean all parliamentarians are expected to be bound by decisions of the caucus when it comes to voting in the chamber.

While the penalty for breaking this rule is not proscribed or fixed, MPs who have crossed the floor historically have usually been expelled or suspended from the caucus, as is now the case with Payman after she told the ABC’s Insiders, she will cross the floor again on votes relating to Palestine.

Labor’s cultural belief is in the power of collective action – that we are a stronger movement and force when we work and vote together – it’s a discipline that unsurprisingly resembles that of the broader labour movement we are connected to.

This does not mean there is no dissent or diversity of views within the party – quite the opposite. But it means that while we may argue vigorously within the caucus and can even express contrary views to the party leadership in public, we are bound to support the decision of our caucus in parliament.

These were principles I subscribed to in my time as a Victorian Government minister and as an MP dealing with contentious policy issues from time to time.

Payman’s decision to cross the floor last week was to support a Greens motion which called for “the need for the Senate to recognise the State of Palestine.” Both Labor and the Coalition voted against the resolution, which meant it ultimately failed.

Labor sought to amend the motion to include specific mention that recognition of a Palestinian state should be “part of a peace process in support of a two-state solution and a just and enduring peace”. This is a positive sign that the Government continues to view Palestinian statehood as an outcome of a negotiated two-state solution, not something to be unilaterally recognised in the absence of it.

That Payman refused to support Labor’s amendment (contrasting the decision of independent Senator, David Pocock, who did and yet still voted in support of the Greens motion) was disappointing, because it calls into question her commitment to a two-state solution which has been Labor policy for decades. In my view, had she supported Labor’s amendment, she could have more credibly made the argument afterwards that her support for the recognition of a Palestinian state was for one that would live peacefully, side by side with the Jewish state, not one which wants to replace it.

Two Toronto synagogues vandalized, one for third time
A private residence and two Greater Toronto Area synagogues, one of which had been defaced twice prior since October 7, were targeted in a series of vandalism incidents over the weekend, the Toronto Police Service and Jewish organizations said.

Toronto police are seeking a person who on Sunday threw rocks at the Pride of Israel Synagogue, breaking windows, then fled the area on a motorcycle.

Investigators said that the same person was believed to have been responsible for throwing a rock through the window of the Kehillat Shaarei Torah synagogue’s window a few minutes later.

Toronto Police Service Chief Myron Demkiw implored the public to contact investigators about the suspected hate-motivated offense, sharing an image of the suspect.

The UJA Federation said that it was in coordination with Toronto police about the North York area incidents, and added that a private residence had also been attacked.

“We urge all Torontonians to stand with our community as we confront this vicious escalation of antisemitism,” the federation said on X. “Because silence will only embolden the extremists who are targeting Jews and threatening the very fabric of our city.”

Heathrow Airport backtracks on Palestinian flag badges
Heathrow Airport has U-turned on its employees’ use of Palestinian flag badges after previously claiming that staff were allowed to use them as a signal they speak Arabic.

The backtrack comes after pro-Israel advocacy group UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) wrote to Heathrow accusing it of allowing a “hostile environment” for Jews.

Caroline Turner, a director of UKLFI, said that “any passenger seeing the security staff member wearing a Palestinian flag would assume that it was there to indicate his or her support for Palestinians, or for Hamas’s actions,” rather than to show that the employee is Arabic-speaking.

She continued: “The effect of the security staff wearing the flag is to create an intimidating, hostile and offensive environment atmosphere for Jews and Israel supporters.”

Heathrow’s service director has since confirmed that the Palestinian flag is a non-approved badge, promising to “carry out further review” and “take proactive and (if required) remedial action” to enforce this policy.

The row began on 26 May after a Jewish passenger was pulled over for a second security check by an employee wearing a Palestinian flag. The customer wrote to Heathrow, asking why staff were allowed to wear such a divisive flag.

Although the customer was told that “no nationality, religious or political items can be worn by any Heathrow staff”, communications from Heathrow suggested that the Palestinian flag was permitted as a sign the employee speaks Arabic.

This is not the first time Heathrow has come under fire for its treatment of Jews and Israelis. The Home Office is currently investigating a claim of harassment filed by UKLFI on behalf of Israeli passengers.

Anti-Israel activists disrupt pride parades in NYC, Toronto, St. Louis
Anti-Israel activists disrupted pride parades in New York City, St. Louis, and Toronto on Sunday, while pro-Palestinian LGBTQ groups boycotted the London and San Francisco marches.

Activists stormed onto the parade route in Manhattan on Sunday waving Palestinian flags and anti-Israel banners, according to Writers Against the War on Gaza (WAWOG). Video published by the anti-Israel group showed the activists throwing red paint onto one of the parade floats before blocking the road and bringing the march to a halt.

WAWOG said the “actionists” had vandalized the float of the Human Rights Campaign float, alleging the NGO had partnered with arms manufacturers.

The New York Police Department arrested the protesters, WAWOG said on Instagram. It called for protests outside the police facility where they had been detained.

In a manifesto, the activists accused Israel of “opposing queer and Palestinian life through pinkwashing” and “laundering the violence of Zionism with the rainbow capitalism of pride parades.”

They explained that they believed the US and NGOs had presented a false dichotomy of being gay or Muslim, Palestinian or Arab, and they rejected the idea of clashes between intersecting identities and ideologies.

“We stand with f****ts fighting for the death of empire. With d**es burning ‘American’ and ‘Israeli’ flags. Drag queens disrupting galas,” read the manifesto shared by WAWOG. “Queers resisting cops. The hundreds of thousands of us in the streets. Every last motherf**ker who lost a job and said ‘IDGAF.’ Aaron Bushnell, screaming Free Palestine until he could scream no more. We stand with Palestine. We stand with Palestinian resistance unconditionally. We stand in solidarity with Palestinian queers and their struggle against imperialism, which cannot be separated from their struggle against heteropatriarchal capitalism. We also stand in solidarity with Palestinian homophobes. They do not deserve to be murdered by our taxes.”
NYC Dyke March deletes, apologizes for post saying Jews welcome
The New York City Dyke March deleted and apologized for a post to social media condemning antisemitism and saying that Jews are welcome that was made ahead of Saturday's match in Manhattan.

The original Instagram post read, "We have received many messages over the last several months, asking the committee members of Jewish Dykes are safe and welcome to the 2024 NYC Dyke March. The answer is yes. As a committee, we want to reiterate our position that we stand against antisemitism in all forms."

The post also acknowledged the "senseless loss of Jewish life" during the October 7 massacre, though it contained multiple paragraphs accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza, and focusing on the plight of the Palestinian Arabs. It also claimed that all of the people who have been killed in Gaza have been civilians.

This post was removed within an hour of its posting, with a new post apologizing for it taking its place.

The second post read, "Late at night on June 27, a member of the Dyke March Committee posted a statement on our Instagram. The statement was approved by several other committee members. However, it was published without a full committee-wide vote and does not reflect the official stance of the Dyke March (emphasis in original). The post was a mistake. Therefore, within 30 minutes we deleted it."

"We take full responsibility and apologize for the process and communication breakdown that led us here, as well as the harm our statement caused. Dyke March unapologetically stands in support of Palestinian liberation. This moment is a critical reminder to our committee to remain firm in our stance that anti-Zionism is not antisemitism, and any language we put out which is not clearly opposed to a Zionist, imperialist agenda is harmful to all," the second post continued.
‘Queer as in free Palestine’: Anti-Israel activists block New York City Pride March
The New York City Pride March was temporarily held up on Sunday when a small group of pro-Palestinian, anti-Israel activists broke through the barricades and blocked traffic from passing for around 30 minutes, resulting in several arrests.

The protesters, numbering around a dozen, broke through the barriers on the sidelines of the LGBTQ pride parade as it wove its way through Greenwich Village on Sunday afternoon, and threw red paint, intended to symbolize blood, on vehicles driving along the route.

They then sat cross-legged in the middle of the road, holding banners proclaiming that there would be “no queer liberation without Palestinian liberation,” and “Palestine will be free.”

The demonstration lasted for around half an hour, during which the protesters led a series of call-and-response chants with onlookers. “Free, free, free Palestine,” they chanted.

In videos posted on social media, the group could be heard shouting “Over 40,000 dead!” about the war in Gaza, inflating by several thousand the unverified death toll presented by the Hamas-run health ministry. The terror group said Sunday that more than 37,800 people had been killed, although the number cannot be verified and does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, of whom Israel says it has killed at least 15,000.

The protest was dispersed after around 30 minutes by the New York Police Department, which dispatched a group of around 20 officers to the scene. Protesters were led away in zip-tie cuffs to cries of “shame! shame!” from supporters in the crowd. The NYPD later said 10 people had been arrested, seven of whom were issued criminal summonses.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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


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