Monday, July 01, 2024

From Ian:

Progressive Except for Palestine
I have been excommunicated.

I am a Jewish academic physician at the University of Toronto. Since Oct. 7, I have been cut off by over a half-dozen younger progressive colleagues who considered me a mentor, and with whom I previously had regular or periodic contact. All because I am a Zionist.

It matters not that for a half-century I let my name stand with and energy flow to refugees, torture victims, gun-violence victims, people with HIV/AIDS, sex-trade workers, the LGBTQ2S community, people who are homeless, drug users, the poor, and victims of police brutality.

Nor have I been quiet over the decades about my support for Palestinian self-determination. In 1974, I published a letter in my local Winnipeg newspaper calling for an independent Palestinian state. It did not endear me to the Jewish community. Since then, I have publicly called for full civil and political rights of Palestinians in Israel, and opposed Israeli settlements in the West Bank. In 2013, I instigated a campaign by Canadian doctors to press for the release of a Palestinian Canadian doctor who had been detained in Egypt on his way to Gaza. During the 2014 Israel-Hamas conflict, I signed a petition to bring in 100 injured children from Gaza to Canada for medical treatment.

Still, I have been referred to as a PEP: progressive except for Palestine.

Despite being the physician for and fighting alongside people who have been persecuted by every level of government and their institutions, the only thing that matters now is my being Jewish—with Zionism being as primary to my Judaism as the Torah and Jewish cultural traditions.

Zionism is Jewish self-determination, and independence from the authority and yoke of regimes that mostly tried to annihilate Jews for millennia. Zionism is the right and the necessity of the Jewish people to survive, and it is the need for a Jewish state to ensure that very survival.

I support Israel’s right to defend itself in accordance with international standards of warfare and consistent with those applied to other countries. In the minds of my anti-Zionist colleagues who yell “intifada” at protests and the dozens who have signed petitions denouncing Israel, I am therefore a Zionist. That is about all we agree on.

Zionism, as I define it, is central to my identity as a Jew.

As a Zionist, I have been public about my views on the response in Canada to the war in Gaza, the double standard inherent in the denunciations of Israel, and the antisemitism embedded in some of the anti-Israel protests. I denounced a National Day of Action called by the Health Workers Alliance for Palestine for health care workers across Canada to engage in direct action; the natural targets for such a group would be health care facilities and institutions. The alliance’s 33-page toolkit provided detailed instructions on how to establish sit-ins, occupations, and blockades, adding: “were you to break laws in this moment where a fascist settler-colonial government is ruthlessly murdering children, killing entire families … then we would absolutely understand why you or any human being with an iota of moral conscience would choose to do so.” After media coverage of the proposed National Day of Action, including comments from me, no action in fact took place.

I have decried the failure of the university’s Temerty Faculty of Medicine to openly repudiate antisemitic pronouncements by faculty, and have bemoaned the near absence of empathy from non-Jewish colleagues for Jewish and other victims of the Oct. 7 slaughter and the effect on the Jewish community in Canada. And I have derided the denials of antisemitism by pro-Palestinian activists after a 15-to-20-minute protest (which was part of a much larger demonstration) with screams of “intifada” at Toronto’s major Jewish hospital. This all has resulted in the suspension or termination of my relationships with colleagues, manifested through silence and noncommunication. This after regular lunches, coffee dates, emails, phone calls, and even a wedding invitation.
Will the Law Protect Jewish Places of Worship From Antisemitic Mobs?
Violence generated by an anti-Israel protest outside the Adas Torah synagogue in Los Angeles on June 23 has produced cries for more protection of places of worship. A piece by Forward senior columnist Rob Eshman has suggested that protests “in front of houses of worship” be restricted, if not prohibited. Sen. Tom Cotton and Congressman Steve Scalise have demanded investigations of the protesters by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. CNN pundit Van Jones has declared that the protesters were “trying to start a fight,” and noted Israeli writer Hen Mazzig has tweeted that he hasn’t “seen any Jewish people in America running up on mosques with Israeli flags.”

None of these learned and influential commentators mentions that a federal court recently penalized a member of an Ann Arbor, Michigan, synagogue $158,721.75 for trying in litigation to protect access to a synagogue from comparable deliberate antisemitic harassment. Professing dedication to “free speech,” the nation’s foremost defenders of religious rights chose to be silent when the congregant asked the federal Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court to overrule this patent injustice.

In September 2003 a cadre of antisemites had devised an ingenious style of harassing Jews who came on Saturday mornings to worship at Ann Arbor’s Beth Israel Synagogue. They chose to gather only at the hours of Sabbath services on the grassy sidewalk sections in front of the synagogue and brandish signs with mottoes like “Jewish Power Corrupts,” “Resist Jewish Power,” “Stop Funding Israel,” and “End the Palestinian Holocaust.”

Civil libertarian synagogue members opined that this was only free speech and that the harassment would have to be tolerated. So the synagogue never went to court, and the Ann Arbor government, including its police, coddled the once-a-week demonstrators.

After many years, two of the congregation’s members, represented by a volunteer attorney, filed a lawsuit requesting that the protest be moved at least 1,000 feet from the synagogue. The federal trial judge assigned the case dismissed it because the congregants could assert no greater personal harm than “extreme emotional distress.” This, said the judge, was inadequate “standing” to initiate a federal lawsuit.

The congregants’ lawyer appealed this decision to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, whose chief judge is Jeffrey Sutton. He is a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Law School who clerked on the Supreme Court and argued many cases there. One of his wins was the 1997 decision that invalidated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Sutton, who was born in Saudi Arabia, wrote the decision that reversed the lower-court judge’s decision on the adequacy of the congregants’ legal interest. Instead of then remanding the case for additional proceedings, Sutton went on to reject the legal claim altogether and directed that the complaint be dismissed (Gerber v. Herskovitz, 14 F.4th 500). He said that “the content and form of the protests demonstrate that they concern public matters: American-Israeli relations.” He failed to explain how “Resist Jewish Power” and “Jewish Power Corrupts” expressed an opinion on “American-Israeli relations.”

Fearing that this ruling endangered all American synagogues, I wrote a piece dated Sept. 20, 2021, for the Jewish News Syndicate titled “The Court Decision That Is a Clear and Present Danger to America’s Jews.” I observed that the Sixth Circuit had 16 active circuit judges, six of whom were Trump appointees, and that they could request a rehearing of the appeal by the full court. None did so.
Daniel Greenfield: Every Leftist Cause Begins as Humanitarianism and Ends as Terrorism
Every leftist cause is founded on empathy.

Somewhere there is an oppressed group to be liberated. And he, she or they is the one to fight for their liberation.

And then people die. Sometimes it's those he considers the oppressed or the oppressors. Usually both. The humanitarians become terrorists and their revolutions lead to tyranny.

Leftists genuinely do care a lot. They care about rising oceans, polar bears, women in hijabs, men in dresses, drug dealers in the ghetto and eco-terrorists in prison, racist highways and dead terrorists, and if you think of something that they don't care about yet, they will soon.

As long as it fits the larger agenda of asserting their will over society from a moral high ground.

That is why they also don't care about the horrifying death toll among young black men from crime, how many Muslims are being killed by Muslim governments or the state of the gay rights movement in Marxist dictatorships. If the state of oppression does not conform to the narrative of external social oppression to be overthrown by a liberation movement it is useless to the political movement and to the individual ego of the aspiring freedom fighter.

To a genuine humanitarian, the oppressed are an end, but to a leftist they are a means. A leftist cares a great deal about a coal miner until he votes for Trump or a black man until he runs as a Republican. Or until, even through no fault of his own, like the coal miners and steelworkers for whom leftists once bled, he is replaced by a new pathway to the ultimate revolution.

Really fixing anything robs him of his motivation. That is why the standard leftist position is that black people are as oppressed today as they were under segregation. If they were to admit that black people were equal and free, what would they do with their time?

Given a large enough palette, the leftist can vandalize art, bomb events and assault people because he's trying to save millions, billions and the entire planet.

Is Israel Occupying the West Bank? (with Eugene Kontorovich) 7/1/24
To international law expert Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason University, all the arguments that make Israel out to be an occupying force collapse under the weight of a single, simple fact: A country cannot occupy territory to which it has a legal claim. Listen as Kontorovich speaks with EconTalk’s Russ Roberts about the legal issues surrounding occupation as well as the moral issues of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians. They also discuss the crazy-quilt legal environment of jurisdiction in the West Bank in the aftermath of the Oslo Accords of 1993. Finally, they explore the likely outcomes of current proposals for a Palestinian state in the West Bank.

The hottest new trend sweeping the United States: Jew hatred
Speech, like actions, can kill
There are, of course, times when it is permitted to shout fire in a theater. That is, if there truly was a fire in the theater or if you sincerely believed that a theater was on fire.

While Justice Holmes’s often-quoted line has become almost cliché, that is because, as is the case with many cliches, it rings true. Interestingly, over time the cliché has changed to include the word “crowded” as in “a crowded theater.” The word “falsely” is almost always missing.

Going to a Jewish neighborhood in Los Angeles wearing keffiyehs and waving Palestinian and Hamas flags is incitement – and incitement is illegal.

Battering a Jewish-looking man or boy on the streets of Brooklyn is illegal.

Given the drastic rise in Jew-hatred unfolding before our eyes, I was both surprised and very pleased by the response to another Gallup polling question.

When asked about voting for a Jewish candidate for president of the United States, 89% of those polled would vote for a Jew. That is almost nine out of every 10 people answering that they would vote for a Jew for president if the person was nominated by the party. As astounding as that 89% figure is, there is no reason to believe that the number is inflated, unfounded, or untrue.

These numbers give tremendous hope in the battle against Jew-hatred. They ultimately mean that the people involved in attacks against Jews are a statistical anomaly. They mean that all the hatred spewed and all the attacks perpetrated are the work of a marginal, irrelevant group of people operating far outside mainstream America. To beat them back the mainstream – the vast majority – needs to stand up and squelch the Jew-haters, the instigators, the inciters. The majority must set the tone. There are essential red lines to political and social behavior that can never be crossed. The mainstream knows this.

Instigators of Jew-hatred must be told by their friends, family, politicians, police, educators, and society at large, that instigating or acting upon Jew-hatred is unacceptable. Mass social media campaigns must organize a social movement to ostracize haters of Jews and instigators of hatred against Jews. They must be made to feel unwelcome in our mainstream society.

A united front of decent and good people – Jews and non-Jews, people who understand the danger and vulgarity of the world’s oldest hatred – can eliminate this evil from our society.

It is not just the best way, it is the only way!
'You are no longer safe' Native NYer living in Israel warns Jews to ‘get the hell out’ of US now as antisemitic crimes continue to soar
A former New Yorker whose brother was stabbed to death by a Palestinian in the West Bank is begging his Jewish brethren to “wake up” and ditch the land of bagels and lox in favor of the land of milk and honey.

Queens native Hillel Fuld, who moved to Israel at 15, believes Israel is the safest place for Jews — as antisemitic crimes soar in the US.

“Jews, get out now. Get the hell out while you still can,” Fuld warned in an interview with The Post.

The 45-year-old married father of five who lives between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem called the recent spate of violent attacks in his native New York and around the US “heartbreaking” — and labeled last week’s Los Angeles attack at an anti-Israel rally a “legitimate modern-day pogrom.”

“Read the writing on the wall,” pleaded Fuld, whose older brother, Ari, 45, was stabbed to death near his home in Efrat by a 17-year-old Palestinian.

“Nobody has to lecture me on terrorism — I know it.”

He added: “You are no longer safe on the streets of New York or Los Angeles.”

The latest statistics are grim — as antisemitic hate crimes are up 45% in 2024, according to NYPD data obtained by The Post in April — and the emboldened nature of recent attacks, many captured on shocking video, raise more alarm.

Earlier this month, 24-year-old Anas Saleh commandeered a packed rush-hour subway train, demanding that “Zionists” identify themselves, cops said. Survivors of the Oct. 7 attack were trapped inside a downtown Manhattan memorial and having panic attacks in lockdown as a mob outside raged, chanting, “Long live the intifada,” a known call to violence.

“This is literally 1930s Europe,” he said of the shocking subway incident. “It’s scary this could happen in New York.”

The tech guru with a massive social media presence claimed he’s not being “alarmist” when he draws parallels between what he hears about in his native New York City with the dangerous climate his Auschwitz survivor grandmother experienced as a youngster.

Those whose strategy is wait-and-see are in “denial,” said Fuld, noting the German Jews of the 1930s.

“We always say, ‘But we’re the most German people,’” he said, invoking a common refrain about the German Jews who didn’t think the Holocaust – and systematic slaughter of six million Jews – could befall humanity.
Former Bernie Sanders operative laments that anti-Israel activism is now a litmus test in progressive circles
As much of the progressive left continues to center anti-Israel advocacy as a key issue — an approach that contributed to Rep. Jamaal Bowman’s (D-NY) primary loss last week — one Democratic Jewish political strategist with roots in the progressive world is speaking out about what he says are the missteps and problems plaguing the progressive world.

Joel Rubin led Jewish outreach for Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) 2020 presidential campaign, was a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Obama administration and ran for Congress in Maryland this year. Speaking to Jewish Insider on Wednesday, Rubin said that Bowman’s race reflects serious strategy and messaging issues on the left.

“I’m sadly coming to believe that much of the anti-Israel animus that we now see is morphing into antisemitism, and may be driven by it,” Rubin said, highlighting in particular the increasing use of “Zionist” as “a pejorative, a cuss word.”

“That is not criticism of Israeli policy. That’s criticism of the concept of the State of Israel, and to me, that is antisemitic,” Rubin said.

Rubin said Bowman’s blowout loss to Westchester County Executive George Latimer, driven in part by anti-Bowman mobilization among Jewish voters in the district, should be a wake-up call about how important the Jewish voter population is for the Democratic party — highlighting that Jewish voters could be key constituencies in swing states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Florida and Georgia.

Rubin said that Bowman’s failure highlights the way that anti-Israel activists have overstated and overestimated their own political power and the popularity of their ideas and rhetoric.
Banks, Stefanik introduce bill holding colleges accountable for failing to protect Jews
Reps. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.) introduced the No Tax Dollars for College Encampments Act on Monday to challenge the accreditation status for schools that fail to follow their policies to prevent tent encampments, the occupation of academic buildings and other illegal measures.

The legislation would require colleges to increase transparency by revealing civil-disturbance response plans, increasing coordination with various law enforcement and ensuring compliance to continue receiving federal funds.

“I am committed to ridding universities of the antisemitic rot corrupting our students and making campuses dangerous and unwelcoming to our Jewish communities,” Stefanik said. “Any university leaders that fail to stand up for our Jewish community will be held accountable.”

Banks called the encampment protests that riddled universities in the wake of the Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel on Oct. 7 “unacceptable” and that the legislation “holds these woke universities accountable and ensures they enforce protest rules fairly and equally, not only when it fits their political agenda.”

Stefanik said the bill can be used to prevent “the disgraceful mob riots we saw overtake campuses across the country, including Columbia University, and make sure school leaders are enforcing policies against hostile campus takeovers.”

“Last school year, makeshift encampments were allowed to flourish on campuses across the country, disrupting classes and intimidating Jewish students. This is unacceptable,” Banks stated. “My legislation holds these woke universities accountable and ensures they enforce protest rules fairly and equally, not only when it fits their political agenda.”
‘New urgency’ since Oct. 7 in Justice Department battle against hate crimes, assistant AG says
The Department of Justice “will not relent in standing up for the Jewish community,” Kristen Clarke, U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights, told more than 60 Orthodox Union lay and professional leaders last week.

“I want to be clear—hate is inexcusable and has no place in our country today,” Clarke said in her keynote address at OU headquarters in New York. “We must not and we will not tolerate it.”

The U.S. official addressed attendees of the Orthodox Union’s Board of Directors Strategy Summit.

The Justice Department has charged more than 120 people in more than 110 hate crime cases since January 2021, Clarke said.

“During that same period, we’ve obtained convictions against over 100 defendants,” she said. “That battle has taken on new urgency since October 7, and we’ve intensified our efforts to protect and stand by the Jewish community.

“Since January of 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice has charged more than 120 defendants in over 110 cases for committing hate crimes, and during that same period, we’ve obtained convictions against over 100 defendants. That battle has taken on new urgency since Oct. 7, and we’ve intensified our efforts to protect and stand by the Jewish community,” Clarke said.

Rabbi Moshe Hauer, executive vice president of the OU, said that the nonprofit has met on “numerous occasions” with Clarke since Oct. 7.
NGO Monitor: The Norwegian Refugee Council’s Anti-terror Vetting Efforts: Implications for the US
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) is one of the largest and most influential humanitarian organizations in the world. With an annual operating budget of over $600 million, the NRC operates in approximately 40 countries around the world.

In recent years, the US has greatly increased support for the organization, providing over $285 million since 2021.

The NRC’s influence is not merely a product of its provision of aid, but the organization often serves as a coordinator of multi-lateral projects, coordinating between numerous donors, international NGOs, UN agencies, local implementing partners, and governmental bodies. As such, the organization is uniquely positioned to influence humanitarian standards and practices for both aid agencies, as well as donor governments and international bodies.

As detailed in this report, NRC consistently advocates that the US and other Western donors to prioritize access for humanitarian organizations over anti-terror considerations. Similarly, it lobbies Federal agencies to change policy to reduce anti-terror vetting standards, as well as helping to develop mechanisms to circumvent them.

The report is divided into five sections. First, it presents NRC’s guiding principles, and opposition to anti-terror vetting and regulations. Secondly, it presents related NRC advocacy and operations pertaining to Gaza and Yemen. Thirdly, the document review NRC’s relationship with the US, including condemnation of US policy, lobbying for changes to anti-terror regulations, and US funding. Then, it addresses NRC’s desire to work with human rights abusers and US adversaries, including Russia, China, and Iran. Lastly, the report notes NRC’s anti-transparency efforts.

NRC position on anti-terror vetting
NRC Secretary-General Jan Egeland at a December 2020 conference organized by the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs: “Exemptions from counter-terrorism laws and sanctions regimes…We need blanket humanitarian exemptions.” He added, “We need you to champion that there will be no vetting of the ultimate beneficiaries of humanitarian relief.”

Anti-terror regulations seek to mitigate the potential that aid intended for innocent civilians will be commandeered by terrorists and other armed groups, extending conflicts and exacerbating humanitarian crises. As various studies and conflicts have demonstrated, a variety of aid diversion tactics are employed by terrorist organizations seeking to acquire equipment, supplies, funds, and other material support.

NRC has been one of the leading international campaigners against donor-imposed anti-terror vetting regulations. This extends both to provisions related to access – demanding that aid NGOs be allowed to engage with proscribed groups – as well as to the selection of local partners and beneficiaries.

NRC is ideologically opposed to these restrictions, believing that humanitarian actors – and they alone – should be entrusted with making determinations regarding what aid should be delivered, to whom, and how. While crucial components in denying support to organizations that seek to harm civilians and promote conflict, NRC often portrays anti-terror mechanisms as “political,” and therefore, illegitimate.
UK Foreign Office covers up funding to terror-linked Palestinian groups
The British Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is accused of covering up over £22 million of aid to Palestinian terror-linked groups. Multiple similar cases raise questions over transparency and the misuse of aid.

NGO Monitor is a research institute analyzing the finances of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). In 2021, they submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) to the FCDO, requesting the names of funding recipients of a £22 million Palestinian aid program in 2019-2020, led by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). The FCDO rejected the request. It took over three years until NGO Monitor was granted a hearing by the Information Commission (IC) in 2024. The IC ruled that although public interest was strong, the potential damage to international relations outweighed the justification for disclosure.

NGO Monitor suspects NRC has ties to terrorism. NRC worked with the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC), described by a U.S. Government Agency as the “agricultural arm” of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a designated terrorist organization. In 2019, their activity included a bombing operation that murdered an Israeli teenager.

In 2022, the UK Government gave £4.6 million to the NRC, which distributed £2 million to other organizations. In an Interview, Anne Herzberg, the legal advisor of NGO Monitor who worked on the case, said, “The government witness testified they do not do vetting of subcontractor NGO grantees. This failure leaves UK aid susceptible to diversion, or to go to actors who are not appropriate aid partners.” Herzberg continued, “The lack of transparency is very damaging as this prevents the public knowing what is being done with their taxpayer money.”

NGO Monitor also accused NRC of using lawfare tactics, meaning to exploit international law as a weapon against Israel. This includes NRC’s attempts to clog the Israeli system by inundating it with legal cases. As stated by an NRC-affiliated lawyer, they use “every possible legal measure to disrupt the Israeli judicial system…as many cases as possible are registered and as many cases as possible are appealed to increase the workload of the courts and the Supreme Court, to such an extent that there will be a blockage."

After approaching NRC and asking what requirements and systems are in place to ensure international aid funds do not fall into the wrong hands. NRC said it “complies with laws and regulations, screens all potential partners against sanctions and terrorism lists and has policies in place to ensure that our aid reaches those in need of assistance. Governments who provide funding to NRC have strict reporting requirements to ensure that funds are only used as intended.”

If these systems are working as intended, why would the FCDO go to such lengths to avoid transparency?
Brendan O'Neill: Glastonbury has exposed the fake virtue of the elites
The phoney virtue on display at this ageing assembly was even more preposterous this year than normal. Alongside Banksy’s floating boat we saw an out-of-tune Cyndi Lauper change the lyrics of her most famous song to ‘Girls just wanna have fun-damental rights’. She sang this – I say ‘sang’; it was more a warble – to a crowd feverishly waving the flag of a nation, Palestine, in which girls have neither fun nor rights. In the Gaza Strip they don’t even enjoy legal protection from physical or sexual violence in the home. Bashing the patriarchy while your fans enthusiastically cheer a patriarchal nation – make it make sense, people.

Then there was Ros Atkins of the BBC djing on the Stonebridge Bar stage. Honestly, it was like a mid-life crisis put to music. He even played a drum’n’bass version of the BBC News theme tune. If that sounds like the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever heard of, that’s because it was. The sight of fortysomething Glasto people waving banners emblazoned with the letters ‘BBC’ as they jived to the music that kicks off every BBC news bulletin was borderline surreal. From dancing topless to the Kinks in 1970 to worshipping the state broadcaster as some kind of sun god of truth in 2024 – ladies and gentleman, Britain’s middle class.

And yet, there was a limit to the virtue on display at Glasto. And that limit was telling indeed. From none of the stages, from none of the acts, was there one, measly mention of the 364 people slaughtered at the Nova music festival in the south of Israel on 7 October. Hundreds of people murdered by racists while dancing to trance in a Glasto-like get-together in the desert just eight months ago, and no Glasto performer saw fit to say something about it. No minute’s silence, no black flags, nothing whatsoever for their fellow festival-goers who were slain by anti-Semites. On the contrary, everywhere you looked was the flag of the side that carried out the slaughter at Nova, not of the side that suffered this hellish act of racist, misogynistic, tyrannical violence.

And there you have it, the fake virtue of the elites summed up. Border-bashing from the bordered-off classes. Posturing against misogyny without so much as a whisper for the women raped and murdered by Hamas. Self-congratulation disguised as conscience. Narcissism masquerading as progressivism. Glasto might be rubbish these days but its insights into the mindset of the bourgeoisie remain unrivalled.
Paris Grand Synagogue Rabbi: ‘There is no future for Jews in France’
Following the success of the right-wing National Rally Party in Sunday’s first round of French parliamentary elections, Grande Synagogue of Paris Chief Rabbi Moshe Sebbag cast doubt on the future of Jews in France and advocated for youth to immigrate to Israel or other countries.

“It is clear today that there is no future for Jews in France,” Sebbag told The Jerusalem Post on Monday. “I tell everyone who is young to go to Israel or a more secure country.”

In previous conversations with the Post, Sebbag had struck a more cautiously optimistic tone, hopeful that French Jewry would continue despite his worries about antisemitism and a changing society.

France was facing an identity and integration crisis, Sebbag explained. Post-World War II Jewish immigrants had come to France, endured housing their families in one-room apartments while imbibing French culture. They learned the language, the “spirit” of the society, and French cuisine.

“Every country has its history, and its history is part of its identity. The moment you feel part of a country’s history, it doesn’t become another country’s history,” said Sebbag. “After generations, the French Jews are very French and feel very French.”

Immigrants from other countries had come to France seeking a better life, but some had not integrated as well as the Jews, said the rabbi. France is a secular society, in which religious items are not worn at public school or by employees of a hospital.

“There is freedom of religion, but is not for display in state spaces,” said Sebbag.

Yet many Muslims have refused to comply with such aspects of French society, with more head scarfs worn in state spaces.
Macron’s implicit endorsement of ‘antisemitic,’ ‘pro-Hamas’ far left shocks French Jews
Only two years ago French President Emmanuel Macron received the unreserved endorsement of major Jewish community groups, which regarded his centrist policies and party as the best available bulwark against political radicalism.

But now, many French Jews feel betrayed by Macron, who last week announced snap parliamentary elections that backfired and boosted the far right. And then following his party’s trouncing in the first stage of the elections on Sunday, he proceeded to implicitly endorse a party with a far-left antisemitism problem to counteract the nationalists’ ascent.

Macron, who will remain president regardless of the parliamentary electoral results, “just endorsed a party controlled by pro-Hamas” forces, Yohann Taieb, a French-Jewish journalist, wrote on X on Monday. The Jewish groups that endorsed him were “being taken for a ride,” Taieb added.

This sentiment, shared by many French Jews, stems from a series of unusual choices by Macron throughout one of the most tumultuous political episodes in France’s recent history.

It began with the European Parliament elections of June 9, in which the far-right National Rally party of Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella won the largest share of the vote (32%). In a move that stunned the nation, Macron declared an early election to the French parliament to curb the far right’s ascent by uniting its rivals behind his centrist Renaissance party.

This tactic is failing spectacularly in the local parliamentary elections, whose first round was held Sunday and whose second and final one is scheduled for July 7. Not only did the far right secure a whopping 34% in Sunday’s snap elections, but Macron’s party also lost its claim to be the main alternative to the far right.

That distinction went to the New Popular Front, a coalition that was hastily established for the elections through a union between the center-left Socialist Party and the far-left France Unbowed party, or LFI, of Jean-Luc Melenchon, a communist who many French Jews claim is an antisemite. The New Popular Front received 28% of the vote in the parliamentary elections, leaving Macron’s party in distant third place with only 20%.
This far-left French politician said the Oct. 7 massacre was 'legitimate'
Rima Hassan, a French-Palestinian lawyer and a new European Parliament Member for the far-left party La France Insoumise (LFI), stood right next to the head of this extreme left wing party on Sunday night, after the party came in second in the France parliamentary elections.

Hassan was recently at the center of significant controversy due to her comments regarding the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023.

Hassan referred to the attacks as "legitimate," a statement that drew severe backlash from various quarters, including legal authorities and political figures in France. Who is Rima Hassan?

Hassan was a 31-year-old lawyer with a background in international law from the Sorbonne University.

She was born in the Neirab camp in Syria, a settlement established for Palestinian refugees. Hassan moved to France at the age of nine and became a naturalized French citizen in 2010.

Her political career was marked by her outspoken advocacy for Palestinian rights, often aligning her with controversial stances that sparked both support and criticism.

As a candidate for LFI, Hassan held a significant position, being ranked seventh on the party's list for the European Parliament elections.

This ranking indicated a strong likelihood of securing a seat if the party garnered sufficient votes.

Masked Activists Violently Attack Jews at North Carolina Public Library
Three pro-Israel attendees of a public event titled “Strategic Lessons From the Palestinian Resistance” reported being attacked and forcibly dragged out by anti-Israel activists also in attendance at the West Asheville Library in North Carolina on Saturday.

The event, hosed by Another Carolina Anarchist Bookfair, was one of multiple anti-Israel sessions that took place during a three-day “anarchist” book fair.

The Algemeiner interviewed David Moritz, a 54-year-old son of Holocaust survivors, and Monica Buckley, who is 48 and identifies as queer. Both are Jewish and attended the event with 80-year-old Bob Campbell, who was also interviewed for this story.

Approximately 60-80 anti-Israel activists were in attendance at the event held in a public library. Almost all were masked, with the exception of one activist who is reported to regularly attend events in the area unmasked.

According to Moritz, Buckley, and Campbell, the event celebrated and glorified Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7, when the Palestinian terrorist group killed 1,200 people and kidnapped about 250 others as hostages.

The three pro-Israel attendees were seated quietly along a far wall. Anti-Israel activists asked them to put on masks, which they did. Interestingly, no one asked a presenter to stop vaping as he spoke at the indoor, public library.

At one point, according to video circulated on social media, a presenter stopped the event, drawing everyone’s attention to the three pro-Israel attendees.

The others in attendance expressed concern that their public event was being live streamed by “Zionists.” The presenter immediately joked about the possibility of a “murder here.”
Kassy Akiva: ‘Turning Classrooms Into Arenas Of Radicalism’: Teachers Union Tasks Anti-Israel Activist To Create Curriculum About Israel
A group of educators is sounding the alarm after its union tasked an activist who holds openly anti-Israel views with developing a new curriculum on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Director of Training & Professional Learning for the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Ricardo Rosa, has a record of disseminating anti-American and anti-Israel rhetoric. He referred to the United States as a “settler colony,” glorified Leila Khaled, a terrorist who hijacked a plane, supported a professor who labeled Zionists “swine,” encouraged protests in Jewish neighborhoods, and advocated for a “Free Palestine” in the immediate days after the October 7 massacre by Hamas on civilians in southern Israel.

The MTA, representing 117,000 teachers and faculty members at public schools and universities, has come under fire for its response to the October 7 massacre. In December, its board of directors voted in favor of a statement condemning the United States as complicit in the “genocidal assault” in Gaza. The vote also approved the Training and Professional Learning Division, run by Rosa, to develop “a framework for discussing and set of curriculum resources for learning about the history and current events in Israel and Occupied Palestine, for MTA members to use with each other and their students.”

Several union members from across Massachusetts tell The Daily Wire that Rosa’s views would infect any curriculum on Israel and demanded that the MTA halt its development.

Jany Finkielsztein, a former instructional coach for the Waltham public schools who retired last year, said Rosa’s social media posts about the United States and Israel reveal his “commitment to transforming classrooms into arenas of radicalism.”

“He posted ‘Free Palestine’ on October 9, before Israel even responded to the Hamas’ massacre of Israeli civilians,” Finkielsztein told The Daily Wire. “I think it’s concerning that the MTA is employing someone who is so committed to a political agenda against the world’s only Jewish state.”
Youngkin appoints Brandeis Center’s Ken Marcus to George Mason board of visitors
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced on Friday that he had appointed Kenneth Marcus, the founder of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law, as a member of the board of visitors of George Mason University in Fairfax County, Va.

Marcus is a former assistant secretary of education for civil rights, and his work has focused intensely on antisemitism on college campuses. George Mason, a public university, is currently under Department of Education investigation for alleged violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act over accusations of antisemitism and Islamophobia.

“I am grateful to Governor Youngkin for appointing me to this position at George Mason — a university that has been near and dear to my heart for many years,” Marcus said in a statement. “I’ve been proud to support Governor Youngkin’s recent work combating antisemitism here in Virginia – including his leadership in legislation adopting the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of antisemitism. I was also pleased to address Governor Youngkin’s Commission to Combat Antisemitism, which made significant contributions to the well-being of Virginians — and I deeply appreciate his support for adding my voice to the Board.”

The George Mason branch of Students for Justice in Palestine posted a statement days after the Oct. 7 Hamas attack praising the attack and hosted a rally where chants calling for the elimination of Israel were reportedly heard.

GMU played host to the national SJP conference in 2016. Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares is currently investigating American Muslims for Palestine, a group involved with supporting and organizing SJP chapters, accusing it of potentially supporting terrorist groups.
Texas Congresswoman demands UT Austin lawyer's removal over podcast linked to group which praised Oct. 7 terror attack: Exclusive
A Texas Congresswoman is demanding that the University of Texas at Austin remove an attorney from its law school over her affiliation with a podcast that partners with an organization that promotes terrorism and praised the Oct. 7 attack in Israel.

Rhiannon Hamam, supervising attorney at the UT-Austin School of Law Ginni Mithoff Program was one of 57 people who were arrested during anti-Israel protests at the University of Texas at Austin in late April. All charges were dropped by the Travis County attorney’s office, according to the Texas Tribune. All protesters were initially charged with criminal trespass.

Hamam is still listed as an employee of the Ginni Mithoff Program. The Ginni Mithoff Program exists to help students “engage in pro bono work to increase access to justice, build their lawyering skills, and develop a lifetime commitment to providing legal services to those in need.”

Hamam co-hosts the Popular Cradle Podcast, which is made in partnership with the Palestinian Youth Movement.

According to data collected by NGO Monitor, the Palestinian Youth Movement has a history of promoting terrorism.

Following the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, the Palestinian Youth Movement proudly took to Facebook and wrote “PALESTINE LIVES! THE RESISTANCE LIVES!”

”In the past several hours, the resistance in Gaza stormed the illegitimate border fence, reentering 1948 Palestine for the first time in many of our lives,” the group wrote. “With these developments come new equations in the Palestinian struggle, and a shifting of the ground beneath our feet, the reverberations of which we can only begin to imagine. Gaza, the cradle of our resistance and the lifeblood of our struggle, is pushing us closer to the hour of liberation than ever before.”

In an exclusive comment to Campus Reform, Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) said Hamam’s actions are “abhorrent.”

”Just as I condemned the antisemitic words and actions of faculty at Cornell University, my alma mater, so too do I condemn Rhiannon Hamam’s bloodthirsty ideology and support of terrorism,” Van Duyne said. “The actions and abhorrent nature of faculty such as Hamam are one more reason why many in Congress continue to pursue avenues to restrict or remove federal funding from universities who shield and tolerate these barbarians on campus.”
Only those with palms painted pro-Palestinian red can enter parts of Erasmus University
An anti-Israel protester approached this reporter while narrowly avoiding the guidelines of the 20-odd tents that dotted Erasmus University campus’s main square. Wearing a keffiyeh over her face, she asked about the purpose of my visit.

About 30 of her comrades watched while eating dinner: a rice and lentil dish served from a large pot atop a portable gas stove.

“It’s a Zionist,” she called out, upon learning the name of this publication, prompting the group to cover their faces with their keffiyehs and surgical masks. They encircled, screaming, “Intifada!” as they placed a Palestinian flag over the camera to prevent any filming of the events taking place at one of Europe’s most prestigious institutions of higher learning.

The protesters had a tray with red paint at the ready, which they use during blockages. Only those students or faculty who agree to dip a palm in the paint to show solidarity with Palestinians are let through to various campus facilities.

A man who sounded like a native Arabic speaker began drumming on a bucket. The other activists started chanting “From the river to the sea,” and the man shouted: “Falastin arabiyeh,” Arabic for “an Arab Palestine.”

Parts of the encampment were moved to a nearby park earlier in June, but sporadic unauthorized blockages and protest actions persist in what has become a part of campus life in Erasmus, an institution with tens of thousands of students, including hundreds of Jews.
New Jersey SJP group urges students to apply to West Bank university with Hamas ties
An anti-Israel student group in New Jersey urged followers to sign up for an online program with a West Bank university that has been accused of having ties to the terrorist group, Hamas.

The New Jersey Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) Coalition posted to Instagram on May 31, urging students to enroll in a summer program with Birzeit University in the West Bank. The post was also shared by the SJP at Montclair State University in New Jersey.

Explaining the reasoning for encouraging students to apply, the group wrote: “As the Zionist entity continues its genocidal campaign of mass murder and cultural erasure against the Palestinian people, it is imperative that student organizers further their knowledge of the political and cultural life of Palestine and the Arab World.”

“For this reason, we are honored to share the following opportunity from Birzeit University, Palestine’s most prestigious university and a central site of struggle in the war against Zionist colonization,” the New Jersey SJP Coalition wrote.

“Birzeit University’s Palestine and Arabic Studies (PAS) Program will be offered online from June 26-August 22. The PAS Program is a great opportunity to take social science classes about Palestine and both Modern Standard & Colloquial Palestinian Arabic from a University in Palestine. The deadline to apply is June 20,” the group added.

Birzeit University, which has international partnerships including with six colleges and universities located in the United States, allegedly has multiple connections to the terrorist group, Hamas.

Guardian op-ed hurls antisemitic accusation
What’s truly grotesque is his comparison between the Warsaw Ghetto, implemented by a regime which murdered two out of every three Jews in Europe, and Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. The daily food rations in the Warsaw Ghetto, which housed as many as 460,000 Jews and was completely sealed off from the outside, were the equivalent of “one-tenth of the required minimum daily calorie intake”, causing an 80,000 to die of either starvation or disease. Most of those who survived were sent off to death camps.

By contrast, there have been no credible reports of Palestinians dying of starvation in Gaza, and aid continues to pour in to the Strip.

If there are any Nazi-analogies to be made in this war, it should be directed at Hamas, the genocidal antisemitic terror group whose sent death squads rampaging across southern Israel on Oct. 7th with the sole purpose of murdering, torturing, raping, mutilating and taking hostage as many Jews as possible – a barbaric assault that represents the worst antisemitic massacre since the Holocaust.

Finally, Oakes’ vilification of the Jewish state reaches a crescendo further into the op-ed, when he reaches the culmination of his big lie, writing that, given the historical and religious history of Jews, “it is remarkable that of all nations, the Jewish state is using mass starvation as a method of warfare“, a libel against the Jewish collective as morally obscene and toxic as the antisemitic medieval superstitions peddled for centuries against individual Jews.

Amidst an ongoing tsunami of antisemitism in the UK and elsewhere in the Jewish diaspora, the Guardian continues to incite the mob.
Guardian corrects article peddling 'stolen land' lie
As we explained in an email to Guardian editors, the term “stolen land” was hurled by the two extremist anti-Israel groups who organised the protest – Code Pink and the Palestinian Youth Movement. , but the sentence suggested that the lie was an indisputable fact. Our complaint was upheld, and the sentence amended to attribute the word “stolen” to demonstrators.

Efforts to market homes in Israel and “stolen” land in West Bank to Jewish Americans are continuing to spark protests across North America, with the latest angry confrontations happening outside a synagogue in one of Los Angeles’s most prominent Jewish neighborhoods.

Pro-Palestinian protesters have accused some of the companies involved in these events of trying to sell stolen land in the West Bank, and questioned the legality of the marketing efforts.

Also, the following addendum added:
Why Will The New Republic Not Take Action Against Inciteful New Hire?
Some journalists report what they see and hear on the ground, while others report what they want to see or hear. It’s unfortunate when it happens, and it is especially prevalent in today’s media.

Talia Jane (or Talia Ben-Ora) belongs in the latter category. Jane (who identifies with the pronouns they/them) is an associate writer for The New Republic, and whose work for the publication is labeled as ‘breaking news.’

Only much of it is not necessarily breaking news, and is not written as such. With headlines that are sarcastic and distorted from the truth, Jane probably manages to grab eyes, but irresponsibly misleads readers.

Jane continuously steps out of bounds as a journalist, backing vile antisemitism and passing it as valid resistance to the Israeli “occupation.” Earlier in June, Jewish Insider’s Gabby Deutch published an in-depth article on Jane – exposing The New Republic’s latest hire as a raging anti-Zionist. It appears that Jane also has Jewish heritage. An avid poster on social media, Jane has defended people accused of antisemitism and justified the targeting of Jews when they show up to anti-Israel protests. Responding to a video of a group of visibly Orthodox Jews called ‘Zionists’ and denied service at a drink cart in Brooklyn, Jane said in June that this would have been ‘clear as day antisemitism” if it were ‘said to someone genuinely just walking down the street.’

Deutch’s article centered around this heinous piece Jane wrote for The New Republic on June 14, which defended the recent anti-Israel protest outside the Nova Exhibit in New York. The ‘breaking news’ writer claimed that it was not antisemitic in nature.

BBC News again ignores editorial guidelines in doctor interview
Sultan’s distortions of history and his obvious disinterest in facts and accuracy are further demonstrated by a series of disinformation graphics and social media posts which he appended to his own post, including the following:

For nearly nine months the BBC has been producing reports which rely on unverified – and unquestioned – claims made by local or foreign medical staff working in the Gaza Strip, including in facilities exploited by terrorists.

Particularly given its experience with another British activist doctor’s stories concerning the al Ahli hospital explosion last October, one would have expected the BBC to have understood by now that not all accounts provided by someone in a white coat are automatically credible and to have overcome its obvious unwillingness to check claims made by anyone with some sort of medical training.

Pritti Mistry’s report is yet another example of the BBC’s repeated failure to comply with its own editorial guidelines concerning ‘Contributors’ Affiliations’, which include the requirement to inform audiences about their “particular viewpoints”. After all, readers would obviously have been much better placed to judge Dr Sultan’s accounts for themselves had they been informed that he had been promoting conspiracy theories, ahistorical claptrap and the false notion of ‘genocide’ in the Gaza Strip for months before he gave this interview to the BBC.
CNN (Sort Of) Corrects On Use Of 2,000 Pound Bomb
A CNN article in December incorrectly stated that the 2,000-pound bombs (also known as one-ton bombs) that Israel had used in Gaza were “four times heavier than the largest bombs the United States dropped on ISIS in Mosul, Iraq, during the war against the extremist group there.” (“‘Not seen since Vietnam’: Israel dropped hundreds of 2,000-pound bombs on Gaza, analysis shows,” December 22, 2023, by Tamara Qiblawi, Allegra Goodwin, Gianluca Mezzofiore and Nima Elbagir). The article also claimed, “the US dropped a 2,000-pound bomb only once during its fight against ISIS – the most recent Western war on a militant group in the Middle East. It fell on the so-called caliphate’s self-declared capital of Raqqa in Syria.”

But when asked about that reporting on June 19 on “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” military expert John Spencer replied, “that reporting is not factual, and it has led to some type of vilification of a very commonly used tool, like the 2,000 pound bomb, that we did use in Mosul. And we used tens of thousands in Iraq, to include in the invasion that I took part in where we dropped over 5000, four on one building where we thought Saddam might be staying and he wasn’t, in urban areas. … What most people don’t report on the 2,000 pound bomb is that one of the reasons you need a bigger bomb is to penetrate the ground to an enemy who is in bunkers and tunnels, which is very well known of where Hamas has protected itself underneath its civilians.”

Subsequent to John Spencer’s comments, CAMERA contacted editors at CNN to be sure they were aware of his comments about the December reporting and to ask them to correct the record.

The article now states, the 2,000-pound bombs “are four times heavier than the vast majority of the largest bombs the United States dropped on ISIS during the war against the extremist group in Syria and Iraq.” Though the new language is not clearer but instead is more vague, an undated note at the bottom of the article reads, “Clarification: A previous version of this story stated that only one 2,000-pound bomb had been used by the US in the war on ISIS. This has been corrected.” (This appears to have been added on June 28 or 29.) CNN deleted the claim that the 2,000-pound bomb was used only once against ISIS.

Daniel Greenfield: Ex-Somali PM: Rep. Omar Doesn’t Represent America, She Represents Somalia
The man knows what he’s talking about. And it’s not the first video highlighting Rep. Ilhan Omar’s mission.

In January, a video went viral featuring Rep. Omar allegedly declaring that “We as Somalians,” the translation describes, are an “organized society”, “people of one blood”, “brothers and sisters”, “people who know they are Somalians first, Muslims second.”

“The US government will only do what Somalians in the US tell them to do,” the translation states. “They will do what we want and nothing else. They must follow our orders.”

“We Somalians must have that confidence in ourselves that we call for the shots in the US… the US is a country where one of your daughters is in congress to represent your interest for as long as I am in the US Congress, Somalia will never be in danger, in waters will not be stolen by Ethiopia… the US would not dare to support anyone against Somalia.”

“Sleep in comfort knowing I am here to protect the interests of Somalia from inside the US system,” she says.

Rep. Ilhan Omar claimed that video was mistranslated.

What about this latest one, via Alpha News, in which Omar stands smiling while former Somali Prime Minister Hassan Khaire states, according to the translation, that “the interest of Ilhan are not Ilhans, it’s not the interest of Minnesota, nor is it the interest of the American people, the interest of Ilhan is that of the Somalian people and Somalia.”

“The success of Ilhan is the success of Somalia.” He then urges Somalis everywhere on the planet to “support and give money to Ilhan’s campaign”

There’s a pattern to these videos. And the pattern is pretty clear.

Despite un-endorsing Bowman, J Street doesn’t view his loss as a victory
When Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) ran for reelection to Congress in 2022, two years after his come-from-behind victory over longtime incumbent Eliot Engel, J Street was a strong supporter as he sought a second term in Congress. The progressive group offered financial support to Bowman, who had grown close with J Street’s leadership after he traveled to Israel with the group in 2021.

That ended early this year, when J Street PAC rescinded its endorsement of Bowman over his hostile rhetoric toward Israel after Oct. 7 — and his praise of a scholar who celebrated Hamas’ terror attacks. The move represented a major shift for the liberal Israel advocacy group: Just weeks earlier, J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami had pledged to stand by Bowman through his 2024 primary.

Bowman lost his primary on Tuesday in a landslide to Westchester County Executive George Latimer, a moderate Democrat who appealed to the district’s large Jewish community, with the benefit of more than $14 million in AIPAC funding. Despite J Street’s unusual decision to withdraw its support for Bowman, Ben-Ami sounded downbeat about Bowman’s loss in an interview with Jewish Insider.

Ben-Ami’s takeaway from the race was not to celebrate the defeat of a lawmaker whose extreme rhetoric on Israel had alienated even many progressive Jews. Instead, he has used the outcome to warn about the corrosive power of AIPAC’s record-breaking spending. Ben-Ami declined to say if he considers Bowman’s loss a victory.

“It’s not either a victory or a loss for J Street,” Ben-Ami told Jewish Insider in a Friday interview reflecting on the race and the state of pro-Israel politics. “We were not, as an organization, taking a side in that primary.”

Technically, that may be true: J Street did not endorse Latimer, so the group didn’t have a horse in the race, Ben-Ami argued. But withdrawing its endorsement from Bowman — underscoring his views were beyond the pale for progressive Jews — was a major development in the primary that signaled the collapse of the congressman’s campaign.
Elderly rabbi hounded out by Gaza mob in Bury
A rabbi and Tory parliamentary candidate has been targeted with abuse “redolent of the blood libel” and called a “snake” during a visit to a mosque.

Arnold Saunders, who is the Conservative hopeful for the heavily Jewish seat of Bury South, was visiting the Bilal Mosque in Prestwich when a worshipper started screaming at him.

Footage posted online shows the man aggressively shouting: “Don’t come to the house of Allah and try to engage with us when we know that when you’re in your own places you’re saying it is good that they kill the children.”

The Muslim man urged Saunders, a local councillor and the former rabbi of Higher Crumpsall and Higher Broughton Synagogue, to “condemn the IDF” and “the killing of women and children”, a reference to Israel’s ongoing war with terror group Hamas in Gaza.

The same person said: “We don’t want to engage with you people, we don’t want to engage with you justifiers of child killers.”

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said: “Voters have every right to make their views known – even passionately – to candidates for Parliament. But there is absolutely no excuse for the sort of abuse that was directed at Rabbi Saunders, which included accusations redolent of classic antisemitic tropes like the blood libel.”

War's influence: Record high demand for luxury apartments in Jerusalem
Something unusual is happening in Israel's capital. After years of expanding the residential supply and significantly increasing approved building permits, Jerusalem is now leading in all dimensions.

The city has seen a jump from an average of 2,500-3,000 new housing units approved annually in recent years to about 7,000 units in 2023, with expectations of over 8,000 units in 2024. These are building permit approvals only, with market impacts to be felt in 3-4 years when construction is completed and apartments are delivered.

Most new permits result from project approvals within the city's evacuation-reconstruction (Pinui u’Binui) program, mainly replacing hastily built housing from the 1950s and 1960s in outer city neighborhoods with low to medium socio-economic profiles.

"The luxury real estate market in Jerusalem has historically concentrated in the city's old neighborhoods such as Rehavia, Talbiya, Mamilla, the German Colony, and Old Katamon. It is primarily driven by foreign buyers seeking permanent homes in Jerusalem," explains Oren Cohen, CEO and owner of the Oren Cohen Group, which has specialized in Jerusalem's luxury market for 30 years. According to him, unlike previous years when foreign demand was stable and focused on small or medium-sized apartments, there is now a trend change since the start of the Iron Swords War.

"We are seeing a substantial rise in interest from wealthy foreign residents"
"No more small apartments for investment or short-term stays; now it's about permanent homes for entire families," says Cohen. He notes an increasing trend of buyers planning to immigrate to Israel within the next year or two, with many more considering immigration within the next five years. Rising antisemitism in key countries like the USA, Canada, England, and France is a significant factor.

"Since last October, with the start of the Iron Swords War in Gaza, we've seen a notable increase in demand from affluent foreign residents, reflected in more purchases in high-demand areas of Jerusalem," Cohen adds. The number of new projects in these areas is naturally limited, mainly due to historical zoning that restricts evacuation-construction or urban renewal projects. New developments will mostly involve construction on existing buildings or demolition and rebuilding (TAMA 2), economically viable for developers only in high-priced areas.
PMW: From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free; Fatah: “It’s either me or him on this land”
Whoever thinks the current war is an isolated conflict in the Gaza Strip – think again. The war is being cheered by members of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ party, Fatah, as leading to a “return to Acre, Jaffa, and Haifa.” In other words, “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

One Fatah member stated recently what Palestinian Media Watch has documented for decades—that the conflict with Israel is not over land but over much more. It is “existential, not just a conflict over borders.”

Fatah Revolutionary Council member Muhammad Al-Lahham: “This is my opinion as [a member of] Fatah: That my conflict against this occupation (i.e., Israel) is an existential conflict, not just a conflict over borders. It’s either me or him on this land.”

[Al-Arabiya TV (Saudi Arabia), Facebook page, June 15, 2024]

Another top member and official of Fatah, Fatah Nablus Branch Secretary Muhammad Hamdan, said that Palestinians dying in the war in Gaza serve as “fuel” for the Palestinian “return” and taking over of all of Israel because, as he put it, Israel is “transient”:

Fatah Nablus Branch Secretary Muhammad Hamdan: “We say to the entire world that this blood that is being shed (i.e., in the 2023 Gaza war; see note below) will be the fuel for our return to Acre, Jaffa, and Haifa (i.e., all Israeli cities), and certainly the Israeli occupation is transient and indeed the State of Palestine will be established, whether the occupation (i.e., Israel) and this world want it or not. All this national and mass activity emphasizes that we are returning, whether the occupation wants it or not.”

[Official PA TV, May 15, 2024]

PMW: Central Gaza is “drowning in goods and aid”
Terror organization Hamas and the PA want the world to believe that there is no food in the Gaza Strip and that Palestinians there are suffering a famine. But the PA’s own TV reporter in Gaza tells another story: While claiming that Gazans in the northern Strip suffer starvation and high prices, she also explained that central Gaza is overflowing with products and aid:
Official PA TV reporter in Deir Al-Balah, Gaza: “The central district [of the Gaza Strip] is drowning in goods and aid while the northern [Gaza Strip] is suffering from a crisis of starvation and a very great increase in prices.”

[Official PA TV, June 26, 2024]

Also reporting directly from the Gaza Strip last month, official PA TV’s reporter explained that what prevents the PA’s public employees from buying food and other necessities is the fact that they “can’t get to their salaries” and that the goods therefore “sit and spoil.” PMW already reported that Gazan residents complained that they can’t take their money from the banks because Hamas is acting as if the ATMs are their “private property” and no one else can make withdrawals:
Official PA TV reporter from Deir Al-Balah, Gaza: “It is impossible for the public employees to get to their salaries. Therefore, the goods that are with the merchants sit and spoil, or they are sold at prices lower than they were, even though not long ago they were sold at a price several times higher than their price in the past.”

[Official PA TV, May 22, 2024]

Furious Lebanese protesters block Pepsi lorries claiming new bottle cap resembles ‘Zionist entity’ flag
Activists in Lebanon are calling for a boycott of Pepsi after a bottle cap redesign which they claim implies the company’s support for Israel.

Pepsi’s bottle caps – which used to carry a red, white, and blue design – now feature a blue background and a white stripe. This, Lebanese activists claim, is reminiscent of the Israeli flag, with Pepsi printed where the Star of David would be.

One Lebanese influencer, Amin Chaar, argued that soon the soft drinks company might drop Pepsi entirely and print a Star of David on their bottle caps instead. The two lines at the top and bottom of the logo, he continued, represent the Nile and the Euphrates river, to which he believes Israel wants to expand.

Anti-Pepsi activism has jumped from social media and onto the beaches, where men in southern Lebanon were seen pouring Pepsi into the sea in protest. Roads have also been blocked, as part of the call for a boycott of the company.

Lawyer Mohammed Ziad Jaafil has also launched a legal case against Pepsi’s representatives in Lebanon. The suit accuses Pepsi of failing to boycott Israel, normalising relations, and sowing civil strife. He called for the company to withdraw its products from the market, and fully prosecute those responsible.

Boycotts in Lebanon are state-sanctioned. The country is part of the Arab League boycott of Israel, and passed its own law forbidding direct relations with Israel in 1955.

Houthis ban music and singing in weddings
The Houthi militia forces in the ‘Amran Governorate of Yemen have been conducting a large-scale intimidation campaign against male and female artists to prevent them from performing or singing at venues and events.

Videos showing violent incursions by armed Houthi militants into venues and event halls as the men arrest and abruptly end the celebrations have been circulated on social media over the past few weeks.

According to reports from Yemen, the forces have abducted over 15 wedding hall owners so far. Purportedly, these people are being held in pretrial detention centers for over two months now – under the accusation that they are refusing to pledge not to allow artists to perform at their establishments. Other reports claimed that about 40 civilians were kidnapped by Houthi authorities, including two women – all of whom are either artists or wedding hall custodians

Moreover, especially since a new governor named Nayef Abu Kharafshah was appointed to govern the northwestern governorate of ‘Amran, the Iranian-backed militia group has reportedly imprisoned several artists along with their musical and audio equipment.

Significantly, this very same Abu Kharafshah was documented attending an event that featured musical performances, leading an Al-Arabiya anchor to comment, “What is halal to them is haram to all others.”

In another response, Yemeni bloggers launched an online campaign titled “Why were they imprisoned?” in reference to the odd circumstances of the artists’ arrests.

One user wrote for instance, “Why did they imprison them? Are ISIS members hiding inside the oud [a musical instrument]? They deliberately spoil even the joy of weddings and turn them into sadness and tragedy. If they were keen on the people’s money that they plundered and built villas with, this would not be forbidden.”

Another user wrote: “But why do they imprison artists in ‘Amran? Are their voices too loud? Do they not know how to play an oud or anything? Is ‘Amran a state that has a special law that differs from other regions?”

Two new laws to fight antisemitism in Florida
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed two pieces of legislation last week that will help provide security for the Jewish community there.

One will provide funding for security enhancements at Jewish day schools and preschools and the other codifies a definition of antisemitism. The laws go into effect tomorrow.

According to the Anti-Defamation League’s Audit of Antisemitic Incidents, there more than 460 incidents of antisemitism in Florida in 2023, the most recent numbers available.

Under the new legislation, the Florida Department of Education will be required to create a program that will provide ongoing funds to Jewish day schools and preschools for specific security purposes.

To be eligible for the aid, schools must undergo a risk assessment with the funds being used to address any deficiencies found by security officials.

Among the items state funds can be used for the purchase and installation of security cameras, perimeter lighting, fencing and shatter-resistant windows; the hiring of licenced security personnel and expenses related to provide safe transportation of students and staff.

Earlier this year, Florida distributed $25 million to help some 130 Jewish day schools and preschools fund security measures in the wake of Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel and rapid escalation of antisemitism worldwide. The new law will keep funding ongoing, though no dollar amount has been listed.

“Agudath Israel commends Governor DeSantis for continuing to provide support for Florida’s Jewish communities,” said Rabbi Moshe Matz, director of Agudath Israel’s Florida office. “Since October 7 and throughout his career in government Gov. De Santis has stood by the Jewish community with words and actions in the fight against antisemitism, we thank him for signing these important bills and for his unwavering support.”
Swedish based neo-Nazi group designated by US as terrorist organization
Sweden's largest neo-Nazi group, the Nordic Resistance Movement (NRM,) has been designated as a terrorist organization by the US State Department on June 17, the European Jewish Congress reported.

This designation occurred as the NRM riled up other hate groups and advocated for violence online.

Founded in 1997, with branches in several northern European countries, the terrorist organization's goal is to replace Nordic democracies with a "united ethnic Nordic nation."

“The group’s members and leaders have carried out violent attacks against political opponents, protesters, journalists, and other perceived adversaries,” the State Department said in a statement.

Blocking business and financial deals
Now, with the NRM being designated as terrorists, the US Treasury Department’s Foreign Assets Control Office has the ability to fully block US property that belongs to them.

Any Americans who try to seek business or financial deals with the group will be barred from doing so.

'Only humans, dogs, and cats': 'That Jewish Family' kicked out of restaurant
A Jewish family was kicked out of a restaurant in Hanoi, Vietnam, after the owner declared, "My shop doesn’t accept people from your country."

Dani Namdar and his wife Raizel, self-declared “Chassidic nomads” and owners of the world’s first Orthodox Jewish family vlog dubbed “That Jewish family” on various social media platforms, were visiting Hanoi’s famous Train Street with their two young children, Mendel, 3, and Lev, 1, when an angry shop owner began hurling antisemitic insults at them.

The incident, which occurred earlier this month, was posted in two parts to Instagram and has already racked up more than 40,000 views. The Namdars have a significant following on Instagram, with 208,000 followers.

In the first video caption, the Namdars wrote, “This is not Germany in 1938. This is a ‘Pro Palestinian’ shop owner in Vietnam yesterday. You say Anti Zionism is not Anti Jewish? We were casually chilling on the famous train tracks in Hanoi for a photoshoot when a ‘Pro Palestinian’ shop owner started threatening our children once he saw Mendel’s Kippah.”

In the video, titled “OUR FAMILY THROWN OUT OF SHOP FOR BEING JEWISH,” the Vietnamese shop owner is recorded yelling at the family, who were having a photoshoot on the tables in front of his shop.

'Get out of my shop'
“Get out of my shop. Out! Don’t sit there. My shop doesn’t accept people from your country,” the shop owner tells the Namdars.

When asked by Dani if the family was being ejected because they were Jewish, the shop owner denies the accusation, saying, “No, no, no. I don’t welcome.”

In the next clip, Raizel asked Mendel, “What did the mean man say about the Yarmulka?”

“Um… that we should take it off,” he replied. When asked if he wants to take his yarmulka off, he says, “I want to keep it on… we keep it on even when we sleep.”

“Honestly, this was really traumatic having our kids experience something like this,” the video caption continued. “How do you explain to a 3-year-old what he witnessed? How do you explain antisemitism to such a small child? That someone doesn’t like him because of the way he’s born. Make it make sense. We had a lot of conversations together afterwards and it just made me so sad that a 3-year-old had to experience cruelty.”

No longer torn: Natalie Imbruglia expresses support for Israel, Jews
In a landscape where many celebrities have taken stark positions on the Israel-Hamas war, Australian singer-songwriter Natalie Imbruglia has emerged as a voice of nuance. The "Torn" singer, known for her 1990s hit, recently shared her thoughts on the complex situation, expressing concern for Israeli hostages while also acknowledging the plight of Palestinian civilians.

As the conflict continues to polarize global opinion, with many artists and celebrities taking sides while often overlooking historical context and the events of Oct. 7, Imbruglia has chosen to voice a more balanced view.

A recent interaction between Imbruglia and a fan, shared in a Facebook group dedicated to 1980s and 1990s nostalgia, shed light on the singer's stance. User Joe Mitchell recounted, "A few weeks ago, she posted on Instagram 'All eyes on Rafah' alongside 'Release the hostages'. I thanked her for remembering to mention the hostages." Mitchell went on to describe a subsequent in-depth conversation with Imbruglia.

In her response to Mitchell, Imbruglia clarified her position, "I don't want you to think my post took sides. War is complicated. Too many innocent lives have been lost. It's important that we all strive for peace. We can't just let everyone die until no one is left." She added, "Two of my closest friends are Jewish. We talk about it a lot, and they're really scared. I have empathy for them."

Imbruglia further reflected, "Most people want what's good for all of us. It's just the people at the top with shocking motives who make everything impossible for us."
Pulse of Israel conference tackles Jewish identity, independence
Pulse of Israel hosted its second annual conference on Sunday evening, in a night dedicated to finding solutions to problems facing Israel and achieving “independence” after the war.

“We need to be who we are in the deepest sense,” said Diaspora Affairs Minister Amichai Chikli in answer to a question by Pulse of Israel founder and CEO Avi Abelow about what Israel’s role should be in the world. Recounting a story he was told about the Nazis, “the ultimate evil,” Chikli said, “Ultimate evil declared Judaism as its enemy…We should be proud to be the enemies of pure evil, because we represent the opposite of it. To seek goodness and the truth.”

Chikli’s remarks were part of a larger discussion touched on by most of the speakers, including JNS senior contributing editor Caroline B. Glick, about the “red-green alliance of Marxists and Islamists” and its acts of upheaval in the world today.

“The core of the Jewish people is the Ten Commandments, universal freedom, our connection to our homeland,” said Chikli. “We need to give up on the notion that we are a normal nation—we are not,” he added.

Drawing the connection to his role in the government, he said this means ensuring Diaspora Jews learn Torah and understand the history and stories of the Jewish people, and most important: “They need to know Hebrew.”

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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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