Friday, July 05, 2024

From Ian:

Antisemitism on the Rise Down Under
Throughout its history, Australia has been overwhelmingly good to its Jewish community. From an original group of eight Jews who arrived on the First Fleet in 1788, the community has grown to more than 100,000 today.

“Historically, there was hardly any issue of antisemitism here,” said Yossi Aron, the religious affairs editor of the Australian Jewish News, who has published several books on the history of Australia’s Jewish community.

Significantly, the country welcomed thousands of Holocaust survivors after WWII. Among them was Berysz Aurbach, who sought refuge in Australia in 1947 after witnessing the tragic loss of nearly all his family. Aurbach, now 103, is one of the last remaining survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. And, he told me, he has never experienced any antisemitism in Australia. “There are good people in Australia,” he said. “They always want you to be a good citizen. If you are bringing good things to Australia, they leave you alone.”

A quick look at Australia’s Jewish communities shows that they are exceedingly vibrant, with dozens of Jewish schools, cultural organizations, synagogues, and kosher restaurants. Being Jewish in Australia has never been seen as a bar to success, with Australian Jews occupying senior positions in government, including treasurer, attorney general, and governor general.

Since Oct. 7, however, Aussie Jews have been shocked by an explosion of antisemitism, including doxing, boycotts of Jewish businesses, and violent attacks. One of the most troubling incidents occurred when a WhatsApp group dedicated to combating antisemitism in the arts had its information leaked and compiled into a “Jew List.” This spreadsheet was created with the intention of boycotting and harassing Jewish artists.

Although isolated antisemitic incidents are not new here, when Melbourne’s Mount Scopus Memorial College, one of Australia’s largest Jewish day schools, had the graffiti “Jew Die” scrawled on its fence in late May, the incident was so shocking that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese weighed in with a statement on X, noting: “No place for this in Australia or anywhere else.”

“Is this something new?” Aron asked about the new wave of antisemitism in Australia. “Or is this something that was under the covers the whole time? That’s a very difficult question to answer.”

Jeremy Leibler, the president of the Zionist Federation of Australia, believes that Australian Jews are experiencing a seismic shift. “I believe that the golden age for global Jewry has likely come to an end,” he said. “In Australia, we have seen a dramatic rise in antisemitism in almost every part of society.”

Leibler, who doubles as a partner at Arnold Bloch Leibler, one of Australia’s most prestigious law firms, recently helped draft a submission to Australia’s government that weighed in on a parliamentary review. His focus? The urgent necessity to overhaul laws about doxing—the intentional online exposure of an individual’s identity, private information, or personal details without their consent—especially considering the disproportionate impact on Jewish individuals in Australia post-Oct. 7.

“I believe that the government announced the review in good faith and intends to make necessary changes so that this sort of behavior is clearly unlawful and real action can be taken to protect the individuals impacted,” Leibler said. “However, at this stage the consultation period is still underway so it is too soon to know where it will land. But I remain optimistic.”
Literary antisemitism is bad and getting worse
Last week the 14,000-member Authors Guild waded into the waters of post-October 7 antisemitism, found that water not to its liking, and hot-tailed it back to the beach.

Which is to say that the Authors Guild’s public statement of June 24 – which many had hoped would be a forceful denunciation of the rapidly spreading wildfire of review-bombing, blacklisting, protest, and cancellation of Jewish writers – was no such thing. Instead, it was an anodyne communication that one could read without thinking it had anything much to do with the Jew-hatred now plaguing the publishing industry.

The word “antisemitism” appears but once in the statement, and Hamas-adjacent readers can take solace that the word is immediately followed by “Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry and discrimination.” So, see, the Authors Guild isn’t especially worried about the impact of the war against Jewish authors. It’s worried about a lot of bad stuff that “chill(s) writers’ freedom of expression.” And the Authors Guild, of which I’m a member, is brave enough to acknowledge that antisemitism fits in there, somewhere.

The inclusion of Islamophobia on the list of dangers facing writers today is particularly rich and gives the game away. Despite what one might imagine after reading the Authors Guild statement, there is no organized campaign to review-bomb Islamic books online, as has happened to Jewish writers including Talia Carner. Her novel, The Boy with the Star Tattoo, which depicts Israel’s early days, was review-bombed [given bad reviews or low ratings to drive down sales) first on TikTok and Instagram, then on the widely read book-review site Goodreads — all before the book came out. Most of the 120 one-star ratings that Carner’s novel received came without explanation. The rest made clear that they opposed Carner’s Zionist background and the publication of a pro-Israel book “while Israel openly commits genocide.”

Carner isn’t alone. Author Gabrielle Zevin’s novel, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow received the same treatment on Goodreads. So did author Lisa Barr’s Woman on Fire, about a search for Jewish art stolen by the Nazis.

“This is organized harassment,” Carner told me. “This isn’t a good time for the Jewish novel.”

Similarly, no bookstores have canceled signing events for Muslim authors, as happened repeatedly to Jewish author (and “Stranger Things” star) Brett Gelman. At least three bookstores cancelled scheduled book tour dates with Gelman for his debut book, The Terrifying Realm of the Possible: Nearly True Stories, after receiving protests. The stores cited safety concerns, and Gelman reportedly speculates that the stores may not have wanted to associate with a prominent advocate for Israel.

And there are no online blacklists of Muslim writers, while Jewish authors were recently shocked by the very real “Is your fav writer a Zionist?” blacklist, a Google doc that Google admirably took down — after it was viewed by millions of people. The seemingly flimsiest excuse could land an author on the list, such as taking a Birthright trip to Israel, mentioning a concern for Jewish friends, or speaking to a Hadassah meeting (really!).

“What’s happening to Jewish authors gives lie to those who claim they’re not antisemitic, just anti-Zionist,” the American Jewish Committee’s Saba Soomekh told me. “This is a vendetta against any author who’s Jewish.”
Federal court allows action to enforce the Taylor Force Act
Rep. Ronny Jackson (R-Texas), Stuart and Robbi Force (the parents of Taylor Force), and Sarri Singer (as plaintiffs) filed an action in December 2022 against U.S. President Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Blinken (as defendants) seeking to enforce the Taylor Force Act (22 USC 2378c-1).

The act was named in memory of Taylor Force, 28, a U.S. military veteran who was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist in Tel Aviv in 2016 while on visiting Israel as a graduate student. The Palestinian Authority awarded the terrorist’s family a stipend for his homicidal efforts, under its “pay for slay” program. Singer is an American survivor of a suicide bombing by a Palestinian terrorist of a Jerusalem bus that killed 17 people. The P.A. also makes payments to that terrorist’s family.

The act requires cutting of funding available for assistance for the West Bank and Gaza (outside of three very limited humanitarian exceptions not here at issue) directly benefiting the P.A., as long as it continues the despicable “pay for slay” system. Pursuant to the act, the Trump administration did, in fact, cut aid payments.

Shockingly, the Biden administration restored and even increased funding, in flagrant violation of the act. Under the act, such funding is illegal unless the secretary of state certifies in writing to the appropriate congressional committees that, among other things, the P.A., PLO and any successor or affiliated organizations are taking credible steps to end acts of violence against U.S. and Israeli citizens; have terminated terror payments; and have revoked or invalidated any law or decree providing for the same. However, the secretary was unable so to certify because it would have been flatly untrue.

The Biden administration responded to the action by moving to dismiss the complaint—arguing, among other things, that plaintiffs had no standing to bring the case. While the court dismissed a part of the complaint, it preserved the basic claim, ruling:
(1) Defendants plausibly violated statutory authority; and
(2) Plaintiffs had standing to challenge those alleged violations because they faced an increased risk of harm in traveling to Israel-harm that was “reasonably tied to Defendants and redressable by the relief sought.”

Plaintiffs obtained leave of the court for expedited and limited discovery. The documentary evidence obtained not only showed non-compliance with the Taylor Force Act; it also implicated a likely violation of the US anti-terrorism law (18 USC 2339B).

Then, Oct. 7 occurred, when Hamas committed murders, rapes, kidnappings and atrocities against Americans, Israelis and others, including reportedly murdering 45 Americans and kidnapping 12 Americans (with eight still being held hostage in Gaza, of which only five are said to be alive). Once again, the P.A. rewarded the perpetrators with “pay for slay” payments.
Israeli Radio Stations Boycott Roger Waters’ Music After He Denies Hamas Sexually Abused Victims on Oct. 7
Several Israeli radio stations announced they will no longer play songs by former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters after he denied Hamas terrorists carried out sexual violence against their victims during the Oct. 7 attacks in a recent interview with Piers Morgan, Ynet reported on Thursday.

Waters appeared on the talk show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” on Tuesday and claimed there is “no evidence” that Hamas terrorists sexually assaulted some of its victims on Oct. 7, despite widely corroborated proof to the contrary, confirmation by the United Nations, and first-hand testimonies from former Hamas hostages.

“All the filthy disgusting lies that the Israelis told after Oct. 7 about burning babies and women being raped — no they weren’t,” Waters said.

Morgan fired back, “Actually women were raped. It’s been established by the United Nations. There is extensive evidence of assault and rape.”

However, Waters replied, “You can say anything you want [but] there is no evidence.”

A day after Rogers’ interview with Morgan aired, Hagit Pe’er — the president of NA’AMAT, the largest women’s organization in Israel — urged radio stations in the country to stop broadcasting songs by the singer. “We believe that a reputable and fair-minded radio station should take a stand against the harmful statements made by Mr. Waters,” Pe’er wrote in a letter sent to radio stations on Wednesday. “The appropriate course of action would be to refrain from playing his music until he acknowledges and apologizes for his deceptive and inflammatory remarks.”

Melanie Phillips: All change
A deeply ominous development is the emergence of an Islamic sectarian vote, with four previously Labour-held seats lost to independent candidates whose pitch — in a British general election concerning British national interests — was about Gaza and “Palestine”.

Although even Labour “moderates” generally side with the international “human rights” and “humanitarian” establishment which is virulently hostile to Israel, British Muslims are angry that Starmer supported Israel’s defence against Hamas after the October 7 pogrom. As a result, Labour candidates have been harassed and intimidated by Muslims and other anti-Israel types and lost votes in yesterday’s election.

In the Birmingham Yardley constituency Labour’s Jess Phillips, who only narrowly kept her seat under pressure from this “Gaza” lobby, was met with boos and jeers as she made an angry acceptance speech in which she denounced the “aggression and violence” in “the worst election I have ever stood in”. All this is entirely foreign to British democratic traditions and does not bode well.

So what is likely to be the outcome of this election?

This is a deeply paradoxical result. Starmer has an unassailable majority in parliament, but must now govern a country that has not embraced his agenda. To his credit, he detoxified the Labour party to make people feel it was safe enough to give it their vote — which they needed to do to achieve their principal objective to get the other lot out. But now he has to win hearts and minds. This will be a tough call.

He inherits a country with severe structural economic, social and cultural problems. He has made promises which he won’t have the money to deliver. Crises with which Rishi Sunak unsuccessfully struggled, such as stopping the migrant boats in the English Channel, collapsing public services and rising lawlessness and anarchy on the streets, all now land in Starmer’s lap.

He also inherits an appalling epidemic of Jew-hatred, which will undoubtedly worry him greatly — not least because he has Jewish family members, and because he is a decent man. However, dealing properly with antisemitism will mean acknowledging the symbiotic link between the Palestinian cause and Jew-hatred — which, as a man of the left, he has never done — and standing up to both the Muslim community and the far left, constituencies which are represented within his own party.

Buoyed by the success of the “Gaza” election campaigns and by the refusal of the authorities to stop the pro-Hamas intimidation and disorder on the streets, Islamic sectarianism is now likely to increase. A Muslim bloc has emerged which is likely to demand not just policies hostile to Israel but measures to adapt aspects of British society to Islamic requirements.

Starmer will be less hostile towards Israel than the far-left or the Muslim bloc are demanding; but since his instincts remain those of the radical human rights lawyer he originally was, he is unlikely to stop the demonisation of Israel that oozes from every pore of the liberal establishment (including the Foreign Office) and which is fuelling the harassment of Britain’s Jews.

Moreover, while he will be economically cautious he’ll let rip on the “culture wars”. The result will be more transgender abuses of children and women and more demonisation of white people and British “colonialism”. He’s also likely to outlaw “Islamophobia” — which could have an even greater chilling effect on necessary discussion of Muslim antisemitism or Islamic terrorism than is currently the case. The rumour that the veteran “human rights” ideologue Harriet Harman is to become head of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission in place of Baroness Falkner, who has bravely tried to counter the transgender lunacy, chills the bone.
I want people to know how hard it is being a British Jew since October 7
Eight months on, it still hurts. And what also hurts is that, from days after the massacre, people emerged who sought to downplay or even deny it. It hurts that Jews are now forced to prove to increasingly loud voices online that the horrors inflicted by Hamas were real.

The violence by Hamas should have been universally condemned, but instead, as Israel launched its response, Jewish people were targeted by hatred.

We now live in fear and anger amid an ongoing antisemitism crisis in the UK that has some of us considering leaving the country that has been our home.

Ever since the attacks I have been frightened to talk too much online about the tinderbox that is the Israel-Palestine conflict.

But I can’t be silent on how swathes of Jewish people in the UK are presently feeling.

British Jews and Jews worldwide must not be held responsible for the actions of Netanyahu’s government, Hamas terrorists and the war in Gaza.

I thought this would be common sense.

But levels of antisemitism in the UK have risen dramatically. In 2023, the Community Security Trust recorded more than 4,000 anti-Jewish hate incidents, with two thirds of them happening after 7 October. In late October last year, the Met Police confirmed antisemitic hate crimes were up 1,350% in London.

Every week, we see protests in major cities, which have resulted in people being arrested for alleged hate, with one man holding a sign sporting a swastika, and another being racist to counter protesters.

As Michael Gove said: ‘Many of those on these marches are thoughtful, gentle, compassionate people – driven by a desire for peace and an end to suffering. But they are side by side with those who are promoting hate’.

And this is not being called out loudly enough by people on the marches.
Stephen Pollard: This election makes Britain ever more vulnerable to sanitised Islamism
One analysis shows that the Labour vote is down by over 14% in constituencies where the Muslim population is above 15%.

There are 37 constituencies with a Muslim population of over 20 per cent, and another 73 seats have a Muslim population between 10 and 20 per cent. The Muslim vote has always mattered, but until now it has not split away from the mainstream into candidates using divisive campaigns to appeal almost entirely and only to Muslims.

But much as last night seems to have shocked people, it’s not surprising. In the local elections in May candidates running on a pro-Palestine platform won in areas such as Blackburn, Bradford and Oldham, all with a large Muslim presence. My colleague David Rose has been one of the few political journalists who have been following this (and do read his analysis of today’s results, here).

Last month David Rose highlighted The Muslim Vote, an umbrella group behind many of the independents who ran yesterday. As he wrote: “An influential campaign group trying to drive Muslims away from Labour and towards more radical, anti-Israel candidates was founded by Islamists who backed violent Palestinian “resistance” two days after the October 7 massacres, the JC can reveal. Key figures behind The Muslim Vote (TMV), an alliance of 24 activist groups which promotes and endorses selected parliamentary candidates across the UK, signed a pledge on October 9 saying they “reaffirm the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to resist Israeli military occupation, including the right to armed struggle”.”

The Muslim Vote has a series of demands that stretch far beyond Labour policy on Gaza, including the legal adoption of a new definition of Islamophobia and reform to Ofcom’s rules on extremism. Such demands (its policy platform has 18 in all) are of far greater long term consequence than Gaza, the immediate cause of its success last night. Labour’s huge majority masks how fragile many of its wins were, with small majorities secured on the basis of a fractured Conservative (and sometimes, as we have seen, Labour) vote. It takes little imagination to envisage Labour MPs with small majorities tacking to embrace The Muslim Vote’s demands, and thus acting almost as sanitised advocates for Islamist ideas.

But it’s not just about policy. Last night saw deeply concerning scenes at some counts. In Birmingham, both Jess Phillips and Shabana Mahmood were heckled throughout their victory speeches. Phillips spoke after of the "misogyny, hatred, threatened violence" that had marked the campaign in her constituency.

This is not going away. It is only getting worse, and it is a huge test not just for Labour but for politics itself. Our politics has never divided on sectarian lines (other than in Northern Ireland, which in a very different way shows how dangerous that is). For our community, this is likely to be the defining issue in the months and years to come.

In that context, Paul Goodman, the former Tory MP, warned last night: “Leicester East is a terrible warning of British politics dividing on communal lines - with the Conservatives becoming the party of India and Israel, and Labour that of Pakistan and Palestine. No good can come of it.” He is right.
Keir Starmer, who prioritized fighting antisemitism, becomes Britain’s PM after landslide win
Keir Starmer, a centrist who worked to fight antisemitism in his party, has become the United Kingdom’s prime minister following Labour’s landslide victory in British elections Thursday.

With nearly all results in, Labour had won 412 seats out of the 650 in parliament, ending 14 years of Conservative rule in the UK The defeat for the Conservatives, who won just 121 as of Friday morning, is the worst in its nearly two-century history. Reform UK, a populist right-wing party, won a handful of seats, while the centrist Liberal Democrats won more than 70.

Several of the Conservative Party’s senior figures lost their races, including the UK’s Jewish defense secretary, Grant Shapps, who took the post less than a year ago, and former Prime Minister Liz Truss, who held the post briefly in 2022. The incumbent Conservative prime minister, Rishi Sunak, conceded the race. Taking the reigns from Corbyn

Starmer took the helm of Labour following its electoral defeat in 2019 under Jeremy Corbyn, a staunchly left-wing leader and harsh critic of Israel. Under Corbyn’s leadership, he and the party faced repeated allegations of antisemitism, and lost Jewish supporters in droves.

Starmer, whose wife, Victoria, is Jewish, worked to pull the party more to the center, including by making a concerted effort to root out antisemitism. Labour blocked Corbyn from running with the party and implemented the recommendations of a government commission investigating antisemitism in its ranks. Corbyn ran and won as an independent in his constituency this year.

“I’ve changed the Labour Party,” Starmer wrote on X earlier on Thursday. “If you put your trust in me by voting Labour, I will change the country.”

A poll of British Jews found that they were expected to vote for Labour in slightly higher numbers than the overall electorate. A Labour candidate won in the heavily Jewish London constituency of Finchley and Golders Green.

Israel came up during the campaign, as pro-Palestinian Labourites protested Starmer’s support for Israel. And in the final days of the campaign, the Conservatives attacked Starmer for signing off work at 6 p.m. on Friday for dinner with his family. The attack drew backlash from Jewish commentators, as Starmer has said for years that the family welcomes Shabbat together.
Tom Gross: Who is Keir Starmer? And the rise of a sectarian Muslim vote in the UK

What to expect from Labour in government
Israeli-Palestinian conflict
In the aftermath of October 7, Starmer said that Israel had a right to defend itself and condemned Hamas. In an interview with radio station LBC on October 11, Starmer was challenged by host Nick Ferrari about whether he supported Israel cutting off water and electricity to Gaza. The Labour leader replied that Israel “has that right” – something frequently brought up by many of his left-wing critics – but that everything should be done “within international law”.

Months into the war in Gaza, however, Starmer defended David Lammy who backed the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) to file for arrest warrants against Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence minister Yoav Gallant. He also called for Israel to cease its operations in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Labour’s manifesto called for the recognition of a Palestinian state as part of “a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution”, a policy pretty much identical to that pursued by the Conservatives for the past 14 years. Although such a policy is seen by some Israelis as pie-in-the-sky thinking, others believe it could be a constructive approach going forward.

Richard Pater, Director of the Britain-Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) told the JC: “If recognition is incorporated into part of a peace process, the UK could balance it and make it part of dual reward, incentive to both sides. It could include moving the embassy to Jerusalem and recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish State.

“In recognising the State of Palestine, it could announce that this state is the solution for Palestinian refugees, with no ‘right of return’ to Israel.

“Recognition should also be contingent with significant reforms of antisemitic incitement and inducements to carry out terror attacks in the current formulation of ‘pay to slay.’ There is also scepticism that so corrupt and ineffective an institution as the Palestinian Authority is capable of such reform.”

Labour’s manifesto does not explicitly call for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to be proscribed. However, in January 2023, David Lammy told parliament: “We would proscribe the IRGC, either by using existing terrorism legislation or by creating a new process of proscription for hostile state actors.”

According to the Daily Telegraph, Labour plans to bring in a “bespoke” proscription mechanism to make it easier for “state-based actors” to be formally declared as terror groups.

They also apparently intend to update the government’s counter-terror strategy, called Contest, and create a new Home Office and Foreign Office “joint cell” to deal with state-based threats to the UK.

Stephen Silverman, Campaign Against Antisemitism’s Director of Investigations and Enforcement, told the JC: “The IRGC is an antisemitic state-sponsored Iranian paramilitary group that sows chaos and murder in the Middle East and threatens the UK.

“We strongly welcome the party’s pledge to proscribe it. Given what is happening in the region right now and the global effects, this proscription cannot come soon enough.”

BICOM’s Richard Pater said: “The IRGC is an entity which poses both an existential threat to the UK’s closest regional ally, Israel, and a clear and present danger to the UK itself.”

He hoped proscription would be “allied to a serious effort, in concert with our Western allies, at imposing meaningful sanctions on the Iranian regime which target its nuclear enrichment and weaponisation programme, its ballistic missile programme and its wide nexus of regional terror armies.”
Where does Labour’s new Foreign Secretary David Lammy stand on Israel?
When the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan KC, accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Yoav Gallant of causing starvation in Gaza, Rishi Sunak moved swiftly to condemn the arrest warrants.

But David Lammy, Shadow Foreign Secretary at the time, supported the ICC’s decision. “Democracies who believe in the rule of law must submit themselves to it,” he said.

Lammy’s support for Israel has shifted since October 7, as for many in the Labour party. Shortly after the Hamas attacks, Lammy signed a statement on behalf of the Labour front bench, condemning the massacre as “unprovoked”.

On October 10, he spoke at a Labourr Friends of Israel event, where he said: ”We stand here as Labour Friends of Israel – but I have to say I am proud to live in a country where it doesn’t matter if you are Labour, Liberal Democrat or you are Conservative to stand with the people of Israel”.

The MP for Tottenham abstained from the ceasefire vote called by the Scottish National Party in November 2023 and followed the Labour line shortly urging a “humanitarian pause”.

In April, Lammy called for an immediate ceasfire in Gaza, expressing his “serious concerns about a breach in international humanitarian law” over Israel’s offensive, saying “far too many people have died”.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: "My judgement is if we get a ceasefire, more hostages will be released. That's the first thing, and more aid will get into Gaza to alleviate the famine that's now taken over”. Lammy added, though, that “to get a ceasefire, both sides have to lay down arms,” stressing the importance of bilaterally working toward peace.

Peace in the region formed part of Labour’s manifesto, which called for the recognition of a Palestinian state. The manifesto suggests “a contribution to a renewed peace process which results in a two-state solution”.

Lammy has led calls for the proscription in the UK of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp.

His stance on Israel, though, has drawn criticism from pro-Palestine voices. In May, pro-Palestinian protesters interrupted a speach given by the Foreign Secretary, accusing him of being “complicit in genocide”. Challenging the protesters, Lammy emphasised that his party had “been calling for a ceasefire for months”. He called the protest “shameful and antisemitic”.
Starmer’s Attorney General Has Curious Palestine Politics and Represented Gerry Adams
Starmer has snubbed Emily Thornberry by appointing human rights lawyer Richard Hermer KC, of Matrix Chambers, as his Attorney General. Hermer is close to Starmer – he’s spoken at Labour Conference, offered tours of the Royal Court of Justice to Camden Labour members, and donated £5,000 to the Labour leader’s campaign. Like Starmer, Hermer has certainly picked a direction in his legal focus…

Eyebrows were raised very high when Hermer began to advise Labour on the government’s BDS bill last Summer. Hermer has co-authored a chapter in a book called “Corporate Complicity in Israel’s Occupation: Evidence from the London Session of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine” co-edited by Asa Winstanley and Frank Barat. The book says it has the intention of “examining the involvement of corporations in the illegal occupation of Palestinian land by Israel”…

Co-author Asa, the notorious anti-Israel activist and crank, happens to also be the associate editor of the “Electronic Intifada” blog and wrote an article claiming “most members of the UK’s Labour Party support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and consider Israel to be an apartheid state“. Some of her other tomes include “WEAPONISING ANTI-SEMITISM: How the Israel Lobby Brought Down Jeremy Corbyn“. Hermer’s other co-author has tweeted endorsing the idea that “Israel’s policies amount to Apartheid“…

Meanwhile, the co-authors of Hermer’s specific chapter have links to the BDS campaign itself – one of them served as lawyer for Hassan Diab, who was convicted (in absentia) and sentenced to life in prison for a terror attack outside a synagogue in Paris in 1980 that killed four and wounded 46. Interesting bedfellows…

Hermer himself has pushed for the ICJ to consider whether Israel is an “apartheid state” and has spoken at events for Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights, which is itself allegedly running a BDS campaign against construction firm JCB. This year he has spent his time representing Gerry Adams. This is now the government’s top chief legal adviser.

Jess Phillips heckled by anti-Israel activists after narrow victory and ‘worst campaign’ of her career
Jess Phillips was heckled by pro-Palestine activists after narrowly defeating a far-left candidate who has accused Labour of backing Israeli “genocide”.

The re-elected MP for Birmingham Yardley beat Workers Party candidate Jody McIntyre by just 700 votes on Thursday night.

After being declared the winner, Phillips’s attempt to give a victory speech was interrupted by chants of “free Palestine”.

She told the audience at the count: “I see we’re going to continue with the class we had during the campaign.”

The Labour MP continued: "I will carry on with my speech. I understand that a strong woman standing up to you is met with such reticance.”

Faced by more chanting, she asked officials to throw those heckling her out of the venue.

The campaign, Phillips said, was the "worst election I have ever stood in".

“I love that my seat was a marginal seat, I think marginal seats make better members of Parliament,” she said.

Despite Labour Party win, MPs lose seats to pro-Palestinian opponents
While Britain on Friday saw the Labour Party win the most seats during the election, some well-seasoned party veterans have lost their seats over their stance on the Israel-Hamas war, the Financial Times reported on Saturday.

Labour lost four seats to pro-Palestinian independent candidates. These losses all occurred during constituencies with a large number of Muslim residents, the Times claimed.

Shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth was one of the four to lose his seat for Leicester South; an area where 35% of the population identify as Muslim. His seat will now belong to an independent candidate running on a pro-Palestinian ticket who won by 979 votes.

Shockat Adam, the independent who took Ashworth’s seat, said his win was “an indication to those who have been in power for so long that you cannot forget the people that you serve.”

“This is a humble gesture,” he said. “This is for the people of Gaza.”

Labour Members of Parliament grip their seats
Dewsbury and Batley in West Yorkshire and Blackburn in Lancashire, where the Muslim population is estimated to be around 45% in both locations, Labour failed to secure seats.

Other Labour members kept their seats, but only narrowly won the majority vote. Shadow health secretary Wes Streeting and Jess Phillips beat their pro-Palestinian independent opposition by only 528 and 693.

Phillips had outrightly stated to the BBC that the war being fought in Gaza was a “massive issue” in the constituency.
Shame on Islington North for falling for magic grandpa again
So, the good people of Islington North have spoken. Just as Britain abandons Project Corbyn, the intelligentsia of Highbury Fields holds on – as Roger Waters once sang – to the dream.

I have a confession. I was born in Islington and lived there for many years. And yes, I do feel more than a trickle of shame.

I’ve spent plenty of time sitting in the well-appointed extensions of middle-class socialists trying to explain why magic grandpa is not the Messiah but just a bigoted populist, a mirror image of those on the far right that your standard Islingtonian loves to hate.

Clearly, my campaigning was to no avail. Jeremy wants peace and justice and hates genocide, and that’s enough for the true believers.

Of course, it would be disingenuous to suggest that Corbyn is selling a niche product. Candidates up and down the country won by tapping heavily into the Gaza vote.

But he is the full package for the quinoa class, the premium version of the organic vegetable basket – every hard-left belief packed into one box – and he knows it.

At a campaign rally at a community centre in the borough, amid an interminable ramble about war and peace, Corbyn conceded: “I eat croissants. And if you want to, then it is fine by me.”

He may have mis-read the country in repeated general elections, but no one can accuse him of getting Islington wrong. And by doing that, he has shown that his brand has life in it yet.

In a small, Islington-sized way, there lies the true challenge facing Keir Starmer: a successful government cannot merely seek to improve life for Britons – it must detoxify politics itself.
Diane Abbott wins Hackney North seat despite ‘Jews don’t experience racism’ comment
Diane Abbott, the former Shadow Home Secretary who was a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn when he led the Labour Party, won a comfortable victory in Hackney North and Stoke Newington – home to Europe’s largest strictly Orthodox community.

Despite the Conservatives fielding an Orthodox Jewish candidate, David Landau, in the stronghold of British Chasidism, it had little impact as he was beaten into third place by the Greens.

Abbott, who is one of the longest-serving MPs with 37 years in Parliament, had been suspended by Labour for suggesting in a letter to a newspaper that Jewish, Irish and Traveller people experienced prejudice rather than racism.

She apologised and withdrew her comments after an outcry.

But although there was media speculation over whether she would be permitted to stand for the party in the election, she was reinstated and her candidacy was approved by the party’s HQ.

Abbott took the seat with 24,355 votes ahead of the Greens — 9,275, with the Conservatives gaining only 3,457. Abbott’s share of the vote was 10 per cent down on that of her victory in 2019, while the Greens was up by 14 per cent. Barely half the constituency, 53 per cent, cast a vote.

Dr Landau said, “Clearly the entire election was a protest opportunity against the incumbent government with Labour gaining almost no extra votes. Not much an individual candidate can do about that, although Ameet Jogia almost managed [in Hendon]!

“I hope I have encouraged my community to be more forthright in its drive for appropriate representation.”
New Muslim Birmingham Perry Bar MP questioned rapes by Hamas on October 7
Ayoub Khan, the independent candidate backed by The Muslim Vote (TMV) who defeated Labour to take the seat of Birmingham Perry Bar, publicly questioned the extent of the atrocities committed by Hamas on October 7.

Having served as a Liberal Democrat councillor, Khan resigned from the party in May after he had already been selected as its Perry Bar parliamentary candidate, saying he had been told to “hush up” his concerns over the Gaza war but could not do so without compromising his integrity.

In yesterday’s poll he overturned the Labour incumbent Khalid Mahmood’s 15,000 majority to win by just under 500 votes.
Khan’s victory was one of a series of by independent and Green Party candidates endorsed by TMV, an organisation founded by Islamists who backed violent Palestinian “resistance” two days after the October 7 massacres.

Khan posted several clips on TikTok after the massacre that questioned the accuracy of Israeli reports, saying he had yet to see evidence that any of the terror group’s members had beheaded babies or committed rape.

New House bill would impose ‘lofty financial punishments’ on schools lenient on Jew-hatred
Colleges and universities that receive “generous” tax benefits from the federal government “should be doing more than simply giving a slap on the wrist to perpetrators of hate,” according to Rep. Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.).

The congresswoman introduced legislation earlier this week “to hold these institutions accountable with lofty financial punishments that would encourage them to investigate and crack down on instances of antisemitism and help foster a safer academic environment for all students, regardless of their gender, race or religion,” she stated.

The University Accountability Act, H.R.8914, was co-sponsored by Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), chair of the House Republican Conference, and nine other House members. A member of the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Stefanik has been at the forefront of the House’s investigations of schools for allegedly not doing enough to combat antisemitism on campus.

“I will continue to lead the efforts ridding our higher education institutions of antisemitism,” Stefanik stated. “Hardworking taxpayers have no interest in funding institutions that fail to protect their students from antisemitic rhetoric and behavior and this bill puts their tax-exempt status on the chopping block.”

“Universities have a responsibility to protect their students from violence and discrimination and instead we’re seeing a disturbing increase in antisemitic attacks and rhetoric on college campuses,” Malliotakis said.
Explosive Lawsuit Accuses Northwestern University of Reverse Racism in Hiring
On Friday, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, founder of higher education antisemitism watchdog AMCHA Initiative, told The Algemeiner that, in addition to undermining civil rights, racial preferences have fostered antisemitism on college campuses. Admissions and hiring committees packed with progressives ideologues, she said, not only prefer non-white candidates, they also aim to ensure that new hires are ideologically progressive — and, moreover, anti-Zionist. The effect of this, she explained, is that Jews in higher education, whom mainstream progressive ideology classifies as white, are also subject to discrimination, an issue The Algemeiner has covered extensively.

“Racial preferences pit racial identity against the meritocracy, and one of the reasons that Jews have became so prominent in academia is because it is a system that rewards talent, character, and grit. Jews tend to be well-educated and highly achieving, and when an institution’s primary concern is the quality of the individual as opposed to the color of his or her skin or perceived background, Jews excel,” Rossman-Benjamin explained. “What the university stands for, academic integrity and excellence, are values that have lifted Jews up in America, and, in addition to being critical for advancing humanity, they have been one of the most important sources of our strength in this country.”

She continued, “However, when you impose academia criteria that have nothing to do with those values and nothing to do with academic integrity but everything to do with a political agenda that really at its core is discriminatory and hateful — and antisemitic — you make the university not just a hostile place for Jews but also a hostile place for learning.”

Rossman-Benjamin further argued that progressives have effortlessly “captured” higher education institutions over the past several decades and that their predominance in academia and the explosion of antisemitism on campuses across the US are directly linked.

“What’s so interesting is that the way you know that contemporary progress is not just a fraudulent and bankrupt ideology but an evil one, is that it produces antisemitism,” she continued. “Antisemitism is a bellwether of its malevolence. If it were positive and healthy, it would lift people up — but it isn’t. In fact, it is hurting them in the deepest ways.”

Evil Jewish settlers
“Israel Moves to Legalize 5 Settlements in Occupied West Bank.” Written by Israeli-born Ephrat Livni—a journalist, lawyer and author of a novel about Israel—the June 28 article in The New York Times explores an array of Israeli “outposts” that are “complicating any future effort to reach an agreement on a two-state solution for Palestinians and Israelis.” With the familiar refrain that “much of the world” views settlements in the West Bank as illegal, she recognizes that “outposts have grown with the tacit agreement of the [Israeli] government for decades.”

The assertion of settlement illegality, she writes, rests upon claims of the U.N. General Assembly, the U.N. Security Council and the International Court of Justice. They are united in asserting that Israeli settlements “violate the Fourth Geneva Convention,” according to which “the Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” Such transfers are classified by the International Criminal Court as war crimes. But Israel did not “deport or transfer” anyone. Israelis who returned to biblical Judea and Samaria following the 1967 Six-Day War did so by choice.

The unmentioned historic reality in the Livni article is that Jewish statehood in the Promised Land, according to the biblical text, dates as far back as the tenth century BCE reign of King David, who ruled from Hebron for seven years and then Jerusalem for 33 more. It is little wonder that both sites ever since have defined the core of the Jewish holy land. Overlooked by Livni, there were no Palestinians then or for millennia to come. Arabs did not become “Palestinians” until June 1967, when during the war, Israel reclaimed its historic land of biblical Judea and Samaria. Until then, they were identified as Jordanians.

Livni is attentive to the year-old U.N. General Assembly request that the International Court of Justice consider the legal consequences of “the ongoing violation by Israel of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination” by Israel’s “prolonged occupation, settlement and annexation of the Palestinian territory.” It is, however, more accurately defined, based on millennia of history, as “Israeli territory.”

To be sure, she is hardly the first Times reporter to criticize Jews for returning to their biblical homeland. It began two decades before there was a Jewish state, when Joseph W. Levy was hired as a foreign correspondent. The Arab slaughter of Jews in Hebron and Jerusalem in 1929 prompted him to guide the opinions of prominent anti-Zionists into his newspaper. For Levy, Zionists were “extremists” who had themselves to blame for Arab attacks Publishers of the newspaper of record, beginning with Arthur Hays Sulzberger in 1935, have worried that Zionism would prompt doubts about the loyalty of American Jews. Their concern was evident in their discomfort with the idea, no less reality, of a Jewish state.
NY Times Hires Another Anti-Israel Extremist to Cover Israel
The New York Times has a type.

It hired a reporter who once said she can’t bring herself even to look at Israelis, and who admitted that her objectivity “got thrown out the window.”

It hired another who in college was an apologist for Hamas and Hezbollah, denying that the terror organizations are terror organizations, that they are fundamentalists, and even that they have murdered Israeli civilians.

It hired another not long after she expressed outrage that Israel struck a Hamas commander after the terror group fired a barrage of rockets toward Israeli civilians — and even charged that the strike amounted to “murder.”

Shortly after the Oct. 7 massacre, the newspaper commissioned a journalist who had posted on social media, “How great you are, Hitler.”

So it is unfortunate, but hardly surprising, that the New York Times has hired Bora Erden to cover the Israel-Hamas conflict. Erden was a committed anti-Israel activist prior to joining the Times last October. In May 2021, after Hamas rocket attacks into Israel and a consequent round of fighting, Erden signed a letter supporting what was termed the “Palestinian struggle against Israeli colonial rule and its apartheid system.”

The letter, which called for a protest at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City (or “Occupied Mannahatta,” as the protest organizers put it), took aim at the museum because it has board members who support Israel. The problem seemed to be Jewish money. At least four of the the five board members named in the letter were Jewish, while the fifth was pointedly described as using money that came from her husband, who is also Jewish.

MEMRI: French Rap Song NO PASARAN Calls To Vote For 'New Popular Front': 'Give A Blow With Stick To Bitches In Heat' Far-Right Marine Le Pen And Marion Marechal; Singer Says 'I Am Loading My Kalashnikov,' Adds: 'Palestine From The [French River] Seine To The Jordan River'
A few days after the first round of the French parliamentary elections the YouTube channel "NO PASARAN" shared a violent video attacking the far-right National Rally (NR), which scored close to 34%, and encouraging listeners to vote for the left-wing New Popular Front (NPF), which scored close to 28%.[1]

The phrase "¡No pasarán! (They shall not pass!)" was first used in World War I, and became the slogan associated with the Defense of Madrid. In this rap video, "they" refers to the National Rally.

The song was composed and performed by a group of 20 French rappers, including Sofiane, Zola, Kerchak, RK, Soso Maness, Zed, UZI, ASHE 22, Nahir, ISK, Mac Tyer, Alkpote, Cokein, Akhenaton, Pit Baccardi, Seth Gueko, Demi Portion, Decimo, Relo, and Costa.

While claiming to be only "artistically violent," the song's lyrics include insults and threats directed at specific individuals. Among other insults, it calls NR president Jordan Bardella a dead man, and calls to f*** his mother. The singer also threatens to "come out with a big caliber" if the "fascists" [i.e. the NR] win the second round of elections. The song attacks Freemasons, accusing: "You feed on the blood you consume ."

The video attacks other figures as well, including the French-Tunisian Imam of Drancy Hassen Chalghoumi, who has long promoted interfaith dialogue and understanding. The video says: "F*** Imam Chalghoumi and those who will follow the Sheytan [Satan] at any price." It further castigates "Parliament members" who "want to insert a sim in our blood," accompanied by a photo of Bill Gates in the background, possibly referring to the Covid vaccine. Prominent NR members Marine le Pen and Marion Marechal are called "whores," and the video suggests beating "these bitches in heat" with a stick.

In another violent outburst, the lyrics encourage: "Come on, let's take our bayonets."

The final part of the video focuses on Palestine: "My heart is in Palestine"…"Palestine from the [French river] Seine to the Jordan River."

A line at the beginning of the video states that all the proceeds from the song will go to the French charity Fondation de l'Abbe Pierre. As of July 4, NO PASARAN has amassed 99,000 likes and 1.8 million views.
Police: If We Cancel Gag Order on Israeli Who Killed Nukhba Terrorist the Hostages Will Suffer
Investigators of the Tel Aviv district police last Tuesday arrested two Israelis on suspicion of murdering a Nukhba terrorist on October 7 in the Gaza Envelope. The two were released by the Tel Aviv District Court, but for now, the investigation into their case continues (Soldier Arrested for Allegedly Killing a Nukhba Terrorist).

The two suspects are civilians, not enlisted men or reservists. According to the police, in the days after October 7, they were in the Negev and took a terrorist captive. They are suspected of tying him up and then killing him. The court imposed a gag order on their identity until further notice.

Judge Oded Maor shared his confusion with the police representative about the gag order. “The whole world knows,” the judge said. “How did people know to come to this court? I wonder what is the point of continuing the order.”

The police argued that the case had not yet been published on the main social networks, and not on the major media. Also, if the case is revealed – this could lead to the terrorists harming the hostages as revenge.

The two, a resident of Elkana, 22, and a United Hatzalah volunteer, 30, living in central Israel, took the initiative – each separately – and drove down to the Gaza Strip on October 7. The younger suspect took off with another friend and a police officer, who was the only one of the three armed with a gun. They later took weapons from the corpses of IDF fighters who had fallen in battle and joined the fighting.

There, the younger suspect also ran into Roi Yifrach, 35, from Tel Aviv, who was later accused of impersonating a Shin Bet agent, stealing weapons and ammunition, going down to Gaza, and taking a selfie with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

It appears that the prosecution is basing its accusations on Yifrach’s testimony. At some point, apparently, the group captured a terrorist who entered Israel from the Gaza Strip. In the video of the incident, the older suspect is seen kicking the terrorist’s leg, and Roi Yifrach kicking his head. The younger suspect is not seen in this video. According to the suspects, this incident took place during the fighting, and the terrorist was handed over alive to the security forces, under whose care his death was later determined.

MK Almog Cohen (Otzma Yehudit) on Thursday night tweeted: “I am happy about the release to house arrest of the fighter who jumped on October 7 and saved human lives. He saved the bodies of Police Special Force fighters from being kidnapped, and stood bravely against the terrorists, and even stood bravely against the false testimony of Roi Yifrach.

The Mothers of Warrior forum responded to the arrests, saying: “Someone here got confused. To arrest people who eliminated terrorists who murdered and burned our brothers and sisters? We thought that after October 7 the conceptzia would no longer be here, we are sending our children to fight to eliminate as many terrorists as possible, not to be arrested because they eliminated terrorists. The state, the prosecution, the army, they all need to wake up.”
Jewish Agency project to strengthen Gaza border towns
Kibbutz Nir Am, situated approximately two kilometers (1.2 miles) from the northeastern Gaza Strip, is a pastoral haven set against the dramatic landscape of the Negev Desert. It has two main economic branches, agriculture and a factory that produces cutlery, pots and kitchen utensils.

On Oct. 7, as Hamas-led terrorists invaded the communities near Gaza, Nir Am was one of the few that avoided casualties. The kibbutz’s rapid-response squad managed to repel the terrorists. The story is nothing less than extraordinary.

“It was because of the rapid-response squad and pure luck that we did not suffer destruction and casualties,” Noam Rodman, a member of the squad, told JNS.

To date, Nir Am remains a closed military zone, but 30 members who do not have children have been allowed back to work in the kibbutz’s agricultural fields.

Responding to the needs of these communities, the Jewish Agency for Israel launched Communities2Gether, which aims to pair 25 Israeli communities with communities around the world.

Jewish Agency CEO Amira Ahronoviz said, “We will work to strengthen Gaza border communities and ensure that no town, kibbutz or moshav will be left alone. Communities2Gether is the tangible expression of the fact that today the Jewish people stand behind the State of Israel and its citizens, while Israel is committed to the well-being of the Jewish people, wherever they may be.”

The project will pair impacted Israeli towns or kibbutzim with a Jewish community abroad that is committed to offering sustained support for at least three years. This will work through funding, sharing resources and personal connections.

It is hoped that these partnerships will help rebuild infrastructure, mend social bonds and foster long-lasting connections. The Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod—United Israel Appeal support Communities2Gether.
Palestinian national soccer team aims to host World Cup qualifier games in West Bank
After advancing further than ever in World Cup qualifying, the Palestinian soccer team is determined to host a game.

The Palestinian Football Association has proposed playing games in the third stage of its Asian qualification campaign in the West Bank and already has support from several sporting opponents, starting against Jordan on September 10.

The Palestinian team progressed through the second round of continental qualifying for the first time in its history in June but because of the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip, staged its “home” games in nearby Kuwait and Qatar.

“Playing at a neutral venue isn’t permanent and was never meant to be so,” Susan Shabali, the PFA’s deputy president, told The Associated Press. “Faisal Al-Husseini is ready to host.”

The 12,500-capacity Faisal Al-Husseini International Stadium is situated in the West Bank town of Al Ram. In 2019, it hosted the team’s last competitive home game, a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia that ended 0-0.

“We hope that all goes well,” Shalabi said, adding that there had been “no objections” from FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, or the Asian Football Confederation.

FDD: How Hezbollah Fundraises Through Crime
Hours after Hamas massacred 1,200 Israelis on October 7, Hezbollah opened a second front against Israel on its northern border, re-igniting a conflict now at risk of escalating into a full-blown war. While Iran provides most of its financing, crime is a core component of Hezbollah’s fundraising – in fact, the group’s avowed religious pieties notwithstanding, there is almost no crime from which its overseas networks will refrain in their pursuit of money: Drug trafficking, gun running, blood diamonds, illicit timber, even human trafficking.

Disrupting Hezbollah’s overseas revenue streams would diminish its ability to sustain itself, and should remain a key U.S. policy objective. If the Biden administration is serious about preventing the Israel-Hezbollah conflict from widening, it should relaunch a previously successful strategy – since abandoned – that combined prosecutions, sanctions, and diplomacy to not only identify core Hezbollah financial networks through sanctions but also bring many of Hezbollah’s members to justice.

Open source studies and public statements from U.S. officials dating to 2018 indicate that involvement in illicit activities generated 30% of Hezbollah’s annual operating budget of roughly $1 billion, with Iran providing the rest. But a closer look at Hezbollah’s narcotrafficking operations suggests its proceeds from criminal activity may far exceed those estimates.

Consider Hezbollah’s involvement in drug trafficking and trade-based money laundering (TBML). Hezbollah handles cocaine shipments and their distribution. It also launders proceeds through complex commercial schemes. Official estimates assume that the value of the global cocaine trade hovers between $425 and $650 billion annually, with counterfeiting – the largest source of illicit revenue globally, and a key component of Hezbollah’s TBML schemes – worth twice that, up to $1.13 trillion a year. While hardly the only global player, Hezbollah’s engagement in both activities is significant.

The Ayman Joumaa network – which the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) exposed in 2011 and Treasury linked to Hezbollah in 2012 – was laundering up to $200 million a month for Mexican and Colombian cartels. Joumaa, according to the DEA, took a hefty 8-14% commission for his services. Assuming the 2018 estimates are correct, the Joumaa operation alone would have generated at least two-thirds of Hezbollah’s annual revenue from illicit activities. And while Joumaa’s operation was eventually disrupted, his complex scheme to launder drug proceeds continued to operate long after sanctions and indictments were made public.

Joumaa’s money laundering organization was not the only game in town. The DEA estimated Hezbollah’s proceeds from drug trafficking alone to have been higher than the overall U.S. estimate of its global fundraising efforts. A 2016 DEA affidavit filed with a Florida court in a Hezbollah money laundering case put the value of Hezbollah’s annual proceeds from narcotics at $400 million – and even that might now be a conservative estimate.
MEMRI: Canada-Based Former PFLP Member Khaled Barakat In Lebanese Newspaper: With Every Response Of The Iran-Led Resistance, The Zionist-U.S. Failure Only Grows; The Extinction Of The Zionist Project Is Only A Matter Of Time Thanks To Armed Struggle, Jihad In Palestine, Lebanon, And Yemen
Former senior official of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and activist Khaled Barakat, who is based in Canada, wrote in an article published in the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar on July 2, 2024, praising the "steadfastness" of the "courageous" armed resistance of Lebanese Hizbullah, Palestinian jihadi factions, and Yemen's Houthi Ansar Allah Movement against the U.S. and Israel. The piece was also published in English on the website of Masar Badil, or the Palestinian Alternative Revolutionary Path Movement, an Anti-Israel, pro-Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) NGO led by Barakat.[1]

The article by Khalid Barakat
Barakat is married to Charlotte Kates, the International Coordinator of PFLP-linked international organization Samidoun, who was arrested in May 2024 by Canadian police after she delivered a speech at a rally in Vancouver, British Columbia, during which she expressed support for Hamas, the PFLP, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Lebanese Hizbullah and demanded that they be removed from Canada's terror list.[2]

The following is Barakat's piece, as published in English on the Masar Badil website:
The Forces Of Imperialism And Colonialism Have Been Plundering The Planet For 500 Years And Engineered The Largest Armed Robbery In History

Despite the differences in positions and visions within the Zionist enemy entity and among its allies, they all agree on describing October 7, 2023 as a "great shock" and "the most dangerous security failure" in the history of their colonial settler project in occupied Palestine. There has been much talk about the "necessity of close cooperation between allies" to save their colony – from itself and from its enemies – as there is a consensus in Tel Aviv and Washington that "war is the solution" and that the axis of resistance constitutes the "greatest existential threat", while the disagreement within the enemy camp remains over their methods and tactics and not their strategic goal. They declare their position in private and in public, saying: We all hate Iran, Sinwar, Nasrallah and al-Houthi, but in a time of uncertainty and precision missiles, who can guarantee the results of the war?! With every American shell that the Israeli occupation army drops on Gaza, the West Bank, southern Lebanon and Syria, and with every response of the resistance, the Zionist-U.S. failure only grows. The empire is bleeding away its advantage in the balance of power and its strategic position in a world where multiple international powers are advancing and where these changes are taking place at the speed of a missile, while the oil sheikhs, the Camp David regime, the Kingdom of Wadi Araba, and the Oslo mafia all await the good news of "Israeli victory over Hamas!" Because Israel's defeat and failure also means a disastrous failure for all the poles that make up this enemy camp.

Destructive wars, economic exploitation and political domination are inherent to imperialism and colonialism. These forces have been plundering the planet for 500 years and engineered the largest armed robbery in history. They not only stole Palestine, and the wealth and dreams of Arabs and Muslims, but they also colonized continents, crushed peoples and annihilated tribes. Through war and the imposition of "agreements" of surrender and defeat, the United States wishes to reproduce the "new world order" to its own liking. Total war is a tried and tested recipe, and those whom the United States cannot defeat with bombs, it imposes sanctions, siege and wars of starvation upon them. And despite all of this, the U.S. is shocked and confused as it confronts the facts of today's reality.

Iran’s nuclear ‘restraint’ is policy rather than technology
Europe doing more than the U.S.
In fact, European countries appear to be doing more than the U.S. at the moment to prevent Iran from going nuclear.

Asculai noted the U.S. “was very hesitant” about joining the IAEA resolution at the last board of governors meeting on June 3 in Vienna.

The Biden administration actually tried to block European efforts to introduce a resolution against the Iranian regime.

Tehran’s decision to triple or possibly quadruple its uranium enrichment capacity at Fordow may be a response to the censure of the Islamic Republic by the IAEA board of governors, which demanded it comply with the IAEA and reinstate inspections. The effort was led by the so-called E3 of the United Kingdom, Germany and France.

Under the terms of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, the Islamic Republic committed not to install or operate those centrifuges, and not to use Fordow for enrichment purposes.

The British ambassador to the U.N. said on Monday that London and other European parties are prepared to reinstate sanctions on Iran should it continue to advance its nuclear program.

“Given Iran’s dangerous advances which have brought it to the brink of being able to develop a weapon, this situation should be of grave concern for this council,” Ambassador Barbara Woodward told a U.N. Security Council meeting focusing on implementation of JCPOA.

Asculai added, “So, the diplomatic course could perhaps produce a beneficial result but it will take the willpower of many nations to do that.

“Many things that could have pressured Iran are not being done,” he said. “It is not a good situation now internationally.”

Asculai noted Iran’s regime may be in trouble domestically where “the people are fed up with the government,” but it “isn’t bankrupt,” and is “still powerful and does a lot of damage to the world.”

For instance, Iran is still funding its proxies—Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen—and sending them arms. Asculai said Iran receives money from Russia in return for weapons.

According to the Institute for Science and International Security, this is indeed the case. “The transfer of weapons technology from Iran to Russia has developed on a large scale,” institute experts David Albright and Spencer Faragasso wrote in a report. “The Ukraine war has led Russia to seek goods from Iran, including prominently a $1.75 billion purchase of Shahed 136 kamikaze drones and their production know-how.”

Regardless of what Iran does or says, Asculai suggested that the international community should be cautious when dealing with the regime.

“Everyone says the Iranian government is rational,” he said. “I don’t know, but the rationale of the Iranian government is not the rationale of other governments.

“I would be wary of them,” Asculai warned. “Be wary of Iran.”

NYPD reports 45 antisemitic incidents last month, 57% of all hate crimes in the city
The NYPD reported 45 anti-Jewish hate crimes across the city in June as the increase in antisemitism continues more than eight months after Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of Israel.

The total for June was more than double the tally during the same month last year, when there were 19 antisemitic incidents reported to police. Jews were targeted in 57% of all hate crimes reported to the NYPD last month.

Hate incidents against Jews spiked after the Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, with 69 in October and 62 in November.

The number has fluctuated since then, from 17 reported incidents in February to 43 in March and 32 in April. Last month’s total was a decrease from May, when there were 55 antisemitic incidents, the highest total in six months. Jews remain the group most targeted in hate crimes nearly every month.

Jewish security officials have said the pattern of anti-Israel protests in the city may play a role in the fluctuations. According to the mayor’s office, there have been more than 1,000 protests in the city related to Israel since Oct. 7.

There were 79 total hate crimes reported to police last month, including 17 based on sexual orientation, three motivated by anti-Asian animus, two targeting Black people, four against other ethnicities, three against the Hispanic community, three motivated by Islamophobia, and two against other religions.

The figures represent preliminary police data and are subject to change if, for example, an investigation finds that an altercation that had appeared discriminatory was not actually motivated by bigotry.
NY Jews turn to krav maga for self-defense amid spike in antisemitism
Last year, as antisemitism spiked in New York City after Oct. 7, occupational therapist Ruth Peer began to hear about troubling incidents from the Jewish children she works with in Crown Heights.

In one case, an elementary school-age patient told Peer that she was riding with her father when a passerby approached the car and began shouting at them — an incident the child took as antisemitic. Stories like that convinced Peer, who is also Jewish, that such incidents were “becoming super-prevalent” in the city — and that she needed to take action.

“It’s important for me, being Jewish and a woman, to be able to show other people that we can stand up for ourselves,” said Peer, 27, who lives in Midwood, Brooklyn. “That we have to stand up for ourselves and that we have the right to do so.”

Peer enrolled in a krav maga course — one of a new crop of students who have swelled the ranks of the Israeli self-defense classes in the city in the months following Oct. 7. Other participants and organizers said the Hamas attack and spike in antisemitism had inspired them to train and seek community with others who feared for their security. Instructors have added lessons to prepare participants for threats on the streets and are preparing to offer courses on college campuses.

“Some of those people are really beginning to say, ‘All right, we used to go to soccer, but now we have to go to krav maga,’” said Eve Gold, co-owner of the Krav Maga Federation, a martial arts school on Manhattan’s West 25th Street. “The fact that those are the people training now — there’s the answer to what happened after Oct. 7.”
Tree of Life synagogue targeted with bomb threat
The Pittsburgh synagogue that saw 11 Jewish worshippers shot and killed on Oct. 27, 2018, in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history, became the target of a bomb threat earlier this week that police have determined was a hoax.

The incident directed at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha Synagogue on Tuesday is being investigated by local law enforcement and the FBI. The FBI added that it was not aware of any credible threats against the synagogue.

Pittsburgh police spokesperson Cara Cruz called the email “a hoax in line with other similar threats against synagogues around the country” and that officers “very quickly determined” it as such. Law enforcement did not describe any connection between this recent threat and the murders.

In May, Melanie Harris received a 32-month sentence for a campaign of harassment against members of the synagogue.

Robert Bowers, the lone gunman convicted last year for the mass shooting, sits on death row.
Biden Admin Gives Preferential Treatment for Security Grants to Churches and Synagogues in 'Disadvantaged' Communities
Rep. Ken Calvert (R., Calif.), who introduced the Israel security bill that supplements the Homeland Security grants, criticized the administration's reliance on equity metrics for a program intended in part to protect Jewish communities from a "dramatic rise" in anti-Semitic attacks.

"Congress intended to respond to these specific threats to Jewish Americans when it provided increased funding for the nonprofit security grants program in the Israel Security Supplemental Appropriations Act," Calvert told the Washington Free Beacon. "The Biden Administration should award these funds for the purposes in which they were intended and help provide security assistance for Jewish Americans."

While numerous Jewish groups have received grants through the program, some synagogues that have been targeted in high-profile attacks would not receive preferential treatment under the Department of Homeland Security's scoring system. Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, the site of a 2018 mass shooting in which 11 worshippers were murdered, does not lie in a "disadvantaged" area, according to the Climate & Economic Justice Sorting Tool. Nor does Adas Torah, the Los Angeles synagogue where anti-Israel protesters attacked congregants at a protest on June 23.
FBI offers $10,000 for tips leading to arrest of Ohio cemetery vandals
The FBI is offering a reward of $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the vandal or vandals, who desecrated graves at two Jewish cemeteries in Ohio.

“The vandalism of nearly 200 graves at two Jewish cemeteries near Cincinnati is despicable,” U.S. President Joe Biden wrote on Wednesday. “This is antisemitism and it is vile.”

“I condemn these acts and commit my administration to support investigators in holding those responsible accountable to the full extent of the law,” the president added.

Earlier in the week, Rep. Greg Landsman (D-Ohio), who is Jewish, told JNS that “the current explosion of antisemitism is real, and it has no boundaries” and that “these headstones will stand again, and I hope those responsible will be caught and brought to justice.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, wrote that “targeting Jewish cemeteries and desecrating headstones is heartless, sacrilegious and vile.”

“Those responsible must be held accountable for this hateful act of vandalism,” he wrote.
Melioni: ‘No space in Brothers of Italy for racist or antisemitic positions’
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has condemned the racist rhetoric and authoritarian apologetics from members of the youth wing in her Brothers of Italy party as captured by an undercover journalist.

“I have said and repeated dozens of times, but perhaps I need to repeat it: There is no space in Brothers of Italy for racist or antisemitic positions,” Meloni wrote in a letter on July 2. “There is no space for nostalgics of totalitarianism of the 1900s or for any other show of stupid folklore.”

The videos showed members of the youth organization—two who have since resigned—performing Nazi “Sieg Heil” salutes and promoting Benito Mussolini, Italy’s fascist prime minister who led the country from 1922 until 1943 and joined with Adolf Hitler as part of the Axis forces during World War II.

Mussolini was executed on April 28, 1945. The Italian Social Movement emerged in 1946, founded by former fascist officials, and evolved into Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party she founded in 2012.
Art from prominent Swiss collection likely plundered from Jews
Dozens of artworks on display in one of Switzerland’s most prominent art collections, owned by a Swiss industrialist who did business with the Nazis, were likely plundered by the Nazis from Jewish owners during the Holocaust, a newly released report concludes.

The findings are likely to reignite public debate over artwork looted by the Nazis more than eight decades ago that remain on display in public museums or private art collections.

Some 30% of the artwork in the Foundation Emil Bührle Collection in Zurich probably belonged to Jews before the Holocaust, the report, which was commissioned by the city last year and carried out by a German historian, found.

“On the matter of previous Jewish ownership, it can be concluded that 62 of the 205 works appear to have belonged to previous Jewish owners during the Holocaust,” the document states.

The report, which was released last week, found that the collection’s curators did not sufficiently investigate the origins of the works, or meet standards set by Swiss authorities.
Sotheby’s auctions ‘Head Study of a Young Woman’ following painting’s return to Jewish heirs
An artwork created from 1615-1620 and stolen by German Nazis in 1940 from a Jewish-owned bank’s collection sold on July 3 for a substantial sum following the return to its owners’ heirs.

Sotheby’s auctioned “Head Study of a Young Woman,” a primarily brown portrait featuring a woman with pink cheeks and painted by Jacob (“Jacques”) Jordaens. The painting sold for £360,000, which equates to $460,800.

The recovered work is the first to be sold by heirs of shareholders of Lisser & Rosenkranz Bank.

They seek a further 2,500 drawings and 50 paintings that had been held as collateral for a loan to Franz Koenigs, a Dutch collector. The primary shareholders in the bank were Siegfried Kramarsky and Salomon Flörsheim, also Jewish.

Those representing the work’s heirs say they suspect that Luftwaffe head Hermann Göring may have given the painting to Adolf Hitler on his birthday in 1941 or 1942.

Also a draughtsman, and a designer of tapestries and prints, Jordaens, lived from 1593 to 1678. Critics and historians regard him as a key 17th-century Flemish artist known for his scenes of peasant life.
Orthodox basketball star Ryan Turell to join Israel’s top league
Orthodox basketball player Ryan Turell has signed with Ironi Ness Ziona in the Israeli Basketball Premier League, the country’s top tier of professional basketball.

Turell, who was the top scorer in the NCAA in his senior year at Yeshiva University, made history in 2022 by becoming the first Orthodox Jewish player to appear in the NBA’s minor G league. He played two seasons for the Motor City Cruise, which is affiliated with the Detroit Pistons.

Turell did not receive much playing time in Detroit but, as he did in college, attracted scores of Orthodox fans, both in Detroit and on the road. A highlight came when he returned to New York on Purim last year.

Now, Turell is fulfilling another goal of his: to play professional basketball in Israel.

“I’m very excited and honored to be a part of Ironi Ness Ziona, and can’t wait to start playing!” Turell said in a press release from the team. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play in Israel, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to do it with Ness Ziona. I can’t wait to meet all of the fans, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Sylvan Adams: Billionaire philanthropist showcasing the
“The Israel I know and love, which is open, tolerant, pluralistic, fiercely democratic and safe, this country I moved to, is misunderstood abroad,” Sylvan Adams, billionaire philanthropist and co-owner of the Israel-Premier Tech cycling team, told JNS in Florence last week.

“People think we live in a conflict zone. The conflict is part of us but it does not define us,” he said.

Known as “Mr. Sports” for his tremendous investment in related events and infrastructure, Adams, who made aliyah from Canada in 2015, has taken it upon himself to promote the “real Israel” to the world.

“The week I moved, I had business cards printed with my new title as self-appointed ‘Ambassador of Israel,’” he explained.

“My objective is to project Israel through a different lens to the silent majority, the sports fans who are apolitical, those who don’t really know us but if you press them they’d probably have a negative view of the country because of how it’s portrayed in the media,” Adams continued.

In 2018, Adams brought to the Jewish state the three opening stages of the Giro d’Italia Grand Tour road cycling race, in what became the largest sporting event ever held in the country.

“I met the director of the Giro, Mauro Vegni. The three Grand Tours—the Tour De France, the Giro and the Vuelta a España—had never started outside of Europe. I took him on a trip to Israel, to places where Israeli cycling happens,” Adams said.

“I wanted to show him that Israel is a safe country with a beautiful cycling culture, a normal Western democracy, the only one in the Middle East. In bringing the Giro, my idea was to reach hundreds of millions of people,” he added.
Israeli soldiers are finding Judaica in Gaza — and trying to locate the items’ owners
The commander of a small Israeli military drone unit in Gaza was on a routine reconnaissance mission with his team in an apartment in Rafah when one of his soldiers came across an object that looked strikingly out of place: a wood laminate challah board framed with the biblical injunction to “remember the Shabbat” in gold lettering, in Hebrew and English.

The commander knew that he was allowed to take property only if he needed to use it to fight the war, which didn’t apply here. But he wasn’t sure what to do.

“We’re definitely not allowed to take them as souvenirs or anything like that,” said the soldier, named Yoya. Military regulations prohibit soldiers from giving their full names to the press. “Stealing is forbidden and it’s also immoral. But in this case, when I saw that this was a Jewish item I said, ‘this can’t be theirs.’”

So he tried to locate the owner of the challah board by posting a photo of it on Facebook. While the post garnered 1,400 reactions and nearly 250 comments, nobody claimed the ritual object.

Similar posts have cropped up in the more than eight months since Israel began its ground invasion of Gaza at the end of October. Two weeks before Passover, another post made the rounds on social media — and was published in an Israeli news outlet — calling for the owners of a Seder plate found in a home in Khan Younis to claim their lost property.

In December, Yoya’s brother, Elisha, also an IDF soldier, found a Hanukkah menorah in the shape of a hamsa, a hand-shaped symbol, in a home in Khan Younis. The post said, without elaborating, that the menorah had “probably been taken on October 7” amid looting during the Hamas-led attack on southern Israel.

Other troops who have encountered Judaica in Gaza have made the same assumption. Maj. (res.) Maor Lavi likewise found a menorah in what he described as the home of a terrorist in Gaza City’s Shejaiya neighborhood, alongside weapons, military uniforms and equipment. Lavi told Israel’s public broadcaster Kan that he had a “gut feeling” it was stolen on October 7.

“Next to the bed, we just saw the menorah sticking out on top of one of the dressers. We took it,” Lavi said. “I would really want to return it to its owner and find the person, the family it belongs to.”

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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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