Saturday, July 06, 2024

From Ian:

The Diaspora Tragedy of Philip Roth
Times have changed over the past half-century since the story of Merry’s destruction of her father’s sense of himself and the country that had granted him such riches. And radically so. Young protesters no longer march against the U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam or, at the extremes of the movement, in support of North Vietnam and the Vietcong; today, they march in support of Palestinian liberation and, at the extremes, in support of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis, and a “globalized intifada.”

“I remember when Jewish kids were doing their homework,” Swede’s father laments. “What happened? What the hell happened to our smart Jewish kids? If, God forbid, their parents are no longer oppressed for a while, they run where they think they can find oppression. Can’t live without it. Once Jews ran away from oppression; now they run away from no-oppression.…They have parents they can’t hate anymore because their parents are good to them, so they hate America instead.”

If American Pastoral were set in 2024 instead of in the 1960s and ’70s, Merry would almost certainly be participating in the Free Palestine movement and mindlessly chanting “Palestine must be free from the river to the sea”—and she, her father, and her grandfather would be gazing at each other across a wide gulf of mutual incomprehension. I can’t presume to know how Roth would portray the 2024 version of Merry Levov, but the odds are very high that he (or more specifically his fictional alter ego Nathan Zuckerman) would have imagined her as a convert not to Jainism, and not to Islam itself—that would be too glib for the Rothian sensibility—but to the pasteurized Islamist radicalism that has infiltrated America’s places of privilege, principally academia, journalism, and the arts.

This is not to say that a 2024 Merry Levov would be an active supporter of Hamas; more likely, she would be chanting slogans inspired by or invented by the Muslim Brotherhood or designed by the KGB to advance the cause of Islamist radicalism in the West without the chanters quite knowing that this was their purpose. What Roth describes in American Pastoral as “the monotonous chant of the indoctrinated, ideologically armored from head to foot” has been an inescapable feature of the current conflict.

What if the Swede back then, or his hypothetical 2024 version, had married a religious fellow Jew and both had raised Merry to be a devout Jew herself, rather than, as she was, a “half Jew”? Would that have changed anything? Would it have made Merry happier, more content, more attached to the eternal and the spiritual and less fixated on temporal conflicts and controversies? Or would it have given her just one more thing to rebel against? There is no way of knowing, in particular because Philip Roth himself was a secular Jew almost devout in his Godlessness and without the ability to provide his characters with satisfactory religious answers.

Even with the distance of many years, the accommodating and ineffectually liberal Swede Levov and his ideologically dogmatic daughter remain paradigmatic figures in the existential journey of American Jewry. The Swede assimilated as well as he knew how, and he became that figure of admiration (and sometimes envy and disdain): the successful Jew who created something useful out of nothing. But “look where it’s got you,” his brother says, during a bitter argument about whether Swede should turn Merry in for her crimes.
UNRWA doesn’t assist refugees, it aids and abets terrorism
Funds that serve terrorism
The rest cooperate with Hamas terrorists. Funds supposed to serve the residents have been used for weapons and ammunition and to establish an anti-Israeli propaganda machine.

The main points of the Hamas charter are as follows.
• The conflict with Israel is a religious conflict between Islam and the “infidel” Jews.
• The entire Land of Israel is waqf land, meaning “Islamic holy land,” which no one has the authority to give up.
• Every Muslim has a personal duty to wage an uncompromising war, jihad, as a central means of destroying the State of Israel.

Numbers of refugees have been artificially increased by the non-reporting of deaths and the false registration of additional people as refugees, aimed at increasing support for the agency over the years.

Bedouins who were wanderers in the area and had no permanent home in Israel were also included in the numbers, but UNRWA has neither improved the lives of the refugees nor rehabilitated them.

Internal UNRWA reports from 1951 and 1960 note that UNRWA was “very flexible” in defining people as “refugees,” to be able to include those who had not even had a home in Israel but only worked for within the territory before the 1948 war was declared by Arab countries on the nascent state.

ISRAELI HOUSING and Construction Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf, also chair of the Israel Land Authority (ILA), has found a way to dislocate UNRWA from property owned by the Jewish state in response to the organization’s deviation from its contractual obligations, The ILA has demanded that UNRWA immediately vacate buildings and land in Jerusalem and pay tens of millions of shekels owed.

Shockingly, despite evidence of the UNRWA-Hamas-and-Islamic-Jihad terror alliance, countries such as Germany, Japan, France, Australia, Canada, Sweden, and Spain have hastened to renew their funding of UNRWA in Gaza.

Germany was, surprisingly, the first, on the heels of the publication of a UN report stating that Israel had not provided evidence that many UNRWA employees belonged to the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip and that at least 12 UNRWA employees were involved in the October 7 massacre.

Yoav Zeitoun wrote this week on Ynet: “The IDF recognizes how Hamas has recovered in Gaza City in recent months in terms of governance, which has not only manifested itself militarily. The terrorist organization has even managed to pay the salaries of its operatives and recruit hundreds of new militants, some of whom are now confronting IDF forces...”

Hypocrisy reaches new heights
In February, hypocrisy reached new heights when a senior MP in Norway’s ruling Labor party, and a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee member, Edmund Okrost, announced Norway’s submission of UNRWA for the Nobel Peace Prize for its long-term work in providing essential support to Palestine and the region in general over the past over 70 and particularly in the last three months – even as UNRWA was being investigated for ties to Hamas.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed an Independent Review to investigate UNRWA.

The review reported “a more developed approach to neutrality” than found in other similar UN or NGO entities. France’s former foreign minister Catherine Colonna chaired the inspection committee, submitting its report to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who moved to adopt its recommendations and immediately set a plan in action, called on all stakeholders to actively support UNRWA as a “lifeline” for Palestinian refugees.

Beneath UNRWA headquarters the IDF dug up an 18-m. deep by 700-m. long tunnel, containing an electrical infrastructure shared with Hamas. The tunnel would have enabled raids on additional Israeli targets.

UNRWA Director-General Philip Lazzarini’s comment on this issue was that the organization does not have the “military expertise” to check what is underground.

As proof of UNRWA terrorism, IDF Spokesperson Rr.-Adm. Daniel Hagari published two recordings of UNRWA teachers who infiltrated Israeli territory during the October 7 massacre. In one, an Arabic teacher brags that he has “captured Judaism.”

According to the IDF, more than 450 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in the Gaza Strip are also UNRWA employees.

It is time to act to close down UNRWA so that the funds contributed by many countries not become the wages of terror, attracting hundreds of new armed terrorists.
Sen. Lindsey Graham: Gazans ‘taught to hate Jews from birth,’ ‘most radicalized population’
Senator Lindsey Graham, while addressing the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that took place on America’s Independence Day, claimed on X, formerly Twitter, that Palestinians born in Gaza are “the most radicalized population on the planet.”

Graham added that in addition to being the “most radicalized,” Gazans are “taught to hate Jews from birth,” and this “will take years to fix.”

Graham further noted that he saw widespread antisemitism in the pro-Palestinian movement, comparing the popular protest chant “from the river to the sea” to the Nazis’ final solution - which planned to see the complete extermination of the Jewish people.

“From the river to the sea” is in reference to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an area that encompasses the entire state of Israel.

Many critique this chant as advocating for the creation of a Palestinian state at the expense of Israel's existence.

“The Hamas terrorists are the SS on steroids,” Graham said, while asserting, “I will always support giving Israel the weapons and the space they need to destroy Hamas so there is never another October 7. “

On pro-Palestinian protests, Graham wrote that he supported the right to “peacefully protest” but expressed his apologies to nearby households disrupted from their celebrations by the demonstrations.

The protesters were recorded shouting “Lindsey Graham we’re not done, intifada has just begun.” The chants were met with accompanying drum beats.

“Intifada” is an Arabic word for “uprising” and references the waves of terrorism that targeted Israeli civilians and soldiers from 1987-1993 in the first intifada and in 2000 in the second intifada.

Over 1000 Israelis were killed in the second intifada, and thousands more were wounded, according to Israel’s foreign ministry. Thousands of Palestinians were also killed during the intifadas.

Alan Baker: Turkish refusal to refuel El Al flight: An offensive violation of intl. obligations
Against the rules
Indeed, the 1944 Chicago International Convention on Civil Aviation, as amended over the years and to which Turkey is party, obligates all states to “adopt all practicable measures, through the issuance of special regulations or otherwise, to facilitate and expedite navigation by aircraft between the territories of contracting States, and to prevent unnecessary delays to aircraft, crews, passengers and cargo …” (Article 22).

It goes on to require that contracting states “provide such measures of assistance to aircraft in distress in its territory as it may find practicable, and to permit, subject to control by its own authorities, the owners of the aircraft or authorities of the State in which the aircraft is registered to provide such measures of assistance as may be necessitated by the circumstances” (Article 25).

The International Civil Aviation Organization, established by the Convention, is required to “Ensure that the rights of contracting States are fully respected and that every contracting State has a fair opportunity to operate international airlines” (Article 43(f)).

In the bilateral aviation relations between Israel and Turkey, as agreed in the still-valid 1953 bilateral aviation agreement and in the new, updated agreement signed in 2022, applicable but yet to enter into force, the two parties undertook to “ensure that neutral and non-discriminatory access to airport facilities and all related services is granted to the airlines of the other party” (Article 13 titled “Principles Governing Operation of Agreed Services”).

Clearly, the legal consequences of this regrettable incident must be taken up at all the relevant levels – whether between the two states, their respective civil aviation authorities, between El Al and the Antalya airport authorities and employees, or by the passengers of the aircraft who suffered the indignity, inconvenience, and discomfort caused by the impulsive, arbitrary, and blatantly illegal actions of the workers at Antalya airport in refusing to refuel the plane after an emergency landing.
Two-thirds of Israelis back hostage deal over continuing war in Gaza – poll
Two-thirds of the Israeli public believe returning the hostages is more important than continuing the war in Gaza, according to a poll published by Channel 12 News on Friday.

Asked what is most important at this time, 67 percent of respondents said returning the hostages, compared to 26% who said continuing the war in Gaza, and 7% who said they didn’t know.

Israel sent a delegation of negotiators headed by Mossad chief David Barnea to Doha on Friday after Hamas submitted its latest response to the hostage deal proposal. Negotiations are expected to continue in the coming week.

Responding to the question of why they think the war hasn’t ended yet, 54% said it was because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political considerations, 34% said it was due to substantive and operational considerations and 12% weren’t sure.

Sixty-eight percent of respondents said Israel is far from the “total victory” pledged by Netanyahu, compared to 23% who said Israel is close and 9% who were unsure.

Recently, multiple officials, including Israel Air Force commander Tomer Bar and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, have said that Hamas’s military wing is close to being defeated in Gaza. IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi speaks at a graduation ceremony for pilots, June 27, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

Netanyahu has repeatedly insisted that the war will continue until all Israel’s goals are achieved, specifying that Hamas must be destroyed, all hostages returned, and the threat of a future major security threat to Israel from Gaza neutered.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu’s approval ratings on his handling of the war were significantly low. While their approval ratings were not high either, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant’s and Halevi’s scores were far better than the prime minister’s.

More than two-thirds (68%) of respondents said Netanyahu’s performance was not good, as opposed to only 28% who said it was. Four percent said they didn’t know.

Meanwhile, almost half (49%) said Gallant’s performance was not good, as opposed to 43% who said it was. The remaining eight percent said they didn’t know. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a cabinet meeting at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, January 7, 2024. (Yariv Katz/Pool)

Halevi was the only prominent figure in the poll to have more people say his handling of the war was good (46%) than not good (44%); the other 10% said they didn’t know.

With the country’s leaders’ approval ratings low and constant protests calling for new elections, respondents were asked when elections should be held. Forty-three percent said as soon as possible, 29% said when the war is over, 23% said when the current coalition’s term expires in October 2026, and 5% said they were unsure.

Asked who is most suited to serve as premier, Netanyahu or opposition chair Yair Lapid, 31% of respondents said Netanyahu, compared to 30% who said Lapid. A further 35% said neither and 4% were unsure.
Chilling document reveals: Preparing for horrifying scenarios of pregnancies in Hamas captivity
Nine months have passed since twelve women were kidnapped and held captive by Hamas. The horrifying possibility of pregnancy in captivity has resurfaced. A new medical document reviewing the medical literature highlights the anticipated medical, psychological, and social issues that could arise should one of the raped hostages become pregnant.

Published in the latest issue of the "Harefuah" journal by the Israel Medical Association, the article was written by Dr. Lea Shelef from the School of Social Work at Sapir College and psychiatrist Dr. Gil Salzman from Geha Hospital.

The authors note that in several wars around the world, rape has been systematically used as a method to annihilate populations. For example, ISIS attacks since 2014 during the war in Iraq and Syria, and the mass rapes of women in the wars in former Yugoslavia and Rwanda.

Several studies examining the psychological consequences of rape in women who survived war conditions revealed that they suffer from a range of mental illnesses including anxiety, depression, dissociative disorders, sexual dysfunction, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide attempts. The risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a rape event is 6.2 times higher, and when women are exposed to other traumatic events like assault, torture, murder, or the rape of others, severe long-term psychiatric disorders accompany PTSD. A review of the literature indicates that the likelihood of pregnancy resulting from rape in captivity can reach up to 20%.

Ironically, ISIS's "rape law" prohibits the rape of pregnant women. Therefore, the organization prevents women taken captive and turned into sex slaves from becoming pregnant. However, according to the horrific ideology of the murderous organization emulated by Hamas, impregnating a woman essentially converts her and her children to Islam, and she should be grateful for this throughout her life.

An official ISIS leaflet on captives states that a fighter can rape a woman he enslaves almost under any condition, even if she is a child, but he must ensure she is not pregnant. Some survivors reported receiving birth control pills or morning-after pills in captivity.
Hamas says it dropped demand Israel vow up-front to end war, but wants mediators’ guarantees
Hamas has given initial approval for a US-backed proposal for a phased truce and hostage exchange deal in Gaza, dropping a key demand that Israel give an up-front commitment for a complete end to the war, a Hamas and an Egyptian official said Saturday.

At the same time, a key stumbling block appeared to be Hamas’s desire for “written guarantees” from mediators that Israel will continue to negotiate a permanent ceasefire deal once the first phase of a ceasefire goes into effect.

The Hamas representative told The Associated Press the group’s approval came after it received “verbal commitments and guarantees” from mediators that the war won’t be resumed and that negotiations will continue until a permanent ceasefire is reached.

“Now we want these guarantees on paper,” he said.

According to a Walla news report Friday, Mossad chief David Barnea informed Qatari mediators that Israel rejects Hamas’s demand for a written commitment from mediators that the negotiations regarding the second phase of the ceasefire can extend indefinitely if needed.

Axios reported that Washington is working to reach a compromise on the matter that will be acceptable to both sides.

Israel has voiced cautious optimism in recent days that Hamas’s position makes a deal more likely. A source in Israel’s negotiating team, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday there was now a real chance of achieving an agreement. That was in sharp contrast to past instances in the nine-month-old war in Gaza, when Israel said conditions attached by Hamas were unacceptable. IDF troops operating in the Gaza Strip, in an image released on July 5, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces)

If an agreement is reached it could deliver the first pause in fighting since last November and set the stage for further talks on ending the devastating nine-month war.

But all sides cautioned that a deal is still not guaranteed.

The Hamas and Egyptian officials, who spoke on conditions of anonymity to discuss the ongoing negotiations, said Washington’s phased deal will first include a “full and complete” six-week ceasefire that would see the release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. During these 42 days, Israeli forces would also withdraw from densely populated areas of Gaza and allow the return of displaced people to their homes in northern Gaza, the pair said.
FDD: Hamas Drops Key Demand for Hostage Talks
Israel and Hamas are expected to resume mediated negotiations over the hostages’ release after the Palestinian terrorist group dropped its demand for an a priori commitment to end the Gaza War, according to reporting on July 6. Israeli negotiators will restart talks with Qatari and Egyptian mediators, Jerusalem said, after Doha reassured senior envoys of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the new Hamas position.

Previously, Hamas had insisted that moving from an initial, proposed truce — under which some hostages would go free — into a second stage of negotiations over other hostages and a more protracted calm in Gaza must be accompanied by an internationally guaranteed Israeli undertaking to stop the nearly nine-month-old offensive. Hamas and Israel said that this demand has now been dropped, giving both sides a degree of latitude over the terms of the second stage. Israeli sources voiced cautious optimism over the prospects for the new negotiations. Even if successful, the sources said negotiations could take weeks.

Expert Analysis
“It would appear that Israel’s storming of that last Hamas bastion in Rafah has left the terrorist group gasping for a diplomatic reprieve and that this will translate into freedom for some of the remaining 120 hostages. How and when the other hostages will come home may come down to the degree to which Qatar, Egypt, and the United States close ranks with the Israelis such that Hamas realizes it has lost this war.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The clearer Hamas’s capitulation becomes to Palestinians and the wider Arab world, the greater its motivation will be to prove that its ‘resistance’ has not died. The United States and Israel must be on alert for Hamas attacks in Israel, the West Bank, or even abroad that are timed to offset any truce that may come about in Gaza.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal
Seth Frantzman: The lack of shelters continues to haunt northern Israel
How does Kiryat Shmona compare to Sderot?
If people return to areas such as Kiryat Shmona they will need the shelters and protection that cities such as Sderot have in the South. Sderot was provided increased protection because of the rocket threat that Hamas began to roll out in the early 2000s.

The city is now festooned with painted armored bus shelters, and it is well equipped to handle rocket fire. However, the North has been neglected over the years in this respect. Even though it was widely known that Hezbollah was a much larger threat than Hamas, it appears much less thought went into how civilians would be protected in the North. This became apparent after October 7 when the decision was made to evacuate civilians.

Resources have been poured into providing some shelters in the North and improving defenses. However, nine months of war show how difficult this challenge is. At the end of the day it will be up to the local authorities and civilians to decide if they have enough shelters.

The contrast with communities such as Sderot is clear. Sderot is an example of a modern city that is prepared for incoming rockets and other threats. It was evacuated after October 7, but its residents have returned.

The Hezbollah threat is large and looming. A recent post by the IDF on social media said that Hezbollah has 200,000 rockets and 100,000 terrorist operatives. Hezbollah also has drones and other weapons. The group has shown throughout nine months of war that it can carry out wide-ranging and increasingly deep attacks into Israel. Hezbollah often brags about its targets and the group speaks about the types of weapons it uses. It hints at the obvious fact that it is keeping most of its powder dry and only revealing a part of its capabilities.

Israel’s decision to evacuate the northern communities continues to lack clarity. It may have made sense directly after October 7, but today it makes less sense. It sends a message that they need to be evacuated because of the Hezbollah threat and the lack of willingness to deter that threat. Never in Israel’s history did Israel evacuate whole cities for nine months.

This raises serious questions about what the long term plan is for the North and the Hezbollah threat. The need to secure and protect the communities with shelters and other means is clear. During nine months of war there was time to invest in this.

Though there have been some improvements, a drive around Kiryat Shmona, amidst the quiet of the ghost town and the chirping birds, reveals a sense that much more must be done. This is because anyone who is driving or walking around, feels the lack of a place to run to for shelter.

From personal experience as I drove and walked, I felt like asking myself every ten meters, where would I go if sirens sounded. I saw the empty playgrounds and imagined them full of children and asked, where will the children run to. The city has old municipal shelters from back in the 1970s and 1980s. However, the requirement to bring everything up to a Sderot-level of safety is clear.

Hezbollah has tied itself to Hamas, such that it will now escalate every time there are tensions in Gaza. This makes the northern front now more similar to the Gaza front. Both fronts may also be join by increased tension in the West Bank in the future.

This is Iran’s plan, to “unite” the arenas or fronts against Israel. It is now in place. The question is when will Israel invest in more shelters for the civilian population when the plan becomes operational.

The lack of shelters is felt not just in Kiryat Shmona. I drove to other nearby areas, and the problem is widespread.
IDF says it struck UNRWA school in Gaza used by Hamas as command center
The Israel Defense Force on Saturday confirmed carrying out an airstrike at a United Nations-run school in the central Gaza Strip, saying the facility was used by Hamas operatives as a command center.

The school was sheltering many people displaced by the war. Before carrying out the strike against UNRWA’s al-Jaouni school in the Nuseirat refugee camp, the IDF said it took “many steps” to mitigate harm to civilians, including using aerial surveillance and other intelligence. Hamas health authorities said 16 people were killed in the strike and some 50 were wounded.

At the scene, Ayman al-Atouneh said he saw children among the dead. “We came here running to see the targeted area, we saw bodies of children, in pieces, this is a playground, there was a trampoline here, there were swing-sets, and vendors,” he told Reuters.

Hamas’s press office claimed most of the casualties were “children, women, and elderly.”

The strike came amid rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, as the military took out rocket launchers and other terrorist infrastructure across the Strip, killing several Hamas operatives in airstrikes and ground fighting.

Sirens sounded in Sderot, Ibim, Nir Am and Nahal Oz, southern communities near the Gaza Strip. According to the IDF, a rocket fired at Nahal Oz and two fired at Sderot all struck open areas and there were no reports of injuries.

The rocket attacks came after the IDF announced troops had killed a number of gunmen and destroyed several Hamas tunnels over the weekend. Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, which does not distinguish between civilian and combatant deaths, said at least 87 people had been killed by Israel in the past 48 hours, alleging these included aid workers and journalists.

Israel was also said to hit a house housing displaced Palestinians in Nuseirat.

The IDF on Saturday confirmed striking a Hamas rocket launcher in central Gaza’s Deir al-Balah the day before, adjacent to a shelter for displaced Palestinian civilians, while taking precautions to avoid hitting civilians.

IDF bodycam, drone footage reveals Hamas tunnels in civilian buildings in Rafah
Soldiers of the Nahal Brigade operated in the Rafah area under the command of Division 162 and located weapons and other terrorist infrastructure, the IDF announced Saturday.

The soldiers carried out searches in living spaces used by terrorists for combat purposes and located operational tunnel shafts in residential buildings.

In one of the scans, Nahal soldiers located and destroyed an underground warehouse where weapons, explosives, cartridges, and rockets intended for launch were found.

During the activity in the last few days, the brigade's fire complex destroyed the trapped building where the late soldier Sergeant Uri Yitzhak Hadad fell.

IDF kills key member of Hezbollah air defense in strike deep inside Lebanon
A prominent member of the Hezbollah terror group’s air defense unit was killed in an Israeli drone strike in northeastern Lebanon on Saturday.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Maytham Mustafa al-Attar was considered to be “a significant source of knowledge” in Hezbollah’s air defense unit and was involved in planning and carrying out attacks against Israel.

The IDF said al-Attar obtained his knowledge during visits to Iran, and was involved in helping the Lebanese terror group procure Iranian weapons.

Al-Attar was hit by a missile while driving near the entrance to the town of Shaat in the northeastern Baalbek district — a Hezbollah stronghold — around 100 kilometers from the Israeli border.

The IDF said his death was “a blow to the capabilities of Hezbollah’s air defense unit.”

Hezbollah announced al-Attar’s death, but not did not provide details on his role in the terror group. A Hezbollah poster featuring Maytham Mustafa al-Attar, a member of its air defense unit who was killed by the IDF on July 6, 2024. (Hezbollah media office)

Hezbollah’s air defense unit has launched dozens of anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli Air Force drones and fighter jets amid ongoing fighting. So far, it has managed to shoot down five IAF drones over southern Lebanon.

Following the strike in Baalbek, the IDF announced that fighter jets had also struck Hezbollah infrastructure and an observation post in southern Lebanon’s Houla, and another observation post in Odaisseh.

Earlier Saturday, four explosive-laden drones were launched by Hezbollah from Lebanon at northern Israel, the military said.

Two were shot down by air defenses over the Galilee Panhandle area, while the other two struck open areas near the northern community of Beit Hillel, according to the IDF.

There were no injuries in the attack, which was claimed by Hezbollah. Sirens had sounded in several communities amid the incident.

The Israel Guys: The Massive Arab Multi-Front War on Israel Advances to Strategic High Grounds
Arab Jihadists in Judea and Samaria are not sitting on their hands, they are actively advancing as much in the shadows as possible but still advancing their hold of the Jewish heartland, now attempting to seize the mountain heights… Israel's defense minister Yoav Galant was just briefed on these concerning developments.

The Israel Guys: Michelle Obama May be the Next President of the United States. What Would That Mean for Israel?
In light of last week’s disastrous debate for President Biden, many in the democratic party leadership and media are in a panic. The rush is on to find a way to tempt Biden to drop out of the race and replace him with someone more competent. Many think this replacement would be former first lady Michelle Obama. As the possibility grows of a Michelle Obama presidency next year, what would that look like for the state of Israel?

Squad Rep. Cori Bush campaign duped by fake ‘Chief Rabbi of Gaza Linda Goldstein’
A parody social media account of the fake “Chief Rabbi of Gaza” has duped another Squad member.

The re-election campaign of stridently pro-Palestinian Rep. Cori Bush (D-Missouri) was considering a possible fundraiser with “Rabbi Linda Goldstein” — a bogus X account that spews anti-Israel bile to catfish eager-to-believe progressives.

The account — which previously fooled Bush’s congressional comrade Rep. Jamaal Bowman — reached out to Team Bush on June 23 with the fundraising idea, exchanges shared with The Post reveal.

“I’ve been bouncing around different cities since my congregation was displaced from Gaza after Israel’s invasion on October 7,” Goldstein wrote in an email to Ronika Moody, Bush’s finance and engagement director.

“Also – would [Bush] travel to the Gaza border for the fundraiser? The optics could be incredible!”

Moody responded on June 27, writing, “Cori is interested in hosting in Gaza and it’s something she has been trying to plan. Unfortunately, we have not been successful with that opportunity as of yet.”

“Theme is Gaza?” Moody asked.

Goldstein — who has boasted of using a menorah made of missiles and digging terror tunnels into American universities among other outlandish antics — suggested the fundraiser’s theme could be “the morality” of intifada.

“The topics are built around finding a final solution to the problem of Zionism,” added Goldstein, without a response from Bush’s campaign.

“Cori Bush is the perfect example of an ’empty suit’ antisemite.– completely clueless about how the Israel-Palestine conflict works, but eager to speak up because it gives her cover to publicly hate Jews,” said the man behind the parody account, a pro-Israel lawyer named Michael, who declined to give his last name.

Like Bowman, Bush is stridently pro-Palestine and polls suggest she is heading for a loss in the Aug 6 contest against St. Louis prosecutor Wesley Bell.
Fatima Payman saga shows the danger of identity politics
There are growing reports about moves to set up a Muslim political party or stand a network of specifically Muslim candidates in electorates with large Muslim populations in a challenge to the Labor Party.

All these proposed Muslim representatives seem to be motivated by one concern, the world’s sole Jewish State, Israel.

Australia is the world’s most successful multicultural society. Immigrants who come here should leave their ancient prejudices at the door.

An example is the divisive slogan, ‘from the river to the sea’, which Senator Payman is fond of repeating. Considered by the Jewish community to be antisemitic, it calls to eliminate the Jewish State which has borders from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. With social cohesion under threat and Australia grappling with a surge of antisemitic incidents, it’s intolerable to have a Government Senator spreading division.

In rejecting the proposed Indigenous Voice to Parliament, Australians overwhelmingly rejected ‘Identity Politics’. But not everyone got the message. The Greens thrive on division and ‘identity politics’. Labor walked into a Green’s trap by allowing Senator Payman to cross the floor to vote for a Greens anti-Israel Motion.

While some of Senator Payman’s extreme anti-Israel positions would find a welcome home in the Greens, it’s unclear how compatible her Islamic beliefs are with other Greens policies like legalising drugs and the promotion of transgender issues.

In time, Senator Payman, may join an emergent Muslim political party or stand as an independent at the next election. With reports emerging that she was already having discussions about her future, months ago, it seems that Prime Minister Albanese and Payman’s Labor colleagues were played.

After being burned, Labor should learn a lesson and steer clear of the dangers of identity politics but I’m not holding my breath.

Despite tensions over Palestinian statehood, Netanyahu pledges to work with British PM Starmer
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated incoming British Prime Minister Keir Starmer on his election victory and said on Friday that he is confident that the two of them can work together towards “security and peace.”

“On behalf of the State of Israel, I extend my warm congratulations to the prime minister of the United Kingdom. I am confident that we will continue working together to strengthen the historic friendship between the UK and Israel and to advance the twin goals of security and peace,” Netanyahu said.

He also thanked outgoing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for “his friendship and support over the years.”

President Isaac Herzog also congratulated Starmer and wrote on X that he looks forward to working with him and his administration on releasing the hostages that are still being held by Hamas in Gaza.

“As he prepares to enter 10 Downing Street as prime minister, I look forward to working together with him and his new government to bring our hostages home, to build a better future for the region, and to deepen the close friendship between Israel and the United Kingdom,” Herzog wrote.

He also thanked Sunak “for his leadership and for standing with the Israeli people, especially during this most difficult period.”

In January, then Labour Party leader Starmer criticized Netanyahu for rejecting a US call to accept Palestinian statehood as part of ending the war in Gaza.
Let councils boycott Israel, new Attorney General told Labour
The Attorney General was also one of eight Jewish lawyers who wrote an open letter 10 days after the Hamas Oct 7 attack on Israel, expressing “significant concern” over Israel’s response.

They described the attacks as a “moral outrage” and an “egregious violation of all norms of international law”.

But they added: “In these early days when emotions are so understandably raw, many might be reluctant to remind Israel of its international law obligations, considering to do so insensitive or inappropriate. However, we disagree.”

The letter, published in the Financial Times, added: “There are some aspects of Israel’s response that already cause significant concern. International law forbids sieges of civilian populations.

“Gaza is home to some (two million) fellow human beings (almost half of whom are children) and it would be a grave violation of international law to hold them under siege and while doing so deprive them of basic necessities such as food and water.”

Mr Hermer’s appointment comes after Labour suffered some losses at the general election as a result of its stance on the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, lost his seat to a pro-Palestinian independent candidate.

And the Middle East conflict has proved divisive for Labour, with Sir Keir facing criticism for his initial refusal to back a ceasefire.

Many of the party’s core Muslim supporters have been angered by his stance on the conflict, with 10 frontbenchers quitting in November. New Attorney General represented Gerry Adams

Mr Hermer is a barrister at Matrix chambers, which was co-founded by Sir Tony Blair’s wife Cherie, but was formerly of Doughty Street Chambers, where Sir Keir worked until becoming Director of Public Prosecutions in 2008.

He has represented a number of individuals in international law claims against governments, including the UK authorities.

Mr Hermer also represented Gerry Adams when the former Sinn Fein leader was being sued last year by victims of IRA bomb attacks.
New UK foreign secretary: Country needs to ‘get back to balanced position’ on Gaza war
Britain wants a balanced position on the war in the Middle East and will use diplomatic efforts to ensure a ceasefire is reached and hostages held by Hamas are released, its new foreign minister David Lammy told Reuters.

Lammy is visiting Germany, his first international trip following the UK Labour Party’s thumping victory in Britain’s election on Friday, which ended 14 years of Conservative government and propelled Keir Starmer to power as prime minister.

“The time has come for the United Kingdom to reconnect with the outside world,” Lammy said in an interview in Berlin.

“I want to get back to a balanced position on Israel and Gaza. We’ve been very clear that we want to see a ceasefire… We want to see those hostages out.”

He added: “The fighting has to stop, the aid has got to get in, and I will use all diplomatic efforts to ensure that we get to that ceasefire.”

Lammy did not elaborate further.

Despite a landslide victory in the parliamentary vote, the Labour Party suffered significant election setbacks in areas with large Muslim populations in the election on Friday amid discontent over its refusal to take a tougher stance against Israel on the war in Gaza.

Canadian school board tightens up anti-Palestinian racism policy as cases of antisemitism skyrocket
School district dramas seldom dominate national headlines. An exception is what is happening now at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), Canada’s largest and the fourth largest in North America, serving approximately 247,000 students and employing 40,000 staff. Current convulsions in Toronto may serve as a harbinger of what Jews can expect in the US and Europe.

On 18 June, hundreds of Canadian parents, teachers, students, activists and Holocaust survivors gathered outside the TDSB’s main offices to decry what they saw as a woefully tepid acknowledgement of the city’s skyrocketing rates of antisemitism – and a dangerous silencing of their voices ahead of a crucial vote to incorporate anti-Palestinian racism within its overall anti-discrimination strategy.

Student Cole Fisher, who serves as president of the Jewish Student Union at Earl Haig Secondary School, spoke at the rally about how at his school alone “dozens of antisemitic incidents have occurred, involving teachers and students. On 10 October students ran around the school wearing keffiyehs and calling for ‘death to the Jews’ and ‘intifada’”, Fisher said.

Toronto has seen a colossal rise in violent antisemitism since last October, with synagogues torched and defaced, community centres firebombed, schools fired upon, and young students beaten to a pulp or taunted to go back to the gas chambers.

The school district’s anti-discrimination strategy already addresses multiple forms of discrimination, including antisemitism, anti-Asian racism, Islamophobia and homophobia, but it became the epicentre of a new dimension of the Israeli-Palestine conflict last month after agreeing to include a 100-page “anti-Palestinian racism” (APR) report in its learning strategy for the upcoming school calendar year. Subsequent attempts by community members to incorporate a corresponding anti-Israeli racism strategy were voted down.

Even though the APR initiative was voted through, there remains no universally agreed definition offered by the TDSB of what constitutes anti-Palestinian racism. Some Jewish Canadian parents worry that this hastily approved measure could mean that students seen, for instance, waving a flag of the State of Israel or asserting Israel’s right to exist and defend itself may be subject to disciplinary measures or suspension for “exhibiting” anti-Palestinian racism.

“With APR passing, if one kid does a school presentation and says ‘Palestine was taken from me’ but then another kid says ‘it’s actually Israel’ then the second kid could be considered a racist,” Larry Maher, a parent of three kids in the TDSB system, told the JC.

Maher added that the APR’s adoption is unnecessary since fundamental rights and protections are already enshrined in the Ontario Human Rights Code and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, adding that these kinds of school measures can be used to silence voices of opposition to a particular narrative and can open a Pandora’s box of other minority-specific grievances that are otherwise already protected. “We never had this in our time,” said Maher, who also grew up in the TDSB system. “Back then, if you made fun of someone’s ethnicity or race at school, you’d get in trouble and be sent to the principal’s office. But schools are now getting too involved in geopolitics.”

Masoud Pezeshkian wins Iran’s presidential runoff vote
Masoud Pezeshkian won Iran’s second-round presidential vote held Friday, receiving more than 16 million votes to candidate and former nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili’s more than 13 million, according to Tehran’s electoral authority.

Some 30 million ballots were cast, putting turnout at about 49.8%, up from the record low 39.93% in the first round.

Pezeshkian, a supposed reformer, has called for outreach to the West, drawing the ire of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. However, he is not expected to produce any major policy shift in the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program or support for terrorist groups across the Middle East, including Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in Yemen and numerous militias in Iraq and Syria.

Pezeshkian, a former heart surgeon born in 1954 to an Iranian Azerbaijani father and Iranian Kurdish mother, said on Friday that should he win the presidency, he would “try to have friendly relations with all countries except Israel.”

Jalili is known as the “Living Martyr” due to the fact that he lost a leg during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, and is a hard-liner known for fiery speeches.

The runoff followed a June 28 snap election called in the aftermath of President Ebrahim Raisi‘s death in a May 19 helicopter crash. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian; Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the regime’s representative in East Azerbaijan; and Malek Rahmati, the province’s governor, were also killed, along with the pilot and co-pilot.

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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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