Sunday, July 07, 2024

From Ian:

Ruthie Blum: Heroes in flip-flops
The only thing giving away the theme of this makeshift amusement park—organized for weeks and funded by the attendees and donors—is an incessant loop of photos projected on two screens adjacent to a stage on which a live band is performing. The pictures show the above guys in full military gear: dusty helmets, ceramic vests and weapons.

These comrades-in-arms from a particular Israel Defense Forces company are in various poses, separately and together, alternately at a base in the south and in the Gaza Strip. There, they are battling Hamas. Here, they’re changing diapers. The contrast is both charming and jarring.

A master of ceremonies takes the mic, flanked by his young daughter and son. As he introduces the company commander, the men in the audience, children in their laps, burst into a chant familiar only to them. Like a secret handshake. But noisier.

“This is a different crowd from the one I’m used to addressing,” he says, referring occasionally to text he has written on his cellphone. “I’m used to talking to exhausted reservists questioning why they can’t postpone certain tasks until later, complaining, ‘We haven’t slept; we haven’t eaten.’ So, it’s moving to speak to this audience, all bright and beautiful.”

He goes on, “It’s important for me to begin by telling the women and children here, ‘Your husbands and fathers are heroes.’”

He then defines a hero as “someone who on Oct. 7 got up, left his house and headed south, putting on his gear and saying, ‘Here I am. What should I do?’”

But, he qualifies, “a hero isn’t only someone who arrived on Oct. 7; it’s someone who showed up for training in 2022, and in 2021 and in 2020 and in 2019 and in 2018 and in 2017 and in 2016. Even when it caused problems at home and at work. Even when it was hot and inconvenient. That’s what a hero is. Everyone in this company is a hero. And it was a privilege to have been called up on Oct. 7 to lead this company.”

Allowing the renewed cheering to subside, he continues: “I’m sure there are people present who’d be happy to report that I’m not an easy person. It’s true. I made life difficult for everybody in this room. But all you people did was ask what more you could do. That’s why this company earned the respect of the entire brigade.”

Turning to the wives, he says, “Now it’s time to mention the other heroes in this room—you women who took care of your households by yourselves with great strength of spirit, despite living in a state of major uncertainty. From our point of view, you fought alongside us against the enemy. Without you, we couldn’t have done any of it. And with you, we will keep winning.”

He concludes with a reminder and a request.

“There are still many challenges ahead,” he says somberly. “The fighting isn’t over. We’re preparing for the next phase of the war. So, I’m asking you to allow us to borrow your loved ones for another round.”

The battalion commander, a lieutenant colonel in a T-shirt and sandals, gets up to punctuate the speech with a similar sentiment about the importance of the home front and the inevitability of a third tour in Gaza. When he’s done, the M.C. announces that there is a Shabbat challah and bouquet of flowers waiting for everyone at the exit.

The reservists-on-furlough shuffle out, waving and slapping one another on the back. They know they’ll be summoned soon to replace their flip-flops with combat boots yet again.

These heroes of the IDF laugh as they leave the premises. I try not to let them see me crying.
Andrew Pessin: Anti-Israel Divestment Demands Demand a “Damn no!” Response
Executive Summary
Thanks for reading Pariah--But The Truth, You Know, Ain't A Democracy! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.

1. Background and Introduction
On October 7, 2023 Hamas massacred some 1200 mostly Jewish non-combatants in the most barbaric manner imaginable. Shockingly, many campuses responded in celebration of the massacre, with months of pro-Hamas rallies, culminating in encampments. Instead of shutting encampments down, many administrators negotiated, some making significant concessions. Among the activists’ main demands is that for divestment from Israel. I argue that administrators and trustees must forcefully resist, reject, and in fact denounce any such demands.

2. No Negotiations
There should be no negotiations with people breaking campus rules or the law, especially if they are aggressing toward other community members. The proper response is: “You must desist immediately or disciplinary proceedings, culminating in possible suspension or expulsion, will begin.”

Any other response normalizes and thus incentivizes the behavior. Once you capitulate to extortion, there will only be more extortion. Negotiations also immorally privilege those violating the mission and norms of the university over those actually manifesting them.

3.-4. Recent Precedents and General Arguments Against Divestment
The proposal to divest from Israel should be publicly rejected and denounced.

There are many arguments to this conclusion, both general “content-neutral” ones and others specific to the Israeli-Palestinian-Jewish-Arab-Muslim Conflict (IPJAMC). Through a study of recent precedents, including Penn, Williams, and Cornell, we extract these arguments:
(1) Divestment is inconsistent with academic freedom.
(2) It is discriminatory in nature, thus immoral and inconsistent with inclusivity norms.
(3) It may be illegal in many states.
(4) It is divisive, while consensus is a necessary (though not sufficient) prerequisite.
(5) It’s not particularly feasible, and even where feasible likely to have negligible if any impact at all on its targets.
(6) The institution can have a far greater impact by providing a first-rate education, funded by an endowment guided by maximizing returns rather than by political considerations.
(7) Divestment may have symbolic value, but (a) onerous changes in investment strategy should not be pursued for mere symbolic gestures and (b) that symbolic value is also one of hate and exclusion for many community members present and prospective.
(8) It may actually do more harm than good even in the political arena.
(9) Maximum investment “transparency” is disastrous for the endowment and the community.
(10) Divestment is inconsistent with the purpose of the university endowment, which is not to be an instrument of political and social power and advocacy but to support the educational mission of the university. It may also violate the ethical, legal, and fiduciary obligations of the trustees and their investment managers to the beneficiaries, and it directly harms and violates the rights of every stakeholder in the institution, thus making the university vulnerable to expensive litigation.
(11) Divestment is inconsistent with institutional commitments to diversity and equity. Endowments fund financial aid and other programs essential to any university’s commitment to “make the highest-quality liberal arts education available and affordable to a diverse population of future leaders.”

5. Institutional Neutrality
Inspired by the famous Kalven Report, recently enjoying new life as universities (such as Harvard, Syracuse, Stanford, and Purdue) have begun recommitting to “institutional neutrality” as essential to the nature, mission, and inclusive values of the university, we have the final general argument:
(12) Divestment is inconsistent with institutional neutrality.

6. Rebuttal, and “Damn No!”
The only argument anti-Israelists have is that their stance is morally correct. But even if so, it doesn’t matter: universally applicable, content-neutral considerations override it.

Every administration should recognize what is going on here: activists are hijacking the institution to advance their own agenda at the detriment of all other stakeholders and the institution itself. That is why these demands must be publicly, promptly, and harshly denounced.
Federal court allows action to enforce the Taylor Force Act
Astoundingly, the amended complaint mentions that the State Department has acknowledged in a non-public report to Congress that the P.A. had not ended the “pay for slay” program and that it could not therefore certify compliance with the act. Nevertheless, this did not result in a suspension of further aid payments, as required.

It is also important to note that the program is not a matter of executive fiat; it is embodied in P.A. law—an egregious violation of the Oslo Accords, which explicitly provide that “both sides shall take all measures necessary in order to prevent acts of terrorism, crime and hostilities directed against each other … and shall take legal measures against offenders.”

In essence, not only is the P.A. not preventing these horrendous acts, it is encouraging, rewarding and honoring murderers. In this regard, limitations on aid and other restrictions are also triggered under the Anti-Terrorism Law-PLO (22 USC 5201) and Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 (120 Stat. 3318) by a P.A. breach under the Oslo Accords.

The disdain for the law shown by U.S. government officials, seemingly without consequence, should be inconceivable; yet apparently, it is not. Under Article I of the Constitution, there is a separation of powers. The power of the purse was reserved to Congress.

The remedy for those in Government who may disagree with the law is to seek to change it, not to undermine or evade compliance with the law. It is unacceptable for those in the executive branch unilaterally to disregard the sacred responsibility of enforcing or complying because they think they know better and disagree with the law or the policies it promotes. This should be an issue of profound concern to everyone, no matter the party or affiliation.

Moreover, the effect of violating the law is odiously financing and promoting the murder of innocent Americans, Israelis and others. A policy of appeasement and virtuous-sounding pronouncements about a desire to promote peace has proven to be ineffective in practice. By funding evil, peace is not being achieved; it only emboldens the wrongdoers. Those acting to evade the law are, in essence, complicit in enabling despicable terrorist actions, including of Hamas and the terrorism rewarded by the P.A.

It’s time for Congress to employ its power of the purse to defund those who are violating or failing to enforce the law. Consideration should also be given to establishing an independent counsel position to enforce these laws.

Netanyahu sets red lines ahead of Doha summit with Burns on hostage deal
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set out Israel’s redlines for a hostage and Gaza ceasefire deal ahead of a critical Doha summit on the matter Wednesday, which will be led by CIA Director William Burns.

“Any deal will allow Israel to resume fighting until all of the objectives of the war have been achieved,” the Prime Minister’s Office stated.

Netanyahu in the past has explained that those goals are the elimination of Hamas and the return of the remaining 120 hostages, who were seized nine months ago during the Hamas-led invasion of southern Israel on October 7.

His office reiterated that chief point and four others as mediating countries. Qatar and Egypt together with the United States – have appeared to break the month-long deadlock in the negotiations as talks resumed last weekend.

Netanyahu “is continuing to insist on the principles that have already been agreed to by Israel,” the PMO said.

Burns is to meet with the Qatari prime minister and the Israeli and Egyptian intelligence chiefs on Wednesday in Doha, said a source familiar with the issue who asked not to be further identified. An Israeli team is also expected to be in Egypt this week.

The PMO stressed that Israel would stand firm in those talks on the point that “There will be no smuggling of weapons to Hamas from Egypt to the Gaza border” as it laid out its second redline.

The third was “there will be no return of thousands of armed terrorists to the northern Gaza Strip.”

Fourthly, the PMO said, “Israel will maximize the number of living hostages who will be released from Hamas captivity.”

Lastly, it referred to the three-phased hostage deal unveiled on May 31 by US President Biden and reaffirmed its commitment to it, but provided its understanding of the deal.

“The plan that has been agreed to by Israel and which has been welcomed by President [Joe] Biden will allow Israel to return hostages without infringing on the other objectives of the war,” the PMO stated.

It also pushed back at criticism over its military campaign against the remaining Hamas battalions in Rafah, stating that Netanyahu’s “steadfast position against the attempt to halt IDF action in Rafah is what has led Hamas to enter negotiations.”
Herzog: Commitment to freeing hostages ‘absolute and supreme’
Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday marked nine months since Hamas’s massacre by calling for the immediate return of the 120 hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip.

“It’s nine months since the great disaster that befell us on October 7. Nine months since the barbaric attack in which babies, women, men and the elderly were brutally murdered, raped, tortured and kidnapped,” began Herzog.

“Our hearts are with the bereaved families, the physically and mentally wounded, the abductees and their families who have been working for months to return their loved ones home. Our commitment to return the hostages is absolute and supreme. We do not forget them for a moment,” he continued.

“The entire nation wants their return, and an absolute majority supports a hostage deal. In every home and family, in every synagogue, in every community, at every public and private event, we hear from all sides the concern for the hostages, the prayer and the cry for their quick return home,” he said.

Mossad Director David Barnea traveled to Doha, Qatar, over the weekend to jump-start hostage-release talks. Upon his return, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced that a negotiating team would be dispatched this week to continue the talks.

“It should be emphasized that there are still gaps between the sides,” according to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

A source with knowledge of the talks told Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster on Sunday that Barnea, CIA Director William Burns, Egyptian intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel and Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani are set to hold an additional four-way meeting in Doha on Wednesday.
‘Our last chance’: Hostages’ families hope for deal as talks renewed
As thousands converged on Tel Aviv’s “Hostage Square” for the weekly rally on Saturday night, a sense of cautious optimism filled the air following an apparent breakthrough in the indirect hostage-negotiations between Israel and the Hamas terrorist group.

“We’ve been through this a lot with a deal on the table, which in the end didn’t materialize. We want to believe that this time will be different but we must remain realistic even as we do everything to close it,” Eyal Kalderon told JNS on Sunday.

On Oct. 7, Kalderon’s cousin Ofer was abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz along with his son, Erez, then aged 11, now 12, and daughter, Sahar, 16. The children were among the 105 captives freed in November as part of a ceasefire-for-terrorists agreement.

Mediators are working to revive President Joe Biden’s phased proposal presented in May, which calls for an initial “full and complete” six-week ceasefire during which dozens of Israeli hostages would be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli prisons.

Mossad Director David Barnea traveled to Doha over the weekend to jump-start negotiations. Upon his return, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced that a negotiating team would be dispatched this week to continue the talks.

A source with knowledge of the talks told Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster on Sunday that Barnea, CIA Director William Burns, Egyptian intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel and Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani are set to hold an additional four-way meeting in Doha on Wednesday.

“It’s only a matter of time until a front [against Hezbollah] opens in the north. This is our last chance to close a deal that will save many lives,” said Kalderon. “This must be the demand of every single person that cherishes life, this is a crucial moment and there is no way back.”

Kalderon described the hardships that Sahar and Erez have experienced, all without their father, as they continue their recovery.

“Hadas, their mother, told me a few weeks ago that Erez sat on the couch of the living room and started asking what they would do, where they would hide if terrorists walked up to their doors,” he recounted.

“And if Hamas were to throw them off the balcony from the 13th floor, would they die? This is what’s on the mind of a 12-year-old boy. They can’t start their healing process until Ofer is back,” Kalderon said.

“This is not only 120 hostages, we are talking about hundreds of people that cannot continue their lives until they’re all back,” he added.
Seth Frantzman: Why did Israel shift military pressure and hostage release tactic?
HAMAS CAN read these reports as well. They know that a timetable seems to exist. All they have to do is hold out for a bit longer and they can expect Israel to leave. The Jewish state also seems to move its goal posts, from talk of “Hamas is ISIS” and “there won’t be Hamas” to talk of just reducing its capabilities.

Hamas knows that its capabilities have been reduced before – back in the Second Intifada, back in 2006 and 2009, 2012, 2014, 2018 and 2021. Back in 2021, the IDF and officials had claimed that Hamas had been dealt a heavy blow in Israeli strikes against its underground “metro.”

At the time, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted, “I said we would strike Hamas and other terror groups with significant blows, and we are doing so. In the last day we have attacked underground targets. Hamas thought it could hide there, but it cannot.”

However, Hamas was still hiding in tunnels after that war and it has been hiding in them for the last nine months of the current war. There is lack of clarity on why the military pressure that Israel believed would bring hostage releases was relaxed in March and April.

Hamas has had the breathing space it needed to continue to believe it can win the war by surviving. It works with its foreign backers, such as Doha, Ankara, Tehran, Moscow, Beijing and others – and those countries likely tell it to keep going.

It’s not clear if current hostage talks will go anywhere. In the past six months there have been similar, endless rounds of talks. The hostages continue to languish in Gaza, and some have been killed. For most countries, it would be unconscionable to leave its soldiers and civilians, including young women hostages, to be held just a mile or two from the border by a relatively weakened terrorist group. But for Israel, this has become the norm.

Why it has become the norm is not clear. There was a time when Israel rescued hostages, such as at Entebbe, but those days are gone. Today, when foreign terrorist groups such as Hamas kidnap Israeli soldiers, the first thing that happens is to wait. Israel waited for three weeks from October 7 to 27 before launching a ground offensive. What was the point of waiting? It allowed Hamas to regroup and move hostages around, including to civilian homes.
It’s time for a Gaza Buyout
As a possible hostage deal gets closer, the ultimate fate of the Gaza Strip needs to be addressed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has already made it clear that Israel will retain overall security control to prevent another Oct. 7. This is a stop-gap measure. It will not work as a long-term solution and simply kicks the can down the road.

The narrative about Gaza must drastically change. Oct. 7 was the wake-up call that allowing the Gaza situation to remain as it was in the past is totally unacceptable.

With upwards of 70% of the Gaza population supportive of what Hamas did on Oct. 7 and many of them complicit in Hamas’s atrocities, the military victory Israel is completing is not enough.

Gaza has been a festering sore for 75 years. The Arab world has used it to attack Israel at every turn. From 1948 to 1967, Egypt controlled Gaza but did little to improve its brethren’s lot.

After 22 Gaza Jewish communities were removed by Israel in 2005 in what the world calls the “disengagement,” billions of dollars were funneled into the Strip. They were used for terrorist purposes, such as building Hamas’s tunnel network.

The idea that pouring money into Gaza will make everything just fine is not a viable option. It has failed miserably time and time again.

In yet another attempt to criticize Israel, The New York Times recently ran a story entitled, “When the Only Escape From War in Gaza Is to Buy a Way Out.”

The article estimates that 100,000 Gazans have left the Strip for Egypt. A company by the name of Hala facilitates their exit for $5,000 per person. GoFundMe states that more than $150 million has been contributed to Gazans, much of it to pay the exit cost. Those who leave do not intend to return.

Most Gazans, if given the opportunity, would likely follow the same path, but they cannot afford the fees.
Israeli Jews more right-wing after Oct. 7
The nine months since the Oct. 7 attack have led to an increase in Israeli Jews identifying with the right and a corresponding decrease in those affiliating with the left, a Hebrew University survey finds.

Agam Labs, a research institute led by political psychologist Nimrod Nir, polled a representative sample of 4,000 adults in August and then from Oct. 9 until May 2024 at the rate of around every 10 days.

Before the Hamas-led massacre and war in Gaza, around 58% of respondents defined themselves as right-wing. By May, 60% were on the right.

In contrast, in August of last year, 17% were left-wing while in May of this year that figure was 13%. Twenty-five percent of Israeli Jews identified as centrist in August compared to around 27% in May.

That represents more than 160,000 of Israel’s some 7 million Jews leaving the left and more than 110,000 joining the right.

“Oct. 7 caused a complete collapse of the old Israeli left,” Nir told the Washington Free Beacon.

“Until a few years ago, I could find out which political camp you were in by asking you one question: Palestinian state, yes or no? Today, that question doesn’t really differentiate the two camps because no one supports the old idea of a Palestinian state.

“There isn’t even a majority for a Palestinian state among liberal voters anymore. It’s just not on the table,” Nir said.
Addressing Israel's Reliance on U.S. Military Aid
Israel is dependent on the U.S. for the vital supply of weapons and munitions.

Some American policymakers are uncomfortable with a strong and independent Israel.

Ynet's military correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai has written that the Obama administration demanded that American military aid funds not be spent in Israel.

They did not want to finance the Israel defense industry and persuaded Israel to accept a bigger financial aid package in its place.

Thus, Israel sacrificed its freedom to manufacture certain types of weapons and became dependent on the U.S.

Moreover, inventory that had been stored in Israel was depleted when it was transferred to Ukraine but not replenished.

WSJ: When Should Israel Fight Hizbullah?
Iran's Lebanese proxy militia Hizbullah has depopulated the north of Israel. Israel has evacuated 70,000 civilians as Hizbullah has fired more than 5,000 missiles and drones since Oct. 7. Israel has killed some 360 Hizbullah fighters, but Hizbullah has an army of tens of thousands, plus at least 150,000 missiles.

A source close to Prime Minister Netanyahu said: "We're building up our arms industry, stockpiling so the U.S. can't blackmail us....We'll have a war when we're ready." This will take some time. So too, he says, will a cost-effective solution to Hizbullah's suicide drones. An Israeli negotiator adds that it would be foolish to attempt the war on the eve of U.S. elections.

Tamir Hayman, the leader of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies and a former head of Israeli military intelligence, explains, "Better to do it a couple of years from now. We don't have the resources, the international legitimacy or the full approval of the U.S. to go to war in Lebanon right now."

Israeli military officials say the Biden administration wants to avert war but is going about it all wrong. Its focus on restraining Israel emboldens the terrorists - making war more likely. When the Biden administration withholds arms or delays their transfer, Hizbullah can take the threat of an Israeli attack less seriously.

Right now Tehran feels confident, notes Hayman. "Iran is a nuclear threshold state. It effectively controls four other states in the region. Practically, it faces no real threat, while Israel faces huge threats. So, of course it considers its strategic posture superior to Israel's."
Muslim IDF commander: 'The Bedouin will fight until the last drop of blood'
On October 7, Muslim Bedouin IDF soldier Lt.-Col. Nader Eyadat was at home when reports of the rocket launches against Gaza border communities began. He decided to go to the Tze’elim Ground Forces training base in the Negev to ready himself to defend the South.

While he was driving, the phone rang. On the other end was Col. Tal Ashur, who had just been appointed acting commander of the Southern Brigade after the late Col. Asaf Hamami was killed battling terrorists.

“It was a short conversation,” Tal said, “’Hamami was killed. I’m taking his place. The battalion commander of the reconnaissance battalion was seriously wounded: Take command.’”

The 39-year-old Eyadat is a married father of two, and is a member of the Bedouin community from Beit Zarzir. He enlisted into the IDF in 2005 and has since been deployed as a fighter in the Desert Reconnaissance Battalion, which operates in the area of the southern division around Gaza.

Eyadat has since risen through the ranks. He was the first Bedouin to finish the squad commander course. He commanded the reconnaissance battalion when violent disturbances on the border of the Gaza Strip threatened the Israeli home front. After that, he went to school and got a position at the army training center in Tze’elim.

Many of the division’s soldiers and commanders of the desert patrol battalion were on weekend leave on October 7, and some of them were part of training missions for several weeks, so their place in the southern division was filled by Nahal Brigade soldiers.

“We organized very quickly as an initial force,” Lt.-Col. Eyadat said. “We had the mission to retake control of part of Route 232 and clear it of terrorists... Suddenly you see damaged tanks and armored personnel carriers on the roads, wounded civilians and corpses of Nukhba terrorists. I understood what was going on when I saw the body of a civilian at an intersection with a bullet in the head,” he said.

“Until then, I was very focused on organizing the mission. I couldn’t believe that this was happening,” Eyadat recalled. “Then, we had an encounter with terrorists at the Gama junction” located between Kisufim and Be’eri. “My fighters and I know the sector like the back of our hands, we trained on infiltration scenarios [of] one, two, three terrorists. Who would have thought that thousands of terrorists would infiltrate?”
'Those who crossed border were sentenced to death': Gantz backs civilian action on Oct. 7
MK Benny Gantz backed the three civilians suspected of murdering an unarmed terrorist on October 7.

“October 7 was the most disastrous day in the country’s history. On this day, many heroes arose – soldiers, members of standby squads, policemen, and civilians – who fought bravely and many of them fell in battle,” Gantz wrote on X on Sunday.

“The evidence regarding the citizens arrested on suspicion of unlawfully killing terrorists is not in my hands, and I trust the law enforcement forces. Along with this, it is important to say on a principled level – anyone who dared to cross the border that day was sentenced to death. All of them posed a clear and immediate danger.

'We must give full support to fighters'
“We must remember, there were many weapons in the area, and some of the terrorists also functioned as drivers who kidnapped civilians,” Gantz continued.

“Therefore – in this situation, of chaos, surprise, and guerrilla fighting for many hours, we must give broad backing and full support to those who are fighting – soldier, policeman, or citizen. This is our duty towards those who saved human lives and protected our country, and I believe that the law enforcement system will also act in this spirit.”

Last week, it was approved for publication that three civilians had been arrested on suspicion of murdering a terrorist on October 7. According to the police, the three were not part of the combat forces at the time of the incident.
MKs back civilians suspected of murdering Hamas terrorist on Oct. 7
Israeli lawmakers from across the political spectrum gave their backing on Sunday to three Israelis suspected of murdering a Gazan terrorist who infiltrated the Jewish state during the Oct. 7 massacre.

The criminal case has been under investigation for several months but did not become public until Thursday night, when the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court eased a gag order and ordered two of the suspects released to house arrest.

The three civilians—a discharged soldier, a United Hatzalah volunteer medic, both in their 20s, and an older individual—met up after they made their way to southern Israel to fight on the morning of Oct. 7.

According to the police account cited, the suspects detained a member of Hamas’s elite Nukhba Force, questioned him and executed him at the end of the interrogation.

Haaretz cited sources familiar with the case as saying that the body of the armed Palestinian terrorist was discovered in the Sha’ar HaNegev region, near the northeastern Gaza Strip.

However, defense lawyers said the suspects deny all charges, stressing that their clients risked their lives to save civilians and are being prosecuted for killing a terrorist who took part in the massacre.
State attorney clarifies case against civilian charged with killing terrorist on Oct. 7
The State Attorney’s Office issues a rare clarification of a police investigation into a highly unusual case involving the suspected killing of an alleged Palestinian terrorist by a citizen who apparently caught the individual alive after he participated in the Hamas invasion of Israel on October 7.

The office says it is releasing a statement due to incorrect information reported about the case, which it says brought about “severe incitement” against staff from the State Attorney’s Office and the Israel Police.

According to the State Attorney’s Office, after two suspects, dubbed “S” and “R,” were questioned about stolen firearms, a video emerged of R beating a Palestinian in his vehicle. Forensic tests determined that the Palestinian was killed, although his body has not been found.

The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court approved search and arrest warrants against R and others because there was “a reasonable suspicion that the crime of murder had been committed.”

R was indicted for stealing weapons from a special forces police officer who was slain during the October 7 attack, and was ordered to be held in custody until the end of legal proceedings against him.

The police investigation into the allegations of murder against him continues, and the State Attorney’s Office is “guiding” the process.

Druze officer slain as IDF kills over 30 terrorists in Rafah
Israel Defense Forces Maj. Jalaa Ibrahem, a company commander in the 601st Battalion, 401st Brigade, Combat Engineer Corps, was killed in action in the southern Gaza Strip, the military announced on Sunday.

Ibrahem, 25, from the Druze town of Sajur in the Upper Galilee, was killed by an anti-tank missile in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah.

The IDF killed more than 30 terrorists in Rafah over the past 24 hours, as Israel’s war against Hamas entered its ninth month. The Israeli Air Force also struck a ready-to-use rocket launcher in the city.

Overnight Saturday, the IDF attacked the Khan Yunis Municipality building in southern Gaza from the air, which the army said was used by Hamas for “military” activity.

The building contained an operational shaft connected to an underground route and was a gathering place for terrorists, the IDF said.

Over the past day, the Israeli Air Force killed a terrorist who had fired a projectile from the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza City that struck an open area near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, and also hit the structure from which the projectile was fired.

In Shejaiya, Israeli troops killed several terrorists, dismantled terror infrastructure and located weapons, including explosive devices, AK-47 rifles, machine guns and handguns.

Israeli forces have killed more than 100 terrorists since the IDF launched the Shejaiya operation, the second conducted in the neighborhood since the start of the war, about 10 days ago.

IDF drones catch Hamas terrorists sleeping during Shejeiya operations
Over the past week, soldiers from the Paratrooper Brigade operated in the Shejaia region in the Gaza Strip, the IDF reported Sunday.

Footage from body cameras shows soldiers locating several weapons and eliminating terrorists in face-to-face encounters.

In one raid, soldiers encountered an armed terrorist squad and killed several terrorists at the scene.

Later, IDF soldiers identified several terrorists, including two who were sleeping, using a drone and eliminated them by firing tank shells and shooting at close range. During the clashes, seven armed terrorists were killed.

Additionally, Israel Air Force struck terrorists operating in a complex in the area of a school building in Gaza City, the IDF reported Sunday.

With proper intelligence
The strike was conducted based on IDF and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) intelligence.

Additionally, the IDF attacked a Hamas weapons manufacturing facility embedded in the area of a school.

Earlier Sunday, Hamas telegram reported that anI sraeli airstrike in Gaza City killed the Hamas-appointed deputy minister of labor in the Palestinian enclave,Ehab al-Ghussein.

Al-Ghussein was killed along with three other people in the attack, according to the Civil Emergency Service. The IDF has yet to confirm this.

Israelis wounded in Hezbollah missile and drone attacks on Galilee
Three Israelis were wounded, including one seriously, on Sunday afternoon when a Hezbollah anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon scored a direct hit in the area of Moshav Zar’it in the Upper Galilee.

Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya said that the seriously wounded victim, a 31-year-old man, was sedated and intubated in the hospital’s trauma center, in stable condition.

The other victims, aged 42 and 25, were lightly injured and were undergoing tests in the emergency room, the hospital said.

Following reports in local media that the wounded included an American citizen, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem confirmed to JNS it “received information regarding the injury of a private U.S. citizen.”

“We are gathering additional information and can confirm the individual does not work for the U.S. government. However, due to privacy concerns, we have nothing more to share,” the spokesperson stated.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement, “Earlier today, two anti-tank missiles were detected that crossed [from] the territory of Lebanon into the Zar’it area. As a result of the launches, an IDF soldier was lightly injured and taken to a hospital for medical treatment.”

Earlier on Sunday, a 28-year-old man sustained serious shrapnel wounds in a barrage on the Lower Galilee village of Moshav Kfar Zeitim.

Dozens of launches were detected throughout the Galilee, sparking fires in several areas near Tiberias and forcing the closure to visitors of Arbel National Park near the Sea of Galilee. The man was injured in Moshav Kfar Zeitim.

Around 20 launches were detected crossing from Lebanon into Israel, with some of the projectiles intercepted by the IDF’s aerial defense array, the military said. There were no immediate reports of damage.

The denial and disinformation facing survivors of Hamas’ October 7 attack
Not long after the war began, three women went to their local member of parliament to register their dismay about Gaza. The women were aged in their late 20s or early 30s. One was a lawyer, another worked for a design firm. One wore a keffiyeh draped around her shoulders.

The federal MP, who asked not to be identified for fear of inciting anti-Israel protesters to target his electorate office and staff, offered a considered response. He, too, was appalled at the deaths of innocent Palestinians and acknowledged the terrible history of oppression of people who live on the Gaza Strip. He also condemned the atrocities of October 7.

It is here that the woman wearing the keffiyeh interjected. “That never happened,” she said. “The 7th of October never happened. It is fake news.”

This flat denial of murder, rape, and mutilation of Jewish and Arab Israelis, a daylight carnage captured on hundreds of security cameras, dash cameras, mobile phones and body cameras worn by the killers, left the MP flummoxed. “That was in November,” he says. “Already, the disinformation campaign had done its work.”

Nimrod Palmach, an Israel Defence Forces reservist and among the first Israeli soldiers to arrive at Kibbutz Be’eri where Hamas and other Palestinian militants killed nearly one in 10 residents, is disgusted but not surprised at the virulence of October 7 denial.

Palmach saw things that day he will never forget. People shot in the head. Bodies of dead women, stripped half naked. Burnt corpses. “I felt like I was in zombie land,” he says.

He remembers a moment late in the day, as the kibbutz was wreathed in smoke and he was lying in the scrub pinned down by Palestinian gunmen who’d taken control of a farm building. It occurred to him then that even if he survived to bear witness, some people would never believe him.

“I was shooting with one hand with a machine gun, and with the other hand, I am holding my phone to take photos and to document,” he tells this masthead from Tel Aviv.

“We are the only country in the world that has to go through a massacre like this, an act of barbarism like this, and people will not believe us, will want to see proof, will blame us for manipulating the truth.”

Stephen Smith, a Los Angeles-based genocide scholar, says that October 7 denial, like Holocaust denial, is a spectrum of disinformation. “There is flat-out denial, which is hard to justify because Hamas filmed themselves with their bodycams,” he says. “It’s also minimisation and marginalisation of the significance of the event. It is making the public doubt the veracity of what occurred on that day.”

Reasonable attempts to confirm facts about October 7 are not denial, Smith says. Rather, it is the attempt to obscure, distort and misrepresent the deadliest day in Israel’s history.

In Australia, this can be seen in avowed feminists refusing to accept that Jewish women were raped on October 7; a respected journalist promoting conspiracy theories about Benjamin Netanyahu’s government sacrificing its own citizens to secure a pretext to invade Gaza; a prominent Palestinian activist telling shoppers they have been lied to about October 7; and a vandal on Melbourne’s Inkerman Street scrawling the word “fake” across the image of Ariel Bibas, a four-year-old boy abducted by Hamas from a kibbutz.

Sara Aniano, a disinformation analyst with the New York-based Anti-Defamation League’s Centre on Extremism, says the prevalence of October 7 denial, although difficult to quantify, is disturbing.

“I have seen super progressive, left-wing influencers promote the same narrative as neo-Nazis,” she says. “We have seen state-sponsored media from Iran and Russia sowing division. It has been a mix of orchestrated, highly co-ordinated and more organic campaigns.”

Danny Ben-Moshe, a Walkley Award-winning, Melbourne film-maker and Holocaust researcher who travelled to Israel to help document the stories of Palmach and other October 7 survivors, is struck by the parallels between arguments used to deny the Holocaust and those now being employed to downplay the truth about what Hamas did nine months ago. The difference is the speed with which October 7 denial set in.

“It took about 20 years for Holocaust denial to gain momentum. It took a matter of days for October 7 denial to take root,” he says.

Smith is a former executive director of the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation, an organisation founded by Hollywood director Steven Spielberg to record and preserve the testimonies of Holocaust survivors. He worked with Palmach and Ben-Moshe on Be the Witness, a sequence of short, virtual-reality films that tell the story of October 7 through the eyes of five survivors.
'You'll get married in Gaza': Hostage's sister receives chilling message from Hamas captivity
“The kidnappers subjected my sister to extreme psychological terror,” revealed Shai Albag in an interview on Sunday, describing the harrowing conditions her sister Liri Albag faces in Gaza.

Hamas terrorists told the hostages, “You will stay here forever [in Gaza], you will marry here [with Gazans], you are soldiers, they won’t release you alive.”

Shai Albag shared that these threats are part of a calculated strategy to break the hostages’ spirits.

The family learned about the psychological torture from hostages who had been released, mother Shiri said.

“The kidnappers employed extreme psychological terror,” she said, illustrating the daily horrors faced by Liri.

Despite her dire situation, Liri managed to send messages through released hostages. She urged her sister not to cancel her post-army trip and humorously cautioned her not to touch her favorite shoes.

Shai: “She said, ‘Tell my sister not to cancel her post-army trip.’ She also said, ‘Tell my sister not to touch my shoes,’ because she knew I loved them and would ruin them.’”

Shira has been vocal about her daughter’s exploitation. Liri was forced to cook, clean, and care for children, often without being allowed to eat the food she prepared.

“Liri was moved between houses and had to take care of everything,” Shira recounted.

Liri Albag was abducted by Hamas on October 7 while serving at the Nahal Oz post. Her family has tirelessly fought for her return, with DNA evidence confirming her presence in Gaza and testimonies from released hostages providing further insight into her conditions.

Her family has not received any direct communication from her since November, and they remain deeply concerned for her well-being.

Ben Shapiro: Our Last Chance To Save The West | Douglas Murray
Douglas Murray is a preeminent British author, journalist, and geopolitical commentator who stands at the forefront of our political discourse today. Murray has successfully challenged politicians and the establishment media on issues like immigration, identity politics, religion, and free speech. In today’s episode, Douglas and I discuss his experience visiting Israel, and how the relative comfort of the West has resulted in young people searching for excitement in all the wrong places. We also explore the contradiction at the heart of American isolationism, and the attitude shift that must take place in order for the West to course-correct. You won’t want to miss this profound conversation with Douglas Murray!

Malcolm Hoenlein: AGAINST the Tide: How US Jews MUST Face the Post Oct. 7 World | TALX
When Malcolm Hoenlein first began organizing American Jews to rally for the freedom of Soviet Jewry, critics told him it was impossible. Decades later, Hoenlein, Vice Chairman Emeritus Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and President of Abraham Spirits, is calling on American Jews to unite to face the challenges they face at home.

Also, is rising American antisemitism a blip on the radar or a permanent change?; The sinister causes behind the rise in antisemitism; 2024 elections; and finding reason for optimism.

0:00 American values and conditions that allowed Jews to thrive
2:30 Erosion of safety for American Jews
6:00 Is antisemitism in NYC a blip on the radar or a permanent change?
9:20 What’s causing the rise in open USA antisemitism
12:45 Gearing for the fall semester on American campuses
16:00 How is the Jewish community meeting the challenges
22:00 Defeating Jaamal Bowman and the Squad
26:45 2024 elections
32:00 Is there room for optimism?

The Quad: Future in the BALANCE: Cornered French Jews Weigh Their Options
Elections are happening across the globe and, as usual, Jews seem to be at the center of the storm. Hold tight for another no-holds-barred episode with special guest Avi Mayer.

Also, the American presidential debate brings Joe Biden’s mental faculties into question; the Iranian regime pulls the wool over the eyes of the West; and France chooses between extremes.

Featuring scumbags and heroes of the week!

00:00 Intro
01:45 American elections
08:35 Iranian elections
12:50 French elections
20:15 English elections
22:10 Scumbag of the week
35:20 Heroes of the week

Starmer talks Gaza, Palestinian statehood in calls with Netanyahu, Abbas
Newly elected British Prime Minister Kier Starmer put the Gaza war and a two-state solution high on his foreign policy agenda, with calls to both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday.

Starmer underscored Great Britain’s commitment to recognizing Palestinian statehood in his conversation with Abbas. He noted that the UK could recognize Palestinian statehood during the process for a two-state solution rather than at the end of one.

It’s a stance that had been held by former foreign secretary David Cameron from the Conservative Party, but who had said that the time to do so was not now.

Starmer brought the issue up in his first phone call with the PA president. A readout of the call from 10 Downing Street framed it this way: “Discussing the importance of reform, and ensuring international legitimacy for Palestine, the Prime Minister said that his longstanding policy on recognition to contribute to a peace process had not changed, and it was the undeniable right of Palestinians.”

Abbas affirmed his commitment to a two-state resolution to the conflict and underscored the importance of British unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood, according to WAFA, the Palestine News & Information Agency.

The agency further reported that newly appointed Foreign Secretary David Lammy would soon visit the region, including the West Bank.
'UK has fallen': Antisemitic conspiracies on UK PM's wife, Jewish control
The Megatron social media account said on Friday that Israel was taking control of the UK and was seeking to put other European countries in its power.

“The entire political elite in the United States is controlled by Israel. Mexican President[-elect Claudia] Sheinbaum [Pardo] is Jewish. The Argentine President [Javier] Milei spit out his Christian faith and became a Jew. [Jair] Bolsonaro, the leader of the opposition in Brazil, kisses the Israeli flag wherever he goes and is probably already rejecting his Christian faith and becoming a Jew. Britain’s first lady is now Jewish and the new prime minister practices Judaism.

The Dutch main opposition leader, Geert Wilders, is totally controlled and subservient to Israel, he probably already practices Judaism. Germany introduced a law where you have to submit to Israel and declare that you support them in their massacre of children in order to get German citizenship. [Ukrainian President Volodymyr] Zelensky, who caused the war in Ukraine, is a Jew,” the X account with over 300,000 followers said on Saturday. “Directly or indirectly, a small apartheid state in the Middle East rules over a myriad of large and influential states. Not to mention the managements of the biggest companies in the world.”

Antisemitic influencer Dr. Anastasia Maria Loupis, who has over a million followers on X, said on Friday that Jews won the UK election, and shared a picture of Starmer wearing a kippah, declaring the “UK has fallen.”

Smaller social media accounts proliferated the conspiracies on X and other platforms.

Victoria Starmer comes from a North London Jewish family. Her father is of Polish-Jewish descent and her mother a convert. While Starmer is an atheist, his family is part of the Liberal Jewish Synagogue in St. John’s Wood, London, and has said that his teenage children have been learning about their heritage.

The new UK leader has previously related that his family keeps some Shabbat traditions such as performing kiddush and having challah, and told Virgin Radio last Monday that he had long reserved Friday evening for time with his family. The statement had led to attacks by the Conservative Party, which alleged that Starmer would finish work everyday at 6 p.m. and would be a “part-time prime minister.”

As part of the Labour campaign, it was emphasized by supporters that Starmer had purged the movement of the antisemitism that plagued it during former leader Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.
Labour’s new Justice Secretary was accused of encouraging ‘mob rule’ at pro-BDS protest
The UK’s new Secretary of State for Justice has a history of supporting Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel and attending anti-Israel marches.

Secretary of State for Justice Shabana Mahmood was accused of encouraging “mob rule” when she forced a supermarket to close in 2014 after a protest over the claim it was “stocking goods from illegal settlements”.

The branch of Sainsbury’s in Birmingham was forced to close for several hours, the MP claimed, before she took to YouTube to call for a boycott of Israeli goods.

She told a rally the week after the Sainsbury’s protest: “I was with 200 activists outside Sainsbury’s in the centre of Birmingham.

“We lay down in the street and we laid down inside Sainsbury’s to say we object to them stocking goods from illegal settlements – and that they must stop. We managed to close down that store at peak time on a Saturday. This is how we can make a difference.”

Mahmood was slammed by Jewish leaders at the time, including the Board of Deputies and the Jewish Leadership Council.

Simon Johnson, then chief executive of JLC, said: “It is completely inappropriate for a Member of Parliament to promote public disorder that forced a supermarket to close.” Vivian Wineman, then president of the BoD, added: “Such rabble rousing is extremely irresponsible.”

Mike Freer, then MP for Finchley and Golders Green, said at the time: "For any Parliamentarian to encourage mob rule as a way of protesting is shameful. Will synagogues and kosher shops be next on her list of targets?”

Since her controversial Sainsbury’s protest a decade ago, Mahmood has continued to back the Palestinian cause, including attending protests organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
5 Pro-Palestinian Independent Candidates Defeat Labour MPs in UK
Pro-Palestinian MPs have become effectively the sixth largest party after five independent candidates unseated Labour rivals on Thursday.

One candidate, Shockat Adam, said “this is for the people of Gaza!” after being elected the MP for Leicester South, while holding up a Palestinian keffiyeh scarf.

Another independent, Ayoub Khan, who won in Birmingham Perry Barr, had previously quit the Liberal Democrats after appearing to question the Oct 7 massacre and refusing to go on an anti-Semitism training course.

They are among four newly elected MPs, all of whom championed the Palestinian cause throughout the election.

They will be joined in the Commons by Jeremy Corbyn, a long-term supporter of the Palestinian cause, who was re-elected as the MP for Islington North as an independent after he was expelled from the Labour party.

As a group, they outrank the Greens and Plaid Cymru, who both have four MPs. They are level with the DUP. Reform won four MPs but is hoping to gain a fifth after a recount.

It puts the independent candidates in sixth place, by number of seats, after Labour on 411, Conservatives on 121, Lib Dems on 71, the SNP on 9 and Sinn Fein on 8.

On Friday morning, the Muslim Vote organisation, which encourages British Muslims to vote for specific candidates it has approved, claimed victory.

The organisation lauded the five “brilliant” independents, and also boasted that its “unprecedented” influence on the election results had also led to “slashed” majorities for several other Labour figures.
The grim rise of Islamic sectarianism in Britain
Inaya Folarin Iman, Ella Whelan and Tom Slater discuss the success of ‘pro-Palestine’ independents in the UK General Election.

Calls to violence, BDS, Hamas ties: New UK MPs take hardline anti-Israel stances
Several of the new MPs elected in Thursday's UK elections have made anti-Israel comments, called for BDS, denied October 7, and have ties to Hamas and other terrorist organizations, various UK media reports have noted over the weekend.

Five pro-Palestinian MPs succeeded in ousting other candidates from their seats, effectively becoming the sixth largest party, the Telegraph said on Saturday.

The Jerusalem Post reported on election day that Shockat Adam, an optometrist by trade and independent Muslim candidate, accepted his Leicester South seat on behalf of the “people of Gaza” while holding a keffiyeh.

However, an exclusive report by Jewish News on Saturday revealed that Adam's brother, Ismail Patel, is the founder of the hardline Islamist group Friends of Al Aqsa and has previously visited Hamas leaders in Gaza.

According to the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Ismail Patel, like his brother, a British citizen of Pakistani descent, has called in the past for the demise of the state of Israel, with comments such as, "The Zionist edifice… will soon fall. It’s a matter of time now.”

He has also expressed support for Hamas by stating that it was not a terrorist organization and saluted Hamas for "standing up" to Israel.

Ismail Patel also met with Ismail Haniyeh, according to the Center, and during the second intifada, celebrated that the "Zionist nightmare is at its end." Terrorist ties

His brother, the new MP of Leicester South, wrote on his website that he condemns “weaponising terms like antisemitism, a heinous prejudice in itself, to smear any objector of the actions of the Israeli military" and that he is in opposition to "Zionist organizations."

In Birmingham, Khalid Mahmood, England’s first Muslim MP, who has held the seat since 2001, lost to the barrister Ayoub Khan, a former Liberal Democrat councilor who left his former party over Gaza.

Shortly after October 7, Khan posted several clips on TikTok questioning Israeli reports of Hamas’s actions, such as the beheading of babies and widespread rapes, saying he had yet to see evidence, the Jewish Chronicle reported.

The liberal democrats investigated Khan, and said he agreed to receive antisemitism training, which Khan himself denied, claiming that there “was no need.”

The situation in Blackburn was similar. Adnan Hussain, on hearing the news of his election as Member of Parliament, said, “We will raise our voice for Gaza! We will continue to fight, until death, inshallah!"

Re-elected Corbyn thanks ‘brothers and sisters’ at mosque that hosted ‘filth of the Jews’ speaker
Hard-left firebrand Jeremy Corbyn, who was re-elected in Islington North after standing as an independent, dropped by at the controversial Finsbury Park mosque on Saturday to thank his “brothers and sisters” for their support.

Greeting the crowd with “As-salamu alaykum”, Corbyn said: “Brothers and sisters, a huge thank to all of those who supported our campaign.

“I am honoured to be re-elected to do my best to represent all of you.

“A huge thank you for your faith, determination and support yesterday

“This is also a victory also for those who believe in peace and the rights of the Palestinian people to live in peace, to end the bombardment, to end the sale of arms and destruction of the West Bank.”

The mosque has in the past hosted an Egyptian imam, Omar Abdelkafi, who pledged to “liberate” Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem from the “filth of the Jews”.

Abdelkafi is also on record quoting from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious antisemitic forgery that claims Jews seek to dominate the world.

New MP allegedly once told a Gaza rally: ‘Let’s make Israel burn’
The newly elected MP for Blackburn who won his seat on a Gaza ticket once told a rally, “let’s make Israel burn”.

Adnan Hussain, who was elected as an independent, promised during the campaign to speak out “against the injustice being inflicted against the people of Gaza”.

The Telegraph reported that speaking at a “Free Palestine” rally in Bradford in 2014, the now-MP claimed Israel’s military operation in the summer of that year amounted to a “holocaust”.

He told activists: “Every corporation… that supports Israel, let’s stop their funding. Let’s stop the funding.

“They let Gaza burn, they hate Gaza… Now let’s make Israel burn, let’s make Israel burn. We will stop their funding...

“United we stand, divided we fail. We will raise. We will show Israel that we do not support its holocaust. We will never support its holocaust.”

While he continued to use the term “genocide” during the election campaign, Hussain has not talked about Israel “burning” or used similar violent language in recent years.

Anti-Israel activists ram van into gate of UK factory, vandalize premises
Anti-Israel activists rammed the gates of a British factory on Friday morning and sprayed the facility with red paint, Merseyside Police and Palestine Action said.

In a predawn attack on the Wirral Teledyne factory, activists rammed the gates to allow activists to infiltrate the grounds, said police. Spraying parts of a Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft

Palestine Action, a pro-Palestinian direct-action protest network said that “actionists” sprayed machinery and vehicles with paint to disrupt production, in particular that of parts for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft.

“This is the kind of response they get when they try to hurt our fellow man, our siblings. The workers have left for the day, it’s the day after the general election and this is how I’m voting,” an activist said in a video posted by Palestine Action on Instagram.

Merseyside Police said that three women were arrested in Bromborough. A 40-year-old woman from Toxteth, a 30-year-old Hackney woman, and a 20-year-old Aigburth woman were suspected of multiple offenses including aggravated trespass, criminal damage and dangerous driving.

Palestine Action announced that the activists were released later that night.
Keffiyeh-clad thug from Hackney ‘solidarity’ camp punches and threatens to kill Jewish man
A Jewish man was reportedly punched and threatened with death in London on Saturday morning by an attacker from the Palestine Solidarity encampment outside Hackney Town Hall.

The Hackney resident was scraping off anti-Israel fly posters from the bus stop at 11.30am when the attacker ran towards him from the Gaza encampment.

The victim, who does not wish to be named, alleges that the man “shouted he would kill me; he grabbed and smashed my umbrella, hurling abuse, and swung a punch at me hitting me on the side of my face.”

Responding instinctively to the unprovoked attack, the victim punched the attacker and pushed him off. He told the JC that the man backed away but continued to shout verbal abuse and threatened him with hand gestures.

He described the suspect as a black man, over 30, approximately 5' 5", with a small beard and wearing a keffiyeh around his neck, as well as a large black woollen hat.

The attacker returned to the encampment outside the town hall and, using his hands like binoculars, pointed again at the victim, "as if to say he recognised me.”

The victim reported the incident to the police and was assured that “they would investigate as it was quite a serious offence.”

The victim criticised the council for allowing the demonstration in the gardens “which all citizens of Hackney own and admire and exemplify how they threaten and use violence against anyone who disagrees with them and their flags, graffiti and stickers.

“They have been empowered to use this violence with impunity on our streets by this decision to camp, rather than be evicted for aggravated trespass on the first day they arrived. Utterly unacceptable.”

He accused the council of “appeasing these terrorist-supporting thugs pre-election" and said he hoped the encampment would be removed.

'In the Name of Palestine': Pennsylvania State Capitol evacuated after bomb threat
The Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg was evacuated on Saturday after state lawmakers received an email from an individual claiming to have placed explosives around the building “in the name of Palestine,” according to several media reports.

The sender also claimed to be armed with a knife.

In an email sent to more than 250 House and Senate members around 5:45 p.m., with the subject line “My Manifesto,” the individual claimed to have hidden “highly lethal lead azide devices” in and around the Pennsylvania State Capitol complex and the Pennsylvania Judicial Center.

Pressure on Joe Biden
The email threatened that the devices would be triggered “every few hours” until US President Joe Biden appeared on television to denounce the “illegitimate” State of Israel.

The email also stated, “Keep in mind I am inside one of two buildings armed with a knife, and plan on remaining here to my dying breath.”

This threat came just 24 hours before Biden was expected to visit Harrisburg for a campaign event, according to an official announcement from his campaign on Friday evening.

It is unknown if the threat and the president’s visit to Harrisburg are related.

Following a thorough K9 search of the premises, Capitol Police declared that no explosives were found.

Pro-Palestine protesters identified, punished through use of tracking technology
The University of Melbourne tracked students who staged a pro-Palestinian sit-in at a campus building, capturing CCTV footage and Wi-Fi location data that it will use as evidence in misconduct trials due to start this week.

Human rights experts and students have expressed concerns the surveillance contravenes the university’s own policies against using tracking technology to identify students. Palestinian student Dana Alshaer and Zara Chauvin-Cunningham, a Jewish student, are both facing suspension or expulsion over protests.

Palestinian student Dana Alshaer and Zara Chauvin-Cunningham, a Jewish student, are both facing suspension or expulsion over protests.Credit: Justin McManus.

Twenty-one students who are facing suspension or expulsion over the protests have been emailed CCTV images of themselves inside the Arts West building on the university’s Parkville campus building in May, during the seven-day sit-in.

Alongside the zoomed-in stills – taken from cameras that appear to capture each corner of the building – were details of the students’ use of the campus Wi-Fi network, which the university said was evidence of alleged wrongdoing that will be presented when misconduct trials begin on Wednesday.

Dana Alshaer, a Palestinian on a scholarship to study international relations in Australia, said the use of surveillance technology triggered a familiar feeling of being watched while at home in the West Bank.

“Palestinians are the most surveilled population in the world, you have CCTV cameras everywhere you turn,” said Alshaer, who has almost completed her master’s degree.

She said she had felt “oppressed and surveilled again” finding out that the university used technology to track her.

'We're being held hostage': Lebanese TV host Dima Sadek criticizes Hezbollah amid rising threat
Dima Sadek, a Lebanese journalist and TV host, claimed on her MTV Lebanon show last month that there is nothing left in Lebanon aside from Hezbollah and its weaponry.

Sadek stated that there is no electricity infrastructure in Lebanon and denounced Hezbollah for recently threatening Cyprus, saying it cannot withstand fighting against the European Union.

“Do you know who we resemble? The passengers on the 9/11 airplanes,” Sadek said of the Lebanese public. “We are like airplane passengers who do not see what is happening around them. We are being led by one person [referring to Hezbollah], and we have no idea where we are heading… The only thing that we know for sure is that this person is taking us to a catastrophe and certain death.”

Support for Hezbollah in Lebanon remains sharply split across sectarian lines, a 2024 poll conducted by The Washington Institute found.

According to the survey, 34% of Sunnis and 29% of Christians hold a “somewhat positive view of Hezbollah,” and 89% of Shia said they have a “very positive” opinion of the group.

Sadek has previously publicly criticized Hezbollah and partially blamed the group for Lebanon’s economic crisis in 2019.

Tensions rising
As tensions escalate on the Northern front, the threat of a war between Israel and the Iranian proxy terrorist group looms heavy.

"We are in danger of a hellish, existential war. We are being held hostage. We have been hijacked,” Sadek said.

On Thursday, Hezbollah launched over 200 rockets and 20 drones in Israel’s Galilee and Golan regions in response to the IDF's elimination of senior Hezbollah commander Muhammad Neamah Nasser.

Additionally, on Sunday morning, between 20 and 40 rockets were launched from Lebanon in northern Israel.

Iranian warship suffers accident in port of Bandar Abbas, several suffering minor wounds
The Iranian Navy frigate Sahand suffered an accident in the southern port of Bandar Abbas, the Iranian Student News Agency reported on Sunday.

"As Sahand was being repaired at the wharf, it lost its balance due to water ingress. Fortunately...the vessel is being returned to balance quickly," the official news agency IRNA reported, citing a navy statement.

It did not specify when the accident occurred. State media carried a picture of a capsized ship and said several people were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

A part of the frigate went under water, according to Iranian state media Mehr News Agency.

The result of a technical failure
The incident is rumored to be the result of a technical failure during a repair operation, according to Mehr News Agency.

The Sahand frigade is part of the Southern Fleet of Iran's Navy.

Canada appoints special adviser on Jewish relations and antisemitism
A Canadian official tasked with countering Jew-hatred has pushed back against recent bigotry he experienced himself.

On Friday, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the appointment of parliament member Anthony Housefather to the role of special adviser on Jewish community relations and antisemitism.

Trudeau said that the member of the Liberal Party—who has pushed back on anti-Israel efforts among his colleagues—would work toward “continuing to make sure Jewish Canadians’ voices are heard, protecting Jewish Canadian communities and making Canada more inclusive for everyone.”

On Tuesday, Housefather shared a photo he had received of a poster on a Montreal lamppost labeling him a neo-Nazi and demanding he “get out of Canada.”

Housefather wrote that his family had lived in Canada since the 1800s and said that “we have indeed helped build this country.” He vowed that “I am not going anywhere. Sorry, antisemites. You may not like what I have to say but I will keep saying it.”

800-year-old Hebrew-inscribed tombstone discovered in India
A Hebrew-inscribed tombstone dating to the 13th century has been discovered in southern India.

The tombstone was found on a coconut farm in the city of Ramanathapuram in the state of Tamil Nadu, The Week reported on Friday.

Thoufeek Zakriya, a Jewish history researcher and Hebrew calligrapher, was the first to decipher the inscription, telling the Indian English-language news magazine that it dates to the years 1224 or 1225 C.E.

“This means that it is older than the Sarah Bat Israel Tombstone in Kerala’s Chennamangalam, which is considered the oldest Hebrew tombstone ever identified in India,” Zakriya told The Week.

Hathim Ali, 32, a chemical engineer and history enthusiast, first brought the tombstone to the public’s attention.

“One of my friends informed me about this tombstone found in the coconut farm owned by Mr. Balu,” Ali told The Week. “When I went to inspect it, I understood that it was neither Tamil nor Arabic. Later, I thought maybe it could be Hebrew.”
Paratrooper at center of iconic Six-Day War photo dead at 81
The central figure in an iconic 1967 photograph of three paratroopers at the liberated Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem died on Saturday. Yitzhak Yifat was 81.

Yifat, 24 at the time the photo was taken, can be seen in the center of the photograph holding his helmet. The powerful image was taken just after the Old City was freed from Jordanian occupation during the Six-Day War.

Yifat, one of the first paratroopers to enter the Old City, is seen with fellow paratroopers Zion Karasenti and Haim Oshri.

They appear visibly moved as they gaze upwards at the Western Wall, which is the outer supporting wall of the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism.

The photo was nicknamed in Hebrew “The Crying Paratroopers” or “Paratroopers at the Western Wall.”

Their emotion was due in part to the fact that under Jordanian rule, (1949-1967), Jews were barred from entering the Old City.

The period of Jordanian rule of the eastern part of Jerusalem has been referred to as “among the most repugnantly intolerant of all.”

Jordan destroyed all but one of the 35 synagogues in the eastern part of Jerusalem. They also desecrated the cemetery on the Mount of Olives and used tombstones for roads and latrines.

Tourists wanting to visit had to present baptismal certificates or other proof they weren’t Jews.

“Everyone talked about the Western Wall all the time, but we were new and we had never been there. That day was the first time any of us had ever been there,” Oshri told Channel 2 in 2017.

The photo was taken by David Rubinger, who died in 2017. An acclaimed photographer, he won the Israel Prize for Communications in 1997.

“I hardly remember the moment Rubinger took a picture of us. I remember that during the photoshoot Rubinger dropped to the floor and clicked his camera. Rubinger was a good man, a lover of the Israeli people and Israel and an excellent professional photographer,” Yifat said a few years ago of Rubinger, according to The Jerusalem Post.

After the war, Yifat became an obstetrician-gynecologist.

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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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