Tuesday, July 09, 2024

From Ian:

Seth Mandel: Let Hamas Lose Already
“The enemy gets a vote” is a common expression that is invoked when your plans go awry. But what happens when events go according to plan?

There have been plenty of rocky roads during Israel’s nine-month military campaign in Gaza, but one of the underlying concepts guiding the IDF brass and the country’s political leadership hasn’t changed: keeping total victory as the goal puts pressure on Hamas.

This principle has been so maligned lately—even President Biden dismissed it as “an unidentified notion of total victory” that “will only bog down Israel in Gaza”—that it’s easy to forget it was the consensus among Western allies after October 7. Yet it’s not Israel that has just received a rude reminder of the limits of long-term planning—it’s Hamas.

“Several officials in the Middle East and the U.S. believe the level of devastation in the Gaza Strip caused by a nine-month Israeli offensive likely has helped push Hamas to soften its demands for a cease-fire agreement,” reports the Associated Press. To which the response might be: Well… yeah. Losing a war can do wonders in adjusting your refusal to compromise.

The AP isn’t just going on intuition. It has seen internal messages from senior Hamas officials describing “the heavy losses Hamas has suffered on the battlefield and the dire conditions in the war-ravaged territory.” According to the AP, “a person familiar with Western intelligence…said the group’s leadership understands its forces have suffered heavy losses and that has helped Hamas move closer to a cease-fire deal.”

This story coincides with Hamas leaders deciding to drop their demand that any ceasefire-for-hostages deal with Israel contain an up-front IDF concession it will not restart hostilities—thus meaning the war would be, for all intents and purposes, over. That would have effectively guaranteed Hamas’s survival. Instead, reports the Times of Israel, Hamas has expressed its “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.”

As I wrote in November, relentless Israeli pressure was key to the first ceasefire-for-hostages agreement. Hamas’s first true openness came when it wanted to forestall an Israeli ground invasion. Then it became pliable once again when the IDF was on the verge of taking Shifa hospital, forcing Hamas fighters to flee and leaving Israel in position to reveal the military use of the hospital by Hamas. That pattern continued until a deal was in place.

In contrast, the times any deal looked least likely were during moments of paralysis—US threats to withhold weapons from the IDF, Israeli domestic political instability, perceived Israeli diplomatic isolation. Pressure works. Unfortunately the Biden administration went from pressuring Hamas to pressuring Israel, and the hostages languished in Gaza dungeons or camps—except for the few rescued by the IDF.
Rescued Israeli hostage suing US nonprofit linked to Hamas operative who held him
A rescued Israeli hostage is filing a lawsuit Tuesday against a U.S. nonprofit with financial ties to the Hamas operative who reportedly kept him prisoner.

Twenty-two-year-old Almog Meir Jan was held captive by Hamas for nearly 250 days following the Oct. 7 terrorist attack and was found in the home of Abdallah Aljamal, a contributor to the website The Palestine Chronicle who also worked as a spokesman for the Hamas-run labor ministry in Gaza. Aljamal was killed during the IDF's rescue mission.

The Palestine Chronicle is run by the tax-exempt group, the People Media Project.

Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv, 41, were also held captive at his family’s home in Nuseirat, Gaza, according to the Israeli Defense Forces.

"Under the leadership of Defendants [editor-in-chief] Ramzy Baroud and [People Media Project governor] John Harvey, Defendant Palestine Chronicle employed Hamas Operative Aljamal and offered him its U.S. platform to write and disseminate Hamas propaganda, ultimately subsidized, through its status as a tax-exempt charitable organization, by U.S. taxpayers," the court filing reads. "Following the Hamas terror attacks of October 7, while Hamas Operative Aljamal imprisoned Plaintiff, Defendants permitted Hamas Operative Aljamal to use their platform to whitewash Hamas’s crimes and attract international support for its terrorist cause."

"By providing this platform to Hamas Operative Aljamal and compensating Hamas Operative Aljamal for his propaganda, Defendants aided, abetted, and materially supported both Hamas Operative Aljamal and Hamas itself in their acts of terrorism, including kidnapping and holding Plaintiff hostage for 246 days, in violation of international law," the suit continued.

The lawsuit, which will be filed Tuesday in Washington state's western district court, goes on to claim that the defendants "knowingly and willfully procured and disseminated Hamas propaganda to the Palestine Chronicle’s readers in the United States," citing reports alleging "at least six Palestine Chronicle writers and contributors have been affiliated with Iranian propaganda outlets."

It also links Baroud with Aljamal by citing an opinion piece they co-authored in 2019 for Al Jazeera.
Eli Lake: Iran’s New ‘Reformist’ President Is Anything But
If you saw the headlines in the Western press about Iran’s election over the weekend, you might have thought it had yielded a miracle: the country’s new president, Masoud Pezeshkian, is a “reformer.”

Spoiler alert. He is not. But it’s worth examining why so many media outlets, including The New York Times and NPR, have leapt at the chance to declare Pezeshkian a liberal.

On the campaign trail, Pezeshkian was critical of the morality police who enforce the regime’s policy requiring all women to cover their hair. The 69-year-old heart surgeon, who has served as health minister in Iran’s parliament, also expressed a desire to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran, America, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

But these campaign promises mean nothing when you consider Iran’s president has little if any power inside the Islamic Republic. That belongs to the country’s ailing Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his Revolutionary Guard Corps, which directs proxy wars in the Middle East and has acquired banks, real estate, and businesses inside its own nation.

“He is a garden-variety regime guy,” Mariam Memarsadeghi, the founder and director of the Cyrus Forum for Iran’s Future and a longtime Iranian democratic activist, told The Free Press. “There is nothing about his past to suggest that he is interested in anything other than complete subservience to the Supreme Leader.”

Pezeshkian has spent most of his life in politics as a back bencher inside Iran’s parliament. In 1994, he lost his wife and son in a deadly car crash. He did not remarry and raised his daughters as a single dad, a rarity inside Iran.

One sign of Pezeshkian’s subservience is how he describes his own political ideology. He says he is a “reformist principlist,” which refers to the principles of the 1979 Islamic revolution that give the Supreme Leader and a guardian council power to overturn initiatives from the legislature if they do not cohere with Islamic law.

In short, Pezeshkian has pledged loyalty to a Supreme Leader who has cracked down against demonstrators and consolidated power among Iran’s unelected Revolutionary Guard Corps.

“Pezeshkian is a safe bet for Khamenei,” Alireza Nader, a former Iran analyst with the RAND Corporation, a private think tank that works closely with the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, told The Free Press. “He’s totally loyal to him and the Revolutionary Guards. He’s stated that he has no separate agenda from Khamenei and will pursue the regime’s policies, for example, fully supporting Hezbollah.”

UN's false claims of Israeli starvation policy contributes to anti-Israel campaign
A review of UN reports reveals that they are based on incomplete data from sources in Gaza. Since October 7, UNRWA has been responsible for collecting data on humanitarian aid entering Gaza on behalf of the UN. UNRWA collects data only on aid entering the Gaza Strip via trucks through the southern border crossings in Kerem Shalom and Rafah, where its representatives are stationed, and only on trucks that were observed and collected by them while they were there.

Accordingly, OCHA reports do not account for aid parachuted into the Gaza Strip, delivered via the JLOTS floating pier, or transported by trucks entering Gaza from the north, where UNRWA representatives are not stationed. Furthermore, aid from Kerem Shalom and Rafah collected by other organizations, other UN agencies, international NGOs, countries, and the private sector is not included in the OCHA reports. Additionally, shipments from the World Food Program (WFP), flour deliveries to bakeries in northern Gaza, as well as gas and fuel, are likewise not included.

As opposed to OCHA, COGAT’s reports show data for all the aid trucks that crossed into the Strip from all UN agencies and other aid organizations, from countries and the private sector, and from all the crossings, southern and northern.

The UN’s heavy reliance on UNRWA data results in an incomplete and unreliable understanding of the aid flow into Gaza. What is especially striking is that OCHA knowingly concealed the fact that it is not publishing the full amount of aid entering Gaza. Until May, OCHA did not disclose the fact that UNRWA was the main source of the data and did not indicate that the data only shows a portion of the aid trucks entering the Gaza Strip.

As a result of its reliance on OCHA’s faulty reports, the IPC’s assessments provided a misleading view of the hunger situation, which was later discredited by the report of the Famine Review Committee (FRC) of the IPC on June 4. The committee found no evidence of famine in Gaza, pointing to significant data gaps and unverified evidence in the IPC report. It also noted discrepancies with other sources and emphasized that the nutritional content of aid entering Gaza exceeds international guidelines.

In doing so, the UN single-handedly contributed to the false accusation of Israel’s starvation policy and the demonization of Israel, placing all responsibility for the humanitarian crisis on Israel. It also contributed to the legal measures taken against Israel in international tribunals and created an incentive for Hamas to deepen the crisis and further distance the end of the war.

It is important to acknowledge that the shortage of supplies in the Gaza Strip, an unfortunate inherent hardship for any population facing a war situation, does not indicate that there is widespread hunger in the Strip and certainly not intentional starvation of the population. The complete data indicates that the aid entering Gaza meets the minimum requirements, and there is no shortage of food in the area. Contrary to the UN data and the IPC forecast, such data is consistent with the situation on the ground. This is evident from the images showing full markets and the drop in supply prices in Gaza. It is also evident from the FRC’s report that denied the famine forecast in Gaza. All of this demonstrates that Israel fulfills its obligations according to international law. Despite this, the UN continues to present false claims about hunger and starvation.

Prosecutors and judicial bodies seeking to formulate conclusions regarding the scope of aid and the state of hunger in the Strip are expected to examine all the data, including the data in Israel’s reports, to verify them and to treat with seriousness the discrepancies between contrasting figures. The analysis proves that it is not possible to get a complete and reliable picture of the amount of aid and the state of hunger among the population based on the UN data or the IPC findings, and it is certainly not possible on the basis of their reports to attribute to Israel the intention of starvation and to accuse its leaders of war crimes and crimes against humanity, not least accusing Israel of the preposterous charge of committing genocide.
To engage or to disengage with anti-Israel organizations, that is the question
THE ISRAELI government, with input from all major Jewish international institutions, should develop a constructive framework. Such a framework will provide thoughtful tools to assess the true impact of each decision and what is at stake. Several factors can be part of such a framework.

First, current events should also be analyzed through the lenses of historical performance. Institutions that had very good relationships with the Jewish state cannot be ignored just because of one or two statements by hostile individual leaders.

Second, it is necessary to analyze the ability to make a positive change within the current infrastructure. Thus, for example, Israel has changed its approach to many economic arms of the multilateral system, with major efforts to contribute knowledge and people, and to run candidates for senior positions. State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman, for example, was selected recently to become the first Israeli president of the European Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. There are more cases like that to come.

If an assessment leads to the conclusion that there are no prospects to reform the institution or affect its leadership and values, a more dismissive strategy may be relevant.

In addition, sometimes just being there has its own importance. When people challenged or questioned Israel’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, it was clear to Israel’s decision-makers that the participation is historically important in order to support Israel’s prominent place in the league of nations and its stellar artistic contribution. Participation is often an obligation.

Also, it is important to remember that disengagement creates a vacuum that is often being filled by other, more hostile participants. Without the Israeli and Jewish voices, the narrative can be written by others.

Moreover, if an international organization is being boycotted by a Jewish group that moves forward independently, other institutions feel the pressure to act. Inconsistency within our communities on this issue may negatively affect the efficiency of any policy and framework.

Finally, the forced participation and reengagement in processes and organizations, such as the International Criminal Court or International Court of Justice, create know-how in areas where Israel lacks knowledge and talent. The recent international legal cases improved Israel’s international law practice and created a whole generation of market leaders. Israel’s close relationships with the international financial system, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have accelerated Israel’s leadership in fighting terrorism financing, including training other international agencies in this field.

Israel has gone a long way since the early days of open and direct fight vis-à-vis international forums and commissions, such as the human rights conference also known as the Durban Conference, and the Goldstone Report, produced by the Human Rights Council, a United Nations agency. Today, Israel’s diverse responses include banning visa entries and reducing budgets on one side of the spectrum, all the way to full participation and contribution to some of the most influential forums worldwide.

A thoughtful framework is needed. In recent years, we saw how the engagement with the international film and sports industries brought Israel’s top talent to international screens and major sports venues. Yet, there are times where disengagement is a must.

It remains to be seen where we are heading from here, but the discussion itself has a tremendous value that would make governance, and our lives, much better.
Jonathan Conricus: The Swedish Israeli making the case for Israel on the world stage
Lt.-Col. (ret.) Jonathan Conricus has spent the past nine months since Oct. 7 conducting countless interviews, shuttling from continent to continent advocating for Israel in English-language diplomatic forums, and calmly duking it out with media officials biased against the Jewish state.

But don’t call him a hasbara official.

“I don’t like the word ‘hasbara,’” he tells us soon after we sit down to an eclectic lunch at Reshel, a Moroccan-themed bistro in Tel Aviv Port, on a sweltering day. “I don’t think the State of Israel should have a special, unique word for public diplomacy or public relations.”

“I don’t think we have to explain any more than any other country. We do public affairs, public diplomacy, and we don’t need to justify it.”

That said, Israel is far from winning the PR war, he argues, and much of that is its own doing.

“I think our public diplomacy efforts are not going well. We’re amateurish in the way we’re dealing with an issue that’s tremendously important and strategic. We’re not addressing it with the adequate resources, planning, personalities, personnel, and budget. I think that’s unfortunate.

“We must be doing it better – and we can.”

Clad in a T-shirt and jeans instead of his oft-videoed IDF uniform, he is dressed for riding his motorcycle, his preferred mode of transportation – the better to avoid Tel Aviv’s notorious traffic and any ensuing road rage.

Keeping cool and collected seems to be Conricus’s trademark; he greets everyone, from server to photographer to writer, with a smile and a hello, his voice always level, his reasoning always carefully thought out and sound.
New GOP platform references support for Israel, fighting antisemitism
The Republican Party passed a new platform on Monday indicating that the Trump campaign is seeking to highlight its support for Israel and opposition to antisemitism in the final months of the election, even as the draft document, at just 16 pages, remained short on specific policy proposals.

The newly adopted document, overwhelmingly approved by a Republican platform committee ahead of next week’s convention in Milwaukee, includes just one reference to Israel as well as a brief line about combating antisemitism, otherwise embracing an “America First” foreign policy vision “centered on the most essential American interests, starting with protecting the American homeland.”

Heavily influenced by former President Donald Trump and his allies on the committee, the platform, which will be finalized in a full vote at the convention, vows to “stand with Israel, and seek peace in the Middle East” amid the ongoing war in Gaza, while pledging to “deport pro-Hamas radicals and make our college campuses safe and patriotic again.”

“Republicans condemn antisemitism, and support revoking Visas of Foreign Nationals who support terrorism and jihadism,” the document states in a section addressing rising instances of anti-Jewish activity in the wake of Hamas’ Oct. 7 terror attacks. “We will hold accountable those who perpetrate violence against Jewish people.”

By comparison, the last GOP platform — adopted in 2016 and recycled in 2020 during Trump’s second campaign — was more detailed in outlining what it called its “unequivocal” commitment to Israel, “an exceptional country that shares our most essential values.”

During the recent debate in Atlanta, Trump provided little clarity on his approach toward Israel while answering a question about the Middle East, raising questions about the direction his administration would take if he is elected to a second term.

Despite its short length, the new platform suggests that the party is now leaning into its longstanding support for the U.S.-Israel relationship, even as some of the most hawkish Republican leaders have promoted a more isolationist foreign policy outlook that is skeptical of American engagement abroad.

The document, in a reference to Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system, declares that the party will “prevent World War Three, restore peace in Europe and in the Middle East, and build a great Iron Dome missile defense shield over our entire country — all made in America.”
Senate defense bill pushes for review of U.S.-Qatar relationship
The Senate Armed Services Committee’s draft of the 2025 National Defense Authorization Act pushes for a review of the U.S.-Qatar relationship, following months of mounting pressure from Capitol Hill and calls from some lawmakers to dramatically downgrade the U.S.’ relationship with Doha.

Lawmakers have grown increasingly frustrated with Qatar in the months since Oct. 7. Qatar hosts Hamas’ political leadership and has served as a mediator of hostage talks with the terrorist group; some lawmakers have accused it of failing to apply sufficient pressure on Hamas.

The Senate Armed Services Committee’s defense bill includes a provision that would require the Department of Defense to submit a report to and brief Congress on the “operational value” of the Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, “taking into consideration the relationship of the Government of Qatar with Hamas and other terrorist organizations.”

Some lawmakers have framed Al-Udeid, the largest U.S. base in the Middle East, as a major U.S. pressure point against Qatar, and called for a review of that situation. The bill requests an assessment of whether Qatar’s relationships with terrorist groups undermine U.S. security, the value of Al-Udeid and the potential costs and effects of relocating the base elsewhere.

The inclusion of the provision in the Senate bill — which comes despite strong support for Qatar from some on Capitol Hill, who have often highlighted the centrality of Al-Udeid to U.S. operations — is a further signal of growing frustration with Qatar in Congress.

The explanatory report accompanying the bill also highlights Qatar’s hosting of Hamas, and directs the Secretary of Defense to press Qatar to expel Hamas officials if Hamas continues to refuse “reasonable negotiations.” The report describes Israeli offers as “reasonable,” and Hamas as recalcitrant.
US State Dept. report cites antisemitism in Qatari schoolbooks
The U.S. State Department’s 2023 Report on International Religious Freedom, which was released last week, highlights a new study of Qatari textbooks showing an ongoing prevalence of antisemitic content.

The study was shared with the State Department by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-se), an NGO that analyzes schoolbooks and curricula for compliance with UNESCO standards.

The study, which reviewed 55 textbooks from Qatar’s national school curriculum for the 2023-24 school year, found that the Gulf state continues to teach religious extremism, intolerance and antisemitic tropes. Among these are claims that Jews manipulate global affairs, while being materialistic, arrogant and hostile to Islam.

Violence against Israel is also legitimized, sometimes even praised, in the textbooks, alongside glorification of jihad and martyrdom. Moreover, the Qatari curriculum rejects a two-state solution for Israel and the Palestinians, a hallmark of the United States and international foreign policy on the Middle East, and opposes normalization with Israel in any form, the study shows.

“It is disappointing … that problematic material which encourages antisemitism and promotes violence continues to be taught in Qatar’s classrooms today,” said IMPACT-se CEO Marcus Sheff, in a written statement. “Unless changes are made, it seems inevitable that children in Qatar will grow up developing age-old hateful attitudes which we had hoped would become a thing of the past.”

A previous study by IMPACT-se found that Saudi Arabia has removed practically all antisemitic and anti-Israel material from its schoolbooks.

In addition to the issue of Qatari schoolbooks, the State Department report also points to the state’s media outlets, which “periodically” carry antisemitic content. This, according to the Anti-Defamation League and other organizations, increased following the Hamas terrorist attacks in southern Israel on Oct. 7 and the ensuing war in Gaza.

Bipartisan group of lawmakers expresses ‘serious concerns’ about Erdoğan’s hostility toward Israel
A bipartisan group of 28 House members is voicing “serious concerns” about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his country’s “escalating hostility and inflammatory rhetoric” toward Israel, warning that the U.S. may have to recalibrate its relationship with its NATO ally if Ankara doesn’t change course.

The lawmakers wrote to Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Tuesday calling on the administration “to make clear to President Erdoğan that his continued support for the terrorist regime responsible for the October 7 massacre — who continue to hold more than 110 hostages, including eight Americans — is offensive to the United States, and unless withdrawn, will likely have a negative effect on the relationship between our countries.”

The lawmakers said that if Ankara does not change its posture toward Israel and Hamas, the U.S. “may need to reassess its partnership with Turkey.”

Turkey and its leader have repeatedly expressed sympathy and support for Hamas, while condemning and attempting to punish Israel, including cutting off trade relations. The letter marks an escalation in public criticism of Turkey from Capitol Hill, after some of the same lawmakers raised concerns earlier this year about collapsing Israel-Turkey relations.

“Maintaining NATO unity is crucial, but Erdoğan’s recent actions and statements regarding Israel simply cannot be ignored,” the letter continues.

The letter describes Turkey’s approach toward Israel as “extremely troublesome” and detrimental to “our global fight for freedom and democracy.”

It blasts Erdoğan for having been open about “his support for Hamas” since Oct. 7, describing it as a “liberation group” and condemning Israel’s operations against the terrorist group. It condemns Turkey’s long-running relationship with Hamas, including hosting a Hamas office in Istanbul, and Erdoğan’s past meetings with and praise for Hamas as freedom fighters.

It also slams “the Turkish strongman’s identification” with other U.S. “adversaries,” including refusing to impose sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine while cutting trade ties with Israel and equivocating between Russia and Western nations.

It further accuses him of “chip[ping] away at Turkey’s democratic institutions and judicial independence.”
Seth Frantzman: Syria and Turkey could be headed for new era of ties
In the latest sign that Syria and Turkey could be headed for reconciliation and normalized ties, a Syrian official gave an interview to Al-Ain media in the UAE in which he discussed the determinants of normalization with Turkey. “Is a positive breakthrough in Syrian-Turkish relations imminent?” the report asked.

This comes after reports over the weekend that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erodgan expressed interest in meeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Reuters reported that Erdogan said he would extend an invitation to Assad at “any time.” The report noted that Turkey’s leader said, “we will extend our invitation (to Assad); with this invitation, we want to restore Turkey-Syria relations to the same level as in the past. Our invitation may be extended at any time,” Erdogan said.

The rumors of Ankara-Damascus rapprochement have caused anger in Turkish-occupied areas of northern Syria. Turkey had been backing the Syrian rebels during the civil war in Syria and Turkey hosts millions of Syrian refugees.

However, ties have become strained. Turkey entered Syria in a series of military operations that date back to 2015. However, Turkey’s involvement in Syria is more historic and complex. Modern Turkey, for instance, annexed the former Syrian region of the Sanjak of Alexandretta, what is now Hatay province in 1939. Turkey also pushed the Adana agreement on Syria in 1988 aimed at getting Syria to expel the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Ankara's policy was in support of Syrian opposition
Ankara’s policy in the Syrian civil war was ostensibly in support of the Syrian opposition. However, Turkey opened its borders to foreign fighters who went to Turkey in 2012 and 2013 and fueled extremist groups, including ISIS. ISIS caused the international community to reduce support for the rebels and shift focus to helping groups fighting ISIS, such as the Kurdish People’s Defense Units. Turkey then shifted policy in Syria, pushing the mostly Arab Syrian rebels to fight the Kurds. This culminated in Turkey’s invasion of Afrin and the expulsion of 150,000 Kurds in 2018. Turkey then occupied the border area of Serekaniye in 2019.

Today Turkey’s government is open to a new era of ties with Syria. Syria likely wants Turkey to leave areas in northern Syria. These areas have now been out of the control of Damascus for more than a decade. Other issues affect Turkey’s policy. Anti-Syrian riots have taken place in Turkey. In northern Syria’s Idlib and Afrin areas, the former Syrian rebel groups are angry about the treatment of Syrians in Turkey. Some people took matters into their own hands and ripped down Turkish flags. Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT then paraded a few of these men on television forcing them to apologize, and appearing to show Ankara had kidnapped them from Syria. This crisis likely points to a slow end of the warm ties between Ankara and the areas it occupies in Syria. Anti-Syrian racism is increasing in Turkey.
'186,000 Gazans dead’: Lancet magazine publishes new blood libel
Three days after the publication, one of the writers, Professor Martin McKee, retracted from the digits he co-provided in his piece, claiming that they were “purely illustrative” and that “our piece has been greatly misquoted and misinterpreted.” Despite that, none of the above-mentioned writers have retracted their statements.

The Jerusalem Post reached out to the Lancet magazine inquiring regarding whether the magazine stands behind the digits, plans to retract the digits following McKee’s comments, or plans to issue a clarification regarding the nature of the written piece.

Lancet response
The Lancet magazine responded by saying that the letter was published in the Correspondence section of The Lancet by external authors. The 186,000 figure and corresponding 7.9% are estimates, explained in this paragraph of the Correspondence:
"In recent conflicts, such indirect deaths range from three to 15 times the number of direct deaths. Applying a conservative estimate of four indirect deaths per one direct death to the 37 396 deaths reported, it is not implausible to estimate that up to 186 000 or even more deaths could be attributable to the current conflict in Gaza. Using the 2022 Gaza Strip population estimate of 2 375 259, this would translate to 7·9% of the total population in the Gaza Strip."

The authors also note that many of these indirect deaths may not have yet occurred: “Armed conflicts have indirect health implications beyond the direct harm from violence. Even if the conflict ends immediately, there will continue to be many indirect deaths in the coming months and years.”
Honest Reporting: “186,000 Dead in Gaza”: The Lancet Publishes Most Outrageous Claims About the Israel-Hamas War Yet
It is generous to describe this piece as an “article,” which confers a level of trustworthiness when it is actually a letter—a work of opinion—filed in the “correspondence” section of The Lancet’s website.

The op-ed nature of the piece is obscured in media coverage, with publications presenting the data as endorsed by The Lancet itself. Somewhat predictably, this has led to a rash of headlines from chronically anti-Israel outlets such as Al Jazeera, The National, and The New Arab, claiming that The Lancet or its “experts” are behind the 186,000 casualty figure.

Khatib, McKee, and Yusuf likely know that adding footnotes to their writing makes it seem credible to most readers. This is why it’s always useful to play a little game of “follow-the-footnote” while reading.

In this case, clicking on some of the sources cited by the authors takes readers to the alternative news site Vice News, as well as Airwars, a non-profit that “tracks, assesses, archives and investigates civilian harm claims in conflict-affected nations.” The quality of Airwars’ investigative work, and more importantly, its underlying agenda, is evident in the first article about Gaza on its website, which contains a glaring error in the second paragraph: the incorrect claim that the International Court of Justice found a “plausible risk of genocide in the Gaza Strip…”

No, it didn’t.

And even the marginally more trustworthy information that is provided is referenced incorrectly. For example, the authors link to a UN study, which they claim states that 35 percent of Gaza has been “destroyed” in the conflict. However, a quick skim of the report reveals that the UN’s 35 percent figure includes “damage” sustained—it does not claim that more than a third of the Strip has been totally destroyed.

Finally, it has been pointed out that at least one of the Lancet letter writers, Rasha Khatib, a former researcher at Birzeit University in the West Bank, has a history of defending Palestinian terrorism, having previously justified such barbaric attacks as an “inevitable response to occupation.”

Exactly the kind of “objectivity” one might expect The Lancet to disclose.

The Lancet is considered one of the world’s most trusted medical journals, with an annual readership of 36 million. It is read by healthcare professionals, policymakers, and industry leaders.

This reputation will not endure if it continues to associate its name with thoroughly unscientific, politically motivated nonsense.

UN refers Albanese probe, for alleged pro-Hamas funded trips, to colleagues who defended her
The Magna Carta entitles the accused to a “lawful judgment of his peers.” The United Nations appears to take that literally in assigning an investigation of Francesca Albanese, special rapporteur for the Palestinians, to her colleagues in the global body’s Coordination Committee for Special Procedures.

Not only will the six special rapporteurs and independent experts on the committee—all unpaid advisers to the United Nations who essentially hold the same role as Albanese—judge whether their colleague indeed traveled on the dime of pro-Hamas groups, in violation of U.N. rules, but the sextet publicly supported Albanese against the same accusations that it is now probing.

“It would be a travesty of justice for the high commissioner to pass the buck in this case, particularly because the coordination committee has already pronounced itself on this matter, in at least two statements,” Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based nonprofit UN Watch, told JNS.

The U.N. Office of Internal Oversight Services told Neuer on June 26 that it had referred the allegations against Albanese to Volker Turk, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, for “attention and appropriate action,” Neuer told JNS.

That correspondence came hours after the publication of a widely-circulated video clip of JNS asking a U.N. spokesman why Albanese and other of the global body’s entities refused or ignored requests to clarify or refute details of accusations that she traveled to Australia and New Zealand on trips funded by pro-Hamnas lobbying groups.

Turk has no jurisdiction over the matter and sent the complaint to the Coordination Committee for Special Procedures, a spokeswoman for the U.N. high commissioner for human rights told JNS.

JPost Editorial: Israel must prioritize hostages above all
It’s become increasingly clear that the twin objectives of freeing the hostages and ending Hamas’s rule in Gaza cannot be both accomplished at the same time. It could take years to achieve the latter, while if a deal is reached, it could take only a matter of weeks or months to get the remaining captives home.

It would be a painful deal indeed for Israel, requiring the release of Palestinian terrorists from prison and, for the time being, enabling Hamas’s weakened capabilities to remain intact.

By stating the redlines up front, Netanyahu is boxing in Israel’s position and minimizing the chances of actually arriving at a deal that is workable.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid put it best, saying “We are at a critical moment in the negotiations, the lives of the hostages depend on it, why issue such provocative messages? How does it contribute to the process?”

Israel’s goal of the renewed talks, which in its previous incarnations failed to produce results due to Hamas intransigence, must be the return of the hostages. The government must be of a single mind in that goal and be flexible in order to achieve it.

There must be no doubt that if the talks again fail, it’s not because Netanyahu is letting his coalition partners turn the country’s back on the hostages and their families for a fight that will continue indefinitely, but because Hamas is continuing its duplicitous ways of moving the goalposts and making new, impossible demands.
A red line: 'Releasing Barghouti is like releasing Sinwar,' ex-Shin Bet official warns
Former senior Shin Bet official and member of the IDSF security group, Yossi Amrosi likened releasing Abdullah Barghouti as part of a hostage deal to releasing Yahya Sinwar and spoke on complications of achieving such a deal.

"If you release Abdullah Barghouti, who is serving 66 life sentences, you are releasing the next Yahya Sinwar.

“The underground tunneling that Hamas has been building for 17 years is complex and difficult to locate. We wanted to buy quiet with Qatari money, and we knew we were paying the price of Hamas's buildup in tunnels and missiles," Amrosi added.

Amrosi’s comments came during a Tuesday interview on 104.5FM. He also referred to ongoing hostage talks in Cairo.

"The main significance of Shin Bet Chief Ronen Bar's trip to Cairo is that there are negotiations. We can see signs of shared interests between the two sides that might lead to progress on a deal and the return of hostages. On a basic level, we are still not close to signing, and we are far from an agreement," Amrosi began.

Difficulties in a deal
"We need to check details like how many prisoners, which prisoners, whether to withdraw, when to withdraw, what happens to the displaced Gazans, and how much the IDF will be able to operate inside [the Gaza Strip].

“One of the major stumbling blocks in the negotiations is the Philadelphi Corridor, which is key to Hamas’s ability to rearm, as it is the source of its military equipment," he said.
Combing the desert: 'Spaceballs' and the Hamas tunnel quagmire
According to the high-level defense source, the IDF’s progress is not at all hopeless, and huge progress has been made in destroying Hamas tunnels both in the first invasion stage of October-January and in the reinvasion stages that have been taking place in recent months, including now in Shejaia and Gaza City.

But seeing the vastness of a planet full of sand and the limited search capabilities of the giant combs hits home how long it would take the IDF to actually destroy every Hamas tunnel.

In December 2023, a top defense source told the Post and others that it would take around two years (i.e. December 2025) to destroy all of the Hamas tunnels in just the Khan Yunis area, and that would have been if the IDF kept working on the tunnels without a break.

Instead, the IDF was only in Khan Yunis in full force until February, and by April 7 had pulled out.

That means that if and when the IDF would return to Khan Yunis, it could easily have another 19 months of work to do – if it kept working on the issue constantly.

Another senior IDF source told the Post recently during an embedded visit to Rafah that it would take a minimum of six months nonstop to eliminate just the cross-border tunnels into Egypt – without even giving an estimate for destroying all Rafah tunnels, given that that project seemed too far away to even estimate at this point.

Translate these numbers into the entire Gaza Strip, and it becomes apparent that absent years of constant attention, there will always be more tunnels for Hamas to hide in.

Given the possibility of a ceasefire deal in the coming weeks, the public should not be surprised if the IDF’s achievement regarding tunnel destruction, while very substantial and includes eliminating all major strategic Hamas tunnels that existed on October 7, will still not be close to destroying all of the tunnels.

For those of the public who have not understood until now how the IDF could both have destroyed so many tunnels and also not arrived at so many tunnels – Spaceballs has finally paved the way to an answer.
IDF denies Episcopal Church claim it ordered evacuation of Gaza City hospital
The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday rejected an accusation by Anglican Church authorities that it had ordered the closure of a Gaza City hospital, insisting that it had made it clear there was no need to close hospitals or medical centers in an area where it ordered evacuations due to military operations against terror groups.

The Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East said it was protesting the closure of Al-Ahli Arab Anglican Hospital in Gaza City as a result of the evacuation of several residential districts ordered by the military.

The medical center’s director said patients fled of their own accord while others were moved to alternative hospitals.

A statement issued in the name of the Diocese of Jerusalem said the hospital has been “compelled to close by the Israeli army.”

On Sunday evening, a large amount of drone fire took place in the immediate vicinity of the hospital, it said.

“This was followed by an IDF (Israeli military) announcement that the area had been declared a red zone and that everyone should immediately evacuate all the buildings including everyone in the hospital,” the statement said.

“We protest the closure of our hospital in the strongest possible terms. In a time of warfare and great suffering it is essential that emergency healthcare services are maintained to treat the injured and the dying,” the statement quoted Archbishop Hosam Naoum, Anglican bishop of the Diocese of Jerusalem, as saying.

Naoum urged Israel to allow the hospital to open and end the alleged targeting of civilians. He appealed to warring parties to reach an immediate ceasefire.

Contacted by Reuters, the IDF said in a statement that it had instructed civilians in specific areas of Gaza City to move out in order to minimize the risk to them but had told Palestinian health officials and the international community that there was no need to evacuate hospitals in the area.
Reading the Situation in Gaza
Israel may be getting closer to a ceasefire and hostage deal mainly due to the success of the heavy military activity in Rafah and southern Gaza, in parallel with IDF activities in northern and central Gaza.

The continuous military pressure leads to a desperate desire for a ceasefire and a deal at any cost by most of the remaining Hamas forces. There is no doubt that this desperate desire for a deal reaches the ears of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

If there is a chance to reach a deal that Israel can accept, it is only by increasing the military pressure. As long as Sinwar is convinced that he will achieve his full goals without concessions, and unfortunately, many around the world are helping him reach this conclusion, there will be no deal that Israel can agree to.

Israel's main demand must be the full release of all the hostages and bodies at the outset.

Israel must not relinquish control of the Philadelphi corridor until all the crossing tunnels between Rafah and Egypt are exposed and destroyed.

Israel must retain the capability to have full security control in Gaza and full freedom of action, entering and staying deep in the territory to immediately deal with any terror threats and attempts to rebuild Hamas's capabilities that will threaten Israeli communities.

Israel must concentrate on completing its mission in Gaza and maybe reach a deal that will bring the hostages back home, but not at any price.

Defense Ministry: 9,250 wounded in nine months of fighting
Some 9,250 soldiers have been wounded since the start of the Gaza war nine months ago, the Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

Seventy percent of the wounded are reservists, while 30% are either mandatory conscripts or career officers. About half of those injured are under the age of 30.

Approximately 35% complain of emotional harm, often post-traumatic stress disorder.

The ministry predicts the wounded will rise to 14,000 by the end of 2024.

In April, the ministry said 7,209 soldiers had been wounded, with 2,111 of them afflicted by emotional suffering.

While the 2,111 figure represents about 29% of all wounded soldiers, for 1,227, or 60%, of those with emotional harm, the emotional problems are the primary problem.

Before the war, the Defense Ministry had accounted for 62,000 war-wounded soldiers in all prior conflicts, of whom 18% – or 11,000 – suffered emotional distress.

Of those 11,000, around 8,000 or 70% experienced emotional symptoms as their primary problem.

Two Israelis killed in Hezbollah rocket salvo
Two Israelis were killed in a Hezbollah rocket barrage towards the Golan Heights on Tuesday night, medical authorities said.

“At 7:07 p.m., a report was received regarding two casualties as a result of a direct hit in the Golan Heights sector. MDA medics and paramedics report two casualties in critical condition,” the Magen David Adom medical emergency response group announced.

The victims, said to be a man and a woman, were declared dead shortly after.

According to initial reports, they were wounded when a projectile struck a vehicle at the Nafah Junction on Route 91, which is located near the headquarters of the Israel Defense Forces’ 36th Division.

Following the rocket attack, the Golan Regional Council announced that Route 91 was closed in both directions from the Nafah Junction to the HaShiryon Junction due to “falls in the area.”

The council also advised residents to stay near bomb shelters and avoid public gatherings until further notice “per the army’s instructions.”

The IDF said that, “following the alerts that were activated in the north of the country, about 40 launches were detected that crossed [from] the territory of Lebanon into the area of ​​the central Golan Heights.”

The rocket salvo sparked at least eight fires in open areas across the Golan, according to Israel’s Kan News public broadcaster.

Former Nasrallah aide killed in alleged Israeli strike near Damascus
Hezbollah confirmed on Tuesday afternoon that Yasser Nimr Qarnabsh, a former aide to the Lebanese terror group’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, was eliminated in an alleged Israel drone strike outside Syria’s capital.

Al-Akhbar, a Lebanese daily close to the Iran-backed terror organization, said Qarnabsh was killed after the Israel Defense Forces targeted his car near a checkpoint on the Damascus-Beirut Highway.

Local media said Qranbish was part of an elite Hezbollah unit responsible for transferring terrorists and weaponry from Syria to Lebanon and previously served as Nasrallah’s personal bodyguard.

Hezbollah releases video it says shows surveillance of Golan Heights
Lebanon's Hezbollah published an almost 10-minute video on Tuesday showing footage of 17 military sites in the Golan Heights, which it said had been gathered by the armed group's surveillance aircraft.

The video is the second episode in a series intended to show how far Hezbollah's surveillance of Israel has reached as tensions mount over Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza and over frequent exchanges of fire across Lebanon's border with Israel.

The Iran-aligned group published a more than nine-minute video in June of what it said was surveillance footage of locations in Israel, including the city of Haifa's airport and sea ports.

"Publishing this video sends a clear message to the enemy and its army," said Hezbollah media relations officer Muhammad Afif.

"The importance stems from demonstrating our technical and technological capabilities in the field of surveillance and obtaining necessary information we need in times of war," Afif added.

US-built Gaza aid pier to resume for several days, then be permanently removed
The pier built by the US military to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza will be reinstalled tomorrow to be used for several days, but then the plan is to pull it out permanently, several US officials say.

It would deal the final blow to a project long plagued by bad weather, security uncertainties and difficulties getting food into the hands of starving Palestinians.

The officials say the goal is to clear whatever aid has piled up in Cyprus and on the floating dock offshore and get it to the secure area on the beach in Gaza. Once that has been done, the Army will dismantle the pier and depart. The officials speak on condition of anonymity because final details are still being worked out.

US troops removed the pier on June 28 because of bad weather and moved it to the port of Ashdod in Israel. But distribution of the aid had already stopped due to security concerns. The UN suspended deliveries from the pier on June 9, a day after the IDF used the area around it for airlifts during a rescue of four hostages. US and Israeli officials said no part of the pier itself was used in the raid, but UN officials said any perception in Gaza that the project was used may endanger their aid work.

As a result, aid brought through the pier into the secure area on the beach piled up for days while talks continued between the UN and Israel. More recently, the World Food Program hired a contractor to move the aid from the beach to prevent the food and other supplies from spoiling.

Family of hostage Daniella Gilboa allows release of Hamas video of her from January
The family of Israeli hostage Daniella Gilboa permitted media on Monday to publish a Hamas propaganda video of her from January, in which Gilboa says she has been abandoned by the government and begs to be brought home.

Though Hamas has from time to time issued clips of hostages as part of its efforts to pressure Israel into a hostage release deal, Israeli media does not publish the videos without the express permission of the families. The government has said the videos are an instrument of psychological warfare.

Hamas originally released the clip in January as part of a longer video that also showed hostages Karina Ariev, 19, and Doron Steinbrecher, 30. Like other outlets, The Times of Israel published news of the video’s release when it happened, but did not share the clip or a detailed description of it.

The decision to allow its release now was meant to galvanize support for the effort to arrive at a deal with Hamas, Gilboa’s mother told Kan news.

Gilboa was abducted from the Nahal Oz military base on October 7 of last year, when thousands of terrorists invaded southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing some 1,200 people and taking 251 hostages, and sparking the ongoing war between Israel and the Hamas terror group.

The hostage, who was 19 at the time but who has since turned 20 in captivity, was serving as a surveillance soldier as part of her mandatory military service. Many young female surveillance soldiers were killed during the Hamas assault on the base, while several were captured.

At the start of the clip, Gilboa identifies herself and says that she has been held by Hamas for 107 days, which would date the clip to January 22 (though the actual date of the video cannot be verified). Gilboa was likely coerced when she made the video.

“I am under bombardment and fire 24 hours a day. I am very, very scared for my life. You even almost killed me one time with your bombs,” Gilboa says in the video.

The sounds of explosions can be heard in the background while Gilboa speaks. It is unclear whether those were authentically recorded or edited in.

“Where were you on October 7 when I was kidnapped from my bed? Where are you now?” Gilboa says. “Why should I as a soldier… feel that I have been abandoned and thrown away?

“Get over yourselves, my dear government, and start doing your job as is necessary to bring all of us back home, while we are still alive,” Gilboa says.

“I don’t need any food, any money, any clothing, anything — just that you bring us home alive,” she adds.

Gilboa then addresses her family, saying: “I miss you very much, and I love you. I ask that you be strong, and that you do all that you can to bring me back home while I am still alive.”

London gallery cancels anti-Putin exhibition after artist posted her grief about October 7
A London art gallery cancelled an exhibition by a Russian anti-Putin group on its opening day after one of its members who lives in Israel expressed grief for those murdered on October 7 shortly after the attack.

Metamorphika studio in London pulled a show by Pomidor - comprised of artists Maria and Polina - after receiving complaints about two of Maria’s Instagram posts made a month after October 7, in which she remembered the Israeli victims of the Hamas attack.

The gallery said their decision was not because of Maria’s Israeli nationality, but because she had not said anything about Palestinian deaths in Gaza and added that the gallery stands against “Israel Zionism”.

Maria, 43, told the JC after the cancellation: “I was very surprised, I cannot believe this has happened to me."

Pomidor’s show, titled “Even Elephants Hold Elections,” is about political prisoners in Russia and confronts political repression in Russia.

Maria, who has been working as an artist for over a decade, explained that Pomidor was called to the gallery in Hackney for an “urgent meeting” on July 3, the morning of their opening.

“They said in a message that they had received a lot of concern about our behaviour on social media. It was surprising because we had not posted anything, we were busy setting out the exhibition and had no idea what was wrong,” Maria said.

“We came in the next morning to the gallery, and they showed me my posts [on Instagram] which were posted almost a year ago in October. They said it was wrong that I support Israel.”

From Chaos to Control: Fixing the Failures of Oct 7 | Brig. Gen. (Res.) Amir Avivi | CODEIL
Brig. Gen. (Res.) Amir Avivi is an Israeli hero trying to awaken the inner hero inside every Jew.

Avivi connects the security and intelligence failures of October 7th to the mistakes made decades ago in Oslo that must now be rectified to guarantee Israel’s safety.

Avivi works tirelessly to keep Zionism on course through IDSF, the organization he founded and heads. Join him as he weaves together the history of the Jewish nation with the current situation it faces in Gaza and beyond.

Also, the importance of Zionist education; the road to chaos that began in Oslo; goals and strategies in Gaza; global antisemitism; and how Israel and the Jewish people should move forward.

Chapter titles timestamps:
0:00 Security in Judea & Samaria
2:50 IDSF
10:40 Amir Avivi background
14:00 The Zionist spirit - what are we fighting for?
20:00 Oslo - the road to chaos
29:30 Reason for intelligence failure in Gaza
36:00 Goals in Gaza
40:00 How is the IDF doing in Gaza?
46:00 Strategies in Gaza
50:00 The global picture (Iran, China, Russia)
51:00 Antisemitism
58:00 Empowerment & optimism
Inside Israel's Emergency Call Center on Oct. 7
The calls to the Magen David Adom emergency call center came in a deluge on Oct. 7. Desperate, pleading, screaming, chilling. They poured in from open fields, groves and farms, from locked closets and safe rooms, from shelters, from bullet-riddled vehicles, from injured first-responder teams, from military bases, from bushes, from ditches, under relentless gunfire, deep within the flames. They also came from parents frantic with worry, from children orphaned in an instant, from a mother during her abduction, from people fleeing death until it finally caught up with them.

MDA data shows that on Oct. 7, 315 emergency medical technicians and paramedics answered 26,627 emergency calls, saving many lives. These calls represent an enormous repository of real-time documentation of the atrocities. On that Saturday morning, moment by moment, the calls become more difficult and frightening.

"We all received unusual calls," says dispatcher Yael Hadad. "I looked to my right and left, we looked each other in the eyes and understood that we were all receiving calls that were beyond comprehension." Jarring sounds of screams, pain, gunfire, explosions, panic. Whispers, final gasps, silences, and shouts in Arabic are heard in some of the calls.

At 7:32 a.m., the MDA dispatcher Avi answers a call. A young woman says, "They're shooting at us. We're near Gaza. There are many wounded here. Send lots of ambulances....They're shooting at us all the time!" Her terrified words mingle with the gunfire and screams in Arabic. "Ahhh," a flash of surprised pain is heard on the phone. "Ahhh." Her quick, frightened, sobbing breaths turn into three final gasps, followed by one weak one, and then silence. At least this young woman wasn't completely alone. There was someone who accompanied her until her last breath.

Comedy Cellar USA: Haviv Rettig Gur on the Gaza War, American Jews, Islam, Hopes for Peace, more (with Coleman Hughes).
The Times of Israel's Haviv Rettig Gur in a freewheeling conversation on Israel and related matters.

Did Netanyahu prop up Hamas?
Will peaceful Islam prevail?
Why are American Jews ignorant of their own history?
Why is America So bad at negotiating?

The Israel Guys: Biden Admin Accuses Israel of Threatening Peace in the Middle East
As the nation of Israel continues to fight for its survival in its ancestral homeland against formidable threats like Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran, the Biden Administration is now accusing Israel of threatening peace in the Middle East.

What did Israel do to deserve this accusation? They legalized the right of Israeli Jews to live and build in parts of Judea & Samaria.

'Israel May Have Killed Their Own' | Gaza Latest Feat Gideon Levy
Piers Morgan hosts a debate on the ongoing conflict in Gaza, in light of a new report that suggests the Israeli army invoked its controversial 'Hannibal Directive' during October 7 - meaning many civilian lives would have been put in danger. The protocol was invoked at three military facilities attacked by Hamas last year, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, which claims to have testimonies from army officers and soldiers.

Piers Morgan Uncensored is joined by former IDF international spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, Hebron spokesman and representative of the Jewish community of Hebron, Rabbi Yishai Fleisher, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, and journalist and pro-Palestinian activist Aaron Maté to discuss.

00:00 - Introduction
01:47 - Piers asks Jonathan about the Hannibal Directive
10:24 - Aaron Maté addresses Israeli orders to turn Gaza into a 'killing zone'
16:17 - Gideon: “Nothing justifies what Israel is doing in Gaza”
21:27 - Piers asks Rabbi Yishai Fleisher why Israel won't let journalists in
23:07 - What happens after this war?
31:05 - Gideon: “There are no bigger deniers than the Israelis"
32:47 - Piers asks Yishai about the spike in Israeli settlements
38:24 - Jonathan on a future that involves the rebuilding of Gaza
39:11 - Hezbollah and the threat of second front of war

Jewish family, allegedly assaulted at fifth-grade graduation, plans to sue NYC for $100 million
A Jewish family, that says it was physically assaulted at a fifth grade Brooklyn public school graduation, intends to sue New York City for $100 million, the New York Post reported.

At the PS 682 graduation on June 14, Johan Nunez was “smashed in the head with a woman’s black stiletto” and his wife, Lana Lerner, was “dragged along the ground by her hair,” per the family, which filed a pre-lawsuit claim, the Post reported. Lerner told the paper that her children will “forever remember” the typically joyful event as “a time that their family was attacked.”

“It occurred after a young boy wearing an allegedly school-approved graduation cap with ‘Free Palestine’ written on it crossed the stage waving a small Palestinian flag as he got his diploma,” the Post reported.

It added that the New York City Department of Education said that “initial reports” indicate that “both families engaged in aggressive behavior” and the city department continues to investigate the incident.

Missouri art center ‘heartbroken’ over pain caused by anti-Israel show
Craft Alliance, an arts center in St. Louis that promotes contemporary craft, apologized for and removed an exhibit that it said “contained antisemitic imagery and slogans calling for violence and the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel.”

“Despite repeated requests, the artists did not share the artwork and titles with organization leadership prior to the exhibit,” the center stated late last month. It added that the artists, whom it didn’t name, in its artists-in-residence exhibit “Planting seeds, sprouting hope” violated the center’s “policies on anti-bullying, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility.”

“We are heartbroken for any pain this might have caused our visitors, members, staff, and volunteers,” stated Jackie Levin, the center’s board chair. “We are putting safeguards in place to prevent this type of policy violation from happening in the future.”

Dani Collette, one of the artists, told St. Louis Public Radio that the center’s decision was “incredibly disrespectful.”
Designers' pro-Palestinian message at Berlin Fashion Show 2024 should have been stopped
Like all major fashion events in their respective capitals, several are held throughout the year in Berlin. Here, countless fashion shows showcase start-ups and innovative, sustainable ideas alongside more traditional designs.

Berlin has always found it difficult to catch up with the real market designers, a trend that began over 100 years ago. With the advent of National Socialism in 1933 and up until 1945, the display of anti-Jewish symbols and imagery was limitless.

Within a span of just six years, Berlin’s fashion companies, most of which were Jewish, were expropriated, the fashion designers were expelled, forced labor was established, and the creative industry that had existed since 1836 was destroyed. In Berlin alone, more than 2,700 Jewish fashion firms became victims to German greed and antisemitism.

The hatred of Jews also resulted in thousands of dispossessions. After the war, in 1945, the industry recovered, but Berlin fashion was Judenfrei (free of Jews). The profiteers and fashion designers ensured that it stayed that way until today. Nobody wanted to remember. A subliminal hatred of Jews manifested itself in a wall of silence, and this appears to be the motivation behind Fashion Week Berlin today. The most recent outburst of antisemitic hatred on the catwalk confirmed it.

It is hard to believe but true: Fashion Week Berlin 2024 witnessed “fashionable” anti-Jewish statements. Does Hamas have some kind of influence here? You’d certainly think so if you read the statements from Vogue Germany. For instance, “Serhat Isik and Benjamin Alexander Huseby leave nothing uncommented with their fashion label, GmbH.”

That’s undoubtedly true. “Free Palestine” was the motto specifically chosen by the two designers. Is it possible to sink any lower? Certainly not after the massacre of Jews by Hamas terrorists on October 7. They committed to an unequivocal political position and proceeded to translate it visually into designs on shirts for gays. Why not take it a step further and donate the shirts to the people in Gaza?
Pro-Israel Malmo Pride Parade marchers assaulted by gang
Several pro-Israel participants of the Malmo Pride Parade were assaulted by a gang of men after the event on Saturday, the Southern Region Swedish Police confirmed on Tuesday.

The police have opened an investigation into the case, in which the attackers are suspected of offenses that included molestation, assault, and attempted assault. "The Swedish police take this type of crime very seriously and we are actively working on the current case," said a police spokesperson.

A video of the incident circulating on social media shows a group of pride participants wearing rainbow garments and flags, some with stars of David emblazoned on them. One attendee had an Israeli flag, which was snatched by the men who appeared to be of Middle Eastern extraction.

Police open investigation
In the footage, which police confirmed depicted the incident they were investigating, men drove up alongside the pride marchers in the street verbally harassing them. They exited the vehicle, and were joined by other people in the harrying of the group. One woman in a keffiyeh appeared to attempt to intervene in the violence.

Malo Pride reportedly only became aware of the assault on Monday, and said that it condemned the violence.

Organizers are set to meet to evaluate the 2024 Malmo pride, and will reportedly discuss the matter at the meeting.

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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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