Tuesday, July 09, 2024

From Ian:

Blood Libels, Then and Now
E.M. Rose wrote an exceptional book on this topic, The Murder of William of Norwich: The Origins of the Blood Libel in Medieval Europe. She explained that the blood libel was unique in several ways.

First, it was a theory that originated and was embraced among the educated elite, not just the unwashed masses. She wrote: “This supposed ‘irrational,’ ‘bizarre,’ ‘literary trope’ was the product of lucid, cogent arguments, thoughtfully and carefully debated in executive councils, judged in detail by sober men who were not reacting under pressure to thoughtless mob violence.”

The original blood libel started with the intelligentsia and became well-accepted.

A second element she points out is that the blood libel put every Jew on trial: “Jewish identity was on trial, rather than any single individual perpetrator.”

Every Jew was guilty until proven innocent.

The 20th of Sivan is sadly once again an important date in 2024. Once again, Israel is guilty until proven innocent. Even a hostage rescue is immediately treated as a wanton massacre of innocent civilians until Israel provides video evidence to the contrary.

Once again, leading the charge against Israel are some well-educated people—professors and students at elite universities who, in their hatred of Israel, are eager to support a group of fanatical, depraved murderers. And like Thomas of Monmouth, the testimony of individual Jews, no matter how tainted, is taken to support horrific falsehoods.

The libel of Jewish ritual murder was accepted by some of the most educated people. And that opened the door to widespread violence.

Medieval antisemites believed awful things about Jews, and that gave them license to do awful things to Jews.

But one more point: The 20th of Sivan also marks exceptional heroism. The 32 Jews who were murdered in Blois died with their heads held high.

Ephraim of Bonn, the great medieval chronicler of antisemitic persecution, wrote, “It was also reported in that letter that as the flames mounted high, the martyrs began to sing in unison a melody that began softly but ended with a full voice. The Christian people came and asked us ‘What kind of a song is this for we have never heard such a sweet melody?’ We knew it well, for it was the song: ‘It is incumbent upon us to praise the Lord of all.’” (“Aleinu” on the High Holidays is sung with a special melody.)

These martyrs died singing “Aleinu.”

This is what defiance looks like.

We are the descendants of those Jews. And we too will hold our heads high and defy Hamas and its slandering sycophants.
MEMRI: The Formation Of The Anti-Liberal Alliance – But Liberal Is Not A Synonym Of Woke
We are witnessing the formation of an anti-liberal alliance against the West. For years, Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea have been trying to shape a multipolar world order, which would put an end to the Western-led unipolar one.

As explained by the anti-liberal philosopher Alexander Dugin, the 20th century was characterized by three political theories: liberalism (the first theory), communism (the second theory), and fascism (the third theory). Fascism emerged later than the other major political theories, and disappeared before them. The alliance between the first political theory (liberalism) and the second political theory (communism) and Adolf Hitler's geopolitical miscalculations were responsible for the demise of the third political theory. Fascism's disappearance cleared the battlefield for the first and the second political theories (liberalism and communism), which during the Cold War created a bipolar world that lasted nearly half a century. The 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union signaled the victory of the first political theory (liberalism) over the second (communism). Thus, by the end of the 20th century, the only theory left standing was liberalism.

However, the defeated forces did not accept liberal democracy's victory. Furthermore, new poles rejecting the "Western hegemony" emerged, among them Islamism, an anti-liberal force headed by Iran and Qatar; it has been strengthening itself since the 9/11 terror attacks.

The Islamist Pole
As mentioned, the unipolar order began to erode with the 9/11 attacks by Islamic terrorists on the U.S. The need for shaping an Islamist pole is better understood by Iran and Qatar, as both sponsor Islamist groups in the Middle East that aspire to Islamic hegemony. Hamas, sponsored by Qatar and Iran, is now on forefront of the battle for the establishment of an Islamist caliphate. Hamas official Fathi Hammad said: "We shall liberate our Al-Aqsa Mosque, and our cities and villages, as a prelude to the establishment of the future Islamic Caliphate. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are at the threshold of a global Islamic civilization era."[9]

It should be noted that the Hamas covenant strongly opposes the "Crusader West." Since it was written in 1988, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, the charter also counters the "Communist East." However, in recent decades, since liberal democracy became the main enemy of all the anti-liberal forces, Hamas and its patrons have joined not only modern Russia but also the communist PRC and DPKR, in order to shape a multipolar world order in which the collective West, which includes Israel, will be defeated.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service (NIS) has reportedly confirmed that Hamas is also using North Korean-made weapons to fight Israel in the war in Gaza. Earlier, in November 2023, media reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had ordered officials to come up with ways to "comprehensively support Palestine."[10]

Newsweek, quoting Guermantes Lailari, a scholar at National Chengchi University in Taiwan and a retired U.S. Air Force officer, also noted that the IDF had found massive amounts of advanced Chinese military equipment and weapons technology in Gaza. Newsweek further wrote: "Chinese tunnel warfare specialists helped design and build the Hamas tunnels... [T]wo tunnel engineers from China's People's Liberation Army were discovered by the IDF, meaning that China helped Hamas significantly in its construction of the massive tunnel networks under the Gaza Strip."[11]

As Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea forge closer ties (Putin recently visited China and North Korea), the alliance of the anti-liberal forces is also trying to gain momentum with the help of progressive liberals, or, more accurately, woke supporters, who are being used as a fifth column to defeat the West from within. As mentioned in a previous MEMRI analysis, "liberal democracy" was the concept that was understood by Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan, while "progressive liberalism" has nothing to do with classical liberalism and more to do with a new totalitarian Marxist-inspired ideology.[12] It is therefore no coincidence that TikTok, owned by the Chinese internet company ByteDance, is spreading woke ideology in the West.

Hence, anti-liberal forces are preparing militarily and ideologically for the final battle against liberal democracy.[13] However, one question strongly resonates: Is the collective West ready for this fight?
Until Palestinians Exorcise the Ghost of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, It Will Continue to Haunt Them
Besides being the anniversary of America’s Declaration of Independence, July 4 this year marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Amin al-Husseini, who was appointed grand mufti of Jerusalem by the British in 1921 and remained the de-facto leader of the Palestinian national movement through 1948. Thereafter, Martin Kramer writes, he faded into obscurity. He explains why:
Many mistakenly believe his collaboration with Hitler and the Nazis discredited him. It didn’t. Not only did the Arabs not care, but Western governments eyed the mufti with self-interest. The general view in foreign ministries held that he had picked the wrong side in the war, but not more than that.

What finally discredited the mufti in Arab opinion, where it mattered most, was his role in the 1948 war. It was a war he wanted and believed his side would win. In late 1947, the British sent someone to see if there might be some behind-the-scenes flexibility in his stance on partition, which he had completely rejected. There wasn’t.

[The mufti’s] underestimation of the Zionists proved disastrous, even more so than his overestimation of the Axis. He later wrote his memoirs, blaming “imperialist” intervention, Arab internal divisions, and world Zionist mind-control for the 1948 defeat. To no avail: his name became inseparable from the Nakba, the loss of Arab Palestine to the Jews. His reputation hit rock bottom, along with that of the other failed Arab rulers of 1948.

Kramer laments “Palestinian reluctance to wrestle candidly with the mufti’s legacy,” concluding:
He personified the refusal to see Israel as it is and an unwillingness to imagine a compromise. Until Palestinians exorcise his ghost, it will continue to haunt them.

Caroline Glick: Netanyahu’s red lines for ‘the deal’
Hamas took 250 men, women and children on Oct. 7, and still holds 120 of them nine months later because it rightly views the hostages as its strategic trump card. Since 1985, when Israel agreed to swap Palestinian terrorists for Israeli hostages for the first time, every time that Iran’s terror armies have held Israeli hostages, they have successfully used them to achieve strategic gains.

If Israel removes its forces from Gaza, including from the Netzarim and Philadelphi corridors, and releases hundreds of terrorists from jail to secure the release of 20 hostages, what will it have to give to receive the release of the other 100, including 60 people presumed to still be alive?

Without troops on the ground, without the ability to reinstate combat operations, the cost of negotiating their release would be utterly prohibitive for Israel. As a result, either Israel will capitulate and start the countdown for its destruction to get them released, or it will leave the rest of the hostages in Gaza indefinitely with scant military or diplomatic prospects for their rescue.

Netanyahu’s final red line requires that “the deal” not undermine any of Israel’s war goals. This sounds redundant. But actually, it is important because it includes aspects of the deal that he doesn’t mention explicitly. One of the deal’s components being presented as “pro-Israel” stands out in particular. This component would see an “Arab force” take over security responsibility in Gaza. The idea is that forces from moderate Arab states at peace with Israel would be in charge.

There are two problems with this. First, as has been discovered regarding Egypt, ostensibly moderate and friendly Arab regimes are not necessarily moderate or friendly when it comes to Israel’s war against Hamas specifically or in relation to the Palestinian goal of annihilating Israel more generally. Bringing Arab forces into Gaza effectively merges the existential Palestinian conflict with the all-but-resolved Arab conflict with Israel. Since most Arabs support the Palestinians against Israel, this would undermine the peaceful relations Israel has built with Arab regimes across decades.

Netanyahu’s final red line would reject a deal that in any way undermines Israel’s war goals—and that includes preserving Israel’s peaceful ties with its moderate Arab neighbors.

These red lines need to be viewed as an all-or-nothing package. Either the negotiators secure all of them, or there is no deal. Their implication is obvious. Israel will accept a hostage deal. Indeed, it is willing to pay a massive price to achieve one. But it will not undermine its position strategically. It will not enable Hamas to win this war. It will not abandon the rest of the hostages. It will not sign its national death warrant.

Given the near-unanimous support of the public for the goals of the war, we should pay attention to the actors that have condemned Netanyahu’s red lines.
Hostage families to fly on Netanyahu’s plane to attend address to Congress
Relatives of hostages still being held in Gaza will join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the inaugural flight of Israel’s version of Air Force One, as the premier heads to Washington, D.C., to deliver a pivotal speech to a joint session of Congress on July 24, Jewish Insider has learned.

The Prime Minister’s Office did not respond to a query about which families would join Netanyahu.

Relatives of the five living American hostages – Keith Siegel, 65; Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35; Omer Neutra, 22; Edan Alexander, 20; and Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23 – are expected to attend the speech. A spokesperson for the Bring Hersh Home campaign said his parents plan to travel to the U.S. before Netanyahu to hold meetings and speak to the media.

Other hostage families, affiliated with the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, called on Netanyahu to cancel his speech before Congress, saying the prime minister must “prioritize finalizing a hostage release deal.” The forum did not specify which families joined the statement, in light of the plans of several families to attend.

“A speech without concrete action to seal the deal and bring our loved ones home is premature and misses the mark of this war’s top priority – The return of all the hostages,” the forum’s statement, released Monday, reads.

Netanyahu’s flight to Washington, D.C., will be on “Wing of Zion,” a designated airplane for Israel’s prime ministers and presidents, which has been in the works for a decade.

Its inaugural official flight was supposed to be to the UAE for the U.N. Climate Change Conference held late last year, to which Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog were invited. Only Herzog ultimately attended, flying on a leased Israir plane.

“Wing of Zion” is a smaller plane than the El Al jets the Prime Minister’s Office generally leased for long flights, and with the hostage families present, the PMO invited a pool of only six media outlets aboard.
Kamala Harris Says Young Anti-Israel Protesters ‘Showing Exactly What the Human Emotion Should Be’ in Response to Gaza
US Vice President Kamala Harris said in a new interview that young anti-Israel protesters are showing “exactly what the human emotion should be” as a response to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

In the interview with The Nation for a profile in the progressive magazine, Harris was asked about her stance on Israel, the war in Gaza, and whether she is further left on the issues politically than US President Joe Biden.

The interview had particular importance in light of growing questions regarding Biden’s mental fitness for office, whether he will stay in the race after a poor debate performance, and what a Harris presidency may look like.

Harris initially called for an “immediate ceasefire” before Biden and has often used more pointed language when discussing the war, Israel, and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

However, “the difference is not in substance but probably in tone,” one of Harris’s advisers told The Nation.

Harris explained how she approaches the conflict.

“Listen, I strongly believe that our ability to evaluate a situation is connected to understanding the details of that situation … OK, the trucks are taking flour into Gaza. But here’s the thing, Joan [the interviewer]: I like to cook. So I said to my team: You can’t make s—t with flour if you don’t have clean water. So what’s going on with that? I ask questions like, What are people actually eating right now?”

“Similarly,” Harris added, “I was asking early on, what are women in Gaza doing about sanitary hygiene. Do they have pads? And these are the issues that made people feel uncomfortable, especially sanitary pads.”

The interviewer then noted that she believed the young people protesting against Israel were “unlikely to be mollified by these answers,” asking for Harris’s reply.

“They [young anti-Israel protesters] are showing exactly what the human emotion should be, as a response to Gaza,” Harris said. “There are things some of the protesters are saying that I absolutely reject, so I don’t mean to wholesale endorse their points. But we have to navigate it. I understand the emotion behind it.”

The protests Harris was referring to included demands for a ceasefire to end the war in Gaza. They also included calls for violence such as an “intifada revolution,” images glorifying Hamas and other US-designated terrorist organizations, and calls for “death to America” and “death to Israel.”

Iran's Government Is Paying Anti-Israel Protesters as Part of US Influence Campaign, National Intelligence Director Says
The Iranian government is organizing and paying anti-Israel protesters in the United States as part of a foreign influence campaign meant to sow division across the country ahead of the 2024 elections, according to a warning Tuesday from the director of national intelligence.

"Iranian government actors have sought to opportunistically take advantage of ongoing protests regarding the war in Gaza, using a playbook we’ve seen other actors use over the years," Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines wrote in a rare public statement. "We have observed actors tied to Iran’s government posing as activists online, seeking to encourage protests, and even providing financial support to protesters."

The revelations come as Iran, Russia, China, and other malign nations ramp up their cyber operations and other spy activities in anticipation of the November elections. In 2020, Iranian hackers successfully broke into a municipal system used to publish election results and engaged in disinformation campaigns meant to sway those results. Tehran is implementing a similar playbook this year, using nationwide unrest over Israel’s war against Hamas to embolden far-left activists who have been violently campaigning against the Jewish state for the last nine months, according to the DNI.

"Iran is becoming increasingly aggressive in their foreign influence efforts, seeking to stoke discord and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions, as we have seen them do in the past, including in prior election cycles," Haines said. "They continue to adapt their cyber and influence activities, using social media platforms and issuing threats."

The intelligence community assesses that Iran "will continue to rely on their intelligence services in these efforts, as well as Iran-based online influencers, to promote their narratives."

Americans who have been sucked into Tehran’s online orbit "may not be aware that they are interacting with or receiving support from a foreign government," according to Haines. "We urge all Americans to remain vigilant as they engage online with accounts and actors they do not personally know."

The DNI simultaneously defended those who engage in anti-Israel protests, saying they are operating "in good faith."

"I want to be clear that I know Americans who participate in protests are, in good faith, expressing their views on the conflict in Gaza—this intelligence does not indicate otherwise," Haines said.
BADGE OF HONOR?: Meet the eleven police leaders sanctioned by Iran for breaking up anti-Israel encampments
The Iranian government sanctioned eleven American police leaders for “suppressing” campus anti-Israel encampments across the country.

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran announced the sanctions on July 4, stating that the individuals committed a “flagrant violation of human rights by suppressing pro-Palestine student protest movement.”

According to the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the individuals were sanctioned in accordance with the Iranian law, “Countering the Violation of Human Rights and Adventurous and Terrorist Activities of the United States in the Region.”

Those sanctioned will be barred from opening bank accounts in Iran and will be unable to make transactions within the country. The individuals will also be refused entry to Iran and denied a visa.

Harvard and Columbia since Oct. 7: What Has Happened and What Can Be Done about It?
JCPA Wartime Briefing featuring Dr. Alex Safian, Associate Director and Research Director, CAMERA

Hosted by Dr. Dan Diker, President, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

HonestReporting: College campus protests are not what they seem. This is what we found...
THE MEN: The college campus protests might appear organic, but if you peel back the layers, they’re meticulously planned, organized, and funded by terrorism.

THE MONEY: Universities that received funding from Arab countries have seen a 300% rise in antisemitism.

THE MADNESS: One of the strongest predictors of campus antisemitism is a strong SJP presence.

Unraveling the money, the men, and the madness behind these campus protests proves it was never about Palestine, social justice, or inclusion.

Seth Mandel: The Hypocritical Betrayal of France’s Jews
The post-election discourse, especially in the US, has been dominated by a celebratory attitude among pundits who know or care only about one participant in French politics: Marine Le Pen. With the right-wing coalition of parties taking the leading in the early round of voting nine days ago, the center and left united to strategically outnumber Le Pen and her followers on Sunday. There was nothing underhanded or unfair about this, and in fact some version of this coalition building takes place during and after every French parliamentary election.

Yet this time, in order to stop Le Pen, the coalition empowered not the bland centrism of Emmanuel Macron but an authoritarian populist who wears his disgust for Jews on his sleeve. It might have been an impossible choice—it is not as though French Jewry would’ve been at peace with a Le Pen victory—but it evinced as thorough a display of political hypocrisy as one will find.

“Very clear road map for Democrats,” announced Democratic Twitter enthusiast Rachel Bitecofer. At the Washington Post, Max Boot spoke for many of his ideological peers when he declared the lesson to be “the need for the center left and center right to work together to thwart extremists.”

What? Extremists weren’t thwarted. No, one extremist was thwarted through the elevation of a politician no less extreme. It’s just that the extremist supported by all the “moderate” commentators luxuriates in the kind of Jew-baiting that is practiced in the classrooms and the cafes and op-ed pages of mainstream publications. Before the second round of voting, the American Prospect’s Robert Kuttner implored the center and left “to cooperate” in just this way.

Who and what are we all celebrating here? London’s Jewish Chronicle has a snappy playlist of this atrocious man’s hits:
In June 2020, Mélenchon dismissed reports of chants of “Dirty Jews” at a left-wing demonstration in Paris. He alleged the reports were fabricated by police, who he accused of “peddling gossip about antisemitism”…

Since October 7, the far-left leader has repeatedly refused to condemn Hamas. LFI’s initial statement on the terror attacks called them an “armed offensive by Palestinian forces” that came “in the context of the intensification by Israel of the policy of occupation of Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem”. Mélenchon doubled down in response to a backlash, failing to condemn his deputy Daniele Obono, who called Hamas a “resistance movement”.

The left under Mélenchon has focused on the Palestinian cause. In his concluding speech in the first round of elections, the leader stood next to Rima Hassan, a prominent figure in LFI. A French-Palestinian lawyer, Hassan has called the October 7 attacks a “legitimate action.”

There was also, of course, that time Melenchon coolly asserted in an interview that the Jews killed Jesus. He vociferously defended his friend Jeremy Corbyn, the UK left’s most prominent anti-Semite (who won his own election last week), by insinuating that shadowy networks of Jews had been behind the character assassination of poor Jeremy.

Where French domestic and foreign policy goes from here depends on how power is shared among this left-and-center coalition, but it is unlikely to be an improvement. Melenchon’s distaste for confronting Vladimir Putin is no secret, and his hostility to Israel is deep-seated. The willingness of those in France to partner with Melenchon, and those in the West to advocate for such an alliance, was revelatory: one kind of extremism was defeated only by raising up and mainstreaming another kind, the latter simply more palatable to elites by virtue of his acceptable brand of anti-Semitism.
Bernard-Henri Lévy: The French Left’s Fascist Creep
In the Book of Proverbs it is written: You are the company you keep. And so, to find the whiff of putrescence surrounding Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the former French presidential candidate and leader of the extreme-left party, La France Insoumise, one only has to recall Mélenchon’s recent meeting with Jeremy Corbyn at the September 2018 Labour conference in Liverpool to appreciate the nature of the man. As the two called for closer ties to be forged between their parties, it evoked a left that saw the “beauty” in Soviet Communism and not the stench of totalitarianism and tyranny. Alas, I had sounded the alarm in 1977 against these tendencies in Barbarism With a Human Face well before Mélenchon veered down this path …

But now, he had been in a bad way for a while.

Around him hung the air of a bit player and sore loser.

He jabbed below the belt at Macron, Hollande, and others.

There was the matter of his strange alignment with the far right Le Penists on issues as sensitive as anti-interventionism and migrants …

His offensive comments about the umbrella organization of French Jewish organizations …

The Trump-like persecution of journalists and the media, whom he has not forgiven for having been so slow to give him his due …

And the embarrassing moment on television four months ago when France watched him trying to put down two women, Laurence Debray and Nathalie Saint-Cricq, whose effrontery was to push him a little too hard about his bromance with Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro …

That Jean-Luc Mélenchon had already ceased to be a populist. He had become hateful. Sexist. Servile toward the powerful (Putin, Assad). Indifferent to victims (Ukrainian democrats, slaughtered Syrian civilians, Tibetans). Derisive toward ordinary people whose look happened to displease him (just last week, he grossly aped the accent of a France 3 correspondent). All with an odd undertone that, by mixing popular appeals with a cult of personality, was reminiscent of that old strain of French political culture known as Boulangism.

But now, with his reaction to a series of raids connected with the official investigation of his campaign accounts and personnel practices, he has reached a new stage in his troubling metamorphosis.
Female, Jewish, French parliamentarian: ‘My goal is to eradicate antisemitism’
Caroline Yadan (55), a Zionist Jew, lawyer and resident of Paris, is the new representative in the French Parliament for District 8.

“I am pleased with the election results,” she said. “Throughout the campaign, I emphasized my future plans, which include genuine concern for France and its citizens, and I am glad they trusted me and chose me as their representative.”

This marks her second term as a parliament member, having previously served as a member of the National Assembly representing the 17th and 18th districts in Paris.

Yadan, a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance Party, won the election against former parliament member Meyer Habib in a district composed of French citizens residing outside France—in countries such as Israel, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and Italy.

During the campaign, alongside messages directed at the general population, Yadan emphasized: “I have always fought antisemitism, but since Oct. 7 and the rise in antisemitism, I am very focused on the fight to eradicate antisemitism, and this is one of my main goals as a parliament member. For me, it’s also a personal matter, and it’s important to me to reduce the flames of hatred burning in certain parts of French society. I also do everything to show the French people the positive aspects of Israel and present the country in a positive light.”

Yadan, married and a mother of three, comes from a traditional Jewish family of mixed Tunisian and Polish descent. Her support for Israel also led her to spearhead the protest against the recent boycott of Israeli businesses at the “Eurosatory” exhibition, claiming the boycott was illegal and attending the exhibition with Israeli flags.

According to her, despite recent tensions between Israel and France, “the relations have been strong for decades and will continue to be so. France participated in defending Israel during Iran’s missile and UAV attack against Israel. There is no doubt that the relations between President Macron and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could be better, but since the events of Oct. 7, France understands Israel’s legitimacy to defend itself.”
Labour expected to delay proscribing IRGC
The new Labour government is expected to delay a pre-election pledge to proscribe Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and examine a new category of state-backed terrorism.

The foreign secretary, David Lammy, is said to be analysing the foreign policy implications of the election of the new Iranian president, Masoud Pezeshkian.

Described as the “reformist” candidate, the main argument between Pezeshkian and his conservative opponent during the presidential debates had been the nuclear programme. The new president reportedly supports a dialling down of Iran’s nuclear operation to facilitate the reduction of the crippling Western sanctions on Iran.

Lammy is likely to want to see if Pezeshkian has any real influence over the nation's foreign policy and could take steps to stem nuclear acceleration, according to the Guardian.

The Board of Deputies has pushed the new government to move forward with proscription, with a spokesperson telling the JC: “While in opposition Labour made a clear and repeated pledge to proscribe the IRGC. We call on them to fulfil this pledge now that they are in a position to do so.”

In opposition, Labour said it would proscribe the IRGC. If it pushed ahead with the pledge, the National Security Bill would need to be amended to allow the proscription of state bodies like the IRGC.
Brazil ratifies free trade deal with Palestinian Authority
Brazil has ratified a free trade agreement forged with the Palestinian Authority 13 years ago, Reuters reported on Monday.

“The agreement is a concrete contribution to an economically viable Palestinian state, which can live peacefully and harmoniously with its neighbors,” according to a statement by Brazil’s foreign ministry cited in the report.

The deal ratified on Friday was signed between the Mercosur trade bloc of South America and Ramallah in 2011.

Full members of Mercosur include Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, with Venezuela having been suspended in 2016. Associate countries are Chile, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Ecuador and Suriname.

It was not immediately clear whether any of these countries would follow Brazil’s move.

Palestinian envoy to Brasilia, Ibrahim Al Zeben, called the decision “courageous, supportive and timely,” Reuters reported.

Trade between Mercosur and the P.A. currently stands at $32 million a year.

In February, Foreign Minister Israel Katz declared Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva persona non grata over his comparison of Jerusalem’s war against Hamas to the Holocaust.

Katz, the son of Holocaust survivors from Romania, told Brazil’s Ambassador Federico Mayer during a tour of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem that Israel “will not forget and we will not forgive” until the president expresses contrition for his words.

“I want to tell you here that the remarks made by President Lula when he compared the just war of the State of Israel against Hamas which murdered and massacred Jews and Hitler and the Nazis are an utter disgrace, and a severe antisemitic attack on the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” said Katz.

In April, Lula claimed that over 12 million children had died in Gaza and Israel due to the ongoing war. The combined population of Israel and Gaza in 2023 was around 11 million.

Meta Updates Moderation Policy for Word ‘Zionist’ Used in Hate Speech Targeting Jews, Israelis
Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, announced on Tuesday an update to its moderation policy regarding posts that use the word “Zionists” as a proxy to target Jews or Israelis in hate speech.

Meta said it will now remove posts that use “Zionists” to refer to Jews and Israelis in harmful and derogatory ways.

“We recognize there is nothing approaching a global consensus on what people mean when they use the term ‘Zionist,'” Meta explained. “However, based on our research, engagement, and on-platform investigation into its use as a proxy term for Jewish people and Israelis in relation to certain types of hateful attacks, we will now remove content that targets ‘Zionists’ with dehumanizing comparisons, calls for harm, or denials of existence on the basis that ‘Zionist’ in those instances often appears to be a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people.”

Meta said it made its decision after consulting with 145 external experts “representing civil society and academia across the Middle East and Africa, Israel, North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia.” They included political scientists, historians, legal scholars, digital and civil rights groups, freedom of expression advocates, and human rights experts.

Meta’s longstanding policy has been to remove posts that attack people based on protected characteristics such as nationality, race, and religion. Political affiliations and ideologies are not among those protected characteristics. Meta also previously only considered the word “Zionist” as a proxy for Jewish or Israeli people in very specific cases, such as when Zionists are compared to rats, which is a common antisemitic trope.

“Going forward, we will remove content attacking ‘Zionists’ when it is not explicitly about the political movement, but instead uses antisemitic stereotypes, or threatens other types of harm through intimidation, or violence directed against Jews or Israelis under the guise of attacking Zionists,” Meta said.
Australia taps first antisemitism czar amid Gaza war tensions
Australia on Tuesday appointed the first special envoy to combat antisemitism amid a rise in anti-Jewish sentiment in the country following the Hamas-led massacre in southern Israel on Oct. 7 and amid the ensuing war in Gaza.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese tapped Jewish lawyer and business leader Jilian Segal for the three-year role. Her previous positions include deputy chancellor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), serving on the board of the National Australia Bank and as president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ).

“There is no place for violence or hatred of any kind in Australia,” Albanese said, telling reporters in Sydney that an Islamophobia envoy would also be named soon.

The premier, from the center-left Labor Party, called Segal’s appointment a “critical step” in addressing tensions in Australia caused by the Israel-Hamas war.

“Australians are deeply concerned about this conflict, and many are hurting. In times like this, Australians must come together, not be torn apart,” Albanese emphasized.

In her role, Segal will advise the prime minister and Multicultural Affairs Minister Andrew Giles on antisemitism and promote education and awareness of the issue.

“Antisemitism erodes all that is good and healthy in a society—as such, it poses a threat not just to the Jewish community, but to our entire nation,” said Segal.

Australia's attorney general says criticism of Israel 'absolutely can be' antisemitic

26 states support Supreme Court case for synagogue-denied holiday ad
The rejection by a state agency of a Florida synagogue’s advertisement for a “Chanukah on Ice” event has resulted in a Supreme Court case supported by more than half of America’s states on the grounds of religious freedom.

A coalition of 26 states joined to advocate on July 5 for Young Israel of Tampa, which wanted to place ads for a holiday gathering, after the Hillsborough County Transit Authority denied such on the grounds of a “no religious speech” advertising policy.

The authority, however, had accepted a similar ad for a “Winter Village” event with no religious mention.

“By unlawfully denying a Jewish synagogue’s proposed holiday advertisement solely because it was religious, the transit authority brazenly targeted religious speech as the object of its discrimination,” stated Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall.

He said the coalition “recognizes that such discrimination is a direct attack on the First Amendment, and we look forward to continuing our support of Young Israel.”

Alabama had previously organized two multistate briefs in support of Young Israel at the Eleventh Circuit court.

John M. Formella, attorney general of New Hampshire, called the goal of the case to uphold “religious liberty and the fundamental rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.”
A message to BDS activists: Go ahead, boycott Israeli, Jewish innovation
Boycotting Israel and Jews has become a hobby for some, driven by deep-seated prejudices and political biases. But let’s take a step back and truly understand what this would really mean. Imagine a world without the innovations and contributions from Jews and Israel. If you want to boycott, it’s your decision, but please – do it right! Prepare to live without search engines, social media, navigation tools, computers, and the list could fill this entire article.

“Jews control everything.” Well, not everything, but they have certainly changed the world. Let’s talk about some tech: Google, Facebook, and Netflix. They are all founded by Jews and deeply reliant on Jewish and Israeli innovation and R&D. Without Israel, you’d have to give up Waze, a lifesaver in daily navigation, and even the very computers you use, many of which are powered by Intel chips designed in Israel.

Medical advancements would also take a hit. Jews and Israelis have pioneered numerous medical technologies, such as the ReWalk exoskeleton that allows paraplegics to walk again. And let’s not forget Israel’s quick response teams that have saved numerous lives worldwide during disasters, from Turkey (what about a little gratitude?) to Haiti and so many others.

Here’s the thing: if you really believe in boycotting Jews and Israel, don’t do it halfway. Stop using Facebook and Instagram to spread your messages, these platforms benefit from Jewish and Israeli technology, co-founded by our good Jewish genius Mark Zuckerberg.

Quit using Google to organize your protests and search for ideas (maybe we should ask Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the co-founders, to put an end to this). Say goodbye to Netflix after a long day of advocating against Israel at Ivy League universities. And if you really want to boycott Israel, just stop using Waze or Google Maps to navigate your protests. Oh, and don’t forget, your computer with an Intel chip inside? Out it goes.

Some might argue, “But a boycott sends a political message and pressures for change.” Yes, that’s a fair point. Boycotts have historically been a tool for political and social change. However, let’s be clear: this isn’t about a principled stand. If you’re serious, apply the boycott consistently and fully. Anything less is hypocrisy.
Andrew Cuomo Slams Alvin Bragg for Letting Columbia Protesters Walk
Former New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D.) on Monday slammed Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg for dropping charges against dozens of anti-Israel protesters involved in the violent takeover of Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall.

"By dismissing 31 of the 46 cases against protesters who briefly occupied Columbia University’s Hamilton Hall in April, [Bragg] has done a disservice to the residents of New York City," Cuomo wrote in an op-ed for Forward, arguing that New Yorkers "deserve a justice system that is willing to pursue cases even when they are difficult—and, dare I say it, may not align with the ideology of the prosecutor."

Bragg dismissed the trespassing charges on June 20, citing a lack of direct evidence as the protesters wore masks and would be difficult to identify. New York City police—called in by Columbia president Minouche Shafik after a week of protests—arrested more than 100 participants who broke into Hamilton Hall on April 30.

Cuomo accused Bragg of using masks as an "excuse" to not prosecute properly, noting that the Justice Department had no trouble prosecuting the Jan. 6 rioters who wore masks.

"By letting the cases lapse," the former governor said, "Bragg’s office has sent the message at this time of increased anti-Semitic activity that those looking to instill fear in Jews by creating chaos and destruction can do so with reckless abandon."

"[Bragg’s office has] given the impression that certain crimes are not worthy of prosecuting and that certain groups are not worthy of protecting," Cuomo continued. "As a serious secondary consequence, Bragg’s decision is likely to further dishearten the majority of New Yorkers who believe that the criminal justice system has been politicized."

After settling lawsuit, NYU to add Title VI position to counter antisemitism
New York University released a statement on Tuesday saying it had committed “to take groundbreaking measures to address antisemitism” following the decision to settle a lawsuit about the school’s antisemitic environment, filed by Jewish students.

One of the measures NYU announced is a new coordinator intended to “oversee compliance with Title VI, including ensuring that NYU responds adequately and consistently to allegations of discrimination and harassment based on all protected traits.” As part of the job, annual reports of disciplinary data to the Board of Trustees are required.

The agreements in the settlement remain confidential, including its “monetary terms.”

The position will follow the school’s existing Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy, which utilizes the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism.

Linda G. Mills, president of the university, said “we are committed to continuing our vigorous efforts to confront discrimination, including antisemitism, and the settlement in this litigation is yet another step in this direction.”

The lawyer for the students, Marc Kasowitz of Kasowitz Benson Torres, said “NYU, by entering into this historic settlement, is to be commended for taking a leading position among American universities in combating antisemitism on campus. Other universities should promptly follow their lead.”

Guardian op-ed effectively endorses Hamas terror
The only reason why the Guardian hasn’t published op-eds explicitly supporting Palestinian terrorism perpetrated by proscribed groups is because to do so would run afoul of Britain’s anti-terrorism laws. Such laws make it a criminal offence to publish statements that encourage, either intentionally or recklessly, the commission of terrorist acts – including statements which ‘glorify’ acts of terrorism.

By that, we mean: there are likely many editors, journalists and columnists who don’t have a moral problem with pro-terror views. They likely only worry about the legal consequences of such op-eds or editorials.

An example of how such laws impact media outlets in the UK: In 2021, we prompted the British Muslim news site 5 Pillars to retract an op-ed by Abdel Bari-Atwan which praised Hamas’s rocket attacks on Israel as “heroic”, and argued that it’s the duty of “all Muslims and Arabs” to join the terror group’s violent resistance. Editors weren’t concerned over their outlet’s endorsement of terror as an ethical or moral issue, but by our warning that it arguably ran afoul of the law.

However, there are ways to get around such anti-terror laws: using language ambiguous enough that there’s plausible deniability that the writer is, in his or her own voice, praising terror. An example of an effectively pro-terror op-ed was published by the Guardian on July 8th by Ahmed Moor, an American from Gaza who’s an advisory board member of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR). USCPR defended the Oct. 7th massacre, and is one of the groups which incited antisemitic protests on college campuses in recent months.

Moor’s over 3,000 word piece (“The Palestine-Israel nightmare won’t end until we accept these basic truths”) argues that Israel has no right to exist, and includes antisemitic tropes, such as his reference to Israel as a “Jewish supremacist” state. Dressing his antisemitic belief that Zionism is a racist endeavor in woke terms, Moor, the co-editor of a book titled ‘After Zionism‘, writes that “Jewish Israelis must relinquish their privilege”.

BBC News removes inaccurate claim regarding hostage
In our discussion of BBC News website coverage of the hostages rescue in Nuseirat in early June, we noted that one of the BBC’s reports had inaccurately described Noa Argamani as “a Chinese-born Israeli citizen”.

On June 9th CAMERA UK submitted a complaint to the BBC on that issue, pointing out that Noa Argamani was not born in China but in Israel. On June 17th we received a communication informing us that it would take more time to address our complaint.

However, the relevant part of the report concerned – which was originally published on June 8th – has in fact been amended.

“Miss Argamani, a Chinese-born Israeli citizen, was kidnapped from the Nova festival and harrowing video footage from 7 October showed the 26-year-old being taken away on the back of a motorbike screaming, “Don’t kill me!”

After amendment:
“Miss Argamani was kidnapped from the Nova festival and harrowing video footage from 7 October showed the 26-year-old being taken away on the back of a motorbike screaming, “Don’t kill me!””

The report now also includes the following footnote dated June 21st:

PMW: “Take off your pants,” “spread your legs” – From Hamas translation guide for October 7
Palestinian Media Watch attended a military intelligence briefing yesterday and we were shown several previously confidential documents. The documents included a language guide for the Hamas terrorists to use on October 7 when they invaded Israel. The terms found in the language guide render completely false the claim that Hamas did not deliberately plan to weaponize sexual violence. These terms include: “Take off your pants,” “Take off your clothes,” “Women here,” and “Raise your hands and spread your legs.”

The Hamas language guide had the terms written in Arabic and their Hebrew translation then transliterated back into Arabic characters (see below) so that the terrorists would know how to speak and pronounce commands to the abducted Israelis.

Hamas put this language guide to use on October 7 when its terrorists committed atrocities—raping, torturing, kidnapping, and murdering close to 1,200 Israelis.

In addition, as can be seen in the layout below, Hamas trained on mockups of Israeli towns, in part based on info provided by Gazans who had received permission to work in Israel. The Hamas claim that it only attacked military targets is proven false yet again.

Furthermore, a note found in the pocket of a Hamas terrorist who invaded Israel on October 7 demonstrates that the particularly brutal and barbaric nature of the massacre was pre-planned and not spontaneous. The note instructed: “This enemy of yours is a disease that has no cure other than cutting off heads and cutting out hearts and livers.”

The full text of the Hamas commander’s hand written note:
“O descendants of Khalid [ibn Al-Walid] and Zubayr (i.e., 7th century Muslim military leaders), Allah designated you and established the Jihad market for you, so that you would present your merchandise as much as you are able. Therefore, improve the supply and sharpen your blades, and be loyal to Allah in your intentions, for your Prophet [Muhammad’s] desire was ‘Attack and be killed, again and again, for the sake of Allah.’ What you present before Almighty Allah He will buy from you, souls that yearn to meet their Creator and see their Prophet Muhammad and his companions Abu Amara, Sa’d [ibn Abi Waqqas], and Khalid [ibn Al-Walid].

And know that this enemy of yours is a disease that has no cure other than cutting off heads and cutting out hearts and livers.

Therefore, come to them in the hours towards evening, and do to them [like] the sword of [Khalid ibn Al-Walid] ‘Abu Suleiman,’ and impose upon them the sentence of Sa’d.

In the name of the God of Khaibar (place where Muhammad massacred Jews) we will start, and with the sword of Zulfiqar we will strike.”

As time passes and we hear more denial of the atrocities that Hamas committed on October 7, even from public figures worldwide, this material becomes critically important. The world must be shown the true character of Israel’s enemies, and the free world must give 100% backing and support for Israel’s goal of completely eradicating Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Five Gazan Laborers Were Murdered in Israel by Hamas on Oct. 7
Israel is holding the bodies of five Palestinian laborers from Gaza who were killed by Hamas terrorists along with their Bedouin Israeli driver during the October 7 massacre, while two others who were in the same van remain unaccounted for, according to a Hebrew media report Monday.

The military told the Haaretz newspaper in June it was storing five of the bodies — pulled from the gray Volkswagen vehicle that was attacked — alongside the corpses of terrorists at the Sde Teiman military base. It has not identified whose bodies they were — though it is known who was in the car — and does not know the fate of two others who were seen in footage being taken alive by the terrorists.

Hashim al-Birawi, Suliman al-Atar, Salah Abd al-Daib, Ismail Abu Rakba, Suheil al-Masri, Khouri al-Masri, and Ziyad Ghanam — residents of the Gazan city of Beit Lahiya and members of the same extended family — were employed in Kibbutz Nir Am’s agricultural fields, and entered Israel legally in September, staying in the Bedouin city of Rahat, according to Haaretz.

The seven were driven by Sami al-Jarjawi, a resident of the unrecognized Bedouin village of Wadi al-Na’am, to their place of work on October 7 when incoming rocket sirens sounded and the terrorists began their deadly rampage. The van came under fire from terrorists when it passed through the Sha’ar HaNegev intersection. The vehicle is seen riddled with bullets from a distance in security footage.

+972 Magazine reported in November that al-Jarjawi, al-Atar, al-Masri, and Ghanam were killed in the incident, citing footage seen by the outlet. In footage cited by Haaretz, two of the occupants, who remain unidentified, could be seen being taken by terrorists.

Security officials confirmed to Haaretz that none of the occupants have interacted with the Shin Bet security agency, nor did any return to the Gaza Strip.

Al-Birawi’s son, who was also in Israel, tried to find his father’s body, and even gave police a DNA sample, but was unsuccessful before he was returned to Gaza, the report said. He could not be reached for comment.

In a statement to Haaretz, the Israel Defense Forces said that only the government could decide on returning the five bodies in Israeli custody to Gaza.
Hamas critic severely beaten by masked men in Gaza, incident draws ire - report
Masked men attacked a Gazan critic of Hamas this week. Amin Abed was badly beaten by a gang of men who were likely sent by Hamas to silence him. Abed is known as a critic of Hamas. The attack has led to anger and it is clear from social media posts, including by Palestinian activists and commentators who closely follow Gaza, how much this attack symbolizes the brutal nature of Hamas rule over Gaza.

Abed, who is 35 years old, was reportedly attacked by two dozen men who pummeled him in the street in northern Gaza’s Jabalya neighborhood. A post on social media claimed that “20 or more masked men grabbed Amin Abed at the Al-Fakh School and dragged him to the Al-Tawbah area… The 20 men took turns [beating him] and for more than 40 minutes, in the street, Amin was attacked in the middle of his neighborhood. The neighborhood, which was already empty and most of which had turned into rubble, so they isolated him with all barbarism until all four of his limbs were broken, and they continued with inhumane beatings in the head and body that would not stop.”

Reports say he was aided eventually by locals from Jabalya who attempted to save his life and brought him for care. A photo shows men wheeling Abed in a cart to obtain medical care. His feet are bloodied and blood is dropping onto the pavement. Photos and video showed him being helped by people and then bandaged. Another video also showed an elderly man, described as Abed’s father, Salah Abed, speaking out about the attack on his son.

MEMRI: Editor Of Egyptian Daily: The Houthi Leader, Who Is Advising Egypt To Sever Its Ties With Israel, Is Actually The Greatest Threat To Egypt's Security And To His Own Country
In a May 31, 2024 article, Ahmad Suleiman, the editor of the Egyptian state daily Al-Gumhouriyya, came out strongly against Houthi leader Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi, calling him "the greatest of traitors." This was in response to a recorded speech Al-Houthi published one day earlier, in which he exhorted Egypt to take a firm stance against Israel for the sake of the Palestinian people and Egypt's own national security, and because this would cause Yemen to stand with Egypt.[1] Suleiman wrote that Egypt does not need advice on maintaining its national security from Al-Houthi, who has harmed this security more than anyone else with his attacks on shipping in the Red Sea that have decreased Egypt's Suez Canal revenues by 60 percent. He added that Egypt has greatly promoted the Palestinian cause, whereas the Houthis have done nothing but utter bombastic slogans and harm Yemen itself by undermining its security, stealing its resources and setting it back many years.

The following are translated excerpts from Suleiman's article:[2]
"It is strange indeed to receive advice about nationalism and national security from someone who lacks the most basic principles of belonging and love for the homeland and who has harmed the national security of his own homeland more than anyone else. Like many of my fellow Egyptians and my Arab brethren, I was surprised to hear the man called Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi, the leader of the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement, advising Egypt on how to safeguard its national security.

"In a speech broadcast [inter alia] on the Russia Today [television] channel, Al-Houthi said that he still hopes to see an Egyptian stance that supports the Palestinian people and safeguards Egypt's national security, and demanded that Egypt sever its relations with Israel, boycott it economically and take a tougher stance on the Israeli violations. He advised Egypt to adopt courageous positions regarding Israel and said that, if it moves in this direction, it will gain the support of the peoples, including the support of the Republic of Yemen.

"By Allah, who is this man [I hear] speaking in the name of the sister Republic of Yemen? 'Abd Al-Malik Al-Houthi? The one who has posed a greater threat than anyone else to Yemen's own national security and made happy Yemen miserable?[3] The one who stole the resources of that formerly beautiful country and transformed it into a country [whose citizens] fight one another? The one who stands in opposition to the [Yemeni] state and its national outlook? Who is this man speaking [to us]? The thief who stole his homeland's resources? The one who sowed division among its people and sent it back to the years of backwardness and destruction? They used to say: 'If you lack something, don't talk about it'… You were the first to threaten the national security of sister Yemen, so don't talk about national security, which holds no significance, value or importance in your eyes, for if it did, you wouldn't have set your homeland years back.

"Egypt knows perfectly well how to safeguard its national security. Egypt knows how and when to take action, and in which direction; it is the one that chooses the timing of its actions and no one will force it to enter into confrontations. It is Egypt that chooses the time and place of its battles. Egypt is the one who protects what remains of the Arab homeland from the occupation; Egypt is the mother of the Arabs, it is aware of its own capabilities and does not endanger the present or the future of its people. Egypt will not sacrifice decades of development efforts for the sake of an arrogant move [and the possibility of] receiving accolades from people like Al-Houthi, nor does it rush off to hide in one of the Houthi caves when danger approaches.

"Egypt does not fear risks, but it considers every move and does not pay a price for arrogant operations whose implications were not taken into account. You – the one who is advising Egypt to safeguard its national security – are the man who has harmed Egypt's national security more than anyone else. With the attacks on the merchant vessels that pass through the Red Sea, you and your supporters have prevented many of these ships from passing through the Suez Canal, which has caused Egypt to lose over 60 percent of its Suez Canal revenues. That has been the greatest blow to Egypt's national security.

How brave patient's 'simple act of kindness' averted a would-be suicide bomber from carrying out his Leeds hospital attack
Counter-terror detectives yesterday praised the 'bravery' of a hospital patient who persuaded a would-be suicide bomber to abandon the deadly attack he was about to launch on the building.

Trainee nurse Mohammad Sohail Farooq, 28, was yesterday convicted of plotting the atrocity at St James's Hospital in Leeds after being radicalised watching anti-Semitic videos on TikTok.

He took a viable home-made bomb to his own workplace, modelled on the device used to kill three people at the Boston Marathon in 2013, but with double the amount of explosives.

Amazingly, however, Farooq agreed to call off his plan after Nathan Newby by chance engaged him in conversation outside the building, giving him a hug and telling him to think about his children.

Last night police said they were 'sincerely grateful' to Mr Newby, saying what the court heard was a 'simple act of kindness' had averted what would have been a 'devastating' attack.

It can be disclosed that police discovered Farooq had watched anti-Semitic videos and taken a photograph of a plaque which commemorated Jewish links to the hospital.

In the early hours of January 20 last year, Farooq – a clinical support worker whose wife was pregnant with their second child - sent a bomb threat to the ward where he worked, hoping to cause an evacuation and then detonate the bomb in the crowd outside.

But when the recipient failed to see the message he returned to his car to retrieve the bomb - manufactured from a pressure cooker and containing 22lbs (10kg) of explosives – as well as a knife and a blank-firing handgun before loitering outside the hospital entrance.

Mr Newby was returning from a walk when he saw Farooq looking as though he had been 'given some bad news' and decided to 'try and cheer him up'.

After a 'totally normal chat', Farooq unzipped his bag to show Mr Newby the bomb.

Mr Newby moved Farooq to a bench away from the hospital entrance and, three hours later, persuaded him to let him to call the police.

North Carolina police seek suspects in anti-Israel attack at public library
The Asheville Police Department in North Carolina arrested one person and is seeking other suspects in connection to a June 29 assault at West Asheville Library.

The department is “steadfast in our commitment to reducing all acts of violence in our community, particularly those targeting vulnerable groups like our Jewish Community,” stated Mike Lamb, the police chief. Esther Manheimer, the city’s Jewish mayor, added that it won’t “be cowed by individuals resorting to violence.”

Police officers arrested Taylor Danielle Zarkin, 35, of Alexander, N.C., on June 29 and charged her with two counts of resisting officers, per a police report on the police department’s website. The Algemeiner reported that “two Jewish residents and a senior citizen were beaten and dragged” out of the library. The 79-year-old Holocaust survivor told the paper that “we are happy that the police are taking this seriously and have escalated this to the major crimes division.”
Vandals throw rocks at Oakland Chabad center for second time in month, police call it ‘hate crime’
The frustration is palpable in Rabbi Dovid Labkowski’s voice as he deals with yet another incident of vandalism at the Chabad Jewish Center of Oakland, Calif. After all, it is the second time in a month that someone threw a large rock at the glass windows and damaged them.

Just after midnight on Saturday over the July Fourth holiday weekend, security cameras captured a man throwing an object that hit the front window, cracking it interiorly. The previous act of vandalism, also caught on video, occurred just before 11:30 p.m. on June 21, also a Saturday, and involved a piece of cement thrown at another window.

The impacts of rock on thick material are audible in videos of both instances. This most recent one caused an estimated $10,000 worth of damage, according to the rabbi.

“We just installed level 3 bullet-proof glass, five layers of polycarbonate,” he says. “We’re putting together a fund to help get this repaired.”

He’s also trying to get law enforcement more involved so this doesn’t happen again. To that end, the Oakland Police Department says it is investigating the incidents as hate crimes. Vandalism at Chabad in Oakland, CaliforniaA rock cracked the protective windows of the Chabad Jewish Center of Oakland, Calif., on July 6, 2024. Credit: Courtesy of Rabbi Dovid Labkowski.

“We’ve put a lot of security measures in place, including a security guard during services, facial-recognition cameras. We have taken these measures because of what’s going on in the world right now and what’s going on in California, the crime,” states Labkowski, who has served the community since 2006.

American IDF Soldier Who Fought in Gaza Now Fights for Truth on U.S. Campuses
Sam Fried, originally from Queens, NY, joined the Israel Defense Forces in 2020 and served in the paratroopers until 2022, when he returned to the U.S. to start a career in finance.

After Oct. 7, Fried said, "I felt it was my obligation to be one of the fighting Jews in history. Here I am with history reaching its hand out to me and saying, 'This is your chance to defend your people.'...History is giving me this opportunity, so obviously, I had to take it."

Fried rejoined the same combat team he had been with during his active service, now in reserves, as a sharpshooter, spending two months in Gaza, and came back to America after his team was released. He began going to debates, visiting protest encampments, and trying to engage in dialogue.

At Queens College, there was a mob of over 200 people threatening and cursing at him.

When asked about the hostility he faces, Fried answered, "It's very simple. We are speaking the truth. We are on the right side of history. These people are lying, conflating truths, and revising history. We cannot let them."

"The most common misconception about the IDF is that we want war. We are a defense force."
‘The Time to Stay Silent Was Over’
I am a Native American, born in Colombia, a U.S. citizen and a practicing Christian. I'm also a fierce defender of Israel. I have traveled the world, and although I've experienced wonderful hospitality in many places, Israel is the only place that felt like a second home. The first time I went to Israel, in May 2023, I experienced the strong community between Israelis, something that I felt was missing in the U.S. During that visit, I stopped at Kibbutz Kfar Aza near Gaza. The residents showed us the missile that had been launched at their kibbutz earlier that week.

On Oct. 7 I heard that Israel had been attacked. I had no idea about the magnitude of the attack until I heard the news that Kfar Aza had been razed to the ground. I was devastated. To my horror, in the following weeks I was caught on the streets of Washington amid demonstration after demonstration against Israel.

I felt too scared for weeks to speak up, as I was worried about facing backlash for saying anything. However, something inside kept telling me that what I was seeing on the media was not lining up with what actually happened. So I returned to Israel in January 2024. As soon as I posted what I saw on my social media, I lost my friend group, was isolated from college organizations, and received hateful messages online. But I have absolutely no regrets.

When I went back to Kfar Aza, the bright, flourishing community I once knew was now in ruins. Seeing the burned rubble of family homes was the first time I fully understood the fate of the kibbutz residents. Their voices had been stolen by the self-proclaimed activists of social media who were telling the world that the stories of Israeli victims did not deserve to be heard because their deaths were "justified." I knew this sentiment was wrong. People who were antiwar were now openly celebrating the deaths of innocent civilians.

It made me realize people were not using this movement to stand up for human rights. They were using it to ignite hate against Jews - again. If my former friends had seen the atrocious evidence of the attacks like I did, they would also be shouting to the world that Hamas is a genocidal regime, not a revolutionary "freedom fighting" group. I consider Israel the most successful decolonization project of all time. I unapologetically support Israel and the Jewish people. People have tried to call me a Zionist as an insult, but I wear the badge proudly.

Amsterdam statue of Anne Frank defaced ‘for Gaza’
An antisemitic vandal painted “Gaza” on a statue of Anne Frank, located near the famed Holocaust diarist’s first home in Amsterdam, a local Jew-hatred watchdog said on Tuesday.

“More ‘anti-Zionism,'” the Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation Israel wrote on social media. “The statue of Anne Frank on the Merwede Square in Amsterdam, where the Jewish diarist lived until she went into hiding in 1942, has been defaced with red paint and the text ‘Gaza.'”

The watchdog added that a police report was filed.

Anne Frank, her older sister and their parents lived in an apartment at Merwede Square 37-2 after moving to the Dutch capital from Nazi Germany in 1938. They went into hiding four years later. The only video of the teenager was captured from outside this apartment on July 22, 1941.

Local bookseller Gert-Jan Jimmink, who initiated the monument some 20 years ago, told Amsterdam’s local AT5 news station that he previously urged the city to install cameras and street lighting.

The statue of Frank “represents the 14,000 Jews from this neighborhood who were murdered,” he told the news station. “It has nothing to do with current events.”

“These kind of statements are misplaced and disrespectful,” Bart Vink, the district’s chairman, told the news station. “We’ll have it removed as quickly as possible.”

Last month, the anti-Israel Palestine Action Amsterdam group vandalized a university building and several companies, alleged to have ties to the Jewish state, with red paint in protest of the war against Hamas terrorists.

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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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