June 10, 2021

In-Depth Issues:

IDF: Hamas Was Using Gaza Media Tower to Disrupt Iron Dome Missile Defense System (Times of Israel)
    The IDF said Tuesday that its attack on the al-Jala building in Gaza City on May 15, 2021, which housed the offices of international media outlets, including the Associated Press, was because "the site was used by the Hamas terror organization for intelligence R&D and to carry out SIGINT (signals intelligence), ELINT (electronic signals intelligence), and EW (electronic warfare) operations, targeting both IDF operational activity and civilian systems in Israel."
    "One of the main goals of these efforts was to develop a system that would disrupt the Iron Dome aerial defense system."
    "The purpose of the IDF strike was to curtail these enemy capabilities, including destroying special equipment, and preventing their use."
    "The target was of high military value to Hamas and was vetted according to rigorous procedures within the IDF, and in accordance with international law."

Poll Finds Americans Strongly Back Israel - Rachel Hale (Forward)
    82% of Americans believe it's "important or very important for the United States to support Israel's sovereignty and existence as a democracy in the Middle East," according to a new survey conducted by GS Strategy Group for Christians United For Israel (CUFI) on April 26-29, 2021, and released Monday.
    Asked about Palestinian Authority payments to those incarcerated by Israel for terrorism, 61% favor "suspending U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops incentivizing terror."
    Viewing Iran's nuclear threat, 56% favor retaining sanctions on Iran, and 30% favor restoring the Iran nuclear agreement.

New U.S. Poll Shows Democratic Voters Support Israel But Favor Blocking Arms Sales - Adam Kredo (Washington Free Beacon)
    65% of Democratic voters support the U.S. relationship with Israel either "strongly or somewhat," according to a poll by Tipp Insights. 58% of liberals expressed similarly positive views about the Jewish state.
    At the same time, 62% of Democratic voters polled said they strongly or somewhat support blocking arms sales to Israel.

Polls Show Gazans Reject Hamas Rule - David Pollock (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
    Credible public opinion polls conducted by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion over the past decade demonstrate that most Gazans have consistently opposed the Hamas policy of firing rockets or incendiary balloons at Israel, as well as the Hamas-sponsored protests at the border fence.
    The majority of Gazans have typically supported a cease-fire and even open economic relations with Israel.
    Half or more have also voiced the view that Hamas should drop its calls for the destruction of Israel.
    Overall, the large majority of Gazans, according to the most recent polls, reject Hamas rule altogether.

Is Egypt Planning to Play a Greater Role in Gaza? - Khaled Abu Toameh (Jerusalem Post)
    Egypt sent dozens of bulldozers, cranes, trucks and engineers into Gaza on Friday to contribute to reconstruction efforts there after the recent fighting.
    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Sisi has pledged $500 million to help rebuild buildings that were destroyed.
    Palestinian sources said, "If Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad start firing rockets at Israel while the Egyptian construction teams are working in Gaza, the two groups will get into trouble with Egypt."
    A veteran Palestinian journalist noted, "Many people here are convinced that the Egyptian-sponsored reconstruction work is part of a plan to pave the way for a permanent Egyptian security presence in Gaza."

Israel Thwarts over 1,000 Attempts to Smuggle Dual-Use Terror Items into Gaza (Jerusalem Post)
    The IDF has thwarted over 1,000 attempts in recent months to smuggle drones, radio devices, frequency jammers and listening equipment into Gaza for use against Israel, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) reported.

Qatar Has Provided Palestinians with $1.6 Billion (teleSUR-Venezuela)
    Qatar has provided Gaza with over $1.6 billion in recent years, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh told the Qatar News Agency on Saturday during an official visit to Doha.

Kuwait TV Anchor: The Silent Majority Support Building Ties with Israel (Middle East Monitor-UK)
    Kuwaiti TV host Fajr Al-Saeed appeared on Israel's Channel 11 this week and expressed support for normalizing ties with Israel.
    She claimed to be a representative of "the silent majority [in Kuwait] who are inclined to peace," adding that she is a "huge supporter of normalization with Israel."

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Pro-Palestinian Activist Shares 1939 Photo of "Palestine" Soccer Team whose Players Are All Jewish - Joseph A. Wulfsohn (Fox News)
    Supermodel Bella Hadid, a pro-Palestinian activist, shared a 1939 photo featuring the "Palestine" soccer team on Instagram, calling the story: "So cool."
    However, the picture was of an all-Jewish soccer team from British Mandatory Palestine and the players had Hebrew written on their jerseys.

Coronavirus in Israel (Jerusalem Post-Israel Ministry of Health)
    The Israel Health Ministry said Thursday there are 208 active coronavirus cases, with 6 new cases reported on Wednesday.
    33 people are in serious condition, including 19 on ventilators.

Israel Elected to UN Economic and Social Council (Times of Israel)
    Israel was elected on Monday to serve on the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
    Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said, "Choosing Israel to serve on ECOSOC is a recognition of our innovation and creativity, which serves to benefit all nations of the world."

New Israeli Navy Missile Corvette Arrives - Ami Rojkes Dombe (Israel Defense)
    The INS Oz, the second of four German-built, Sa'ar-6 class missile corvettes, arrived in Israel on Wednesday.
    The ships will help defend Israel's territorial waters and its offshore energy resources.

Israeli Researchers Find Four Security Flaws in Microsoft Office Software - Shoshanna Solomon (Times of Israel)
    Israeli cybersecurity researchers at Check Point Software Technologies said they have identified four vulnerabilities in Microsoft Office software that could enable hackers to inject malicious code into Word, Excel and Outlook documents and send them to unwitting targets.
    The researchers have informed Microsoft of the vulnerability and the issues have been now fixed.

Jewish Doctors in Medieval Islam - Kenneth Collins (Jerusalem Post)
    Jewish Medical Practitioners in the Medieval Muslim World, by Efraim Lev, Professor of Land of Israel Studies at Haifa University, presents information on the lives of 600 Jewish physicians and pharmacists in the Islamic world of the Middle Ages.
    The book is based on documents from the Geniza (document repository) of Cairo's Ben Ezra Synagogue, as well as medieval Muslim Arabic sources.
    Jewish physicians and pharmacists had mainly good relations with Christian and Muslim colleagues.
    For example, in the 12th century, Nethanel ben Samuel, who practiced medicine in Cairo, was the physician of the legendary Saladin.

No-Needle Blood Test Invented in Israel - Nathan Jeffay (Times of Israel)
    Israeli scientists have invented a method to perform blood count tests without drawing a drop of blood. The device can also deliver an accurate reading of oxygen saturation levels.
    The device scans the eye for a few seconds, and instantly provides accurate results.
    "Our technology is built on the fact that there are blood vessels in the eye that are transparent, meaning that we can analyze them using light waves," said Harel Baris, one of the doctors at Sheba Medical Center behind the new technology.

Divers Welcome at Israel's First Underwater National Park - Stuart Winer (Times of Israel)
    Israel has opened its first underwater national park at the ancient port city of Caesarea, where divers can tour the 2,000-year-old remains of what was once a major complex extending into the sea.
    Caesarea is already one of Israel's top tourist attractions for the remains of massive sprawling building projects on the shore constructed by the first century BCE King Herod. However, much of Herod's work now lies beneath the sea.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • IAEA: Iran Fails to Explain Uranium Traces Found at Several Sites
    Rafael Grossi, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said Monday, "After many months, Iran has not provided the necessary explanation for the presence of the nuclear material particles at any of the three locations where the agency has conducted complementary accesses. The lack of progress in clarifying the agency's questions concerning the correctness and completeness of Iran's safeguards declarations seriously affects the ability of the agency to provide assurance of the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program."  (AP-Washington Post)
        See also Satellite Images Show Activity at Iran Nuclear Site Exposed by Israel - Jennifer Griffin
    Fox News has obtained new satellite images that show unusual activity at Iran's Sanjarian site, which has been exposed by Israel's Mossad as a suspected manufacturing site for "shock wave generators" - devices which would allow Iran to miniaturize a nuclear weapon. The new images obtained from Maxar Technologies show 18 vehicles at the site on October 15, 2020, more vehicles and excavation in January, along with a new access road that was later covered up in March. (Fox News)
  • Iran Steps Up Efforts to Sow Discord Inside the U.S. - Brian Bennett
    Troll farms run by the Iranian government are intensifying their disinformation campaign on social media to spread discord and anti-Semitic tropes inside the U.S., two U.S. intelligence officials say. Within days of the start of the 2021 Gaza War, Twitter accounts linked to Iran were amplifying anti-Semitic messages in English, including the phrases "hitler was right" and "kill all jews" at a rate of 175 times per minute, according to the Network Contagion Research Institute, affiliated with Rutgers University and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). (TIME)
  • Anti-Israel Protesters Block Zim Container Ship from Unloading in Oakland - Sue Fishkoff
    The Volans, a container ship owned by Haifa-based Zim Integrated Shipping Services, docked in Oakland on Friday but turned back out to sea later in the day after workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10 declined to cross a line of anti-Israel protesters to unload the ship. The San Francisco-based Arab Resource and Organizing Center organized 100-500 protesters as part of a weeklong "Block the Boat" campaign. Protesters have criticized Zim as an Israeli government entity, but the company was privatized some time ago. (Jewish News of Northern California)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Blinken: Hundreds of Sanctions on Iran Will Remain in Place - Omri Nahmias
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told a congressional committee on Tuesday that if an agreement is reached to renew the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, "our responsibility would be to lift sanctions inconsistent with the JCPOA, but to resolutely maintain sanctions that are consistent with it, to deal with the multiplicity of Iran's malign actions in a whole series of areas. I would anticipate that even in the event of a return to compliance with the JCPOA, hundreds of sanctions will remain in place...until Iran's behavior changes."
        Blinken added: "We strongly support the Abraham Accords. This is an important initiative....We're working closely with the countries that have already signed on to the normalization process to try to see what we can do to help advance that, to strengthen it, to support it. Second, we're engaged with other countries that might in the future choose to sign on, to encourage them to do the same thing."  (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Blinken Conditions UNRWA Funding on Palestinian Education Reform - Haley Cohen
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed Tuesday that the Biden administration's renewal of funding for UNRWA, the refugee organization for Palestinians, is conditional on anti-Israel and anti-Jewish education reform. He told the Senate Appropriations Committee, "We're also determined that UNRWA pursue very necessary reforms in terms of some of the abuses of the system that have taken place in the past, particularly the challenge that we've seen in disseminating in its educational products anti-Semitic or anti-Israel information. So we're very focused on that."
        He added that the State Department would be "looking very, very carefully" at the mechanisms that UNRWA says it has in place in order to address problematic educational materials. (Jerusalem Post)
        See also Blinken Outlines U.S. Policy on Golan Heights - Omri Nahmias
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday: "As a practical matter, Israel has control of the Golan Heights, irrespective of its legal status, and that will have to remain unless and until things get to a point where Syria and everything operating out from Syria no longer poses a threat to Israel, and we are not anywhere near that."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Three Palestinians Die in Firefight during IDF Operation in Jenin - Tzvi Joffre
    An Israeli undercover force entered Jenin in the West Bank on Wednesday night to arrest two armed members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad. PA military intelligence forces that saw the operation began firing at the Israeli forces and they returned fire, killing two and wounding a third. One of the two PIJ members was also killed in the firefight. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Former Mossad Chief Views Iran Threat - Yonah Jeremy Bob
    Former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, who retired on June 1, predicted Monday that "if the U.S. leaves Iraq, it will be conquered by Iran." He added that the rocket attacks on Israel from the north during the 2021 Gaza War were largely managed by the Iranians. Moreover, Iran is providing advanced precise weapons to terror groups in Lebanon and Gaza, creating a whole new level of danger to the Israeli home front.
        Cohen added that while he had been a major proponent of transferring funds from Qatar to Hamas to avoid an economic collapse in Gaza, this policy had not brought the anticipated rewards, given the outbreak of the recent rocket attacks on Israel. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Research Study, Kept from Public, Finds EU Is Financing Incitement in Palestinian Schools - Lahav Harkov
    The 200-page report from the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research, commissioned by then-EU foreign affairs representative Federica Mogherini, examined 156 textbooks and 16 teaching curriculums issued by the Palestinian Authority between 2017-2020. The unpublished report, obtained by the Jerusalem Post, found that Brussels directly funds the salaries of teachers and the publication of textbooks which encourage and glorify violence against Israelis and Jews.
        The report says that in the textbooks, "Frequent use of negative attributions in relation to the Jewish people...suggests a conscious perpetuation of anti-Jewish prejudice." Most maps erase Israel, portraying the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea as Palestine.
        The Israel Foreign Ministry said the research findings "prove that the EU, even at this very moment, is continuing to invest millions in the funding of the Palestinian Authority's educational system...with no monitoring of the content that appears in the textbooks, and without demanding that the Palestinian Authority immediately stop indoctrinating its children to hate and kill." As such, "the EU's policy harms the chances of promoting coexistence and contradicts the EU's stated commitment to combating anti-Semitism."  (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • Did Israel Cripple Iran's Natanz Underground Nuclear Enrichment Facility? - Dr. Hans Ruhle
    On April 11, Iran reported an "incident" at the Natanz nuclear facility that completely shut down its power supply. A televised statement by Alireza Zakani, the head of the Iranian Parliament's research center, revealed that an explosion had destroyed "thousands" of centrifuges. It appears that the Israeli intelligence service - possibly with the help of Iranian anti-government groups - had smuggled an explosive device into Natanz and detonated it remotely.
        Iran then announced with great fanfare that it would now start enriching uranium up to 60%, but would not do so at Natanz, as originally intended. Anyone producing uranium enriched to 60% is definitely working on nuclear weapons - there is no other conclusion.
        Israel has succeeded in crippling Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment facility for the unforeseeable future - with a single explosive device and without significant collateral damage. This is particularly important because the 2015 nuclear agreement stipulates that Natanz is Iran's sole facility for enriching uranium - Natanz "exclusively," as the text of the JCPOA puts it.
        Now more than ever, the "Begin Doctrine" applies, according to which Israel will under no circumstances allow an enemy to develop weapons of mass destruction that could be used against the Israeli population. Israeli elites have come to understand that they must fight the battle against Iran and its nuclear program without U.S. assistance.
        The writer is a former head of the Planning Staff in the German Ministry of Defense, and director of the Research Institute of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. (National Interest)
  • It's Time to Free the Palestinians from Hamas - and Iran - Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi
    The signing of the Abraham Accords between the United Arab Emirates and Israel that I helped broker last August exchanged a 70-year stalemate for an era of coexistence, with a promise to finally make progress where everything else had failed. The Abraham Accords are about the whole region's future.
        The truth is, the Middle East conflict isn't between the Israelis and Palestinians but between Israel and Iran. The Palestinian people's rights and hopes have been hijacked by Hamas to serve an Iranian agenda. One of the biggest errors in the media narrative, which I saw repeated over and over, was the way they speak about Gaza as if it's occupied by the Israelis. It's not: It's occupied by Hamas. And the Palestinian people in Gaza are suffering because of Hamas, not the Israelis.
        Twenty years ago, the Palestinian cause was priority number one in the region. Now, people in the Gulf see things differently. We no longer believe that this should come at the expense of our national interest. We do care about the Palestinians, but we don't care about the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations.
        The writer is Chairman of the Defense Affairs, Interior and Foreign Relations Committee of the UAE's Federal National Council. (Newsweek)
  • The Ayatollah's Game Plan - Amir Taheri
    Those who seek to revive the "nuclear deal" with Iran described it as an attempt at preventing another Middle Eastern war, but in dealing with the mullahs it is appeasement that encourages war.
        Believing that the new U.S. administration may help him solve his cash flow problem, Ayatollah Khamenei re-wrote the official national budget to dramatically increase his military's share. It includes a 62% raise for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Quds (Jerusalem) Force, in charge of exporting revolution, sees its budget increased by almost 40%. The message to Iran's surrogates is that Tehran expects to be able to end the budget cuts it had been forced to introduce.
        Using the "nuclear deal" as a diversion, the ayatollah hopes to get the sanctions lifted so that he can pursue his kind of war with greater vigor. His kind of war is proxy, asymmetric, low-intensity, low-cost. He pursues it through surrogates and mercenaries, since few Iranians are prepared to fight his kind of war.
        The writer was editor-in-chief of the Iranian daily Kayhan. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
  • The Arab World Is Telling the U.S.: "Don't Embolden Iran" - Khaled Abu Toameh
    Every day in dozens of articles and op-ed pieces in newspapers, websites, radio, and television broadcasts in the Arab world, especially in the Gulf countries, people are extremely worried about the possibility that the U.S. might return to the nuclear deal with Iran. The Arabs don't trust Iran. They say Iran is trying to export the Islamic revolution to the Arab world and destabilize the Arab countries.
        They are less worried about the nuclear bomb than about what Iran is already doing and by what they perceive as a policy of appeasement towards Iran. They are saying, "Iran is already in Yemen through the Houthi militia; in Lebanon through Hizbullah; in Gaza through Hamas; in Syria through Hizbullah, in the Assad regime. Iran is also meddling in the internal affairs of Iraq, and Iran is sponsoring this wave of terrorism in Gaza."
        The message coming out of the Arab world to the U.S. right now is, "If you embolden Iran, you are facilitating Iran's mission to undermine security and stability in the Middle East. You are helping Iran threaten our regimes, our government, our economy. You are helping Iran through its proxies in the Middle East - Hizbullah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Houthis - spread terrorism in the Arab world." (Gatestone Institute)

  • Other Issues

  • Israel's Government Must Remain Committed to Maintaining Defensible Borders
    Former director-general of the Israel Foreign Ministry Amb. Dore Gold, president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, told a conference on Tuesday that every Israeli government must remain committed to maintaining the country's defensible borders. "The bottom line is that no matter which government is formed, the Israeli government will not relinquish defensible borders in the Jordan Valley. The threat from the east has not stopped and may take on a different character under Iranian influence."
        Gold also warned of a possible return to the nuclear agreement and the Iranian desire to close the choke ring on Israel from the east - Jordan. (Israel Hayom)
        See also Defensible Borders for Israel: An Updated Response to Advocates and Skeptics - Amb. Dore Gold and Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • Israel's Grand Strategy - Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Assaf Orion
    Israel's grand strategy seeks to safeguard its national survival and character and to live in peace with its neighbors. A small nation in a hostile region, it has had to perpetually frustrate enemies' attempts to destroy it, until they chose to make peace or at least accept its existence.
        This has been achieved by an outsize and advanced defense enterprise supported by a strong science and technology-based economy, which in turn is enabled by well-educated manpower. Israel's own capabilities are augmented by its relations with world powers, mostly the U.S., economic diversification, regional partnerships, and soft power, enjoying support from Judeo-Christian communities.
        The writer is a senior research fellow at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies. (Hoover Institution)
  • Participation of Arab Party in New Israeli Government Debunks the "Apartheid State" Lie - Jonathan S. Tobin
    The fiction that seeks to characterize the only democracy in the Middle East as morally equivalent to apartheid-era South Africa has gained traction in the media. The false analogy that demonizes and mischaracterizes life in Israel is a propaganda talking point rather than a serious argument.
        When Israel's new government takes office after a vote expected this Sunday, which will include the United Arab List (Ra'am) headed by Mansour Abbas, the idea that the Jewish state treats its non-Jewish minorities by a different legal standard will be exposed as a sad joke.
        The decision of Abbas to run separately from the other Arab parties in the last election was rooted in his belief that Israeli Arabs needed their political representatives to prioritize their well-being and interests over Palestinian nationalist goals. Abbas didn't become a Zionist, but he seems to have grasped the illogic of Israeli Arabs being the dupes of Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. (JNS)
  • UN Human Rights Council: Epitome of Hostility and Double Standards - Amb. Alan Baker
    The fact that Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad committed multiple war crimes by willfully targeting Israeli civilians in the 2021 Gaza War seems to have been completely overlooked by the UN Human Rights Council, which adopted a resolution on May 27 "to urgently establish an ongoing independent, international commission of inquiry" to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law by Israel.
        As British military commander Col. Richard Kemp stated on May 16: "I have taken part in every UN Human Rights Council evidence session and emergency debate on Gaza conflicts in the last 15 years. The willful ignorance combined with malice has always been breathtaking. Every commission of inquiry determined Israel's guilt before it even met for the first time. Every debate and vote has overwhelmingly and of course falsely affirmed Israel's supposed war crimes and crimes against humanity. Meanwhile, Hamas' actual multiple war crimes have been brushed aside."
        The writer, former legal counsel to Israel's foreign ministry and former ambassador to Canada, heads the international law program at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Abraham Accords Passed Their First Big Test - Anchal Vohra
    Although there was an outpouring of pro-Palestinian sentiment on social media in Abraham Accord countries during the 2021 Gaza War, there were few signs of outrage on the streets. There was one big rally in Qatar, which shelters Hamas, supports the Muslim Brotherhood, and is an ally of Iran and Turkey.
        Shmuel Bar, a former Israeli intelligence officer and currently the owner of an Israeli software company that does business with many Arab nations, said his phone has been buzzing with texts from Arab well-wishers since the clashes started. "Nothing has changed," Bar said. "I haven't heard anyone say that the recent tensions have had a bearing on business deals. No one has called me to cancel any deal. I have at least 15 WhatsApp texts from contacts from various places in the Arab world who inquired if I was alright and that they hoped no rockets were falling near me."
        Some religious and academic influencers in the Emirates have said that the conflict is between Israelis and Palestinians, not Israelis and Arabs, a sentiment that reflects a tectonic intellectual shift.
        Ibrahim al-Assil, a Middle East analyst, said, "The Palestinians are getting much more global sympathy, but in the region itself, this trend is reversed. Many see it through the lens of their own conflicts with Iran and are concerned about how Iran will find a way to co-opt Palestinian grievances."  (Foreign Policy)
  • There Are Key Moral Differences between Israel and Its Enemies - Maxwell Meyer
    In Gaza, Israel is conducting rocket cleansing, not ethnic cleansing. Gaza is not under siege because the people who live there are Arabs (or Muslims or Palestinians). Gaza is under siege because it is controlled by a psychopathic militant terror regime with the explicit intention of conducting a second Holocaust against the Jewish people. Israeli military operations in Gaza are intended to stop indiscriminate rocket fire at Israeli civilians.
        There are key moral and legal differences between Israel and its enemies. Israel consistently takes steps far beyond its international legal obligations under the laws of war to protect civilians when it engages militarily with Hamas. Israel is not obligated to place personal phone calls to Gaza civilians begging them to evacuate their homes to keep their children safe. Israel is not obligated to spare any building if it is being used to store Hamas terror rockets or other weapons of war.
        Is it the fault of Israel that the Palestinian Authority hasn't held an election in 15 years, or that Hamas would rather spend resources on terror than improving the lives of its citizens? (Stanford Review)

  • Anti-Semitism

  • Anti-Semitism Spikes, and Many Jews Wonder: "Where Are Our Allies?" - Melissa Block and Jerome Socolovsky
    Alex Zeldin, who writes a column for the Forward, was called a "Jewish baby killer" by teenagers who began following him in New York City's Upper West Side.
        Zeldin has heard from many Jews who feel they've been abandoned by people they would expect to be their allies. He said, "A lot of the messaging that Jews have gotten over the last four years...is you've got to show up. You have to be an ally. You have to speak up for others. And I think a lot of Jews, myself included, very much took that to heart," marching in support of women's and immigrant rights, and the Black Lives Matter movement. But recently, he said, reciprocity has been hard to find.
        He said people find it easier to see and condemn anti-Semitism when it involves white supremacists. But when anti-Jewish hate gets twisted up with Middle East geopolitics, "folks struggle to identify it and to understand that it is a severe problem."  (NPR)
  • Armed Men Guard My Son's Jewish Preschool. Why Is Anti-Semitism Never a Crisis in America? - Zach Schapira
    When I dropped off my 3-year-old at his new Jewish preschool, I had to explain why there are men with guns and body armor guarding the building. According to the FBI, Jews remain the most targeted minority group in America. In 2019, 60% of victims of hate crimes motivated by religious bias targeted Jews. Yet anti-Semitism never quite seems to rise to the level of a national crisis, inspiring widespread outrage and solidarity in the same way that violence and bigotry toward other minority groups does.
        The writer is executive director of the J'accuse Coalition for Justice. (USA Today)
  • We Are Entering a New Phase of Discrimination Against Jews - Michael Mostyn
    We are seeing in the West the beginning of a new phase of discrimination against Jews. Many cannot openly identify as Jews without fear of being assaulted. Much of the animosity is related to the support of Jews for Israel and Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish People in their ancestral homeland. The very word "Jew" comes from the tribe of Judah which, 3,000 years ago, became a kingdom, with Jerusalem as its capital, under David and Solomon.
        There are ever-mounting efforts underway by people who assert human rights for minorities but single out one country, Israel, and its national movement, Zionism, for vilification as a "settler-colonialist" enterprise. One doesn't "colonize" one's native land. One returns home. The challenge to those social justice warriors is this: How, in the name of justice and human rights, can you deny that Jews are a people with the right to self-determination in their ancestral homeland? What is that refusal other than bigotry and hatred?
        The writer is CEO of B'nai Brith Canada. (Toronto Star-Canada)
  • It's about Those Maddening Jews - Barbara Kay
    In Canada's big cities, unprecedented displays of anti-Semitism, including physical violence, have been well-documented. The anti-Semitism that lurks behind obsessive Israel-bashing can no longer be credibly passed off as "criticism of Israel." It's not about Israel and never was. It's about those maddening Jews. What is it with their stubborn insistence on their right to live and flourish in their homeland?
        If you attend to the myth-mongering on social media, your choice is stark. Are you an ally of an all-powerful white supremacist, colonialist apartheid regime led by baby-killing oppressors, the likes of whose evil the world has never seen? Or are you a decent, compassionate human being, committed to social justice and ready to lend your support to those infamous Zionist monsters' powerless, oppressed, racialized victims, who are languishing in their open-air prisons? (National Post-Canada)

  • Weekend Features

  • Targeting Hamas Terror, Behind the Scenes - Anna Ahronheim
    Lt.-Col. (res.) T. commanded the team behind the strike during the recent fighting on the 14-story Shorouq tower in the center of Gaza City, which housed Hamas military intelligence offices. The offices were situated on two floors and were "more interior, which made it almost impossible to hit" without destroying the entire building, he said.
        T. said his role was to use all the intelligence available to make sure that there were no civilian casualties in the strikes targeting Hamas infrastructure. "We use our intelligence assets to reach those who live in the buildings and those surrounding it to make sure that they leave," the officer said.
        Lt. (res.) E. was a firepower officer responsible for hitting terror targets without killing anyone. "We did everything we could to make sure there was nobody in the area," she said, adding that there were several times that the IDF called off an airstrike "because civilians were in the area." The decision to place military infrastructure in civilian areas contravenes the laws of armed conflict, but according to E., "They take advantage. Hamas places their military infrastructure within civilian infrastructure, and if we hit a building that has munitions inside, the IDF can't control the explosion."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • The Jewish Heroes of the Tulsa Massacre - Phil Goldfarb
    The Tulsa Race Massacre of May 31-June 1, 1921, was one of the most horrendous incidents of racial violence in U.S. history. While relatively few whites exhibited empathy and compassion to the persecuted African American community of Tulsa - largely due to the influence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and others - many Jewish families made efforts to help African American families by taking them into their homes or businesses, feeding and clothing them, as well as hiding them during and after the atrocity. Many of the Jews in the city were recent immigrants from Eastern Europe who remembered firsthand suffering through violent pogroms and anti-Semitic policies in the Russian Empire and elsewhere.
        Sam Zarrow and his wife Rose owned a grocery store and hid some black friends in their large pickle vats at the store, while Rose concealed some of the little kids under her skirt. On the day of the Massacre, Abe Solomon Viner went to all of the homes on his block, collected all of the maids from their quarters, and assembled them in his living room. He then sat by the front door with a shotgun in case anyone broke into the house. (The Librarians)

  • Assuming that global conflicts can be navigated and understood via American history and the present tensions in American society concerning race is total nonsense. The Jewish people have been victims of thousands of years of displacement, expulsion and discrimination, and in the last century, we have faced war and terrorism in backlash to our indigenous right to self-determination in our ancestral homeland.
  • As someone who grew up in South Africa, I can proudly report that Israel is definitely not an apartheid society. Israeli Arabs are an enmeshed part of Israeli society, including the myriad who serve in the Israel Defense Forces and work as doctors, lawyers, scholars, ambassadors, and politicians.
  • In the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, gender-based violence and discrimination against the LGBTQ community and minorities are prevalent. There is widespread detention without charge or trial by the Palestinian Authority, while in Gaza, military courts rule the day and capital punishment is prevalent. Hamas violently took over Gaza from the Palestinian Authority in 2007, murdering hundreds of Palestinians in their quest for power.
  • U.S. tax dollars given to Israel must be used to purchase goods from the U.S., keeping many Americans employed. The Palestinian Authority used U.S. tax dollars to make payments to the families of persons imprisoned for acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens, including to the families of suicide bombers.
  • The Palestinian people are not the enemy of Israel; Hamas is. Israel is not the barrier to peace; Hamas extremism and terrorism are.
  • It is inappropriate and tone-deaf to use the Black Lives Matter movement to give credence to anti-Israel rhetoric. Israel is a democratic, multi-ethnic, multi-racial and multi-cultural society with every right to defend its sovereignty and civilians against Jihadi terrorists.

    The writer is the Consul General of Israel to New England.
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