April 25, 2024
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Hizbullah TV: Northern Gaza Markets Are Full of Food Supplies (MEMRI)
    On April 19, 2024, Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV reported from the food market in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza, where a local resident explained that "all food supplies are in the market now."
    A second resident said, "Today, there are vegetables. There are canned goods. Things have improved greatly."

Fatah: Hamas Kills Aid Workers and Steals Food in Gaza - Ephraim D. Tepler and Itamar Marcus (Palestinian Media Watch)
    A Fatah-run Awdah TV anchor reported that throughout the Gaza war, Hamas has attacked and killed aid workers in order to control aid distribution, stolen the food and water for itself, and caused food prices to skyrocket.

Thousands of Hamas Terrorists Still in Northern Gaza - Julian E. Barnes (New York Times)
    After six intense months, most Hamas battalions have been degraded and are scattered. Thousands of its members have been killed.
    Yet in northern Gaza, 4,000 to 5,000 fighters have held out, an Israeli military intelligence official said.

Israel: U.S. Unlikely to Sanction Haredi IDF Battalion - Itamar Eichner (Ynet News)
    Israeli officials said on Wednesday that they believe the U.S. would not impose sanctions on the IDF's Netzah Yehuda Battalion, at least for the time being.
    Officials in Jerusalem now believe that the reaction of Israel's political leaders and the Israeli public outcry brought about a reconsideration in Washington.
    See also below Observations: Will the U.S. State Department Impose Sanctions on an IDF Battalion? - Amb. Alan Baker (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)

Argentina Asks Interpol to Arrest Iran Interior Minister over Jewish Center Bombing (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)
    Argentina has asked Interpol to arrest Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi over the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 people, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
    On April 12, a court in Argentina placed blame on Iran for the 1994 attack against the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires and for a bombing two years earlier against the Israeli embassy, which killed 29 people.
    Prosecutors have charged top Iranian officials with ordering the attack.
    The court also implicated Hizbullah and called the attack against the AMIA - the deadliest in Argentina's history - a "crime against humanity."

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Dutch Security Service: 10 Terror Plots Foiled in Europe in 2023 (Dutch News-Netherlands)
    At least 10 planned terrorist attacks in Europe were discovered and halted by Western security services in 2023, the Dutch security service AIVD said on Tuesday.
    People were arrested in the Netherlands in four of the foiled attacks.
    The agency's annual report said jihadist movements remain the biggest terrorist threat to the Netherlands.

Harvard Survey: Most Young Americans Sympathize with Both the Israeli and Palestinian People (Harvard Kennedy School)
    A poll conducted on March 14-21, 2024, by the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School indicates that 18-to-29-year-olds nationwide sympathize with both the Israeli (52%) and the Palestinian people (56%).
    17% expressed sympathy toward Hamas; for those told that Hamas was an Islamist militant group, sympathy dipped to 13%.
    Only 38% of young Americans are following the news about the war between Israel and Hamas very or somewhat closely.
    Asked whether or not they believe Israel's response so far to the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas has been justified, 45% say they don't know, 21% say Israel's response was justified, and 32% believe it was not justified.

Iran's War Aims: Establish an Empire and Exterminate Israelis - Clifford May (Washington Times)
    Ali Khamenei, the Islamic Republic of Iran's "supreme leader" since 1989, seeks to establish a new Middle Eastern empire.
    Israelis, by contrast, only want to survive as an independent nation within a slice of their ancient Jewish homeland.
    They would like nothing better than to enjoy amicable relations with Iranians, as they did prior to Iran's Islamic Revolution of 1979.
    Apologists for Tehran insist that its proxy, Hamas, gleefully burned babies and raped young women to "resist Israeli occupation," even though the Israeli government had withdrawn every last Jew from Gaza in 2005.
    Two years after that, Hamas established a dictatorship and began launching rockets at Israelis.
    The writer is founder and president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Video: The Bomb Shelters of Israel - Eli Katzoff (Times of Israel)
    Featuring an interview with Col. (ret.) Miri Eisin, this video explores the various shelters where Israeli citizens sought refuge during the Iranian attack on April 13, 2024.

Rampant Hate and Calls for Violence on Campuses Put All Jews in Danger - Editorial (Jerusalem Post)
    At Columbia University, protesters yelled, "We are Hamas," and "Oh Hamas, our beloved, strike, strike Tel Aviv."
    Another chant heard and taped was: "We say justice, you say how? Burn Tel Aviv to the ground. Go Hamas, we love you. We support your rockets, too."
    The Columbia Jewish Alumni Association wrote to Columbia University President Minouche Shafik:
    "Within the last 24 hours, for example, protesters assaulted an invited speaker and threatened Jewish students by shouting, 'We know where you live.'"
    "Immediately outside Columbia's gates, protesters shouted that 'Oct. 7 would be every day' for Jewish students while, on its lawn, protesters called for the destruction of Israel and equated the NYPD and IDF to the KKK."
    The Jerusalem Post sees the rampant hate and calls for violence on campuses as an extreme escalation that puts not only Israelis but all Jews in danger.

Terror Supporters Have Taken Over the Campuses - Ben-Dror Yemini (Ynet News)
    Hamas' ideology is the elimination of Jews.
    Hamas is part of the global jihad that declares its goal as taking over the world to establish a dark Islamist imperialist vision.
    Those leading the student protests on campuses support genocide.
    They started burning Israeli and American flags and waving Hamas and Hizbullah flags, while supporting the Houthis and Iran.
    The axis of evil led by Iran and jihad has wide support.
    The protesters seem to think they want to stop the war. They're only fueling it.
    Hamas arch-terrorist Yahya Sinwar looks at these students and enjoys every moment.
    Hamas may be beaten in Gaza, but it's winning in the U.S. and the West.
    Never in history have so many turned themselves into useful idiots for an axis of evil and terrorism.
    They think they're enlightened. They're not. They're causing more and more casualties.

Stop the Mideast Money Fueling Campus Antisemitism - Jonathan Pidluzny (City Journal)
    U.S. university centers dedicated to the study of the Middle East do more to promote anti-Zionist and pro-Hamas narratives than virtually any other force on campus.
    The dominant intersectional ideologies leave students primed to embrace antisemitic attitudes.
    In effect, U.S. campuses have been importing antisemitic propaganda for almost 50 years.
    As the New York Times reported in 1978, "Oil wealth from the Middle East is starting to flow onto college and university campuses throughout the country, bringing a bonanza of endowed chairs and new programs."
    When it comes to shaping the campus marketplace of ideas, gifts to Middle East studies centers have paid off.
    A 2022 report by the National Association of Scholars, "Hijacked," looked at more than 50 such centers and concluded that they produce "biased material that promotes the political interests of the donors."
    These centers are ground zero for Jew-hatred today.
    The presence of anti-Zionist faculty is associated with significantly higher levels of student-on-student harassment involving Jews.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Biden Signs Bill Providing War Aid to Israel - Zolan Kanno-Youngs
    President Biden signed a $95.3 billion package of aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan on Wednesday after months of congressional gridlock. The Senate voted 79 to 18 to approve the package on Tuesday. The package included $1 billion for humanitarian aid to Gaza. (New York Times)
        See also Biden: "The Security of Israel Is Critical. I Will Always Make Sure that Israel Has What It Needs to Defend Itself"
    President Joe Biden said Wednesday: "I just signed into law the national security package....It's going to make America safer. It's going to make the world safer. And it continues America's leadership in the world....It gives vital support to America's partners so they can defend themselves against threats to their sovereignty and to the lives and freedom of their citizens. And it's an investment in our own security, because when our allies are stronger...we are stronger."
        "This bill also includes vital support for Israel....My commitment to Israel, I want to make clear again, is ironclad. The security of Israel is critical. I will always make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran and terrorists it supports. And with this aid, the United States can help replenish Israel's air defense and provide other critical defense so Iran can never carry out the destruction it intended with its attack 10 days ago."  (White House)
  • Israel Readying to Evacuate Palestinians from Rafah ahead of Planned Offensive - Carrie Keller-Lynn
    Israel's military is gearing up to uproot Hamas from its last stronghold in the Gazan city of Rafah. Ahead of operations, Israel plans to evacuate civilians to humanitarian enclaves to be constructed within Gaza, which would include food, water, shelter and medical services. "It's going to happen," said an Israeli security official. "There's a humanitarian response that's happening at the same time."
        According to Egyptian officials briefed on the Israeli plans, Israel is preparing to move civilians from Rafah to nearby Khan Yunis and other areas, where it plans to set up shelters with tents, food-distribution centers and medical facilities such as field hospitals. The evacuation operation would last two to three weeks and be done in coordination with the U.S., Egypt and other Arab countries, the Egyptian officials said. (Wall Street Journal)
        See also Israeli Officials in Egypt to Discuss Rafah Operation - Itamar Eichner
    IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi and Israel Security Agency Director Ronen Bar met with Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel in Egypt on Wednesday to discuss future operations in Rafah. An Israeli government spokesperson said Wednesday that Israel is "moving ahead" with an assault on Hamas in Rafah. (Ynet News)
  • Britain's House of Commons Leader: "UK Can Learn Lessons from Israel on How to Mount a Formidable Defense" - MP Penny Mordaunt
    Ten days ago we had gone to bed with the news that an armada of drones and missiles were already in the air, due to strike Israel. Yet by morning the Israelis emerged to find virtually no damage to their country. Pretty much all of the 300 weapons had been intercepted and destroyed.
        Iran had done its worst and Israel had done its best. It had stood up to the determined and deluded leadership of its bigger undemocratic bullying neighbor and survived. It should be celebrated by all democracy-loving countries. Britain has been right to stand alongside our ally.
        Israel's ability to defend itself, and later its targeted and limited response against Iran, showcased its capabilities. You don't have to be a big country to be a powerful one. Israel has just under 10 million people. There are lessons to be learned by how such a small nation can mount such a formidable defense. Strength is a choice. (Daily Mail-UK)
        See also Britain Considers Israel-Style "Iron Dome" for Missile Defense - Larisa Brown (The Times-UK)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • IDF Hits 40 Hizbullah Sites; Group's South Lebanon Command Decimated - Emanuel Fabian
    Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said Wednesday that the IDF had killed half of Hizbullah's commanders in southern Lebanon and carried out a large wave of strikes against weapon depots and other Hizbullah assets. The strikes came hours after the terror group fired anti-tank missiles at a community in northern Israel. Troops also shelled areas with artillery to "remove threats." Since Oct. 8, Hizbullah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis. (Times of Israel)
  • Israel's Defense Minister Voices Support for IDF Unit Slated for U.S. Sanctions - Emanuel Fabian
    Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with troops of the Netzah Yehuda Battalion on the Gaza border on Monday, amid plans by the U.S. to impose sanctions on the unit. "The entire defense establishment, the IDF and the State of Israel support you, appreciate you and strengthen you in your operations to protect the State of Israel," Gallant said. "No one in the world will teach us what morality is and what norms are."
        The unit, made up of Orthodox troops and part of the Kfir Brigade, has been operating in the Beit Hanoun area amid the war, after months on the Syrian border. It had previously been stationed in the West Bank. (Times of Israel)
  • White House Demands "Answers" from Israel after Gaza Hospital Mass Grave Claims
    After Hamas officials in Gaza claimed to discover a mass grave at a hospital that was the target of a recent IDF raid, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said, "We want answers. We want to see this thoroughly and transparently investigated."
        Israeli army spokesman Major Nadav Shoshani wrote on X, "Misinformation is circulating regarding a mass grave that was discovered at Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis. The grave in question was dug - by Gazans - a few months ago. This fact is corroborated by social media documentation uploaded by Gazans at the time of the burial....Any attempt to blame Israel for burying civilians in mass graves is categorically false and a mere example of a disinformation campaign."
        The IDF said forces searching for Israeli hostages had examined bodies previously buried by Palestinians near Nasser Hospital and had returned the bodies to where they were buried after they were examined. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • Israel Planned Bigger Attack on Iran, but Scaled It Back to Avoid War - Ronen Bergman
    Israel abandoned plans for a much more extensive counterstrike on Iran after concerted diplomatic pressure from the U.S. and other foreign allies, senior Israeli officials said. Israeli leaders originally discussed bombarding several military targets across Iran in retaliation for the Iranian strike on April 13. Israel opted for a more limited strike on Friday that avoided significant damage, diminishing the likelihood of an escalation, at least for now.
        Instead of sending fighter jets into Iranian airspace, Israel fired a small number of missiles from aircraft positioned several hundred miles west of it. Israel also sent small attack drones to confuse Iranian air defenses. Military facilities in Iran have been attacked by such drones several times in recent years.
        One missile on Friday hit an antiaircraft battery in a strategically important part of central Iran, while another exploded in midair. An Israeli official said the Israel Air Force intentionally destroyed the second missile once it became clear that the first had reached its target, to avoid causing too much damage. (New York Times)
  • Khamenei Did Not Expect the Attack on Israel to Turn Out the Way It Did - Brig.-Gen. (res.) Jacob Nagel
    The Iranian ayatollah regime attacked Israel directly from its own territory, deploying hundreds of UAVs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Clearly, Khamenei did not expect the attack to turn out the way it did. A global defense coalition stood by Israel, effectively repelling the unprecedented attack, which humiliated Iran and exposed its inherent weaknesses.
        The limited Israeli response may seem to be too weak or disproportionate compared to the massive Iranian attack. Yet Israel demonstrated its capability in a strategic attack deep into Iran against critical defense systems. It sent a clear message: "Your defenses are penetrable, and next time, the target could be your nuclear infrastructure."
        It is important to highlight that Israel responded despite American pressure not to do so, and the U.S. provided unprecedented security assistance shortly after the attack. This suggests that, despite American reluctance to approve a direct response, they did not interfere with Israel's actions.
        The writer, former National Security Advisor to Israel's Prime Minister, is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Iran's Appeasers in Washington - Amb. Michael Oren
    Historians writing years from now about the Middle East will likely cite the role of the policies of those in Washington who sought to appease Iran at almost any price and ignore its serial aggressions. In 2009, Obama became the first president to refer to Tehran's regime as the Islamic Republic of Iran - legitimizing the oppressive theocracy - and stood aside while that republic's thugs beat and shot hundreds of Iranian citizens protesting for their freedom.
        Over the next four years, the White House ignored a relentless spate of Iranian aggressions - attacks against U.S. Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf; backing for al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups dedicated to America's destruction; and barely disguised efforts to undermine pro-Western Middle Eastern governments. At the same time, Iran supported Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad's mass slaughter - often with poison gas - of his own countrymen.
        Since the start of the war against Hamas, Iranian proxies have launched more than 170 attacks against U.S. military bases in Iraq, Syria, and Jordan, and all but blocked international shipping through the strategically crucial Bab al-Mandeb Strait. Still, the U.S. refrained from retaliating against Iran directly, or even holding it publicly responsible. Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the U.S. not only allowed Iran to repeatedly assault its citizens, soldiers and allies, but consistently rewarded it for doing so.
        While Israel is grateful for the vital assistance it received in intercepting Iran's missile and drone onslaught, nothing substantial in the U.S. position toward Iran has changed. The Iranians will see this direct attack on Israel as a victory for their ability to continue threatening Israel. Either America stands up boldly against Iran and joins Israel in deterring it, or Iran emerges from this conflict once again unpunished, undiminished, and ready to inflict yet more damage.
        The writer is a former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. (Free Press)

  • The Gaza War

  • The "Better" Civilians of Gaza - Alan M. Dershowitz
    Albert Einstein wrote on Sep. 16, 1945, "The strangest thing is that even the better people among the Germans are not conscious of their heavy responsibility for all these crimes committed by the government they have chosen themselves." That letter could have been written about the so-called innocent adult civilians in Gaza. They elected Hamas and, according to recent polls, continue to support it and would vote for it again.
        On Oct. 7, the civilians who followed the terrorists into Israel captured a nurse named Nili Margalit, forcibly transporting her to Gaza after murdering other Israelis. In Gaza, they displayed her to the "jubilant crowds" of civilians who cheered her civilian kidnappers. Other Gazan civilians permitted their homes to be used to hide and launch rockets, while others helped to hide hostages.
        Among the so-called innocent "civilians" who Hamas claims have been killed by Israel, there are thousands of guilty and complicit civilians without whose assistance Hamas could not have succeeded. It is hard to shed tears if the "civilians" who kidnapped and sold Margalit were among the collateral damage.
        All in all, the number of absolutely innocent Gazans is a fraction of those claimed by Israel's enemies. A thorough and objective investigation will show that Israel has killed far fewer innocent civilians than any nation in the history of fighting terrorism in urban areas.
        The writer is Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law School. (Gatestone Institute)
  • If You Truly Care about Humanity in the Gaza War, Choose the Side of the Jews - Liel Leibovitz
    In the conflict that has been raging since Oct. 7, I hear the following argument: We wish for the IDF to strike against the terrorists, but we also urge that no action be taken without careful consideration for Palestinian civilian casualties. "We choose the side of humanity." Not me. I choose the side of the Jews.
        I don't mean it as bravado. I mean it as a crucial moral distinction. It's precisely my ability to feel the particular pain of my own kin, the unique and specific grieving not for all who suffer but for those who are my brothers and cousins and loved ones, that makes me able to then see others who are suffering, too.
        As those who have actually fought in wars know all too well, no normal human being would ever call for war to last longer than it should or be deadlier than it must. But shirking from doing what must be done to protect and defend Jewish security is merely an invitation for more carnage.
        To support a measured response against Hamas isn't to spare the people of Gaza; it's merely to condemn them to decades more of suffering inflicted by the same monsters who repeatedly send women and children into the line of fire to serve as human shields.
        If you, like me, treat Palestinians with dignity and respect, if you see them as moral agents capable of discerning between right and wrong, you ought to expect that they care for you as you care for them. Yet Gazans aren't taking to the streets to topple their murderous regime. They aren't sharing their outrage that babies were beheaded and women raped in their name. They aren't pleading with their leaders to try different, peaceful measures. Instead, Palestinian support of Hamas has been strong and consistent. (Tablet)
  • The IDF Is a Moral Army that Must Defeat Hamas - Prof. Azar Gat
    I am among those who believe that the challenge in the Gaza war is existential. If Israel cannot achieve the declared goals of the war - the destruction of Hamas as a semi-state military organization with a massive military infrastructure that controls Gaza - we have no future in the Middle East. Without removing the threat and restoring deterrence, every bush-league terrorist in the Middle East could make our lives a living hell.
        This necessity faces the formidable military challenge of tens of thousands of armed men embedded in a dense urban, civilian fabric. There is no way to eliminate this array without causing massive destruction. Anyone who argues that it is forbidden to cause such destruction must propose feasible alternatives that would enable the elimination of Hamas in Gaza; otherwise, they are arguing that the situation in effect gives Hamas immunity.
        Until recently, the mainstream in the theory of just war held that every effort must be made to avoid harming civilians, in keeping with the importance of the military goal. In the meantime, a radical current has emerged in the field that calls for much more severe - impossible - restrictions on the legitimate use of force.
        The writer holds the Ezer Weizman Chair for National Security at Tel Aviv University. (Ha'aretz)
  • Qatar, a Leading Sponsor of Terrorism, Is Not an Impartial Mediator - Bassam Tawil
    The idea that Qatar has been acting as a mediator in the negotiations between Israel and Hamas for the release of Israeli hostages is laughable. Qatar has actually long been staunchly aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is an offshoot. Qatar has long hosted Hamas leaders and allowed the terrorist group to set up an office in Doha. Qatar's close relations with Hamas should clearly disqualify it from brokering the release of the Israeli hostages. It is said, "Qatar is Hamas and Hamas is Qatar."
        If the Qataris had wanted to end the war in Gaza, they could have summoned the leaders of Hamas and issued an ultimatum to them to release the hostages or face deportation from the country. The Qataris are not doing so because their goal is to keep Hamas in power. "The Qataris are the No. 1 country in the world that finances terrorism, more than Iran," said Dr. Udi Levy, a former senior official of Israel's Mossad. (Gatestone Institute)

  • Anti-Israel Protests

  • Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Calls for Escalation of U.S. Student Protests Against Israel
    We in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine confirm our steadfast support for the struggle of the student youth movements - Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and the Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) - at universities such as Columbia, Rutgers, Yale, and Stanford. We highly appreciate the positions, movements, and struggles of our students in American universities, and call for the escalation of their struggle.
        [The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) is a secular Palestinian Marxist-Leninist and revolutionary socialist organization designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the EU.] (X)
        See also Biden Condemns "Antisemitic Protests" and "Those Who Don't Understand What's Going On with the Palestinians" - Kathryn Watson (CBS News)
  • The Ivy League's Anti-Israel Protest Meltdown - Editorial
    Anyone who thinks concerns about antisemitism are overdone isn't paying attention. Anti-Israel, antisemitic protests at elite universities are getting uglier. At Columbia in New York City, pro-Palestinian demonstrators have surrounded Jewish students to push them away. Many protesters wear masks or kaffiyehs to disguise their identities. Protesters carry banners calling to "Honor the Martyrs of Palestine" and a sign pointing to pro-Israel counterprotesters as "al-Qasam's next targets." Al-Qassam is the military wing of Hamas. That's a call to kill Jews.
        These schools have sown the intolerance their students are demonstrating by putting identity politics above the free exchange of ideas. On Oct. 8, 2023, Columbia professor Joseph Massad praised the "awesome" scenes of the Oct. 7 massacre "witnessed by millions of jubilant Arabs."  (Wall Street Journal)
  • To Be (Visibly) Jewish in the Ivy League - Bret Stephens
    Yale and other universities have been sites of almost continual demonstrations since Hamas massacred and kidnapped Israelis on Oct. 7. Students have a right to express their views. It's fine, too, to be willing to defy campus rules they believe are unjust - provided they are willing to accept the price of their civil disobedience, including arrest, jail time or suspension. But as the experiences of scores of Jewish students on American campuses testify, we are well past this fine stage.
        Why do these students regularly chant slogans like "There is only one solution, intifada revolution," which is an incendiary call to violent action against Jews? The sad fact of campus life today is that speech and behavior that would be considered scandalous if aimed at other minorities are treated as understandable or even commendable when directed at Jews. (New York Times)
  • Anti-Israel Activists Think They're Winning - Michael Starr
    The Columbia University encampment protests have seen a startling escalation in violent and pro-terrorist rhetoric since the anti-Israel activists occupied the campus on April 17. Videos of demonstrators promising to carry out more massacres similar to the one on Oct. 7 have flooded social media, many of them posted by pro-Palestinian groups and activists themselves. They have praised Hamas, calling on them to kill more IDF soldiers, shoot rockets, and burn down Tel Aviv.
        Protesters have constantly called for an "intifada," in reference to the waves of terrorism that rocked Israel in the 1990s and early 2000s, killing hundreds of Israelis. The anti-Israel activists smelled blood on April 15 as organizations like Within Our Lifetime and American Muslims for Palestine blockaded bridges, roads, airports, and businesses in an effort to cause economic damage. As their confidence grew, they shouted "Death to America" while burning U.S. flags and, with Hamas headbands and Hizbullah flags, showed open support for terrorist organizations. (Jerusalem Post)
  • I'm a Columbia Professor. The Protests on My Campus Are Not Justice. - John McWhorter
    In the music humanities class I teach at Columbia University, the surrounding noise is infuriated chanting from protesters outside the building, including lusty chanting of "From the river to the sea." I thought about what would have happened if protesters were instead chanting anti-Black slogans. They would have lasted roughly five minutes before masses of students shouted them down and drove them off the campus. Chants like that would have been condemned as a grave rupture of civilized exchange and branded as a form of violence. Why do so many people think that weekslong campus protests against Israel's very existence are nevertheless permissible?
        Conversations I have had place these confrontations within a larger battle against power structures - in the form of what they call colonialism and against whiteness. The idea is that Jewish students and faculty are white. Calling all this peaceful stretches the use of the word rather implausibly. It's an odd kind of peace when a local rabbi urges Jewish students to go home as soon as possible, and it starts to feel normal to see posters and clothing portraying Hamas as heroes.
        The protesters and their fellow travelers feel that all of this is social justice on the march. They have been told that righteousness means placing the battle against whiteness and its power front and center. What began as intelligent protest has become, in its uncompromising fury and its ceaselessness, a form of abuse. (New York Times)
  • The Pro-War Protest Movement - Seth Mandel
    The protests at Columbia University highlight a key difference between protests of generations past and the current demonstrations: While both cheer America's enemies, the 2024 version is undeniably pro-war. The warmongers are those who have for six months cheered rabidly for war. "Never forget the 7th of October," they shouted at Jews at Columbia. "That will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10 more times, not 100 more times, not 1,000 more times, not 10,000....The 7th of October is going to be every day for you."
        This kind of enthusiasm for the biggest massacre of Jews since the Holocaust, complete with sexual torture and the dismemberment of young children, highlights these protestors' uncontrollable urge for the war to go on forever. "Iran, you make us proud!" they cheered after the Islamic Republic launched hundreds of ballistic missiles and drones from its territory aimed at Israel.
        At a Capitol Hill hearing on anti-Semitism at Columbia, Rep. Ilhan Omar said the ongoing protests should be characterized as anti-war vs. pro-war. She was right, but not in the way she intended. Israel's supporters never wanted this war. But for the anti-American and anti-Israel demonstrators on college campuses, war is all they desire. (Commentary)

Will the U.S. State Department Impose Sanctions on an IDF Battalion? - Amb. Alan Baker (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The declared intention of the U.S. State Department to impose sanctions on the IDF's Netzah Yehuda battalion based on allegations of human rights breaches is a very rash and dangerous move against the military forces of a friendly state.
  • The battalion is an integral component of the Israel Defense Forces, under the full authority and jurisdiction of Israel's military justice system. As such, it is subject to military law and is responsible for fully complying with the norms and principles of international law.
  • Israel's independent judicial system, including its military justice system, thoroughly investigates and institutes prosecution proceedings regarding any allegation of a violation or deviation from IDF orders and code of conduct.
  • Any action by the U.S. to unilaterally impose sanctions on an IDF unit and its soldiers implies that Israel's military and civil legal, investigative, and prosecution authorities are incapable of or are not dealing with alleged violations.
  • This is not the case, and advancing such a proposition to impose sanctions on the army of a critical democratic ally like Israel sets a very dangerous precedent concerning the implications such action could have in the various international judicial fora before which Israel is presently called to defend its actions.
  • If the State Department has any solidly-based suspicions regarding violations by any IDF unit or its soldiers, it is incumbent on the State Department to raise this issue directly with the responsible military and justice authorities in Israel to ascertain whether and what action is being taken to investigate and prosecute such allegations.
  • It is no less incumbent upon the U.S. State Department to rely only on reliable and authoritative information on this matter and not on partisan, one-sided, political allegations, such as anti-Israel NGOs active on behalf of the Palestinians.

    The writer, Director of the Institute for Diplomatic Affairs at the Jerusalem Center, served as Legal Adviser and Deputy Director-General of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
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