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Chosen Links – January 28, 2024

Articles, Threads, Videos and More about Israel and Antisemitism
[additional-authors]
January 30, 2024

This week I had an EPIC phone call, and I’m still honored by it. I have a story to tell, and believe it or not, it ties into my own family, and has never been written until now. First some crucial backstory…

Reach back to the recesses of your memory, to the aftermath of 9/11. Daniel Pearl was a journalist for The Wall Street Journal, and on January 23, 2002, he was investigating “Shoe Bomber” Richard Reid, and followed a lead to what he thought would be an interview with a notable religious figure in Pakistan. Instead, on that tragic, fateful day, he was kidnapped by an Islamic extremist group that called themselves The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty. Then, with cameras filming for the world to watch in horror, they beheaded him on February 1, 2002. In the video, among other things, he was forced to say the following words, “My name is Daniel Pearl. I’m a Jewish-American from Encino, California, USA…on my father’s side the family is Zionist. My father’s Jewish, my mother’s Jewish, I’m Jewish. My family follows Judaism. We’ve made numerous family visits to Israel.”

That day, the news slammed into our eyes and ears like tidal waves around the world. Daniel Pearl, a celebrated journalist, was murdered in cold blood – seemingly for being a Jew. Here is the WSJ’s own report on it a few weeks later:

https://www.wsj.com/…/resources/documents/pearl-022102.htm

While this was happening, my first cousin was busy working, and the news had not yet reached him. But suddenly, family members and friends began to call and email him. His mother was receiving panicked messages. Everyone was worried, and horrified, and thought they might be sending condolences about my cousin, their loved one. Oh, did I forget to mention something? My cousin as it happens, is ALSO named Daniel Pearl. And he was ALSO a journalist for a well known website/publication. And his news organization, in an error that is the crux of this story, mixed up the real victim’s picture with HIS photo on their website. That’s right, if you went to this major outlet for your news that day, as millions did, you would have seen my cousin’s name, photo and profile – as a victim of terrorism. This was soon corrected of course, and became quite the campfire story for decades in my family.

I never felt right talking about this publicly, because although it provided a strange, dark source of, almost amusement to my family, it was in the context of a heinous tragedy. Mariane lost her husband that day, Judea and Ruth lost their son. In a crazy twist of fate, his son Adam (middle name Daniel) was born almost 4 months later. Asra Nomani lost her close friend, who she writes about to this day (see #14 in Articles/Threads). I didn’t want to capitalize on the suffering of real people. But then Thursday happened.

Right in the midst of my weekly poker game, my phone rang, and I saw the name Judea Pearl on the screen. I jumped out of my seat, as he is a brilliant writer and professor, and happens to also be the father of Daniel Pearl. I had reached out to him and Asra on Twitter, thanking them for their great, and thoughtful essays. But rather than ignore me, or write back, he phoned me, like the gentleman that he is. After chatting for a bit, and being disappointed that my Hebrew is not good enough to be conversational, I asked if I could tell him a strange story about his son. He said yes of course. I then repeated the story above, nervous that he would find it objectionable, or too close to home (an understatement if there ever was one). But instead, he burst out laughing, and apologized to ME for finding the humor in what must have been scary for our family. It turned out that my crazy story managed to bring him amusement, and I finally felt free to tell the tale after all these decades, with both his father’s and my own cousin’s permission of course.

Asra for good measure, was excited to hear the story, and told me that she has been following my cousin’s work ever since, because she gets all of his news stories on her Google Alerts! What a strange, weird, tragic, but also wonderful world we live in. And I adore having these two new connections.

Obviously this week I want to include a photo of my cousin Daniel Pearl, and here’s a lovely one of him with my mother, his aunt.

On that note, it’s time for this week’s Chosen Links…

ARTICLES/THREADS:

1. This is a really tough spot to be in. On the one hand, the army needs to know what they are working towards, and for that to happen there needs to be a “day after” plan, since it’s hard to see definitive results in the muddled mess of Gaza as they go. On the other hand, each and every time Israel extends their hands with a peace deal, it completely backfires.

They need a partner for such a peace; we know it can’t possibly be Hamas, and so does most of the Western world. But ask any honest mideast analyst, and they’ll tell you that Fatah and the PA are not much better. Politically weaker, with less support from the people, sure, but between their river to the sea goals, and “pay to slay” policies, they are basically Hamas in a suit and tie.

But doing nothing is no solution, and the one pulling the strings is a hugely unpopular politician in Israel and worldwide, who has quite outstayed his welcome. Many in Israel blame him for taking his eye off the ball, and negligently letting October 7 slip through the cavernous cracks. And at this point, even many of his own supporters assume he’s put his own self-interest of avoiding trials, in front of the interests of the country. So what to do now, with pressure mounting from the US for him to cave and agree to a plan for peace with the hateful PA, or hopefully just get out of Dodge already. Caroline Glick gives her usual strong analysis:

https://www.jns.org/the-us-campaign-to-oust-netanyahu/

2. Harvard is just continuing to NOT learn from it’s obvious mistakes. What does it take for them to recognize that they have lost the faith of much of the Jewish community? Rabbi David Wolpe resigned the antisemitism task force. Many on it were not going to be trusted in such an endeavor. So they were going to start over. How do they kick off the process? By leading it with a professor who is ok calling Israel an apartheid. Seriously?!

Lawrence H. Summers, former President of Harvard, and current professor, writes:

https://twitter.com/LHSummers/status/1749155870284693775

3. This is really sad, but not surprising to me. Ahmed Fouad Alkhatib, who time and time again has measured responses, in spite of losing family to IDF bombings, criticizing both Israel and Hamas. And here he confesses that the trolls from both sides are nothing alike. “It’s always pro-resistance/pro-Hamas/pro-Hezbollah/pro-Iran people who are so blinded by their beliefs that they can’t look at a Gazan who lost dozens of family members in an IDF bombing and still have compassion & understanding for my different beliefs.” There’s so much value in the rare people who are able to leave their comfort zones, and be critical of more than just “the other side”:

https://twitter.com/afalkhatib/status/1749316368032530769

4a. Fern Reiss fabulously explains why the so-called peace deal being offered by Qatar/Egypt/USA, which was based on terms dictated by Hamas, is simply not something that even most left-wing Israelis can entertain. “Despite UN and western push for a two-state solution, Hamas’ Khaled Meshaal just reiterated Hamas’ rejection of it, saying Palestinians’ rights in Palestine are from the river to the sea, (ie, the entirety of current Israel), with Jerusalem as its capital, the right of Arab return, and the non-recognition of any Jewish state. He vowed that Hamas will continue its violence against Israel.” Plus, you’ve gotta love a post whose title refers to “When Harry Met Sally”:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-108-ill-have…

4b. It’s short but packs a punch. The 21 tragically dead soldiers… Fern pays tribute:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/p/war-day-110-gutted

4c. An EXCELLENT rundown of the hypocrisy of the entire Hague trial. All brought to you by the letter H, Sesame Street style. And this is why I love Fern. Her writing is so damn informative. It’s also full of passion. And it also finds a way to be funny, even when it stems from sadness and anger. Great rundown:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-112-hypocrisy…

4d. I love these news round-ups. Fern gives dozens of pieces of key info, each one with links to the sources. My kinda methodology:

https://fernmusing.substack.com/…/war-day-114-pro…

5. Seth Frantzman writes this highly illuminating piece, about how to analyze our success relative to the number of terrorists we neutralize. He goes into the history of Vietnam, and how we did use numbers as a metric of success. This many were killed, captured or recruited. We are therefore winning or losing.

Due to the fact that Hamas can easily keep recruiting more members, in part assisted by so many civilians being displaced and suffering from the war, he explains that numbers are not a clean measure of success. Though he does explain that commanders are much harder to replace. Very interesting explanation:

https://m.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-783159

6. I love this thread by British-Palestinian John Aziz. He starts off by saying the following basic statement that you rarely hear, “Palestinians in Gaza cannot speak out easily against Hamas, so it falls upon diaspora Palestinians such as myself to criticise them twice as hard. Anyway, Hamas’ explanations for October 7 are a load of bull excrement.” He then smashes each BS claim made by Hamas, throughout this important thread:

https://twitter.com/aziz0nomics/status/1749441691394732477

7a. My dear friend Shai Grabie continues his 4-part series, discussing how ingrained ideologies are in us, from a young age. The Muslim world giving one set of ideologies, that often includes Israel as the big bad wolf, and the Western world increasingly has their own set of ideologies, casting everyone into a binary pairing of either oppressed or oppressor. “The result of this indoctrination has been the curious case of people distorting or denying reality, both in the Arab world and in the west.” A clear and helpful part 3:

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/impervious-to-reality/

7b. The 4th and final part of this fascinating series by Shai, has him discussing what happens when our ideologies don’t match up with the reality of the situation. It creates cognitive dissonance, and people rationalize away things that to an outsider seems entirely irrational.

“People have engaged in motivated reasoning to deduce that there was no way Israeli intelligence could have not known about the attack and therefore it must have been a false flag attack to be used as a pretense for destroying Gaza…Protesters can seek moral support by attending rallies with like minded individuals. They can also project and commit acts of violence to protest what they claim are acts of Israeli violence.” Final part of the series:

https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/psychological-hurdles-to…/

8. David Zweig wrote this investigative piece months ago, and I can’t believe I haven’t seen it until now. It’s excellent! Remember the hospital that was famously reported on horribly, with the world jumping to the conclusion that Israel bombed it and killed over 500 people? It’s long been established that it was a misfire by a terrorist group, and that it was a parking lot, and that the numbers of dead were far fewer. However, this impressive journalist tried to research WHERE/HOW/WHAT the original false source was.

I don’t even want to tell you much, because it reads like an exciting spy novel. He contacts many news outlets to find their source. He hires Arabic translators to see if certain wording is being translated correctly. Such a great read:

https://www.silentlunch.net/…/did-the-entire-media…

9a. I have never shared an article with gift link access before, since I can see it will only be accessible until early February, however this article in the Atlantic by Yair Rosenberg is so great, and fits perfectly with the previous essay. (So forgive the eyesore of a long link, it’s due to the gift access).

Rosenberg analyzes the importance of the accuracy of language. He takes all of the quotes that have been repeated by mainstream news, politicians, and even the South African genocide proceeding, and looks for the source material. What he finds in each and every case, including various biblical citations, was that they were completely lacking in any scandal when seen in their full context. Definitely worth a read, while you have access:

https://www.theatlantic.com/…/israel-south…/677198/…

9b. When the link stops working, you’ll still be able to check out Yair’s thread about the aftermath of his piece. Thanks to his article, multiple corrections were actually made that he’s responsible for:

https://twitter.com/Yair…/status/1749098720925225403

10. Thane Rosenbaum does a great job hitting you from every direction with information. What Israel is up against. Look one direction it’s Hamas, the other it’s Hezbollah, closer there’s the West Bank, further there’s the Houthis. There isn’t a direction to look without peril. This can catch you up in a few minutes:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/israel-and-its-multifront…/

11a. Salo Aizenberg, from HonestReporting, creates a great thread that demolishes any revisionist ideas that claim the PA and Abbas have never received huge offers for a 2-state solution. He brings up proof after proof from Israel, America and even the PA itself, showing how each step of the way was offered, and ultimately ghosted and rejected.

“So if the US and Saudis are going to propose 2 states, don’t just check with Israel, perhaps they should also ask PA & Abbas if he would agree to Olmert’s offer today. Listen to Abbas from just this past Oct 2023 and you decide.” And the video of him speaking is provided. For those pushing Israel for a 2-state solution, just know, they have attempted that repeatedly, and it takes 2 to tango:

https://twitter.com/Aizenberg55/status/1749808379885953516

11b. Aizenberg creates another great thread, showing that as frustrated as we are by the call of the ICJ for Israel to minimize damage, as if they are doing otherwise, it’s far more of a win for Israel than people think. He gives 5 examples:

https://twitter.com/Aizenberg55/status/1751285127471084004

12. Yaakov Katz does a good job breaking down the numbers, and showing how precise the IDF has been at NOT killing civilians:

https://twitter.com/yaakovkatz/status/1749870793486405750

13. I provide a nice backstory about Khaled Hassan in the Podcast section of this weeks’ links. In this thread, he explains his frustration growing up in Egypt, with all of their incredible history, and yet all they taught him in schools was about Arab history and culture, shoving Egypt aside.

“I lived amongst a people whose ancestors built the pyramids. A people whose civilisation and treasures are found in every single museum I’ve ever visited. A people with a history like no other…The history of Egyptian Jewry was not mentioned once in any school book I ever read. NOT ONCE.” What an amazing journey his life has been:

https://twitter.com/Khaledhzak…/status/1749928088605974565

14. Oh how I love this, and how it breaks my heart. Asra Nomani, who I have shared multiple times, is an invaluable member of the journalistic community. Not only as a proud Muslim woman, but as a great writer.

This one in particular is a fast thread, but boy does it pack a powerful punch. Daniel Pearl, discussed extensively during this post, was close friend and colleague to Asra. She tells the story of the day he was taken, before his brutal murder:

https://twitter.com/AsraNomani/status/1749967850721222724

15. Aww, poor anti-Israel movement. After organizing rally after rally against Israel, and being part of the gross BDS movement, the DSA (Democratic Socialists of America) are running out of money. They just don’t understand why backing Hamas over Israel isn’t making them more profitable! Remember when Sarah Silverman said she was ashamed of being a part of their organization, and told them to piss off (it was less polite than that)? That was all BEFORE Israel had even started to fight back. No love lost on my end.

The reason I’m sharing this NY Post article from Instagram, instead of the source, is because the Zioness Movement is not only a rare progressive AND Zionist organization, but they are quoted throughout the piece:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2aW_WJr0aO/

16. A real loss in the world of inventors and the medical field happened this week in Gaza. Adam Bizmut created and ran Sightbit, which helps save lives in water rescue situations. “An AI-driven solution…to detect humans, drowning, hazards, and climate-related events like tsunamis and rip currents. Integrated with standard video cameras, their technology provides real-time information for immediate alerts and predictions on dangers like system failures or security breaches in controlled water sites. Additionally, SightBit’s system extends its functionality to environmental monitoring, detecting and predicting the spread of pollution spills in water bodies.”

Thank you Adam for your amazing contributions to the world, and your tragic sacrifice as a Reservist:

https://www.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-783410

17. Dan Schnur takes the support that Biden has given Israel, and analyzes how much it appears to be hurting his chances at reelection. “The Biden Administration is shifting their primary focus from the war itself to a post-war landscape in which Israel develops a more formal alliance with Saudi Arabia and strengthens its existing relationships with Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and others in a coalition that would rebuild Gaza, enhance regional security and more forcefully confront Iran…the White House believes that such a development would not only fundamentally alter the security and diplomatic landscape of the Middle East, but would strongly boost the political fortunes of the president who orchestrated such an agreement. The creation of a Palestinian state would placate the left, and a more assertive stance against Iran would help with centrists and even some conservatives.” Dan always gives great political commentary on US/Israel relations:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/367484/bidens-mideast-gamble/

18. Yitz Greenberg gives another superb analysis, this time about the movement protesting Israel, calling for ceasefires, and not decrying Hamas for the most part. “To this day, no Arab government, except Bahrain, has publicly condemned Hamas’ behavior on Oct. 7. The calls for immediate ceasefire are officially presented to save Palestinian lives. Coming as they do, without condemning Hamas or asking it to lay down its arms, they constitute a call to save Hamas before it is destroyed so it can survive and try to attack again and again.” It seems everyone calling for a ceasefire tends to leave out the fact that there are still rockets being fired on Israel, cars being rammed into citizens, and hostages being raped and held prisoner. A one-sided ceasefire indeed:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/the-battle-cry-of-terror/

19. This is a wonderful letter that has been spearheaded from 3 members of faculty in the UC school system. Judea Pearl, Shlomo Dubnov, and Ilan Benjamin are begging their UC schools to stop allowing university resources to promote Jew hatred. Many examples are given in this letter which reads like a great article:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/405-university-of…/

20. Naya Lekht does some show-and-tell, explaining just how bad things have gotten in some of our public schools regarding Israel. Tests, homework, powerpoints, all being utilized by teachers to casually demonize Israel as a colonial occupier among other crimes. She then provides some common lies told in the school system, and addresses each one:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/whos-afraid-of-the-big-bad…/

21. Rafael Medoff illuminates the past of Bernie Sanders. He shows how back in the 1988, weeks after Chuck Schumer was protesting the persecution of Jews in the Soviet Union, Sanders visited the USSR, raved about many things he saw, and said nothing at all about the Jews. History repeats itself, as Schumer continues to speak up for Jews and Israel, and Sanders continues to slander it constantly:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/bernie-sanders-abandons…/

22. Shmuel Rosner does his usual fabulous job of explaining the politics between Israel and America. “Let’s try this logic with events that Americans better understand. How about “Pearl Harbor absorbed a severe blow – it’s time to accept Japan’s occupation of China”. Or maybe this one: “The Twin Towers were destroyed – it’s time to give Al-Qaeda a state”.” He feels Israel does owe it to its ally America, who provides financial support, to consider their advice. But he also wonders, at what point will America realize that its advice in this regard, has historically backfired time and time again:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/rosners-domain-the-two…/

23. A heartbreaking plea from a survivor of rape, just weeks prior to October 7, right here in America. “The night has played over and over in my head over these past few months, as the news cycle provides a never-ending source of triggers for me. The blatant disregard of sexual violence from women around the world is astounding. And the victim blaming, stating that the violence was justified, even glorified, as an acceptable means of “resistance” by supporters of the Palestinian movement is impossible for me to comprehend.” It really is inconceivable that groups of sexual assault survivors didn’t instantly rally around what happened October 7, nor even believe them, but so it goes for Israeli women:

https://jewishjournal.com/…/a-sexual-assault-survivor…/

24. Another great, heartfelt article by Cindy Kaplan. Since the UN has been awful with all things Israel, and their designated Holocaust Remembrance Day is upon us, she lays into the UN for their hypocrisy, and their use of the Holocaust to manipulate things against us. “But in 2024, it’s being distorted, simultaneously in an effort to discredit Jewish suffering and in an effort to co-opt it and accuse Jews of doing what was done to us. Words like “genocide” and “concentration camp” and “Nazi” have specific meanings, meanings that are deeply connected to the Jewish experience and Jewish pain. And yet, they are thrown around as a way to justify killing us once again.” Sad but true:

https://cindykaplan.substack.com/…/the-fiction-of…

25. An incredible man with an incredible story, that I will get more into in a future week. Ahmad is from the West Bank, and grew up hating Jews, and now has gone a full 180 degrees, as he’s strongly advocating for Israel online. “To those who call for a ceasefire, while I understand the bloodshed must come to an end, the war can’t stop without the return of the kidnapped and the full destruction of Hamas. Once that is achieved, life can begin to return and the people of Gaza will see their lives have the meaningful change they never had under Hamas. But only if they do not repeat the mistakes of the past and seek life not death.” Just an incredible man I have so much more to say about, but that will wait for another day. In the meantime, here is one of multiple great pieces he’s written:

https://www.israellycool.com/2024/01/08/my-heart-breaks/

26. A look into this fast-hitting news site on Twitter/X, which many accuse for being propaganda. Stefan Tompson runs Visegrad24 with his brother, and their focus is on pro-Israel and pro-Ukraine messaging. Asked why this Polish site would be so interested in Israel, he explains, “We are at war against a Chinese-Russian-Persian-North Korean axis. In that sense, it is incredibly relevant to us in Poland and in the EU…This is not just a war against Israel and against Jews. This is a civilizational war, in which we are next. To not take a stand for Israel means to not take a stand for the West.” Lahav Harkov reports:

https://jewishinsider.com/…/stefan-tompson-visegrad24…/

27. Dr. Einat Wilf provides an amazing resource, describing 7 things that Jews have NOT been successful at, against the Arabs. “The Arab response to the Jews daring to be sovereign in their midst was to simply and fully ethnically cleanse the defenseless Jews from the Arab and Muslim lands, this from communities that predated the Arab and Muslim conquests – and of-course only in the name of “Antizionism”. Even as no Jews were left, Arabs continued to claim they had no problem with Jews, only “Zionists”.” This is to remind us all that victory may be what we need, but is not always a foregone conclusion:

https://twitter.com/EinatWilf/status/1750492946548347118

28. Maya Savir goes in depth about the concept of “reconciliation”, and even wrote a 2017 book about it, from her time researching how it went in Rwanda and South Africa. In Rwanda, the Hutus and Tutsis began to live together, and as is well known, white and black people in South Africa began to live together when apartheid ended. She was studying if Israel could learn something from those horrible conflicts that ended in living side by side. A fascinating thing to learn about, and then ponder if we can get to a better place one day ourselves:

https://newlinesmag.com/…/pondering-the-israel…/

29. Not many people volunteer to admit when they were wrong, but Lt. Col. Peter Lerner just stepped out and confessed his own failings. UNRWA existed before the Palestinian Authority- and its mandate didn’t evolve to support reconciliation once the PA was established. Effectively UNRWA, in its existence, has excused the PA from its civilian responsibilities, excused the Palestinian leaders from accountability, and perpetuated a false narrative of cross generational refugees.” He had been defending these organizations, but in light of Hillel Neuer exposing UNRWA, he says he was wrong:

https://twitter.com/LTCPeterLe…/status/1751167804311482824

30a. Michael Koplow explains why Israel and the Palestinians are between a rock and a hard place with what to do next regarding the UNRWA. “There is no way around UNRWA today for alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. But UNRWA cannot continue in this fashion. Collapsing it now will be a disaster for Palestinians, and letting it go on forever will be a disaster for Israel.” It’s what he calls a “deeply flawed but necessary organization”. Ouch:

https://twitter.com/mkoplow/status/1750938664455082081

30b. Michael Koplow and Shira Efron worked together on creating an actual gameplan for how to move forward in Gaza. How many people have even attempted such a thing? It involves utilizing the PA, but also making important changes to the PA. They recognize the distinction between violence coming from workers from Gaza, versus the West Bank, which they explain has been more successful than people think. There is a full report if you have the patience to analyze, there’s a short summary of the report, and there’s a video:

https://israelpolicyforum.org/…/starting-from-the…/

31. This is a really cool thread that investigates the popular Twitter account @TorahJudaism. It claims to be an account of religious Haredi Jews who are against Israel. We know that exists, with the Twitter account @TorahJews. But this account is clearly a fake, run by someone literally using Turkish Wikipedia to find the Jewish info to mimic. They still haven’t been banned, but he’s caught them in numerous lies:

https://x.com/shevereshtus/status/1693800786260619411

32. Nasreen and Eyad Yousef are Druze Arabs, the only ones in Moshav Yated. If not not for them, especially her, who knows how many people in that community would have been murdered on October 7. Using her language and power of persuasion, she was able to stop some of the first members of Hamas who infiltrated their border, and even got key information where they were entering, and how many more were coming. She’s a true hero, as is her husband who was running around protecting the area with the security team. Bless them all, and read their amazing story:

https://www.timesofisrael.com/how-a-druze-mom-fooled…/

VIDEOS:

1a. It took me a few days this week to finally find a video worth sharing, but this was great. A few short minutes, where teacher Dani Buller, clearly explains why the foreign donations from authoritarian governments like Qatar, obviously affect the policy, staffing, and ideology of the universities that accept those donations. It’s so obvious, but needs to be said out loud:

https://x.com/askdani__real/status/1749830567456072011

1b. Ironically, on the day of finalizing this post, I found another gem by Dani. This time he makes clear what it must be like to have UNRWA as your teachers, who are also supporting terrorism:

https://twitter.com/askdani__real/status/1751616091904708753

2. Douglas K Murray debates the Palestinian National Initiative Leader Mustafa Barghouti on Piers Morgan. Murray is funny and rude as always, interrupting away. But he does a great job of getting the PA policy of “pay to slay” into the conversation, which Barghouti has the nerve to call a social security benefit:

https://youtu.be/nk9Nr0WyKf0

3a. John Ondrasik from Five For Fighting created that beautiful new music video about antisemitism, and here he gets a few minutes to discuss it with Sam Rubin. He really hopes that people in the arts will stop listening to their agents, who fear that saying something will lose them money, and do what’s right and follow his lead. I hope so too but doubt it:

https://ktla.com/…/john-ondrasik-says-courage…/9353595/

3b. Gotta include the song itself again given the context, even though I shared it recently:

https://youtu.be/XDJXo2Gn-ww

4. This interview was released on MEMRI, where Kuwaiti podcaster Amar Taki interviewed Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. Such a civilized interview, discussing political discourse like any other day. Except if you actually watch, or even read the transcript below it, you’ll see him proudly admitting what they actually want. Two-state solution? Absolutely not. They want a free Palestinian state from the river to the sea, without any Israel and without recognizing the Zionist entity. October 7 was a turning point he claims, that gained them more support than ever with the Palestinian population. A few minutes worth watching. Yuck:

https://www.memri.org/…/khaled-mashal-hamas-leader…

5. You know those movies with a bunch of different characters, and you watch their individual stories play out, and you know it will at some point come together into one story where they meet? That’s what this is. A harrowing October 7 story about Noam Hanuka, who was critically shot, and SPOILER ALERT, survived the day thanks to heroism of his pregnant wife and 2 strangers. I’ll tell you it’s a happy ending, because I don’t want you to be afraid to watch:

https://youtu.be/Sr9zTn6egDM

6. This is a music video that I am so impressed by, when it was over I pictured a mic drop and people snapping their fingers in applause. Great job by Idan Nimtso, rapping through the wars that were waged upon Israel. Even the so-called Nakba was covered here:

https://twitter.com/TheMossadIL/status/1750958160209236389

SPOTLIGHT:

So far the people I’ve given the “Spotlight” have been celebrities. I wish I could have hundreds more who have publicly given support to Israel, to. But instead, it’s time to honor a politician. A Democrat out of NY, who has been incessant in his calls of support for Israel, Zionism, Jews, and calling out the protestors. Thank you so much Ritchie Torres, you’ve gained so many allies in my community:

https://twitter.com/RitchieTorres

https://www.instagram.com/ritchietorresny15/

PODCASTS:

Khaled Hassan tells his fascinating journey here on this podcast from a year ago. I’ve shared great threads by him before (including this week), and it’s great to finally learn his backstory. He grew up in Egypt with antisemitic beliefs, thinking of himself not really as an Arab, but a proud Egyptian. And yet as a researcher, he developed enough curiosity to actually open his mind, something you can’t take for granted. He moved to England and actually converted to Judaism!

https://youtu.be/7xkNP3rnWec

FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION:

1. I’m so proud of my friend Roman Sandler for creating this! “Roman was inspired to write the book after trying to explain the tragedy of October 7 to his five year old daughter and finding no available resources.” That’s right. A kid’s book to help navigate what we are all talking about constantly. Trust me, kids pick up on things more than you might think:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CS64DY6N

2. This is infuriating. Frimet and Arnold Roth have this Twitter/X account, because their daughter Malki was murdered in the Sbarro terrorist attack. “On August 9, 2001, a Jordanian woman, Ahlam Tamimi, brought a young Palestinian Arab male from Ramallah to Jerusalem and placed him at the entrance to a bustling Sbarro pizzeria filled with children. She then rushed away to safety and was far from the scene when the human bomb detonated the guitar case slung across his shoulder. Fifteen persons were murdered including two US nationals. Some 130 others were injured, many severely. ” This thread shows the fact that Tamimi continues to be celebrated freely in Jordan, an ally of the US, and nobody is enforcing an extradition:

https://twitter.com/ThisOngoin…/status/1678028264642682881

The petition itself:

http://Change.org/ExtraditeTamimi

ON A LIGHTER NOTE:

1. This meme was funny/sad but true:

https://twitter.com/Logically_JC/status/1750136927255187713

2a. I’m enjoying these Onion-like takes on Israel from The Daily Brine. No reason to describe them first, because these are literally satirical memes:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2O0zrxtMsE/

2b. This one already created, about the dumb ruling, in the even dumber South African genocide trial:

https://www.instagram.com/p/C2kOOynN0H9/

3. L.E. Staiman has created some funny topical bits since the war broke out, and here he decides to “apply for a ceasefire” at the “West Bank”. Good stuff:

https://www.instagram.com/reel/C2fTMAcLKAZ/

4. On January 29, 1977, the iconic show “All in the Family” aired this incredible episode about Archie Bunker losing his friend Stretch Cunningham, and delivering the eulogy. The catch being, he had no idea his friend was Jewish until that moment. Comedy, Jewish tropes, and some very touching moments ensue. Shout-out and Baruch Dayan Haemet to Norman Lear who died last month:

https://www.facebook.com/share/r/xACHf6By9p9RPAFp/

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

1. Gross cartoon full of antisemitic tropes released to the world by a famous, former cartoonist for 2 of the biggest British newspapers. Saul Sadka explains those awful ancient stereotypes portrayed under the guise of politics:

https://twitter.com/Saul_Sadka/status/1749231073983119553

2. I’ve often discussed the death toll as being something you have to sadly take with a grain of salt. I’m so impressed to see that Gabriel Epstein at the The Washington Institute for Near East Policy has actually done a statistical analysis of the numbers. “Expecting significant precision or accuracy in death tolls in a war zone, where estimates often range in the tens of thousands, is a fool’s errand. What can be said for certain is that Hamas-produced statistics are inconsistent, imprecise, and appear to have been systematically manipulated to downplay the number of militants killed and to exaggerate the proportion of noncombatants confirmed as dead. The Gaza Health Ministry and GMO figures are cited widely, in many cases without caveats, often to claim that Israel is engaging in indiscriminate bombardment or attempted genocide, primarily targeting women and children.”

He analyzes their reported numbers in past conflicts as a launching point. Using the following link, you’ll be able to view or download the PDF of the study itself:

https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/…/how-hamas…

WHAT I’M ENJOYING THIS WEEK:

Passing my Medical-Surgical Certification Exam! I was told at work to study for it, and warned them I didn’t have time. Fine, they said just take it and see what happens. So I took the 150 question exam on Thursday, with no idea how many were needed to pass, and it worked out! Woot woot!

My cousin Daniel Pearl with my mother, his aunt.

Boaz Hepner works as a Registered Nurse in Saint John’s Health Center. He moonlights as a columnist, where his focuses are on health, and Israel, including his Chosen Links section of the Journal. He is a Pico/Robertson native, and lives here with his wife Adi, and children Natalia and Liam. He can be found with his family enjoying his passions: his multitude of friends, movies, poker and traveling.

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