The Influencers vs. the Jews

Among those egging on the recent wave of anti-Semitic assaults and incidents were not only Islamist propagandists, left-wing politicians, and Iran, but also a number of celebrities and so-called “influencers”—those whose impressive social-media followings give them a podium to shape opinions and tastes on a large scale. Ayaan Hirsi Ali comments on their role:

Take the supermodel Bella Hadid, who, as Daniella Greenbaum Davis has pointed out, has almost four-times as many Instagram followers as there are Jews in the entire world. In response to the conflict, she joined a pro-Palestinian protest in Brooklyn, chanting: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”—an anti-Semitic slogan coined by the Palestine Liberation Organization to call for the elimination of Israel. Until recently, it was a chant frequently associated with the likes of Hamas. . . . But in today’s hysterical climate, one of the West’s most famous celebrities can use it and expect applause.

It is my opinion that Ms. Hadid was unaware of the context and history of the chant; I do not believe she understood she was calling for the elimination of Israel, or the expulsion or genocide of the Jewish people. Similarly, I do not believe that she, nor her niece’s father, the singer Zayn Malik, understood the implications of describing Israel as a “colonizer.”

Yet we must not ignore the fact that such descriptions have a pernicious impact on society at large. . . . Jewish communities across the world are already experiencing the fall-out from a new wave of anti-Semitism that has been legitimized by celebrity activists. [On May 20], Joseph Borgen was attacked by a group of pro-Palestinian activists in New York City’s Times Square. They reportedly beat him with a crutch, sprayed him with mace, called him a “dirty Jew,” and explained that “Hamas is going to kill all of you.” Remarkably, a photo of one of the men accused of assaulting Borgen, Waseem Awawdeh, recently appeared in a now-deleted Instagram photo posted by Bella Hadid from a pro-Palestinian protest.

Read more at UnHerd

More about: Anti-Semitism, Celebrity, Social media

Planning for the Day after the War in the Gaza Strip

At the center of much political debate in Israel during the past week, as well as, reportedly, of disagreement between Jerusalem and Washington, is the problem of how Gaza should be governed if not by Hamas. Thus far, the IDF has only held on to small parts of the Strip from which it has cleared out the terrorists. Michael Oren lays out the parameters of this debate over what he has previous called Israel’s unsolvable problem, and sets forth ten principles that any plan should adhere to. Herewith, the first five:

  1. Israel retains total security control in Gaza, including control of all borders and crossings, until Hamas is demonstrably defeated. Operations continue in Rafah and elsewhere following effective civilian evacuations. Military and diplomatic efforts to secure the hostages’ release continue unabated.
  2. Civil affairs, including health services and aid distribution, are administered by Gazans unaffiliated with Hamas. The model will be Area B of Judea and Samaria, where Israel is in charge of security and Palestinians are responsible for the civil administration.
  3. The civil administration is supervised by the Palestinian Authority once it is “revitalized.” The PA first meets benchmarks for ending corruption and establishing transparent institutions. The designation and fulfillment of the benchmarks is carried out in coordination with Israel.
  4. The United States sends a greatly expanded and improved version of the Dayton Mission that trained PA police forces in Gaza after Israel’s disengagement.
  5. Abraham Accords countries launch a major inter-Arab initiative to rebuild and modernize Gaza.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, Israeli Security, U.S.-Israel relationship