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The British Invasion: Douglas Murray and Colonel Richard Kemp, Tel Aviv International Salon, Dec.21, 2023

Douglas Murray (left) and Richard Kemp appearing in Tel Aviv Dec. 21, 2023

By GABRIEL EMMANUEL In 1964 the Beatles were banned from performing in Israel (to the Jewish state’s everlasting shame and embarrassment). Nearly 60 years later a British invasion of a different sort took place and the crowd reaction was almost like a mini Beatlemania.

Some 600 or more twenty and thirty somethings packed themselves into a meeting room at the Carlton Hotel in Tel Aviv that was meant to accommodate only about a third of that size. The featured speakers were former Commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, Richard Kemp, and author, political commentator, Douglas Murray, whose book “War on the West”(2018) quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Both Kemp and Murray have spent the past two and a half months in Israel covering the war. “I’ve almost made Aliya” quipped Kemp as the talk was about to begin. When the charismatic Murray entered the room a little late for reasons which he would come to share, the audience broke into spontaneous applause.

While Colonel Kemp has been known for years for endorsing the IDF as the “most moral army” in the world, Douglas Murray shot to fame at the opening of the present conflict with his acerbic response to an interviewer’s question as to whether Israel’s response to the atrocities of Oct. 7 could be considered “proportionate”. In a segment on British Talk TV https://talk.tv/top-stories/31465/douglas-murray-proportionality-in-conflict-is-a-joke that went instantly viral Murray responded “There is some deep perversion in Britain whenever Israel is involved in a conflict and it’s the word you just used – proportion, proportionate, proportionality. Only Britain is really obsessed with this…Proportionality in conflict rarely exists but if we were to decide that we should have this fetish about proportionality then that would mean that in retaliation for what Hamas did in Israel on Saturday (Oct. 7, G.E.) then Israel should try and locate a music festival in Gaza for instance (and good luck with that), and rape precisely the number of women that Hamas raped, kill precisely the number of young people that Hamas killed. They should find a town of exactly the same size of Sderot… and make sure they go door to door and kill precisely the correct number of babies that Hamas killed in Sderot and shoot in the head precisely the same number of old age pensioners that Hamas shot in the head on Saturday…Proportionality in conflict is a joke,” spurned Douglas adding, “that it is only the Israelis that when attacked are expected to have precisely a proportionate response.”


Given the British gentlemens’ philo-semitic reputations the audience broke out with mixed laughter and applause when the two were introduced as the “two most beloved “Goyim” in all of Israel. Non-plussed by the off-colour moniker, Kemp stated proudly that “I am also an extremely talented “Shabbat Goy” the result of having been residing in a hotel with many displaced persons from Kiryat Shmona “who have used my services quite extensively.”
Asked by another Brit, moderator Deborah Danon, what drew each of them to supporting Israel in a topsy turvy world that was largely hostile towards the Jewish State, each had similar reasons for doing so. “I was taught when I was very young to know right from wrong,” said Kemp, “and it’s my duty to support those who are right. There is no question who is in the right in this fight,” he added.


Moreover, underscoring his 30 years spent fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq Kemp felt duty bound “to do what little I can do to help fight this fight with you because it’s not just your fight it’s a fight for Western civilization; the same ideology that’s attacking you now has attacked us in the past and will intensify its attacks in the future.”


Apologizing for his late entrance for having been held up in an interview on the Piers Morgan show (“It’s quite hard to get Piers to stop talking”) Murray offered another reason responsible for drawing him over to Israel’s side. “Aside from my love for this country and its people,” he said, “I also see something which I think any writer or journalist should see and get very annoyed by, which is lies. When it’s lies about an entire nation and people, when I hear someone like this blowhard I heard earlier (on Piers Morgan, G.E.) accusing Israel of ‘genociding’ the Palestinians, I can’t sit here and not say something. I’m not going to allow these canards, smears and lies and defamation to just go on…I don’t like lies being told and Israel has been on the receiving end of some of the biggest, longest, deepest and most wounding lies of our era,” said Murray. Demonstrating his effortless ability to deftly cross over from political commentary to artful literary imagery he caps the thought with finesse: “So I believe in the simple cause of “moral hygiene” that it’s necessary to try and clean some of that up.”


The moderator then asked a pertinent question: “In a world of Tik Tok where Jesus is Palestinian, do you wonder if this is just a Myth of Sisyphus syndrome where you are just pushing that rock up the hill and do you ever ask yourself just what’s the point?”
“Never, actually,” Murray replied emphatically. “Even if it was the case what option have you got? Just to sit at the bottom of the hill and get crushed by the rock?” he asks rhetorically.
Despite the omnipresence of social media in the world, where lies are able to “rocket around the world” Murray holds fast to a different view. “if you live in a world where 99 lies are being told and one person tells the truth, the truth will win,” he asserts and gives the example of writers such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn whose work was effective in bringing down the entire Soviet Empire. “The validity of a truth in an era of lies cannot be underestimated,” he says.
From the topic of lies it was an easy segue to Hamas battle figures. “I don’t know what the latest exaggerated figure is from Hamas about the number of people that have been killed in Gaza” says Kemp, “I just know that it has to be defeated. If it means that a very large number of people whether military or civilian have to die in that process then unfortunately that’s the case because no sovereign, democratic state can exist under this threat so it must be eliminated, it’s as simple as that,” states Kemp in a no nonsense, tell it like it is, military analysis. Despite the unreliability of figures Kemp posits that based on the figures he’s received from Israeli sources of 8,000 or 9,000 or more have been killed from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which would represent about 30% of the total number of terrorists. “That’s a very significant proportion,” he says, “that’s in excess of 30% of their fighting capability. The whole edifice then begins to crumble and I think we’re going to see that,” he says with conviction.

“I’ve been in Gaza on a number of occasions. I’m deeply impressed by the IDF combat effectiveness. This is going to come down at some point,” Kemp says quite bluntly.
Kamp makes regular visits to the soldiers in hospital and knows the tragedy of war from close up. “Tragically, many Israeli soldiers will die and have died already,” he concedes, “but they will undoubtedly prevail in the end.” He contrasts the irony with Hamas: “They want the I.D.F. to kill their civilians. They want as many civilians killed as possible because that then provokes the inevitable international demand for ceasefire, condemning Israel for War Crimes,” he concludes while shaking his head at the anticipated perversion of justice.

Asked about pressure from the United States, Douglas Murray elucidated his view that “You should be courteous to your allies but not subservient to them,” earning a strong round of applause. “The future of this State, of the Jewish people must be in the hands of the Jewish people,” he continued.” It cannot be in the hands of anyone else. It cannot be in the hands of people who, for instance say the day after the massacre of October 7th that this is why we need to double down on the two state solution. It just can’t be in the hands of people going at that kind of slow speed”, he says.


Had the events of Oct.7th happened in the U.S.A., Murray points out, proportionately over 120,000 Americans would have been massacred on one day. “Nobody can tell me that the Americans would have listened to anyone then, nor should they, “he adds. The one potential outcome of the war that Murray absolutely rejects is that the situation might return to the status quo ante of October 6th. “Israel must be allowed to win,” he asserts. “It cannot simply always be encouraged to fight for a stalemate.” Regarding the as of yet unresolved situation with Hezbollah, Murray poked fun at the thought that we will all have to relearn the map of the North and become experts again on the Litani River. “Since 2006 it’s just been a replay of the same thing,” he says. “It just feels like Groundhog Day,” he quips to the amused young people in the room. And then in a more somber tone: “Anything other than actual victory by the Israelis in this conflict is unacceptable because all of these efforts to make Israel fight into a stalemate will simply prepare the groundwork for the next war and this country deserves not to be forced into perpetual war,” he emphasizes.


According to Colonel Kemp’s analysis much of what has transpired in the world in terms of instability with the Ukraine and now Gaza has to do with a weak image projected by President Joe Biden. On the other hand, Kemp considers that Biden has been strongly in favour of Israel and the U.S. unlikely to pressure Israel to desist its military operations. For this dichotomous view Kemp actually earned applause from both Biden supporters and detractors.


The moderator brought up the tragic issue of the three hostages who had been mistakenly killed by Israeli troops. Douglas Murray reflected on the incident and said that he was genuinely shocked by “the lack of empathy for Israel internationally”. A glaring example of such a lack of empathy he suggested could be found with the posters of the hostages in various cities around the world. What followed was another of Murray’s innovative insights: “If you put up a poster of a missing cat or dog in your neighbourhood you would not expect anyone to rip it down,” he matter of factly suggests. “And if anyone did rip it down you would think that person was subhuman. You would think what kind of a sick person are we dealing with here?” he asks. “And this wasn’t dogs or cats. These were Jewish children. And in city after city sociopaths tore down these posters…This lack of empathy has been there since the day (Oct.7th G.E.) itself. And the media treats it as more evidence of the brutality of the Israeli soldiers – they even kill their own! Imagine the lives of those soldiers who shot those three hostages, how they must have felt. And yet instead of recognizing what a tragedy that is for everybody involved they use it as a weapon against Israel!” Murray’s damning condemnation resounds through the packed but quiet room. “That really has slightly startled me in this conflict,” he continued to reflect in an afterthought.


The door was left open for a little humour when the Moderator, in her last question, asked about the Day After. Colonel Kemp was first to pick up the gauntlet: “I think we need a two state solution with the United Nations supervising it,” he said without flinching and with a stiff British upper lip to boot which held tightly in place until the audience stopped laughing. And then more seriously his sober insight: “The I.D.F. has no option, whatsoever, apart from to stay in control of Gaza from now on. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks; it doesn’t matter what President Biden might wish to happen…What is absolutely certain is that the I.D.F. must maintain security control of Gaza. It means either a permanent IDF presence inside the whole of Gaza or it means the creation of a one or two mile buffer zone on the inside of the Gaza border which no one is allowed to go into and which the I.D.F can police.”
Kemp had nary a kind word to say about the folks on the other side:”The reality in Gaza is that the vast majority of the population of allegedly innocent civilians support Hamas, even when they see the horrors that Hamas has brought on them, they still support Hamas . And there will be efforts to have a Hamas 2,” the Colonel warned.


Murray concurs that it is a “very bleak necessity” but that Israel will need to stay in Gaza. For how long? “Call me a pessimist,” says Kemp, “but I would say forever.” Like his colleague, Murray also spends some of his days visiting the wounded in hospitals. On a recent visit he met one of the victims, a farmer, from a border Kibbutz who had lost his wife, son and both of his legs in the Hamas attack of Oct.7th . “He said something that has really stuck with me,” Murray recalled, “He said, ‘I have been a leftist all my life. I now want to look out on nothing but potato fields from here to the Mediterranean.’ Who can risk living beside these people? Nobody else in the world would be expected to have to put up with that. I don’t think the Israelis have to be an experiment test case either. I think you should have the right to live in peace and to know that the border you have does not contain genocidal maniacs on the other side who wish to kill you all.”


In the question period which followed, Murray was asked what changes he would like to see in present day Britain. “Obviously the first thing I’d do would be to make Richard Kemp Minister of Defence,” he suggests to uproarious laughter from the crowd. “I assume you’ll be Prime Minister, will you,” Kemp shot back. Feigning humility, Murray wistfully demurred saying only, “If the nations calls…” Presumably, they may one day.


Getting more serious Murray took aim at the “appalling” pro Hamas demonstrations which took place in London and included one on Remembrance Day. “I think it’s been shameful,” he said. “I want no Hamas supporters in my country. And that’s quite easy to arrange in my view,” he added making reference to a case in point of Muhammud Sawalha, a key Hamas terrorist from the West Bank who subsequently obtained British citizenship. “To get a British passport you must, among other things sign a form that says you are a person of good character. I submit that he is not a person of good character,” said Murray, “and that he lied on his form when he said that he was. I would like to see his citizenship stripped and I would like to see him deported and to try his luck in Gaza.” On a humorous roll, Murray recalled the case of a young lady whose British passport was recalled when she returned from having joined Isis and tried to pretend – once the Caliphate fell apart – that she didn’t know that they were actually a “murderous, head-hacking group” and besides, “we all make mistakes”. She shouldn’t get her passport back argued Murray maintaining vociferously that “If you’re with an Islamist death cult you should not be allowed to be in Britain.”


Colonel Kemp fielded a question about another hot potato issue, that of missiles being fired from Yemen which no one seems to be doing anything about. “Yemen has been firing missiles into Israel since the war began including the first ever in history engagement in space when a Houthi ballistic missile was intercepted by an Israeli Aero missile outside the earth’s atmosphere. They’ve been firing numerous missiles and drones towards Israel, all of which have been shot down.” Unless a message is sent soon to Yemen and Iran by the U.S. Kemp warns that war in Lebanon will be inevitable.


A visiting American Major with a pronounced Midwestern drawl asked Colonel Kemp if he could explain the concept known as “the fog of war”. “It’s an extraordinary thing that doesn’t apply anywhere else in life,” said Kemp, “you have very often young, inexperienced soldiers in the reserves with a limited amount of recent training and then suddenly they are thrown into Gaza which I would say is one of the most treacherous and demanding battlefields that anyone has fought on in the history of warfare. And they’re expected to always make the right decision. That simply cannot happen. We all make mistakes. And that’s when nobody is shooting at us. Nobody is trying to kill us. We haven’t suffered lack of sleep for days on end, we’re not cold, hungry, we’re not terrified and yet we still make mistakes. So how can these guys not make mistakes? And the enemy is trying to fool you all the time, trying to make you think that the reality in front of your eyes is not the reality in front of your eyes. And the difference is when a soldier makes a mistake very often people die as a consequence.” The reference that was embedded on most peoples’ minds was the recent tragic killing of the three Israeli hostages by friendly fire.


Murray was asked about the effect of “hasbara” (P.R. G.E) in the current war. “I believe they should be given some credit for they have done a better job that any time previously that I have been covering since 2006”, he said. Taking the Al-Shifa hospital as an example, Murray pointed out that Israel “got on top of it very fast” like releasing the closed circuit TV footage of the hostages being led in to the hospital and showing the weapons cache that was discovered there. But at the same time, he underscores why not even the best P.R. may succeed in certain circumstances. “The minute they show that the hospital has an arms dump inside it and has a load of kalashnikovs and grenades , Jeremy Bowen of the BBC goes on and is asked about it and says, ‘well, it is not inconceivable that the kalshnikovs belonged to the hospital’s security department’. On the television the next day I said, ‘yes, and it’s possible the grenades were for the cardiology department’.” Murray’s point is well taken. No matter how strong the evidence is, it is not necessarily strong enough to overcome bias.


Kemp concurs, “This extraordinary propaganda campaign against Israel – everything that Israel does is wrong. For the past 10 years the BBC has not allowed me to speak on any program about Israel. Any other security issue, any other country I’m on all the time on the BBC just not about Israel. I got a call a few weeks back asking if I would do an interview about Israel. I almost fell off my chair,” recalls Kemp. “Then I realized what was going on. They had been heavily criticized and were under a lot of pressure for their lies about Al-Alhi hospital attack (where Israel was wrongly blamed for the bombing, G.E.) They felt we need to show how broadminded we are, so we’ll even get this extremist Kemp on to speak. So that’s how I became a human shield for the BBC”, Kemp concluded with a wry smile.

In a final story, also about the BBC, Kemp relates that he was once invited to the BBC studio in Jerusalem to do a number of interviews. In the interview which was live from London he was asked why the IDF were so keen to send in ground forces to Gaza. I explained “they don’t want to go in on the ground, they know the problems with that. So I was asked then why do the politicians want to go in on the ground. I said they don’t. I’ve spoken to them, the Prime Minister, the Defence Minister they will only go in if they have to. The interviewer was completely stumped at this and all he could say was, ‘yes, but you’re a Jew’. Now how do you answer that,” Kemp asked incredulously. Do I say in a belligerent tone, “how dare you accuse me of being a Jew!?” But instead I said simply, “I don’t have that honour.”


“If I can just say something” interjected Murray, “about the youth of this country. So young! So brilliant! So vivacious. I met a young woman the other day of 21 who was an expert on Yemen! Why her contemporary in America is being educated to become stupid and wicked!” his observation met by peals of laughter. Then more seriously, “I have been so moved by these young people. They will be an example not just to Israel but to the people of the world. And if I may leave you with one last thought,” he continued. “I know this period is incredibly troubling, disturbing, upsetting and much more for the people of this country. I think the country is still going through a trauma, trying to work out what was done to you in October. You asked at the beginning why we do this. I would just say whether I can answer it or not, it is the honour of my life to be standing in alliance with you.”


The evening done, the young people rushed the small stage to take selfies with both fine gentlemen. Douglas Murray and Colonel Richard Kemp. Two of Israel’s most beloved friends, indeed.

Gabriel Emanuel is a former Winnipegger.

An edited version of this article first appeared in the Jerusalem Post, December 29, 2023 .

Features

The Critical Job Roles in Online Business

More companies than ever are embracing remote working. As of 2023, around 16% of businesses have a fully remote working model, with many more adopting a hybrid one. All of this should come as welcome news to anyone looking for a better work-life balance. As well as saying goodbye to grueling commutes, remote employees can embrace lucrative salary packages, generous benefits, and more. Ready to reap the benefits of online work yourself? Below are just a handful of remote working opportunities to consider.

Video Game and Casino Platform Development

Whether it’s creating Canadian online slots for real money casinos or an open-world epic, great games need talented developers. Thankfully, this is one sector where the typical rules of the 9-5 don’t apply. In the US, an experienced game developer can expect to take home around $103,000 annually. For a midweight casino games developer, a starting salary of around $65,000 is fairly respectable.

Software Engineering

If you have a background in software engineering, you’re in luck. Currently, it’s one of the highest-paid online roles around, with an average salary of $108,000. There’s no one size-fits-all remit for a software engineer, but typical roles include designing applications, testing, and creating system upgrades.

UX Design

User experience is becoming increasingly important as companies strive to make their digital products more accessible. Unsurprisingly, there’s a high demand for user experience designers, with many positions now advertised as remote-first roles. You’ll need to have sufficient software and development experience to excel here. What’s more, you’ll need to work closely with clients to meet the needs of the consumer. If you think you could do well in a role like this, expect an annual salary in the region of $97,000.

Web Design

One role you’ll never struggle to find is that of a web designer. It’s a pretty broad field, so expect a lot of disparity when it comes to job remits and starting salaries. At a minimum, a web designer worth their salt should be able to create accessible websites for a wide range of clients. You’ll also need to be familiar with coding languages and testing. Less experienced web designers can expect to command a starting salary of around $43,000. If you’ve been working professionally for more than a few years and have a solid portfolio to back you up, you can easily negotiate twice that amount.

Entry-Level Online Roles

For digital natives, remote working will come as second nature. Don’t have the skills to land a web designer or developer job? Not to worry. There are an increasing number of entry-level remote roles out there.

Customer service roles are readily available, with positions to cater to all experience levels. At the bottom rung of the ladder, you might be tasked with making sales calls or resolving complaints from customers. A customer service agent can comfortably make around $40-50,000 a year. If you operate on a commission basis or can take advantage of a generous bonus scheme, you could easily double this annually.

Is Remote Working Here To Stay?

Even as many businesses encourage workers back to the office, there’s an deniable upward trend in the number of remote and hybrid-only roles on the job market. Video conferencing technology and collaboration tools are making it easier than ever for remote teams to remain connected. Meanwhile, company executives are finding it hard to argue with significantly reduced overheads and increased productivity.

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Features

Dangers from the far-right in America explored in new book

By MARTIN ZEILIG “The United States is confronted by a serious domestic terrorist threat in addition to the foreign ones that have commanded our attention for the past two decades,” warn Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) fellows and leading terrorism experts Bruce Hoffman and Jacob Ware, says a review of “God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America” on the website of the Council on Foreign Relations (January 2, 2024).  
“Their new book provides a definitive account of how ‘“violent extremism has woven itself into the fabric of national, state, and local politics,”’ from the tragedy that unfolded at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015 through the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.” 

Co-authors of “God, Guns, and Sedition” Bruce Hoffman (left) and Jacob Ware


Bruce Hoffman is the Shelby Cullom and Kathryn W. Davis Senior Fellow for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also a professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service; professor emeritus of terrorism studies at the University of St Andrews; and the George H. Gilmore Senior Fellow at the U.S. Military Academy’s Combating Terrorism Center. His Columbia University Press books include “Inside Terrorism “(third edition, 2017).
Jacob Ware is a research fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and at DeSales University. He serves on the editorial boards for the academic journal Studies in Conflict & Terrorism and the Irregular Warfare Initiative at the Modern War Institute at West Point. 

Mr. Hoffman agreed to discuss the book in an email interview with The Jewish Post & News.
JP&N: Why did you decide to write this book now?
BH: The idea for this book came to me just a month into the global COVID lockdown. April 2020 was a dark, dangerous, and highly fearful and uncertain time. Odious conspiracy theories, that had been circulating for years, suddenly gained newfound momentum across the internet and social media. Indeed, within days of the lockdown, Jewish people were being blamed and vilified for creating the pandemic in order to profit monetarily from it.
Asians, persons of color, and immigrants, and others, were also being targeted for blame. Only weeks earlier I had been the target of a serious hate crime. Isolated at home, like most of the rest of the world, I had lots of time to think about what was happening and, I quickly reached the conclusion that I needed to return to my analytical roots.
To explain, I had begun my career as a terrorism and counterterrorism analyst in 1981 at the renowned American think-tank, The RAND Corporation. However, by the time that I joined its Security and Subnational Conflict Research Program, all the more prominent left-wing and ethno-nationalist and separatist terrorists active at the time had been taken by other members of the research team.
Surveying the remaining terrorist movements that had not yet been chosen, I decided to focus on the threat posed by neo-Nazi and neo-fascist groups then active in Europe. That in fact was the subject of my first ever professional publication.
Within only a couple of years, I expanded by focus to include their even far more dangerous American counterparts. I therefore studied intently violent, far-right terrorism in the United States from the mid-1980s through the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then, like most other terrorism analysts, my attention was diverted for the next two decades almost exclusively to al Qaeda and then the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).
Meanwhile, terrorist attacks from violent, far-right extremists both in the United States and elsewhere had suddenly started to increase during the twenty-teens. In 2011, for instance, there were simultaneous, tragic terrorist attacks in Oslo and Utøya, Norway; four years later there was the horrific shootings of worshippers at a historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina; then in 2018 a gunman stormed into the Jewish Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh killing congregants; and in 2019 the attacks within weeks of one another on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and a Jewish synagogue in Poway, California, and then that summer at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, clearly demonstrated that the same hateful ideology and bloody mindset that had fueled far-right violence during the closing decades of the twentieth-century, when I first began studying this phenomenon, had neither disappeared nor abated.
Accordingly, I approached my friend and colleague at the Council on Foreign Relations and Georgetown University, Jacob Ware, and proposed that we together write this book. And, we immediately began work on it.
 
 JP&N: What is the extent of far-left terrorism in the U.S.A. and elsewhere in the world? Is there a connection between far-right and far-left extremists?
 BH: Let me emphasize that politically-motivated violence—that is, terrorism—in the United States is not confined exclusively to the far-right. Indeed, prior to the January 6th, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Building the most serious incident targeted Republication congressmen. In June 2017, a self-proclaimed supporter of progressive, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders opened fire at an early morning practice for the annual congressional charity baseball game. The then-House Majority Whip, Rep. Steve Scalise, was seriously wounded, along with five other persons. If not for the U.S. Capitol Police present as part of Rep. Scalise’s security detail, who killed the gunman, the outcome would likely have been very different. In another incident two years later, a self-professed anarchist tried to firebomb a Tacoma, Washington Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, before being shot dead by responding officers.
But with the exception of those two very serious incidents and some others of brawling, rioting, arson, and vandalism that occurred during Donald Trump’s 2017 presidential inauguration in Washington, DC, and in Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, and some other cities following the death of George Floyd by police in 2021, the threat of violence from violent, far-left extremists has been less pervasive and less consequential than that from their counterparts on the far-right. Indeed, Professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss in her book, “Hate in the Homeland,” estimates that there were at least 75,000 armed and violently-inclined far-right extremists in the United States as of 2020—a number that likely completely eclipses that of violently-inclined far-left extremists in the United States: many of whom are not armed and lack the training and expertise possessed by those on the far-right fringe.
The only connection between the two is that they both ascribe to the strategy of “accelerationism.” First articulated by Karl Marx and Frederick Engels in their 1848 pamphlet, “Manifesto Of The Communist Party,” accelerationism today is embraced by both ends of the ideological spectrum who believe that the modern Western, liberal state is so corrupt and inept that it is beyond redemption and must be destroyed in order to create a new society and way of governance.
 
JP&N: What are the strategies for combating far-right terrorism?
BH: The book argues that the United States needs a comprehensive, wide-ranging, institutionalized strategy to effectively counter the threat to our democracy from violent, far-right extremism. Measures are required to strengthen American civil society more generally as well as to specifically target violent extremist groups, their activists and supporters, their propagandists and sympathizers, and their recruiters and financiers.
 The policy recommendations we propose fall into three categories: short-term measures to create a stronger regulatory framework, with relatively immediate effects; medium-term measures to strengthen civil society, with impacts over the next five to ten years; and, long-term measures to build national unity and strengthen resilience that will benefit future generations and inoculate them against the allure of extremist ideologies.
This comprehensive counterterrorism strategy will require measures to combat extremists’ free reign online, efforts to build and support longer-term initiatives to prevent new radicalization, and the establishment of new laws to counteract the challenges in prosecuting perpetrators of far-right terrorist plots.

“God, Guns, and Sedition: Far-Right Terrorism in America”
(Columbia University Press $28.95 USD)


 
 

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Features

Israel programs looking for Canadian volunteers

Volunteers with Leket are helping to harvest fruit and vegetable crops in Israel's south

By BERNIE BELLAN Living as Israelis are in a time of unprecedented tension and uncertainty, more than ever volunteers are needed to fill important roles in that country. While there are so many areas of Israeli society that are now in great need of help, we decided to focus on three programs with which we have some familiarity, having written articles about each of them in the past: Leket, Sar-El, and MASA.
Each program offers a completely different experience for volunteers. We contacted the offices of Leket and Sar-El and had previously been in touch with the Canadian representative for MASA.

 Leket Israel
We received the following information from a representative for Leket in Israel: “I’m pleased to share that over the past three months, Leket Israel has seen a remarkable influx of volunteer participation in all of Leket Israel’s operations. In addition to its usual volunteer opportunities at the Leket Israel Logistics Center in Gan Haim and the fields in Rishon Lezion, Leket has begun matching volunteers with farmers in need of assistance in harvesting their produce.
“In routine times, Leket Israel welcomes around 5,500 volunteers in the Logistics Center and fields to assist in its food rescue activities.
 “Over the past 14 weeks, Leket has sent over 27,000 volunteers from Israel and overseas to support over farmers around the country, most of them in the Gaza strip region. Additionally, hundreds of volunteers come every day to help sort and pack produce at the Logistics Center and to harvest produce in the fields in Rishon Lezion.
 “Joseph Gitler, Founder and Chairman: The surge of volunteer participation serves as a testament to the unwavering spirit of giving in Israeli society. This collective effort is making a profound difference in the lives of thousands of displaced Israelis throughout the country.”
 

Sar-El volunteers help to do such things as pack kit bags for members of the IDF


Sar-El (acronym from the Hebrew Sherut l’Israel)

Sar-El is a program that assigns volunteers to work on Israeli army bases for either two or three week stints. (Stays can be extended with permission.) Programs are open to volunteers of all ages.
Volunteers are expected to be physically fit and already in a physical fitness program before applying. You should be capable of light or heavy lifting, or standing for long periods of time.

According to the Sar-El website volunteers can be expected to perform non-combat civilian support duties such as packing medical supplies, repairing machinery and equipment, packing and checking all kinds of equipment.
Volunteers work Sunday-Thursday and are expected to be able to put in eight hours of work per day. Three kosher meals a day are provided.

Recently we happened to meet a couple who are both going to Israel quite soon to volunteer with Sar-El. They told me that, due to the exceptional circumstances, they will not actually be stationed on an army base, but rather will be living nearby.

masa volunteers spend 6 weeks in Israel in three 2-week blocks

masa Israel Journey
masa is a program for 16-40 year-olds that offers a variety of different programs from which to choose. We were recently contacted by a representative of the masa Israel office in response to a question we had about volunteering during wartime. We had received an email that was aimed at American volunteers, so we wanted to make sure that Canadian volunteers were eligible to volunteer on masa programs.
We were told that Canadians are definitely eligible to volunteer: “In regards to your question, yes Canadians are absolutely eligible! The eligibility of the program is 18-40 years old, identify as Jewish, have not received Masa funding in the past / have not spend 4 or more consecutive months in Israel and speak proficient English.”
Currently masa is offering a special wartime program. According to information on the masa website, The purpose of the program is to enable young Jews, ages 18-40, from around the world to volunteer in the State of Israel during wartime. Our unique program is divided into three 2-week segments. The first two weeks, we will be based in a youth village south of Tel Aviv, cooking meals for soldiers. The middle two weeks will be based in Tel Aviv while we volunteer on an army base and the final two weeks we will be based in the beach town of Eilat where we will be planning and implementing activities with evacuees under the age of 18. Interspersed within the six weeks will be agricultural volunteering as well as tours, educational and social events. For more information please register below or email Rina at rinas@israeloutdoorsnext.net.

We have not given email addresses for any of the three organizations cited here. Simply Google each of their names if you’re interested in finding out more about them and you’ll find out how to contact representatives.

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