A British volunteer-led charity dedicated to exposing and countering antisemitism has decried the posting of an allegedly unauthorized pro-Hamas advertisement on the Transport for London (TfL) subway, which is used by over 5 million commuters every day.
“Israel murdered over 25,000+ innocent, men, women, and children,” reads the advertisement, which contains a QR code linking to the website of the UK branch of Amnesty International, a human rights group that critics accuse of holding an anti-Israel bias.
“Wouldn’t you resist?” the ad continued. “Palestine has the #RightToResist. This genocide is aided by Conservatives, Labour, [His Majesty’s] Government. Paid by the UK Taxpayer.”
The Algemeiner has asked TfL if the advertisement was posted lawfully — Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), the British charity that tracks antisemitic hate crimes, maintains that it was not. The nonprofit also blasted the message for rationalizing Hamas’ atrocities on Oct. 7, when the Palestinian terror group murdered over, 1,200 people, mostly civilians, across southern Israel and abducted 240 others as hostages to Gaza.
“A disgusting ad illegally posted at a Brick Lane bus stop attempts to justify the murder and rape of innocent Israelis by Hamas terrorists,” CAA tweeted. “And isn’t it time that TfL started to insist that advertising companies put locks on their bus [to] stop advertising hoardings? This happens all too frequently and the fact that there are still no locks makes TfL’s long-term inaction look like complicity.”
A disgusting ad illegally posted at a Brick Lane bus stop attempts to justify the murder and rape of innocent Israelis by Hamas terrorists. The QR code redirects to @AmnestyUK’s website.
The page it redirects to should immediately be updated by Amnesty to disavow the message… pic.twitter.com/aH9Z8QEluK
— Campaign Against Antisemitism (@antisemitism) December 28, 2023
CAA also called on Amnesty International, which has been widely criticized for falsely accusing Israel of apartheid and mass war crimes against Palestinians, to “disavow” the advertisement.
Open support for Hamas in London public transportation is emblematic of rising antisemitism in the city, where a torrent of antisemitic hate crimes is continuing unabated, as the city has experienced a record number of such incidents this year.
According to an Algemeiner review of Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) data, antisemitic offenses in London increased 162 percent in 2023 through November, with 1,442 incidents eclipsing the full-year totals of 550 in 2022 and 845 in 2021. The MPS began issuing public data on the city’s anti-Jewish offenses in 2018.
Antisemitic hate crimes in London were already on pace to exceed last year’s figures before the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7, which led to a global surge in antisemitic outrages. Between January and September, the MPS recorded 487 incidents. In October and November, city police record a staggering 955 hate crimes targeting Jews — twice as many as occurred in the first three-fourths of the year.
Orthodox Jews in the Stamford Hill section of the city have been targeted disproportionately for being visibly Jewish, as shown in a spate of incidents reported by Shomrim, a Jewish organization that monitors antisemitism and also serves as a neighborhood watch group.
This month alone, an Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted by a man riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, two attackers brutally mauled a Jewish woman, and a group of Jewish children was berated by a woman who screamed “I’ll kill all of you Jews. You are murderers!” A similar incident occurred when a man confronted a Jewish shopper and shouted, “You f—king Jew, I will kill you!“
The antisemitic attacks targeting both people and property have been unrelenting in recent weeks. Days after the Oct. 7 massacre, two Jewish primary schools in Stamford Hill were vandalized and doused with red paint.
Jewish Londoners and allies have responded to the surge in antisemitic hate by showing solidarity. Last month, tens of thousands of people marched through London to protest the rise in anti-Jewish crimes, displaying signs with messages such as “Shoulder to shoulder with British Jews” and “Zero tolerance for antisemites.”
Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.
The post Antisemitism Watchdog Blasts ‘Disgusting’ Pro-Hamas Ad at London Transportation Service Stop first appeared on Algemeiner.com.
Israeli Hospital Earns Spot In Global Top 10
A hospital in central Israel was ranked in the top 10 of medical centers globally, in the new rankings out by Newsweek. Sheba Medical Center, located in Tel HaShomer in central Israel, was ranked the ninth best hospital in the world according to the US publication, its sixth year in a row.
“This is a distilled moment of Israeli pride. In this challenging period, Sheba has proven its professionalism and quality for the sixth time in a row. In many ways, this is a true expression of confidence in the entire Israeli healthcare system, for which I thank it from the bottom of my heart,” said Israeli President Isaac Herzog following the news.
The Director General of the hospital, Prof. Yitshak Kreiss, added; “This achievement represents a resounding endorsement by our colleagues around the world. Sheba is working diligently to make Israel a better, healthier place and highlights our abilities to be both a center of medical excellence, as well as a beacon of co-existence, where Jewish and Arab medical personnel are working side by side 24/7 to save the lives of civilians and soldiers- Jews, Moslems and Christians alike.”
According to the hospital, which placed 11th in last year’s list, thousands of patients came through their doors in 2023 from every continent on earth, “for the treatment they could not receive in their home countries.”
Concluding on a thoughtful note, Sheba wrote: “Being ranked by Newsweek as the 9th best hospital in the world is a major achievement and an honor, yet our greatest reward lies in the lives we touch and the hope we instill. Together, with our dedicated team of medical professionals, we will continue to push the boundaries of medical advancement, ensuring that every patient receives the highest standard of care regardless of their background or where they live. Thank you for entrusting us with your health and allowing us to be a beacon of hope beyond boundaries.”
Per the rankings, four of the top five hospitals in the world are in the US, with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota at the top, followed by the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Massachusetts General Hospital.
Also included in the list from Israel were the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, which ranked 64th in the world, and Rabin Medical Center’s Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva, placing 158th globally.
Second Synagogue in Tunisia Attacked Since October 7
A mob set fire to the courtyard of a Tunisian synagogue in the city of Sfax on Sunday, the second such incident since the Israel-Hamas war began in October.
Nobody was injured in the fire — as there are no Jews left in Sfax — and authorities were able to put out the fire before it spread and destroyed the building, but reported showed significant damage to parts of the synagogue.
Israeli Historian Edy Cohen posted a video of the fire and explained that this is yet another example of antisemitism in Tunisia. He argued that “Israel through the Western countries must help Tunisian Jews.”
היום בבוקר נשרף בית כנסת עתיק בתוניסיה .
כתבתי עשרות פוסטים ומאמרים על האנטישמיות הגואה בתוניסיה אשר הגיעה לשיאה לפני פחות משנה כאשר נהרגו שני יהודים בפיגוע של קיצונים.
ישראל באמצעות מדינות המערב חייבת לעזור ליהודי תוניסה. pic.twitter.com/8Nw1jkjtiw
— אדי כהן Edy Cohen (@DREDYCOHEN) February 26, 2024
In 1948, there were an estimated 105,000 Jews in the country. However, by 1967, that number had declined to 20,000 after many fled to countries such as Israel and France, and today Tunisia is estimated to only have about 1,500 Jews.
This is not the first time an antisemitic mob set fire to a synagogue since Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack.
On October 17, rioters set fire to the el-Hamma Synagogue, doing considerable damage. People also entered the synagogue and destroyed much of it. The synagogue is not an active place of worship, as there are no Jews left in the city.
Videos from the riot show crowds of people walking in, around, and on top of the synagogue — including at least one person waving a large Palestinian flag.
En Tunisie, la synagogue d’El Hamma a été détruite et incendiée hier soir par des centaines d’émeutiers, sans la moindre intervention policière. De nombreuses vidéos sur TikTok et Facebook. Et pas la moindre mention dans les médias nationaux https://t.co/U601jWVYWq pic.twitter.com/6F8uIZhoe3
— Joseph Hirsch (@josephhirsch5) October 18, 2023
The riot was precipitated by false reports that Israel had bombed Al Ahli Hospital in Gaza, resulting in more than 500 casualties. News outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post uncritically reported the story.
Later, reports from those same outlets, along with human rights groups, suggested that a rocket launched by Palestinian terrorists malfunctioned and hit the parking lot of the hospital, killing dozens. U.S. and Israeli intelligence also conclude this is what took place.
But the damage of the initial reporting was done, whipping much of the Arab world into a frenzy, resulting in huge protests and — in this case — mob violence.
Just a year prior to the war, there was a deadly terrorist attack against the El Ghriba Synagogue on the island of Djerba, where the vast majority of Tunisia’s Jews live. The terrorist opened fire on security guards, killing two and injuring six. He also shot at Jews at the synagogue, two of whom were killed and another four were injured.
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From Ground Zero to the Gaza Border: US Medical Doctors Volunteer In Israel
On September 12, 2001, Dr. Marc Wilkenfeld, a specialist in occupational medicine, was treating victims of terror at a site that would later become known as Ground Zero. More than 22 years later, Wilkenfeld found himself 6,000 miles away from Ground Zero treating terror victims in Israel.
Wilkenfeld took leave of his job for two weeks to volunteer with IL-USDocAID, an initiative that was established in the immediate aftermath of the Hamas attacks on October 7, in which more than 1200 people were murdered and 253 were abducted to Gaza.
The project, a joint partnership between Israel’s Health Ministry and the Israel Economic Mission to the US, came in response to the sudden duress suffered by Israel’s health system from soaring casualties and the deployment of thousands of medical staff members, who serve in the IDF as reserve soldiers, to the frontlines.
Wilkenfeld said he was driven to come to Israel after seeing reports of mobilization efforts by Israeli civilians, some as early as October 7 itself. The idea of Israelis who were told to stay in their safe rooms rushing to help first responders wherever they could compelled him to action.
“In America, you feel helpless. What are you going to do? The ability to go here and even play a small role, just to give some advice medically – it’s a beautiful thing,” he told The Algemeiner.
Wilkenfeld took his family with him, who volunteered by cooking for soldiers while he was treating people.
In Israel, Wilkenfeld experienced many firsts. Despite 30 years of being active in the medical profession, including at the scenes of terror attacks, it was the first time he had ever encountered an ambulance station pockmarked by shrapnel and ambulances riddled with bullet holes.
Visiting physicians are given a choice to volunteer with paramedics in ambulances or work directly inside hospitals.
“When you have a doctor in the ambulance there’s more you can do as a paramedic,” Wilkenfeld said. “It also gives real strength for the paramedics to know that people want to come and give help.”
Wilkenfeld said the visit taught him not to pay too much attention to misinformation about Israel.
“I didn’t learn too much about medicine, but I learned a lot about Israel,” he said. “You read in the press that Israel is an apartheid state. But from a medical perspective it’s precisely the opposite.”
During his time in the country, Wilkenfeld said that all the patients he treated received the same medical care, from the “arab in east Jerusalem” to the “major rabbi from Har Nof,” an ultra-Orthodox suburb.
He noted, however, that working in Jerusalem was vastly different from the south, which suffered the brunt of the onslaught, where people are still in an acute state of shock.
“I’ve seen almost a thousand 9/11 responders, the responders in Sderot have the same look in their eyes,” he said of the southern Israeli city in which at least 50 civilians and 20 police officers were murdered. “They talk about the bodies in the ambulance station, about how to prioritize patients, that they haven’t slept in weeks.”
He also said that meeting with the families of hostages left him with a “terrible sadness,” rendering him speechless. Leaning on his medical expertise, however, eventually allowed Wilkenfeld to find his own voice to console them.
“It’s not possible to live in southern Israel and not have PTSD,” he said.
Wilkenfeld returned to his job in New York, where he serves as chief of occupational medicine and clinical assistant professor at NYU-Langone in Long Island, with a somber sense of the realities facing Israel.
He is already working to recruit more volunteers for the project if war should come to Israel again.
“If there is a next time, God forbid, now we can mobilize,” he said. “Now we know who to talk to, where things are.”
Parting ways with the Israeli medical personnel he worked alongside, Wilkenfeld was struck by their sacrifice amidst incomprehensible conditions.
“I leave and they have to live with this.” At the end of the day, he said, “they did much more for me than I did for them.”
To find out more about volunteering as a medic in Israel, click on the following link: IL-USDocAID: https://www.ilusdocaid.org/
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