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Biden Declares ‘Ironclad’ Support for Israel in Passover Message Amid Tensions Over Gaza War

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks during a Hanukkah reception at the White House in Washington, US, Dec. 11, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

US President Joe Biden expressed “ironclad” support for Israel in a message marking the coming of Passover, linking the Jewish holiday to Israel’s war against the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

“This holiday reminds us of a profound and powerful truth: that even in the face of persecution, if we hold on to faith, we shall endure and overcome,” Biden said in a statement released by the White House on Sunday.

The Jewish holiday of Passover, which celebrates the Biblical story of the Israelites’ escape from slavery in Egypt, will begin on Monday evening and end next Tuesday. In his statement, Biden noted that Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group in control of Gaza, represented the latest chapter in a long story of enemies seeking to destroy the Jewish people.

“As Jews mark Passover with storytelling, songs, and rituals, they will also read from the Haggadah how, in every generation, they have been targeted by those who would seek to destroy them,” Biden said, before turning to Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre in southern Israel that launched the ongoing war in Gaza.

“This year, those words carry deeper resonance and pain in the wake of Hamas’ unspeakable evil on Oct. 7 — the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust,” Biden said. “More than 1,200 people were brutally massacred. Women and girls were subjected to appalling sexual violence. More than 250 innocents were taken hostage, including Americans. We can never forget the horror of Hamas’ despicable atrocities.”

Biden noted that Jews around the world have been coping with the “trauma” of Oct. 7, highlighting how more than 130 hostages remain in Gaza and will not be able to celebrate Passover with their families. Former hostages have recounted harrowing tales of sexual abuse at the hands of Hamas terrorists while they were in captivity.

“My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad,” Biden said. “My administration is working around the clock to free the hostages, and we will not rest until we bring them home. We are also working to establish an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza as a part of a deal that releases the hostages and delivers desperately needed humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians.”

The US, Egypt, and Qatar have been mediating ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas. Over the past few months, Hamas has rejected all ceasefire offers, while Israel agreed to a deal that would end fighting for six weeks and release 700 Palestinian terrorists from jail, in exchange for 40 hostages seized during Hamas’ Oct. 7 invasion of southern Israel.

More recently, Hamas rejected the latest Israeli proposal that had been discussed earlier this month.

Israel has said any ceasefure must include the release of all remaining hostages and be temporary, warning that a long-term truce would allow Hamas to regroup and strengthen its position to continue attacking the Jewish state. Hamas leaders have pledged to carry out massacres against Israel like the one on Oct. 7 “again and again.”

Meanwhile, Hamas has demanded that any truce must include a permanent ceasefire and full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

Biden’s statement came against the backdrop of rising tensions between the US and Israel over the war in Gaza. After pledging strong support for Israel in the aftermath of the Oct. 7 terror onslaught, the Biden administration has adopted an increasingly critical posture toward the Jewish state amid mounting pressure from Democrats to do so. That transition peaked earlier this month, when Biden threatened to pull back support for Israel due to the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is also reportedly expected within days to announce sanctions against the Israel Defense Forces’ “Netzah Yehuda” battalion for alleged human rights violations in the West Bank, leading to outcry from Israeli officials.

Beyond the Israel-Hamas war, Biden noted Iran’s recent and unprecedented direct attack against the Israeli homeland. The US, along with other allies, helped Israel successfully repel Iran’s massive salvo of over 300 drones and missiles.

“We are leading international efforts to ensure Israel can defend itself against Iran and its proxies,” the US president said.

Biden also focused his Passover message on the historic surge in antisemitism across the US since the Hamas atrocities of Oct. 7.

“The ancient story of persecution against Jews in the Haggadah also reminds us that we must speak out against the alarming surge of antisemitism — in our schools, communities, and online,” he said. “Silence is complicity. Even in recent days, we’ve seen harassment and calls for violence against Jews. This blatant antisemitism is reprehensible and dangerous — and it has absolutely no place on college campuses, or anywhere in our country.”

The Anti-Defamation League released a report last week showing antisemitic incidents in the US rose 140 percent last year, reaching a record high. Most of the outrages occurred after Oct. 7, during the ensuing war in Gaza.

Christopher Wray, the director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), said last week that his agency was on alert for threats posed to the Jewish community during Passover.

Wray said the FBI was “particularly concerned” that lone-wolf attackers may target Passover gatherings, high-profile events, and/or religious locations. At the same time, he said that while “I’m not providing these updates in any way to alarm you, because this is not a time for panic,” it was “a time for continued vigilance.”

The post Biden Declares ‘Ironclad’ Support for Israel in Passover Message Amid Tensions Over Gaza War first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Welcomes Anti-Israel Campus Protesters to ‘Resistance Front’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a televised speech in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Official Khamenei Website/Handout via REUTERS

Iran’s so-called “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, applauded the anti-Israel protesters who have thrown university campuses across the US into chaos over the past several weeks, declaring them part of a new “branch of the Resistance Front” against the Jewish state.

“Dear university students in the United States of America, this message is an expression of our empathy and solidarity with you,” Khamenei wrote in an open letter published on Thursday. “As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it.”

Rehashing antisemitic conspiracies of Jewish control, he derided “the global Zionist elite” for speaking against the campus demonstrations.

“The global Zionist elite — who owns most US and European media corporations or influences them through funding and bribery — has labeled this courageous, humane resistance movement as ‘terrorism,’” Khamenei wrote. “You have now formed a branch of the Resistance Front and have begun an honorable struggle in the face of your government’s ruthless pressure — a government which openly supports the usurper and brutal Zionist regime.”

Khamenei also praised students in other countries who have launched anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses, noting the leading role that faculty have played in fostering and supporting the unrest.

“Besides you students from dozens of American universities, there have also been uprisings in others countries among academics and the general public,” he wrote. “The support and solidarity of your professors is a significant and consequential development. This can offer some measure of comfort in the face of your government’s police brutality and the pressures it is exerting on you. I too am among those who empathize with you young people, and value your perseverance.”

Khamenei’s letter came amid an outpouring of praise for the anti-Zionist students by Islamist terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

“While we support the assassination of the infidel Zionists and the beheading of them, we also appreciate and value the movement of Western demonstrators and sit-in students from Western universities, who through their sit-ins and protests expressed their rejection of the genocide taking place in Gaza,” al-Qaeda leadership wrote in a recent communique

Hamas and Hezbollah, both backed by Iran, have also cheered the protests.

“Today’s students are the leaders of the future, and their suppression today means an expensive electoral bill that the Biden administration will pay sooner or later,” Hamas official Izzat Al-Risheq said in a statement last month.

Naim Qassem, the deputy head of Hezbollah, also praised the protesters during an interview with Al-Manar TV earlier this month.

“We appreciate and value this very much. Perhaps in the future, there will be cooperation among the youth of the world — in America, France, Britain, Germany, and all the activists,” he said. “The [campus protests] are important, especially because they will have an impact on US elections. They will have an impact on the American position.”

Earlier this month, when some universities suspended students who had occupied sections of campus and refused to leave unless school officials agreed to condemn and boycott Israel, the Iran-backed Houthi militia, a terrorist organization that has repeatedly violated freedom of the seas by attacking international shipping vessels passing through the Red Sea, offered to admit the disciplined students as transfers to Sanaa University, an institution it administers.

Some anti-Zionist student groups have reciprocated the admiration.

Last week, Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) endorsed Hamas, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace Islamic extremism and antisemitism.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has re-formed under multiple names since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, was central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The anti-Zionist student movement’s support for terrorism and anti-American ideologies has been expressed before.

Footage of the protests which erupted on college campuses at the end of spring semester showed demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas and calling for the destruction of Israel. In many cases, they lambasted the US and Western civilization more broadly.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas at Columbia University, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Welcomes Anti-Israel Campus Protesters to ‘Resistance Front’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Advocacy Group Attempts to Shore Up Support for Israel Among US Democrats

US President Joe Biden addresses rising levels of antisemitism, during a speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony, at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, US, May 7, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

A pro-Israel advocacy group is attempting to quell fears among US Democratic politicians that expressing support for the Jewish state amid the ongoing war in Gaza will lead to electoral defeat in November. 

Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), a group that advocates for pro-Israel policies within the Democratic Party, circulated a memo this week explaining that the war in Gaza is simply not a top priority for most of the electorate. The memo, first acquired by Axios news website, asserts that “it just isn’t true” that Democratic support for Israel will come at an electoral cost. 

The group argues that a series of misleading polls has caused Democratic elected officials to become more tepid in their support for the Jewish state. 

To bolster its claims, DMFI points to a poll conducted by the New York Times in May which revealed that only 2 percent of voters cite Israel, Palestinians, Hamas, or Gaza as their most important issue. Nonetheless, the Times tried to exaggerate the extent to which voters care about the Israel-Hamas war by highlighting the 5 percent of voters who cite foreign policy as their biggest issue, according to DMFI. However, these 5 percent of voters did not identify if the war in Gaza is their major foreign policy concern.

The group also points out a Harvard-Harris poll from April which showed that Americans overwhelmingly side with Israel in its ongoing war effort. Eighty percent of Americans support Israel and only 20 percent back Hamas, the poll revealed.

DMFI also suggests that Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Hamas has not had a noticeable impact on President Joe Biden’s national standing. According to polling data aggregated by FiveThirtyEight, the president’s approval rating on Oct. 7of last year stood at 39.6 percent, and on April 23 last month, his approval stood at 40 percent. The same poll reveals that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s lead over Joe Biden did not grow over the same time period. 

DMFI president Mark Mellman told Axios that anti-Israel activists represent a small fringe of the American electorate. 

“People sometimes mistake volume for percentage, and the fact that some people are very loud doesn’t make them the majority. … It doesn’t even make them a substantial minority,” Mellman said.

The group’s efforts to reach out to Democrats come on the heels of a high-pressure effort by left-wing groups to force the Democratic establishment to stop supporting Israel. Anti-Israel organizations have organized efforts to encourage voters in Democratic primaries to vote “uncommitted” in lieu of voting for Biden. Moreover, nearly every appearance by Biden in recent months has been marked by the presence of scores of angry anti-Israel protesters

The relationship between Democratic politicians and the Jewish state has significantly soured in the months following Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter of over 1,200 people in southern Israel. High-profile Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) have suggested that Israel is committing “genocide” against Palestinian civilians.

Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) signed onto a letter urging Biden to pause weapons shipments to Israel. Biden vowed to stop arms deliveries to Israel if the Israeli army attempts to dismantle the remaining Hamas battalions within the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, expressing concern about the prospect of civilian casualties during such an offensive.

The post Advocacy Group Attempts to Shore Up Support for Israel Among US Democrats first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

The post Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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