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California College Professors Bashed Israel; Here’s What They Got Wrong

One of the campus buildings at the University of California, Berkeley. Photo: Max Pixel/Creative Commons.

On November 21, the Palestine, Arab, and Muslim Caucus of the California Faculty Association, a union organized to platform pro-Palestinian voices, hosted a webinar titled “On Weaponizing Antisemitism.”

Rather than attempting to protect all students, the goal of the event was clearly to accuse pro-Israel and Jewish advocacy organizations of dishonestly using the widely embraced International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA)’s working definition of antisemitism to silence pro-Palestinian voices. They defended their claim by highlighting an observed rise in US Islamophobia since the October 7th massacre.

Despite this, the panelists ignored the major surge in antisemitic incidents in the US since Hamas’ massacre. Throughout the event, they refused to unequivocally condemn Hamas’ heinous attacks. They even went as far as denying the Jewish connection to the land of Israel, while expressing antisemitic conspiracies about Jewish power in America.

The moderator, associate professor Sang Hea Kil of San Jose State University’s Justice Studies department, held Israel entirely responsible for the current situation in the Gaza Strip, stating that “the Israeli regime is capitalizing on the October 7th military incursion to create another ‘Nakba,’ by forcing 1.1 million Gazans to forcibly leave their land, while simultaneously bombing them and preventing their escape to safe passage.” However, this cannot be farther from the truth. Israel ordered the evacuation of the civilian population of Gaza City, in accordance with the rule of law. Furthermore, it was Hamas who had been preventing the civilian population from evacuating towards the designated safe zones. Even after the civilians had successfully evacuated, this didn’t stop Hamas from using these safe zones to attack Israeli civilians.

Ironically in Sang Hea Kil’s anti-Zionist diatribe, she highlighted the importance of the anthropological relationship between people and their land, narrow-mindedly comparing the Palestinians to the  Native American tribes who lived near her college. For seemingly arbitrary reasons, she denied all evidence proving the analogous connections that Jews have to Israel. As she should know, the contiguous Jewish presence in the disputed territories existed long before the Islamic conquests that brought Arab culture and society to the region.

Later, in an attempt to frame the ongoing war in Gaza, she mentioned “the bombing of hospitals, schools, and UN shelters” as an example of the ongoing “Israeli aggression,” which she claimed is in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions. She completely ignored the exception outlined in the same document allowing the targeting of such buildings if they are being used militarily, which is exactly what Hamas has been doing for decades. She also called Israel an apartheid state, which has continuously been proven to be a lie.

Judith Butler, a UC Berkeley professor of Philosophy and Gender Studies, argued that although antisemitism exists and needs to be combated, “we must [fight antisemitism] in an international framework that allows all of the forms of hatred to be understood in relationship to each other.” In other words, to properly address any form of hate crimes, people must take into consideration all forms of hate. An example she gave was the recent marches against antisemitism in France, which she claimed are counterproductive because they only address antisemitism.

Since she sweepingly declared that all accusations of Palestinian antisemitism contribute to anti-Palestinian prejudice (which apparently is a subset of Islamophobia), such accusations are by definition illegitimate. This is how she justifies her rejection of the IHRA definition of antisemitism because of her false belief that it grants immunity to Israel.

Hypocritically, while criticizing protests against antisemitism for not including Islamophobia, she ignored the severe degree of antisemitism in Islamic or Palestinian societies, especially the extreme level of support the Palestinians displayed for the October 7th massacre or the rampant antisemitism ingrained in Pro-Palestinian activism.

Not only are the opinions espoused by the webinar morally bankrupt and devoid of reality, but they contribute to an anti-Israel atmosphere on campus and around the world, which could lead to even more violence against Jews and Israelis.

Chaim Friedman is the CAMERA on Campus Fellow for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

The post California College Professors Bashed Israel; Here’s What They Got Wrong first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis

Drones are seen at a site at an undisclosed location in Iran, in this handout image obtained on April 20, 2023. Photo: Iranian Army/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

i24 NewsA senior Israeli security official spoke to i24NEWS on Saturday on condition of the retaliatory strike carried out by the Israel Air Force against the Houthi jihadists in Yemen.

“This is an important operation which signals that there’s room for further escalation, and sends a very strong message to the entire Shiite axis.”

“We understood there is a high probability of counter attacks, but if we do not respond, the meaning is even worse. Israel has updated the US prior to the operation.”

The strike on Hodeida came after long-range Iranian-made drone hit a building in central Tel Aviv, killing one man and wounded several others.

The post Israeli Official: ‘Important Operation’ in Yemen Sends Strong Message to Shiite Axis first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida

Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi addresses followers via a video link at the al-Shaab Mosque, formerly al-Saleh Mosque, in Sanaa, Yemen, Feb. 6, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

i24 NewsThe Israeli military on Saturday confirmed striking a port in Yemen controlled by the Houthi jihadists, a day after the Iranian proxy group perpetrated a deadly drone attack on Tel Aviv.

“A short while ago, IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the Al Hudaydah Port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the State of Israel in recent months.”

After Houthi drone attack on Tel Aviv, reports and footage out of Yemen of air strikes hitting Hodeida

— Video used in accordance with clause 27A of Israeli copyright law pic.twitter.com/d2uE16ZzQ1

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, issued a statement saying “The fire that is currently burning in Hodeidah, is seen across the Middle East and the significance is clear. The Houthis attacked us over 200 times. The first time that they harmed an Israeli citizen, we struck them. And we will do this in any place where it may be required.”

“The blood of Israeli citizens has a price,” Gallant added. “This has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen, and in other places – if they will dare to attack us, the result will be identical.”

Gallant: ‘The fire currently burning in Hodeida is seen across the region and the significance is clear… The blood of Israeli citizens has a price, as has been made clear in Lebanon, in Gaza, in Yemen and in other places – if they dare attack us, the result will be identical.’ pic.twitter.com/DmHjwfHtPV

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) July 20, 2024

The post IDF Confirms Striking ‘Terrorist Houthi Regime’ in Yemen’s Hodeida first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan leaves after attending a military parade to mark the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup, in the Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, in the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus July 20, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Greek Cypriots mourned and Turkish Cypriots rejoiced on Saturday, the 50th anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of part of the island after a brief Greek inspired coup, with the chances of reconciliation as elusive as ever.

The ethnically split island is a persistent source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are both partners in NATO but are at odds over numerous issues.

Their differences were laid bare on Saturday, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attending a celebratory military parade in north Nicosia to mark the day in 1974 when Turkish forces launched an offensive that they call a “peace operation.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis was due later on Saturday to attend an event in the south of the Nicosia to commemorate what Greeks commonly refer to as the “barbaric Turkish invasion.” Air raid sirens sounded across the area at dawn.

Mitsotakis posted an image of a blood-stained map of Cyprus on his LinkedIn page with the words “Half a century since the national tragedy of Cyprus.”

There was jubilation in the north.

“The Cyprus Peace Operation saved Turkish Cypriots from cruelty and brought them to freedom,” Erdogan told crowds who gathered to watch the parade despite stifling midday heat, criticizing the south for having a “spoiled mentality” and seeing itself as the sole ruler of Cyprus.

Peace talks are stalled at two seemingly irreconcilable concepts – Greek Cypriots want reunification as a federation. Turkish Cypriots want a two-state settlement.

Erdogan left open a window to dialogue although he said a federal solution, advocated by Greek Cypriots and backed by most in the international community, was “not possible.”

“We are ready for negotiations, to meet, and to establish long-term peace and resolution in Cyprus,” he said.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960, but a shared administration between Greek and Turkish Cypriots quickly fell apart in violence that saw Turkish Cypriots withdraw into enclaves and led to the dispatch of a U.N. peacekeeping force.

The crisis left Greek Cypriots running the internationally recognized Republic of Cyprus, a member of the European Union since 2004 with the potential to derail Turkey’s own decades-long aspirations of joining the bloc.

It also complicates any attempts to unlock energy potential in the eastern Mediterranean because of overlapping claims. The region has seen major discoveries of hydrocarbons in recent years.

REMEMBERING THE DEAD

Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides, whose office represents the Greek Cypriot community in the reunification dialogue, said the anniversary was a somber occasion for reflection and for remembering the dead.

“Our mission is liberation, reunification and solving the Cyprus problem,” he said. “If we really want to send a message on this tragic anniversary … it is to do anything possible to reunite Cyprus.”

Turkey, he said, continued to be responsible for violating human rights and international law over Cyprus.

Across the south, church services were held to remember the more than 3,000 people who died in the Turkish invasion.

“It was a betrayal of Cyprus and so many kids were lost. It wasn’t just my son, it was many,” said Loukas Alexandrou, 90, as he tended the grave of his son at a military cemetery.

In Turkey, state television focused on violence against Turkish Cypriots prior to the invasion, particularly on bloodshed in 1963-64 and in 1967.

Turkey’s invasion took more than a third of the island and expelled more than 160,000 Greek Cypriots to the south.

Reunification talks collapsed in 2017 and have been at a stalemate since. Northern Cyprus is a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, and its Turkish Cypriot leadership wants international recognition.

The post One Part of Cyprus Mourns, the Other Rejoices 50 Years After Split first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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