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Civilian Hero Fatally Shot in Tragic Mistake by IDF Soldiers During Jerusalem Terror Attack

Israeli officials work at the scene of a Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem, Nov. 30, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

A civilian who intervened to stop a Palestinian terror attack in Jerusalem on Thursday has tragically died after Israeli soldiers mistakenly took the man for a terrorist and shot him.

Yuval Doron Castleman, 37, was on his way to work at a nearby government complex, according to his family, when he saw the attack and headed to the scene. Having served in the Israeli security forces, Castleman shot and killed a terrorist, after which, according to video released from the scene, he seemed to momentarily enter the terrorists’ car and upon exiting it was shot at.

Castleman threw his gun down and put up his hands, yelling “don’t shoot.” However, he was shot again and taken to the hospital, where he died later in the day. Friday would have been his 38th birthday.

“Yuval noticed a terrorist attack from the other side of the road while driving to his job at the government complex, and stopped his car to stop the terrorists,” Israel’s Channel 13 quoted his family as saying on Friday. “He had previously served in the security forces and was always a hero and the first to jump in and save lives, which he did this time as well.”

The Hamas terror group claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack at a a bus station in Jerusalem, where Palestinian terrorists opened fire, murdering three people and injuring several others.

Hamas said in a statement that the two perpetrators were “jihad-waging martyrs,” adding that the terrorist attack was in response to Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

As for Castleman’s death, the Israel Police and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are investigating his shooting.

“The findings of the investigation so far indicate that during the attack, one of the IDF soldiers identified and mistakenly suspected the late Yuval — who acted bravely and courageously to neutralize the terrorists — as a third terrorist,” police said. “The same soldier also fired at him which led to his serious injury and tragic death.”

Police added that “Military Police investigators joined the investigation.”

The army also said that “the IDF expresses sorrow at the death of the civilian.”

Civilians are often armed in Israel, and more have armed themselves since Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel. However, tragic accidents such as Castleman’s death are rare. This is largely because those with gun licenses undergo extensive gun training and situational awareness tests, according to a senior IDF officer.

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US House Panel Recommends $17.6 Billion in Military Aid for Israel

Armored vehicles of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are seen during their ground operations at a location given as Gaza in this handout image released on Nov. 1, 2023. Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS

Legislation providing $17.6 billion in new military assistance to Israel as it wages war against Hamas was unveiled on Saturday in the US House of Representatives.

The funding bill, offered by a House Appropriations panel, could come to a vote in the full House sometime next week, Speaker Mike Johnson said in a letter to members.

The Republican-controlled House had previously approved $14.3 billion in new military aid to Israel, but with the requirement that it be paid for by clawing back a chunk of money already targeted for the US Internal Revenue Service.

The Democratic-controlled Senate balked at that provision and is expected to unveil a legislative package that would aid Israel as well as provide more military assistance for Ukraine in its war against Russia.

That same Senate bill is also expected to contain proposals for strengthening security along the southern US border with Mexico.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has taken steps to start debate on that multipronged bill next week, with a first procedural vote no later than Wednesday.

According to the House Appropriations Committee, the $17.6 billion would include funds to help replenish Israel‘s missile defense systems, procure additional advanced weapons systems, and produce artillery and other munitions.

Some of the funding would also be used to replenish US arms provided to Israel following the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

“The need to support our closest ally and our own forces in the region has never been more pressing,” Johnson said in his letter to colleagues.

It was unclear whether far-right House members might balk at the funding for Israel without an equal amount of savings elsewhere in the budget.

House Republicans have insisted that any new aid to Ukraine be accompanied by strong new US border controls at a time when record numbers of immigrants are trying to enter the United States. While the Senate plans to do just that, Johnson already has said the border security package to be unveiled in the Senate is insufficient.

Before new military aid to Israel or Ukraine can be delivered, the House and Senate must pass the same bill before sending it to President Joe Biden, a Democrat, for signing into law.

The Senate also wants to include aid to Taiwan as part of its legislation.

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French Government Will Hold Commemoration for Victims of Hamas Pogrom Amid Disquiet Over Far Left Party’s Participation

Posters in Paris broadcasting the plight of Israeli hostages in Gaza covered over with pro-Palestinian messages. Photo: Reuters/Magali Cohen

French President Emmanuel Macron will preside over a special ceremony on Wednesday to commemorate the French victims of the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas pogrom in Israel as a row over the potential presence of far left parliamentarians continues to fester.

A statement from the Elysée Palace on Monday confirmed Macron’s presence at Wednesday’s event, which will take place at Les Invalides in Paris, where the French National Assembly and other leading national institutions are based.

A spokeswoman for Macron’s office pointed out that 42 French citizens were among the more than 1,200 people murdered during the Hamas assault, with a further three still being held hostage in Gaza.

Answering a question from a reporter about whether a similar event would be held for French citizens killed during the IDF bombing of Gaza that followed the assault, she added that a separate memorial ceremony would be held at a date yet to be determined. “It is obvious that we owe the same emotion and the same dignity to the French victims of the bombings in Gaza, and this tribute will be paid to them at another time,” she said. It is not clear how many French passport holders have actually been killed since the French government announced the deaths of two Palestinian children who were French citizens on Oct. 31.

Wednesday’s ceremony will unfold “under the universal sign of the fight against anti-Semitism and through it, all forms of hatred, racism and oppression against minorities,” the official statement from the presidency declared. Each of the murdered victims will be commemorated through the display of a photograph with their name attached. Families of the victims will be present, many of them being flown in from Israel on a special flight chartered by the French government.

The event is already mired in controversy due the announcement of parliamentarians from the far left La France Insoumise  (LFI -“France Rising”) that they plan to attend. LFI has been vocal in its support of Palestinians in Gaza, frequently drawing accusations of antisemitism because of its harsh rhetoric. Earlier this month, the daughter of two LFI MPs was arrested for allegedly antisemitic social media posts in the weeks following the Hamas attack, while another LFI MP faced condemnation over a posting on social media that invoked a popular Japanese manga meme appropriated by antisemites.

In a letter to Macron, members of five of the victims families demanded a ban on the participation of LFI MPs.

“We, families of victims of Hamas terrorists, solemnly demand that any presence of LFI at the national tribute that will be paid to the 42 Franco-Israeli victims of 7/10 be prohibited,” the letter stated.

However, that request is unlikely to be granted. Pointing out that parliamentarians are automatically invited to state-organized ceremonies, Macron’s office stated that “It is up to everyone to assess the appropriateness or not of their presence since the families spoke out and expressed strong emotion,” but notably did not accede to the ban request.

Mathilde Panot, the head of the LFI deputies in the National Assembly, said last week that she planned to attend the ceremony.

“I will be present and I have asked that a tribute be paid to all the French victims of this war in the Middle East, including the Franco-Palestinians killed in Gaza by the Israeli army,” she said.



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Montana Tucker “Bring Them Home” Grammy Tribute for Israeli Hostages Turns Heads

Feb 4, 2024; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Montana Tucker at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards at Arena in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024. Photo: Dan MacMedan / USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

Jewish singer and songwriter Montana Tucker showed her support for Israelis still being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza at Sunday night’s 66th Annual Grammy Awards, an annual ceremony held to honor the record industry’s most critically acclaimed artists.

Posing for photographers, Tucker walked the red carpet clad in a beige, diaphanous corset gown ornamented with a yellow ribbon that said, “Bring Them Home.” She also wore a Star of David necklace.

136 Israeli hostages remain imprisoned by Hamas in Gaza. They have been there since Oct. 7, when the terrorist organization committed a massacre of Jews across the southern region of Israel, the deadliest mass killing of Jews since the Holocaust. Hamas’ fighters brutally murdered and rape hundreds, and according to numerous reports, more are being sexually abused in captivity.

Tucker’s wasn’t the only statement made about the Israel-Hamas war. Ann Lennox, Scottish vocalist of the popular 1980s band Eurythmics — most known for its No. 1 song “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” — called for a ceasefire in Gaza in a speech delivered after she performed a tribute to Sinéad O’Connor.

Raising a “Black Power” fist before a much larger audience than Tucker was accorded, Lennox proclaimed, “Artists for a ceasefire. Peace in the world.”

Lennox was alluding to “Artists4Ceasefire,” a small group of entertainers who issued a letter calling on President Joe Biden to “end the bombing of Gaza” that did not mention that Hamas started the war or condemn rising antisemitism. The letter’s signatories include, among other B-list celebrities, Adam Lambert — who in 2009 won second place in the now-discontinued television series American Idol — Jennifer Lopez, Rosie O’Donnell, and Alyssa Milano.

The Algemeiner honored Montana Tucker in 2022 for being one of 100 people recognized for positively influencing Jewish life. A granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, Tucker was dogged all her life by assertions that she does not “look Jewish.” Undeterred by the remarks, she committed to proudly representing the Jewish community, and in 2022 produced “How To: Never Forget,” a ten-part docuseries about her grandparents lives in Poland before the Nazi invasion.

“This has been my responsibility to do this, for me and my grandparents and everyone else,” Tucker said at the time, during an interview. “People are used to seeing my very light-hearted, fun dance videos and me collaborating with a lot of different people…It’s rare for me and my content, and rare for the platform in general, to have a docuseries on the Holocaust.”

Other pro-Israel activists wore apparel to the Grammy awards to show. Orthodox Rabbi-Rapper Moshe Reuven, whose song “You Are Not Alone” has amassed over one million streams on Spotify, sported a “Never Is Now” shirt distributed through partnership between civil rights nonprofit StandWithUs and Perspective Fitwear. The shirt’s designer is Karen Margolis.

Taylor Swift’s 2022 record, titled Midnights, won “Album of the Year,” and rapper Jay-Z implied during a speech for accepting the Dr. Dre Global Impact Award that his wife, multi-platinum artists and most-winning Grammy award winner ever Beyoncé, has never won “Album of the Year” because she is a Black woman. The moment was reminiscent of a 2009 incident in which Kanye West stormed the stage of the MTV Awards to denounce Swift’s winning “Best Video by a Female Artist.”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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