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Despite Evidence, UK Media Outlet Parrots Claim That Israel Harms Children in Gaza

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

A UK Channel 4 News report by foreign correspondent Secunder Kermani includes video of a sick, emaciated eight-year-old Palestinian girl who died recently in Gaza. Those considering watching it should know that the images in question (which begin 23 seconds into the video) are disturbing. The suffering or death of children during wartime, be they Israeli or Palestinian, is especially tragic, and should never be minimized.

However, our focus is on the unevidenced suggestion made by the Channel 4 News presenter during the broadcast that the girl, Hanan Al-Zaanin, died due to starvation related to Israel’s ‘restrictions on aid.’

The initial story claiming that Al-Zaanin died in Gaza due to starvation was published by Al Jazeera. In fact, the short footage of Al-Zaanin shown to Channel 4 News viewers appears to be spliced from a report at Al Jazeera. Yet, viewers aren’t told that the story — including the relevant video footage — comes from the Qatari outlet.

The Al Jazeera report in question is by Hind Al Khoudary, who, as we’ve noted previously, is a freelancer at the Qatari outlet, as well as at Turkish state-run Andalou Agency.

Khoudary, who was one of the presenters in a Channel 4 Dispatches report (“Kill Zone; Inside Gaza“), has a record of glorifying terrorism on social media. She’s also remembered for her involvement in the arrests by Hamas of several activistsincluding a journalist — in Gaza four years ago.

In that case, the Palestinian activists were denounced to Hamas in a series of vituperative Facebook posts by Khoudary. Hours later, Hamas arrested them for the crime of pursuing “normalization” with Israelis.”

In addition, Khoudary works for the We Are Not Numbers project run by the Hamas-linked NGO EuroMed Human Rights Monitor (EMHRM). In fact, the Chairman of EMHRM, Ramzy Abdul, was found to have posted a literal antisemitic blood libel — writing on X that “Israeli has an insatiable appetite for the blood of Palestinian children,” before deleting the post.

We weren’t able to find any other mainstream media outlet which reported on the Palestinian girls’ death — not even the Guardian.

The merits of the claim

Though we weren’t able to gather any specific information on the girl or her death from reliable sources, it’s relevant to note a similar claim made earlier in the year involving an emaciated 10-year-old boy in Gaza named Yazan Kafarne.

Though images on social media suggested that Kafarne’s horrifying physical condition was the result of starvation, due to putative Israeli restrictions in aid, even a New York Times article featuring Kafarne acknowledged that he had a pre-existing condition, cerebral palsy.

In fact, the BBC was forced to correct an article published last week which — as detailed by David Collier — that omitted the fact that an emaciated and critically ill nine-year-old boy in Gaza, Yunis Jumaa, had spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, a serious pre-existing condition that caused his sickness. The BBC initially suggested that the boy’s illness was famine-related, and that he previously was healthy and had no pre-existing conditions.

Here’s the editor’s note which added to that story admitting the error:

Amended: This story originally reported on the health of Yunis Jumaa while including quotes which could be taken by readers to suggest that he has no pre-existing health conditions. The article has been updated to reflect that Yunis has cerebral palsy, which the BBC was unaware of at the time of publication, and to explain that children with pre-existing conditions are especially hard hit by malnutrition and contaminated water.

Though we don’t know for sure if the girl in the Channel 4 News report had such a pre-existing condition, it is notable that his mother, who appeared in the video, seems healthy, and clearly isn’t suffering from malnutrition.

The broader “starvation” narrative

The context provided by the Channel 4 News presenter to advance the desired take-away that Israel is responsible for the girl’s death, was his allegation during the broadcast that “starvation” is extremely common in Gaza. This claim was given credibility in the mainstream media following a March report by Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) alleging that famine was imminent and likely to occur by May in northern Gaza, and by July in other parts of the Strip.

However, as noted on these pages recently, the March IPC report has been contradicted by multiple studies and reports.

The Israeli government response to that report concluded that “the report contains multiple factual and methodological flaws, some of them serious,” and later provided further details on the flaws in the methodology.

In May, Israel’s Ministry of Health published a review of the IPC report from March which includes the following:

On page 4, the [IPC] report claims that “in January 2024, only nine humanitarian missions to the northern governorates were facilitated, dropping to six missions in February.” The OCHA report which is the source of this information states that it pertains only to missions by “the UN and its humanitarian partners”, while more than half of the aid shipments to northern Gaza since the beginning of 2024 were conducted by private sector actors, which are not counted by OCHA. [emphasis added]

In early June, media outlets including The Times of Israel and The Wall Street Journal reported on a study carried out by a group of Israeli academics and public health professionals.

The study analyzed airdrops and food shipments delivered by land from January through April 2024, based on shipping details provided by international donors and recorded by Cogat, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories. These records list the shipment date, consignee, weight and contents of trucks entering Gaza and include aid delivered from multiple sources such as national and private donations. Unrwa lists only U.N. aid through Kerem Shalom and Rafah, the latter now closed by Egypt, ignoring other crossings. In May, Cogat lists 6,335 trucks, OCHA counts 2,797 and Unrwa 1,656. Adding private-sector trucks to the OCHA figure brings the total above 6,000, close to Cogat’s count. [emphasis added]

The study revealed that the supply provided an average of 3,374 calories per person daily, well above the 2,100 recommended by the Sphere humanitarian movement as the minimum standard. It also confirms the daily availability of 101 grams of protein and 80.6 grams of fat per person, “in compliance with the standards.”

Finally, just last week, the IPC published a report titled “Famine Review Committee: Review of the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) IPC-Compatible Analysis for the Northern Governorates of the Gaza Strip.” As noted by commentators, that report concludes that the FEWS NET analysis published in March is not plausible, and points out the omission of certain categories of food deliveries.

The FEWS NET food availability analysis excludes the contribution of commercial and/or privately contracted deliveries, potentially between 1,820 with metric tons (MT) of food (low estimate) and 3,850 MT of food (high estimate) in the month of March and about 2,405 MT of food (low estimate) and 4,004 MT of food (high estimate) in the month of April 2024. While the intervals are extremely wide, indicative of a high level of uncertainty, this corresponds to the potential exclusion of about 25-76% coverage of the daily kilocalorie requirement in March and 34- 82% in April. Even a conservative approach towards the commercial and/or privately contracted food deliveries to northern Gaza, which the FRC considers possible, would still indicate a contribution of 25% and 34% coverage of the daily kilocalorie requirement in March and April, respectively.

FEWS NET food availability analysis excludes the contribution of WFP deliveries to bakeries in northern Gaza, including a reported 940 MT of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in April. While the intervals are extremely wide, indicative of a high level of uncertainty, this corresponds to the potential exclusion of about 4% to 15% coverage of the daily kilocalorie requirement. […]

…the exclusion of all commercial and/or privately contracted deliveries and WFP deliveries of flour, sugar, yeast, and salt to bakeries, translates to the exclusion of food equal to as much as 38% to 49% coverage of the daily kilocalorie requirement in April. While FEWS NET estimated the caloric availability in the area as covering only 59- 63% of the needs (based uniquely on Humanitarian Food Assistance) in April, the review done by the FRC estimates that this range would be 75% to 109% if commercial and/or privately contracted food deliveries were included (157% if a higher estimate was used).

Finally, The Jerusalem Post reported that Columbia University Professors Awi Federgruen and Ran Kivetz analyzed available data and conducted research whose “findings demonstrate that sufficient amounts of food are being supplied into Gaza. [emphasis added]

The two professors examined the “hard data, available from such sources as COGAT and the UN” and noted that sufficient amounts of food are being supplied into Gaza. According to their research they “demonstrate that 250 truckloads suffice to feed the entire Gazan population, in accordance with a normal diet in North America.”

Tellingly, none of these studies refuting the IPC’s March findings of “imminent starvation in Gaza” have been reported by Channel 4 News to date, including Karmani’s report on the death of Hanan Al-Zaanin.

Adam Levick serves as co-editor of CAMERA UK – an affiliate of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA), where a version of this article first appeared.

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CAIR Executive Director Suggests Suspected Iranian Scheme to Kill Trump an ‘Israeli Plot to Ignite Another War’

Nihad Awad, co-founder and executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Photo: Screenshot

The head of the the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) pushed a baseless conspiracy theory suggesting that Israel was behind a suspected Iranian plot to assassinate former US President Donald Trump.

“Are you sure this is not an Israeli plot to ignite another war between the US and other countries in the Middle East at its behest?” tweeted Nihad Awad, co-founder and executive director of CAIR.

Awad was responding to a new CNN report that intelligence officials increased US Secret Service security for Trump after learning of Iran’s plans to murder the former president. There is no indication that the attempted assassination of Trump on Saturday, when he was shot in the ear but survived without major injuries during a campaign rally in Pennsylvania, was connected to the suspected Iranian plot.

Iran has denied association with any plot to murder the 2024 Republican presidential nominee, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani saying that the regime “strongly rejects any involvement in the recent armed attack on Trump or claims about Iran’s intention for such an action.”

However, Kanaani stated that Iran will continue to seek retribution against Trump after the US during his presidency killed Qassem Soleimani — a commander in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), an internationally designated terrorist organization — in a drone strike. Soleimani was as the head of the IRGC’s elite Quds force branch, which is responsible for Iran’s proxies and terror operations abroad. He is revered by the Islamic Republic as a martyr and is commemorated across the country.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is determined to pursue legal action against Trump for his direct role in the crime of assassinating Martyr General Qassem Soleimani,” Kanaani said. 

Beyond Trump, Iran has been accused of plotting to kill several former Trump administration officials.

In August 2022, the US Justice Department charged a member of the IRGC with plotting to murder former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, who served in the Trump administration. The US government has also previously assessed that former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Iran envoy Brian Hook, both of whom served under Trump, were targeted by Iran. The US has spent millions of dollars providing round-the-clock, security details for Pompeo and Hook.

It is unclear why Awad suggested without evidence that Israel, an arch foe of Iran, was actually responsible for the alleged Iranian plot against Trump. However, it fits with a pattern of CAIR officials making controversial anti-Israel statements during the ongoing war in Gaza.

Awad, for example, said he was “happy” to witness the Iran-backed Palestinian terrorist group Hamas’ murderous rampage across southern Israel on Oct. 7.

“The people of Gaza only decided to break the siege — the walls of the concentration camp — on Oct. 7,” Awad said in a speech during the American Muslims for Palestine convention in Chicago in November. “And yes, I was happy to see people breaking the siege and throwing down the shackles of their own land, and walk free into their land, which they were not allowed to walk in.”

Awad was referring to the blockade that Israel and Egypt enforced on Gaza after Hamas took control of the Palestinian enclave in 2007, to prevent the terrorist group from importing weapons and other materials and equipment for attacks.

About a week later, the executive director of CAIR’s Los Angeles office, Hussam Ayloush, said that Israel “does not have the right” to defend itself from Palestinian violence. He added in his sermon at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City that for the Palestinians, “every single day” since the Jewish state’s establishment has been comparable to Hamas’ Oct. 7 onslaught.

Last week, CAIR decried US Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines’ statement that “actors tied to Iran’s government” have encouraged and provided financial support to anti-Israel protests that have erupted across the US during the Israel-Hamas war. CAIR National Deputy Director Edward Ahmed Mitchell argued that Haines’ statement could incite hate crime attacks against Muslim and Palestinian protesters opposing the so-called “genocide” in Gaza.

CAIR has long been a controversial organization. In the 2000s, it was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism financing case. Politico noted in 2010 that “US District Court Judge Jorge Solis found that the government presented ‘ample evidence to establish the association’” of CAIR with Hamas.

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “some of CAIR’s current leadership had early connections with organizations that are or were affiliated with Hamas.” CAIR has disputed the accuracy of the ADL’s claim and asserted that CAIR “unequivocally condemn[s] all acts of terrorism, whether carried out by al-Qa’ida, the Real IRA, FARC, Hamas, ETA, or any other group designated by the US Department of State as a ‘Foreign Terrorist Organization.’”

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ADL Report Finds Rise in Antisemitic Beliefs at University of California After Oct. 7 Hamas Attack

Law enforcement officers detain a demonstrator, as they clear out a pro-Hamas protest encampment at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Los Angeles, California, US, May 2, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/David Swanson

Antisemitic and anti-Zionist attitudes at the University of California, Irvine increased after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel, a new statistical study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has found.

The study — “Attitudes Toward Jews and Israel on California Campuses” — which began roughly four months before Oct. 7, aimed to measure anti-Jewish and anti-Zionist attitudes at four campuses within the University of California (UC) system to determine whether reports of surging antisemitism there are based in fact rather than perception.

The ADL surveyed hundreds of students — liberal and conservative, religious and secular, Jewish and non-Jewish — across the UC system, but because of an accident of timing, UC Irvine (UCI) emerged as a special case study, being the only school whose students submitted responses both before and after the Oct. 7 massacre. Their answers were revealing, according to the ADL, and demonstrated that what Jewish students and faculty have reported feeling is real.

Before Oct. 7, 25 percent of UCI students agreed that “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to the United States.” After Oct. 7, that figure jumped 18 points, to 43 percent, the study found.

Similar increases occurred across the board. For example, the percentage of students who agreed that “Jews have too much power in our country today” nearly doubled after the Hamas atrocities, increasing from 7.9 percent to 15.1 percent. Additionally, 23.6 percent of students agreed after the Oct. 7 tragedy that “it is appropriate for opponents of Israel’s policies to boycott Jewish American owned businesses in their communities.”

“The uptick in antisemitism at UCI after the Hamas attack is perhaps the most disturbing of our findings. The uptick remains even when the other campuses are included,” the ADL report said. “It indicates that widespread reports of feelings of isolation and hostility from their peers among Jewish students and faculty reflected lived rather than politically manufactured experience. We have not, however, explained the increase. Stronger expressions of antisemitism may reflect prejudice that can now be revealed; it has always been there and we are only now seeing it.”

The report also noted that “anti-Jewish attitudes are present and sometimes strongly so” at the three other University of California schools it studied — UC Los Angeles, UC Merced, and UC Riverside — and that, at every school, anti-Zionism is a “predictor” of antisemitism, meaning that students who object to Israel’s existence likely embrace ancient antisemitic tropes.

Other areas of the report stand to be controversial in parts of the pro-Israel community for challenging a widely held view that colleges, being dominated by left-wing faculty and students, “brainwash” students with anti-Zionist beliefs — a claim for which the ADL said it found no evidence. Anti-Zionist college students, it argued, likely form their opinions before starting post-secondary education.

However, critics of higher education have imagined a more nuanced picture of progressive bias on college campuses, one in which students are selected by admissions committees in part for their political views. Such beliefs crystallize, they argue, because of positive social reenforcement and minimal to no exposure to alternative viewpoints.

The ADL report came after the AMCHA Initiative, a campus antisemitism watchdog, in March noted that progressive anti-Zionist faculty did more than ever before to make Zionism anathema on their campuses after Oct. 7 and did, in fact, radicalize or sway students whose opinions about Israel were neutral or positive.

In a report titled “Academic Agitators: The Role of Anti-Zionist Faculty Activism in Escalating Antisemitism at the University of California After October 7, 2023,” the AMCHA Initiative found that incidents of faculty engaging in anti-Zionist advocacy increased 1,100 percent between Oct. 7, 2023 and March 15, 2024. Professors, especially those involved in the anti-Zionist group Faculty for Justice in Palestine (FJP), used their classrooms to indoctrinate students into becoming anti-Zionist and aided student groups in their efforts to alienate and defame Jewish students as “privileged” and “genocide deniers,” according to the study.

The report cited numerous examples of faculty-driven anti-Zionism, including a UC Santa Cruz professor writing “zionism [sic] is not welcome on our campus,” a UC Berkeley graduate student teacher awarding academic benefits for participating in anti-Zionist events, and the UC Merced Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Department posting a statement that described Israel’s response to the Oct. 7 massacre as “genocide” and denied that Hamas is a terrorist group.

UC faculty transfer their attitudes as well as a vocabulary of anti-Zionism to students, the report added. Since Oct. 7, anti-Zionist students have used language that can be directly traced to ideas espoused by their professors, and, at other times, students and teachers collaborated. UC Santa Cruz’s Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Department, for example proclaimed, “Skip school and work. Do not look away from the genocide,” in a message to students promoting Students for Justice in Palestine’s “Shut It Down for Palestine” demonstration held in November.

In July, AMCHA Initiative founder and executive director Tammi Rossman-Benjamin noted that in addition to promoting anti-Zionism, college admissions and hiring policies dictated by affirmative action — also described as racial preferences — all but ensure that many incoming students and faculty are far to the left of center and anti-Zionist.

“Racial preferences pit racial identity against the meritocracy, and one of the reasons that Jews have became so prominent in academia is because it is a system that rewards talent, character, and grit. Jews tend to be well-educated and highly achieving, and when an institution’s primary concern is the quality of the individual as opposed to the color of his or her skin or perceived background, Jews excel,” Rossman-Benjamin explained. “What the university stands for, academic integrity and excellence, are values that have lifted Jews up in America, and, in addition to being critical for advancing humanity, they have been one of the most important sources of our strength in this country.”

She continued, “However, when you impose academic criteria that has nothing to do with those values and nothing to do with academic integrity but everything to do with a political agenda that really at its core is discriminatory and hateful — and antisemitic — you make the university not just a hostile place for Jews but also a hostile place for learning. What’s so interesting is that the way you know that contemporary progressivism is not just a fraudulent and bankrupt ideology but an evil one, is that it produces antisemitism. Antisemitism is a bellwether of its malevolence. If it were positive and healthy, it would lift people up — but it isn’t. In fact, it is hurting them in the deepest ways.”

Follow Dion. J Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Jewish Couple Spat on, Beaten at Anti-Israel Rally in Berlin; Police Investigating Attack

Pro-Hamas demonstrators gather in Berlin, Nov. 4, 2023. Photo: Reuters/Michael Kuenne

A Jewish couple, returning from an ice cream shop, was attacked by a mob of anti-Israel protesters in Berlin on Friday after they noticed a Star of David necklace, according to German media.

As a motorcade of demonstrators chanting anti-Israel slogans passed by on the Torstraße, a demonstrator filmed people on the sidewalk, including the couple identified as Adam, 27, and Hannah, 30, as they walked with their ice cream, the German tabloid newspaper Bild reported.

However, when Adam and Hannah indicated they did not want to be filmed and the former showed his middle finger in anger, the situation escalated. The couple found themselves confronted by “about 15 big guys there, all right in front of us,” Hannah said, according to Bild.

“One of them said, ‘I’ll show you my finger, it will go inside your girlfriend, and when I’m done with her, it will go inside you,’” Adam recounted one of the protesters saying.

Then the mob noticed that Hannah was wearing a Star of David around her neck. One of the man “spat in my face,” Hannah said, and “everyone shouted something in Arabic and spat at us. I instinctively threw my ice cream at him. Then they went after Adam.”

Adam was then reportedly pulled Adam to the ground by his hair, where his head hit the asphalt and he suffered a concussion.

Berlin police, who eventually rescued the couple, are investigating the incident, and two protesters have so far been arrested for assault.

The Jewish couple are Americans who have been living in Berlin for the past five years. 

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a high school in Berlin that recently canceled its graduation over fears of anti-Israel demonstrations was attacked on Sunday by arsonists who also graffitied a wall of the school with harrowing messages in German such as “Gaza burns, Berlin burns,” according to German media. The Tiergarten Gymnasium’s suffered roughly €250,000 in damages.

The Tiergarten Gymnasium in Berlin was targeted with arson and graffiti. Recently, the school announced that graduation will be held outside due to fears of an anti-Israel demonstration. Photo: Screenshot

The Social Democratic Party of Germany wrote on X/Twitter in response to the arson, “We condemn the arson attack at the Tiergarten Gymnasium. Politically motivated violence has no place in Berlin or anywhere else.”

The AJC Berlin, a Jewish organization dedicated to fighting antisemitism, also condemned the arson on X/Twitter, writing, “Those responsible must be identified quickly. Schools must be safe places!”

Antisemitism in Germany has exploded since Hamas’ massacre in Israel on Oct. 7, when the Palestinian terrorist group killed 1,200 people and kidnapped about 250 people during the onslaught. According to German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, antisemitic hate crimes rose a staggering 95.5 percent in 2023 compared to the prior year.

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