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IDF Soldier Killed in Gaza Was Contender to Represent Israel in 2024 Eurovision Song Contest

Shaul Greenglick competing on “HaKokhav Haba.” Photo: Screenshot

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced on Tuesday the death of three soldiers who died fighting against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip, one of whom could have been chosen to represent Israel in next year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö, Sweden.

Captain (res.) Shaul Greenglick, 26, from the IDF’s Nahal Brigade, competed recently in HaKokhav Haba (The Next Star), the Israeli talent show and television program from Keshet 12 in which the winner goes on to represent Israel in the 2024 Eurovision competition, which will take place in May. The Raanana native auditioned in his IDF uniform and dedicated his performance to fellow soldiers currently fighting in the Israel-Hamas war. One of the show’s judges, Shiri Maimon, complimented Greenglick after his performance, saying, “You have a natural talent. You were born with an amazing voice.”

“You are the most beautiful Israeli, especially at this time, to see you standing here,” added fellow judge Keren Pels. “You are a gift and all your friends are a gift and I trust you. I am happy that you are wearing a uniform because it is reassuring to have someone like you in a uniform. I would love to see you represent Israel at Eurovision.”

The IDF soldier, who returned to fighting in Gaza after his audition, garnered 83 percent of the votes from the judges, which qualified him for the next round of the talent show. Keshet 12 said the next episode of HaKokhav Haba will be dedicated to Greenglick’s memory.

Greenglick was killed while fighting in the northern Gaza Strip along with Master Sgt. (res.) Maor Lavi, 33, and Cpt. Shay Shamriz, 26, who was a relative of Alon Shamriz — one of three Israeli hostages accidentally shot dead by IDF soldiers in Gaza.

Greenglick uploaded on Dec. 14 an Instagram post that included a clip of his performance on HaKokhav Haba. In the caption, he talked about putting his passion of singing on hold to help defend Israel in its fight against Hamas terrorists.

“I imagined this year differently, a year of ambitions and fulfilling dreams. Now I am living an old dream to fight for the country … a new dream and another will have to wait a little,” he wrote in Hebrew. “Thank you for the warm and encouraging words and also for the criticisms. I hope this period passes and that it will pass quickly. I promise to continue fighting for this country that I love and for my dreams in the future. Right now there is only one thing on my mind — and that is to continue fighting the darkness until we see the light.”

Following Greenglick’s death, the judges of HaKokhav Haba paid tribute to the IDF soldier.

Asaf Amdorsky praised him as “a sweet and beautiful young man with refreshing eyes, [who] put us, all of us, before his own good,” according to Israeli press reports. “He left the television program and went down to Gaza to fight with his fellow heroes. The sadness is unbearable,” Amdorsky added.

“I see the news and I can’t take it anymore,” said singer and HaKokhav Haba judge Ran Danker in an Instagram Story following the announcement of Greenglick’s death. “It’s hard to believe that a moment ago you were singing in front of us. Your music, your singing, and your eyes are etched in my memory. I have no words.”

Maimon said in a post on her Instagram Story on Tuesday: “Shaul, our dear hero, we didn’t get to know you the way we wanted but we got to hear your beautiful and comforting voice. I remember your family being happy and excited for you and now they’ve lost you, it’s impossible to understand.”

“The heart refuses to believe,” Israeli actress Rotem Sela, who hosts the program alongside Assi Azar, wrote in an Instagram post, remembering Greenglick. “You came to our first meeting and you brought so much joy and light with you. You sat surrounded by your beautiful family who looked at you proudly with sparkling eyes. You charmed us, made us laugh, we even got up to dance together. How beautiful , how much talent, how much sadness. Simply unimaginable. What a terrible reality. Sing and dance up there, beautiful boy like you, show everyone there how much of a star you are.”

Azar shared in an Instagram Story that although he met Greenglick only twice — in an interview before the audition and at the audition itself — “you didn’t need more than that to see the magic in him.” He also called the slain soldier “a smiling man, the kind you immediately want to be your friend. A singer with grace, good eyes.”

“Our hearts are full of sorrow. I wish this nightmare would end already,” he concluded by saying.

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The detailed plans for a Canadian law that regulates hate speech online are seen as a ‘good start’ by Jewish groups

Jewish groups and others concerned about the rise of hate speech online welcomed the introduction of a new government bill on Feb. 26. And while the parliamentary process for it to become law is only beginning, it’s a good start according to advocacy groups who have called for the government to regulate certain types of […]

The post The detailed plans for a Canadian law that regulates hate speech online are seen as a ‘good start’ by Jewish groups appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘You Jew!’: UC Berkeley Mob Attacks Jews During Event With IDF Soldier, University Pledges Investigation

Mob of anti-Zionists attempting to infiltrate event with Ran Bar-Yoshafat at University of California, Berkeley on February 27, 2024. Photo: Screenshot/Twitter

A mob of hundreds pro-Palestinian students and non-students shut down an event Monday evening at University of California-Berkeley featuring an Israeli soldier, forcing Jewish students to flee to a secret safe room as the protestors overwhelmed campus police

Footage of the incident shared by the outlet shows a serried mass of anti-Zionist agitators banging on the doors of the Zellerbach Library while an event featuring Israeli reservist Ran Bar-Yoshafat —who visited the university to discuss his military service during Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7 — took place inside. The mob then stormed the building — breaking glass windows in the process, according reports in the Daily Wire — and forced school officials to evacuate Jewish students to a secret safe-room.

“What happened last night was deeply concerning and a violation of some of our most important rules and values as a university, including freedom of speech, respect for diversity, and the ties that bind us together as a community,” UC Berkeley assistant vice chancellor for communications and public affairs Dan Mogulof told The Algemeiner on Tuesday during a phone interview. “What we saw last night has no recent precedent. More than an estimated 200 protesters showed up at the venue and gained unauthorized entry into the building. There has never been anything like what occurred last night.”

Mogulof pledged that the university will launch an investigation into the incident.

“We do not and will not ignore violations of our rules and values,” he said. “When we have events like this, we always have two priorities. One, to do everything in our power so the event goes forward and the other is to do everything in our power to protect the safety and well being of our students and members of the public, and given the size of the crowd, and the violence of the crowd, we were unable to do both, even with 20 police officers. The event had to be cancelled, so that we could evacuate the building and support the safety of the students.”

During the infiltration of Zellerbach, one of the mob — which was assembled by Bears for Palestine, which had earlier proclaimed its intention to cancel the event — spit on a Jewish student and called him a “Jew,” pejoratively.

“You know what I was screamed at? ‘Jew, you Jew, you Jew,’ literally right to my face,” the student who was attacked said to a friend. “Some woman — then she spit at me.”

Shaya Keyvanfar, a student, told The Algemeiner that her sister was spit and that the incident was unlike any she had ever witnessed.

“Once the doors were closed, the protesters somehow found a side door and pushed it open, and a few of them managed to get in, and once they did, they tried to open the door for the rest of them,” Keyvanfar said. “It was really scary. They were pounding on the windows outside — they broke one — they spit at my sister and others. They called someone a dirty Jew. It was eerie.”

Keyvanfar added that it may be difficult to identify the culprits because anti-Zionists activists wear masks to conceal their identities.

Security concerns plagued the event all week, according to the Daily Wire, and after arriving on campus Bar-Yoshafat was required to conceal his identity. Prior to that, the location of the event was changed to various locations to prevent violence.

“I just felt really bad for these kids because they were scared,” Bar-Yoshafat told Daily Wire. “Girls were crying from being attacked, and I think the kid that was spat on was just so shocked. I don’t think the students anticipated so many people being violent, they thought they would just chant outside.”

During Tuesday’s interview with The Algemeiner Mogulof stressed that the university “understands now that we are in new territory” and called the incident a “black mark” on its reputation. He also explained that UC Berkeley launched an antisemitism awareness program in 2019, which included panels and talks with esteemed scholars of Jewish history such as Deborah Lipstadt, because it takes the issue of campus antisemitism seriously.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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Prominent Pro-Hamas Activist in Australia Arrested on Kidnapping and Torture Charges

Australian pro-Hamas activist Laura Allam. Photo: X/Twitter

Australian police on Monday announced the arrest of a prominent pro-Hamas advocate accused of orchestrating the kidnapping and torture of a man whose perceived offense was to work for a Jewish employer.

Melbourne resident Laura Allam was charged with kidnapping, armed robbery, illegal detention, assault and battery against the 31-year-old man, who has not been named by authorities. Working with an accomplice who has also been arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment, armed robbery, threats to kill, intention to cause injury, recklessly causing injury, unlawful assault and assault with weapon, the 28-year-old Allam is  understood to have targeted the man solely because his employer is Jewish.

According to a statement from police in the State of Victoria, the brutal assault occurred on the night of Feb. 16 in the Melbourne suburb of St. Albans. “It’s alleged a man was pulled from a car near the intersection of Gladstone and Cleveland streets about 9.30pm,” the statement noted. “He was then allegedly placed in another car and assaulted and robbed before being released in Braybrook.” The victim required extensive treatment in hospital for injuries sustained in the “horrific kidnapping and torture.”

Allam is a prominent member of Australia’s large Lebanese community and the CEO of the Al Jannah Foundation, which bills itself as an Islamic humanitarian organization. While Allam’s social media profiles specify that she is still running the organization, an entry on the Australian register of companies notes that the foundation ceased operations in July 2023, less than three years after it was formally incorporated. The foundation’s website additionally lists a number of projects that it is raising money for — including addressing food shortages in Lebanon and child health challenges — that apparently remain unfunded.

In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in southern Israel, Allam dedicated most of her time to attacking Israel on social media as well as spreading false information on her TikTok account, which had 20,000 followers before being closed down, as well as X/Twitter and Instagram. One post on Feb. 5 promoted the fabricated claim that a British Royal Navy warship dispatched to the Gulf to combat attacks on shipping by Houthi terrorists in Yemen had “broken down off the coasts of England.”

Her barbs against Israel on social media included a post that declared “good riddance” over an image of four Israeli soldiers killed while serving in Gaza. On Oct. 8 — the day after the Hamas pogrom which resulted in the murder of more than 1,200 people and the kidnapping of over 200 amid atrocities that included mass rape and bodily mutilation — Allam told her followers that she had “woken up to some great news from our beloved Palestine.” Other posts spoke of “a jihad of martyrdom or victory” and lauded attempts to “avenge the martyrs in Jenin and Gaza.”

Allam discussed her arrest in her final post on her Instagram account before it was closed down. Reproduced on the pro-Israel blog Israellycool, Allam’s post boasted of her “selflessness” and her commitment to “remaining quiet — for now,” going on to declare that “[T]here are words that burn the wildest flames in the deepest pits of my heart and will only ever be extinguished when Allah takes the ‘haqq’ (truth) from every single oppressor to walk this earth.”

“This seems to be an admission as to her involvement, yet amazingly no apology for her actions,” Israellycool observed in an accompanying commentary. “In fact, she speaks as if the incident somehow passively ‘occurred’ – as opposed to her actively doing something terrible.”

In its coverage of Allam’s arrest on Monday, Melbourne’s Herald Sun news outlet reported on “an extraordinary suppression order relating to her case prevents the Herald Sun from running Ms Allam’s image, referencing some ethnic groups or providing certain detail about her advocacy activities.” However, several posts on X/Twitter shared her photograph, her name and her other affiliations.

Allam made the news earlier this month after she spoke at a pro-Hamas protest at the Australian parliament in Canberra alongside three senators from the left-wing Green Party. Responding to the event, Sky News Australia host Andrew Bolt highlighted Allam’s Islamist loyalties, saying, “[T]hat’s one of the people now sharing a stage with the Greens. The Greens may not have known of Allam’s past, but this is who they find next to them in their gutter.”

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