Connect with us

RSS

Inconvenient Alliances: How Hamas Killed Progressivism

Pro-Hamas activists gather in Washington Square Park for a rally following a protest march held in response to an NYPD sweep of an anti-Israel encampment at New York University in Manhattan, May 3, 2024. Photo: Matthew Rodier/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

I once considered myself a progressive, but the word has lost its meaning. From college students to United Nations officials, “progressives” are compromising their values to support Hamas, a terror group that murdered over 1,200 Israelis and took approximately 240 hostages on October 7th.

The “progressive” movement, which began in the late 19th century, has long defended the rights of women and minorities. It is a movement that I aligned with during my college years, while also connecting with my Jewish and Israeli identity. I never thought, however, that I would be forced to choose between the two. Disillusionment set in as progressive friends and colleagues spoke negatively about Jews and Israel. Mentioning my national origin often barred me from conversations, and I was ostracized in classes, particularly in political science courses. Being proud of my identity caused me to face slurs, constant demonization, and a number of illogical accusations.

I was accused of doxxing students, being responsible for civilian deaths in Gaza, and committing a number of crimes simply for being an Israeli Jew. I was told I couldn’t be a proud Israeli and a progressive simultaneously. Why should I have to compromise my identity to maintain friendships in progressive and academic spaces? How could antisemitism exist so pervasively on the left when it claims to oppose all discrimination? These are questions I still continue to ask myself.

The final blow to my trust in my peers came on October 7th. Hamas’ genocidal rampage in southern Israel included sexual violence, with numerous eyewitness accounts describing women with broken pelvises from repetitive rapes and autopsies finding considerable evidence of brutal sexual assaults of Israeli victims. A Position Paper published by Physicians For Human Rights Israel describes these horrific sexual crimes against innocent Israelis in agonizing detail.

Even The New York Times reported on the sexual brutality committed by Hamas terrorists, despite being accused of holding an anti-Israel bias. Yet, progressives’ responses were disturbingly inadequate.

In Canada, an open letter by city councilor Susan Kim and provincial parliament member Sarah Jama dismissed accusations of rape by Hamas as misinformation. This letter was endorsed by the head of the University of Alberta Sexual Assault Center. After facing significant backlash, Jama doubled down, blaming the “Zionist lobby” for pressuring the Canadian government into reprimanding her.

At the United Nations, it took eight weeks for an official condemnation of Hamas’ rapes to be released by UN Women. Sarah Douglas, Deputy Chief of Peace and Security at UN Women, has endorsed 153 tweets attacking Israel and Zionists, and attended UN meetings with pro-Palestine posters, violating UN neutrality guidelines. Suffice it to say that a key leader in the UN’s initiative to uplift women is actively working against the very women she is charged with uplifting.

The traditionally progressive Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, particularly its Chicago chapter, has also faced criticism for endorsing terrorism. Mere hours after the release of the first October 7th footage, BLM Chicago posted a tweet with a hang-glider image, referencing Hamas terrorists who used hang-gliders to attack and kill hundreds of partygoers at the Nova Music Festival. This blatant support for a violent attack on innocent civilians by an organization that has committed itself to the fight for equality is shocking, especially considering the fact that Hamas has held Avera Mengistu, a mentally ill Ethiopian-Israeli man, in captivity since 2014.

On college campuses, the situation is dire. Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at UC Davis, the university I attend, justified the October 7th attack and glorified the attackers. Their rallies have featured slogans like “We don’t want no Jewish state” — which is a call for the eradication of Israel — and “Globalize the Intifada,” which calls for the violence of the intifadas to be repeated against Jewish communities worldwide. Professors also joined in; Jemma Decristo, a university faculty member, tweeted threatening messages against “Zionist journalists.” Another professor stated that “all Israeli residents are legitimate targets,” actively calling for violence against his own Israeli students and colleagues. After UC Davis students began an encampment mimicking those already established on other campuses, several professors reportedly required classes to attend the space, or have given extra credit for doing so, despite the fact that many Jewish and Israeli students are extremely uncomfortable with its messaging.

The aftermath of October 7th revealed that the hatred I experienced at my university is not unique. Higher education, while more radical, mirrors the outside world. The antisemitism and disregard for basic principles of human rights when it comes to Israelis might start on college campuses but can spread throughout society. I see this hate everywhere. Unless progressives worldwide undergo a fundamental shift that includes Jewish and Israeli voices, I will never call myself a progressive again.

Gabriel Gaysinsky is a student at the University of California, Davis, majoring in International Relations and Middle Eastern/South Asian Studies. He is a 2023-2024 CAMERA Fellow, executive board member of Aggies For Israel, and is an active student leader within his university’s Jewish community. Originally from Haifa, Israel, Gabriel hopes to utilize his experience and knowledge to pursue interfaith dialogue and peaceful solutions in Israel/Palestine. 

The post Inconvenient Alliances: How Hamas Killed Progressivism first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

RSS

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.

Continue Reading

RSS

Putin Jails US Reporter Gershkovich in Sham Trial

A Russian secret court found U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich guilty of espionage on Friday and sentenced him to 16 years in a maximum security penal colony in what his employer, the Wall Street Journal, accurately called “a disgraceful sham conviction.”

Gershkovich, a 32-year-old Jewish American who denied any wrongdoing, went on trial in the city of Yekaterinburg last month after being accused of trying to gather sensitive information about a tank factory.

He was the first U.S. journalist accused of spying in Russia since the Cold War, and his arrest in March 2023 prompted many U.S. and other Western correspondents to leave Moscow.

U.S. President Joe Biden said Gershkovich did not commit any crime and has been wrongfully detained.

“We are pushing hard for Evan’s release and will continue to do so,” Biden said in a statement. “Journalism is not a crime.”

Video of Friday’s hearing released by the court showed Gershkovich, dressed in a T-shirt and black trousers, standing in a glass courtroom cage as he listened to the verdict being read in rapid-fire legalese for nearly four minutes.

Asked by the judge if he had any questions, he replied “Nyet.”

The judge, Andrei Mineyev, said the nearly 16 months Gershkovich had already served since his arrest would count towards the 16-year sentence.

Mineyev ordered the destruction of the reporter’s mobile phone and paper notebook. The defense has 15 days to appeal.

“This disgraceful, sham conviction comes after Evan has spent 478 days in prison, wrongfully detained, away from his family and friends, prevented from reporting, all for doing his job as a journalist,” the Journal said in a statement.

“We will continue to do everything possible to press for Evan’s release and to support his family. Journalism is not a crime, and we will not rest until he’s released. This must end now.”

Gershkovich’s friend, reporter Pjotr Sauer of Britain’s Guardian newspaper, posted on X: “Russia has just sentenced an innocent man to 16 years in a high security prison. I have no words to describe this farce. Let’s get Evan out of there.”

Friday’s hearing was only the third in the trial. The proceedings, apart from the sentencing, were closed to the media on the grounds of state secrecy.

Espionage cases often take months to handle and the unusual speed at which the trial was held behind closed doors has stoked speculation that a long-discussed U.S.-Russia prisoner exchange deal may be in the offing, involving Gershkovich and potentially other Americans detained in Russia.

The Kremlin, when asked by Reuters earlier on Friday about the possibility of such an exchange, declined to comment: “I’ll leave your question unanswered,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Among those Russia would like to free is Vadim Krasikov, a Russian serving a life sentence in Germany for murdering an exiled Chechen-Georgian dissident in a Berlin park in 2019.

Officers of the FSB security service arrested Gershkovich on March 29, 2023, at a steakhouse in Yekaterinburg, 900 miles (1,400 km) east of Moscow. He has since been held in Moscow’s Lefortovo prison.

Russian prosecutors had accused Gershkovich of gathering secret information on the orders of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency about a company that manufactures tanks for Moscow’s war in Ukraine.

The Uralvagonzavod factory, which he is accused of spying on, has been sanctioned by the West. Based in the city of Nizhny Tagil near Yekaterinburg, it has publicly spoken of producing T-90M battle tanks and modernizing T-72B3M tanks.

Earlier on Friday, the court unexpectedly said it would pronounce its verdict within hours after state prosecutors demanded Gershkovich be jailed for 18 years for spying. The maximum sentence for the crime he was accused of is 20 years.

Russia usually concludes legal proceedings against foreigners before making any deals on exchanging them.

‘WRONGFULLY DETAINED’

Gershkovich, his newspaper and the U.S. government all rejected the allegations against him and said he was merely doing his job as a reporter accredited by the Foreign Ministry to work in Russia.

President Vladimir Putin has said Russia is open to a prisoner exchange involving Gershkovich, and that contacts with the United States have taken place but must remain secret.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that Washington was working every day to bring home Gershkovich, former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan and other Americans.

He declined to go into details when asked why Putin would reach a deal on Gershkovich’s release ahead of the U.S. election.

“Any effort to bring any American home is going to be part of a process of back and forth, of discussion, potentially of negotiation,” Blinken said at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.

“Depending on what the other side is looking for, they’ll reach their own conclusions about whether it meets whatever their needs are, and we can bring someone home – and I don’t think that’s dependent on an election in the United States or anywhere else,” he said.

Mark Warner, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee, called Gershkovich’s sentence “outrageous,” and said he thinks “it’s clear that the Russians view Evan almost as a bargaining chip at this point.”

Speaking in an interview with Reuters, Warner declined to discuss whether efforts are underway to arrange an exchange for Gershkovich’s release, but said “all options have to stay on the table” with regards to how the Biden administration responds.

Friends who have exchanged letters with Gershkovich say he has remained resilient and cheerful throughout his imprisonment, occupying himself by reading classics of Russian literature.

At court appearances over the past 16 months – most recently with his head shaven – he has frequently smiled and nodded at reporters he used to work with before he himself became the story.

Since Russian troops entered Ukraine in 2022, Moscow and Washington have conducted just one high profile prisoner swap: Russia released basketball star Brittney Griner, held for smuggling cannabis, in return for arms dealer Viktor Bout, jailed for terrorism-related offenses in the United States.

The post Putin Jails US Reporter Gershkovich in Sham Trial first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

RSS

VP Harris Hits Fundraising Trail Amid Ongoing Calls for Biden to Quit Race

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will headline a fundraiser in Massachusetts on Saturday as President Joe Biden faces continued pressure from fellow Democrats and big money donors to end his floundering campaign.

Biden and top aides on Friday vowed to continue with the campaign, even as major donors signaled they were unwilling to open their checkbooks unless the 81-year-old president stepped aside.

The crisis-in-confidence in Biden’s ability to win has placed a huge spotlight on Harris, widely believed to be the most likely replacement if he steps down.

Her fundraising events, including the one on Saturday in Provincetown, Massachusetts are getting added interest from donors who want to signal they are willing to coalesce around her potential bid for the White House, according to three Democratic fundraisers.

More than one in 10 congressional Democrats have now publicly called on Biden, who is isolating at his Delaware home with a case of COVID-19, to drop out following a disastrous debate last month against Republican former President Donald Trump that raised questions about the incumbent’s ability to win the Nov. 5 election or carry out his duties for another four years.

Biden’s campaign hoped to raise some $50 million in big-dollar donations in July for the Biden Victory Fund but was on track for less than half that figure as of Friday, according to two sources familiar with the fundraising efforts.

The campaign called reports of a July fundraising slump overstated, noting that it anticipated a drop-off in large donations due to vacations. It said the campaign still has 10 fundraisers on the schedule this month.

Harris assured major Democratic donors on Friday that the party would prevail in the presidential election as more lawmakers called for her running mate, Biden, to stand down.

“We are going to win this election,” she said on a call arranged on short notice to calm donors, according to a person on the call. “We know which candidate in this election puts the American people first: Our president, Joe Biden.”

Harris attended the call “at the direct request of senior advisers to the president,” one of the people said, an account confirmed by another person familiar with the matter.

The post VP Harris Hits Fundraising Trail Amid Ongoing Calls for Biden to Quit Race first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

Continue Reading

Copyright © 2017 - 2023 Jewish Post & News