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Israel Must Stop the Red Cross From Providing ‘Economic Incentive for Terrorist Activity’

A Red Cross vehicle, as part of a convoy believed to be carrying hostages abducted by Hamas terrorists during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, arrives at the Rafah border, amid a hostages-prisoners swap deal between Hamas and Israel, as seen from southern Gaza, Nov. 24, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been complicit in the facilitation of rewards to imprisoned Palestinian terrorists. In so doing, the ICRC plays a central role in providing “economic incentive for terrorist activity,” as defined in Israeli law.

In January 2024, Qadura Fares, the director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, alleged on official PA television that:

The occupation [i.e., Israel] is preventing the Red Cross from visiting the prisoners, and as a result, the Red Cross cannot provide the document given to new or veteran prisoners showing that they are still in prison. This is the document that we established in our [prisoners’ law] regulations as a main document [to confirm salary eligibility]. [emphasis added]

[Official PA TV, Jan. 31, 2024]

The prisoners’ law to which Fares was referring is Palestinian Authority (PA) “Government Decision Number 23 of 2010, Regarding the Regulation of Payment of the Monthly Salary to the Prisoner.” The law specifies:

Clause 3 — Documentation

For the purpose of the payment of a prisoner’s monthly salary, his relatives are required to present the necessary documentation to the authorized administration:

1. An original document of the Red Cross attesting to his arrest, and an updated document must be brought every three months for a prisoner who is still in detention. [emphasis added]

The prisoners who are entitled to a monthly salary from the PA are those who have been imprisoned for acts of terrorism, as specified in the “PA Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners number 19 of 2004”:

Prisoner: Anyone imprisoned in the occupation’s [i.e., Israel’s] prisons as a result of his participation in the struggle against the occupation [i.e., PA euphemism for terror] … (7) (1) The Authority will pay every prisoner a monthly salary (ratib) that will be determined in the regulations. [emphasis added]

The PA has arranged that the Red Cross supply the forms for the imprisoned terrorists as proof of their imprisonment, and has written this into PA law and regulations. Accordingly, the Red Cross is a central cog in facilitating the terror rewards.

Additional PA regulations reveal that the Red Cross is quite active in the process. They require an initial Red Cross visit and a minimum of four visits a year to prisoners until the completion of their trial and conviction.

The same PA regulations require that another important form be provided by the Red Cross, that of the Power of Attorney. With this form, terrorist prisoners can designate an individual who will open a bank account for them or receive terror reward payments on their behalf:

Clause 5 — Power of Attorney: (3) The authorization of a representative is executed through a power of attorney issued by the Red Cross signed by the prisoner, or through a personal power of attorney signed by him and certified by a lawyer of the Ministry and by the General Administration for Legal Matters of the Ministry. The document will be valid only at the Ministry for the purpose of paying the salaries. [emphasis added]

The last line of this regulation is of particular significance. It states that the PA would use the power of attorney provided by the Red Cross for one purpose only—to facilitate financial reward for terrorism.

Red Cross documentation also plays a central role in guaranteeing jobs within the PA to released terrorist prisoners, as stated in PA Government Decision — 2006, Regarding the Regulations of the Law of Prisoners and Released Prisoners — Regulation for Ensuring Jobs for the Released Prisoners”:

Clause 3. Every released prisoner has a right to be guaranteed a job in one of the ministries or the PA apparatus, if the following conditions are met:

He was imprisoned for 5 or more years, because of resistance to the occupation; that is whether this period was consecutive or broken into different time periods.
These period/periods is/are documented in official documents of the Red Cross organization, or in a document from the responsible ministry that will verify his imprisonment. [emphasis added]

PA Government Decision No. 15 of 2013 — Regulation for Ensuring Jobs for Released Prisoners was enacted to replace the previous regulation of 2006, but the role of the Red Cross remained the same:

Clause 4: The fixed salary

The criteria for receiving the fixed salary [after release from prison]

The prisoner was imprisoned for a period of 5 or more years …
The period is confirmed by official documents from the International Committee of the Red Cross, or any other legal document that confirms the arrest, the indictment, and decision of the court. [emphasis added]

The fundamental role of the Red Cross in the PA terror rewards program was demonstrated yet again in December 2023, when the PA published the following announcement:

Honored prisoners’ relatives, please produce a Red Cross document for those who have no sentence whose names appear below; [(a list of names followed]
a Red Cross document accompanied by a new administrative [detention] order for the administrative detainees;
and a Red Cross document accompanied by a verdict for the sentenced prisoners.

In addition, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs published the following: “The relatives of the prisoners whose names are noted below must produce the signed Red Cross documents. Respectfully.”

The document shows a list of prisoners from the PA’s Hebron District whose period of eligibility for PA terror salaries would end in December 2023. Next to the prisoners’ names is written either, “Bring a new Red Cross document” or “Bring an administrative [detention] document with the Red Cross’ [signature].”

List: “The relatives of these prisoners must hurry and bring new signed [Red] Cross documents — before Dec. 5, 2023”

[PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs – Hebron Directorate, Facebook page, Nov. 26, 2023]

How the Red Cross incentivizes terrorism

In 2018, Israel passed the Law on the Deduction of Allocations to Palestinian Prisoners and Families of Martyrs from Palestinian Clearance Revenues, which defines these terror salaries as an “economic incentive for terrorist activity.”

This law penalizes the PA for paying stipends to Palestinian terrorists and their families by ordering that Israel withhold the monthly transfers of tax revenues that it collects on the PA’s behalf.

The Red Cross, by facilitating these payments, is enabling “economic incentive for terrorist activity.”

The Palestinian Authority’s policy of paying salaries to imprisoned terrorists, including murderers, has been universally condemned by Western governments. Ignoring this, the International Committee of the Red Cross has chosen to play a central role in facilitating these payments to the terrorists.

As can be seen above, the Red Cross is actively involved in ensuring that terrorists receive their salaries and thereby plays an important role in incentivizing Palestinian terrorism.

Every time a Red Cross representative brings forms to the PA after a visit with terrorists, the Red Cross is enabling “economic incentive for terrorist activity.”

The Red Cross has been under severe criticism since Oct. 7 for its lack of initiative in helping the Israeli hostages in Gaza. This Palestinian Media Watch report makes clear that while the Red Cross seems to have no problem being complacent when it comes to the welfare of Israeli hostages, the Red Cross is proactive in being complicit in the reward of Palestinian terrorists.

The Israeli government has been committing a gross oversight by enacting laws that curtail terror salaries on the one hand, but permit the Red Cross to openly facilitate those illegal salaries on the other.

The Israeli government, which has suspended Red Cross visits to imprisoned terrorists, must notify the Red Cross that any future visits are contingent on the Red Cross’ commitment not to supply any forms to the PA that will enable terrorists to receive the terror salaries. It must further prohibit anyone, including imprisoned terrorists’ lawyers, from processing any forms on behalf of the terrorists that allow them to receive these illegal terror payments, and if necessary, enact legislation to prohibit this.

Itamar Marcus is Founder and Director of Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article first appeared.

The post Israel Must Stop the Red Cross From Providing ‘Economic Incentive for Terrorist Activity’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Welcomes Anti-Israel Campus Protesters to ‘Resistance Front’

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a televised speech in Tehran, Iran. Photo: Official Khamenei Website/Handout via REUTERS

Iran’s so-called “supreme leader,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, applauded the anti-Israel protesters who have thrown university campuses across the US into chaos over the past several weeks, declaring them part of a new “branch of the Resistance Front” against the Jewish state.

“Dear university students in the United States of America, this message is an expression of our empathy and solidarity with you,” Khamenei wrote in an open letter published on Thursday. “As the page of history is turning, you are standing on the right side of it.”

Rehashing antisemitic conspiracies of Jewish control, he derided “the global Zionist elite” for speaking against the campus demonstrations.

“The global Zionist elite — who owns most US and European media corporations or influences them through funding and bribery — has labeled this courageous, humane resistance movement as ‘terrorism,’” Khamenei wrote. “You have now formed a branch of the Resistance Front and have begun an honorable struggle in the face of your government’s ruthless pressure — a government which openly supports the usurper and brutal Zionist regime.”

Khamenei also praised students in other countries who have launched anti-Israel demonstrations on campuses, noting the leading role that faculty have played in fostering and supporting the unrest.

“Besides you students from dozens of American universities, there have also been uprisings in others countries among academics and the general public,” he wrote. “The support and solidarity of your professors is a significant and consequential development. This can offer some measure of comfort in the face of your government’s police brutality and the pressures it is exerting on you. I too am among those who empathize with you young people, and value your perseverance.”

Khamenei’s letter came amid an outpouring of praise for the anti-Zionist students by Islamist terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda.

“While we support the assassination of the infidel Zionists and the beheading of them, we also appreciate and value the movement of Western demonstrators and sit-in students from Western universities, who through their sit-ins and protests expressed their rejection of the genocide taking place in Gaza,” al-Qaeda leadership wrote in a recent communique

Hamas and Hezbollah, both backed by Iran, have also cheered the protests.

“Today’s students are the leaders of the future, and their suppression today means an expensive electoral bill that the Biden administration will pay sooner or later,” Hamas official Izzat Al-Risheq said in a statement last month.

Naim Qassem, the deputy head of Hezbollah, also praised the protesters during an interview with Al-Manar TV earlier this month.

“We appreciate and value this very much. Perhaps in the future, there will be cooperation among the youth of the world — in America, France, Britain, Germany, and all the activists,” he said. “The [campus protests] are important, especially because they will have an impact on US elections. They will have an impact on the American position.”

Earlier this month, when some universities suspended students who had occupied sections of campus and refused to leave unless school officials agreed to condemn and boycott Israel, the Iran-backed Houthi militia, a terrorist organization that has repeatedly violated freedom of the seas by attacking international shipping vessels passing through the Red Sea, offered to admit the disciplined students as transfers to Sanaa University, an institution it administers.

Some anti-Zionist student groups have reciprocated the admiration.

Last week, Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) endorsed Hamas, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace Islamic extremism and antisemitism.

“The Palestinian resistance is the only force materially fighting back against isr*el [sic],” the group said in a series of posts shared by Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus, a social media account which exposes antisemitism on college campuses. “There is no way to eliminate the resistance without ending the occupation. When you see a video of a young palestinian [sic] boy traumatized in a hospital talking about how iof [the Israel Defense Forces, or IDF] shot his pregnant mother in cold blood in front of his own eyes, do not question how he chooses to resist years later.”

Campus Reform, a higher education watchdog which first reported Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus’ posts, noted that Columbia SJP has added an “inverted red triangle” to its social media biography, further indicating its support for Hamas. The Palestinian terrorist group has used an inverted red triangle in its propaganda videos to indicate an Israeli target about to be attacked, and anti-Israel protesters on university campuses have been using the symbol in their demonstrations.

Columbia SJP, a group that has re-formed under multiple names since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, was central in staging a slew of riotous demonstrations in which anti-Zionist activists verbally assaulted Jewish students with antisemitic epithets, clamorously expressed support for terrorism and Hamas, and caused thousands of dollars in damages to school property.

The anti-Zionist student movement’s support for terrorism and anti-American ideologies has been expressed before.

Footage of the protests which erupted on college campuses at the end of spring semester showed demonstrators chanting in support of Hamas and calling for the destruction of Israel. In many cases, they lambasted the US and Western civilization more broadly.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas at Columbia University, which saw some verbal skirmishes between pro-Zionist and anti-Zionist partisans. “Long live Hamas!” said others who filmed themselves dancing and praising the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas terrorist organization. “Kill another solider!”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Iran’s ‘Supreme Leader’ Welcomes Anti-Israel Campus Protesters to ‘Resistance Front’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Advocacy Group Attempts to Shore Up Support for Israel Among US Democrats

US President Joe Biden addresses rising levels of antisemitism, during a speech at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Annual Days of Remembrance ceremony, at the US Capitol building in Washington, DC, US, May 7, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

A pro-Israel advocacy group is attempting to quell fears among US Democratic politicians that expressing support for the Jewish state amid the ongoing war in Gaza will lead to electoral defeat in November. 

Democratic Majority for Israel (DMFI), a group that advocates for pro-Israel policies within the Democratic Party, circulated a memo this week explaining that the war in Gaza is simply not a top priority for most of the electorate. The memo, first acquired by Axios news website, asserts that “it just isn’t true” that Democratic support for Israel will come at an electoral cost. 

The group argues that a series of misleading polls has caused Democratic elected officials to become more tepid in their support for the Jewish state. 

To bolster its claims, DMFI points to a poll conducted by the New York Times in May which revealed that only 2 percent of voters cite Israel, Palestinians, Hamas, or Gaza as their most important issue. Nonetheless, the Times tried to exaggerate the extent to which voters care about the Israel-Hamas war by highlighting the 5 percent of voters who cite foreign policy as their biggest issue, according to DMFI. However, these 5 percent of voters did not identify if the war in Gaza is their major foreign policy concern.

The group also points out a Harvard-Harris poll from April which showed that Americans overwhelmingly side with Israel in its ongoing war effort. Eighty percent of Americans support Israel and only 20 percent back Hamas, the poll revealed.

DMFI also suggests that Israel’s ongoing military offensive against Hamas has not had a noticeable impact on President Joe Biden’s national standing. According to polling data aggregated by FiveThirtyEight, the president’s approval rating on Oct. 7of last year stood at 39.6 percent, and on April 23 last month, his approval stood at 40 percent. The same poll reveals that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s lead over Joe Biden did not grow over the same time period. 

DMFI president Mark Mellman told Axios that anti-Israel activists represent a small fringe of the American electorate. 

“People sometimes mistake volume for percentage, and the fact that some people are very loud doesn’t make them the majority. … It doesn’t even make them a substantial minority,” Mellman said.

The group’s efforts to reach out to Democrats come on the heels of a high-pressure effort by left-wing groups to force the Democratic establishment to stop supporting Israel. Anti-Israel organizations have organized efforts to encourage voters in Democratic primaries to vote “uncommitted” in lieu of voting for Biden. Moreover, nearly every appearance by Biden in recent months has been marked by the presence of scores of angry anti-Israel protesters

The relationship between Democratic politicians and the Jewish state has significantly soured in the months following Hamas’ Oct. 7 slaughter of over 1,200 people in southern Israel. High-profile Democrats such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) have suggested that Israel is committing “genocide” against Palestinian civilians.

Meanwhile, former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (CA) signed onto a letter urging Biden to pause weapons shipments to Israel. Biden vowed to stop arms deliveries to Israel if the Israeli army attempts to dismantle the remaining Hamas battalions within the city of Rafah in southern Gaza, expressing concern about the prospect of civilian casualties during such an offensive.

The post Advocacy Group Attempts to Shore Up Support for Israel Among US Democrats first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander

Antisemitic hate crimes continue to account for more than any other category of reported hate crimes in Toronto, according to the head of Toronto police intelligence. Superintendent Katherine Stephenson of Toronto Police Service (TPS) confirmed the ongoing spike in hate occurrences during a presentation at Holy Blossom Temple on May 29, where she addressed 350 […]

The post Hate crimes in Toronto are predominantly antisemitic—and the numbers continue to rise: TPS security and intelligence commander appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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