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Media Helps Spread Lies of Doctor Who Volunteered in Gaza

Israeli soldiers operate at the opening to a tunnel at Al Shifa Hospital compound in Gaza City, amid the ongoing ground operation of the Israeli army against Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, November 22, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo

Dr. Ghassan Abu-Sittah appears to enjoy the limelight.

A Google search of the London-based surgeon’s name brings up numerous results for news articles that he’s quoted in and Dr. Abu-Sittah has built a following of more than 300,000 accounts across his social media channels.

It was, therefore, unsurprising that among the things Abu-Sittah did shortly after returning from a recent trip to Gaza, was to organize a press conference to tell journalists about it.

So, on Monday, November 27, reporters from outlets including The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Times of London, and Sky News crammed into a room in London and listened as Abu-Sittah gave his verdict on the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

During the five-week period in which he volunteered his medical services at the al-Ahli and al-Shifa hospitals, Abu-Sittah apparently became something of a munitions expert and, as such, was able to confidently announce to a room full of the media that Israel had definitely deployed white phosphorus in the Gaza Strip.

Although Israel has staunchly denied the claim that the IDF has used white phosphorus as a weapon, branding such allegations “unequivocally false,” Dr. Abu-Sittah insisted that he treated numerous patients with the “characteristic” burns of the chemical.

And this is not the only thing Abu-Sittah is absolutely certain about.

He’s also 100 percent sure he didn’t see a single Hamas terrorist or even armed hospital security at al-Shifa hospital — despite this being where Hamas based its operations, and the fact that footage has emerged showing piles of Kalashnikovs dotted around the medical facility, Hamas terror tunnels beneath the hospital, and CCTV of Israeli hostages being dragged into the hospital by Hamas terrorists shortly after the October 7 attack.

“At no stage did I see any armed police at Shifa, even the security men at Shifa, they were there just to police the number of relatives trying to get into the emergency department,” he told wide-eyed journalists at the press conference, adding that he frequently went to the hospital basement to collect medical items for surgeries and saw “nothing.”

Abu-Sittah’s experience is in sharp contrast to that of another British doctor who also volunteered at al-Shifa, and confirmed that because of the presence of Hamas, there were certain parts of the facility he dared not enter at the risk of death.

In addition to discussing his time volunteering in Gaza, Abu-Sittah also shared his view that the “genocidal” Jewish state has an end goal to “ethnically cleanse Gaza,” and suggested the IDF is targeting civilians in Gaza because, despite the IDF’s denying this abhorrent allegation, “statistically, it appears that the numbers tell a different story.”

And as has become a depressingly familiar trend with media outlets covering the Israel-Hamas war, no journalists pushed back on, investigated, or even questioned some of Abu-Sittah’s more incendiary remarks.

For example, in addition to printing the doctor’s claim that white phosphorus has been used in battle, The Telegraph also devoted much space to his absurd idea that Israel is ethnically cleansing Gaza, as well as his view that the country is guilty of “war crimes.”

What war crimes these are given that Israel has denied using white phosphorus is unclear, and the Telegraph doesn’t bother asking.

Similarly, The Guardian led with Abu-Sittah’s claims that he watched a “massacre unfold” while in Gaza, and that it is actually the destruction of the Palestinian health system that is the IDF’s objective in Gaza — not, presumably, Hamas.

His proof is that he was at al-Ahli on October 17, which is the day the hospital car park was struck by a Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket that was initially blamed by the global media on Israel, andsaid  he heard a “whistling sound of a missile followed by an explosion.”

This, Abu-Sittah, told The Guardian, was “a litmus test … for what the IDF had planned to do to the rest of the health system.”

It’s conspiratorial guff, but The Guardian can’t help uncritically lapping it up.

Meanwhile, The Times dedicated much of its piece to Abu-Sittah’s graphic accounts of how dwindling medical supplies in Gaza resulted in patients reportedly suffering from infected wounds, and his assertion that IDF soldiers are using quadcopters with snipers, which he was certain of because he had witnessed exit wounds that were “bigger than a clenched fist.”

And while The Times did note the IDF’s wealth of evidence that Hamas used al-Shifa as a base, it still failed to push back on some of Abu-Sittah’s more ridiculous claims.

Since his press conference, Abu-Sittah has been on something of a media blitz about his time in Gaza, sitting down for interviews with LBC and Channel 4 News.

They follow a similar line: Abu-Sittah has lots of opinions on how awful Israel is and he’s never once seen a Hamas terrorist despite working at one of the terror group’s command centers.

It’s lazy journalism — as tired as it is predictable.

The author is a contributor to HonestReporting, a Jerusalem-based media watchdog with a focus on antisemitism and anti-Israel bias — where a version of this article first appeared.

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Brown University Investigating Threats of Violence Sent to Hillel Officials

More than 200 Brown University students gathered outside University Hall where roughly 40 students sat inside demanding the school divest from weapons manufacturers amid the Israel-Hamas war. Photo: Amy Russo / USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

Two officials of Brown-RISD Hillel, a Jewish life  center serving both Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design, were sent “violent threats” early Sunday morning, according to a report by The Brown Daily Herald.

After being alerted of threats, which were sent via email, the university’s Department of Public Safety (DPS) conducted a search of Brown-RISD Hillel and determined there is “no evidence of any one-site threat.” DPS vice president Rodney Chatman told The Brown Daily Herald that “local, state, and federal authorities” are investigating the incident.

“This comes at an especially difficult time of distress on our campuses,” Brown University president Christina H. Paxson said in a statement addressing the incident. “Our students, faculty, and staff continue to grapple with the deaths of Israelis, Palestinians, and others in the wake of the October 7 attacks, as well as a despicable act of violence against a member of the Brown community here in the United States last November, and increases in reports of antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of hate.”

In Sunday’s statement President Paxson said that “robust” security measures will be implemented to protect Brown-RISD Hillel, as well as the officials who were threatened, from harm.

The incident is not the first antisemitic act of hatred since Hamas’ massacre across southern Israel on Oct. 7.

In December, the university’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity opened an investigation into an incident in which someone slipped a threatening note underneath the door of an off-campus apartment rented by Jewish students.

“Those who live for death will die by their own hand,” said the note, which, according to the Brown Daily Herald, matches lyrics from a song by an early 1980s punk band. The paper added that the note was found by an electrician, who brought it inside.

A similar incident occurred last November at a Brown-RISD Hillel. Additionally, in 2020, a swastika was graffitied in Brown’s Hegeman Hall. In 2017, another was found in a gender-neutral bathroom at RISD. It was drawn using human feces, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

Last week, President Paxson rejected the demands of anti-Zionist students who were participating in a hunger strike in an effort to force the Brown Corporation to vote on a boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) resolution against Israel and make other concessions.

The university has twice ordered the arrests of extremist anti-Zionists student protesters, who have held unauthorized demonstrations in administration buildings, sometimes occupying them for hours after being asked to leave. Over 40 were arrested in December while onlookers shouted “Shame on Brown, Shame on Brown!”

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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‘Free Palestine:’ Texas Church Shooter Suspected of Having Pro-Hamas Ideology

Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36, shot a man at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, on February 12, 2024. Photo: Twitter

A woman who stormed a church in Houston, Texas, on Sunday with an AR-15 rifle and shot one person before being killed by police was apparently a Hamas supporter, according to details on the incident reported by CNN.

On Monday, the outlet reported that “Free Palestine” was written on the shooter’s rifle.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the shooter has since been identified as Genesse Ivonne Moreno, 36. The woman has an extensive criminal history which includes arrests for marijuana possession, assault, theft, and forgery.

On Sunday afternoon, Moreno walked into the Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas — an institution famous for being the church of charismatic Christian preacher Joel Osteen — with a child and a gun. Wearing a trench coat and a knapsack, she threatened to have explosives, according to multiple reports. Most of the worshipers in attendance were Hispanic and attending a Spanish language service.

Moreno shot one man, leaving him critically injured, and was shot and killed by Houston Police. A child was also shot during the incident, but police are still unsure of whether they or Moreno are responsible for doing it.

“I want to commend those officers. She had a long gun and it could have been a lot worse,”  Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said during a press conference later in the day.

An investigation of Moreno’s motives is ongoing.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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London Theater Facing Legal Action After Comedy Show Turns Into ‘Antisemitic Rally’

British comedian Paul Currie. Photo: Instagram

A London theater is facing legal action after an Israeli man was hounded out of a comedy show on Saturday night by a comedian performing a one-man show that turned into what some audience members compared to an “antisemitic rally.”

A spokesperson for the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA) said the group was in touch with the Israeli man and other members of the audience who fled from the theater.

“What the Jewish audience members have recounted is atrocious, and we are working with them and our lawyers to ensure that those who instigated and enabled it are held to account,” the CAA spokesperson told London’s Evening Standard news outlet. “These allegations are of deeply disturbing discriminatory abuse against Jews. Comedians are rightly given broad latitude, but hounding Jews out of theaters is reminiscent of humanity’s darkest days, and must have no place in central London in 2024.”

The comedian, Paul Currie, had been performing a one-man show entitled “Shtoom” at London’s Soho Theater. Towards the end of his performance, he retrieved a Ukrainian and Palestinian flag and invited members to stand and applaud.

After the round of applause was over, Currie pointed to a man in the second row of the theater and quizzed him over why he had not stood up.

The unnamed man, an Israeli, replied, “I enjoyed your show until you brought out the Palestinian flag.” An infuriated Currie began screaming, “Leave my show now! Get out of my f—-ing show!” in response.

As the man and his partner rose to leave, accompanied by a handful of other shocked audience members, the assembled crowd began chanting “Get out” and “Free Palestine.”

In a written complaint to the theater over his treatment, the man wrote: ” Shaken and feeling threatened by the growing antagonism, we exited and tried to complain/ get some support from the front-of-house team at the theatre, who were not very sympathetic but did give us an email address to make a complaint. By this time, the show had ended and the audience started exiting, a number of whom were glaring at us aggressively and in a very threatening way. We all left the scene.”

He added: “Our friends later received a message from someone they knew who had also been at the show, saying that after we left, the situation became even more inflamed. What had been intended to be an evening of comedy turned out to be what felt like an antisemitic rally.”

The theater eventually apologized, issuing a statement expressing regret an “an incident that took place at our venue at the end of a performance of Paul Currie: Shtoom on Saturday 10 February, which has caused upset and hurt to members of audience attending and others.” It added: “We take this very seriously and are looking into the detail of what happened as thoroughly, as sensitively, and as quickly as we can. It is important to us that Soho theatre is a welcoming and inclusive place for all.”

Currie has remained largely silent since the incident, save for a post on Instagram which quoted Mexican poet Cesar A. Cruz saying: “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”  He then added: “If you were at my show last night… you’ll know.”

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