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New Argentine President Lands in Israel With Pledge to Move Embassy to Jerusalem

Argentine President Javier Milei is greeted in Tel Aviv by Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz. Photo: Reuters/Latin America News Agency

Argentina’s newly-elected President Javier Milei arrived in Israel on Tuesday for a three-day visit, bringing with him a pledge to move his country’s embassy in the Jewish state from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem alongside a commitment to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization.

A populist outsider who won a surprise victory in Argentina’s Nov. 2023 presidential election, Milei has loudly advertised his support for Israel and his personal enthusiasm for the Jewish faith. Following his poll triumph, Milei appointed his Jewish spiritual adviser, Rabbi Axel Wahnish, as Argentina’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv.

Milei flew to Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv from Rome, where he met with Pope Francis. On arrival in Israel, he was greeted on the tarmac by Foreign Minister Israel Katz, ahead of a schedule that includes meetings with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, as well as visits to the Western Wall and the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and Kibbutz Nir Oz in the Negev, where nearly 25 percent of residents were either murdered or kidnapped during the Oct. 7, 2023 pogrom carried out by Hamas terrorists.

“You are a person of values ​​who is committed only to the truth, and it is no wonder that you chose to come to Israel right away to support us in the just struggle for the defense of the Jewish people against the murderers of Hamas,” Katz told Milei.

Speaking on his flight from Rome to the Argentine news outlet Infobae, Milei said that his visit was the fulfillment of his promise to visit Israel on his first international trip since assuming office. He added that he was traveling to Israel to “express my support against the attacks by the terrorist group Hamas” and to deepen commercial ties between the two countries.

Officials traveling with Milei confirmed that the Argentine Embassy in Israel would be moved to Jerusalem without specifying a date. “It is a fact, as soon as the situation allows it, it will be done. There is the intention, but the date has not been set,” one adviser told the Clarín news outlet on Tuesday.

Milei is also pushing forward with plans to list Hamas on RePET — Argentina’s registry of organizations and person linked to acts of terrorism. As a deputy in the Argentine parliament during the former administration of President Alberto Fernández, Milei tried unsuccessfully to designate Hamas.

Milei’s unabashedly pro-Israel position has cast him as an outlier in Latin America, where several heads of state — including Lula  da Silva in Brazil, Gustavo Petro in Colombia, Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Mexico and Gabriel Boric in Chile — have angrily condemned Israel for its military response to the Hamas atrocities.


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German Jewish Leader Calls for Exclusion of Students Who Engage in Antisemitic Violence

‘Against All Antisemitism’: A solidarity vigil outside a synagogue in Berlin, Germany, following the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom in Israel. Photo: Reuters/Liesa Johannssen

The head of Germany’s Jewish community has called for students who engage in antisemitic violence to be excluded from their universities.

“Anyone who strikes a Jew because they are Jewish has no business being at a German university,” Josef Schuster — president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany — said on Tuesday, in comments reported by the Zeit news outlet.

Schuster was speaking in the wake of a brutal attack on an Israeli student in Berlin over the weekend.

Lahav Shapira, 30, was attacked by his assailant as he left a bar where he had been drinking with his girlfriend. He was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery for non-life threatening injuries.

Shapira — whose grandfather Amitzur, the head coach of the 1972 Israeli Olympic track and field team in Munich, was among the 11 squad members murdered by Palestinian terrorists — is a student at the Free University in Berlin, where he has emerged as a vocal advocate for Israel in the wake of the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas pogrom in which over 1,200 were killed and more than 200 seized as hostages. According to his brother, Shapira was recognized by his assailant in the bar, who carried out the attack once the Israeli had left the premises.

Schuster called on the Free University in Berlin, where Shapira is a student, to take urgent measures against antisemitism on campus.

“FU Berlin is responsible for ensuring that there is no room for extremism and antisemitism in its ranks,” he said. “The appeasement tactics and the excuses of the university management must finally come to an end. If the fight against antisemitism is taken seriously, antisemitic crimes must lead to exclusion.”

A letter from the JSUD, Germany’s Jewish student union, to Free University president Günter Ziegler following the attack on Shapira echoed Schuster’s concerns.

Citing several incidents of antisemitic agitation on campus framed around condemnation of Israel, the letter warned that there were students “who not only threaten violence, but also use it. Stop putting things into perspective or denying them. Finally take action against the antisemites!”

Antisemitic incidents in Germany have rocketed since the Oct. 7, 2023 Hamas pogrom in Israel, cementing an already worrying situation. In recent years, Germany has clocked up approximately 2,000 incidents targeting Jews annually — an average of more than five per day.

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Why Did a Brilliant Jewish Director’s Film Get Snubbed by the Oscars?

The poster of “Beau Is Afraid.”

To all the people complaining that Greta Gerwig should have gotten an Oscar nomination for Best Director, you are correct.

In terms of snubs, however, there is another film that should not be overlooked.

Ari Aster is one of the most brilliant directors in Hollywood. Unlike two films nominated for an Oscar that use a gimmick as a crutch, Aster uses the vehicle of his films being different and unexpected in a provocative way that makes you think about the world in a more profound way.

Aster’s inventive Beau Is Afraid is a challenging film to watch, not unlike Aster’s Hereditary and Midsommar, two horror films. Beau Is Afraid stars Joaquin Phoenix as Beau Wasserman, who is filled with anxiety and has problems with his strange and overprotective Jewish mother, who does something so evil to her son, that it’s borderline implausible.

The film digs deep into the psyche of the Jewish mother-son relationship in a way that is dark but also enlightening. Aster is fearless, but not pointless. There is a big difference.

The film is about a tortured man’s journey to find validation, the pain of not having a wife and children, loneliness, and in a twist, his mother tells him his father died having sex with her, and that he may die if he has sex.

Aster has great metaphors in the film, including one that sets all the problems in motion — Beau’s keys are stolen from him and he can’t go visit his mother for fear that someone will ransack his apartment. It’s a direct comment on the mother-son relationship. Phoenix’s performance is astounding as someone who is constantly nervous, but for good reason. In a way, he may suffer from PTSD and being without his father. The film contains one of the wildest plot twists that might gross out some, but if you think about it more deeply, it is astoundingly potent.

The movie is long and frightening in many ways, though not in the way of a typical horror film. You can’t really place this film in an exact genre. There are elements of horror, drama, and comedy. The excellent Richard Kind plays a Jewish man who is angry at Beau because he tells him that by not showing up to an event, he is making it difficult to adhere to a specific law relating to burial.

This is the ultimate Jewish guilt movie, and voters should feel guilty they did not nominate Beau Is Afraid. Two other films, The Zone of Interest and Anatomy of a Fall, use gimmicks to be different that don’t work. In The Zone of Interest, you see the Nazi who runs Auschwitz in his underwear and playing with his family but you don’t see carnage of Jews being murdered, or really any Jews at all. You are supposed to use your imagination as we see the Nazi family go about its regular life with no conflict. It’s a crutch for those not able to make a powerful film without doing it, as I’ve written about here.

Beau Is Afraid is a film that is mysterious, provocative, profound, and wildly original. So why didn’t it get any Oscar love? Horror films are looked down upon, as are scenes of violence if they’re not from a war. A scene in Aster’s Midsommar was hard to watch. Aster’s films seem to be in their own world, and he does not sugar coat his films with any silver lining — and it might just be that voters don’t have a taste for that.

The author is a writer based in New York.

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PA Anxious to Reward Thousands of New Terrorist Prisoners

An Israeli soldier walks near pictures that are part of an installation at the site of the Nova festival, where people were killed and kidnapped during the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, in Reim, southern Israel, Jan. 14, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is so anxious to reward the 6,540 new Palestinian terrorists with monthly salaries, known as pay-for-slay payments, that it has decided to bypass standard PA procedures.

According to the PA’s “Regulation of Payment” system, the Red Cross must visit imprisoned Palestinian terrorists to confirm their eligibility for salary rewards. The following is the official PA regulation established in 2010:

[PA] Government Decision Number 23 of 2010, Regarding the Regulation of Payment of the Monthly Salary to the Prisoner: …

Clause 3 — Documentation

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

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…

Clause 5 — Power of Attorney…

3. The authorization of a representative is executed through a power of attorney [form] issued by the Red Cross signed by the prisoner…”

[Source: Issue No. 90 of the PA Records]

In response to the Oct. 7 Palestinian massacre of Israelis — and the abduction of Israeli hostages who have not been visited by the Red Cross — Israel has not allowed the Red Cross to visit Palestinian terrorists in prison. Accordingly, none of the thousands of recently arrested terrorists, both from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, are eligible to start receiving salaries under PA law, due to the absence of Red Cross documents.

However, the PA is so anxious to reward its terrorist prisoners that it decided to bypass its own regulations for at least four months, and start paying the terror reward salaries immediately:

Director of PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs Qadura Fares:

There are thousands of new prisoners [i.e., terrorists arrested since the start of the 2023 Gaza war] … Since Israel is preventing the Red Cross from visiting, we have implemented an emergency measure to put the matter in order, and a decision was made that there is no need for the document from the Red Cross in order to open a file [for a prisoner’s salary] starting from Jan. 1, 2024 until April 30 [2024].”

[Official PA TV, Jan. 31, 2024]

Earlier this week, the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs announced that 6,540 Palestinians have been arrested since Oct. 7, including 28 since this morning [PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs, Telegram channel, Feb. 5, 2024]. These figures refer to terrorists from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah’s military wing the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, and unaffiliated terrorists. It includes those arrested in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and does not mention how many were released after interrogation.

If even 500 were already released, the 6,000 new prisoners will be receiving a minimum of 1,400 shekels per month (over $380), plus additions for those who are married, have children, or are residents of Israel, thus totaling more than 8,400,000 shekels (more than $2,283,000) per month.

Palestinian Media Watch has already reported that the PA has officially recognized the Hamas terrorists from the Gaza War as prisoners.

The author is the founder and executive director of Palestinian Media Watch, where a version of this article first appeared.

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