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PEN America Lists Palestinian Terrorists as ‘Writers’ in Annual Freedom Index

A taxi passes by in front of The New York Times head office, Feb. 7, 2013. Photo: Reuters / Carlo Allegri / File.

Shortly after PEN America published its annual Freedom to Write Index last Wednesday, The New York Times rushed out a story quoting the organization’s “director of writers at risk,” Karin Karlekar, who described the worsening threats against writers worldwide.

“Russia and Israel entered the list of the Top 10 biggest jailers, as Karlekar noted that countries with conflict or war crackdown on dissent,” The New York Times reported in the piece, which also detailed how the Israel-Hamas war had “roiled PEN America itself” when it was forced to cancel its 2024 literary awards ceremony amid a boycott by prize nominees who insisted PEN America is overly sympathetic to the Jewish State.

While the Times is happy to lump Israel alongside authoritarian regimes like Russia, it failed to name any of the writers whose allegedly unjust jailing has led to Israel’s ignominious inclusion on PEN America’s list. If these writers had been named, it would’ve immediately become clear to readers why Israel has no business being listed alongside countries like Russia, China, and Iran.

.@nytimes reports Israel has entered @PENamerica‘s top 10 list of countries with the most imprisoned writers, in the company of states including Iran, China, Saudi Arabia & Russia.

Let’s take a look at some of those “dissenters” on the Israeli list.

— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) May 2, 2024

Palestinian Terrorists Listed as “Writers”

Among the first names on the list is none other than Khalida Jarrar, a self-confessed senior leader in the terrorist organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), who has served time in prison for multiple terrorism offenses. 

Also listed is Ahed Tamimi, whose inclusion is absurdly based on the fact she has a memoir that was ghost-written for her, a 23-year-old Palestinian provocateur who, in the aftermath of the October 7 Hamas massacre, wrote online: “We will slaughter you & you will say that what Hitler did to you was a joke. We will drink your blood & eat your skull. Come on, we are waiting for you.”

Tamimi was arrested on suspicion of incitement and later freed as part of the hostage-prisoner exchange with Hamas.

Rasem Obaidat, who, unlike most of the other “writers” on the list, has actually published a few things, has been jailed a total of five times and is a member of the PFLP, according to an Israeli security source. Of course, you wouldn’t know this from PEN America’s sanitized description of Obaidat, which claims he was arrested for merely “sharing his critical views of Israel.”

PEN America also included Radwan Qatanani, describing him as an “online commentator posting primarily on Twitter,” without detailing any of the posts that likely led to Qatanani’s detention, such as his October 8 message that praised Hamas’ “beautiful” terrorists and lauded their “wonderful captures.”

Nawef Al-Amer and Musab Khamees Qafeisha are both on the list and identified as a social media commentator and a freelance reporter. Wisely, PEN America opted not to reveal where their work most frequently appears, which is the Sanad News Agency, a propaganda website that lavishes praise on Hamas and the “heroic” Palestinians who murder Israeli civilians.

However, the most disturbing entry on the list is that of Mirvat Al-Azzeh, whom PEN America acknowledges was fired by NBC News over a series of posts made shortly after October 7, including one in which she mocked Israeli hostages.

In another post, she wrote: “Sirens all the time, the Jews are hiding and the Arabs are out drinking coffee on their balconies” and said the Hamas attacks were like “watching a movie where the director is Palestinian and the protagonists are from Gaza.”

Finally, a salient fact completely overlooked by both PEN America and The New York Times in its cursory coverage of the Index is that many of the arrested “writers” were later released. Unlike the other countries on PEN America’s list, Israel practices the rule of law: it arrests individuals on suspicion of breaking the law and releases them if no grounds for continued detention are found.

PEN America’s list is a farce — an A to Z of terrorists and Jew-haters. Nothing more, nothing less.

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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Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction

Toronto Police have arrested and charged a man for assault over an incident May 9 near the protest encampment at the University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle on its downtown campus.  Toronto Police Services (TPS) say they responded at 3:45 p.m. that day to a call for assault in the area of the road around […]

The post Assault charge laid, arrest made related to incident near the University of Toronto encampment—while its president speaks in Ottawa on antisemitism, and the school seeks a removal injunction appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets

Terrorists in Gaza using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets. Photo: Screenshot

Terrorists in Gaza have been using humanitarian aid bags to prop up rockets they were preparing to shoot at Israelis, new video circulating on social media reveals, underscoring the challenges of delivering aid to Palestinian civilians in the Hamas-ruled enclave without it being stolen.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade — which is the armed wing of Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbasused bags from Turkey and UNRWA — the UN agency responsible for the Palestinians — to prop up the rockets, according to the video.

At least three of the bags say they contain “wheat flour,” and the bag from Turkey specifically says it is supposed to go “to the Palestinian people.” It is unclear whether the bags had previously been opened to extract the food and then refilled with sand, for example, or if it still contained the food that was intended to feed Palestinian civilians.

“Any chance the media would cover this, yet another violation of international humanitarian law?” pro-Israel commentator Hen Mazzig wrote on X/Twitter while sharing the video.

Rafah, Gaza: Hamas is using UN humanitarian aid bags as rocket launchers today.

Any chance the media would cover this, yet another, violation of International Humanitarian Law?

— Hen Mazzig (@HenMazzig) May 29, 2024

Almost every day for the past seven months, Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist organizations have been shooting rockets into Israel from civilian areas, which is a war crime. Tens of thousands of Israelis are internally displaced and unable to return to their homes as a result.

There is mounting evidence that Hamas has also operated in civilian clothing and in civilian infrastructure such as hospitals. However, these violations of international law are rarely noted by much of the media.

The latest video of terrorists using humanitarian aid for military purposes underscores the issue of making sure such aid gets to Palestinian civilians. 

The US built a pier to deliver 2,000,000 meals daily to Palestinian civilians, but after a few weeks of operation, the Pentagon said none of the aid unloaded from the pier had made it to those who needed it. On one occasion, about 70 percent of the aid has been stolen while en route to a UN warehouse. In other cases, it just never showed up.

Israeli estimates suggest approximately 60 percent of the aid that has gone into Gaza has been stolen — either by Hamas or other groups and individuals. Oftentimes, that aid is then sold to the population at high prices, making it difficult to impossible for most Gazans to gain access to it. 

According to Ehud Yaari, an expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hamas has made more than $500 million in profit from selling humanitarian aid since Oct. 7.

The terror group began the war last October by massacring 1,200 people in Israel and taking more than 250 people hostage, about half of whom have still not been released.

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Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas

Demonstrators take part in an anti-Israel demonstration at the Columbia University campus, in New York City, US, Feb. 2, 2024. REUTERS/David Dee Delgado

Columbia University’s chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) has endorsed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist organization, the latest sign of its growing extremism and willingness to embrace antisemitic violence.

“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.”

.@Columbia and @BarnardCollege, @ColumbiaSJP is actively promoting terrorism and anti-Israel rhetoric on their social media channels. They are sounding more and more like Hamas spokespeople every day. When is the university going to permanently ban this “student group”?

— Documenting Jew Hatred on Campus (@CampusJewHate) May 26, 2024

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 reformed under multiple organizations since being suspended by school administrators during the fall semester, has been 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 group’s behavior after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel is the subject of a lawsuit filed by the StandWithUs Center for League Justice (SCLJ).

The complaint alleges that after bullying Jewish students and rubbing their noses in the carnage Hamas wrought on their people, the pro-Hamas students were still unsatisfied and resulted to violence. They beat up five Jewish students in Columbia’s Butler Library, according to the lawsuit. Another attacked a Jewish students with a stick, lacerating his head and breaking his finger, after being asked to return missing persons posters she had stolen.

Following the incidents, pleas for help allegedly went unanswered and administrators told Jewish students they could not guarantee their safety while SJP held its demonstrations. The school’s apparent powerlessness to prevent anti-Jewish violence was cited as the reason why Students Supporting Israel (SSI), a recognized school club, was denied permission to hold an event on self-defense. Events with “buzzwords” such as “Israel” and “Palestine” were forbidden, administrators allegedly said, but SJP continued to host events while no one explained the inconsistency.

The explosion of end-of-year protests held by the group forced Columbia officials to shutter the campus in April and institute virtual learning. Later, the group occupied Hamilton Hall, forcing President Minouche Shafik to call on the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for help, a decision she hesitated to make. According to The Columbia Spectator, over 108 arrests were made.

“Yes, we’re all Hamas, pig!” one protester was filmed screaming during the fracas, 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!”

Amid the chaos, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety. Ultimately, the university cancelled its main commencement ceremony.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

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