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Tragic World Central Kitchen Aid Workers Incident Exposes Rank Hypocrisy

Aerial view shows a World Central Kitchen (WCK) barge loaded with food arriving off Gaza, where there is risk of famine after five months of Israel’s military campaign, in this handout image released March 15, 2024. Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS

The tragic killing of the seven aid workers in Gaza in an IDF drone strike has undoubtedly changed the direction of Israel’s war against Hamas.

After the IDF admitted to making “grave mistakes” in the strike on a World Central Kitchen (WCK) vehicle convoy, pressure has piled on Israel to agree to an immediate ceasefire in the Strip, as well as other unpalatable terms Hamas put forward.

In the immediate aftermath, Israel dismissed two military officers and reprimanded several others.

The point that has been ignored by the vast majority of media pundits and politicians as they line up to criticize Israel is that holding up the WCK incident as proof there must be an immediate ceasefire is tantamount to saying that Hamas should stay in power.

Some of the harshest criticism leveled at Israel has come from its staunchest allies, including the United States and the United Kingdom, which have previously stopped short of calling for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire.

The UK’s foreign minister, Lord David Cameron, for example, warned that Britain’s support for Israel was “not unconditional,” while describing the deaths of the WCK workers as “tragic and avoidable.”

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden released a statement on April 2 — mere hours after the incident — which called for a “thorough investigation” that brings full “accountability.”

“Even more tragically, this is not a stand-alone incident. This conflict has been one of the worst in recent memory in terms of how many aid workers have been killed,” the statement added.

Such criticism was mirrored in the international press.

An editorial by The Observer argued that “only a ceasefire in Gaza can save [Israel] from its worst-ever crisis” and called for an “independent, international inquiry into last week’s outrageous killing of seven World Central Kitchen aid workers.”

“The IDF’s internal investigation and its limited admission of error do not begin to excuse or explain the army’s trigger-happy behaviour and ongoing, systemic problems with targeting,” it added.

Writing in The Guardian, Nesrine Malik described the World Central Kitchen incident as evidence that “Israel has gone rogue.”

The Wall Street Journal attempted to explore what it called the “deadly mistakes of Israel’s military in Gaza,” in a piece that observed how the aid convoy strike had “crystallized a broad international backlash against Israel’s war in Gaza.”

However, the swift and unforgiving reaction to the WCK incident by both international leaders and the media has exposed another issue: a glaring hypocrisy where Israel is judged by a standard that is not applied to its allies.

Opinion writer Brendan O’Neill was among the handful of media pundits to call out this double standard in a piece for The Spectator:

David Cameron has got some front. The Foreign Secretary is haranguing Israel over its tragic unintentional killing of seven aid workers in Gaza, and yet he oversaw a war in which such ‘friendly fire’ horrors were commonplace. In fact, more than seven people were slain in accidental bombings under Cameron’s watch.

It was the Libya intervention of 2011. In that Nato-led excursion, in which Cameron, then prime minister, was an enthusiastic partner, numerous Libyans died as a result of misaimed bombs. Things got so bad that the West’s allies took to painting the roofs of their vehicles bright pink in an effort to avoid Nato’s missiles.”

Another op-ed in Newsweek by international human rights lawyer Arsen Ostrovsky and urban warfare expert John Spencer noted how one inevitable consequence of war is that “errors will occur” and that the US too had made similar errors during its conflicts:

The United States itself, during its withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, mistakenly killed an aid worker and nine members of his family—including seven children—after targeting the wrong vehicle in a Kabul drone strike.

Similarly, NATO members have also, inadvertently and mistakenly, killed civilians, as in Libya in 2011, when 13 people, including ambulance workers, were killed by so-called ‘friendly fire.’

A piece published in The Daily Mail by columnist Richard Littlejohn called out the “nauseating” double standards that the WCK strike has exposed.

Recounting the events that followed the death of his friend, ITN correspondent Terry Lloyd — who was killed alongside several other journalists in a US strike on their clearly marked vehicle on the outskirts of Basra, Iraq, in March 2003 — Littlejohn wrote:

A subsequent inquest ruled that Terry had been unlawfully killed by American troops and his lawyer said he had been the victim of a ‘very serious war crime‘. No one was ever charged.

The shock of his death was as traumatic for his family and friends as for those of the three brave British aid workers killed by Israeli forces in Gaza this week.

But no one at the time demanded that the American-led Coalition — which included 46,000 British military personnel — withdraw immediately from Iraq, allow Saddam Hussein to remain in power and abandon the hunt for what turned out to be non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

Every innocent person killed in this war is a tragedy, whether they are international aid workers or Palestinian civilians. However, suggesting that Israel’s tragic accidents are somehow unique or more severe than others is hypocrisy of the highest order.

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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