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UN Rapporteur With History of Anti-Israel Animus Supports Pro-Hamas Protests on College Campuses

Francesca Albanese, UN special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories, attends a side event during the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, March 26, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on the human rights situation in the Palestinian territories has praised the anti-Israel demonstrations that have erupted on university campuses across the US over the last week.

“Hope comes from the ‘Watermelon Revolution’ (if its brave souls allow me to call it such),” Francesca Albanese wrote on Monday, hours before the start of the Jewish holiday of Passover, on X/Twitter, referring to the ongoing college campus protests against Israel.

The nationwide protests erupted last week with an ongoing wave of anti-Israel demonstrations at Columbia University in New York City, where school officials were forced to shutter the campus. Footage of Columbia students — who commandeered a section of campus and named it “Gaza Solidarity Encampment” — showed them chanting in support of the Hamas terrorist group, calling for the destruction of Israel, and even threatening to harm members of the Jewish community on campus. Amid the chaos at Columbia, a prominent rabbi at the school urged Jewish students to leave the campus for the sake of their safety.

Beyond opposing and supporting Hamas, many demonstrators also uttered death threats directly at Jews.

The anti-Israel protests quickly spread to other campuses such as Yale University in Connecticut and continued into this week.

On Wednesday, state highway patrol troopers in riot gear and police on horseback broke up a demonstration at the University of Texas in Austin. According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, 34 people had been arrested.

At the University of Southern California, meanwhile, officials declared its campus closed and asked the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) to clear a demonstration. The LAPD said that 93 people were arrested for trespassing and one for assault with a deadly weapon. No injuries were reported.

Anti-Israel activists have also demonstrated at several other campuses across the country. Police officers had arrested dozens of demonstrators at Yale and Columbia for staging riotous, unauthorized demonstrations.

Despite the chaos, Albanese sided with the protesters while falsely accusing Israel of genocide and apartheid against Palestinians.

“Recently: Columbia arrested students for protesting against Israel’s #GenocideinGaza and the university’s investments in Israeli apartheid. Universities in Europe are increasing their securitization and repression against students expressing solidarity with Palestine,” she wrote. “Simultaneously, support from states, corporations and institutions for Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza has continued … What lessons are Western universities and governments imparting to their young citizens and students when they attack the very values and rights that are said to be foundational to Western societies?”

Albanese argued that “this sustained, global Palestinian-driven mobilization is a bold new phase in an ongoing wave of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle against Israel’s decades-old system of occupation, apartheid, and settler-colonialism and for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to justice, freedom, dignity.”

She then claimed that “Palestinian emancipation” has become “the center of the global struggle for justice, including climate justice, and for human rights and dignity for all, not just a privileged few.”

Such rhetoric has become routine for Albanese, who has used her role at the UN to campaign against the world’s lone Jewish state and the only democracy in the Middle East.

Earlier this month, for example, Albanese accused Israel of destroying Gaza and committing genocide in the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave, from which the terrorist group launched the current war by invading the Jewish state on Oct. 7, massacring 1,200 people, and kidnapping 253 others as hostages. At a public hearing at the European Parliament on April 9, the UN rapporteur devoted much of her time to accusing Israel — but not Hamas — of lying about its conduct in Gaza.

That hearing came about two weeks after Albanese released a report accusing Israel of carrying out “genocide” in Gaza, continuing a pattern of the UN official singling out the Jewish state for particularly harsh condemnation.

“By analyzing the patterns of violence and Israel’s policies in its onslaught on Gaza,” one can conclude “that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the threshold indicating Israel’s commission of genocide is met,” read the report, titled “Anatomy of a Genocide.”

Albanese cited Hamas statistics that claim over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, of which 70 percent are civilians.

However, independent analyses have concluded those statistics systematically undercount the number of men and Hamas terrorists killed. Israel claims it has killed more than 13,000 Hamas fighters, who embed themselves in the civilian population and use civilian sites, such as hospitals, to house their terror operation centers.

Albanese’s report did not mention any details about Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel. Israeli officials lambasted her findings, arguing they were misleading and excused terrorism.

Last month was not the first time that Albanese was accused of being ideologically driven.

In February, she claimed Israelis were “colonialists” who had “fake identities.” Previously, she defended Palestinians’ “right to resist” Israeli “occupation” at a time when over 1,100 rockets were fired by Gaza militants at Israel. Last year, US lawmakers called for the firing of Albanese for what they described as her “outrageous” antisemitic statements, including a 2014 letter in which she claimed America was “subjugated by the Jewish lobby.”

Albanese’s anti-Israel comments have earned her the praise of Hamas officials in the past.

Additionally, in response to French President Emmanuel Macron calling the Oct. 7 attack the “largest antisemitic massacre of the 21st century,” Albanese said, “No, Mr. Macron. The victims of Oct. 7 were not killed because of their Judaism, but in response to Israel’s oppression.”

However, Hamas’ founding charter, in a section about the “universality” of its cause, reads: “The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”

Video footage of the Oct. 7 onslaught showed Palestinian terrorists led by Hamas celebrating the fact that they were murdering Jews.

Nevertheless, Albanese has argued that Israel should make peace with Hamas, saying that it “needs to make peace with Hamas in order to not be threatened by Hamas.”

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Palestinian Islamic Jihad Releases New Propaganda Video of Israeli Hostage

Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov as seen in a propaganda video released by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Photo: Screenshot

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist group on Tuesday released a short propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Alexander (Sasha) Trufanov, 28, who was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The 30-second undated video shows Trufanov, an Amazon employee, identifying himself and saying that he will soon discuss what has happened to him and other hostages in Gaza.

Similar videos have been released by terrorists groups in Gaza. Israel has lambasted them as psychological warfare.

Trufanov’s mother said in a video released by the family that she was happy to see her son after all this time, but “it was heartbreaking” that he had been a hostage for so long.

Trufanov was an engineer at the Israeli microelectronics company Annapurna Labs, which Amazon owns.

Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists abducted over 250 people during their Oct. 7 onslaught. Trufanov was kidnapped alongside his mother, grandmother, and girlfriend.

All three were released as part of a temporary ceasefire agreement negotiated in November. His father, Vitaly Trufanov, was one of the 1,200 people killed during the Hamas massacre.

“The proof of life from Alexsander (Sasha) Trufanov is additional evidence that the Israeli government must give a significant mandate to the negotiating team,” the Hostages Families Forum, which represents the families of the hostages, said in a statement.

More than 120 hostages remain in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. Islamic Jihad is a separate but allied terrorist organization in the Palestinian enclave. Both are backed by Iran, which provides them with money, weapons, and training.

Negotiations brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the US to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza have been stalled for weeks.

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Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023

Gal Gadot as Rachel Stone in a scene from the trailer for “Heart of Stone.” Photo: YouTube screenshot

Netflix released its engagement report that details the films with the most views from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2023, and Israeli actress Gal Gadot’s action thriller Heart of Stone secured the number two spot with 109.6 million views.

The film — starring Gadot alongside Jamie Dornan and Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt in leading roles — was the runner-up to Leave the World Behind, the drama starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke that garnered 121 million views on Netflix.

Heart of Stone, directed by Tom Harper, was released on the streaming giant on Aug. 11 of last year. The action film is about international intelligence operative Rachel Stone, played by Gadot, who goes on a mission to protect an artificial intelligence system, known as The Heart, from falling in the wrong hands. The film was produced by Pilot Wave, a company founded by Gadot and her husband Jaron Varsano.

Gadot also stars in Netflix’s most popular film of all time, Red Notice, alongside Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds.

The post Gal Gadot’s Action Movie Nabs Second Place on Netflix List of Most Watched Films in Second Half of 2023 first appeared on

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