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White supremacist man arrested for allegedly threatening jurors, witnesses in Pittsburgh shooting trial

(JTA) — Federal agents arrested a West Virginia man on Thursday for allegedly threatening jurors and witnesses in the trial of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, which culminated last week in a death sentence.

The man who was arrested, Hardy Lloyd, 45, is “a self-proclaimed ‘reverend’ of a white supremacy movement,” according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office in the northern district of West Virginia. The statement said Lloyd “made threatening social media posts, website comments, and emails towards the jury and witnesses during the trial.” He is charged with obstruction of justice, witness tampering and transmitting threats in interstate and foreign commerce.

“Jury trials are a hallmark of the American justice system and attempts to intimidate witnesses or jurors will be met with a strong response,” U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld said in the statement. “The use of hateful threats in an effort to undermine a trial is especially troubling.”

The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh welcomed the arrest. It said Lloyd had also targeted survivors of the 2018 attack, the victims’ families and employees of the federation and Secure Community Network, a nonprofit that coordinates security for Jewish institutions.

“The offender in this case targeted the Jewish community for years with hate, vitriol and calls for violence,” Michael Masters, the CEO of the Secure Community Network, said in a statement. “The offender sought to terrorize the community. We now seek justice and accountability.”

According to the federation and Masters’ group, Lloyd extolled Robert Bowers, the man who carried out the attack at the Tree of Life synagogue building, killing 11 worshippers. Lloyd’s statements also allegedly referred to Squirrel Hill, the neighborhood where the shooting took place, which has a reputation for being tight-knit and friendly. It was also the home neighborhood of the late Fred Rogers, the longtime children’s TV host.

“All jews must be murdered. The jew race MUST be wiped out…So, target jews as BOWERS did …” one of Lloyd’s threats allegedly read, according to the federation and Secure Community Network. They said another of his threats read, “make the myths of Hitler seem like Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood … start kidnapping jews and torturing them to death.”

Wheeling, West Virginia, Lloyd’s hometown, is commuting distance from Pittsburgh. Lloyd alleged left stickers in heavily Jewish areas of Pittsburgh directing people to his website.

He has long been known to law enforcement for harassing the Jewish community and has been sentenced to prison three times, the local CBS affiliate reported. He was most recently released in 2020, according to the Jewish federation and Secure Community Network.

Last year, the Texas Department of Public Safety offered a $1,000 award for information leading to the arrest of Lloyd, who was wanted in the state for making terroristic threats.


The post White supremacist man arrested for allegedly threatening jurors, witnesses in Pittsburgh shooting trial appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Nearly One in Five Young People Sympathize With Hamas, 29% Say US Should Reduce or End Alliance With Israel: Poll

Illustrative: Thousands of anti-Israel demonstrators from the Midwest gather in support of Palestinians and hold a rally and march through the Loop in Chicago on Oct. 21, 2023. Photo: Alexandra Buxbaum/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

A greater proportion of young Americans sympathize with the Palestinian people and government than with the Israeli people and government, while almost one in five sympathize with Hamas and a growing number want the US to end or reduce its alliance with the Jewish State, according to a new poll.

The national poll — released by the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School — was of Americans aged 18-29. It found that while 52 percent of young people sympathize with Israelis, 56 percent sympathize with the Palestinian people.

The story remained the same when it came to governments: 32 percent of respondents said they sympathize with the Palestinian government, and only 29 percent said they sympathize with the Israeli government. The question did not make clear whether it was referring only to the Palestinian Authority (PA), which exercises limited self-rule in the West Bank, or both the PA and Hamas, the Islamist terrorist group that rules Gaza.

According to the poll, 17 percent of young Americans said they support Hamas; however, when asked with the added context that Hamas is an “Islamist militant group,” support dropped to 13 percent.

Meanwhile, 29 percent said they believe the US should either no longer be an ally of Israel or reduce its allyship toward the Jewish state, and 32 percent said Israel’s response to Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre — when the terror group invaded southern Israel, murdered 1,200 people, and took more than 250 hostages — was not justified. For both of these questions, though, a plurality of respondents said they were unsure.

Notably, support for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza was strong among young people — with 51 percent supporting it and just 10 percent opposing it. Only 6 percent of Democrats said they do not support a permanent ceasefire.

The question did not distinguish between a permanent ceasefire on the condition of the release of the hostages versus an unconditional permanent ceasefire, which would allow Hamas to keep all of its captives.

The Harvard poll was consistent with others on the opinions of young people regarding Israel and its war with Hamas. Traditionally, support for Israel has been strong among the American people. However, a greater proportion of young people are now questioning that support — and, in some cases, explicitly siding with enemies of the United States and Israel, such as Hamas.

A Harvard-Harris poll from October found young people (ages 18-24) were split almost down the middle when asked, as a binary choice, whether they support Israel or Hamas in the war. Additionally, a majority of young people have said they believe Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack was justified on the basis of legitimate grievance. Another poll found 51 percent said that Israel should be “ended” as a country and “given to Hamas and the Palestinians.”

These extreme views have manifested as concrete action, with large pro-Hamas protests occurring on college campuses. Most recently, at Columbia University in New York, anti-Israel demonstrators set up an encampment in the middle of campus. Protests that accompanied it — some off campus — included chants of “Al-Qassam [Hamas], you make us proud, kill another soldier now!” and “there is only one solution, intifada revolution.” Individuals also proclaimed, “We are all Hamas,” and one person yelled at two Jews, “Never forget the 7th of October. That will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10…100…1000…10,000…The 7th of October is going to be every day for you.”

“Never forget the 7th of October. That will happen not one more time, not five more times, not 10…100…1000…10,000…The 7th of October is going to be every day for you.”

Protestors screamed this at two Jewish @Columbia students right outside campus gates tonight. pic.twitter.com/VYp0tFudGj

— Jonas Du (@jonasydu) April 19, 2024

The latest Harvard University poll was conducted from March 14-21 among 2,010 young Americans and has a margin of error of +/-3.02.

The post Nearly One in Five Young People Sympathize With Hamas, 29% Say US Should Reduce or End Alliance With Israel: Poll first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Police Stop Anti-Zionist Agitators From Accessing Florida University President’s Home as Students Revolt Nationwide

Illustrative: Pro-Hamas students rallying at Harvard University. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder

An extremist anti-Zionist group on Thursday was prevented by local police from marching to the Ronald W. Reagan Presidential House at Florida International University (FIU), which is the home of school president Kenneth A. Jessell.

According to the campus newspaper Panther Now, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) planned the action as part of “Palestinian Prisoner Day,” an event held by the group to honor terrorists who are detained in Israel. As the demonstrators approached Jessell’s home, a blockade of police formed to obstruct their path.

Despite the aggression displayed in marching a mob to someone’s residence, the students complained that the police’s response was disproportionate to any threat they may have posed.

“Take a look over there. Do you know how many cop cars are there? All these cops for a bunch of students who are just chanting,” SJP co-president Zuhra Alchtar was quoted by Panther Now as saying when the police arrived on the scene. “The ivory tower gets so shaken when a bunch of people speak. They can’t stand it. They have to call the big guns; they have to call the priority response team.”

The demonstration came as anti-Zionist students across the US have been recently crossing the line from peaceful expressions of free speech to riotous behavior, flagrantly violating school rules, disrupting business, and even exposing Jewish students to racist and antisemitic rhetoric unlike any uttered publicly in the US since the 1950s.

Earlier this month, Vanderbilt University suspended and expelled several protesters who occupied an administrative building and proceeded to relieve themselves and perform other private functions inside. To infiltrate the building, the students “assaulted a Community Service Officer” and “pushed” officials who suggested having a discussion about their concerns, according to school officials.

At Columbia University, students were reportedly suspended — although it has recently been alleged that the university reduced their penalties to probation — for inviting to campus a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group that has committed airliner hijackings and mass shootings. This week, two days of protest convulsed the campus and resulted in the arrest and suspension from school of US Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) daughter.

In several documented cases, anti-Israel protesters resorted to verbally abusing Black officials with racial epithets and violated their personal space. The Vanderbilt protesters told a Black police officer that his racial identity demanded his being an accessory to their machinations, according to video of the scene, and at Pomona College earlier this month, the school’s president reported that protesters called a Black administrator a racial slur.

A similar incident took place at George Washington University when US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited the campus last week. An SJP spinoff, formed after the school’s chapter was suspended, distributed pamphlets describing the ambassador as a “puppet” and a “Black body” who is “used … to carry out repression and dissent.” After the event concluded, a protester approached GW dean Colette Coleman and clapped her hands in the official’s face.

Such incidents have occurred alongside an unprecedented surge in antisemitic incidents and extreme anti-Israel activity on US college campuses that have upended the lives of many Jewish students.

According to the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) new annual audit, there were 922 antisemitic incidents on college campuses in 2023, a “staggering” 321 percent increase from the previous year. Across the nation, 8,873 incidents added up to the most ever counted by the ADL since it began tracking such data in 1979. Most of the outrages occurred after Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel and amid the ensuing war in Gaza.

In California, an elderly Jewish man was killed when an anti-Israel professor employed by a local community college allegedly pushed him during an argument. At Cornell University in upstate New York, a student threatened to rape and kill Jewish female students and “shoot up” the campus’ Hillel center. In a suburb outside Cleveland, Ohio, a group of vandals desecrated graves at a Jewish cemetery. At Harvard University, America’s oldest and, arguably, most prestigious university, a faculty group shared an antisemitic cartoon depicting a left-hand tattooed with a Star of David dangling two men of color from a noose.

Other outrages were expressive but subtle. In November, large numbers of people traveling to attend the “March for Israel” in Washington, DC either could not show up or were forced to scramble last second and final alternative transportation because numerous bus drivers allegedly refused to transport them there. Hundreds of American Jews from Detroit, for example, were left stranded at Dulles Airport, according to multiple reports. At Yale University, a campus newspaper came under fire for removing from a student’s column what it called “unsubstantiated claims” of Hamas raping Israeli women, marking a rare occasion in which the publication openly doubted reports of sexual assault.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Police Stop Anti-Zionist Agitators From Accessing Florida University President’s Home as Students Revolt Nationwide first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Ilhan Omar Silent After Daughter’s Arrest, Suspension for Role in Columbia University Anti-Israel Protest

Anti-Israel demonstrators clash with New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers during a protest on April 18, 2024. Photo: Reuters Connect

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of Israel’s most hostile critics in American politics, has remained silent about the arrest and suspension from school of her daughter following an eruptive anti-Israel protest which convulsed Columbia University in New York this week.

Omar’s daughter, Barnard College junior and sociology major Isra Hirsi, was one of over 100 protesters whom New York City Police Department (NYPD) officers took into custody for staging a riotous and unauthorized demonstration in which students, as well as non-students, declared solidarity with Hamas and called for the destruction of Israel. On Thursday, Hirsi announced that the school has suspended her for her role in the pandemonium.

Omar’s office did not respond to The Algemeiner‘s request for comment for this story, and the congresswoman has been silent on social media about the arrest and suspension.

Hirsi is a member of Columbia University Apartheid Divest (CUAD) — a spinoff of a Students for Justice in Palestine chapter that the university suspended for numerous violations of school rules — which recently invited a terrorist to campus.

“Those of us in Gaza Solidarity Encampment will not be intimidated. We will stand resolute until our demands are met. Our demands include divestment from companies complicit in genocide, transparency of Columbia’s investments, and FULL amnesty for all students facing oppression,” Hirsi, the only member of her family to comment publicly on the matter, said on X/Twitter. “I’m an organizer with CU Apartheid Divest at Columbia SJP, in my three years at Barnard College I have never been reprimanded or received disciplinary warnings. I just received notice that I am of 3 students suspended for standing in solidarity with Palestinians facing a genocide.”

Until this week, it was not widely known that Omar’s daughter was an active purveyor of falsehoods about Israel nor that she was a member of anti-Zionist groups that have been accused of antisemitic discrimination and harassment, including physically assaulting Jewish students and stealing missing persons posters of Israelis who were abducted by Hamas on Oct. 7.

Responding to the news of Hirsi’s suspension, US Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) — a member of the so-called “Squad” of far-left lawmakers along with Omar and others — accused Columbia University of punishing the student as revenge for a brief exchange that Columbia President Minouche Shafik had with Omar on Wednesday during a congressional hearing about antisemitism on campus. Omar accused Shafik of suppressing “anti-war” protesters and denied that anyone at Columbia was targeting “Jewish people.”

“The day after Ilhan Omar questioned Columbia’s leadership commitment to free academic expression, the school suspended her daughter? It’s clear what is happening here,” Bowman said on X/Twitter. “Our educational institutions should not be in the business of political reprisals.”

Columbia University began exploding into a welter of anti-Israel protests on Wednesday while Shafik was in Washington, DC testifying before the US House Committee on Education and the Workforce about antisemitism on the New York campus, where law enforcement had to be called to pacify the ongoing demonstrations on Thursday.

“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!” they shouted, words that reinforced the theme of Wednesday’s US congressional hearing: “Crisis at Columbia.”

On Thursday, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), chair of the education and workforce committee, said that restoring decorum at Columbia was imperative, both for the sake of the school’s credibility as well as for the welfare of Jewish students. Several news outlets reported on Thursday that a Jewish student was assaulted and told to commit suicide by a protester.

“For Columbia to correct course, the events of the past 36 hours must become a turning point,” Foxx said in a statement. “Columbia must take the bold and difficult actions necessary to address the pervasive antisemitism, support for terrorism, and contempt for the university’s rules that have been allowed to flourish on its campus. This includes real discipline that matches the severity of offenses by the students, faculty, and staff responsible, including suspension, expulsion, and termination.”

Foxx, who has been leading an investigation into antisemitism at Columbia, said the protest has “underscored” why the school drew the scrutiny of lawmakers.

Follow Dion J. Pierre @DionJPierre.

The post Ilhan Omar Silent After Daughter’s Arrest, Suspension for Role in Columbia University Anti-Israel Protest first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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