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Zelensky Urges Speedy Passage of Ukraine Aid in US Senate, Transfer of Weapons

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks during a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, amid Russia’s attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine June 10, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Sunday welcomed the passage of $60 billion in aid for Ukraine by the U.S. House of Representatives but urged Washington to quickly turn the bill into law and proceed with the actual transfer of weapons, saying long-range arms and air defense systems were top priorities.

In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Zelensky said the passage of the bill would send a powerful message to Russia that Washington stands by Kyiv and that it would not be “a second Afghanistan.”

“I think this support will really strengthen the armed forces of Ukraine and we will have a chance for victory,” Zelensky said through an interpreter.

During the interview he repeatedly urged U.S. lawmakers to take swift action to pass the bill in the Senate. He said Ukraine urgently needed U.S. long-range weapons including ATACMS (Army Tactical Missile Systems) and air defense systems to turn around its fortunes on the battlefield.

“This is crucial. These are the priorities now,” Zelenskiy said.

ATACMS are long-range guided missiles. The White House last October confirmed that it had provided Kyiv with a type of ATACMS capable of hitting targets up to 165 km (102 miles) away.

Ukraine had repeatedly asked the U.S. administration for the ATACMS and pledged not to use them inside Russia’s territory.

The U.S. House of Representatives, with broad bipartisan support, passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. Aid for Ukraine had been held up for months, because of the opposition of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who urged Republican lawmakers to block it.

Almost 26 months since the 2022 invasion, Russia is slowly advancing in eastern Ukraine and has ramped up its bombardments of cities and towns behind the front lines amid a slowdown in Western military assistance.

The legislation now proceeds to the Democratic-majority Senate, which passed a similar measure more than two months ago. U.S. leaders, from Democratic President Joe Biden to top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, had been urging Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson to bring it up for a vote.

The Senate is set to begin considering the bill on Tuesday, with some preliminary votes that afternoon. Final passage is expected sometime next week, which would clear the way for Biden to sign it into law.

WEAPONS IN TRANSIT NEXT WEEK

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Mark Warner told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that military equipment including the longer-range ATACMS should be “in transit by the end of the week.”

“I believe the administration was prepared over the last couple of months to prepare or to provide ATACMS. It is written into this legislation,” Warner said.

Ukraine last October said it has used the long-range missiles for the first time, inflicting heavy damage on two airfields in Russian-occupied areas.

Deploying the weapons would allow Ukrainian forces to disrupt previously unreachable supply lines, air bases and rail networks used by Russia in occupied territories, senior officials say.

Zelensky declined to provide a timeline when asked how long it would take Ukraine to “turn the corner on Russia” and whether Kyiv would need as much aid this time next year.

He said Kyiv had lost the initiative in the fighting in the eastern part of the country, but that once the weapons arrive it will have the chance to stabilize the situation.

“Giving U.S. specific timeline of the war, well, it depends on how soon we get this aid,” he said.

The post Zelensky Urges Speedy Passage of Ukraine Aid in US Senate, Transfer of Weapons first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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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? pic.twitter.com/eNIy2SU0Ep

— 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.

The post ‘Any Chance the Media Would Cover This?’ New Video Shows Terrorists in Gaza Using Humanitarian Aid to Help Prepare Rockets first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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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”? pic.twitter.com/FE0VbgmFLA

— 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.

The post Columbia University Anti-Zionist Group Endorses Hamas first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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