News Digest — 6/5/24

U.S. Embassy In Beirut Attacked, No Casualties Reported

Wednesday morning (5th), the US embassy in Beirut said, “At 8:30 am, local time, small arms fire was reported in the vicinity of the entrance to the embassy.  The US and Lebanon were “in contact to determine the circumstances,” a statement read.

Lebanon’s security agencies have launched an investigation into the shooting outside the heavily fortified US Embassy in Aukar, a northern suburb of Beirut.  The incident occurred  when an unknown assailant fired shots at the embassy.  The attacker, a Syrian national, was injured and was taken to a hospital.  His motives remain unclear, although according to ARab media he had an ISIS slogan on his weapon.

Local media reported that there was a gunfight for almost half an hour.

The US Embassy said the morning attack at the entrance did not cause any casualties among the staff, and that Lebanese troops and embassy security mobilized quickly.  The Lebanese military said it deployed troops around the embassy and surrounding areas.

In 1983, a deadly bombing attack on the US Embassy in Beirut killed 63 people.  US officials blame the attack on the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah.  Following the attack, the embassy was moved from central Beirut to the Christian suburb of Aukar, north of the capital.  Another bomb attack struck the new location on September 20, 1984.

In September 2023, Lebanese security forces detained a Lebanese man who opened fire near the US Embassy.  There were no casualties in that attack.  In October 2023, hundreds of protesters clashed with Lebanese security forces in demonstration near the US Embassy  in support of Gaza’s people and the terrorist group Hamas in its war with Israel.



Fires Continue On Northern Border As War Cabinet Discusses How To Fight Hezbollah

Israel’s War cabinet convened on Tuesday evening (4th) to discuss the escalation on the northern border.  The discussion took place following the last 24-hours, during which many fires broke out across areas close to the border with Lebanon following Hezbollah missile barrages.

IDF Chief of Staff LTG Herzi Halevi held a tour and situational assessment Tuesday (4th) with the Israel Fire and Rescue Services Commissioner Eyal Caspi at the military’s Gibor base on the northern border.  The Chief of Staff told the Golani Brigade commanders on the northern border: “We are approaching the point where a decision will have to be made, and the IDF is prepared and very ready for this decision.”

“We have been striking here for eight months and Hezbollah is paying a very, very high price,” Halevi said.  “Hezbollah has increased its attacks in recent days and we are prepared after a very good process of training up to the level of a General Staff exercise to move to an offensive position in the north.  Strong defense and readiness for an offensive – we are approaching a decision point.”

Meanwhile, amid the increasing escalation, Hezbollah deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassen told Al-Jazeera  that “ if Israel wants to fight a full-scale war, we’re ready for it.”

“Any Israeli action to widen the war against us will lead to destruction and displacement in Israel.  The resistance  is ready for battle and won’t allow Israel to achieve victory,” he said.

“The Lebanese front is connected to Gaza.  The claims of the Radwin force withdrawing from the Lebanon border are false.  We only used a small section of our capabilities, proportional to the nature of the fighting, “Qassem added.



The Green Prince: ‘Palestine Depends On The Destruction Of Israel’

“Palestine depends on the destruction of Israel.  If there is any definition of Palestine, it means the absence of Israel,” Mossab Hassan Yousef, otherwise known as the Green Prince, told Dr. Dan Diker, The Jerusalem Center for Foreign Affairs President at The Jerusalem Post Annual Conference on Tuesday (4th).

Yousef is the son of Hamas co-founder Sheik Hassan Yousef.  A Palestinian ex-terrorist, he defected to Israel in 1997 and worked as a spy for the Shin Bet until he moved to the United States in 2007.

The Green Prince said that you have to ask, “What is Palestine?  Is it an ethnic group?  A religion?  A distinct language?  Do you have a scripture?  Are you a nation?  Were you a country?  None of that.  So what is Palestine?  What is the purpose of Palestine?” he asked the audience at the conference rhetorically.

Yousef voiced his opposition to a two-state solution with a Palestinian state led by the Palestinian Authority (PA).  “For those representing a two-state solution, they either want Israel to cease to exist, or they are not aware of this existential threat,” he declared.  He added that in his opinion, the Palestinian Authority is an even greater threat than Hamas.

“All this global chaos is managed by the PA, by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), it is not Hamas propaganda.  It’s the ones who sit in Ramallah, who pay all the advocates worldwide through their embassies, those are the ones fighting against Israel and its legitimacy.

Yousef said that it is too costly to institute a hostile Palestinian state. “You cannot give them Judea, Samaria, the mountains, the valley, this is a defense line,” he resolutely explained.

Yousef told the audience that the PA is part of the same terrorism as Hamas or any other group that originated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

He brought up Yasser Arafat, former chairman of the PLO, which later became the PA.  “I was in his meeting when he gave my father the authority to blow up markets, buses, beaches during the Second Intifada.”

At the beginning of the discussion, Yousef brought up the history of the “slaughter of Jews by the hands of Muslims for approximately 14 centuries.”  He criticized the Jewish people for being in denial of that fact. “I understand why.  If the Jewish people acknowledge this fact, they will have to confront a majority of Muslims.

He told the audience that Muslims believe that Allah hates the Jewish people, and “why would you be against the belief of one you pray five times a day to?”

“This is why there has been so much propaganda against the Jewish state across social media,” he said.  “When people see it a thousand times a day, they start believing it.”

“Hundreds of millions of people out there want us dead,” he told the audience.

“If we don’t fight Islam the world is in danger,” the Green Prince warned.  “We have a big problem. We need to wake up.  And if we keep ignoring and denying the existential threat, we will have to face it when it is too late.”

At the end of the conversation, Yousef spoke of potential solutions to the conflict.  He believes that “Arabs should rule Arabs.”  He told the audience that maybe Arabs should be drafted  to the IDF and be responsible for ruling over the West Bank.  He also floated an idea of Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence looking over the Palestinians.

He also believes that mandatory Holocaust education across the Arab world should be part of the solution, as well as teaching that “to be a victim and stay in victimhood is unacceptable.”

However, he believes allowing the PA to rule over a Palestinian state would be the destruction of Israel. “You give them east Jerusalem tomorrow, and they will want west Jerusalem next.  If you give them 1967 borders, they will say they want the whole thing.”  



‘You Have To Fight:’ Netanyahu Meets Delegation Of Jewish American College Students Amid Surging Campus Anti-Semitism

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a delegation of American college students in Jerusalem on Monday (3rd) to discuss rising anti-Semitism on university campuses, a wave of hatred that swept across academia following Hamas’ Oct. 7th massacre across southern Israel.

“We’re facing a world struggle to fight slander against the Jewish people and the Jewish state,” Netanyahu told the group, which comprised current and recently graduated students from Tulane University, the Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) – the prime minister’s alma mater, which he attended while serving in the Israel Defense Forces – Columbia University, Rutgers University, the University of Michigan, and Harvard University.

“The most important thing is you have to fight.  And how do you fight lies?  With truth,” he continued.  “A lie can circle the earth 1,000 times before a single word of truth gets through, but we have no other choice.  We fight by exposing the lies.”

MIT student Talia Khan , who achieved notoriety for exposing vicious anti-Semitic abuse perpetrated by anti-Zionist MIT faculty and students during a meeting with US lawmakers, spoke on behalf of the students, discussing the perils posed by growing support on campuses for Islamic anti-Semitism and terrorism.

“As a Jew, I know the importance of the State of Israel in the shadow of the Holocaust,” said Khan, who noted her father is a Muslim from Afghanistan.

“As a woman of Afghan descent, I understand the importance of western values and fighting the forces that are trying to set us back.  As a patriotic American, it’s obvious that US interests are best served by providing our best and loyal ally Israel with the tools it needs to continue being a beacon of light and democracy.”

She continued, “For this reason, I ask you, Mr. Prime Minister , to help us become better partners in this war on terror.  We all in this room, and many others that couldn’t make it on this trip, we’re all ready to dedicate our lives to protecting democracy, Western values, and Israel and America.”

The students were brought to Israel by Olami, a nonprofit organization which connects young Jewish people from across the world.  Their trip so far has taken them to the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, as well as the site of the Nova Music Festival massacre where Hamas terrorists murdered hundreds of young people on Oct. 7.

“That was incredibly hard to see,” recent Tulane University graduate Yasmeen Ohebsion told The Algemeiner during an interview she agreed to take in a taxi going from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.  

“A survivor there explained her story.  She was trapped under a trash container with 40 people piled on top of her.  Only 10 people at the very bottom of the container survived, so she almost suffocated to death because there were limbs and dead bodies on top of her.  That was very intense.”

The students have also traveled to the Kfar Aza kibbutz, where Hamas murdered over 50 people.

“We heard from a man who lost his daughter and his daughter’s boyfriend,” Ohebsion, who later led a discussion with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, continued, “I hugged him; he cried in my arms and broke down.  He showed me the last text his daughter sent him before she was murdered.  It was truly such a moving yet hard experience.”

US college campuses experienced an alarming spike in anti-Semitic incidents – including demonstrations calling for Israel’s destruction and the intimidation and harassment of Jewish students – after Oct. 7.  In a two-month span, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) recorded 470 anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses alone.

During that same period, anti-Semitic incidents across the US skyrocketed by 323% compared to the prior year.

The campus climate has, by numerous accounts, pushed Jewish identity underground.  Since the tragedy of Oct 7, more than one in three Jewish college students reported feeling  the need to hide their Jewish identity on campus, according to a survey conducted by Hillel International.

A striking 37% of Jewish students said they have needed to hide their Jewish identity and 35% of respondents said there have been acts of hate or violence against Jews on their campus.

A majority of those surveyed said they were unsatisfied with their university’s response to those incidents.

Speaking to The Algemeiner via iMessage, Khan said the Olami trip to Israel allowed American Jewish students and Israeli students to connect and process lingering trauma related to the events of Oct 7.

“Sharing our stories and having mutual empathy for these different experiences after the horrors of Oct. 7 helped each side process their pain and begin to work on turning this pain into something productive,” Khan wrote.

“I think this helped us all see that we must not wallow in our sadness, but rather honor the victims of this horrific attack by spreading Jewish joy and love, and combating those who seek to dismantle democracy and Western values on all fronts.”



Israeli Author Answers Critics Of Gaza War – Dina Rubina

Pushkin House in London, in collaboration with the University of London, recently invited Israeli author Dina Rubina to a literary discussion on Zoom about her books.  Then she received an email from the meeting’s moderator who demanded she state where she stands “on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”  Rubina responded by canceling the meeting, with the following message:

My beloved country currently lives (and always has) surrounded by ferocious enemies who seek to destroy it.  My country is waging a just war today against a rabid, ruthless, deceptive and cunning enemy.

On Oct. 7, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, the ruthless, well-trained, well-prepared and well-equipped Hamas terrorist regime attacked dozens of peaceful kibbutzim and bombarded my country with tens of thousands of rockets.  Hamas has committed atrocities that even the Bible cannot describe, atrocities that rival the crimes of Sodom and Gomorrah.

For hours, thousands of happy, blood-drunk beasts raped women, children and men, shooting their vicitms in the heads, cutting out the babies from the wombs of pregnant women and immediately decapitating them, tying up and burning the small children.  Judging by the utter joy of the population (captured by thousands of mobile cameras), Hamas is supported by almost the entire population of Gaza.

While the international community has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Gaza, Hamas used the money to build an empire with a complex system of underground tunnels, stockpiled weapons, taught schoolchildren from primary school to disassemble and assemble Kalashnikov assault rifles, printed textbooks in which hatred of israel is indescribable, in which even math problems call for the murder of Jews with every word: “There are ten Jews, the martyr killed four, how many are left?”

The academic community was not concerned  about the massacres in Syria, nor the massacre in Somalia, nor the mistreatment inflicted  on the Uighurs, nor the millions of Kurds persecuted by the Turkish regime for decades.  Now, this very worried community, which wears keffiyehs, the trademark of murderers, around their necks at rallies, calls to “liberate Palestine from the river to the sea,” which means the total destruction of Israel (and Israelis).  It is this same public which asks me “to express a clear position on the issue.”  (Quadrant-Australia)