Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Cornell student Patrick Dai charged for making threats online to the Cornell Jewish community


Update: Cornell student charged in threats against school’s Jewish community

by Matt Butler and Judy Lucas October 31, 2023Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks Monday morning at Cornell, with Cornell President Martha Pollack by her side. Credit: Michael Groll / Office of Governor Hochul

Update (8:26 p.m.): Federal prosecutors have announced charges against a Cornell University student for the violent threats posted online directed at the university’s Jewish community.

Patrick Dai, a 21-year-old junior at Cornell, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Southwick in a press release. Dai is originally from Pittsford, New York.

The release states that Dai is suspected of issuing all of the threats, which were posted under various anonymous usernames on Sunday. Dai will appear in federal court Nov. 1 in Syracuse.

Dai will face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and a term of supervised release of up to three years, according to Southwick.

Southwick does not disclose whether Dai’s threats appeared to be serious or not.

Ithaca Police and federal agents were observed raiding a building on Eddy Street in Collegetown Tuesday afternoon. IPD Acting Chief Ted Schwartz said questions had to be directed to the FBI Albany office. The Ithaca Voice is awaiting more information from the FBI on the results of the raid.
Original Story:

ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell University officials and Gov. Kathy Hochul confirmed the arrest of a person of interest who allegedly posted violent threats against the school’s Jewish student population via an online forum Sunday.

No details about the individual have been released, including whether the person is affiliated with Cornell or not, or where they were found. According to a tweet from the governor, the person was taken into custody Tuesday morning.

Hochul, who visited the university Monday morning in the wake of the threats, posted a tweet around 1 p.m. Tuesday announcing a person of interest was taken into custody by the New York State Police for questioning.

Whether or not the person is in federal custody is unclear, despite Gov. Hochul’s statement crediting the NYS Police for their work. Police have yet to confirm any arrest in the case. Local law enforcement officials were also unaware of any arrests made in the case.

However, Cornell University Vice President of University Relations Joel Malina also confirmed the arrest in a statement to The Ithaca Voice.

“We can confirm that a subject has been identified as a suspect in the antisemitic threats made against our Jewish students on Sunday and is currently in custody,” Malina said. “We thank the FBI and other law enforcement agencies for their coordination. We will update the public as we have further details to release.”

The arrest comes two days after the threats were posted on the GreekRank forum page for Cornell, which is not affiliated with the school. Posted anonymously from several different accounts, the posts included various graphic threats targeting Jewish students on campus and threatened to “shoot up” 104West!, the kosher and multicultural dining hall on campus next to the Center for Jewish Living.

There are about 3,500 Jewish students enrolled at Cornell, equaling about one-fifth of the total student population at the school, according to Cornell’s Hillel chapter.

This is a developing story. More details will be added once they are confirmed.

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Ripping down posters depicting the people taken hostage by Hamas


The names of those killed by Hamas

The names of those killed in Hamas massacres and the Israel-Hamas War 

Over 1,300 Israelis, civilians and soldiers were killed in their homes, communities and in confronting Hamas terrorists. Here are the officially confirmed names of Israel's dead in the atrocities of October 7 and the subsequent Israel-Hamas war. This list of 902 names will be continuously updated with names that have been cleared for publication.

Anti-Israel graffiti on Cornell campus


Spray paint on the main sidewalk of Campus Road, depicting messages such as “Zionism = Racism” and “Israel is Fascist” appeared on Wednesday morning.

Some time before 9:00 AM, the graffiti began on Campus Road sidewalks between Olin and Sage Halls on campus. As-yet unknown perpetrators painted messages in red and white spray paint and displayed the following messages along the primary thoroughfare: “Israel is Fascist,” “Zionism = Racism,” “Free Palestine,” and “F*ck Israel.” 

Another photo of the graffiti, from Twitter (Sam Friedman

Later on Cornell sent people to clean up the graffiti.

It's time for a ceasefire in Gaza


Thursday, October 19, 2023

So much for "peaceful" protests against Israeli actions in Gaza in Berlin


More than 60 Berlin police officers injured at pro-Palestinian protests

AFP - news@thelocal.com 
Published: 19 Oct, 2023 CET.Updated: Thu 19 Oct 2023 11:17 CET

Demonstrators near Berlin's Sonnenallee set off pyrotechnics on Wednesday evening. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Paul Zinken

Sixty-five police officers were injured at overnight protests in Berlin against Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip, authorities said Thursday, as demonstrators defied bans on such gatherings. 

Bild Daily said a call had gone out on Telegram calling on "men" to "turn Neuk枚lln into Gaza. Burn everything". 

As police ordered protesters to disperse, "rubbish bins and obstacles were put on the streets" and "stones and pyrotechnics were thrown" at them, prompting police to respond by firing water-cannon, said authorities. 

Since Israel began its relentless bombing raids on Gaza in response to Hamas' deadly attack on October 7th, pro-Palestinian protests have erupted across major German cities despite widespread bans. 

The officers were "wounded by stones, flammable liquid and acts of resistance," Berlin police said on social media platform X, formerly Twitter. A police spokeswoman said 174 people were arrested, including 65 who will be facing investigations. 

The gathering had begun late Wednesday in Neuk枚lln, a district with a large Arab community. 

The number of anti-Semitic incidents has also jumped, with a synagogue in Berlin hit by Molotov cocktails early Wednesday. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Thursday urged authorities to prevent demonstrations that could degenerate into anti-Semitic incitement. Gatherings where "anti-Semitic slogans are shouted, where the deaths of other human beings are glorified" must be outlawed, said Scholz.

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

The murdered, kidnapped, and missing victims of Hamas in Be'eri, Nir Oz, and Kfar Aza

Dr. Rachel Elior, Professor Emerita in Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, was one of my dissertation advisors. I studied the Hekhalot literature with her in a seminar in the late 1980s when I was in Israel, and from her I learned to love this literature.

She just posted this on Facebook (my translation from the Hebrew):

110 murdered in Be'eri (kibbutz near the border with Gaza). 
At least 80 members of (kibbutz) Nir Oz - a small kibbutz of about 400 people - are listed as missing. More than 25 were murdered.
In Kibbutz Kfar Aza, which had more than 800 people before the catastrophe, 52 Kibbutz members were murdered, seven were kidnapped to Gaza, and 13 are missing. Six more were wounded. Also in this case the numbers are not final


Israeli Progressives Speak Out on War

This statement by Israeli progressives (publicized by the Shalom Center) calls out the inexcusable members of the left who have come out in support of Hamas.
The Shalom Center
If you are a leader in any form of Jewish spiritual or other organizational life, please preserve this statement. We will be back to you for a possible support statement in the next couple of days.

Israeli Progressives Speak Out on War

We emphasize: there is no contradiction between staunchly opposing the Israeli subjugation and occupation of Palestinians and unequivocally condemning brutal acts of violence against innocent civilians.

We, Israel-based academics, thought leaders and progressive activists committed to peace, equality, justice, and human rights, are deeply pained and shocked by the recent events in our region.

We are also deeply concerned by the inadequate response from certain American and European progressives regarding the targeting of Israeli civilians by Hamas, a response which reflects a disturbing trend in the global left's political culture.

On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched an unprecedented attack that included mass murder of innocent civilians in their homes, indiscriminate violence towards women, the elderly, and children, and mass kidnappings of Israeli citizens. Entire families were wiped out in this carnage, whole communities were reduced to ashes, bodies were maimed, infants were massacred. It is impossible to overstate the damage caused by these events, both on a personal and a collective level. The traumatizing events of that Saturday in October will leave a lasting mark on our hearts and memories.

As expected, in response to Hamas's actions, the State of Israel launched a massive military operation in Gaza.We still cannot estimate the death toll of these attacks, but it is likely to be higher than anything we have witnessed heretofore. This cycle of aggression severely undermines our long-standing struggle against oppression and violence and in pursuit of full rights and equality for all residents of Israel-Palestine. At this moment, more than ever, we need support and solidarity from the global left, in the form of an unequivocal call against indiscriminate violence towards civilians on both sides.

Many of our peers worldwide have expressed strong opposition to Hamas's attack and have offered unambiguous support for its victims. Prominent voices in the Arab world, too, have made it clear that there is no justification for sadistic murder of innocent people. However, to our dismay, some elements within the global left, individuals who were, until now, our political partners, have reacted with indifference to these horrific events and sometimes even justified Hamas's actions. Some have refused to condemn the violence, claiming that outsiders have no right to judge the actions of the oppressed. Others have downplayed the suffering and trauma, arguing that Israeli society brought this tragedy upon itself. Yet others have shielded themselves from the moral shock through historical comparisons and rationalization. And there are even those – no small number – for whom the darkest day in our society’s history was a cause for celebration.

This array of responses surprised us. We never imagined that individuals on the left, advocates of equality, freedom, justice, and welfare, would reveal such extreme moral insensitivity and political recklessness. Let us be clear: Hamas is a theocratic and repressive organization that vehemently opposes the attempt to promote peace and equality in the Middle East. Its core commitments are fundamentally inconsistent with progressive principles, and thus the inclination of certain leftists to react affirmatively to its actions is utterly absurd. Moreover, there is no justification for shooting civilians in their homes; no rationalization for the murder of children in front of their parents; no reasoning for the persecution and execution of partygoers. Legitimizing or excusing these actions amounts to a betrayal of the fundamental principles of left-wing politics.

We emphasize: there is no contradiction between staunchly opposing the Israeli subjugation and occupation of Palestinians and unequivocally condemning brutal acts of violence against innocent civilians. In fact, every consistent leftist must hold both positions simultaneously.

The seventh of October is a dark day in the history of Israel-Palestine and the lives of the peoples of this region. Those who refuse to condemn Hamas's actions do immense damage to the prospects of peace becoming a viable, relevant political option. They weaken the left’s ability to present a positive social and political horizon, turning it into an extreme, narrow, and alienating political force. We call on our peers on the left to return to a politics based on humanistic and universal principles, to take a clear stance against human rights abuse of any form, and to assist us in the struggle to break the cycle of violence and destruction.

Prof. Aviad Kleinberg, President of the Ruppin Academic Center ,拽诇讬讬谞讘专讙 讗讘讬注讚' 驻专讜驻
Avirama Golan, author and journalist ,讙讜诇谉 讗讘讬专诪讛
Ibtisam Mara'ana, Former MK, Labor Party ,诪专讗注谞讛 讗讘转讬住讗诐
Adam Raz, Historian, Human rights activist ,专讝 讗讚诐
Prof. Eva Illouz, Directrice d’茅tudes EHESS Paris, Membre of Institute for Israeli Thought ,讗讬诇讜讝 讗讜讜讛' 驻专讜驻
Dr. Ofek Birnholtz, Bar Ilan University ,讘讬专谞讛讜诇抓 讗讜驻拽 专"讚
Ortal Ben Dayan, Social Activist ,讚讬讬谉 讘谉 讗讜专讟诇
Ori Ben Dov, Social Activist ,讚讘 讘谉 讗讜专讬
Uri Weltmann, National Field Organizer - Standing Together ,讜讜诇讟诪谉 讗讜专讬
Ori Kol, Social Entrepreneur ,拽讜诇 讗讜专讬
Dr. Orit S么nia Waisman, David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem ,讜讬住诪谉 住讜谞讬讛 讗讜专讬转 专"讚
Eilon Tohar, Social Activist ,讟讜讛专 讗讬诇讜谉
Iris Leal, Author ,诇注讗诇 讗讬专讬住
Alon-Lee Green, National Co-Director of Standing Together ,讙专讬谉 诇讬 -讗诇讜谉
Dr. Eli Cook, Head of the General History Department, Haifa University ,拽讜拽 讗诇讬 专"讚
Dr. Almog Kasher, Bar Ilan University ,讻砖专 讗诇诪讜讙 专"讚
Prof. Orna Ben-Naftali, the College of Management Law Faculty and the Van Leer ,谞驻转诇讬 -讘谉 讗专谞讛' 驻专讜驻
Jerusalem Institute
Josh Drill, Social Activist ,讚专讬诇 讜砖'讙
Ghadir Hani, peace activist, Standing Together ,讛讗谞讬 讙讚讬专
Prof. Gila Stopler, Faculty of Law, College of Law and Business ,住讟讜驻诇专 讙讬诇讛' 驻专讜驻
Prof. Galia Sabar, Tel Aviv University. Former President of Ruppin College ,爪讘专 讙诇讬讛 驻专讜驻׳
Dr. Dov Khenin, Former MK, Hadash, Tel Aviv University ,讞谞讬谉 讚讘 专"讚
David Grossman, author ,讙专讜住诪谉 讚讜讬讚
Dorit Hadar Persky, M.A teacher for special education, David Yellin Academic College of ,驻专住拽讬 讛讚专 讚讜专讬转 Education, Jerusalem
Prof. Danny Gutwein, Haifa University ,讙讜讟讜讜讬讬谉 讚谞讬' 驻专讜驻
Prof. Dani Filc, MD PhD, Standing Together ,驻讬诇拽 讚谞讬 驻专讜驻׳
Dr. Hagar Gal, David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem ,讙诇 讛讚专 专"讚
Vered Livne, former Director General of The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) and ,诇讬讘谞讛 讜专讚 leadership member of Standing Together
Taleb el-Sana, Former MK, Arab Democratic Party, Head of High Committee for Arab Citizens ,住讗谞注-讗 讟诇讘 of the Negev
Yoav Hareven, leadership member of Standing Together ,讛专讗讘谉 讬讜讗讘
Prof. Yoav Goldberg, Bar-Ilan University ,讙讜诇讚讘专讙 讬讜讗讘' 驻专讜驻
Prof. Jonathan Rubin, Bar Ilan University ,专讜讘讬谉 讬讜谞转谉' 驻专讜驻
Yossi Sucary, Author ,住讜讻专讬 讬讜住讬
Dr. Yofi Tirosh, Tel Aviv University ,转讬专讜砖 讬讜驻讬 专"讚
Prof. Yael Hashiloni-Dolev, Ben-Gurion University, Sociology and Anthropology ,讚讜诇讘 -讛砖讬诇讜谞讬 讬注诇' 驻专讜驻 Department
Dr. Yael Sternhell, Tel Aviv University, 砖讟专谞讛诇 讬注诇 专"讚
Dr. Yiftah Goldman, David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem ,讙讜诇讚诪谉 讬驻转讞 讚״专
Dr. Carmel Shalev, Faculty of Law, Tel Aviv University ,砖诇讜 讻专诪诇 专"讚
Dr. Lisa Kainan, David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem ,拽讬谞谉 诇讬住讛 专"讚
Prof. Meir Yaish, Haifa University, 讬注讬砖 诪讗讬专' 驻专讜驻
Mossi Raz, former MK, Meretz ,专讝 诪讜住讬
Dr. Meital Pinto, Zefat Academic College, Ono Academic College ,驻讬谞讟讜 诪讬讟诇 专"讚
Meital Peleg Mizrachi, Postdoctoral fellow at Yale University, environmental justice ,诪讝专讞讬 驻诇讙 诪讬讟诇 researcher
Mickey Gitzin, New Israel Fund, Executive Director in Israel ,讙讬爪讬谉 诪讬拽讬
Dr. Miri Lavi Neeman, Arava Institute for Environmental Studies ,谞讗诪谉 诇讘讬讗 诪讬专讬 专"讚
Nadav Bigelman, Social Activist, member of Standing Together ,讘讬讙诇诪谉 谞讚讘
Prof. Noam Zohar, Bar Ilan Univesity ,讝讛专 谞注诐' 驻专讜驻
Niv Meyerson, Social and environmental justice activist ,诪讗讬专住讜谉 谞讬讘
Sally Abed, Member of national leadership, Standing Together ,注讘讚 住讗诇讬
Dr. Adi Makmal, Engineering Faculty, Bar-Ilan Uni. Israel ,诪讻诪诇 注讚讬 专"讚
Odeh Bisharat, Writer ,讘讗砖讗专转 注讜讚讛
Prof. Eran Dorfman, Literature Department, Tel Aviv University ,讚讜专驻诪谉 注讬专谉' 驻专讜驻
Prof. Amit Schejter, department of communication studies, Ben-Gurion University, chairman ,砖讻讟专 注诪讬转' 驻专讜驻 of ACRI
Dr. Anat Herbst-Debby, The Gender Studies program, Bar-Ilan University ,讚讘讬-讛专讘住讟 注谞转 专"讚
Dr. Ofri Ilany, Van Leer Institute, historian and journalist ,讗讬诇谞讬 注驻专讬 专"讚
Eran Nissan, Mehazkim, CEO ,谞讬住谉 注专谉
Tzlil Rubinshtein, Social Activist ,专讜讘讬谞砖讟讬讬谉 爪诇讬诇
Ran Heilbrunn, Writer ,讛讬讬诇讘专讜谉 专谉
Dr. Ronit Donyets Kedar, College of Law and Business ,拽讬讚专-讚讜谞讬抓 专讜谞讬转 专"讚
Prof. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, Bar-Ilan University Faculty of Law ,拽讚专讬-讛诇驻专讬谉 专讜转' 驻专讜驻
Dr. Raphael Zagury-Orly, Institut Catholique de Paris ,讗讜专诇讬- 讝讙讜专讬 专驻讗诇 专"讚
Dr. Shlomit Aharoni Lir, Bar Ilan University ,诇讬专 讗讛专讜谞讬 砖诇讜诪讬转 专"讚
Prof. Sharon Armon-Lotem, Bar-Ilan University ,诇讜讟诐- 注专诪讜谉 砖专讜谉' 驻专讜驻
Tom Yagil, Social and Environmental Justice Activist ,讬讙讬诇 转讜诐
Dr. Tamar Ascher Shai, David Yellin Academic College of Education, Jerusalem ,砖讬 讗砖专 转诪专 专"讚.


If you are a leader in any form of Jewish spiritual or other organizational life, please preserve this statement. We will be back to you for a possible support statement in the next couple of days.
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Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Was the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians "exhilarating"?

Professor Russell Rickford of Cornell speaking on Sunday, October 15 at a rally in downtown Ithaca about the Hamas attack on Israeli civilians the week before.

From the Cornell Daily Sun report on his speech:
Rickford stated that he was initially “exhilarated” by Hamas’s attack on Israel, in which 1,400 Israelis were killed. The United States and the European Union classify Hamas as a terrorist organization.
“Hamas has challenged the monopoly of violence. And in those first few hours, even as horrific acts were being carried out, many of which we would not learn about until later, there are many Gazans of good will, many Palestinians of conscience, who abhor violence, as do you, as do I. Who abhor the targeting of civilians, as do you, as do I,” Rickford said during the rally. “Who were able to breathe, they were able to breathe for the first time in years. It was exhilarating. It was energizing. And if they weren’t exhilarated by this challenge to the monopoly of violence, by this shifting of the balance of power, then they would not be human. I was exhilarated.”
He added: “What has Hamas done? Hamas has shifted the balance of power. Hamas has punctured the illusion of invincibility. That’s what they have done. You don’t have to be a Hamas supporter to recognize that,” Rickford said. “Hamas has changed the terms of the debate. Israeli officials are right — nothing will be the same again.”
This is sickening. I have heard Rickford speak at demonstrations in Ithaca in the last few years, and regardless of the reason for the demonstration, he always obsessively ties Israel to whatever evil the demonstration is protesting.

On Friday night, October 6, I was about to fall asleep at about midnight when I noticed an alert on my phone about an attack in Israel. I was surprised and went to my computer, and stayed up for several hours listening to the coverage on the Israeli network Kann, reading tweets and postings on Facebook. It was clear very early that the Hamas terrorists were attacking civilians. We didn't learn of all the attacks immediately, of course, but if you wanted to know, you could find information. 

The Cornell president issued a good statement:
In a University statement sent around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, President Martha Pollack referred broadly to faculty who have spoken positively about Hamas.
“I am sickened by statements glorifying the evilness of Hamas terrorism. Any members of our community who have made such statements do not speak for Cornell; in fact, they speak in direct opposition to all we stand for at Cornell,” Pollack said. “There is no justification for or moral equivalent to these violent and abhorrent acts.”

 This is her full statement:

Supporting one another as we stand against hatred (Follow up on events in Israel)
Oct. 16, 2023
Dear Cornell Community,
The despicable atrocities perpetrated by the Hamas terrorist organization in Israel last week left the world reeling with shock, horror, anger and grief. The brutal attacks shattered countless innocent lives, caused unimaginable pain and challenged our very understanding of humanity. The intentional targeting and killing of innocent civilians is the very definition of terrorism. I am sickened by statements glorifying the evilness of Hamas terrorism. Any members of our community who have made such statements do not speak for Cornell; in fact, they speak in direct opposition to all we stand for at Cornell. There is no justification for or moral equivalent to these violent and abhorrent acts.
I am outraged by them and, along with senior leadership of the Cornell Board of Trustees, I again condemn them in the strongest possible terms.
The Cornell community on our campuses and around the world includes students, faculty, staff and alumni who are Israeli, Palestinian and others who have close ties to the region. As the fighting there continues, the pain and suffering felt by all people throughout the region is and will be completely heart-wrenching. I am a grandmother and I weep for the Israeli babies who were murdered or kidnapped; I weep for the Palestinian babies now in harm’s way.
Please know that the safety of all members of our community remains a top priority. On the Ithaca campus, Cornell Police have increased patrols and police presence and are working with the Office of Emergency Management and with city, state and federal agencies to continually assess conditions. They are also in close coordination with the public safety teams on our campuses in New York City and beyond.
Our community must, as it always has, stand against hatred of all forms. I am inspired by our Jewish, Palestinian and Muslim students who were joined by others in holding peaceful vigils last week and who were generous in their expression of shared loss for all in the region. I hope that the Cornell community is able to find grace, care and empathy for one another, and to support one another in the very difficult days ahead.
As we reflect on the pain of all those affected, and mourn the loss of innocent lives, I pray for the safe return of all hostages, and that our collective humanity will prevail over hate.
Martha E. Pollack

 Update - Denunciation of Rickford's words by the president of Cornell.

Statement of President Pollack and Board Chair Kayser on Prof. Russell Rickford comments
Oct. 17, 2023

We learned yesterday of comments that Professor Russell Rickford made over the weekend at an off-campus rally where he described the Hamas terrorist attacks as “exhilarating.” This is a reprehensible comment that demonstrates no regard whatsoever for humanity. As we said in yesterday’s statement, endorsed by senior leadership of the Board of Trustees, any members of our community who have made such statements do not speak for Cornell; in fact, they speak in direct opposition to all we stand for at Cornell. The university is taking this incident seriously and is currently reviewing it consistent with our procedures.
Martha E. Pollack
Kraig H. Kayser, MBA ’84
Chairman of the Cornell University Board of Trustees

 Update, October 19 - statement from Rickford in the Cornell Daily Sun

I apologize for the horrible choice of words that I used in a portion of a speech that was intended to stress grassroots African American, Jewish and Palestinian traditions of resistance to oppression. I recognize that some of the language I used was reprehensible and did not reflect my values. As I said in the speech, I abhor violence and the violent targeting of civilians. I am sorry for the pain that my reckless remarks have caused my family, my students, my colleagues and many others in this time of suffering. As a scholar, a teacher, an activist and a father, I strive to uphold the values of human dignity, peace and justice. I want to make it clear that I unequivocally oppose and denounce racism, anti-semitism, Islamophobia, militarism, fundamentalism and all systems that dehumanize, divide and oppress people.

Update, October 22 - Rickford has taken a leave of absence for the rest of the semester (report from the Cornell Review).

History Professor Russell Rickford, who has come under fire for calling the Hamas attacks in Israel “exhilarating” and “energizing,” has taken a leave of absence.
According to an email acquired by the Review, Rickford will not teach his survey course on post-civil war African American history for the remainder of the semester. A Friday email from Professor Tamika Nunley to the class’ students indicates that she will teach the class while Rickford is on leave:
Professor Rickford will be taking a leave of absence and I will assume teaching responsibilities for this course for the remainder of the semester.
Cornell Media Relations confirmed Rickford’s leave, saying: “Professor Russell Rickford has requested and received approval to take a leave of absence from the university.” The Cornell history department, when asked for comment about Rickford’s status, only referred to the university’s statement condemning the professor....
Rickford’s – seemingly temporary – departure comes amidst immense pressure on the university to dismiss him for his comments....
Meanwhile, the university has issued a statement denouncing Rickford by name after issuing a general statement condemning those who “glorify the evilness of Hamas terrorism.”....
Neither Cornell nor the history department have indicated whether Rickford will face further action upon his return from leave.
This story has been updated with Cornell’s confirmation that Rickford requested the leave of absence.

Saturday, October 07, 2023

Beduin citizens of Israel killed by Hamas rockets, and among the hostages taken to Gaza

Louis Fishman 賱賵賷 賮賷卮賲丕賳 诇讜讗讬 驻讬砖诪谉 repost


At least 8 Palestinians (Beduin) citizens of Israel were killed today, mostly by Hamas rockets on their (unrecognised) villages in the Negev/Naqab.

5:08 PM · Oct 7, 2023


And there are Palestinian citizens of Israel among the hostages taken to Gaza

Joyce Karam on the first day of this war


UPDATE: Israel - Hamas war, day 1 • > 500 dead: 300 Israelis, 232 Palestinians. Thousands injured • Airstrikes pound Gaza now • Hamas has > dozen Israeli hostages • Thousands of rockets hit Israel • Netanyahu vows turning Hamas enclave to rubble

The scale of devastation from first day of Hamas-Israel war is already unprecedented. We are entering a very dark chapter in conflict, with weeks if not months to come of war and bloodshed. Netanyahu facing hardest battle with hostages inside Gaza. Hamas has little to lose.

How this can play out, all escalatory scenarios: 
- Israeli ground operation, likely after hostages situation addressed
- Weeks of war: Netanyahu Unity gov. bid indication
- A multi-front war involving Lebanon or Syria or both
- Something involving Iran though less likely for now

Update from Haaretz - continued fighting near Gaza in Israeli communities

Yaniv Kubovich
8:28 PM
Fighting ongoing in Israel's south, Hamas militants hold hostages

The fighting between security forces and Hamas militants holding extensive territories in Israeli areas near the border with Gaza has continued into the evening hours on Saturday. Hamas militants are still holding hostages in the Be'eri community as well as in the town of Ofakim.

Fighting zones also include Sderot, Kfar Aza, Erez, Re'im, Kisufim, Holit, and Mivtachim in Israel's south.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari stated on Saturday evening that Israel has regained control of some of the communities and towns in the Gaza periphery that were held by Hamas militants, but additional searches are being conducted to confirm this.

More updates on Israel

From BICOM - British Israel Communications and Research Centre

Operation Swords of Iron – Update No. 2

  • The Israeli death toll from Hamas’s surprise attack has risen to over 200. At least 1,100 Israelis are known to have been injured.
  • At this time, there is continued rocket fire from Gaza towards central and southern Israel, with over 3,000 launches.
  • The IDF has are currently operating in 22 border communities, going house to house to ensure that all terrorists are cleared from the area.
  • The IDF has also confirmed earlier reports that they are engaged in an ongoing hostage situation in Ofakim and Beeri.
  • There have been numerous accounts of hostages, both military and civilian, taken back into Gaza by terrorists.
  • The IDF has now confirmed that it has re-taken from Hamas the Re’im military base in southern Israel, home to its Gaza Division.
  • As well as many breaches of the land border, there were also infiltration attempts by sea, with the IDF intercepting at least four boats, including two speedboats – in total dozens of terrorists onboard.
  • 31 regular IDF battalions are already in operation in the area around the Gaza Strip and Southern Israel, with a further four reservist divisions en route.
  • In response to the invasion, Israel is striking Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip. The so-called “Palestine Tower” in Gaza City – a known Hamas base – was struck and destroyed earlier, after an Israeli warning had been given for civilians to clear the area.
  • Due to the unprecedented nature of the attack, Energy Minister Israel Katz has made an unprecedented decision to cut the power supply to Gaza.
  • According to Palestinian sources, over 160 Palestinians have been killed – the vast majority are presumed to be combatants....
  • Meanwhile, on the Norther border, close to Metula, Hezbollah operatives were filmed in a motorcycle convey close to the border. Israeli forces fired warning shots. The Northern Command remains on high alert.
  • Prime Minister Netanyahu has spoken with US President Biden and told him that a “prolonged and powerful campaign would be required in which Israel would win”.
  • Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has also spoken with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who said that the Pentagon will work in the coming days “to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism.”
  • Israeli President Isaac Herzog released a statement saying: “Today we saw the true face of Hamas. A terrorist army whose only goal is the cold-blooded murder of innocent men, women, and children. Supported and directed by their proxy commanders in Iran, they carried out an unprovoked, heinous attack against the Jewish state on a Jewish holy day. Innocent civilians were massacred and wounded, and many are still under attack. The State of Israel will take all measures necessary to eliminate this clear and immediate danger to our citizens. Israel will overcome in the face of all challenges. I call upon the family of nations – this war waged against us marks a line in the sand. Now is the time to hear clear, unequivocal condemnation of Hamas, its allies, and its backers in Iran. Now is the time to stand firm with Israel in support of its just and moral battle in the face of an abhorrent enemy.”
  • Opposition leader Yair Lapid, who earlier today joined other senior opposition figures in expressing full unity with the government, also made public an offer he apparently made to Netanyahu earlier today to form an “emergency, narrow, professional government” unity government for the duration of the conflict.
  • A senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was earlier quoted by a news agency supporting the attacks, while at a parliamentary session Iranian lawmakers chanted “Down with Israel,” “Down with America,” and “Welcome Palestine,” according to a video published by Tasnim news agency.