Welcome to the top o’ the week: Monday, November 20, 2023, and National Peanut Butter Fudge Day (better than no fudge, but not as good as chocolate or maple).
As I’m still not sleeping well, my morning coffee, which I made, is a latte with four shots of espresso:
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this by consulting the November 20 Wikipedia page.
*Obituaries first: Rosalynn Carter died at 96, only two days after an announcement that she was going into hospice care, afflicted with dementia. She was the beloved life partner of Jimmy Carter, who, despite all expectations, is still alive at 99. I’m sad because he is presumably still sentient and had to experience the loss of Rosalynn. They had been married 77 years, were inseparable, and she was a good woman.
*Welp, the NYT isn’t going to be happy about this, but they’ve dug up even more evidence that al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza was a Hamas headquarters. First, we now have video of hostages being dragged into the hospital on October 7.
From the Elder of Ziyon:
In the footage from the hospital on the day of the massacre, October 7th, 2023, between the hours of 10:42 and 11:01 a.m., hostages abducted from Israeli territory are seen surrounded by armed Hamas terrorists. One of the hostages is injured and is being carried on a hospital bed, and the other is walking. The hostages, a Nepalese civilian, and a Thai civilian, in the documentation, are known, and information on the subject has been passed on to the relevant authorities.
🚨 Breaking: Israel military uncovered footage of hostages being led INSIDE Shifa Hospital 👇
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) November 19, 2023
🚨 Breaking – IDF uncovered footage of Hostages being led INSIDE Al-Shifa Hospital pic.twitter.com/1SBUrHJf5Z
— Yaari Cohen (@YaariCohen) November 19, 2023
See the medical staff of Shifa hospital there? Casually speaking to armed Hamas terrorists who just led a hostage into the room on the right.
They all knew. All the doctors and nurses of Shifa hospital knew. They all lied. pic.twitter.com/LefWa3OvXH
— Dr. Eli David (@DrEliDavid) November 19, 2023
The Israel Defense Forces and Shin Bet security agency release new footage showing part of Hamas’s tunnel network underneath Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, where the terror group is believed to have a main command center.
Clips are published from two separate devices that were lowered into a tunnel entrance discovered by the IDF on Thursday in the Shifa complex.
The tunnel shaft had been located on the hospital grounds under a canopy, where IDF troops had also found a Hamas pickup truck with weapons in it, similar to those used by the terror group in the October 7 attacks.
The new videos show that the tunnel shaft has a winding staircase from around three meters deep, continuing down for another seven meters until it reaches part of the tunnel network. The tunnel continues for five meters, before turning to the right and continuing for another 50 meters.
At the end of the tunnel, the footage reveals a blast door with what the IDF says is a gunhole for Hamas to shoot through.
“This type of door is used by the Hamas terror organization to block the ability of our forces to enter the organization’s headquarters and underground assets,” the IDF says.
“The findings prove beyond all doubt that buildings in the hospital complex are used as infrastructure for the Hamas terror organization, for terror activity. This is further proof of the cynical use that the Hamas terror organization makes of the residents of the Gaza Strip as a human shield for its murderous terror activities,” the IDF adds.
The IDF and Shin Bet security agency release new footage showing part of Hamas’s tunnel network underneath Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital, where the terror group is believed to have a main command center.
Clips are published from two separate devices that were lowered into a tunnel… pic.twitter.com/vJFXmI4Sl8
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 19, 2023
*Finally, the Times of Israel reports that a UK doctor who worked at the Al-Shifa hospital says that it was used for “non-medical purposes” (i.e. terrorism).
A British doctor who used to work at Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical center, under which the IDF says Hamas operates a major command and control base, has confirmed that there were areas of the hospital where he could not go, or else he would be shot.
In a recent interview with the English-language channel of French broadcaster France24, the doctor, who declined to give his name for fear of endangering his colleagues in Gaza, said he had worked at Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza and the West Bank for three months, three years ago.
“When I was first asked to work there [at Shifa], I was told there was a part of the hospital I was not to go near, and if I did, I’d be in danger of being shot,” he was quoted as saying.
“Was it explained to you why that was?” asked journalist Irris Makler in the recorded conversation.
“No, but implicit was that it was being used for non-medical purposes,” replied the doctor.
. . .“They would say there could be many other reasons that you would be told not to go to a particular area of a hospital. It’s not unusual,” the journalist argued.
“I cannot emphasize too much the air of collective paranoia that existed there,” he continued.
. . . The physician also reported to the journalist that if hospital staff were 10% frightened of possible Israeli airstrikes, they were 90% frightened of being persecuted by Hamas.
After all this, I have nothing but contempt for both the NYT and the BBC, who kept reminding us, only three or four days after the IDF entered Al-Shifa, that the “smoking gun” had not been found, and that Israel’s reputation was in danger since they might have been mistaken about al-Shifa. Well, I am confident that they weren’t mistaken, and the coming days will confirm that.
Here’s what’s in the NYT today (click to read). I wonder what the paper would regard as “proof”. NYT reporters were on the site, given a tour of the hospital, and saw the tunnel shaft. I guess they think the IDF built it to gain credibility! The paper is qualifying every statement with “the IDF says,” which is fine, but they don’t do that with the body counts from Gaza, which are given by that paragon of probity, Hamas (the counts are often said that they come from the Gaza Health Ministry, which of course is controlled by Hamas).
For a really acrid take on the BBC and NYT’s anti-Israel reporting, read this article in Spiked. If I still had a subscription to the NYT, I’d cancel it now, but I get free access through our university library. And I have no theory for why most of the MSM, as well as many organizations like the United Nations are especially wary of Israel, believing what the Palestinians say but always checking up on those wily, sneaky Jews. Could the media really be antisemitic? I’m being forced to that conclusion.
Finally, a disgruntled reader sent me this about the NYT’s coverage of “identity issues”:
In terms of NYTimes, back in 2006? with Israel/Hezbollah….I noticed that pictures of Hezbollah showed its soldiers in almost regal military wear, marching etc….and Israeli soldiers would from time to time be portrayed in contrast recumbent, sleeping, t-shirts etc. This happened more than once and I caught on to it. Around the same time the entire Lacrosse/Duke imbroglio was taking place….also very eye opening. Too obvious a pattern not to pick up on it.My lesson? Respectable media can barely be trusted on anything touching on identity, and especially Israel.
*Many sources, including the Washington Post, report that Hamas and Israel are close to a hostage deal.
Israel and Hamas are close to agreement on a U.S.-brokered deal that would free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting, say people familiar with the emerging terms.
A detailed, six-page set of written terms would require all parties to the conflict to freeze combat operations for at least five days while an initial 50 or more hostages are released in smaller batches every 24 hours. It was not immediately clear how many of the 239 people believed to be in captivity in Gaza would be released under the deal. Overhead surveillance would monitor movement on the ground to police the pause.
The stop in fighting is also intended to allow a significant increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance, including fuel, to enter the besieged enclave from Egypt.
“We’ve made some progress recently and have been working hard to advance this, but it remains a volatile situation,” an administration official said Saturday on condition of anonymity. After this article was initially published, National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson tweeted that there was “no deal yet but we continue to work hard to get a deal.”
The outline of a deal was put together during weeks of talks in Doha, Qatar, among Israel, the United States and Hamas, indirectly represented by Qatari mediators, according to Arab and other diplomats. But it remained unclear until now that Israel would agree to temporarily pause its offensive in Gaza, provided the conditions were right.
Israel is under tremendous pressure from the relatives of the hostages to get them freed, and that’s why they agreed to a longer pause. They will also, I’m guessing, release an equal number of Palestinian women and younger people from Israeli prisons. But, as they said, the situation is volatile
*Just about as insane as calls for a cease-fire is the suggestion that the Palestinian Authority should run Gaza after the war is over. That may be jumping the gun, as the war may last a very long time, but seriously, the Palestinian Authority? The WSJ runs through the ups and downs of that solution.
As Western and Arab leaders look beyond Israel’s war in the Gaza Strip, most agree they want some form of Palestinian government running the enclave, but they can’t agree on who it should include.
One emerging point of consensus is that the Palestinian Authority—as it now operates and oversees the West Bank—isn’t up to the job. But there is no easy alternative.
That’s a given: the PA is deeply corrupt, and its head, President for Life Abass, has to go.
Discussions in Washington, Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Middle East are focused on reforming the authority or pushing it aside for something better to govern roughly 2.2 million Gazans upended by a devastating war.
Israel has said it doesn’t want to govern the strip once its offensive ends, potentially months from now, but wants to maintain security to ensure Gaza isn’t used to attack Israelis. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also has said he opposes the Palestinian Authority in its current form governing there.
The authority’s 88-year-old leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has said he would return to Gaza only as part of broader Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations toward a two-state solution. Yet few envisage a quick peace agreement so soon after the Oct. 7 attacks by militant group Hamas that killed more than 1,200 people in Israel, prompting Israel’s assault on Gaza in response.
For a Jewish-centric view on this dangerous fantasy, one promoted by both Blinken and Biden, read Jonathan Tobin’s JNS piece, “Biden’s dangerous Palestinian state fantasy.”
Still, Biden’s refusal to abandon Israel and to try to force an end to the campaign against Hamas is something of a surprise, especially to the Democratic Party’s liberal base, which is furious at him about this. The full-scale revolts among lower-level staffers throughout the administration, as well as among those who work for congressional Democrats, are just one indication of the way younger members of his party have embraced intersectional lies about Israel. They have exhibited a clear predilection to take the side of the Palestinians and Hamas terrorists. This is being illustrated by the polls showing Biden’s shrinking support among younger and minority Democrats.
. . . Whatever may follow the conclusion of the fighting in Gaza—and there’s no certainty about how long it will take for the IDF to complete its vital mission of destroying Hamas—some things are certain. Chief among them is that after the experience of allowing Gaza to be Jew-free, as well as a no-go zone for the Israeli military, there is no way that any Israeli government, no matter its political composition, will allow a repeat of the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s experiment in the summer of 2005 in which every soldier, settler and settlement was pulled out of the Strip.
Sharon and military strategists repeatedly assured Israelis that if the Palestinians were so foolish as to pass up the opportunity to use the withdrawal and the promised Western investment in the area to create an incubator for peace—and instead use it as a launching pad for terrorism—then the Jewish state would have no problem reversing the process. This was a catastrophic mistake in terms of its expectations about Palestinian intentions, international opinion and Israel’s ability to contain or create deterrence against Gaza-based terrorism.
. . . A peace based on the ideas of partition, coexistence and mutual respect, in which both Jews and Arabs would have sovereignty over part of the small country that they share, has been at the heart of every plan to solve the conflict since the 1930s. Yet all have failed, despite the Jewish acceptance of this concept because the majority of Palestinian Arabs have never been interested in any of it. That’s why they rejected the “Arab state” in Palestine that the United Nations voted for in 1947, in addition to repeated Israeli offers of an independent state over the course of the last quarter century.
. . .Common sense dictates that there is no alternative to Israeli security control in Gaza. Alternatives such as a joint force put together by the Arab nations is a fantasy, as those countries understandably want no part of having to deal with the Palestinians and their intransigent refusal to give up their dream of eradicating Israel. Nor is the United States or any Western nation going to go down that rabbit hole. The only choices are a return to the pre-Oct. 6 situation in which the terrorists run Gaza and have free reign [sic] to make good on their promises to repeat their Oct. 7 carnage again and again, or Israeli control.
That might not be what Biden, the foreign-policy establishment and the corporate media that has helped mainstream antisemitism or international opinion want to hear. But it’s the stark truth.
I can’t believe that Israel will want to have security control in Gaza; it seems disastrous. But the two-state solution, in which a Palestine borders on Israel, seems dead as a doornail, at lest until we get new leadership in both countries, and even then I would foresee Palestinian terrorism against a contiguous state of Jews. Let’s just get this war over first while the higher-ups ponder these follies.
*Do you know how much your subscriptions cost per month? I have a good idea, but what bothers me is the subscriptions I’ve forgotten about that are self-renewing. This is the beef of writer David Mack in his NYT op-ed, “The sneaky sticker shock of subscription culture.”
You see, the thing about background spending is it tends to happen, well, in the background without your full attention. And therein lies the point.
“Hand over your credit card details and let us take care of the rest,” these companies assure us. But by agreeing to this trade, we’ve become passive consumers who are allowing the balance of capitalism to tilt away from us. We have ceded one of our key powers as individuals: our agency.
And this laziness breeds more laziness because most of us can’t be bothered conducting regular reviews of our subscription spending. Indeed, economists estimate that buyers forgetting to cancel subscriptions can increase a business’s revenues by as much as 200 percent. It’s no wonder these companies feel that they can jack up the prices. We’re too lazy or busy to even notice or cancel!
I know it’s not just me who is suddenly living life as a smooth-brained subscriber. The average consumer spends $273 per month on subscriptions, according to a 2021 poll of 2,500 by digital services firm West Monroe, which found this spending was up 15 percent from 2018. Not a single person polled knew what his actual monthly spending was.
. . . There’s also evidence we are spending way more on subscriptions than we even realize. Last year, C+R Research asked 1,000 people to estimate what they fork over in subscription costs before actually having them itemize this spending. They found the average monthly spend was $219 — more than 2.5 times higher than the $86 that people guessed.
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili doesn’t like all the fallen leaves:
From Richard: A very bad tattoo of the Savior, making Jesus look like an Eskimo with frostbite:
From Robin, a Dylan Thomas meme:
From Masih: Apparently the hatred of Jews and the wish to die killing them begins early in Iran as well:
They paraded innocent children on TV, asking if they're ready to sacrifice their lives for the Islamic regime, teaching them their only value is in martyrdom. This is how authoritarian regimes systematically brainwash the young. This is the indecisive regime we are relentlessly… pic.twitter.com/61m0LJgxP5
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 19, 2023
From Jez (the UEFA is the Union of European Football Associations). However, Malgorzata told me that there was just a demonstration of Polish activists in front of the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw, protesting Israel’s “war crimes.”
UEFA refused to hold a minute of silence before y-day’s U-21 game between Israel & Poland in Łódź.
In response, the Polish players decided not to play the 1st minute of the game, standing still and honoring the victims of the Oct. 7th Hamas massacre
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) November 18, 2023
*Also from Jez. I presume the clumsy seagull got the biscuit after it hit the ground:
Difference between a seagull and a crow’s accuracy
[📹 Justas Valavicius]pic.twitter.com/FO0pbt4fuC
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) November 17, 2023
*Israeli actress and activist Noa Tishby calls out Students for Justice in Palestine in front of the House Ways and Means Committee
.@noatishby calls out the hatred of Israel & Jews allowed to fester at American colleges.
"Jewish students are being harassed, threatened, and attacked with violent rage. But we have exposed that this violence did not happen overnight nor is it an accident. It has been planned,… pic.twitter.com/BfQAv6ceES
— Ways and Means Committee (@WaysandMeansGOP) November 15, 2023
The Babylon Bee has a funny (but pretty accurate) simulation of an interview between a PBS-like interviewer and a member of Hamas:
Hamas Terrorist Explains Complex, Nuanced Goals In Palestinian Conflict pic.twitter.com/9egL0el7xi
— The Babylon Bee (@TheBabylonBee) November 16, 2023
From the Auschwitz Memorial, a 19=year-old Dutch woman who didn’t survive:
19 November 1923 | Dutch Jewish woman, Sientje Huisman, was born at The Hague.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 19, 2023
From Dr. Cobb. He calls the first one “a nice thing”, and it is:
Beautiful.. 😊 pic.twitter.com/OMDnpIGJRi
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) November 18, 2023
Best video ever? You be the judge, but the 6-minute video of the acorn weevil, with great photography, is mesmerizing.
THE BEST VIDEO EVER MADE ?https://t.co/GrhJpDYa07
— Gaia Mortier (@ThatItchyGirl) November 17, 2023