IDF Reservists Fight Anti-Semitism on College Campuses

On today’s show, Glenn was joined by Amit Deri, the executive director of Reservists on Duty (RoD), an organization of former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers dedicated to fighting  and anti-Israel propaganda on college campuses across North America. Founded in 2015, the volunteer group is comprised of army reservists from every religion and background, including Christians, Muslims, and Atheists.

“Our goal is to fight hate groups,” said Deri. “I can tell you those groups are anti-American. They are anti everything, anti the western world. Our group is coming first to expose those groups on campus. To educate and give tools to Jew students and non-Jew students for how to speak about Israel, to refute the lies and bad labels they are spreading all over the place.”

Listen to the podcast above to hear the whole interview.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: I found out about a group called Reservists on Duty. It's an organization created because of the military experience and the encounters with the far left that are -- that anti-Semitic organizations are -- are using to attack Israel and the -- the members of the IDF. And these are -- these are becoming very, very powerful groups. And you just can't -- you just can't stand up and tell the truth of what you know about Israel. So these reservists have come together. And they have served on active duty in various combat positions. These are not Jews.

These are Christians and Muslims. And I believe atheists. That are standing up and saying, "Wait a minute. None of that is true."

We have Amit Deri. He's the executive director of Reservists on Duty. Amit, how are you?

AMIT: Good morning, Glenn. Thank you for having me.

GLENN: You bet. Okay. So tell me exactly what you guys are doing.

AMIT: So, yeah, Reservists on Duty is a group of former Israeli soldiers. The reason the Jews are also there, but there are a lot of them that are Americans who today lives in Israel. But also a lot of minorities that lives in Israel. You probably know that in Israel, we have Muslims, we have Jews, we have Bedouins, we have Christians. We even have Palestinians. And a lot of them are willing to come and speak in favor of Israel on college campuses. And our goal is to fight BBC, anti-Semitic groups -- hate groups actually that works on campus. And you mentioned, by the way, that those groups are anti-Israel. But I can tell you that they are actually anti-American. They're anti-everything. They're anti the Western world.

GLENN: Yes.

AMIT: And our group actually has come in first to expose those groups on campus, to educate and to give tools for Jewish students and non-Jewish students, how to speak about Israel, to refute the lies and the blood labels that those guys are spreading all over the place. And -- and that's Reservists on Duty. We are -- we are usually coming when they are producing -- you probably know, Glenn, that they're producing a week -- a whole week against Israel called the Israeli apartheid group. You can find that in -- I think in every college campus in America. You have a week against Israel. They build the big wall. They call it the apartheid wall, which means the separation wall that we have here in Israel. Building the wall with a lot of quotes and a lot of lies. And they're actually, for the whole week, spreading lies, misinformation, and disinformation. Pure anti-Semitism against Israel and against the Jewish people.

GLENN: Okay. So a couple -- so a couple of things. So you can contact you, I would imagine. And ask for you guys to come and speak at the college.

I think having a Palestinian speak is really powerful. You know, speaking in defense of Israel.

What is the reception that you're getting at these campuses?

GLENN: Actually, this is our main challenge. We have a lot of people -- all of them are volunteers. And our main challenge is to -- we need more people to invite us. We're not just coming and showing up in the middle of campus.

So we need groups, more groups, Jewish groups, Christian groups, conservative groups, that will invite to us speak on campus. So I invite your audience and the people who are listening to us now to invite us to their college campus. We will come. We have the best speakers. And you said -- you mentioned the Palestinian guy. I can tell you, it's not easy for those speakers.

GLENN: I know.

AMIT: We just came back from two weeks to the United States, with a minority group. One Christian, one Arab, one Muslim girl, one Bedouin, and one Palestinian. And they experienced a physical attack. Freedom of speech today in America, I think, is under fire. I think you know that better than me.

And those guys two weeks ago, they gave a speech on a synagogue, not in a college campus. In a synagogue in New York. Lincoln Square Synagogue. And in the middle of the speech, temple of Palestinians probably -- Palestinians or Muslims sneak into the building or synagogue and started to shout and yell and scream and curse in every possible language inside a synagogue, and tried to physically attack the Palestinian speaker. Just drive them crazy when Arabs, when Muslims, Christians, Bedouins, speak in favor of Israel.

So I think if this drives them crazy, we're doing the right thing. And we want to bring those guys more and more to the stage, and I invite people to invite us to come and speak.

STU: As sick as our universities are right now and all of the things that they're doing that are, you know, not up to what we kind of thought of as real American foundational principles over the years. There's really, I don't think anything, that seems to get our universities more angry than people saying positive things about Israel. Is that just the sort of dark themes that have gone throughout history when it comes to the Jewish people?

Is that an American military argument? Why do you think that is?

AMIT: I think, you know, the -- the essence is anti-Semitism. If you look from the leader of those groups, most of them are -- are Muslims, that immigrated to the states. And, you know, it's not about '67 borders, it's not about a peace agreement with the Palestinians. They want us out. They want the Jews, the Jewish people out from the state of Israel.

And when -- when we're coming on college campuses, you can always see that this is not only about Israel. It's also against conservative speakers who are coming to college campuses.

GLENN: Yeah.

AMIT: It's all the speakers who are not going with -- you know, with the mainstream, with what the -- by the way, most of the administrations on college campuses want to hear -- you are not welcome. Nobody will give pro-Israeli groups to do a hate week, literally hate week, like the Israeli apartheid group that those guys were producing.

Nobody in the administration would let us to do a week even in anti, even in favor of Israel, nobody would let us do that. And the administration, all college campuses are backing those students. I can tell you that we're experiencing the same, like we experienced in the synagogue, we experienced the same in Minnesota, on the campus. At a state university.

GLENN: When you guys speak or are asked to speak, does it cost -- does it cost the organization inviting you anything to bring you over?

AMIT: No money. No. We don't charge a penny. We want to do that because we believe in what we're doing. And all of our -- our activists are volunteers. There's a lot of people who are passionate for Israel here. And we want to do that.

Because we understand now -- and I think, by the way, Glenn, I think we understand too late unfortunately.

GLENN: Yeah, yes.

AMIT: Those guys started back in the '80s. '90s.

GLENN: All right. So how does somebody get in touch with you?

AMIT: Yeah. So we have our website. Onduty, in one word. Onduty.org.il. And all the details and all of our information, contact information and our activities and videos, on the website.

GLENN: Okay. It's onduty.org.il. Don't forget the .il. Onduty.org.il.

Amit, we'll talk to you again, and we hope to see you next time you're in the United States. Thank you for what you're doing.

AMIT: Thank you again. I want to -- I want to thank you and your audience for all of your support for the state of Israel, for the idea of -- I can tell you that a lot of people here in Israel listen to your radio shows and podcast, and we don't take it for granted. Thank you very much.

GLENN: Thank you, Amit. I appreciate it. God bless you.

Stop trying to be right and think of the children

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All the outrage this week has mainly focused on one thing: the evil Trump administration and its minions who delight in taking children from their illegal immigrant parents and throwing them all in dungeons. Separate dungeons, mind you.

That makes for a nice, easy storyline, but the reality is less convenient. Most Americans seem to agree that separating children from their parents — even if their parents entered the US illegally — is a bad thing. But what if that mom and dad you're trying to keep the kids with aren't really the kids' parents? Believe it or not, fraud happens.

RELATED: Where were Rachel Maddow's tears for immigrant children in 2014?

While there are plenty of heartbreaking stories of parents simply seeking a chance for a better life for their children in the US, there are also corrupt, abusive human traffickers who profit from the illegal immigration trade. And sorting all of this out is no easy task.

This week, the Department of Homeland Security said that since October 2017, more than 300 children have arrived at the border with adults claiming to be their parents who turned out not to be relatives. 90 of these fraud cases came from the Rio Grande Valley sector alone.

In 2017, DHS reported 46 causes of fraudulent family claims. But there have already been 191 fraud cases in 2018.

Shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

When Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen pointed out this 315 percent increase, the New York Times was quick to give these family fraud cases "context" by noting they make up less than one percent of the total number of illegal immigrant families apprehended at the southern border. Their implication was that Nielsen was exaggerating the numbers. Even if the number of fraud cases at the border was only 0.001 percent, shouldn't we be concerned about any child that is smuggled by a human trafficker?

This is the most infuriating part of this whole conversation this week (if you can call it a "conversation") — that both sides have an angle to defend. And while everyone's busy yelling and making their case, children are being abused.

What if we just tried, for two seconds, to love having mercy more than we love having to be right all the time?

Remember when cartoons were happy things? Each panel took you on a tiny journey, carrying you to an unexplored place. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud writes:

The comics creator asks us to join in a silent dance of the seen and the unseen. The visible and the invisible. This dance is unique to comics. No other artform gives so much to its audience while asking so much from them as well. This is why I think it's a mistake to see comics as a mere hybrid of the graphic arts and prose fiction. What happens between . . . panels is a kind of magic only comics can create.

When that magic is manipulated or politicized, it often devolves the artform into a baseless thing. Yesterday, Occupy Wall Street published the perfect example of low-brow deviation of the artform: A six-panel approach at satire, which imitates the instructions-panel found in the netted cubbyhole behind seats on airplanes. The cartoon is a critique of the recent news about immigrant children being separated from their parents after crossing the border. It is a step-by-step guide to murdering US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents.

RELATED: Cultural appropriation has jumped the shark, and everyone is noticing

The first panel shows a man shoving an infant into a cage meant for Pomeranians. The following five panels feature instructions, and include pictures of a cartoonish murder.

The panels read as follows:

  1. If an ICE agent tries to take your child at the border, don't panic.
  2. Pull your child away as quickly as possibly by force.
  3. Gently tell your child to close his/her eyes and ears so they won't witness what you are about to do.
  4. Grab the ICE agent from behind and push your knife into his chest with an upward thrust, causing the agent's sternum to break.
  5. Reach into his chest and pull out his still beating heart.
  6. Hold his bloody heart out for all other agents to see, and tell them that the same fate awaits them if they f--- with your child again.

Violent comics are nothing new. But most of the time, they remain in the realms of invented worlds — in other words, not in our own, with reference to actual people, let alone federal agents.

The mainstream media made a game of crying racism with every cartoon depiction of Obama during his presidency, as well as during his tenure as Senator, when the New Yorker, of all things, faced scrutiny for depicting him in "Muslim clothing." Life was a minefield for political cartoonists during the Obama era.

Chris Hondros/Getty Images

This year, we saw the leftist outrage regarding The Simpsons character Apu — a cartoon representation of a highly-respected, though cartoonishly-depicted, character on a cartoon show composed of cartoonishly-depicted characters.

We all remember Charlie Hebdo, which, like many outlets that have used cartoon satire to criticize Islam, faced the wrath and ire of people unable to see even the tamest representation of the prophet, Muhammad.

Interesting, isn't it? Occupy Wall Street publishes a cartoon that advocates murdering federal agents, and critics are told to lighten up. Meanwhile, the merest depiction of Muhammad has resulted in riots throughout the world, murder and terror on an unprecedented scale.

The intersection of Islam and comics is complex enough to have its own three-hour show, so we'll leave it at that, for now. Although, it is worth mentioning the commentary by satirical website The Onion, which featured a highly offensive cartoon of all the major religious figures except Muhammad. It noted:

Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened.

Of course, Occupy Wall Street is free to publish any cartoon they like. Freedom of speech, and so on—although there have been several instances in which violent cartoons were ruled to have violated the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" limitation of the First Amendment.

Posting it to Twitter is another issue — this is surely in violation of Twitter's violent content policy, but something tells me nothing will come of it. It's a funny world, isn't it? A screenshot of a receipt from Chick-fil-A causes outrage but a cartoon advocating murder gets crickets.

RELATED: Twitter mob goes ballistic over Father's Day photo of Caitlyn Jenner. Who cares?

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud concludes that, "Today the possibilities for comics are — as they've always been — endless. Comics offers . . . range and versatility, with all the potential imagery of film and painting plus the intimacy of the written word. And all that's needed is the desire to be heard, the will to learn, and the ability to see."

Smile, and keep moving forward.

Crude and awful as the Occupy Wall Street comic is, the best thing we can do is nod and look elsewhere for the art that will open our eyes. Let the lunatics draw what they want, let them stew in their own flawed double standards. Otherwise, we're as shallow and empty as they are, and nothing good comes of that. Smile, and keep moving forward.

Things are getting better. Show the world how to hear, how to learn, how to see.

People should start listening to Nikki Haley

ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images

Okay. Let's take a vote. You know, an objective, quantifiable count. How many resolutions has the UN Human Rights Council adopted condemning dictatorships? Easy. Well. How do you define "dictatorship"?

Well, one metric is the UN Human Rights Council Condemnation. How many have the United Nations issued to China, with a body count higher than a professional Call of Duty player?

Zero.

How about Venezuela, where socialism is devouring its own in the cruelest, most unsettling ways imaginable?

Zero.

And Russia, home of unsettling cruelty and rampant censorship, murder and (actual) homophobia?

Zero.

Iraq? Zero. Turkey? Iraq? Zero. Cuba? Zero. Pakistan? Zero.

RELATED: Nikki Haley just dropped some serious verbal bombs on Russia at the UN

According to UN Human Rights Council Condemnations, 2006-2016, none of these nations is as dangerous as we'd imagined. Or, rather, none of them faced a single condemnation. Meanwhile, one country in particular has faced unbelievable scrutiny and fury — you'll never guess which country.

No, it's not Somalia. It's Israel. With 68 UN Human Rights Council Condemnations! In fact, the number of total United Nations condemnations against Israel outnumbers the total of condemnations against all other countries combined. The only country that comes close is Syria, with 15.

The Trump administration withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday in protest of what it perceives as an entrenched bias against Israel and a willingness to allow notorious human rights abusers as members.

In an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Nikki Haley said:

Let's remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy. This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday... No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.

Maybe people should start listening to Haley. Hopefully, they will. Not likely, but there's no crime in remaining hopeful.

Here's a question unique to our times: "Should I tell my father 'Happy Father's Day,' even though he (she?) is now one of my mothers?"

Father's Day was four days ago, yes, but this story is just weird enough to report on. One enjoyable line to read was this gem from Hollywood Gossip: "Cait is a woman and a transgender icon, but she is also and will always be the father of her six children."

RELATED: If Bruce was never a he and always a she, who won the men's Olympic gold in 1976?

Imagine reading that to someone ten — even five — years ago. And, honestly, there's something nice about it. But the strangeness of its having ever been written overpowers any emotional impact it might bring.

"So lucky to have you," wrote Kylie Jenner, in the Instagram caption under pre-transition pictures of Bruce Jenner.

Look. I risk sounding like a tabloid by mere dint of having even mentioned this story, but the important element is the cultural sway that's occurring. The original story was that a band of disgruntled Twitter users got outraged about the supposed "transphobic" remarks by Jenner's daughter.

But, what we should be saying is, "who the hell cares?" Who cares what one Jenner says to another — and more importantly and on a far deeper level — who cares what some anonymous Twitter user has to say?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob?

When are we going to stop playing into the hands of the Twitter mob? Because, at the moment, they've got it pretty good. They have a nifty relationship with the mainstream media: One or two Twitter users get outraged by any given thing — in this case Jenner and supposed transphobia. In return, the mainstream media use the Twitter comment as a source.

Then, a larger Twitter audience points to the article itself as proof that there's some kind of systemic justice at play. It's a closed-market currency, where the negative feedback loop of proof and evidence is composed of faulty accusations. Isn't it a hell of a time to be alive?