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WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Volume X1, No. 4,005 • March 15, 2017

Jewish World

 

 

 

On Topic Links

 

Trump Might Call For a Wall on the Northern Border and Demand Canada Pay for It: Timothy Garton Ash, Globe & Mail, Mar. 6, 2017

Every Great Leader Needs a Touch of Populism … and Trump Has His: Rex Murphy, National Post, Mar. 10, 2017

Turkey Pins Hopes on Trump for Warmer U.S. Relations: Felicia Schwartz, Wall Street Journal, Mar. 10, 2017

Why U.S. Antimissile System in South Korea Worries China: Chris Buckley, New York Times, Mar. 11, 2017

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"Listen Netherlands, you'll jump once, you'll jump twice, but my people will thwart your game…You can cancel our foreign minister's flight as much as you want, but let's see how your flights come to Turkey now…They don't know diplomacy or politics. They are Nazi remnants. They are fascists." — Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. The Netherlands barred Turkey's Foreign Minister from flying to Rotterdam and Erdogan responded by calling his NATO partner a "Nazi remnant." Rotterdam had banned the Foreign Minister from attending a Turkish rally in support of Erdogan's drive for sweeping new powers, to be put to a referendum next month. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose country Erdogan compared last week with Nazi Germany, has said she will do everything possible to prevent any spillover of Turkish political tensions onto German soil. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 11, 2017)

 

“I think there is a real risk that Iran and North Korea could cooperate on nuclear matters. It requires a lot of attention from our intelligence services…If it turns out such cooperation does exist, an argument could be made that it’s a violation of the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action]…Whether it in fact is or not, lawyers would have to decide. It would depend on the exact type of cooperation. But the bottom line is you have to develop more resources to try to figure if it’s going on. And a revelation that it is going on would be quite damaging to Iran.”— David Albright, head of the Institute for Science and International Security. There are two types of know-how Iran and North Korea could share, Albright said. The first is “more traditional information about building nuclear weapons and testing nuclear weapons, which North Korea certainly has plenty of to give to Iran.” And the second is “reentry vehicle technology for a nuclear warhead…Iran is freer to conduct reentry vehicle tests than North Korea,” Albright explained. (Algemeiner, Mar. 10, 2017)

 

"This meeting is considered a historical turning point in relations between both countries and which had passed through a period of divergence of views on many issues…But the meeting today restored issues to their right path and form a big change in relations between both countries in political, military, security and economic issues." — Adviser to Saudi Prince Mohammed. Saudi Arabia hailed a "historical turning point" in US-Saudi relations after a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Prince Mohammed. The meeting appeared to signal a meeting of the minds on many issues between Trump and the Prince, in a marked difference from Riyadh's often fraught relationship with the Obama administration, especially in the wake of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. The deputy crown prince viewed the nuclear deal as "very dangerous," the senior adviser said, adding that both leaders had identical views on "the danger of Iran's regional expansionist activities." (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 15, 2017)

 

“We have to make our own decisions about what we want, I am happy that we have political separation from the Palestinians, I am happy that they have their own government, parliament, and their own president, that they don’t have to go to the Knesset…On the one hand, we are not going to reach a final settlement in the coming future, but, on other hand, I don’t want to rule them and I can live with two Palestinian political entities, [including] Hamastan [in Gaza].” — Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon. Ya'alon, who earlier this week quit the Likud party in order to set up his own party, was strongly critical of elements within the Israeli right-wing for their support for annexing parts or all of Judea and Samaria, but advocated for conflict management in the face of regional upheaval in the Middle East. Ya'alon said he supports “the idea to settle Jews” and that just like he supported the rights of Arabs to live throughout Israel and the West Bank, so too does he support the rights of Jews to live in the same areas. “I cannot accept this idea that there are certain territories in the Land of Israel which are forbidden for Jews,” he stated, but said that all such activities should be done in accordance with Israeli interests, a set government policy and the rule of law. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 15, 2017)

 

"The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas hails the Arab Hero Ahmed Daqamseh on his release and his gaining his freedom. As we greet his noble struggle, his historic steadfastness and his heroic positions on Jerusalem and Palestine and the Resistance of the Palestinian people." — Hamas statement. Palestinian factions are praising Daqamseh, a Jordanian terrorist who shot and killed seven Israeli schoolgirls and injured six others in 1997, after his release from prison in Jordan. The Muslim Brotherhood's political wing in Jordan also rejoiced at his freedom. "The (Islamic Action) party greets people of Jordan and the family of the hero Ahmed Damaqseh on his release from prison after his sentence and welcomes his return to practice his national role alongside the free men of this nation in construction and achievement," according to an Islamic Action Party statement. (IPT, Mar. 13, 2017)

 

“The Russians would be delighted to see Canada flying Super Hornets in the north…The Super Hornets will be a big, bright object on the radars of Russian early-warning aircraft. With the F-35, the Russians will not see them until they are too close.” — Gen. Tom Lawson, the retired former chief of the defence staff. If the Canadian government goes ahead with its decision to purchase Super Hornet fighter jets instead of F-35s, Canada may be giving up its sovereignty over the High Arctic as it comes to depend on U.S. jets. That was the unanimous opinion of half a dozen retired fighter pilots with decades of experience flying over the continent’s northern margins. (National Post, Mar. 14, 2017)

 

“Don’t let this be another Rwanda, where you regret doing too little, too late…Don’t let ISIS get away with genocide…I am speaking to you, the Iraqi government, and to you, UN member states, when I ask: Why? Why has nothing been done?...What is shocking here is not just the brutality of ISIS but how long those who know about it can remain passive. If we do not change course, history will judge us, and there will be no excuse for our failure to act…The UN was created as the world’s way of saying ‘never again’ to the genocide perpetrated by the Nazis…And yet here we are, 70 years later, discussing the UN’s inaction in the face of a genocide that we all know about, and that is ongoing.” — Amal Clooney, a human-rights lawyer, at the UN. Clooney is calling out the UN’s failure to bring I.S. to justice, urging the body to start tracking down the perpetrators of genocide. IS has particularly singled out the Yazidis, a religious minority in Iraq that it aims to wipe out. Canada agreed to take in 1,200 Yazidis by the end of this year. (Globe & Mail, Mar. 9, 2017)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

INTEL TO BUY MOBILEYE FOR $15 BILLION (Jerusalem) — Intel Corp. has agreed to buy Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based developer of vision and driver assistance systems, for $15.3 billion. Mobileye develops the sensors and artificial intelligence that allow a vehicle’s computer to know where it is in relation to other vehicles, pedestrians and the surroundings, the key technologies needed for cars to safely drive themselves. The deal, the largest ever purchase of an Israeli high-tech company, was hailed across Israel as a sign of the country’s technological prowess. Prior to this, the largest tech deal ever in Israel was the sale of NDS Group Ltd. to Cisco in 2012 for $5 billion. (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2017) 

 

JEWISH CENTERS IN US, CANADA HIT WITH FRESH SPATE OF BOMB THREATS (Chicago) — Several Jewish centers in the US and Canada received bomb threats Sunday. Threats were reported at JCCs in Rochester, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Indianapolis, Indiana, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Houston, Texas. All the threats were found to be non-credible and the centers were able to resume operations a short time later. The calls and email came as Jewish communities around the globe celebrated the holiday of Purim. According to the ADL, there have been 152 threats this year against Jewish institutions in 37 states and two Canadian provinces. (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2017)

 

'THE TIME HAS COME TO MAKE A DEAL,' TRUMP TELLS ABBAS (Washington) — A comprehensive agreement settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would advance peace across the region and the world, Trump told PA President Mahmoud Abbas in a phone call. In the call, Trump said: “Peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal,” underscoring that an agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties. Trump invited Abbas to visit Washington for consultations “very soon.” Abbas called Jordan’s King Abdullah II shortly before and after his conversation with Trump, amid reports that Trump’s team is eyeing a regional approach to a new peace process. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 11, 2017)

 

ABBAS TO US ENVOY: PEACE DEAL POSSIBLE UNDER TRUMP (Jerusalem) —Abbas told U.S. peace envoy Jason Greenblatt on Tuesday that he believes a “historic” peace deal with Israel is possible with Trump in office.  During a meeting at the PA’s headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas committed to combat Palestinian incitement, a statement said. Abbas and Greenblatt also discussed building up the PA’s security forces, advancing the peace process, and improving the Palestinian economy. Abbas said he is “looking forward to discussing the possibilities for peace directly with President Trump during his upcoming visit to Washington.” (Times of Israel, Mar. 14, 2017)

 

WHITE HOUSE REPORTEDLY SEEKS MASSIVE CUTS TO U.S. FUNDING OF UN (Washington) — The Trump administration is seeking huge cuts to U.S. funding of the UN, Foreign Policy reported, saying that State Department staffers have been tasked with finding cuts in excess of 50 percent to funding of UN programs. The U.S. gives $10 billion annually to the UN, accounting for about 20 percent of its budget. One diplomat said that UNRWA, the UN agency that provides aid to Palestinian refugees, may be spared from the cuts. The report said that the UN programs set to be most affected are peacekeeping missions, UNICEF and the UN Development Program. (Ha’aretz, Mar. 13, 2017)

 

AL-QAIDA-LINKED GROUP CLAIMS ATTACK NEAR HOLY SHRINES IN DAMASCUS (Damascus) — An al-Qaida-linked group claimed responsibility Sunday for twin blasts near holy shrines frequented by Shiites in the Syrian capital that killed at least 40 people. The Levant Liberation Committee said in a statement that the attack was carried out by two of its suicide attackers, claiming that they targeted pro-Iranian and pro-government militiamen. The attacks in Damascus show that Syrian militant groups can still strike deep inside the capital where security is tight. The Levant Liberation Committee is a coalition of several militant groups dominated by Fatah al-Sham. (Globe & Mail, Mar. 12, 2017)

 

U.N. ACCUSES TURKEY OF KILLING HUNDREDS OF KURDS (Damascus) — Turkey’s military and police forces have killed hundreds of people during operations against Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey, according to a UN report that listed summary killings, torture, rape and widespread destruction of property among an array of human rights abuses. The report details how operations by the Turkish military drove up to half a million people from their homes from July 2015 to the end of 2016. The report said measures taken by the government since the failed coup, including arrests of parliamentarians, mass dismissals of officials and closing of Kurdish-language media, had been aimed at suppressing dissent in general and opposition parties in particular. (New York Times, Mar. 10, 2017)

 

US REQUESTS EXTRADITION OF TERRORIST BEHIND 2001 JERUSALEM ATTACK (Amman) — The US Department of Justice is in the process of announcing its first-ever extradition request of a Palestinian woman behind a 2001 terror attack in Jerusalem that resulted in Israeli and American deaths. The request will call on Jordan to hand over Hamas terrorist Ahlam Tamimi, who had previously been jailed by Israel for her connection to the Sbarro restaurant terror attack in Jerusalem in 2001, but was released by Israel as part of the controversial 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange. The attack killed 15 people, including seven children and a pregnant woman, and wounded 130. (Algemeiner, Mar. 15, 2017)

 

REPORT: IRAN BUILT WEAPONS FACTORIES FOR HEZBOLLAH IN LEBANON (Beirut) — A report has claimed that Iran established underground weapon-making facilities in Lebanon to help Hezbollah. Al-Jarida reported that a deputy head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps has disclosed the existence of the underground facilities. The report says the factories can produce rockets and missiles with a range of more than 500 kilometers, land-based anti-ship missiles, anti-tank missiles, armored vehicles, and drones capable of carrying explosives. The factories in Lebanon have reportedly been built 50 meters underground in order to protect them from Israeli aerial attack. (The Tower, Mar. 14, 2017)

 

EGYPTIAN PROSECUTOR ORDERS RELEASE OF MUBARAK (Cairo) — An Egyptian prosecutor ordered Hosni Mubarak, the toppled autocrat, released from a military hospital in Cairo. Mubarak led Egypt for almost 30 years until he was toppled in 2011. He was later prosecuted on a variety of charges, including corruption and murder, but almost all the cases eventually foundered. His only standing conviction is for his role in embezzling state funds to redecorate his family’s lavish residences. He appeared to be set for release earlier this month after the country’s top appeals court cleared him of responsibility for the killings of 239 protesters by the police. (New York Times, Mar. 13, 2017)

 

GOVERNMENT URGED TO FIGHT FOR RELEASE OF CANADIAN FROM EGYPTIAN PRISON (Ottawa) — Politicians and activists are calling on the government to demand the early release of Canadian citizen Mohamed El Attar from an Egyptian prison. El Attar fled Egypt to Turkey in 2002 due to persecution related to his homosexuality and conversion to Christianity. El Attar was resettled to Canada that year. By 2007, he had become a Canadian citizen. He travelled to Egypt that year and was arrested, based on claims he was feeding information on Toronto’s Arab community to Israel. El Attar is now eligible for early release. Global Affairs Canada must do “all in their power” to impress this request on the Egyptian government, foreign affairs critic Peter Kent said. (National Post, Mar. 9, 2017)

 

STUDENTS ERASE ISRAEL FROM MULTICULTURAL FESTIVAL IN OSHAWA (Toronto) — Students attending a multicultural festival at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa covered up an Israeli flag with its Algerian counterpart in order to eliminate any Israeli presence at a school-sponsored event last week. Members of the local chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) celebrated their act on Facebook, referring to Israeli Jews as “rodents” and telling a Jewish student to “go back to Palestine” when he condemned their actions. In 2016, the Student Association at UOIT banned Hasbara Fellowships, a pro-Israel group, from participating in its annual Social Justice Week, citing the Association’s recent endorsement of BDS as justification. (B’nai Brith, Mar. 13, 2017)

 

NAZI PILOT WON'T BE HONOURED AT QUEBEC EVENT (Montreal) — There was be no mention of the first woman to fly a helicopter, Hanna Reitsch, at a celebration of women in aviation in Quebec, after the mayor of Lachute announced his town wouldn't allow the event to proceed if it glorified someone with a Nazi past. This year marks the 80th anniversary of Reitsch's first helicopter flight. Organizers planned to celebrate with videos about her. Reitsch, who died in 1979, is remembered not only as a pilot, but as a star of Nazi propaganda. It's not clear if Reitsch will be honoured at other events around the world organized by the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide. (CBC, Mar. 9, 2017)

 

’CARLOS THE JACKAL’ BACK ON TRIAL (Paris) —  Once the world’s most-wanted fugitive, the man known as “Carlos the Jackal” appeared in a French court for a 1974 attack against a Paris shopping arcade. The Venezuelan-born Ilich Ramirez Sanchez is accused of throwing a hand grenade from a mezzanine restaurant onto a shopping area in the French capital’s Latin Quarter. Two people were killed and 34 injured. Known as Carlos, the 67-year-old is already serving a life sentence in France for a series of murders and attacks he has been convicted of perpetrating or organizing in the country on behalf of the Palestinian cause or communist revolution in the 1970s and ’80s. (Toronto Sun, Mar. 13, 217)

 

SOUTH CAROLINA UNANIMOUSLY PASSES ‘ANTI-SEMITISM BILL’ (Columbia) — The South Carolina House of Representatives has passed a new bill, H3643, to combat antisemitism, sponsored by Representative Alan Clemmons. The bipartisan bill codifies the State Department definition of antisemitism and cites the so-called “3-Ds” of antisemitism relating to Israel: demonizing Israel, having a double standard for Israel, and delegitimizing Israel. It is meant to track harassment, vandalism, and threats, and treat antisemitism as other forms of hate speech. (Jewish Press, Mar. 10, 2017)

 

SWISS PASS BILL TO STOP FUNDING FOR BOYCOTTS OF ISRAEL (Zurich) — Switzerland’s National Council – the lower chamber of the legislature – passed a bill to stop government funding of organizations that promote boycotts of Israel and spread antisemitism and racism. The measure will be submitted to the upper chamber of the legislature which will decide whether it becomes law. The motion to slash funding for organizations that boycott Israel appears to be the first national parliamentary act in Europe to blunt economic and political warfare targeting the Jewish state. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 9, 2017)

 

E.U. COURT SAYS EMPLOYERS CAN BAN MUSLIM HEADSCARF IN WORKPLACE (Paris) — The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday that employers can prohibit the Muslim headscarf in the workplace. Although nonbinding, the decision sets an important precedent for the continent amid a fraught political climate. As strong anti-immigrant sentiment spreads into the political mainstream and right-wing parties soar in popularity ahead of several key elections this year, the ruling is bound to fan the flames of long-simmering culture wars in Europe, especially in France. (Washington Post, Mar. 14, 2017)

 

POLAND CONFIRMS MINNESOTA MAN AS NAZI COMMANDER (Warsaw) — Poland will seek the arrest and extradition of a Minnesota man exposed by as a former commander in an SS-led unit that burned Polish villages and killed civilians in Second World War. A prosecutor said evidence gathered about Michael K. confirmed "100 per cent" that he was a commander of a unit in the SS-led Ukrainian Self Defence Legion. He did not release the last name, in line with Poland's privacy laws, but the AP has identified the man as 98-year-old Michael Karkoc, from Minneapolis. (CTV, Mar. 13, 2017)

 

BULGARIAN CHURCH NOMINATED FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE FOR SAVING JEWS (Sofia) — Bulgarian-Israeli lawyer Moshe Aloni is seeking support for a campaign to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the Bulgarian Independent Orthodox Church, for protecting the country's Jewish minority during the Holocaust. Aloni nominated the church for its "brave acts of heroism" including voting unanimously to condemn antisemitic laws during World War II and for going against planned deportation of the country's 48,000 Jews to Nazi death camps in Europe. A petition launched last year in support of this cause had, as of Sunday, gained 740 signatures of a target of 1,000. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2017)

 

IVANKA TRUMP BAKES TRADITIONAL HAMENTASHEN (Washington) — Ahead of Purim, Ivanka Trump shared a photo on Instagram of her family baking hamentashen – triangular cookies eaten on the Jewish holiday. The daughter of the President is seen in the picture preparing the sweet treat with five-year-old daughter Arabella and three-year-old son, Joseph. This is not the first time that Ivanka has posted photos on social media of holiday rituals she has been engaging in since converting to Judaism in 2009, prior to her marriage to Kushner, an orthodox Jew. Last year, she uploaded a picture of herself with son Joseph preparing Purim baskets. (Algemeiner, Mar. 12, 2017)

 

ISRAEL FALLS TO JAPAN, ENDING MIRACLE RUN AT BASEBALL TOURNAMENT (Los Angeles) — Israel’s miracle run at the 2017 World Baseball Classic came to an end as the team fell to Japan 8-3. Israel entered the tournament as heavy underdogs, surprising the world, and its namesake country, by going undefeated in the first round and beating Cuba in the second round. Consecutive losses to the Netherlands and Japan, though, proved too much to overcome, and the team was forced to hang up its gloves without a trip to the championship rounds in Los Angeles. Israel was the lowest-ranked team to qualify for the World Baseball Classic, coming in at 41st. (Times of Israel, Mar. 15, 2017) 

 

WORLD’S OLDEST JEW DIES AT 117 (Jerusalem) — He was born when the Ottoman Empire still ruled modern-day Israel, and Jews were spread throughout the Middle East. 117-year-old Rabbi Zecharia Barashi, Israel’s oldest resident and the world’s oldest Jew, passed away from natural causes at his Jerusalem home. Barashi immigrated to pre-state Israel in 1936 from Iraqi Kurdistan, first laboring as a construction worker and then as a rabbi ministering to his fellow Kurds. He also founded a national organization for Kurdish Jews and worked as an educator in Jerusalem. He is survived by 29 grandchildren, 72 great-grandchildren and 24 great-great-grandchildren. (Forward, Mar. 8, 2017)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Trump Might Call For a Wall on the Northern Border and Demand Canada Pay for It: Timothy Garton Ash, Globe & Mail, Mar. 6, 2017—Will Trump build a wall on the Canada-U.S. border and make Canada pay for it? Trump’s immigration policies appear to be working. That’s great for the majority of Americans who are opposed to open immigration, and for Trump’s re-election prospects, which depend on his delivering on his campaign promise to control illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border.

Every Great Leader Needs a Touch of Populism … and Trump Has His: Rex Murphy, National Post, Mar. 10, 2017—I suppose no one will challenge the observation that the best account of populism was given by the most eloquent of presidents.  Lincoln’s famous elegy at Gettysburg, which every high school student should learn by heart, contains in its concluding sentence the unforgettable prepositional triplet of “government of the people, for the people, by the people.”

Turkey Pins Hopes on Trump for Warmer U.S. Relations: Felicia Schwartz, Wall Street Journal, Mar. 10, 2017—Turkey expects to have better relations with President Donald Trump after they deteriorated under the Obama administration, senior Turkish officials said in interviews, as the two attempt to find a common strategy on Syria and Islamic State.

Why U.S. Antimissile System in South Korea Worries China: Chris Buckley, New York Times, Mar. 11, 2017—Mao Zedong famously dismissed the atomic bomb as a “paper tiger,” able to kill and terrify, but not decisive in war. Even so, China built a nuclear arsenal of its own, and now concerns about the effectiveness of that arsenal as a deterrent are driving it into confrontation with the United States over an antimissile system being built in South Korea. Here’s an explanation of why.

 

 

EDITORIAL BOARD

Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Prof. Harold Waller Prof. Harold Waller (McGill University)

Prof. Ira Robinson, Associate Chairman Prof. Ira Robinson, Associate Chairman (Department of Religion, Concordia University)

Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman Baruch Cohen, Research Chairman (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research) Rob Coles (Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)

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