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WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Volume X1, No. 4,184 • Nov. 29, 2017 • November 29, 2017

Jewish World

 

 

 

 

Contents: | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes   | On Topic Links

 

On Topic Links

           

Mosque Attack is a Testament to Egypt’s Impotence in Sinai: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2017

With Iran on Its Doorstep, Israel Quietly Readies Game-Changing Air Power: Yaakov Lappin, BESA, Nov. 21, 2017

The Wrong Way to Save Academia: F.H. Buckley, New York Post, Nov. 26, 2017

The Miracle of Israel Lives on 70 Years Later: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Nov. 28, 2017

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"Within three months Egypt, with the help of God Almighty and with your efforts and sacrifices along with the civil police, will restore stability and security in Sinai…All brute force will be used. All brute force." — Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, after an attack on a mosque there on Friday left 305 people dead. No group has yet said it carried out the attack on the al-Rawda mosque, which saw gunmen fire on worshippers after setting off a bomb. But there is evidence pointing to an affiliate of I.S. It is believed the mosque was targeted because Sufis worshipped there. Jihadists consider the mystical form of Islam to be heretical. Sufi elders in al-Rawda are also reported to have been warned by the local IS affiliate, Sinai Province, to suspend their rituals before the attack. At a ceremony on Wednesday, Sisi told military Chief of Staff Gen Mohammed Hegazy that he wanted to make a commitment to the Egyptian people on his behalf. "You are responsible for restoring security and stability in Sinai, along with the ministry of the interior, within three months," he said. (BBC, Nov. 29, 2017)

 

“We call on men and youths of Sinai tribes to join their brothers...to coordinate for a major operation with the army.” — Statement from the Union of Sinai Tribes. In a bid for unity to defeat I.S.’s affiliate in the Sinai peninsula, Bedouin leaders have requested that people help the Egyptian military combat the insurgency. Al-Sisi has long pledged to crush a radical Islamist insurgency in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, particularly since the downing of a Russian Metrojet flight in 2015, which killed all 224 passengers and crew on board. The jihadi insurgency in Egypt’s Northern Sinai became emboldened after 2013, when Sisi, then chief of staff of the Egyptian military, ousted the country’s first-ever democratically-elected leader, the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi. (Newsweek, Nov. 27, 2017)

 

“It went higher, frankly, than any previous shot they’ve taken…The bottom line is, it’s a continued effort to build a threat — a ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace, and certainly, the United States.” — U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday that flew both higher and longer than previous such launches, a bold act of defiance against President Trump after he put the country back on a list of state sponsors of terrorism. The president reacted cautiously to news of the launch, stating, “It is a situation that we will handle.” Mattis emphasized what he said were technical advances on display in the 53-minute flight, which began when the missile was launched northeast of the capital, Pyongyang, and ended nearly 600 miles to the east, when it landed in the Sea of Japan. (New York Times, Nov. 28, 2017)  

 

“President Donald Trump is actively considering when and how to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.” — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. Pence made the remarks in a keynote address at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the UN vote for partition of Palestine, which led to the creation of the State of Israel. The UN General Assembly on November 29, 1947 passed a resolution adopting a plan on partitioning British-mandated Palestine to establish a Jewish state. “Israel didn’t need a resolution to call for its existence, because its right to exist is self-evident, and timeless,” Pence said. “While Israel was built by human hands, it’s impossible not to see the hand of heaven here, too.” In the keynote speech, Pence underscored US support for Israel, asserting that ties between the two countries have never been stronger than under Trump. “As President Trump says, ‘If the world knows nothing else, let them know this: America stands with Israel,'” he said. “Under our administration, America will always stand with Israel.” (Times of Israel, Nov. 28, 2017)

 

“Each of them said to me, you have to bomb Iran, it’s the only thing they are going to understand…Without exaggeration, the likelihood is very high that we would have been in a conflict.” — Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry said that Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia encouraged the U.S. to “bomb Iran” before the 2015 nuclear deal was brokered by the Obama administration and other world powers. Prime Minister Netanyahu was “genuinely agitating towards action,” before the deal was finalized, said Kerry during the Ignatius Forum in Washington D.C. Kerry also stated that during his tenure as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Saudi King Abdullah, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Netanyahu all pushed for military action against Iran. (JNS, Nov. 29, 2017)

 

“Look at the American forces today. They are more than 1 million strong. But despite their numbers and their capabilities, they are cowards. When they arrived in Iraq, they brought diapers for their soldiers, so that they could urinate in them when scared…You, on the other hand, have achieved victory with light weapons, Why? Because you are willing to make sacrifices.” — Maj.-Gen. Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s powerful Quds Force. Soleimani derided American soldiers as incontinent cowards in a speech to troops during an offensive to retake a strategic eastern Syria town from the Islamic State. In a speech posted online, Soleimani can be seen giving a pep talk to Iranian soldiers, apparently near al-Bukamal in eastern Syria, where Syrian regime forces and their allies have been fighting to recapture the town from Islamic State jihadists. (Times of Israel, Nov. 29, 2017)

 

“The UN’s assault on Israel today with a torrent of one-sided resolutions is surreal…Even after Syrian president Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against his own people within the past year, the UN is about to adopt a resolution — drafted and co-sponsored by Syria — which falsely condemns Israel for ‘repressive measures’ against Syrian citizens on the Golan Heights. It’s obscene…At a time when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his state-controlled media incite to the continued stabbing and shooting of Israeli Jews, the UN’s response is to reflexively condemn Israel in nine separate resolutions, each of them one-sided, each of them utterly silent on Palestinian abuses.” — Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch and a former CIRJ Dateline Middle East editor. Next month, the UN General Assembly is expected to affirm east Jerusalem’s status as “occupied territory,” call for international companies to boycott Israel, and condemn Israel’s presence on the Golan Heights. (Times of Israel, Nov. 10, 2017)

 

“We were hearing about safety concerns from Muslim students across campus.” — Dalhousie Student Union president Amina Abawajy. The Dalhousie Student Union is offering emergency hijab kits after Muslim women on campus reportedly had their head coverings pulled off and spat on, but the university says it doesn’t expect the kits will be used. Abawajy said the emergency hijab kits come in response to mounting harassment and violence against Muslim women on campus. A Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman said she wasn’t aware of any incidents related to head coverings being pulled off in the city. (National Post, Nov. 28, 2017)

 

“For several years now my students have been mostly Millennials. Contrary to stereotype, I have found that the vast majority of them want to learn. But true to stereotype, I increasingly find that most of them cannot think, don’t know very much, and are enslaved to their appetites and feelings. Their minds are held hostage in a prison fashioned by elite culture and their undergraduate professors. They cannot learn until their minds are freed from that prison.” — Adam MacLeod, professor of law at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. MacLeod wrote an article for The New Boston Post in which he published a speech that warned his first-year law students he would not accept any words ending in “ism.” “Before I can teach you how to reason, I must first teach you how to rid yourself of unreason. For many of you have not yet been educated. You have been dis-educated. To put it bluntly, you have been indoctrinated,” he wrote. (Daily Wire, Nov. 27, 2017)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

ISRAEL TO HEAD OFF UN SETTLEMENT 'BLACKLIST' (Jerusalem) — Weeks ahead of the expected completion of a U.N. database of companies that operate in West Bank settlements, Israel and the U.S. are working to prevent its publication. Israeli officials fear its publication could have devastating consequences by driving companies away, deterring others from coming and prompting investors to dump shares of Israeli firms. Dozens of major Israeli companies, as well as multinationals that do business in Israel, are expected to appear on the list. Israel says that about 100 local companies that operate in the West Bank and east Jerusalem have received warning letters that they will be on the list. In addition, some 50 international companies also have been warned. (National Post, Nov. 26, 2017)

 

US TO ALLOW PLO OFFICE TO REMAIN OPEN WITH ‘LIMITATIONS’ (Washington) — Israel had no immediate response to a US State Department decision to allow the PLO to keep its office in Washington open, despite threatening last week to close it. A spokesperson said the office will be allowed to remain open with limitations, including that the PLO’s activities there be “related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.” According to US law, the PLO cannot operate a U.S. office if it urges the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis for alleged crimes against Palestinians. In an address to the UN in September, Abbas appeared to violate this law when he called on the ICC “to open an investigation and prosecute Israeli officials for their involvement in settlement activities and aggression against our people.” (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2017)

 

ISRAELI MINISTER RESIGNS OVER SABBATH 'DESECRATION' (Jerusalem) — Israel’s health minister Yaakov Litzman, who heads a powerful ultra-Orthodox party in Netanyahu’s coalition, resigned saying he opposed work on the country’s railways on the Sabbath, when all labour is prohibited by Jewish law. Ultra-Orthodox parties have provided Netanyahu with support for his coalition. They have traditionally acted as kingmakers in Israel’s fractious coalition building and have in the past threatened to topple coalition governments by robbing them of their majority. (National Post, Nov. 26, 2017)

 

IRANIAN WRESTLER TOLD TO THROW MATCH TO AVOID FACING ISRAELI (Warsaw) — An Iranian wrestler appeared to throw a match at a tournament in Poland in order to avoid facing an Israeli opponent in the next round. Alireza Karimi-Machiani, who was leading against Russia’s Alikhan Zhabrailov, went on to lose the match after apparently being ordered to throw in the towel rather than square off against Israeli Uri Kalashnikov. In a video clip of the bout, a voice can be heard yelling “lose Alireza” as the Iranian pulls ahead. The treatment of Israeli athletes at international sporting events made headlines after Israeli medal winners at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam judo tournament were prohibited from displaying the Israeli flag, and the national anthem was not played. (Times of Israel, Nov. 27, 2017)

 

GERMAN TV PULLS SPONSORSHIP OF ROGER WATERS CONCERT OVER BDS (Cologne) — German public broadcaster Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) withdrew its sponsorship of a Roger Waters concert in Cologne, Germany after local activists objected to the allocation of public funds to the former Pink Floyd frontman known for his support for the anti-Israel boycott campaign, German newspapers report. Earlier, a 48-year-old Cologne resident had started an online petition calling the broadcaster to sever ties with Waters. (Legal Insurrection, Nov. 27, 2017)

 

FURY GREETS ANNOUNCEMENT OF WEST END THEATER SHOW FOR LIVINGSTONE (London) — The former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone – long regarded as a foe of Britain’s Jewish community for his attacks on Zionism – was at the center of a new controversy after he was announced as the star of a political comedy show at a West End theater. Livingstone, who is currently suspended from the opposition Labour party over allegations of antisemitism, will appear in the annual show hosted by Matt Forde at the Leicester Square Theater. In April, 2016, Livingstone was suspended from the Labour party after he claimed in a radio interview that the Nazi dictator was “supporting Zionism” before “he went mad and ended up killing six million Jews.” (Algemeiner, Nov. 28, 2017)

 

LETHBRIDGE PROF. ACCUSED OF ANTISEMITIC VIEWS REINSTATED (Calgary) — Anthony Hall, a professor accused of espousing antisemitic views, has been reinstated at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta. Hall was suspended last fall following comments he made in online articles and videos suggesting there was a Zionist connection to the 9-11 attacks and that the events of the Holocaust should be up for debate. He maintains the issue is academic freedom and that he should be allowed to promote his work as he sees fit. Hall is a tenured professor who has taught Native American studies, liberal education and globalization over his 26 years at the university. (CBC, Nov. 24, 2017)

 

BERKELEY PROFESSOR SLAMMED FOR ANTISEMITIC TWEET (Berkeley) — Jewish groups have strongly condemned a University of California-Berkeley professor who shared antisemitic images on Twitter that accused “Zionists” of illegally trafficking in human organs. Professor Hatem Bazian — a lecturer at UC-Berkeley’s Ethnic Studies Department and a prominent campus advocate of BDS — shared the tweet on July 31. Accompanying a message built on words like “Zionist,” apartheid,” “genocide,” and “organ theft” was a photo that showed a smiling Hassidic Jew with the caption, “Look, Mom, I is chosen,” with the Twitter hashtag “#Ashke-Nazi.” As a graduate student, Bazian co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine, an infamous pro-Palestinian campus group. (Algemeiner, Nov. 22, 2017)

 

FATAH OFFICIALS ATTEND MEMORIAL FOR PERPETRATORS OF ATTACKS (Ramallah) — Last week, the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida reported that a college in Ramallah had held a memorial for "martyred students", attended by Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen and the secretary of Fatah's branch in Ramallah, Muwaffaq Sahwil. Some of these students had been killed while trying to carry out stabbing or car-ramming attacks against Israelis. For example, Ahmad Jahajha was killed in 2015 while attempting to run over several Border Guard officers; Ali Al-Kar was killed by IDF fire in 2016 after stabbing a female soldier. (Memri, Nov. 22, 2017)

 

RELEASED PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS TO RECEIVE $10 MILLION (Ramallah) — Six-thousand Palestinian Authority terrorists released from Israeli prisons will receive $10 million dollars in special grants from the PA, according to a Makor Rishon report. In addition, the PA is working to pass a new law, named after the terrorist killed by IDF soldier Elor Azaria. PA officials hope the law will be the basis for prosecuting IDF soldiers who kill terrorists, in the International Criminal Court. The PA already has a law giving the death sentence to anyone who sells land to Jews. (Jewish Press, Nov. 24, 2017)

 

LIBYAN CONVICTED OF TERRORISM IN BENGHAZI ATTACKS BUT ACQUITTED OF MURDER (Washington) — A former militia leader from Libya was convicted of terrorism charges arising from the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. But he was acquitted of multiple counts of the most serious offense, murder. The defendant, Ahmed Abu Khattala, 46, was the first person charged and prosecuted in the attacks. Khattala was convicted on four counts — including providing material support for terrorism, conspiracy to do so, destroying property and placing lives in jeopardy at the mission, and carrying a semiautomatic firearm during a crime of violence — but acquitted on 14 others. He faces life in prison. (New York Times, Nov. 28, 2017)

 

PAKISTANI COURT FREES ALLEGED MASTERMIND OF 2008 MUMBAI ATTACKS (Islamabad) — The alleged mastermind of the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai — in which the Indian city’s Chabad center was one of the targets — was ordered released from house arrest by a Pakistani court on Wednesday. Hafiz Saeed — the head of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a charity said by the US to be a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant group — has been under house arrest since January. On November 26, 2008, ten LeT operatives entered Mumbai by sea and launched a coordinated gun-and-bomb assault on multiple sites in India’s most populous metropolis, killing 166 people — including six Jews at the Nariman House. Saeed has denied involvement in the attacks. (Algemeiner, Nov. 22, 2017)

 

CANADA VOWS TO ASSIST WOMAN AND HER CHILDREN WHO ESCAPED I.S. (Montreal) —The Canadian government says it is committed to providing a 22-year-old Montreal woman and her two young children with consular services after they escaped I.S. territory in Syria, but it's not clear whether, upon her possible return to Canada, she will face charges for travelling overseas to join a terrorist organization. The woman, her two-year-old daughter and newborn baby are currently detained by Kurdish forces in Syria. The news of the woman's escape comes as the Liberal government faces questions regarding Canada's plan for returning foreign fighters. The Conservatives grilled Prime Minister Trudeau over his government's focus on reintegrating foreign fighters into Canadian society, rather than putting them behind bars. (Globe & Mail, Nov. 29, 2017)

 

NAVAL IRON DOME MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM COMPLETES TRIAL (Haifa) — The Israel Air Force and Israel Navy have completed a successful trial of its Iron Dome short range missile defense system intercepting rockets fired at sea. The IDF trial imagined a scenario similar to attempts by terrorist organizations in Gaza to strike marine targets during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. During the trial, an Iron Dome battery was placed aboard the Israel Navy's INS Lahav, which fired missiles to intercept both individual rockets and barrages of rockets. The IDF has completed preparations lasting 18 months aimed at possessing capabilities to intercept rockets fired at marine targets, such as cargo ships, Israel Navy boats and natural gas rigs in the Mediterranean. (Defense World, Nov. 28, 2017)

 

NETANYAHU ANNOUNCES OPENING OF EMBASSY IN RWANDA (Nairobi) — Prime Minister Netanyahu announced the opening of a new Israeli embassy in Rwanda while on a state visit to Kenya. The Israeli government recently made a deal with Rwanda to pay $5,000 for each African asylum seeker currently living in Israel that it would accept and absorb. According to the Interior Ministry, around 27,000 Eritrean nationals and 8,000 Sudanese nationals live in Israel. In August, the High Court of Justice ruled that they could be deported to a third country, but those who refused to go could not be jailed for more than two months. (Ha’aretz, Nov. 28, 2017)

 

ISRAELI RESEARCH FINDS DUAL VIRTUAL REALITY – TREADMILL EXERCISE HELPS PARKINSON’S PATIENTS (Jerusalem) — A new Tel Aviv University study suggests that a therapy that combines virtual reality and treadmill exercise dramatically lowers the incidence of falling among Parkinson’s patients by changing the brain’s behavior and promoting beneficial brain plasticity, even in patients with neurodegenerative disease. The research underlines the importance of combining cognitive rehabilitation with the motor rehabilitation of Parkinson’s disease patients. (Jewish Press, Nov. 29, 2017)

 

TURKISH SECURITY FORCES SEIZE 700-YEAR-OLD TORAH MANUSCRIPT (Istanbul) — Turkish security forces seized a Torah manuscript earlier this month that is thought to be at least 700 years old and that was up for sale for $1.9 million, Tukish media reported. Police, acting on an tip, reportedly detained four antique dealers after they tried to sell the manuscript to plainclothes detectives in Turkey’s southern Mugla province. In 2012, Turkish police arrested four people in the Mediterranean province of Adana for allegedly attempting to sell an ancient Torah scroll they said was nearly 2,000 years old, the private broadcaster NTV reported at the time. (Times of Israel, Nov. 28, 2017)

 

ISRAELI CONSUL GENERAL ZIV NEVO KULMAN BIDS MONTREAL ADIEU (Montreal) — Ziv Nevo Kulman, Israel’s consul general for Quebec and the Atlantic provinces, will be leaving Montreal at the end of November, to head the cultural diplomacy bureau of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in Jerusalem. Kulman, who arrived in September 2014, had expected to remain in his current post until next summer, but this change represents a promotion for the 48-year-old career diplomat who has previously been responsible for cultural affairs at postings in Tokyo and Paris. An interim consul general will replace Kulman until next summer, when a permanent envoy will fill the vacancy. (CJN, Nov. 14, 2017)

 

On Topic Links

 

Mosque Attack is a Testament to Egypt’s Impotence in Sinai: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2017—The terror attack Friday at a mosque in the small northern Sinai town of Bir al-Abd wasn’t especially sophisticated. Rather than advanced military skills, the gruesome scene was testimony only to the moral blindness and cruelty of the perpetrators.

With Iran on Its Doorstep, Israel Quietly Readies Game-Changing Air Power: Yaakov Lappin, BESA, Nov. 21, 2017—Iran has big plans to create a military outpost in Syria, right on Israel’s doorstep. From there, the Islamic Republic could threaten and attack Israel in the future.

The Wrong Way to Save Academia: F.H. Buckley, New York Post, Nov. 26, 2017 —Someone once said, “Just when you think things can’t get any worse, they don’t.” We’re supposed to think that life is self-correcting, that it’s darkest before the dawn.

The Miracle of Israel Lives on 70 Years Later: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Nov. 28, 2017—On Nov. 29, 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish, one Arab. Most Zionists accepted the deal, while Arabs almost universally rejected it and declared war.

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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