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MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “Instead of putting energy into attacking Secretary Kerry, those who are upset with the Secretary's use of the term should put their energy into opposing and changing the policies that are leading Israel down this road.” —Statement released by J Street, the liberal Jewish cheering section for the Obama administration, defending Secretary Kerry's remarks about the possibility of Israel becoming an “apartheid state.” (J Street Blog, Apr. 28, 2014)
The Problem is What Kerry Doesn’t Say: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, Apr. 29, 2014
Say What? Top 10 Controversial Kerry Comments on Israel: Algemeiner, Apr. 29, 2014
A Brief History of Failed Peace Talks: Israel Hayom, Apr. 25, 2014
Abbas and the Trouble With Holocaust Commemoration: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Apr. 27, 2014
Never Again: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Apr. 28, 2014
“Instead of issuing statements designed to placate global public opinion, Abu Mazen needs to choose between the alliance with Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel and denies the Holocaust, and a true peace with Israel,”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement distributed by his press office. Last week, the Palestine Liberation Organization, of which Abbas is chairman, moved to repair its seven-year rift with the militant Islamist faction Hamas, prompting Israel to halt the current round of the “peace process” that Secretary of State John Kerry started last summer. “We hope that he will disavow this alliance with Hamas and return to the path of true peace,” Netanyahu added. (New York Times, Apr. 26, 2013)
“…what happened to the Jews in the Holocaust is the most heinous crime to have occurred against humanity in the modern era…”—P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas, on the occasion of Israel's Holocaust Remembrance Day. Abbas, however, was famously criticized by many Middle East observers, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, for suggesting in his 1983 doctoral thesis that number of Jews killed during the Holocaust might be less than one million. During the speech, Abbas also stressed that the Holocaust is a reflection of the concept of ethnic discrimination and racism which the Palestinians strongly reject and act against. He added that “…the world must do its utmost to fight racism and injustice in order to bring justice and equality to oppressed people wherever they are. The Palestinian people, who suffer from injustice, oppression and denied freedom and peace, are the first to demand to lift the injustice and racism that befell other peoples subjected to such crimes…on the incredibly sad commemoration of Holocaust Day, we call on the Israeli government to seize the current opportunity to conclude a just and comprehensive peace in the region, based on the two states vision, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security.” Abbas is cynically using the Holocaust as a way to say that Jews are doing to Palestinian Arabs the same "injustice" and "oppression" that Jews suffered under Nazis. Jews are merely other people who are subjected to "such crimes" that Palestinian Arabs suffer today. At the very same moment of this cynical statement, Abbas is demanding to ethnically cleanse Judea and Samaria of every single Jew who lives there today. (Elder of Ziyon, Apr. 27, 2014)
“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second-class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” —U.S. Secretary of State Kerry, in a closed-door meeting with a group of senior officials and experts from the U.S., Western Europe, Russia, and Japan. Kerry added: “Once you put that frame in your mind, that reality, which is the bottom line, you understand how imperative it is to get to the two-state solution, which both leaders, even yesterday, said they remain deeply committed to.” Kerry’s remarks provoked strong reactions, both in Israel and the U.S.. Kerry apologized for the gaffe in a statement issued Monday evening, saying that if he “could rewind the tape,” he wouldn’t have used the word ‘apartheid’ in his warning about Israel. (Daily Beast, Apr. 28, 2014)
“John Kerry has outdone himself this time, demonstrating a total lack of understanding of the Middle-East conflict,” —Israeli political leader, and advocate for the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, Dani Dayan. Dayan continued: “His equation of the democratic State of Israel and Apartheid South Africa is a new low in American diplomacy and an insult to the people of Israel and South Africa. Had Secretary Kerry come to Judea and Samaria, he would have learned about the potential for coexistence without the need for incendiary comments…the time has come for the American administration to quietly exit this failed process before they further raise unrealistic expectations and their prophecies of Palestinian violence become self-fulfilling.” Dayan was in Washington to speak to officials about the situation in Judea and Samaria, and the impact of the new deal between Fatah and the terrorist group Hamas. (Arutz Sheva, Apr. 28, 2014)
"It is my belief that Secretary Kerry has thus proven himself unsuitable for his position and that before any further harm is done to our alliance with Israel, he should offer President Obama his resignation and the president should accept it," —U.S. Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz also said the use of the term "apartheid" demonstrated "a shocking lack of sensitivity to the incendiary and damaging nature of his rhetoric." (Wall Street Journal, Apr. 28, 2014)
“Though Kerry now says he regrets using the word "apartheid," it was no mere slip of the tongue. Rather, it revealed the depth of his hostility to Israel. It also served as proof of the power of propaganda. When repeated often enough, such a blatant falsehood can even roll easily off the lips of the world's highest-ranking diplomat.” Ruthie Blum, author of To Hell in a Handbasket: Carter, Obama, and the 'Arab Spring.' (Israel Hayom, Apr. 29, 2014)
“There comes a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives,” —U.S. President Barack Obama, appearing to pull back from the Middle East “peace process,” during a news conference in Seoul. Israel called a halt to the peace talks Thursday after Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement agreed to a unity pact to reconcile with its arch-rival, the Islamist terrorist group that has always opposed recognition of Israel, Hamas. Describing Abbas’s move as “unhelpful,” Obama said it was “just one of a series of choices that both Israel and the Palestinians have made which are not conducive to solving this crisis.” (Globe & Mail, Apr. 26, 2014)
“Yom Hashoah reminds us that the Holocaust must never be forgotten and that we must remain vigilant against all forms of prejudice and hatred to ensure that such unspeakable acts of inhumanity never happen again,” —Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, on his Facebook page before Monday’s Holocaust Memorial Day. Harper also referred to the Shoah as “one of the darkest chapters in human history” and stressed the “importance of Holocaust education and remembrance.” (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 28, 2014)
“I should remind Sophie Doucet that building and maintaining the Concentration Camps of Auschwitz also provided livelihoods, but this hardly made the Camps warranted,” —British pop-singer Morrissey, on his official website. Morrissey was responding to statements by Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea, and her spokesperson Sophie Doucet, suggesting "I would urge Mr. Morrissey to consider the impact that his ignorant and inflammatory statements (regarding the Canadian seal hunting industry) have on the livelihoods of thousands of hard-working men and women in rural communities." The former Smiths singer penned the post on his official website titled “Canada: Right of reply” in which he compared the seal hunting industry to the building of ‘the Concentration Camps of Auschwitz.’ (National Post, Apr. 24, 2014)
“This is the first thing that is needed – to teach the Holocaust to Arabs. All the other things are less important, this is stronger than anything else that can be done, including actions by the army,” —Khaled Kasab Mahameed, an Arab Israeli lawyer who founded an Arab Holocaust museum, the Arab Institute for Holocaust Research and Education. Mahameed told The Jerusalem Post in an interview for Holocaust Remembrance Day that he lectures in the Israeli Arab sector as well as in the West Bank. But, he adds, “nobody wants to come.” (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 28, 2014)
SHOT UKRAINIAN MAYOR HOSPITALIZED IN ISRAEL (Haifa) —A mayor of an east Ukrainian city who was shot and critically wounded in his back Monday, was flown to Israel and is being treated in a hospital in Haifa. Hennady Kernes, the mayor of Kharkiv, was out of surgery, Haifa's Elisha Hospital said in a statement issued Tuesday morning. It said the operation was successful and he will not require further surgery. Kernes, 54, who turned against his former Russian backers and began siding with Ukrainian nationalists following the February coup in Kiev, was shot Monday. The shooting came a day after Ukrainian nationalists clashed with pro-Russian protesters in Kharkiv, leaving 14 people injured. Kernes is Jewish, but there has been no mention of an anti-Semitic motive in the shooting. (Ha’aretz, Apr. 29, 2014)
UKRAINE SEPARATISTS PUSH EAST AS US INTERCEPTS MOSCOW ORDERS (Kiev) —Hundreds of pro-Russian separatists, some armed with assault rifles, seized government buildings and laid siege to police headquarters in a second Ukrainian regional capital on Tuesday as they expanded the reach of their rebellion against Kiev. Their storming of regional administration and prosecutor's office in Luhansk came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry revealed that American eavesdroppers have overheard intelligence operatives being directed by Moscow. The new seizures in Luhansk, 80 miles east of the centre of the rebellion in Donetsk, suggest that the separatists are continuing the pattern of occupations that has spread across eastern Ukraine over the past month. (Telegraph, Apr. 29, 2014)
IRAQ ELECTIONS: BOMBS KILL 2 VOTERS HEADING TO POLLS (Baghdad) — Unshaken by the latest surge in violence, Iraqis braved the threat of bombs and attacks to vote Wednesday in key elections for a new parliament amid a massive security operation as the country slides deeper into sectarian strife. Hundreds of thousands of troops and police have fanned out to guard voting centres in what is also the first nationwide balloting since the 2011 American pullout. A roadside bomb killed two women as they walked to a polling station in the small Iraqi town of Dibis near Kirkuk. A Shia party led by Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister of eight years, is expected to win the most seats in Wednesday's election but is unlikely to win a majority. (CBC, Apr. 30, 2014)
PALESTINIANS RISK US AID FREEZE IF HAMAS JOINS GOVERNMENT (Washington) — Palestinian leaders risk forfeiting millions of dollars in US aid if they press ahead with plans to form a unity government including members of the terrorist Hamas group, US lawmakers and officials warned Tuesday. “No US governmental money will go into any government that includes Hamas until Hamas accepts the Quartet conditions. And that’s renouncing violence, recognizing previous agreements and most explicitly recognizing Israel’s right to exist.” The deadline to achieve a deal expired Tuesday with US Secretary of State Kerry’s intensive months-long efforts in tatters. (Times of Israel, Apr. 29, 2014)
HAMAS COULD FIELD PA PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (Ramallah) — A Hamas official said Tuesday that the organization intends to either field its own candidate in the planned Palestinian presidential elections, or throw its weight behind one of the other contenders. Hamas lawmaker Khalil Haya said that Hamas had already started making preparations for taking part in the elections for president of the Palestinian Authority. Hamas also wishes to help decide the makeup of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Palestinian National Council in order to ensure that those bodies reflect the “true desires” of the Palestinian people, Haya explained. (Times of Israel, Apr. 29, 2014)
PRO-ASSAD AREAS ARE ATTACKED IN SYRIA, POINTING TO ELECTION TROUBLE (Damascus) —More than 50 people were killed in bomb, mortar and rocket attacks in government-controlled areas of Syria on Tuesday, as the international chemical weapons monitoring group declared that it was sending inspectors to the country to investigate suspected use of chlorine gas. The wave of attacks on civilian, mainly pro-government, areas in the capital, and in the central city of Homs, came a day after President Bashar al-Assad formally announced plans to run for re-election. The day’s events underscored the uncertainties around the elections planned for June 3, which government opponents widely regard as a sham, saying Mr. Assad’s victory is guaranteed. (New York Times, Apr. 29, 2014)
EGYPT SENTENCES 683 TO DEATH IN LATEST MASS TRIAL OF DISSIDENTS (Minya) — An Egyptian court in the southern city of Minya sentenced 683 people to death Monday in the most recent of a series of mass trials that have alarmed the international community. The ruling came one month after 529 people were sentenced to death in a similar mass trial in the same courtroom. Those sentenced to death were all alleged supporters of the ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. They included Mohammed Badie, the “supreme guide” of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, which captured the lion’s share in Egypt’s first democratic elections, held in 2012. All but 37 of the previous death sentences have been commuted to life imprisonment, under a review by Egypt’s highest religious authority, it was announced Monday. (Washington Post, Apr. 28, 2014)
ABDUCTED NIGERIAN SCHOOLGIRLS SOLD INTO MARRIAGE WITH BOKO HARAM EXTREMISTS FOR $12, REPORT SAYS (Lagos) —Scores of girls and young women kidnapped from a school in Nigeria are being forced to marry their Islamist extremist abductors, a civil society group reported Wednesday. Parents say the girls are being sold into marriage to Boko Haram militants for 2,000 naira (US$12), Halite Aliyu of the Borno-Yobe People’s Forum told The Associated Press. She said the parents’ information about mass weddings is coming from villagers in the Sambisa Forest, on Nigeria’s border with Cameroon, where Boko Haram is known to have hideouts. “Some of them have been married off to insurgents. A medieval kind of slavery. You go and capture women and the sell them off,” said community elder Pogu Bitrus of Chibok town, the town where the girls were abducted. (Associated Press, Apr. 30, 2014)
RCMP RAIDS MUSLIM RELIEF GROUP’S OFFICES AS CANADA DECLARES IT A TERRORIST ORGANIZATION (Toronto) —A Muslim relief organization accused by federal auditors of sending almost $15-million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has been raided by police, who seized an “extensive amount” of evidence, the RCMP said Tuesday. Integrated National Security Enforcement Teams searched the head office of the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy Canada in Mississauga, Ont., as well as a private residence in Montreal. “We are determined to stop Canadian funds from getting in the hands of terrorist groups,” said RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia. A non-profit group that worked mostly in Muslim countries, IRFAN-Canada lost its charity status in 2011 after Canada Revenue Agency auditors called it an “integral part” of an international fundraising effort that supported Hamas. (National Post, Apr. 29, 2014)
RCMP TRACKS WOULD-BE TERRORISTS IN CANADA (Ottawa) —Canadians at risk of joining foreign terrorist groups in Syria and elsewhere are now being tracked under a program led by the RCMP. The program has brought together police and federal agencies to identify “high-risk travellers” and disrupt their plans using methods such as denying them passports. Like its Western allies, Canada has been struggling to deal with a growing number of radicalized men in their 20s who want to travel to Syria to join Islamist extremist groups aligned with Al-Qaeda. About 130 Canadians are currently serving in overseas extremist factions, including about 30 in Syria alone, according to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. (National Post, Apr. 27, 2014)
SYNAGOGUE DISINVITES UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT AFTER HE PERMITTED IAW (Winnipeg) —Winnipeg’s leading synagogue withdrew an invitation for the president of the University of Manitoba to address its service on Yom HaShoah. David Barnard, a computer scientist turned administrator, permitted Israel Apartheid Week to go ahead this year on his campus, despite the objections of the University of Manitoba’s student union. “Our board and congregation and community leaders felt it completely inappropriate that he take part, because it’s visceral and personal and such a solemn occasion for us,” said Ian Staniloff, executive director of the Shaarey Zedek congregation, Winnipeg’s oldest synagogue. Mr. Barnard’s decision to allow Israel Apartheid Week followed a vote of the student union to strip funding and official club status from the University of Manitoba chapter of Students Against Israeli Apartheid. (National Post, Apr. 29, 2014)
HUNGARIANS MARCH AGAINST ANTISEMITISM AFTER FAR-RIGHT POLL GAINS (Budapest) — Tens of thousands of Hungarians joined a protest march on Sunday against antisemitism, three weeks after the far-right Jobbik party won nearly a quarter of votes cast in a national election. Budapest's annual 'March of the Living' has drawn an increasing number of participants in recent years to commemorate the deaths of around half a million Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust. The marchers, many holding EU and Israeli flags, attended the inauguration of a Holocaust monument on a bank of the Danube where Jews were executed during the war. They then marched in silence through the city to an old railway station from which trains departed 70 years ago for Nazi death camps. More people are taking part because they fear antisemitism is again on the rise, said Miklos Deutsch, 64, a restaurant manager, after a shofar, a traditional Jewish instrument made from a ram's horn, gave the signal for the march to start. (Reuters, Apr. 27, 2014)
LEGISLATORS CALL ON NY TO REJECT NEGOTIATING WITH FRENCH RAILWAY THAT DEPORTED 76,000 JEWS (New York) — New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney and City Councillors Mark Levine and Benjamin Kallos announced on Monday that they would introduce a resolution to the New York City Council that would call on the state legislature to pass legislation barring contracting with companies that profited from the Holocaust, but have never compensated victims. Of particular concern is the Société Nationale des Chemin de fer Français (SNCF), the French national railroad company that was responsible for the deportation of 76,000 Jews during the Holocaust. SNCF recently won contracts in Virginia and Massachusetts, and Levine and Kallos hope to prevent the same from happening in New York. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 29, 2014)
ISRAEL GREETS 16,884 NEW IMMIGRANTS IN 2013 (Jerusalem) —Immigration to Israel increased by 2 percent in 2013, with over 16,000 olim arriving, the Central Bureau of Statistics announced on Tuesday. Of the 16,884 immigrants who arrived last year, 43% came from the former Soviet Union, primarily Russia and Ukraine, 17% came from France, 13% from the United States and 8% from Ethiopia. At the end of March the Jewish Agency announced that French immigration has “risen sharply since the start of the year” with 854 French Jews having moved to Israel since the beginning of the year. The bureau also found that of the 3.2 million olim that arrived in Israel since the establishment of the state 41% came since 1990. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 29, 2014)
The Problem is What Kerry Doesn’t Say: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, Apr. 29, 2014 —President Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry never tire of telling Israel all the ills that will befall it if it doesn’t make peace with the Palestinians.
Say What? Top 10 Controversial Kerry Comments on Israel: Algemeiner, Apr. 29, 2014 —David Letterman probably won’t be making this a “Late Show” top 10 list anytime soon, but here’s a sampling of some of the most controversial things Secretary of State John Kerry has said about Israel since he rose to the post of America’s top diplomat last year:
A Brief History of Failed Peace Talks: Israel Hayom, Apr. 25, 2014—The nine months allotted for peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are ending, and while these negotiations were supposed to bring a permanent agreement, all the facts suggest that the gaps are too wide and that the negotiations have failed, or more accurately, failed once again.
Abbas and the Trouble With Holocaust Commemoration: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Apr. 27, 2014 —Today Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas did as many peace process proponents, both Jewish and non-Jewish, have been imploring him to do.
Never Again: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Apr. 28, 2014 —Never again. To Jews it means a refusal to give genocidal bigots another go at them. To Obama, it means refusing to ever again have to listen to an Israeli leader explain why his country cannot commit territorial suicide in order to appease a gang of genocidal bigots.
Rob Coles, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284. mailto:email@example.com
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