Month: October 2014

“THE DEVIL THAT NEVER DIES”: Antisemitism & Anti-Israelism Persist in Academia, UN, Media, and among Leftists, But A New Polish Museum & Sir Winton Offer Hope

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

How the Jewish State is Being Demonized: Clifford D. May, National Post, Oct. 30, 2014— Last week, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month-old baby.

Willful Blindness To Academic Anti-Semitism: Richard L. Cravatts, Jewish Press, Oct. 29, 2014 — As yet more evidence that academics are regularly able to engage in what George Orwell sardonically referred to as “doublethink” – “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them,” 40 professors of Jewish studies recently published a denunciation of a study that named professors who have been identified as expressing “anti-Israel bias, or possibly even antisemitic rhetoric.”

Amid Growing European Anti-Semitism, New Jewish Museum in Poland ‘Reveals Hope’ : Ruth Ellen Gruber, JTA, Oct. 28, 2014 — In a Europe wracked by fears of rising anti-Semitism, and in a country whose Jews were all but annihilated in the Holocaust, a dazzling new “museum of life” celebrates the Jewish past and looks forward to a vital future.

An Old Man in Prague: Roger Cohen, New York Times, Oct. 30, 2014 — An old man went to Prague this week.

On Topic Links

 

Europe’s Alarming New Anti-Semitism: Jonathan Sacks, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2014

Nobel Prize Winner Patrick Modiano Summons the Shadow-World of Postwar French Jewry: Clémence Boulouque, Tablet, Oct. 20, 2014

Eichmann Before Jerusalem (Book Excerpt): Bettina Stangneth, National Post, Oct. 30, 2014

The Democratic Embrace of Al Sharpton: Heather Mac Donald, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2014

 

                             

                            

HOW THE JEWISH STATE IS BEING DEMONIZED                                           

Clifford D. May                                                                                                   

National Post, Oct. 30, 2014

 

Last week, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month-old baby. Eight others were injured, including a 22-year-old woman who died a few days later. The attacker fled the scene pursued by police who shot and killed him. Terrorists also have struck in Ottawa and New York in recent days. So Israelis are not alone. But many feel alone — perceiving that an increasing number of Europeans and Americans see them not as a tiny nation on the front lines in a global conflict against jihadism, but as bullies culpable for the war being waged against them.

 

The first AP report on the terrorist attack bolstered that impression. It carried the headline: “Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem.” A little later, that was changed to “Car slams into east Jerusalem train station.” Finally, following protests on social media, the headline became: “Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem station.” There also was this: The Fatah movement, led by “moderate” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, called the vehicular terrorist a “heroic martyr” who had “executed the Jerusalem operation which led to the running over of settlers in the occupied city of Jerusalem.” If that evoked outrage in any Western capitals, I missed it.

 

   

Joshua Muravchik, a fellow at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced Studies, has been studying the growth of anti-Israelism. He presents his analysis in a cogent and valuable book: Making David into Goliath: How the World Turned Against Israel. Start with the good news if for no other reason than there’s not much of it: Polls show a clear majority of Americans continue to support Israel, continue to believe the Jewish state has a right to exist and to defend itself. But over the last few decades, intellectuals of the Left, academics, the UN, human rights organizations, some mainstream Protestant churches and the media have grown not just unsympathetic but, in many cases, hostile toward Israel and Israelis. At the same time, they have been indulgent of Israel’s enemies, Islamist terrorists included. An article over the weekend in the International Herald Tribune noted that “Britain’s center-left Labour Party often sympathizes instinctively with the Palestinian cause.” Hamas — which claimed responsibility for the murders of the woman and child in Jerusalem last week — defines the Palestinian cause as the extermination of Israel and the murder of Jews. (It’s in the Hamas Charter. Look it up.)

 

If Britain’s Labour Party sympathizes with that, it is probably a learned, not instinctive, response. Muravchik notes that as recently as the 1960s, Israel was almost universally admired. Leon Uris’ Exodus shaped the prevailing narrative, one which saw “the founding of the Jewish state as a story of heroism, sacrifice and redemption … both just and necessary.” Muravchik recounts how, in May 1967, Egyptian leader Gamal Abdul Nasser sent his troops into the Sinai, closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping (an act of war) and vowed that Egypt, joined by other Arab armies, would “destroy Israel … This is Arab power. This is the true resurrection of the Arab nation.” Opinion in the West, popular and elite alike, came down firmly in support of the Jewish state. “As the crisis deepened,” Muravchik writes, “a luminous group of intellectuals,” including thousands of academics, called upon the U.S. government to help Israelis defend themselves. When the fighting concluded, Israel had prevailed, taking Gaza from Egypt and the West Bank from Jordan. U.S. Sen. George McGovern, who would become the Democratic Party’s “peace candidate” in 1972, said he hoped Israel would “not give up a foot of ground” until the Arabs made peace.

 

This summer, by stark contrast, as Hamas fired thousands of missiles at Israel, anger was directed at Israel. The media focused almost exclusively on Palestinian victims — even though the Israeli Defense Forces did more than any army in history ever has to protect non-combatants, many of whom Hamas used as human shields. How did this change come about? After the 1967 war, Israel’s enemies and critics stopped talking about an Arab-Israeli conflict. It became a Palestinian-Israeli conflict instead. The new David was supported by the diplomatic, political and economic clout of 22 Arab states, oil giants among them, as well as more than 50 nations that self-identify as Islamic. Another significant factor has been what Muravchik calls “the transformation of the paradigm of Leftism from class struggle to ethnic struggle.” More than half of all Israeli Jews come from families who for centuries made their homes in Muslim lands. In the 1940s and 1950s, most of them were forced to flee. Nevertheless, the narrative shaped by the Left is of oppressed third world Palestinians rising against colonialist European usurpers.

 

Views prevalent on the Left have a tendency to “seep, albeit in diluted form, into the mainstream,” Muravchik adds. And the “anti-Israel camp does not need to win America fully to its side. Merely to neutralize it would radically alter the balance of power and put Israel in great jeopardy.” Muravchik doesn’t rule out the possibility that, should this process continue, should “Israel’s enemies succeed, the result could be a second Holocaust.” I was looking forward to Muravchik’s thoughts on efforts to counter the rise of anti-Israelism (and the anti-Semitism now inextricably attached to it), why such efforts have fallen short, and what else might be considered by those who are anti-anti-Israeli – or even just anti-genocide. But he didn’t provide that. Perhaps he will tackle the subject in his next book. Or maybe he is leaving the task to writers of a less scholarly and more activist bent. Either way, he has made a persuasive case that such thinking is urgently needed.

                                                                       

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WILLFUL BLINDNESS TO ACADEMIC ANTI-SEMITISM                                 

Richard L. Cravatts                                                                                                     

Jewish Press, Oct. 29, 2014

 

As yet more evidence that academics are regularly able to engage in what George Orwell sardonically referred to as “doublethink” – “the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them,” 40 professors of Jewish studies recently published a denunciation of a study that named professors who have been identified as expressing “anti-Israel bias, or possibly even antisemitic rhetoric.” While the 40 academic “heavyweights” claim they, of course, reject anti-Semitism totally as part of teaching, they were equally repelled by the tactics and possible effects of the AMCHA Initiative report, a comprehensive review of the attitudes about Israel of some 200 professors who signed an online petition during the latest Gaza incursion that called for an academic boycott against Israeli scholars. Calling “the actions of AMCHA deplorable,” the indignant professors were insulted by the organization’s “technique of monitoring lectures, symposia and conferences,” something which they believe “strains the basic principle of academic freedom on which the American university is built.”

 

Only in the inverted reality of academia could a group of largely Jewish professors denounce a study which had as its core purpose to alert students to professors who have demonstrated, publicly and seemingly proudly, that they harbor anti-Israel attitudes, attitudes which unfortunately frequently morph into anti-Semitic thought and speech as part of discussions about Israel and the Middle East. Since the individuals named in the report teach in the area of Middle East studies, they are also likely to bring that anti-Israel bias into the classroom with them, and students, therefore, would obviously benefit from AMCHA’s report. Can anyone believe that had the AMCHA Initiative issued a report that revealed the existence of endemic racism, or homophobia, or sexism, or Islamophobia in university coursework, and had warned students who might be negatively impacted to steer clear of courses taught by those offending professors, these same 40 feckless professors would have denounced such reports as potentially having a negative effect on teaching and learning?

 

Why should a professor’s political attitudes not be known to students, especially, as in this case, when those anti-Israel attitudes are extremely germane to their area of teaching, namely Middle East studies? The AMCHA researchers did not furtively investigate the private lives of the 200 professors, nor did they delve through their association memberships, reading habits, or private writings without the professors’ knowledge or consent. They were not spied upon and their courses taped by students. The signatories were also skeptical about the guidelines used by AMCHA to gauge instances of anti-Semitism and an acceptable definition by which campus speech, teaching, publications, and events could be judged to include manifestations of anti-Semitism and not just vituperation and critique of Israel. AMCHA’s “definition of antisemitism is so undiscriminating as to be meaningless,” the professors’ statement asserted, ignoring the fact that AMCHA based its own definition on earlier working definitions of anti-Semitism carefully developed by the U.S. State Department, the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (now the Fundamental Rights Agency), and the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under the Law, among others.

 

It is not as if campuses are unaware of the prevailing sensitivities of groups normally considered to be protected classes – black students, gay students, Muslim students, Hispanics, among others. Earlier this month, in a breathtaking act of moral incoherence, Britain’s National Union of Students (NUS) voted against condemning ISIS after the Black Students Officer, Malia Bouattia, opposed the motion, not because students did not have sincere concern for Syrians and Kurds being slaughtered, but because “condemnation of ISIS appears to have become a justification for . . . blatant Islamophobia.” None of the Jewish Studies professors seemed to be concerned with investigations of purported instances of Islamophobia on campus and elsewhere, and how exposing those occurrences might lead to a stifling of someone’s academic free speech or “chilling” of scholarly debate. In fact, FBI statistics indicate that acts of anti-Semitism occur with eight times the regularity of anti-Muslim incidents, and that between 2011 and 2012 alone, the number of anti-Semitic incidents on college campuses tripled.

 

So regardless of how significant the professors seem to think the problem of anti-Semitism actually is, and whether they wish to minimize the virulence of anti-Semitism because they insist on conflating it with, and making it part of, the furious academic debate about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the AMCHA report shows us that the “oldest hatred” is still with us, creeping noxiously up the ivy walls.                                

                                                                       

Contents             

                                                                                                                    

AMID GROWING EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM,

NEW JEWISH MUSEUM IN POLAND ‘REVEALS HOPE’                                   

Ruth Ellen Gruber                                                                                                        

JTA, Oct. 28, 2014

 

In a Europe wracked by fears of rising anti-Semitism, and in a country whose Jews were all but annihilated in the Holocaust, a dazzling new “museum of life” celebrates the Jewish past and looks forward to a vital future. Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski and Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday jointly inaugurated the long-awaited core exhibit of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, a more than $100 million complex first conceived more than 20 years ago. “It is not a museum of the Holocaust, it is a museum of life,” Rivlin, who was making his first trip abroad since his election this summer, declared at the opening ceremony. “It is the place that commemorates everything that is gone and will never return. And it reveals hope for a different future.” Komorowski stressed the same hopes, declaring that the museum opening was a history-making event that bore witness to Poland’s development into a democratic state since the fall of communism. “One of the central themes in our drive to freedom was to put right the account of history that had been corrupted, manipulated and distorted in so many ways during the non-democratic communist era,” Komorowski said.

 

Before the Holocaust, some 3.3 million Jews lived in Polish lands. Thousands of survivors fled anti-Semitism in the postwar period. The fall of communism sparked a remarkable revival in Jewish life and identity, but the Jewish population today is still tiny, estimated at 15,000-20,000 in a country of nearly 40 million people. “We are here!” Auschwitz survivor Marian Turski, chairman of the Council of the Jewish Historical Institute, one of the institutional founders of the museum, said in an emotional speech at the opening ceremony. “That is the message: We are here!” The museum is housed in a shimmering glass building erected on the site of the Warsaw Ghetto facing the dramatic monument erected atop the rubble left when the Nazis crushed the ghetto uprising in 1943. Described as a “theatre of history,” the core exhibit uses state-of-the-art technology and multimedia installations to narrate 1,000 years of Polish Jewish history.

 

The exhibition’s eight thematic and chronological galleries detail the complex ebb and flow of Jewish life in Poland from the early middle ages to the present, including periods of prosperity as well as persecution. They recount grand events but also use letters, diaries, photos and other intimate material to provide personal viewpoints. This is particularly notable in the Holocaust gallery, which narrates the history through the words and deeds of the people who experienced it.  Other highlights include the reconstructed and elaborately painted ceiling and bimah of the now-destroyed wooden synagogue in Gwozdziec (in present-day Ukraine) and a painted animation of 24 hours in the life of the famous yeshiva in Volozhin (now Belarus).

 

But the core exhibit is only part of the story. The museum’s impact “stretches way, way beyond the building,” said Piotr Kadlcik, president of the Union of Jewish Religious Communities in Poland. “And it’s not about a museum of the history of Polish Jews — it’s about Polish Jews. History means past, and it’s not about the past.” Hundreds of thousands of people — Poles and Jews, locals and foreigners — have visited the museum in the 18 months since the building was opened to the public. Organizers expect a half-million or more each year now that the core exhibit has been opened. The museum is part of a wider movement since the fall of communism “to reconnect with the past, including the Jewish past,” said Dariusz Stola, the museum’s director. “The museum is the most visible element in this movement. But without the broader movement it wouldn’t have happened.” This broader movement includes a number of new Jewish studies programs at Polish universities, new or revamped museums, permanent exhibits and memorials on Jewish or Holocaust themes in a number of provincial towns and scores of grassroots initiatives ranging from Jewish cemetery cleanup actions to Jewish culture festivals. This year alone, some 40 Jewish culture festivals took place in Poland, mostly in places where no Jews live today. “The Jewish presence in Polish consciousness is vast, vast,” said Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, the program director of the core exhibit. “It means that there is a kind of inverse relationship between the numbers of Jews living in Poland and what we call Jewish presence in Polish consciousness.”

 

The POLIN museum was built as a public-private institution, with the Polish government and the city of Warsaw providing $60 million for construction and more than 500 private and institutional donors, many of them Jewish, contributing $48 million for the core exhibition. “Though Europe has seen a recent rise in anti-Semitism, in Poland we are seeing a revitalization of Jewish life and culture that is being experienced by – and truly driven by – both Poland’s Jewish and gentile communities,” the San Francisco-based philanthropist Tad Taube, head of Taube Philanthropies and the Koret Foundation, said in a statement. The two organizations were the largest private donors to the museum with a total contribution of $16 million. “The opening of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews is a game changer that will break down negative stereotypes about Poland,” Taube said. The hope, his statement added, is that its lessons “will have ripple effects throughout Eastern Europe as Poland’s neighbors seek to develop their own major modern cultural institutions and broader, more inclusive narratives of their multicultural histories.”

 

                                                                                   

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AN OLD MAN IN PRAGUE                                                                              

Roger Cohen                                                                                                      

New York Times, Oct. 30, 2014

 

An old man went to Prague this week. He had spent much of his life keeping quiet about his deeds. They spoke for themselves. Now he said, “In a way perhaps I shouldn’t have lived so long to give everybody the opportunity to exaggerate everything in the way they are doing today.” At the age of 105, Sir Nicholas Winton is still inclined toward self-effacement. He did what any normal human being would, only at a time when most of Europe had gone mad. A London stockbroker, born into a family of German Jewish immigrants who had changed their name from Wertheim and converted to Christianity, he rescued 669 children, most of them Jews, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939. They came to Britain in eight transports. The ninth was canceled when Hitler invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939. The 250 children destined for it journeyed instead into the inferno of the Holocaust.

 

Winton, through family connections, knew enough of the Third Reich to see the naïveté of British officialdom still inclined to dismiss Hitler as a buffoon and talk of another war as fanciful. He raised money; he procured visas; he found foster families. His day job was at the Stock Exchange. The rest of his time he devoted to saving the doomed. There were enough bystanders. He wanted to help. Now he has outlived many of those he saved and long enough to know that thousands of their descendants owe their lives to him.

Back in Prague, 75 years on, Winton received the Order of the White Lion, the highest honor of the Czech Republic. The Czech Air Force sent a plane. He was serenaded at Prague Castle, in the presence of a handful of his octogenarian “children.” The only problem, he said, was that countries refused to accept unaccompanied children; only England would. One hundred years, he said, is “a heck of a long time.” The things he said were understated. At 105, one does not change one’s manner.

 

Only in 1988 did Winton’s wartime work begin to be known. His wife found a scrapbook chronicling his deeds. He appeared on a BBC television show whose host, Esther Rantzen, asked those in the audience who owed their lives to him to stand. Many did. Honors accrued. Now there are statues of him in London and Prague. “I didn’t really keep it secret,” he once said. “I just didn’t talk about it.” Such discretion is riveting to our exhibitionist age. To live today is to self-promote or perish. Social media tugs the private into the public sphere with an almost irresistible force. Be followed, be friended — or be forgotten. This imperative creates a great deal of tension and unhappiness. Most people, much of the time, have a need to be quiet and still, and feel disinclined to raise their voice. Yet they sense that if they do not, they risk being seen as losers. Device anxiety, that restless tug to the little screen, is a reflection of a spreading inability to live without 140-character public affirmation. When the device is dead, so are you.

 

What gets forgotten, in the cacophony, is how new this state of affairs is. Winton’s disinclination to talk was not unusual. Silence was the reflex of the postwar generation. What was done was done because it was the right thing to do and therefore unworthy of note. Certainly among Jews silence was the norm. Survivors scarcely spoke of their torment. They did not tell their children. They repressed their memories. Perhaps discretion seemed the safer course; certainly it seemed the more dignified. Perhaps the very trauma brought wordlessness. The Cold War was not conducive to truth-telling. Anguish was better suffered in silence than passed along (although of course it filtered to the next generation anyway.)

 

But there was something else, something really unsayable. Survival itself was somehow shameful, unbearable. By what right, after all, had one lived when those 250 children had not? Menachem Begin, the former Israeli prime minister whose parents and brother were killed by the Nazis, put this sentiment well: “Against the eyes of every son of the nation appear and reappear the carriages of death. … The Black Nights when the sound of an infernal screeching of wheels and the sighs of the condemned press in from afar and interrupt one’s slumber; to remind one of what happened to mother, father, brothers, to a son, a daughter, a People. In these inescapable moments every Jew in the country feels unwell because he is well. He asks himself: Is there not something treasonous in his existence.”

 

Winton’s anonymity, for decades after the war, was of course also the result of the silence or reserve of the hundreds he had saved. How strange that seems today, when we must emote about everything. The deed speaks — and occasionally someone lives long enough to know in what degree.

 

CIJR Wishes all our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

           

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On Topic

 

Europe’s Alarming New Anti-Semitism: Jonathan Sacks, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2014—This year, Europe’s Jews enter Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, with a degree of apprehension I have not known in my lifetime. Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe within living memory of the Holocaust. Never again has become ever again.

Nobel Prize Winner Patrick Modiano Summons the Shadow-World of Postwar French Jewry: Clémence Boulouque, Tablet, Oct. 20, 2014—Pour que tu ne te perdes pas dans le quartier (“So that you don’t get lost in the neighborhood”), Patrick Modiano’s latest novel, which came out one week before he received the Nobel Prize, opens on a quote by Stendhal: “I cannot give the reality of facts, I can only present its shadow.”

Eichmann Before Jerusalem (Book Excerpt): Bettina Stangneth, National Post, Oct. 30, 2014 —Adolf Eichmann’s fame surpasses even that of SS leader Heinrich Himmler and holocaust architect Reinhard Heydrich. So why write another book? It was the simplest of questions: I wanted to find out who knew Adolf Eichmann before the Mossad famously snatched him from Argentina and put him before a court in Israel.

The Democratic Embrace of Al Sharpton: Heather Mac Donald, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2014—The Rev. Al Sharpton once epitomized New York’s bad old days of the 1980s, when the then-corpulent, gold-medallion-bedecked tub thumper inflamed racial hatred and courted violence.

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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U.S.-GENERATED DIPLOMATIC CRISIS WITH ISRAEL IS LATEST SYMPTOM OF OBAMA’S FAILED PRESIDENCY

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Obama Seeks Confrontation With Israel: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Oct. 29, 2014 — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the intensifying global pressures on Israel is to firmly reject any further territorial withdrawals that would put Israel’s security at risk, stating that “Israel will not lose hope for peace, but neither will it cling to false hope.”

Obama, Not Bibi, Created U.S.-Israel Crisis : Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Oct. 28, 2014 — Since Barack Obama became president, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has been a reliable indicator of administration opinion about foreign-policy issues.

Barack Obama, Bewildered Bystander: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2014 — The president is upset. Very upset.

Obama Needs to Call Bush: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 5, 2014— Bill Clinton made news earlier this month when he revealed, at a joint appearance with George W. Bush , that the 43rd president used to call him twice a year during his troubled second term "just to talk."

On Topic Links

 

The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here: Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, Oct. 28, 2014

The Education of a Wartime President: Alan M. Dershowitz, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 5, 2014

How the Jewish State is Being Demonized: Clifford D. May, National Post, Oct. 30, 2014

Officials Reveal US is Cozying Up to Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas: Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 29, 2014

Obama Administrations’ Undiplomatic Remarks Detached from Reality: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Oct. 29, 2014

 

                             

OBAMA SEEKS CONFRONTATION WITH ISRAEL                                            

Isi Leibler                                                                                                            

Candidly Speaking, Oct. 29, 2014

 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the intensifying global pressures on Israel is to firmly reject any further territorial withdrawals that would put Israel’s security at risk, stating that “Israel will not lose hope for peace, but neither will it cling to false hope.” He was also forthright about his intention to continue residential construction in Jerusalem, noting that “all previous Israeli governments have done so. … It is also clear to the Palestinians that these territories will remain within Israel’s borders in any deal.”

The Obama administration’s response to Israel’s confirmation that it would continue to create homes in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem was vindictive, brutal and in stark contrast to its deafening silence in relation to Palestinian incitement. The State Department went so far as to accuse Israel of acting “illegally,” and in a manner “incompatible with the pursuit of peace”. In an interview with American journalist Jeffery Goldberg published in The Atlantic, a senior US official referred to Prime Minister Netanyahu as “chickenshit” and described him as “the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most”. More than Assad, Erdogan, the Iranian Ayatollah and Putin the ‘peace loving’ Abbas?

 

The curtain drop to the administration’s malice was displayed last week in the Ya’alon imbroglio. In a private conversation earlier this year, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon disparaged Secretary of State John Kerry’s behavior in relation to the peace process as “obsessive” and “messianic.” He made his remarks when Kerry was repeatedly making provocative statements against Israel and then retracting them. As defense minister, Ya’alon is limited in what he can say publicly and the fact that he spoke off-record is irrelevant if he was subsequently quoted. But he apologized and reiterated the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Nevertheless, the White House inflated his unofficial remark totally out of proportion. To invoke such a vendetta against the defense minister of its most important regional ally, months after the event, exposes the pettiness of the Obama administration. That Ya’alon was denied access to Vice President Joe Biden and National Security Adviser Susan Rice is problematic. But that this was leaked by State Department sources at the end of his visit was odious. To make matters even worse, the information was leaked to the Israeli daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, whose publisher is engaged in a long-standing crusade to demonize Netanyahu and his government and which was the source that had initially released Ya’alon’s off-the-record comments. Clearly, the White House regarded this as an opportunity to undermine not only Ya’alon’s standing, but the entire Netanyahu government.

 

This is just the latest in a series of vindictive incidents by the Obama administration because Israel has dared to reject its diktats. Nothing illustrates President Barack Obama’s contemptuous attitude toward Israel more than his directive to withhold arms to Israel during wartime because Israel had rejected Kerry’s initiative to engage Qatar as the mediator to end the Gaza hostilities. As virtually every foreign policy initiative by Obama has proven to be disastrous, his recommendations or directives must be viewed with skepticism. After all, it is we who will have to live with the consequences. This administration adamantly insists that the Israel-Palestine status quo is untenable. Yet it remains silent as Hamas boasts of efforts to restore its terror tunnel network; barely reacts to the mayhem in Syria and Iraq where close to a quarter million people have been butchered; ignores the Qatari funding of Hamas and other terrorist entities including the Islamic State; fails to castigate Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for enabling jihadists to traverse Turkey’s territory in order to fight in Syria, while standing by and allowing the massacre of the Kurds on his border.

 

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas humiliated the U.S. administration by merging with Hamas without prior consultation. But the U.S. failed to criticize this move, has not responded to Abbas’ policy of ethnic cleansing by making any future Palestinian state Judenrein, nor condemned him for executing any Palestinian found selling land to an Israeli. The U.S. did not reprimand him for failing to denounce the act of terror in which a baby and a young woman were killed last week in Jerusalem. Yet when an Arab teenager was shot to death while hurling potentially lethal Molotov cocktails at Israeli automobiles, the U.S. immediately conveyed its condolences to the family and urged Israelis to initiate an investigation. Israel, the principal regional ally of the U.S., is the only country consistently facing criticism and has become the punching bag for the inept Obama administration, even being denunciated for opposing a nuclear agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran. Only recently, Kerry again conveyed to an Arab audience the absurd allegation that the Arab-Israel conflict fanned ISIS and Islamic extremism. Yet the U.S. assiduously avoids condemning or responding to rogue states guilty of criminal bloodletting, out of fear of being further humiliated and exposed as lacking leadership.

 

It should be noted that there is a broad consensus throughout Israel that the government is justified in resisting efforts by the U.S. and others to restrict construction in its capital Jerusalem and the major settlement blocs – which were never challenged prior to the Obama administration. There are those who question the wisdom of such an announcement at this time, but if there is one issue for which we should stand united and maintain our rights, it is construction in Jerusalem, whose development must not be dependent on endorsement from other countries. The administration’s efforts to demean Israel’s leaders have always been counterproductive. Despite the initial media frenzy, Israelis have in such circumstances responded by rallying in support of their government. And yet, now when the house of Israel should display unity, some of our politicians are behaving irresponsibly. Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni public response to the recent pathetic and mean attempt to humiliate Ya’alon implying that the fault for the breakdown in relations rests with Israel rather than with a bumbling and spiteful U.S. administration were highly inappropriate. They promote chaos and bring shame upon themselves and the government they purport to represent, conveying the mistaken impression that Israel suffers from battered wife syndrome…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

                                                                       

Contents          

                                                                                                                                 

OBAMA, NOT BIBI, CREATED U.S.-ISRAEL CRISIS                                          

Jonathan S. Tobin                                                                                              

Commentary, Oct. 28, 2014

 

Since Barack Obama became president, The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg has been a reliable indicator of administration opinion about foreign-policy issues. Like some other journalists who can be counted on to support the president, he has been the recipient of some juicy leaks, especially when the White House wants to trash Israel’s government. But Goldberg and his “senior administration sources” reached a new low today when he published a piece in which those anonymous figures labeled Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a “chickenshit” and a “coward.” The remarks are clearly not so much a warning to the Israelis to stop complaining about the U.S. push for appeasement of a nuclear Iran and the administration’s clueless approach to the conflict with the Palestinians. Rather the story is, as Goldberg rightly characterizes it, a genuine crisis in the relationship. That much is plain but where Goldberg and the talkative administration members are wrong is their belief that this is all Netanyahu’s fault. Their attacks on him are not only plainly false but are motivated by a desire to find an excuse that will be used to justify a drastic turn in U.S. foreign policy against Israel.

 

The administration critique of Netanyahu as a coward stems from its disgust with his failure to make peace with the Palestinians as well as their impatience with his criticisms of their zeal for a deal with Iran even if it means allowing the Islamist regime to become a threshold nuclear power. But this is about more than policy. The prickly Netanyahu is well known to be a tough guy to like personally even if you are one of his allies. But President Obama and his foreign-policy team aren’t just annoyed by the prime minister. They’ve come to view him as public enemy No. 1, using language about him and giving assessments of his policies that are far harsher than they have ever used against even avowed enemies of the United States, let alone one of its closest allies.

 

So rather than merely chide him for caution they call him a coward and taunt him for being reluctant to make war on Hamas and even to launch a strike on Iran. They don’t merely castigate him as a small-time politician without vision; they accuse him of putting his political survival above the interests of his nation. It’s quite an indictment but once you get beyond the personal dislike of the individual on the part of the president, Secretary of State Kerry, and any other “senior officials” that speak without attribution on the subject of Israel’s prime minister, all you have is a thin veil of invective covering up six years of Obama administration failures in the Middle East that have the region more dangerous for both Israel and the United States. For all of his personal failings, it is not Netanyahu—a man who actually served as a combat soldier under fire in his country’s most elite commando unit—who is a coward or a small-minded failure. It is Obama and Kerry who have fecklessly sabotaged a special relationship, an act whose consequences have already led to disaster and bloodshed and may yet bring worse in their final two years of power.

 

It was, after all, Obama (and in the last two years, Kerry) who has spent his time in office picking pointless fights with Israel over issues like settlements and Jerusalem. They were pointless not because there aren’t genuine disagreements between the two countries on the ideal terms for peace. But rather because the Palestinians have never, despite the administration’s best efforts to tilt the diplomatic playing field in their favor, seized the chance for peace. No matter how much Obama praises Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and slights Netanyahu, the former has never been willing to recognize the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders would be drawn. They also chose to launch a peace process in spite of the fact that the Palestinians remain divided between Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas-ruled Gaza, a situation that makes it impossible for the PA to make peace even if it wanted to do so. The result of their heedless push for negotiations that were bound to fail was another round of violence this summer and the possibility of another terrorist intifada in the West Bank.

 

On Iran, it has not been Netanyahu’s bluffing about a strike that is the problem but Obama’s policies. Despite good rhetoric about stopping Tehran’s push for a nuke, the president has pursued a policy of appeasement that caused it to discard its significant military and economic leverage and accept a weak interim deal that began the process of unraveling the international sanctions that represented the best chance for a solution without the use of force. Even faithful Obama supporter Goldberg understands that it would be madness for Israel to withdraw from more territory and replicate the Gaza terror experiment in the West Bank. He also worries that the administration is making a “weak” Iran deal even though he may be the only person on the planet who actually thinks Obama would use force to prevent an Iranian nuclear weapon. So why is the administration so angry with Netanyahu? It can’t be because Netanyahu is preventing peace with the Palestinians. After the failure of Kerry’s fool’s errand negotiations and the Hamas missile war on Israel, not even Obama can think peace is at hand. Nor does he really think Netanyahu can stop him from appeasing Iran if Tehran is willing to sign even a weak deal.

 

The real reason to target Netanyahu is that it is easier to scapegoat the Israelis than to own up to the administration’s mistakes. Rather than usher in a new era of good feelings with the Arab world in keeping with his 2009 Cairo speech, Obama has been the author of policies that have left an already messy Middle East far more dangerous. Rather than ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his decision to withdraw U.S. troops and to dither over the crisis in Syria led to more conflict and the rise of ISIS. Instead of ending the Iranian nuclear threat, Obama is on the road to enabling it. And rather than manage an Israeli-Palestinian standoff that no serious person thought was on the verge of resolution, Obama made things worse with his and Kerry’s hubristic initiatives and constant bickering with Israel.

 

Despite the administration’s insults, it is not Netanyahu who is weak. He has shown great courage and good judgment in defending his country’s interests even as Obama has encouraged the Palestinians to believe they can hold out for even more unrealistic terms while denying Israel the ammunition it needed to fight Hamas terrorists. While we don’t know whether, as Goldberg believes, it is too late for Israel to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, it is Obama that Iran considers weak as it plays U.S. negotiators for suckers in the firm belief that the U.S. is a paper tiger that is not to be feared any longer. If there is a crisis, it is one that was created by Obama’s failures and inability to grasp that his ideological prejudices were out of touch with Middle East realities. The next two years may well see, as Goldberg ominously predicts, even more actions by the administration to downgrade the alliance with Israel. But the blame for this will belong to a president who has never been comfortable with Israel and who has, at every conceivable opportunity, sought conflict with it even though doing so did not advance U.S. interests or the cause of peace. No insult directed at Netanyahu, no matter how crude or pointless, can cover up the president’s record of failure.

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents                                

                                                                                                           

BARACK OBAMA, BEWILDERED BYSTANDER                                                 

Charles Krauthammer                                                                                        

Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2014

 

The president is upset. Very upset. Frustrated and angry. Seething about the government’s handling of Ebola, said the front-page headline in the New York Times last Saturday. There’s only one problem with this pose, so obligingly transcribed for him by the Times. It’s his government. He’s president. Has been for six years. Yet Barack Obama reflexively insists on playing the shocked outsider when something goes wrong within his own administration. The IRS? “It’s inexcusable, and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it,” he thundered in May 2013 when the story broke of the agency targeting conservative groups. “I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency, but especially in the IRS.” Except that within nine months, Obama had grown far more tolerant, retroactively declaring this to be a phony scandal without “a smidgen of corruption.” Obamacare rollout? “Nobody is more frustrated by that than I am,” said an aggrieved Obama about the botching of the central element of his signature legislative achievement. “Nobody is madder than me.”…

 

The one scandal where you could credit the president with genuine anger and obliviousness involves the recent breaches of White House Secret Service protection. The Washington Post described the first lady and president as “angry and upset,” and no doubt they were. But the first Secret Service scandal — the hookers of Cartagena — evinced this from the president: “If it turns out that some of the allegations that have been made in the press are confirmed, then of course I’ll be angry.” An innovation in ostentatious distancing: future conditional indignation. These shows of calculated outrage — and thus distance — are becoming not just unconvincing but unamusing. In our system, the president is both head of state and head of government. Obama seems to enjoy the monarchial parts, but when it comes to the actual business of running government, he shows little interest and even less aptitude. His principal job, after all, is to administer the government and to get the right people to do it. (That’s why we typically send governors rather than senators to the White House.) That’s called management. Obama had never managed anything before running for the biggest management job on earth. It shows.

 

What makes the problem even more acute is that Obama represents not just the party of government but a grandiose conception of government as the prime mover of social and economic life. The very theme of his presidency is that government can and should be trusted to do great things. And therefore society should be prepared to hand over large chunks of its operations — from health care (one-sixth of the economy) to carbon regulation down to free contraception — to the central administrative state. But this presupposes a Leviathan not just benign but competent. When it then turns out that vast, faceless bureaucracies tend to be incapable, inadequate, hopelessly inefficient and often corrupt, Obama resorts to expressions of angry surprise. He must. He’s not simply protecting his own political fortunes. He’s trying to protect faith in the entitlement state by portraying its repeated failures as shocking anomalies. Unfortunately, the pretense has the opposite effect. It produces not reassurance but anxiety. Obama’s determined detachment conveys the feeling that nobody’s home. No one leading. Not even from behind.

 

A poll conducted two weeks ago showed that 64 percent of likely voters (in competitive races) think that “things in the U.S. feel like they are out of control.” This is one degree of anxiety beyond thinking the country is on the wrong track. That’s been negative for years, and it’s a reflection of failed policies that in principle can be changed. Regaining control, on the other hand, is a far dicier proposition. With events in the saddle and a sense of disorder growing — the summer border crisis, Ferguson, the rise of the Islamic State, Ebola — the nation expects from the White House not miracles but competence. At a minimum, mere presence. An observer presidency with its bewildered-bystander pose only adds to the unease.

 

                                                                                   

Contents           

                                                                                                                               

OBAMA NEEDS TO CALL BUSH                                                                                                       

Bret Stephens                                                                                                               

Wall Street Journal, Sept. 29, 2014

 

Bill Clinton made news earlier this month when he revealed, at a joint appearance with George W. Bush , that the 43rd president used to call him twice a year during his troubled second term "just to talk." "We talked about everything in the right world," Mr. Clinton said of the conversations, which lasted anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes. "He asked my opinion, half the time he disagreed with it. But I felt good about that, I thought that was a really healthy thing." Maybe President Obama also calls Mr. Bush every now and then, just to talk, and one day we'll find out about it. But I suspect not. No president has so completely built his administration with a view toward doing—and being—the opposite of his predecessor. Long private talks wouldn't just be out of character for this president. They'd be awkward. But having a long conversation with Mr. Bush is what Mr. Obama needs to do if he means to start salvaging his failing presidency. It would be an act of contrition: for six years of vulgar ridicule and sophomoric condescension. Also, humility: for finally understanding that the intel is often wrong (and that doesn't make you a "liar"), that the choices in war are never clear or simple, that the allies aren't always with you, and that evil succumbs only to force.  And it would be an act of bipartisanship: not the fake kind to which the president pays occasional lip service, but the kind that knows there is no party monopoly on wisdom, and that there is no democracy without compromise, and that there can be no compromise when your opponents sense you hold them in contempt.

 

"Mr. President," Mr. Obama could begin, with an emphasis on formality, "I'd like to borrow that portrait you did of Vladimir Putin so I can hang it in my private study. I need to be able to stare my enemy in the face every day." That should break the ice. Maybe then the two presidents can start talking about a few things they have in common. Like going from big re-elections to dismal ratings in a matter of months. Like realizing that you will soon lose the Congress, and that your own party is turning on you. Like figuring out that your top cabinet officers and White House confidantes are failing you. Like having your past boasts about military success rendered ridiculous by events. Like needing to come up with a new strategy, quickly, before a foreign-policy setback becomes a full-blown calamity. "Tell me about firing Don Rumsfeld, " Mr. Obama might inquire. That's a good subject to dwell on, because firing is what presidents do when a signature policy is visibly failing, as Iraq policy was in the summer of 2006. In the Rumsfeld case, Mr. Bush faced a particularly difficult task: Mr. Rumsfeld was a man the president admired, a peer of his father, a team player—and an object of partisan venom, meaning his sacking would be treated in the media as an admission of failure and a scalp for Democrats.

 

If Mr. Obama isn't thinking about cashiering a top adviser, he should start now. CIA Director John Brennan has presided over serial intelligence debacles—including the failure to anticipate the fall of Mosul—while National Intelligence Director James Clapper has had no credibility in Congress since he lied to a Senate committee. John Kerry 's incompetent diplomacy in Jerusalem and Ramallah helped set the stage for the Gaza War. Susan Rice is toxic with Republicans on account of her public misrepresentations regarding Benghazi and Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and toxic with allies because of her penchant for foul-mouthed tirades. Hapless Chuck Hagel is busy downsizing the U.S. military while demanding that Europeans increase their military spending. The dismissal of any of these people would send a useful signal to U.S. allies that the president has the nerve—and self-awareness—to make a change.

 

"Mr. President," Mr. Bush could modestly suggest, "go to Congress, say the threats we face from Russia and ISIS and Iran require a bigger military, and name Stan McChrystal or Dave Petraeus as your next Defense Secretary and Ray Odierno as your new national security adviser. Add a few hawks to your team. That'll bury a couple of ghosts. And it'll get Vladimir's immediate attention." "Interesting ideas, George. Final question: How do I kick things off with Mitch McConnell when he's majority leader?" "He can't be worse than Harry Reid , can he?" Mr. Bush might reply. "Be gracious. Pretend you know something about horses and bourbon. Don't make promises in private that you'll renege on in public. Never keep him waiting. Don't give speeches denouncing Republicans as mean and greedy. Listen as if you might actually learn something. Give something if you want to get something." "OK, thanks. Gotta go help Sasha with her geometry homework. Any advice on that?" "Call Clinton. He's the triangulator."

           

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

The Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations Is Officially Here: Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic, Oct. 28, 2014 —The other day I was talking to a senior Obama administration official about the foreign leader who seems to frustrate the White House and the State Department the most.

The Education of a Wartime President: Alan M. Dershowitz, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 5, 2014—Last year the Obama administration issued, with considerable fanfare, a new military policy designed to reduce civilian casualties when U.S. forces are attacking enemy targets. This policy required “near certainty” that there will be no civilian casualties before an air attack is permitted.

How the Jewish State is Being Demonized: Clifford D. May, National Post, Oct. 30, 2014 —Last week, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd at a light rail station in Jerusalem, killing a three-month-old baby.

Officials Reveal US is Cozying Up to Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas: Ari Yashar, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 29, 2014 —The same Tuesday night that a senior official in US President Barack Obama's administration was quoted calling Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "chickens**t," yet more officials indicated the US is warming up to cooperation with Iran – the Islamic regime seeking nuclear weapons that has repeatedly declared its desire to destroy Israel.

Obama Administrations’ Undiplomatic Remarks Detached from Reality: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Oct. 29, 2014—Jeffrey Goldberg recently reported in the Atlantic that an anonymous Obama administration official referred to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “chicken shit” related to all matters involving the peace process and a “coward” when it comes to confronting Iran’s nuclear program.

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links

 

 

Media-ocrities of the Week: “Mr. Shaloudy was a resident of Silwan, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood in territory that Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and later annexed, a step that has not been recognized internationally. An influx of right-wing Jewish settlers who have acquired property in the area in recent years have made the neighborhood a flash point in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” —Isabel Kershner, reporting on the story of an Arab that rammed his car into a crowd of Jews killing two people, including a three month-old baby. Mr. Shaloudy, the Arab man who killed two people, is described as a “resident of Silwan, a predominantly Palestinian neighborhood”. He sounded like a peaceful neighbor living among his people. The article painted the Jews as “right wing.” On what basis? That they moved into a “predominantly Palestinian neighborhood”? That they moved into houses that “has not been recognized internationally” to be part of Israel? They took no actions that warrant being called “right wing”. (Jewish Press, Oct. 28, 2014)

 

“Israeli police shoot man in east Jerusalem,” —headline the Associated Press ran following the terrorist attack in Jerusalem.  As Jonah Goldberg pointed out in National Review, AP then changed the headline to “Car slams into east Jerusalem train station.” Finally, after widespread outrage on social media, they changed it to “Palestinian kills baby at Jerusalem station.” (Algemeiner, Oct. 23, 2014)

 

On Topic Links  

 

Bibi and Barack on the Rocks: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 27, 2014

Political Correctness and Islam: Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014

Historic Justice: A Kurdish State Now: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 23, 2014

New York Jews Protested ‘Klinghoffer’ While it Passed Silently in London: Shmuley Boteach, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"Tragic attacks, which took place in both Canada and Israel, remind us all of the threats posed to our democracies and to our freedoms by radical ideas, beliefs and motives. It also reminds us of the need to defend ourselves from extreme violence, tyranny and aggression," —MK Ronen Hoffman, Israeli chairman of the Canada-Israel Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group. Hoffman wrote a letter of support and condolences following the terrorist attacks in Montreal and Ottawa last week. Hoffman wrote that both Israel and Canada must defend itself from extremists, and that he prays and hopes for better times in both countries. Last week, on the same day as an Arab terrorist drove into a Jerusalem light rail station, injuring a dozen people and killing a three-month-old, a man shot a soldier at the Canadian National War Monument in Ottawa and then continued shooting in a parliament building. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 28, 2014)

 

“The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickens**t,” —a senior Obama administration official, referring to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu by his nickname. This comment is representative of the gloves-off manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors, and is yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis. The relationship between these two administrations— dual guarantors of the putatively “unbreakable” bond between the U.S. and Israel—is now the worst it's ever been, and it stands to get significantly worse after the November midterm elections. “The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars,” the official said, expanding the definition of what a chickens**t Israeli prime minister looks like. “The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat. He’s not [Yitzhak] Rabin, he’s not [Ariel] Sharon, he’s certainly no [Menachem] Begin. He’s got no guts.” (Atlantic, Oct. 28, 2014)

 

“They’re killing us…we need the international community to stand with us. We need help to provide for our people.” —Canon Andrew White, vicar of Baghdad’s St. Georges, Iraq’s only Anglican church, during a recent visit to Israel. The “Vicar of Baghdad” has quit Iraq after death threats and the beheading of children attached to his church by Islamic terrorists. “We need the international community to stand with us. We need help to provide for our people,” he added. White believes the only answer to the terrorism and killing by the Islamic State is American “boots on the ground.” Asked whether I.S. could be reasoned with, Canon White said, “No…ISIS is driven by that passion that Iraq has gone very, very wrong. Among terrorists, often they have lost something big. And the Sunnis have lost ultimately their power, their responsibility and their significance. Under the Saddam Hussein regime they had essence; now they have nothing. We can kill a few ISIS people from the clouds; we can kill some of our innocent civilians; but we can’t really bring about change” until “American ground troops,” enter the fray. Canon White said U.S. President Barack Obama made the mistake of pulling out of Iraq before the country could guarantee the safety of the people. “ISIS are going around causing their chaos with American weapons, in American tanks, in American armored vehicles and their Humvees because that man Obama left us. And we are seeing our people killed because of that mistake,” he said. And if U.S. ground forces do not come? “Radical Islamist extremists will increase in authority and power,” he said. “They’re already ruling much of the country. What they will not be able to rule is areas in the south because the Shiites will not allow them to because that is where their holy shrines are. Religion means they will not let their most holy places be destroyed.” (National Post, Oct. 24, 2014)

 

“Bill Maher is a blatant bigot and racist who has no respect for the values UC Berkeley students and administration stand for,” —petition signed by a group of students at the University of California, Berkeley, demanding that the administration rescind an invitation to comedian Bill Maher to deliver the keynote commencement speech in protest of his remarks against Islam. “Bill Maher’s public statements on various religions and cultures are offensive and his dangerous rhetoric has found its way into our campus communities,” the petition explained. Maher recently made headlines after he engaged actor Ben Affleck in a heated debate about Muslims. On Maher’s HBO talk program Real Time, the comedian, Affleck, and noted atheist Sam Harris debated whether Islam was “a religion of peace,” with Maher and Harris offering a dissenting view. An incensed Affleck replied that their sentiments were “gross and racist.” Students at Berkeley, long regarded as a bastion of liberalism, appear to side with Affleck. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 28, 2014)

 

“Would the Met present an opera based on the ‘Death of Robert Kennedy Jr.’ by the Palestinian ‘freedom fighter’ Sirhan Sirhan? Why doesn’t the liberal establishment ever speak about Robert Kennedy’s assassination as a Palestinian terrorist act?” —Robert Feinberg, in a letter to the New York Post. The John Adams opera The Death of Klinghoffer opened last week at New York’s Metropolitan Opera amid accusations that the 1991 work is antisemitic and glorifies terrorism. Faced with controversy, the Met agreed to include a message from the Klinghoffers’ daughters, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, in its playbill and on its website. (New York Post, Oct. 26, 2014)

 

“It is not a Holocaust museum, it is a museum of life. It is a place that commemorates what was, what will never be again, and the hope for a different future,” —Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, at the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw. Rivlin described Poland as the place that nurtured the creative soul of the Jewish people. “To our great sorrow, it is also the largest graveyard of the Jewish people,” he said. “This was the birthplace of the shtetl, and this is where it died,” he continued, speaking of the Nazis herding the Jews of Poland into ghettos, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the heroism of the fighters, and the Jews marching to their deaths wearing prayer shawls and yellow stars. Rivlin said he was representing not just himself, but “an entire nation – a nation whose collective journey delves deep into the foundations of Jewish and human existence and into the depths of evil. As a Jew, even if you were not born in Poland, the very name, Poland, gives rise to a shuddering in your body and a longing in your heart.” Even though Jews were removed from Poland, he said, Poland was not removed from the Jews. “We cannot erase history, a history so rich, so painful,” he said. Although Poland occupies a significant place in Jewish history, Rivlin made it clear that the saga of the Jewish people did not begin in Warsaw, nor did it end in Auschwitz. “The saga of the Jewish people began in the land of Israel, and it will always remain in Israel against all odds,” he declared. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 28, 2014)

 

Be it resolved, that SSMU publicly condemns a) the recent destruction of schools, universities, and hospitals, and all violence against civilians in Gaza and other Palestinian occupied territories; b) the siege on Gaza; and c) the continued illegal expansion of settlements,” —Motion calling on SSMU (Students’ Society of McGill University) to stand in solidarity with the people of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.” The anti-Israel motion, presented at SSMU’s General Assembly on October 22, failed and was postponed indefinitely. (McGill Daily, Oct. 23, 2014)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

TORIES SET TO INTRODUCE BILL BEEFING UP CSIS’S ABILITY TO MONITOR CANADIANS (Ottawa)— The federal government said it would introduce a bill Monday afternoon to boost the ability of the country’s spy agency to monitor Canadians. The government originally planned to put the bill forward last Wednesday, before a gunman stormed Parliament Hill, sending MPs and Hill employees into an extended lockdown and abruptly ending the day’s business. At the time, the government said the legislation would include: Allowing CSIS to obtain information on Canadians fighting abroad with terror groups through the “Five Eyes” spy network, which includes Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Letting CSIS more easily track Canadians engaging in terrorist activities abroad, and similarly helping a Five Eyes country track its nationals working with terror groups in Canada. (National Post, Oct. 27, 2014)

 

ISRAEL AIR FORCE WORLD’S BEST; ARMY TOP IN MIDDLE EAST: STUDY (Jerusalem)— The Israeli Air Force is “the best in the world,” and the Israel Defense Forces are the best ground fighters in the region, according to research by two major military analysts, Business Insider (BI) reported Monday. The army rankings do not take into account allies outside of the Middle East, such as the United States, Russia, China, or Iran. The authors pointed out that the IDF, with a $15 billion defense budget, 176,500 active front-line personnel, 3,870 tanks, and 680 aircraft, has had, since the Jewish State’s creation in 1948, to constantly evaluate a complex matrix of foes, both state and non-state actors, in a highly unstable region. Despite rising diplomatic and political friction between the Israeli government and the Obama administration, military ties are reportedly strong, and Israel has agreed to purchase a second F-35 Joint Strike Fighter squadron, in the wake of the latest visit to the US  by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. (Algemeiner, Oct. 28, 2014)

 

OBAMA SNUBS ISRAELI DEFENCE MINISTER (Washington)— Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon was denied meetings with top U.S. officials during his visit to Washington last week. While Ya'alon did see Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power, the officials said the White House and State Department rejected Israeli proposals for meetings with Vice President Joe Biden, national security adviser Susan Rice and Secretary of State John Kerry. This week's refusals come amid increasingly strained U.S.-Israel relations, particularly over criticism of Kerry by several members of the Israeli cabinet, including Ya'alon. Several months ago Ya’alon was quoted as describing Kerry as "obsessive and messianic." Ya'alon later apologized for the remarks, stating that he had no intention of "offending" Kerry. In a more recent incident, Kerry blamed Israel for the rise in global jihadism, insisting that Israel "humiliated" the Palestinian Arabs and that it has led to a "loss of dignity," leading to a recruitment draw toward ISIS. (Arutz Sheva, Oct. 25, 2014)

 

UNREST IN JERUSALEM SIMMERS MONTHS AFTER END OF GAZA WAR (Jerusalem)— Unrest escalated the day after a Palestinian driver rammed into a crowded train station and killed a 3-month-old Israeli girl, punctuating a surge in violence in the city over the past few months that hasn’t been seen since the first Palestinian uprising 25 years ago. Israelis and Palestinians staged angry demonstrations on Thursday over the killing in predominantly Arab East Jerusalem a day earlier. Holding signs calling for revenge, dozens of Israeli youths crowded the light rail station that Israel said was targeted by Abdel Rahman Shaloudi, a resident of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, in an act of terrorism. “Arabs, beware,” they chanted. “Jewish blood is not worthless.’’ Masked youths clutching stones stood Thursday under banners for the Gaza Strip’s Islamist Hamas rulers near Shaloudi’s home in the cramped streets of impoverished Silwan. The youths praised him as a martyr, and vowed retaliation. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 25, 2014)

 

IRAQ CAR BOMBINGS LEAVE 38 PEOPLE DEAD, DOZENS WOUNDED (Baghdad)— Two car bombings in Iraq, including one where a suicide attacker drove a Humvee into a checkpoint manned by Iraqi troops and pro-government Shia militiamen, killed at least 38 people Monday. The deadliest attack struck the outskirts of the Sunni town of Jurf al-Sakhar. Most of those killed were members of the Shia militia. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the bombings bore all the hallmarks of an attack by the Islamic State group. Islamic State group militants lost control of the town Sunday, when Iraqi soldiers and the Shia militia retook it from the Sunni extremist group. Since August, airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition has targeted the group as Iraqi and Kurdish security forces work to retake territory it seized. (CBC, Oct. 27, 2014)

 

ISIS USING CHLORINE GAS BOMBS, POLICE SAY (Baghdad)— 11 Iraqi police officers were rushed to a government hospital 80 kilometres north of the capital last month. The diagnosis: poisoning by chlorine gas. The perpetrators, according to the officers: ISIS extremists. The chlorine attack appears to be the first confirmed use of chemical weapons by Islamic State on the battlefield. It is one of three crude chlorine attacks that Iraqi forces say have occurred since the extremists seized vast tracts of Iraqi territory this summer, although details on the other two incidents remain sketchy. ISIS’ reported chlorine attacks appear to have been largely ineffectual. The attack on the police officers is the only one officially documented. Chlorine, a common component in industry, is sold legally, but its use as a weapon violates the Chemical Weapons Convention. (National Post, Oct. 24, 2014)

 

ISLAMIST PARTY IN TUNISIA CONCEDES TO SECULARISTS (Tunis)— The secular Nidaa Tounes party won the largest number of seats in Tunisia’s parliamentary elections on Monday, defeating its main rival, the Islamist party Ennahda, which just three years ago swept to power as the North African nation celebrated the fall of its longtime dictator in the Arab Spring revolution. Though just a few official results had been released on Monday night, Ennahda’s leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, called Beji Caid Essebsi, the 87-year-old leader of Nidaa Tounes, on Monday evening to congratulate him. The swing away from Ennahda, a large, well-organized party built along the lines of the Muslim Brotherhood with deep roots throughout the country, to Nidaa Tounes surprised many. Nidaa Tounes is a newly formed alliance of former government officials, left-wing politicians and secularists, who came together in 2012 in opposition to the Islamists. (New York Times, Oct. 27, 2014)

 

ISLAMISTS ON VERGE OF CAPTURING LIBYA’S OILFIELDS, EGYPT WARNS (Cairo)— Egypt is warning terrorist groups are poised to seize control of Libya’s oilfields, as the country’s foreign minister appealed for an expansion of the campaign against jihadists fighting for the Islamic State to tackle extremism threatening North Africa. Sameh Shukri, the Egyptian foreign minister, used a visit to London to push for a new approach from Britain and the West to Islamist violence in Egypt and its neighbours. Egypt has supported the Libyan government against Islamist militias that now control most of the country’s big cities and large swaths of territory, though not yet the oilfields capable of producing 2.7 million barrels a day. Given the shared ideological roots of the Muslim Brotherhood and violent Islamist movements, the Egyptian foreign minister said the fight could not be won in Iraq and Syria alone. (National Post, Oct. 27, 2014) 

 

ACID ATTACKS AGAINST IRANIAN WOMEN PROMPTS PROTESTS (Isfahan)— A spate of acid attacks against women and girls in the Iranian city Isfahan has been met with street rallies and social media protests. At least eight such attacks — which are generally carried out by assailants on motorbikes who fling acid into their victims' faces — have occurred in recent weeks, with some Isfahan residents saying they suspect the number is higher. The group of motorcyclists are reportedly throwing acid on women whose hejabs, the veils to be worn over the hair in the Islamic Republic, do not meet this gang’s standards.  Rallies to denounce the attacks have been held in several cities including Isfahan, in central Iran, and the capital, Tehran. Mindful of past crackdowns, however, the demonstrators generally disperse quickly when confronted by police.  (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 27, 2014)

 

IRAN'S HANGING OF REYHANEH JABBARI CONDEMNED (Tehran)— Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was hanged in a Tehran prison on Saturday morning. She had been convicted of killing a man she said was trying to sexually abuse her. Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former intelligence ministry worker. Both the US State Department and British Foreign Office condemned the execution. After her arrest, Jabbari had been placed in solitary confinement for two months, where she reportedly did not have access to a lawyer or her family. She was sentenced to death by a criminal court in Tehran in 2009. Amnesty International said she was convicted after a deeply flawed investigation. Although Jabbari admitted to stabbing Abdolali Sarbandi once in the back, she alleged that there was someone else in the house who actually killed him. The United Nations says Iran has executed about 250 people this year. (BBC, Oct. 25, 2014)

 

NORTH KOREA CLOSER TO BUILDING NUCLEAR MISSILE, PENTAGON SAYS (Pyongyang)— North Korea probably has the capability to produce a nuclear warhead that could be mounted on a rocket, a top U.S. commander said Friday, moving it closer to building a nuclear missile. Speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula, said North Korea now is capable of building a miniaturized nuclear warhead, a step needed to complete development of a nuclear-tipped missile. Such nuclear warheads would be small enough to fit on a ballistic missile and would be a major improvement to Pyongyang’s weapons technology. Gen. Scaparrotti said he believes North Korea also has developed a launcher that could carry an intercontinental ballistic missile with a miniaturized warhead. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 24, 2014)

 

IRISH SENATE CALLS FOR RECOGNITION OF 'PALESTINE' (Dublin)— Ireland's upper house of parliament on Wednesday passed a motion calling on the Dublin government to recognize “the state of Palestine.” Much like last week’s vote in Britain, the move is a symbolic one that is unlikely to change policy. The motion called on the "government to formally recognize the state of Palestine and do everything it can to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so that citizens of both states can live in peace and security." It had cross-party support and passed without a vote. The British and Irish moves came after Sweden pledged its commitment to recognize a Palestinian state on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. (Arutz Sheva, Oct. 23, 2014)

 

SIR NICHOLAS WINTON HONOURED BY CZECHS FOR SAVING CHILDREN FROM NAZIS (Prague)— Sir Nicholas Winton was 29 when he arranged trains to take the children out of occupied Czechoslovakia, and for foster families to meet them in London. The 105-year-old was given the Order of the White Lion by the Czech president during a ceremony at Prague Castle. The remarkable mission of the man dubbed the "British Schindler" began in 1938 after the Nazi occupation of the Sudetenland, the name for areas of pre-war Czechoslovakia. Winton visited refugee camps outside Prague and decided to help children secure British permits in the same way children from other countries had been rescued by kindertransports. He organised a total of eight trains from Prague to London and helped to find foster families for the refugees. A ninth train – the largest, carrying 250 children – was prevented from leaving by the outbreak of World War Two. None of those children is believed to have survived. When asked what he made of today's world, Sir Nicholas responded: "I don't think we've ever learnt from the mistakes of the past… The world today is now in a more dangerous situation than it has ever been and so long as you've got weapons of mass destruction which can finish off any conflict, nothing is safe any more." (BBC, Oct. 28, 2014)

On Topic Links 

 

Bibi and Barack on the Rocks: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 27, 2014 —The relationship between the Obama administration and the government of Israel is beginning to look like one of those longtime marriages you encounter all the time.

Political Correctness and Islam: Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014—For much of the past 13 years, ever since al-Qaida attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, the West has found itself confronting an increasingly dangerous foe in the form of jihadist terror.

Historic Justice: A Kurdish State Now: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Oct. 23, 2014 —The borders of most of the Arab countries east of the Mediterranean were delineated in the period following WWI, on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire. The borders were fixed on the basis of British and French interests and the ties those two countries had formed with local groups.

New York Jews Protested ‘Klinghoffer’ While it Passed Silently in London: Shmuley Boteach, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014—Abe Foxman will soon be retiring as head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

 

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:ber@isranet.org

 

 

 

 

 

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CONTINUING KOBANE SIEGE IS BENEFITS FROM IMPASSE: OBAMA’S “AIR-WAR LIGHT” REINFORCES ERDOGAN’S ANTI-KURDISH REALPOLITIK

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

The War on ISIS: More Than One Battle: Max Boot, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 22, 2014 — On Jan. 21, 1968, North Vietnamese troops attacked the U.S. Marine garrison at Khe Sanh in South Vietnam near the border with Laos.

The Unserious Air War Against ISIS : Mark Gunzinger & John Stillion, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2014 — Since U.S. planes first struck targets in Iraq on Aug. 8, a debate has raged over the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s air campaign against Islamic State.

Turkey’s Elusive Promised Land and the War on Islamic State: Amotz Asa-El, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 25, 2014— By sheer coincidence, the Syrian town of Kobani – where Kurdish and Islamic State fighters have been squaring off in recent weeks – happens to be tucked just west of Haran, the Turkish spot from which Abraham disembarked on his journey to the Promised Land.

Has Obama Realized the PKK Can Be Allies?: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Oct. 20, 2014 — Difficulties in the Turkish government’s relationship with Turkey’s Kurdish population continue to overshadow efforts to implement a coherent and comprehensive strategy to address the problem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

On Topic Links

 

Turkey Sets Conditions for Helping West in Kobane Crisis in Syria: Colin Freeman, Telegraph, Oct. 28, 2014

John Cantlie, British Hostage, Seen in ISIS Video Apparently From Kobani: Alan Cowell, New York Times, Oct. 28, 2014

Oil Gives Kurds a Path to Independence, and Conflict With Baghdad: Azam Ahmed & Clifford Krauss, New York Times, Oct. 25, 2014

ISIS Boasts of Its Yazidi Slaves: Daniel Pipes, National Review, Oct. 16, 2014

Fight for Syrian City Strains Jihadists: Asa Fitch & Dion Nissenbaum, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 17, 2014

Turkey Still Thinks This Guy Holding a Baby Bear is a Terrorist. Is He?: Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2014

 

                             

THE WAR ON ISIS: MORE THAN ONE BATTLE                                                  

Max Boot                                                                                                             

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 22, 2014

 

On Jan. 21, 1968, North Vietnamese troops attacked the U.S. Marine garrison at Khe Sanh in South Vietnam near the border with Laos. A 77-day siege ensued, with the U.S. pouring in ever more firepower. The U.S. would drop 100,000 tons of bombs because Gen. William Westmoreland was determined that Khe Sanh not become another defeat like Dien Bien Phu, which had effectively ended France’s colonial presence in Vietnam 14 years earlier. And it didn’t. Eventually the siege was relieved and the attacking forces melted away, having suffered more than 5,000 fatalities (while the defenders lost about 350 men).

 

Today, no one except some veterans and military historians remembers Khe Sanh because in the end it had scant strategic significance: Even though the U.S. won the battle, it lost the war. Not long after having “liberated” Khe Sanh, the U.S. dismantled the base because it served little purpose. This history is worth mentioning because of the parallels, limited and inexact to be sure, between Khe Sanh and Kobani, a Kurdish town in northern Syria. Jihadist forces of Islamic State, also known as ISIS, have been besieging Kobani for weeks, and the U.S. has been ramping up efforts to prevent the town from falling. U.S. airstrikes have apparently taken a heavy toll, eliminating ISIS fighters, artillery, armored vehicles and other heavy weapons. Airstrikes have now been joined by airdrops of weapons and ammunition to the Kurdish defenders. Turkey, which had hitherto not lifted a finger to save Kobani, announced Monday that it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to traverse Turkish territory to join in defending the town.

 

Kobani no longer looks to be in imminent danger of falling. It is even possible that ISIS will give up the fight and pull out. If this happens, it will certainly be good news. The remaining residents of Kobani would be saved from slaughter and their relief would give a moral boost to anti-ISIS efforts. But any celebration should be muted. Winning at Kobani will be no more devastating to ISIS than was the American victory at Khe Sanh to North Vietnam. The problem is that ISIS can readily replace the fighters it loses in Kobani, and heavy weapons are not essential to its guerrilla style of warfare. Even as ISIS is losing a little ground at Kobani, it is gaining strength elsewhere. Its fighters are advancing in Anbar Province with little resistance. They are poised on the outskirts of Baghdad; soon they may be within mortar range of Baghdad International Airport, whose closure would be a disaster. On Monday alone, its car bombs and suicide bombers in Baghdad and Karbala claimed at least 33 lives, a day after a suicide bomber in Baghdad killed at least 28 people in a Shiite mosque. The pattern is reminiscent of the terrorist atrocities perpetrated in 2006 by al Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS’s predecessor, aimed at rallying Sunnis to the terrorists’ side by provoking a civil war with Shiites.

 

As in those dark days, Sunni extremism is provoking an equally extreme response from Iranian-backed Shiites. The replacement of Nouri al-Maliki as Iraq’s prime minister with Haidar al-Abadi, an apparently less sectarian Shiite, was a small step in the right direction for which the Obama administration deserves credit. But there is little reason to think the Iranian hold over a substantial portion of the Iraqi state has been broken. The Iraqi Parliament has approved ministers to run the two security ministries—Interior and Defense. While the Defense pick is Sunni technocrat Khalid al-Obedi, the Interior pick is far more worrisome: Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban is a member of the Badr Organization, one of the chief Iranian-backed Shiite militias that is further destabilizing Iraq with attacks on Sunni neighborhoods. The likelihood is that Mr. Ghabban will take orders from his ultimate sponsor, Gen. Qasem Suleimani, head of Iran’s Quds Force.  This means that the Interior Ministry, in charge of Iraq’s police forces, will become, if it is not already, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Shiite militias and their Iranian string-pullers. This happened in 2006 when the Iraqi police became notorious for kidnapping and torturing Sunnis. This helped bring Iraq to the brink of all-out civil war and will do so again if not checked.

 

The only way to counteract the Iranian capture of the Interior Ministry is to bolster the Iraqi army as an independent fighting force, but there is little sign of this occurring. Shiite sectarians have also deeply penetrated the army and the U.S. has little ability to counteract this insidious development because President Obama will not send a large number of “embedded” advisers to work alongside army units that remain more professional and less politicized. Only 12 U.S. advisory teams have been deployed and only at the brigade level. The other 14 Iraqi brigades identified by the U.S. as “reliable partners” have no advisers at all. None of these advisers, moreover, is allowed to accompany Iraqi troops into combat, where they can be most effective. The U.S. also is not stepping in to offer direct assistance and training to the Sunnis of Anbar Province to allow them to fight back against ISIS, as they did against al Qaeda in Iraq in 2007-08.

 

In Syria the U.S. is also doing little to oppose the Assad dictatorship, leaving it free to continue attacks on areas held by moderate militias affiliated with the Free Syrian Army. This, too, is feeding the radicalization of Syria and Iraq by convincing many Sunnis, rightly or wrongly, that the U.S. is acquiescing to Iranian regional domination—and that ISIS is the only reliable defender that Sunnis have. That impression will be strengthened if the Obama administration reaches a deal with Iran next month that will allow Tehran to maintain its capacity to develop a nuclear weapon.

 

Through the limited application of air power—a mere handful of daily strikes—the U.S. may achieve tactical progress to blunt ISIS’s momentum. But Khe Sanh showed the limits of tactical military victories if they are not married to larger strategic gains—and those are elusive in Iraq and Syria today.

 

                                                                       

Contents             

                                                                                                                              

THE UNSERIOUS AIR WAR AGAINST ISIS                                                          

Mark Gunzinger & John Stillion                                                                                 

Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14, 2014

 

Since U.S. planes first struck targets in Iraq on Aug. 8, a debate has raged over the effectiveness of the Obama administration’s air campaign against Islamic State. The war of words has so far focused on the need to deploy American boots on the ground to provide accurate intelligence and possibly force ISIS fighters to defend key infrastructure they have seized, such as oil facilities. But debate is now beginning to focus on the apparent failure of airstrikes to halt the terror group’s advances in Iraq and Syria—especially Islamic State’s pending seizure of Kobani on the Syrian border with Turkey.

 

While it is still too early to proclaim the air campaign against Islamic State a failure, it may be instructive to compare it with other campaigns conducted by the U.S. military since the end of the Cold War that were deemed successes. For instance, during the 43-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein’s forces in 1991, coalition fighters and bombers flew 48,224 strike sorties. This translates to roughly 1,100 sorties a day. Twelve years later, the 31-day air campaign that helped free Iraq from Saddam’s government averaged more than 800 offensive sorties a day. By contrast, over the past two months U.S. aircraft and a small number of partner forces have conducted 412 total strikes in Iraq and Syria—an average of seven strikes a day. With Islamic State in control of an area approaching 50,000 square miles, it is easy to see why this level of effort has not had much impact on its operations.

 

Of course, air operations during Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom were each supported by a massive coalition force on the ground. Thus it may be more appropriate to compare current operations against Islamic State with the 78-day air campaign against Serbian forces and their proxies in 1999, or the 75-day air campaign in Afghanistan that was instrumental in forcing the Taliban out of power in 2001. Both campaigns relied heavily on partner forces on the ground augmented by a small but significant number of U.S. troops. These air campaigns averaged 138 and 86 strike sorties a day respectively—orders of magnitude greater than the current tempo of operations against Islamic State.

 

Perhaps the small number of strikes in the air campaign against Islamic State is due to the lack of suitable ground targets. Yet representatives from the Pentagon have characterized forces fighting under Islamic State’s black banner as more of a conventional army than a highly dispersed, irregular force similar to today’s Taliban. Moreover, Islamic State fighters are using captured armored vehicles, artillery, mortars and other implements of modern land warfare to seize and hold terrain. These operations require a considerable amount of movement and resupply that can be detected by airborne surveillance. The low daily strike count could be the result of the Pentagon’s applying counterterrorism man-hunting operations over the past decade to the current crisis in Iraq and Syria. These operations generally rely on detailed knowledge of the “pattern of life” of specific small terrorist cells built up over days or weeks of persistent surveillance.

 

The resources required on the ground and in the air to generate such high-fidelity intelligence are considerable in terms of time, money, personnel and surveillance aircraft. While the low strike count appears to support this thesis, it is unlikely that the highly competent men and women in our nation’s military, many of whom are likely to have planned and executed previous successful air campaigns, would adopt such a half-measure approach to operations against ISIS forces. There’s another possibility: The moral imperative and strategic desire to avoid civilian casualties and gratuitous collateral damage may be constraining the coalition’s target-selection process. While these are important factors in any conflict, they must be balanced against the reality that allowing Islamic State fighters to continue their savage aggression nearly unchecked will result in far more civilian casualties and destruction than a more aggressive air campaign that uses precision weapons to rapidly destroy the group’s heavy weapons and troop concentrations.

 

Finally, the daily strike count suggests that the strategy underlying the air campaign may be influenced by a desire to apply the least amount of force possible while still claiming credit for doing something about Islamic State. This rationale would fit with the administration’s claims that degrading and eventually defeating ISIS is likely to take many years. It may reflect lingering doubts by some policy makers over how serious and far-reaching the threat of an Islamic State caliphate really is to our nation’s vital interests. Or it may be a simple reluctance to begin another open-ended military operation in the Middle East. In the end, no matter the reason, the timorous use of air power against Islamic State fighters in Iraq and Syria is unlikely to reduce the territory under their control, curb the brutal murder of innocent civilians, or prevent the creation of a sanctuary for an enemy that has sworn to continue its fight on a more global scale.

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents    

                                                                                                                                               

TURKEY’S ELUSIVE PROMISED LAND

AND THE WAR ON ISLAMIC STATE                                                 

Amotz Asa-El                                                                                                     

Jerualsem Post, Oct. 25, 2014

 

By sheer coincidence, the Syrian town of Kobani – where Kurdish and Islamic State fighters have been squaring off in recent weeks – happens to be tucked just west of Haran, the Turkish spot from which Abraham disembarked on his journey to the Promised Land. The current confrontation’s many protagonists may have different ideas about their own promised land, but they all know its location and all carry a road map leading there. The Kurds want a state that will weld slivers of Turkey, Syria and Iraq; President Bashar Assad wants a Syria that will sprawl from the Anti-Lebanon to the Tigris; Iran wants to suspend a Shi’ite bridge between the thresholds of Afghanistan and Egypt; Saudi Arabia wants quiet outside its palaces’ gilded windows; and Islamic State’s jihadists want to drown the Middle East in blood and then, as their leader put it, march on Rome. One actor, however, seems increasingly disoriented and indecipherable: Turkey.

 

Hardly a mile from Kobani, Turkish officers were seen in recent weeks surveying pillars of smoke and listening to machine-gun staccatos from atop their American- made tanks this side of the border. Their failure to come to the rescue of the predominantly Kurdish town has brought to mind the Red Army’s two-week wait before storming Warsaw, a choice Poles say was designed to let the Nazis kill more Poles; as well as the Allies’ delay in launching D-Day, which Stalin saw as an Anglo-American ploy to let the Germans kill yet more Soviets before Germany’s defeat. The stakes in Kobani are different, as even on the eve of the Syrian civil war, the dusty town was inhabited by just 50,000; unlike Warsaw, it is a godforsaken frontier town. Even so, this is where the war on Islamic State reached Turkey’s doorstep, and where the Turkish response kept the whole world guessing just where Ankara stands, and what its war aims might be.

 

The analogies to wartime Germany and Russia have come to mind because of Turkey’s apparent abandonment of Syria’s Kurds to Islamic State’s devices. Like the Red Army at Warsaw’s gates, the mighty Turkish army, the world’s eighth-largest, can roll ahead and effortlessly scatter Islamic State’s black-clad fighters under a hailstorm of artillery, armor and fighter jet bombs. Convinced that Turkey was deliberately abandoning their brethren, Kurdish rioters took to the streets in early October in cities throughout Turkey, where police confronted them forcefully, leaving at least 30 dead and dozens wounded. The Kurdish aspect of the situation is particularly confusing because a mere 20 months ago, Turkey launched a peace process with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), its nemesis of 40 years, which in turn formally announced a ceasefire and also ordered its fighters to retreat beyond Turkish borders. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government saw in this deal a major accomplishment, leaving the impression that such a spirit of appeasement came more easily to a religious leadership that cared for nationalism less than its secular predecessors. Now, all this has unraveled. The Kurds canceled the cease-fire, and many among Turkey’s 20-percent Kurdish minority are ready to renew their struggle for independence.

 

Yet the Turks not only provoked the same Kurds they had previously courted and placated, they also thumbed their nose at US President Barack Obama – by refusing to allow US bombers to take off from Turkish airfields at Syria’s backdoor, compelling them to instead fly almost 2,000 km. from Arab bases in the Gulf. Subsequent reports that Ankara was retreating from its refusal to allow Kurdish units to cross into the battlefields, and ongoing complaints that Turkey was enabling foreigners’ entry into Syria along the so-called “jihadist highway,” intensified confusion over Turkey’s stance. Pundits and diplomats the world over scratched their heads: Is Turkey with the Kurds or against them? Is it with America or against it, with the jihadists or against them?

 

Turkey’s attitude toward the Arab world’s four-year period of turmoil has been driven by three sometimes contradictory sentiments: military caution, historic pretension and regional frustration. Thrusting the Turkish military into battle is not as simple as it sounds, for three reasons: First, the Turkish army has not fought a war since invading Cyprus 40 years ago. Second, following the entire general staff’s forced resignation three years ago in the wake of Erdogan’s assault on it, the army’s new leadership is not as confident and battle hungry as their predecessors might have been. And lastly, a fighting, and potentially victorious and glorified, army would constitute a political threat to Erdogan and his Islamist administration.

Since modern Turkey’s foundation 90 years ago, its generals’ involvement in politics had been blunt and at times violent, particularly when it came to imposing secularism – until the last decade, when Erdogan boxed the military and brought its politicking to an end. Turkish generals now won’t touch politics with a 10-foot pole, but they remain suspected closet secularists. War would empower them – and empowered generals would be, from Erdogan’s viewpoint, unpredictable. This caution also explains Erdogan’s demand that the US impose a no-fly zone on Syria, and support him in creating a buffer zone in northern Syria. Such measures would mean military impact, without military heroism.

 

Beside its lack of appetite for military invasion, Turkey has ideological reasons to avoid the war on Islamic State. Erdogan, and even more so Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, are driven by a sense of historic mission that does not sit well with joining a Western-led assault on Muslims. Turkish scholars now call the pair’s platform “pan-Islamism,” as opposed to the previously used “neo-Ottomanism.” One such scholar, Marmara University’s Behlul Ozkan, has studied some 300 articles Davutoglu penned as an academic before the Islamists’ rise to power, most of which have never been translated. His findings indicate that Davutoglu believes Turkey has a historic mission to revive and lead a Sunni triangle that would stretch from North Africa through the Balkans to Central Asia. In a sense, Islamic State’s vision of a caliphate has stolen Davutoglu’s thunder…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]            

 

                                                                                    Contents                                                     

                                                                  

HAS OBAMA REALIZED THE PKK CAN BE ALLIES?                                       

Michael Rubin                                                                                                     

Commentary, Oct. 20, 2014

 

Difficulties in the Turkish government’s relationship with Turkey’s Kurdish population continue to overshadow efforts to implement a coherent and comprehensive strategy to address the problem of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The problem is this: While to most American audiences the Kurds might simply be the Kurds, they are divided politically, linguistically, and culturally. In short, the United States now works closely with Iraqi Kurds, but labels the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) as a terrorist group. Herein lies the problem: Masud Barzani, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the president of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq, may depict himself and may be considered by some American officials to be a Kurdish nationalist leader, but his popularity is largely limited to two Iraqi provinces: Duhok and Erbil. And even in Erbil, his popularity is tenuous.

 

The imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan remains the most popular figure among Turkey’s Kurds, enjoying the support of perhaps 90 percent of Syrian Kurds, whereas Barzani barely musters 10 percent popularity there. Whereas Turkey long sought to declare Öcalan irrelevant, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reconfirmed Öcalan as the paramount Kurdish leader in Turkey when he had his administration negotiate a ceasefire with the imprisoned Kurdish leader. This may not have been Erdoğan’s intention, but it was the result. The irony here for Turkish nationalists is that Erdoğan was likely never sincere about achieving peace with the Kurds, or at least with those Kurds who continued to embrace ethnicity rather than Sunni Islam as their predominant identity. After all, every Erdoğan outreach to the Kurds occurred in the months before elections, and was abandoned in the weeks following them, when Erdoğan no longer needed Kurdish electoral support.

 

Even as Erdoğan now acquiesces to some support for the besieged Kurds of Kobane, he seeks to limit the provision of that support to his allies among Barzani’s peshmerga, never mind that KDP peshmerga would be out of place in Syria and do not have the skill or dedication that the PKK’s Syrian peshmerga, the YPG, have exhibited. If Erdoğan thinks Barzani’s peshmerga can save him, he is kidding himself: As soon as those Kurdish fighters enter Syria, they will subordinate themselves to the YPG which know the ground and are, at this point, better motivated and more skilled. Erdoğan continues to insist that there is no difference in his mind between the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the PKK: To the Turkish President, they’re all terrorists. Evidently, however, the American position is shifting. Obama has insisted that he approve every military operation in Syria. This is why the recent airdrop of supplies to Kobane is so important: That airdrop directly assists the PYD, YPG, and the PKK. In effect, Obama is now aiding a group that his State Department still designates a terrorist group. In reality, that designation is probably long overdue for a review if not elimination. The PYD governs Syrian Kurdistan better than any other group which holds territory runs its government. Nowhere else in Syria can girls walk to school without escort (let alone attend school) or is there regularly scheduled municipal trash pick up. And the YPG, meanwhile, has been the most effective force fighting ISIS and the Nusra Front. Given a choice between ISIS and the PKK, the United States should choose the PKK. The group may not be perfect—it retains too much of a personality cult around Öcalan and internally could become more transparent and democratic—but in this, it is no different than Barzani’s KDP. Indeed, the only difference between the two is that the PKK has not indulged in the same sort of corruption that has transformed Barzani and his sons into billionaires.

 

The most interesting aspect of the U.S. airdrop to the Kurds of Kobane is how muted the reaction has been. Turkey might like to think the nearly 150 members of the Congressional Turkey Caucus would hold water for Ankara and object to the provision of arms and aid to a group Turkey’s president considers to be a terrorist entity, but its members recognize that most American officials now consider the Hamas-loving Erdoğan to be more of a threat to peace than the PKK. Indeed, perhaps with this airdrop, the change so long denied by diplomats is now apparent: The Emperor Erdoğan has no clothes. It is too early to suggest that Öcalan trumps Erdoğan in the American mind but thanks to more than a decade of Erdoğan’s rule, when deciding between Turkey and the PKK, American officials no longer will automatically side with Turkey.      

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

Turkey Sets Conditions for Helping West in Kobane Crisis in Syria: Colin Freeman, Telegraph, Oct. 28, 2014 —Turkey has named its price for co-operation in the West's fight to end the Islamic State's stranglehold on the Syrian border town of Kobane, saying the fight must be led by the Free Syrian Army rather than Kurdish "terrorists".

John Cantlie, British Hostage, Seen in ISIS Video Apparently From Kobani: Alan Cowell, New York Times, Oct. 28, 2014—A British hostage of the Islamic State has been shown in a video, apparently made in the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border, depicting him as a combat correspondent and forecasting that the town is about to fall to militants despite waves of American airstrikes.

Oil Gives Kurds a Path to Independence, and Conflict With Baghdad: Azam Ahmed & Clifford Krauss, New York Times, Oct. 25, 2014 —Roughly two dozen huge oil tankers are idly turning figure eights around the Mediterranean or on the high seas, loaded with oil pumped from wells in Iraqi Kurdistan but with nowhere to legally offload it.

ISIS Boasts of Its Yazidi Slaves: Daniel Pipes, National Review, Oct. 16, 2014 —That the Islamic State has enslaved Yazidi women and children it captured is an established fact.

Fight for Syrian City Strains Jihadists: Asa Fitch & Dion Nissenbaum, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 17, 2014 —Islamic State’s protracted battle for the Syrian city of Kobani against an expanding U.S.-led military campaign and Kurdish militia is straining the insurgency, Syrian opposition activists, Kurdish politicians and U.S. officials said.

Turkey Still Thinks This Guy Holding a Baby Bear is a Terrorist. Is he?: Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, Oct. 27, 2014 —The photo above, of a Kurdish fighter nursing an orphaned baby bear, is a controversial one.

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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Nathan Elberg: Simple Truths: A Cree Indian Explains a 2,000 Year Old Rabbinic Teaching

From Israzine Nov., 2014: "Zionism, An Indigenous Struggle: Aboriginal Americans and the Jewish State"

 

Our Sages teach us that our livelihood is in the hands of God. While we have to go through the motions, our success has little to do with our machinations. Rather, it’s a reflection of what God has ascertained is best for us, whether it be immense wealth, terrible poverty, or somewhere in between. All is in the hands of God, and if we want financial success, we should address our request to heaven, rather than to the stockbroker.

 

It's a simple concept, and an easy principle for a pious person to accept intellectually. But it's much harder to believe in your gut. For example, when you have the opportunity to make extra money by cheating, is that money part of God's plans for you? Conversely, how will God protect your retirement savings when the CEO of the corporation in which you've invested commits massive fraud? If you recite a lot of Tehillim (psalms), is God going to suppress your boss's free will when you ask for a raise?

Two thousand years ago, when our Sages taught about our livelihood being in the hands of God, the economy was much simpler. If it rained, the farmers would be successful. If a Greek or Roman authority overtaxed the people, God could smite him, and solve the problem. If God sent forth the animals, hunters would be successful.

In succeeding centuries, in Babylonia, Spain, eastern Europe and elsewhere, the climate and other natural factors remained strong forces in the economy. Although trade, feudalism and war influenced people's well-being, the connection between livelihood and God was still clear.

With the industrial revolution, the western world turned its devotion to a new deity, progress. This theology placed the illusion of control in the hands of man. For the elite, for those controlling the means of production, the illusion seemed quite real. For the masses of workers, for the peasants, their livelihood became even more capricious. The weight of the burdens of the new taskmasters obscured the hand of God.

Robert Visitor, a Cree Indian living in the small community of Wemindji, taught me the meaning of Chazal's (our sages’) teaching about livelihood. I was a young anthropologist, visiting the Quebec coast of James Bay on behalf of the provincial native political association, doing research to fight the James Bay hydroelectric project.   Bobby and I had become friends, getting drunk together on the Anglican church's sacramental wine. Over the next few years, as I traveled back and forth to the James Bay coast, I always felt at home at Bobby's, and I tried to make him feel welcome when he visited the urban commune where I lived.

 

We were spending the winter in the sub-arctic forest in a region that was to be flooded by the hydro project, intending to trap all the fur-bearing animals. The nearest other people were fifty to a hundred miles away. There was no radio or telephone. The only roads were the rivers and lakes we paddled, or after freeze-up, walked along.

 

We had flown into the forest in the early fall. There were seventeen of us: three families, living in a teepee, going out on day-trips to set or check traps and fish nets. Our food was mainly fresh fish, rabbit, partridge and beaver, supplemented by oatmeal, coffee, tea and flour. Mostly, we lived off the land.

 

I didn't mind the minus-forty temperature. But I couldn't bring myself to stick my hands in a hole in the ice of the frozen lake to take the fish out of the net strung underneath. Bobby smiled, and explained that the water was warmer than the air.

The hunting, fishing, and trapping was successful.  Current anthropological research has indicated that many hunting societies lived relatively comfortable lives, much better off than the more "advanced" pastoral or farming societies that succeeded them. As I set rabbit traps, butchered a beaver, and filtered bugs out of the lake water, I had no thoughts about danger, hunger, or God doing anything not nice to me.

 

One November morning, nobody went hunting. We had freezing rain, and it was impossible to hunt, check fishnets, traps, or anything like that. At best, we could edge down the slippery path to the lake, re-open the hole in the ice, and draw drinking water.

 

On the second day of freezing rain, again nobody went hunting. No one seemed particularly concerned.

 

On the third day of freezing rain, I asked Bobby "what happens if the freezing rain keeps up?"

 

"We starve," he shrugged.

It was an interesting idea. But, I thought, "what if the federal government lowers interest rates to increase consumer spending? How about if the CEO announces a generous dividend? Lower taxes? Socialist revolution?"

 

These would not change anything. Nothing man could do would make any difference. If God kept the freezing rain going, we'd starve. If God improved the weather, we'd be fine.

 

This is a direct one-on-one relation with the concept that our livelihood is in G`d's hand. Bobby and his fellow Cree understood that teaching at a gut level. It wasn't an idea to be learned and integrated. It's part of the world. We don't have to be taught that the sky is above us, rain falls downward or that we get older over time. The Cree hunters of the northern forest know in the same way that our livelihood is in the hands of God.

 

We have been alienated from this knowledge by complex economies, high and low technology, and the mythology generated by progress. We can't know it instinctively, so we must rely on our Torah learning to allow us to grasp the wisdom hidden by the world around us.

A corollary of the teaching that our livelihood is in the hands of God is that we shouldn't worry about what we will eat tomorrow. When Bobby said "we'll starve," I could not be as blasé as him. I was concerned, and wanted to do something. Bobby knew that our fate was in God's hands, and was quite comfortable with it.

By the age of thirty-seven, he was periodically crippled by arthritis and bad medicine. He attributed the arthritis to traveling in the rain in the forest for many days. I blamed the bad medicine on government policies that treated natives as an annoying obligation. The hospital in Montreal had him travel twelve hundred miles to give him cases of aspirin, telling him to take twenty-four pills a day. Maybe the plan was to dissolve his stomach so they wouldn't have to bother with his arthritis, which on some days was so bad that he couldn't move out of bed. I brought him to my doctor, who changed Bobby's diet, eased the arthritis, and saved his stomach.

Bobby had a bad back. When he was a child in a church-run residential school, a teacher heard him speaking Cree, rather than English to a friend.  As punishment, the teacher smashed him on the back with a heavy stick. Decades later,  when beating and molesting young natives was no longer considered polite, the Chief in Wemindji told Bobby that he should file a claim for the damage he suffered from that punishment; he could probably get ten thousand dollars. As Bobby recounted this to me he was puzzled: what would he do with ten thousand dollars? Why would he need so much money? Bobby meant it. It wasn't a cliché or a bargaining point with him. It was him.

I've been in business negotiations with some of the wealthiest people in Canada. As they bargained over a transaction, they asked what difference it would make to get a better price; what difference would the extra money make in one's life?

Sitting on their tens of millions of dollars, those real-estate moguls did not impress me in their renunciation of the value of wealth. Bobby, who gave away his money as soon as he got it, who didn't have a bank account or even a phone, was really not interested in ten thousand dollars.

In Pirkei Avot , Ethics of the Fathers, we are told "Who is wealthy- he who is satisfied with his lot." It's a theme repeated in folk songs, in movies… It's usually written into the song or script by people with lots of money, and according to some is a capitalist plot to keep the poor from complaining about their impoverishment.

 

Bobby didn't calculate that he could use the money to buy some luxuries for his modest home, take a trip, or purchase a savings bond. Bent over by arthritis, without a penny to his name (and, at the time I last saw him, trying unsuccessfully to recover from a massive heart attack) Bobby was satisfied with what he had. It was his nature.

 

Bobby took me into his life, he disrupted his family, he traveled a thousand miles for me. If we went by bus, train, or chartered helicopter, it was the same to him. When I bought him an expensive shotgun as a gift, he didn't mind that it only worked properly with expensive shells. Bobby didn't have any money anyway, so whether the ammunition cost a lot or a little was irrelevant.

Bobby was a country & western singer. He considered himself Johnny Cash, but without the cash. He wrote what became a theme song for his people's resistance to the James Bay Hydro Project mentioned above. The refrain was straightforward:

Building dams on our land is not right

All the things we have will be destroyed

If you fellow Indians stand up and fight with all your might,

If you fellow Indians stand up and fight…

 

His people signed a multi­million dollar deal with the government, allowing the dams to be built, rivers diverted, hunting grounds flooded. It might have been a good deal had the government lived up to its obligations. Bobby was a bit upset when I satirically re-wrote his theme:

 

Building dams on our land is all right

Though the things we have will be destroyed

If you fellow Indians stand up and sign with all your might,

If you fellow Indians stand up and sign…

Pirkei Avot also teaches us that we are obliged to honor our teachers, even a person from whom we have learned only a single letter. Robert F. Visitor was a man of simple wants, uneducated, an alcoholic. He taught me deep truths, not through lessons or lectures, but through living, and I honor his memory.
 

Amb. Alan Baker: Parliamentary Recognition of Palestine – Legally, Historically and Politically Questionable

On October 13, 2014, the British Parliament, in its House of Commons, adopted a resolution by a majority of 274 votes, with 12 opposing votes, that states:

 

    “That this House believes that the government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.”1

 

Proponents of this curious resolution claimed that “recognizing Palestine as a state would be a symbolically important step towards peace.” The Labour Party shadow foreign secretary Ian Lucas even opined that the resolution would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence.” He went on to claim that “this is not an alternative to negotiations.  It is a bridge for beginning them.”2

 

However, former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind disagreed and suggested such a move should not be adopted because it would be purely symbolic:

 

    “For me the most important question is what practical benefit would passing this resolution make?” he asked. “It might make us feel good. But recognizing a state should only happen when the territory in question has the basic requirements of a state.  And through no fault of the Palestinians that is not true at the moment and it seems to me that the resolution before us is premature as we do not have a Palestinian government.”3

 

A similar vote by the Upper House of the Irish Parliament, known as the “Seanad Eireann,” adopted on October 23, 2014, stated:

 

    “Seanad Eireann calls on the government to formally recognize the state of Palestine and do everything it can at the international level to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”4

 

A similar position was put forward by the new prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven, who stated in an inaugural address to the Swedish parliament on October 3, 2014:

 

    “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.  A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine.”5

 

Mistaken and Ill-Advised Statements

 

Analyzing these statements and votes logically, they would appear to be based on questionable legal, historic and political premises, as well as being in and of themselves self-contradictory and constituting, by their terms, a non-sequitor. As such, they would appear to be both ill-advised and based on a mistaken reading of the situation.

 

The reference to the ultimate aim of a “negotiated two-state solution” correctly acknowledges the present legal situation in which the issue of final status of the territory is a distinct negotiating issue between Israel and the Palestinians, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to which the UK, Ireland and Sweden, as part of the EU, are signatory as witness.6

 

However, in acknowledging this, it is clear that the issue of the permanent status of the territory remains an open negotiating issue, yet to be agreed-on, and one may assume that upon resumption of the negotiating process, it will be duly addressed by the parties as one of the central agenda items.

Statements Prejudge the Outcome of Negotiations

 

Accordingly, the British House of Commons, the Irish Upper House and the Swedish prime minister would appear to contradict themselves by recognizing that negotiations are still pending, but nevertheless at the same time prejudging the outcome of the very negotiation they purport to support, by calling for recognition of the state of Palestine.

 

Clearly no such a Palestinian state or sovereign entity exists and thus cannot logically be recognized or acknowledged by the UK Parliament.

 

Similarly, no international treaty, convention or binding international resolution or determination has ever been adopted or entered into, that determines that the territories in dispute are indeed Palestinian.

 

In this context, the Palestinian leadership itself is committed, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to negotiate the issue of the permanent status of the territory.  Article V of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on September 13, 1993 states as follows:

 

    “2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people representatives.

 

    3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.”7

 

An Agreement Cannot Be Imposed by External Parties

 

Accordingly, the outcome of such negotiations and the ultimate status of the territory, whether as a Palestinian state or any other sovereign entity agreed-upon by the two sides, cannot be arbitrarily imposed by external parties, including the UK, Irish or Swedish parliaments, or the UN. It may only emanate from a bona-fide negotiating process as well as in accordance with accepted norms and requirements of international law regarding the characteristics of statehood.

 

Such norms and requirements are set out in international law in article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States8 that clearly determines the attributes of statehood:

 

    “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

 

The Palestinians clearly do not meet the requirements set out in this convention.

Since the issue of the permanent status of the disputed territory is an agreed-upon negotiating issue, as indeed acknowledged by the international community including the UK, Ireland and Sweden,  any resolution by the House of Commons, the Irish Upper House of Parliament or the Swedish prime minister calling for recognition of a Palestinian state in effect purports to pre-empt the outcome of that negotiation through a one-sided determination that totally ignores legitimate legal and historic claims to the territory by Israel, including those based on historic and legal commitments to which the United Kingdom itself is bound.

 

They would thus appear to be intervening in a bona fide negotiating process by supporting one side only. This is far from constituting any “bridge” to negotiations, so described by shadow foreign minister Mr. Ian Lucas, or “morally right,” as stated by Mr. Nicholas Soames.

To the contrary, rather than encouraging a return to negotiations, as claimed by the proponents of these resolutions, such one-sided and biased issuances emanating from European parliaments will only serve to impede any bona fide and genuine negotiation by encouraging the Palestinians to adopt arbitrary and uncompromising positions on the issues on the negotiating agenda, knowing that they have the support of those European countries.

 

While clearly it is the sovereign prerogative of the British, Irish or Swedish Parliaments to adopt whatever resolution they choose, one might assume that they would not want to be misled or manipulated, whether by narrow political interests, external political or economic pressures or any other cause, into adopting a resolution that is legally and politically ill-advised and mistaken.

 

It would be legally and politically prudent were the UK House of Commons and the Irish Upper House, as well as the Prime Minister of Sweden, to reconsider such ill-advised resolutions or statements, which certainly do no credit to them nor to those MPs who advanced and supported them.

 

* * *
Notes

1 http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/backbench-business-committee/news/mps-debate-palestine-and-israel/
2 http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-29596822
3 http://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/irish-senate-calls-for-recognition-of-palestinian-state/ar-BBaEn56 and http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.622494
4 http://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/irish-senate-calls-for-recognition-of-palestinian-state/ar-BBaEn56 and http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.622494
5 http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/03/us-sweden-politics-palestinians-idUSKCN0HS0XN20141003
6 http://www.acpr.org.il/publications/books/44-Zero-isr-pal-interim-agreement.pdf, see list of signatories at page 456.
7 http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Peace/Guide/Pages/Declaration%20of%20Principles.aspx. This was repeated in the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/ForeignPolicy/Peace/Guide/Pages/THE%20ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN%20INTERIM%20AGREEMENT.aspx
8 http://www.cfr.org/sovereignty/montevideo-convention-rights-duties-states/p15897
 

AFTER THE OTTAWA PARLIAMENT ATTACK: ISLAMIST VIOLENCE HERE & ABROAD REMINDS US: “ALL THAT IS NECESSARY FOR EVIL TO PREVAIL IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO NOTHING”

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

In the Shadow of a Young Corporal’s Death, Canada’s Greatness Shines Through: Rex Murphy, National Post, Oct. 25, 2014 — Out of this dark week there has come very much that is good.

Under Siege, Egypt Looks For Allies: Zvi Mazel, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014— Over the weekend, 30 Egyptian soldiers were killed and 31 wounded in one of the worst terrorist attacks in the past year in northern Sinai.

Parliamentary Recognition of Palestine – Legally, Historically and Politically Questionable : Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Oct. 27, 2014

‘Ehr Daw’ — They’re Here: Rabbi Shalom Lewis, Frontpage, Oct. 7, 2014 — I thought that maybe I’d start with a rendition of Paul McCartney’s plaintive masterpiece “Yesterday”…

On Topic Links

 

Terrorism Defies Definition: Daniel Pipes and Teri Blumenfeld, Washington Times, Oct. 23, 2014

Egypt Cancels Israel-Hamas Talks, Shutters Rafah, Plans Anti-Smuggling Wall After Mass Car Bombing: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Oct. 26, 2014

The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014

MPs 'Encouraged Hamas Terrorism' by Voting for Palestinian State Says Israel: David Blair, Telegraph, Oct. 24, 2014

 

                  

IN THE SHADOW OF A YOUNG CORPORAL’S DEATH,

CANADA’S GREATNESS SHINES THROUGH                                             

Rex Murphy                                                                                                                  

National Post, Oct. 25, 2014

 

Out of this dark week there has come very much that is good. And I am not just pointing to the very welcome spirit of concord the three political parties have, up to now, manifested in the Commons and outside. Nor the address of our three main political leaders, though again, their talks both in tone and content offered much to be regarded. Rather I am thinking of the unofficial moments, captured on video or in photographs, showing people acting so well, in moments of great distress or at some levels of real peril to themselves. Even after three days,  the very early scene of passersby, earnestly trying to care for Corporal Nathan Cirillo — this was but mere instants after his being shot — shimmers in the mind.

 

Everyone has seen that image, the huddle of people bent over him, and, as we have learned from news stories, even to his last breath assuring him that “he was loved.” It was very much the parable of the Good Samaritan in real and present time, only in Ottawa Wednesday morning, it wasn’t one Samaritan. There were at least four. Such loving attention, at a time when the scene was still in chaos and it was unknown how many shooters there might be, said so much more than the thousands of words we have heard. Even in the shadow of the young corporal’s death, it is not too much to say that this was a very gratifying moment — a tragic moment, but one worth honouring. All Canadians immediately recognized the actions of the corporal’s final companions as an example of how people should act at such a time, how we would wish to have acted. And how, heaven forbid, we may wish to be treated if it was us laying on that sacred ground, breathing our last breaths. We are, in part, very much the people we choose to admire, and our national character can, in some measure, be limned by the actions we choose to esteem. Our age, hag-ridden by the tinsel fame of hollow celebrity, calls for the counterbalance of real worth and real achievement being given deeper regard, of holding up those who neither have fame nor are seeking it, acting in casual nobility and with real care.

 

Canadians light on special people from everyday life who act with selflessness, or associate themselves with issues of genuine need, and place them in a kind of unofficial pantheon. They are our moral heroes. The most vivid example is perhaps that of Terry Fox, who Canadians still hold fresh and high in their regard even 30 years after his magnificent odyssey in rain, snow and glorious sunlight across the country. The country took to him, not only because of his mighty endurance at the very crest of his illness — which was a blazon all its own —  but just as much so because of the utter selflessness with which he spent his last days.

 

I see very much of the same thing in how swiftly and intensely the modest and unassuming person of Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers has found immediate home in the hearts and minds of everyone across the country. Of his pure bravery, most of us stand in awe. Bravery, or courage, as was said of old, is the cardinal virtue, as without it none of the other virtues can or will be exercised. Canadians took to Kevin Vickers, however, for reasons beyond even his courage. It was so much his manner. Here is a man to whom duty — a word I feel sometimes has slipped out of the vocabulary of our glib days — was as his life. His self-possession in the heat of an absolutely sudden crisis, his instantaneous response in a time of danger, and his visible awkwardness the next day when he was showered by the thunder of applause and tribute, left us gaping with admiration and affection.

 

We are always wondering if the days of sacrifice and full generosity are behind us. Every generation sees the one previous as somehow more stern and stoic, less caught by the trivia of position or wealth or power, than our own. We yearn for purpose and examples of those who live by codes of honour and duty. But, as we have seen, great men and women, in the sense of great I am underlining here, are still with us. And they carry the same mien, speak in the same un-self-regarding accents, as the men and women of yesterday. I think of Captain Sullenberger, who landed an Airbus loaded with passengers on the flowing waters of the Hudson River. Of how even after that unbelievable, harrowing descent and landing, he was reported as going through the cabin of the plane making sure everyone had gotten safely off, before he left the jet. He was another of those quiet, unassuming gentlemen who so quietly perform with a self-possession that takes our breath away, and who is almost surprised — and certainly uncomfortable — when half the world takes him in their hearts as special. Our man Vickers is such a fellow, a gentleman, a man of duty. He makes us proud as Canadians that he is one of ours. And that is a good thing for this country, for we are all, in part, who we choose to admire.

 

Then, of course, there are the two soldiers, Cpl. Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was murdered in Quebec on Monday. Among our military their deaths have of course had special impact. And Canadians hold their military in a very special place. They are the institution we have chosen to admire. Cpl. Cirillo’s death, because of the whole drama of the day, and most particularly because of the symbolism of his place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, has been the larger story. His youth, vitality and friendliness — which we see so vibrantly in the many online, newspaper and broadcast pictures of him — summoned the deepest response from all the country. One picture alone of his forlorn dogs, vainly awaiting his return, had more pathos than a thousand pages of Dickens. Cpl. Cirillo is now another enrolee in this country’s unofficial pantheon, the gallery of those very special individuals, we have chosen to stand as representatives of what, in an ideal world, we would all choose to be. To the most enduring question of ours — what does it mean to be Canadian? — the passersby who tended the soldier, the Sergeant-at-Arms, the young solider at the tomb, and WO Vincent, the career military man going about his business in the uniform he earned the right to wear, gives us the answer we need. It was a dark week, but one too that had more than its share of special light. We will remember our fallen, and the light that they shone.

 

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                                                      

UNDER SIEGE, EGYPT LOOKS FOR ALLIES                                                      

Zvi Mazel                                                                                                            

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 27, 2014

 

Over the weekend, 30 Egyptian soldiers were killed and 31 wounded in one of the worst terrorist attacks in the past year in northern Sinai. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reacted with a stark declaration, saying terrorism was an existential threat and that Egypt will fight it till it is eradicated. Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis is at the forefront of Jihadi groups grimly determined to throw the country into chaos. The army is making an all-out effort to eliminate all Islamist terrorist movements, and claims to have killed some 600 insurgents and to have destroyed many of their strongholds, seizing huge amounts of arms and explosives – last week it estimated the number of underground tunnels blown up or closed at 1,875.

 

Those were heavy blows to the terrorists, but they are securely entrenched among the population in the north of the peninsula, and they can depend on their extensive networks of Beduin in the area. Furthermore, they are being reinforced by a steady stream of men and material coming through all Egypt’s borders. It can be said that to a certain extent, Egypt is under siege, with the Gaza Strip functioning as the logistic hub. Gaza has the capacity to develop and produce weapons, to package explosives and to train terrorists before infiltrating them to the peninsula through the tunnels, of which there are always enough left for that purpose.

 

However, an ever-growing number of fighters and ammunition are coming in through the borders with Libya and Sudan. The border between Egypt and Libya runs across 1,200 km. of deserts and mountains, making monitoring near impossible, the more so since strife-torn Libya is no longer functioning as a sovereign state. Its capital city has been partially taken over by Islamic and tribal militias, its parliament and its government have fled to Tobruk, not far from the Egyptian border. Many jihadi terrorists, among them some who came from Syria and Iraq, can be found all along that border. Dozens of Egyptians soldiers have been killed in recent months in a number of clashes with insurgents infiltrating from Libya. And if that was not enough, more arms and more rebels are coming in from Sudan, through its 400-km.- long border with Libya.

 

There could also be Iranian weapons still reaching the Sinai Peninsula. Iran is intent on destabilizing Egypt, even if it entails aiding extremist Sunni movements as it did with al-Qaida in the past. During the Mubarak era, extensive smuggling networks were left to grow in Egypt as a whole and in the Sinai Peninsula, in the mistaken belief that it was a problem for Israel alone. It was a costly mistake, for which Egypt is paying dearly. Sisi was confident he could depend on America’s assistance to fight the threat of terror. However, instead of cooperating with Cairo, the White House, still smarting over the ouster of former president Muhammad Morsi and of the Muslim Brothers, declared an embargo on arms for Egypt. The recent visit of the Egyptian president to Washington and his meeting with his American counterpart did not bring a thaw. Obama allegedly quizzed Sisi over human rights in Egypt. The Egyptian president retaliated by saying he would join the coalition against Islamic State but would not send troops, since they were badly needed to defend his country against terror. Relations between the two countries are still fraught, though America is now grudgingly dispatching ten Apache helicopters that were meant to have been delivered a year ago.

 

Deprived of the support of his country’s former staunchest ally, Sisi had to look elsewhere. He is in the process of setting up his own coalition with North African countries facing the threat coming from Libya, such as Sudan and Algeria. He is in close contact with the legal government of Libya, whose prime minister, Abdullah al-Thani came to Cairo in mid-October and signed a cooperation agreement between the two armies. Egypt will help train Libyan security forces and police, there will be joint border control, and cooperation will extend to exchange of intelligence. This was followed by steps on the ground. “Unidentified” planes bombed Tripoli airfield, held by Islamic and tribal militias. Various groups accused Egypt, and the White House was prompt to condemn the raids. Cairo denied that its forces intervened beyond its borders. It appears likely that the attack was not carried out by the Egyptian army, but probably by Libyan pilots taking off from Egyptian air fields flying Egyptians planes and planes from the Emirates. The Libyan army has now launched an all-out offensive against the Islamists with the help of former renegade general Khalifa Haftar and has retaken Benghazi – it is moving to reconquer Tripoli and restore order…

[To Read the Full Article  Click the Following Link—Ed.]              

                                                                                   

                                                                       

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PARLIAMENTARY RECOGNITION OF PALESTINE –          

LEGALLY, HISTORICALLY AND POLITICALLY QUESTIONABLE                                                                           

Amb. Alan Baker,                                                                                     

JCPA, Oct. 27, 2014

 

On October 13, 2014, the British Parliament, in its House of Commons, adopted a resolution by a majority of 274 votes, with 12 opposing votes, that states: “That this House believes that the government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution.” Proponents of this curious resolution claimed that “recognizing Palestine as a state would be a symbolically important step towards peace.” The Labour Party shadow foreign secretary Ian Lucas even opined that the resolution would “strengthen the moderate voices among the Palestinians who want to pursue the path of politics, not the path of violence.” He went on to claim that “this is not an alternative to negotiations.  It is a bridge for beginning them.”

 

However, former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind disagreed and suggested such a move should not be adopted because it would be purely symbolic: “For me the most important question is what practical benefit would passing this resolution make?” he asked. “It might make us feel good. But recognizing a state should only happen when the territory in question has the basic requirements of a state.  And through no fault of the Palestinians that is not true at the moment and it seems to me that the resolution before us is premature as we do not have a Palestinian government.” A similar vote by the Upper House of the Irish Parliament, known as the “Seanad Eireann,” adopted on October 23, 2014, stated: “Seanad Eireann calls on the government to formally recognize the state of Palestine and do everything it can at the international level to help secure a viable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” A similar position was put forward by the new prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Lofven, who stated in an inaugural address to the Swedish parliament on October 3, 2014: “The conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law.  A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine.”

 

Analyzing these statements and votes logically, they would appear to be based on questionable legal, historic and political premises, as well as being in and of themselves self-contradictory and constituting, by their terms, a non-sequitor. As such, they would appear to be both ill-advised and based on a mistaken reading of the situation. The reference to the ultimate aim of a “negotiated two-state solution” correctly acknowledges the present legal situation in which the issue of final status of the territory is a distinct negotiating issue between Israel and the Palestinians, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to which the UK, Ireland and Sweden, as part of the EU, are signatory as witness. However, in acknowledging this, it is clear that the issue of the permanent status of the territory remains an open negotiating issue, yet to be agreed-on, and one may assume that upon resumption of the negotiating process, it will be duly addressed by the parties as one of the central agenda items.

 

Accordingly, the British House of Commons, the Irish Upper House and the Swedish prime minister would appear to contradict themselves by recognizing that negotiations are still pending, but nevertheless at the same time prejudging the outcome of the very negotiation they purport to support, by calling for recognition of the state of Palestine. Clearly no such a Palestinian state or sovereign entity exists and thus cannot logically be recognized or acknowledged by the UK Parliament. Similarly, no international treaty, convention or binding international resolution or determination has ever been adopted or entered into, that determines that the territories in dispute are indeed Palestinian. In this context, the Palestinian leadership itself is committed, pursuant to the Oslo Accords, to negotiate the issue of the permanent status of the territory.  Article V of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on September 13, 1993 states as follows: “2. Permanent status negotiations will commence as soon as possible, but not later than the beginning of the third year of the interim period, between the Government of Israel and the Palestinian people representatives. 3. It is understood that these negotiations shall cover remaining issues, including: Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, security arrangements, borders, relations and cooperation with other neighbors, and other issues of common interest.” Accordingly, the outcome of such negotiations and the ultimate status of the territory, whether as a Palestinian state or any other sovereign entity agreed-upon by the two sides, cannot be arbitrarily imposed by external parties, including the UK, Irish or Swedish parliaments, or the UN. It may only emanate from a bona-fide negotiating process as well as in accordance with accepted norms and requirements of international law regarding the characteristics of statehood. Such norms and requirements are set out in international law in article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States that clearly determines the attributes of statehood: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a ) a permanent population; b ) a defined territory; c ) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.” The Palestinians clearly do not meet the requirements set out in this convention.

 

Since the issue of the permanent status of the disputed territory is an agreed-upon negotiating issue, as indeed acknowledged by the international community including the UK, Ireland and Sweden,  any resolution by the House of Commons, the Irish Upper House of Parliament or the Swedish prime minister calling for recognition of a Palestinian state in effect purports to pre-empt the outcome of that negotiation through a one-sided determination that totally ignores legitimate legal and historic claims to the territory by Israel, including those based on historic and legal commitments to which the United Kingdom itself is bound. They would thus appear to be intervening in a bona fide negotiating process by supporting one side only. This is far from constituting any “bridge” to negotiations, so described by shadow foreign minister Mr. Ian Lucas, or “morally right,” as stated by Mr. Nicholas Soames. To the contrary, rather than encouraging a return to negotiations, as claimed by the proponents of these resolutions, such one-sided and biased issuances emanating from European parliaments will only serve to impede any bona fide and genuine negotiation by encouraging the Palestinians to adopt arbitrary and uncompromising positions on the issues on the negotiating agenda, knowing that they have the support of those European countries.

 

While clearly it is the sovereign prerogative of the British, Irish or Swedish Parliaments to adopt whatever resolution they choose, one might assume that they would not want to be misled or manipulated, whether by narrow political interests, external political or economic pressures or any other cause, into adopting a resolution that is legally and politically ill-advised and mistaken. It would be legally and politically prudent were the UK House of Commons and the Irish Upper House, as well as the Prime Minister of Sweden, to reconsider such ill-advised resolutions or statements, which certainly do no credit to them nor to those MPs who advanced and supported them…

[To Read the Full Article, With Footnotes, Click the Following Link—Ed.]                       

 

                                                                                   

Contents                                    

                                                                         

EHR DAW’ — THEY’RE HERE                                                                      

Rabbi Shalom Lewis                                                                                            

Frontpage, Oct. 7, 2014

 

I thought that maybe I’d start with a rendition of Paul McCartney’s plaintive masterpiece “Yesterday”… “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, oh I believe in yesterday” – but then I thought, too romantic…And then I remembered Joseph Conrad’s sadly, cynical observation – – “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness,” and sadly it felt right.

 

And so, here were are in a place of unimagined chaos and cowardice, paralysis and brutality. The beast roams the earth; we are stymied, stunned and continue to fiddle. My friends, “Ehr Kumpt Part 2, the Sequel.” This is not a time for delicacy. For tiptoeing. It is not a time to parse words nor worry about offending someone with unfiltered vocabulary. Time is no longer a luxury we possess. Distance no longer provides protection. We are being threatened like no time before, by an enemy obsessed with an apocalyptic endgame that will bring only disaster. An enemy that worships savagery. An enemy that celebrates depravity. An enemy that glorifies the death of the young. There has been a seismic shift in our world. We feel it. We see it. We know it. We dare not deny it. Pick up any newspaper on any day, the first page, the second page, the third page, the fourth page and beyond – – most of the articles are about radical Muslims, not just ISIS, immersed in a vicious culture of blood and slaughter. Skip to the sports page or the crossword puzzle if you wish, but that doesn’t make the uncomfortable news go away. In fact, it brings joy to the jihadists who hope for our indifference. If we deny evil then we need not fight it. It doesn’t exist – just a few lunatics, thousands of miles away, pounding sand, blowing each other up and occasionally beheading an unlucky journalist. Not so bad. For years, we have been mercifully spared the ugliness and intimacy of war…But today, war has been redefined and relocated. Geneva is finished. We are all combatants in the cross hairs. We are all on the front lines, like it or not. The battlefield has no boundaries and the war, no rules. The enemy targets deliberately, fiendishly, any place of innocence. All are vulnerable and so we must recalculate our strategy, re-examine our tolerance, re-energize our resolve and unequivocally identify the evil doers. Let us not be silenced by fear, by feckless goodwill, by reckless hope, by meaningless rhetoric.

 

There are one billion Muslims in the world and authorities agree that 5% are committed Islamists who embrace terror and wish to see, by any means possible, the Muslim flag fly over every capital, on every continent. I was relieved when I heard only 5%. Thank God it’s only 5%. Now I could sleep soundly. But wait, let me figure this out, 5% of a billion is… 50 million Koran-waving, Allah Akbar-howling Muslim murderers out there planning to slit our throats, blow us up or forcibly convert us…But what disturbs me is, where are the other 950 million Muslims who are not terrorists? Who are not bomb-blasting, acid-throwing zealots? Where are the other 950 million Muslims who tuck their children in at night with a lullaby, who are okay with Christians and Jews, crave a peaceful world and wish nothing more than a tasty bowl of hummus and a friendly game of Shesh Besh with a neighbor? I want to believe they are out there, for their sake and for ours. I want to believe they weep in pain over the desecration of their faith. I want to believe that we have partners who dream the dreams we do and wish upon the same star. I want to believe – – but where are they? A silent partnership is no partnership. Sin is not just in the act of commission – it is also in the act of omission. Most Germans were not Nazis – but it did not matter. Most Russians were not Stalinists – but it did not matter. Most Muslims are not terrorists – but it does not matter. Stand up righteously or get out of the way. Perhaps in every mosque, in every midrassah, in every Muslim neighborhood, Edmund Burke’s powerful warning should be chiseled on a wall in Arabic, in Farsi, in Pashto, in Urdu, for all to read and heed. “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.”…                                           

[To Read the Full Article  Click the Following Link—Ed.]                        

           

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

Terrorism Defies Definition: Daniel Pipes and Teri Blumenfeld, Washington Times, Oct. 23, 2014 —Defining terrorism has practical implications because formally certifying an act of violence as terrorist has important consequences in U.S. law.

Egypt Cancels Israel-Hamas Talks, Shutters Rafah, Plans Anti-Smuggling Wall After Mass Car Bombing: Dave Bender, Algemeiner, Oct. 26, 2014 —After a terror attack on Friday killed at least 30 Egyptian soldiers in the northern Sinai, Cairo has declared a state of emergency in the area, closed down the Rafah crossing from Gaza, canceled indirect cease-fire talks between Israel and Hamas, and now says it will build a wall to block smuggling with the coastal enclave, Israel’s NRG News reported.

The Role of Hamas and Fatah in the Jerusalem Disturbances: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, Oct. 26, 2014 —The deterioration of the security situation in Jerusalem cannot be understood only on the Israeli-Palestinian level…

MPs 'Encouraged Hamas Terrorism' by Voting for Palestinian State Says Israel: David Blair, Telegraph, Oct. 24, 2014 —Parliament was guilty of “encouraging terrorist attacks” and “giving up” on peace when MPs cast a “miserable” vote in favour of Palestinian statehood, according to an Israeli cabinet minister.

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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THE WEEK THAT WAS: TERRORIST ATTACKS, & “KLINGHOFFER” CONTROVERSY, REMIND US OF THE DEADLY THREAT OF ISLAMIST TERROR

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Now Belongs, in Part, to the Memory of one we Know: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Oct. 24, 2014 —I have been to the cenotaph many times to pray for our country and to honour our fallen.

The Allure of Radical Islam in Canada: David Frum, The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2014 — Last year, the head of Canada’s security agency delivered a warning to the Canadian Senate.

‘The Death Of Klinghoffer’ Is An Injustice To Our Father’s Memory: Lisa & Ilsa Klinghoffer, Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014— On Oct. 8, 1985, our 69-year-old wheelchair-bound father, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot in the head by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship.

Metropolitan Opera Stifles Free Exchange of Ideas about a Propaganda Opera: Alan M. Dershowitz, Gatestone Institute, Oct. 21, 2014 —On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say.

Quiet Heroes of the Second World War: Susan Schwartz, Montreal Gazette, Oct. 7, 2014— Nelly Trocmé Hewett, the daughter of two quiet heroes of the Second World War, will be in Montreal later this month to talk about her parents, Magda and André Trocmé, who inspired a network of resistance to the Vichy government’s deportation of thousands to concentration camps.

On Topic Links

 

Bruce MacKinnon’s War Memorial Cartoon Touches Hearts Worldwide: Mary Ellen Macintyre, Herald News, Oct. 23, 2014

Canada Mosque Teaches 4-Year-Olds How to Behead (Video): WND, Oct. 3, 2014
An Assault on the Heart of the Canadian State (Video): Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, Oct. 23, 2014

Brigitte Gabriel Keynote Speaker at United Nations (Video): Youtube, Sept. 9, 2014

Hebrew –English Bilingual School in Harlem (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 24, 2014

Klinghoffer and the ‘Two Sides’ of Terrorism: Floyd Abrams, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2014

 

                                                                                                           

TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER NOW BELONGS,

IN PART, TO THE MEMORY OF ONE WE KNOW                                    

Father Raymond J. de Souza                                                                                         National Post, Oct. 24, 2014

 

I have been to the cenotaph many times to pray for our country and to honour our fallen. Another visit is required now, because it has been consecrated anew. The blood of Corporal Nathan Cirillo has been shed. The tomb of the Unknown Soldier now belongs in part to the memory of one we know. Cpl. Cirillo was there because the National War Memorial had been desecrated in 2006 on Dominion Day. Some young hooligans relieved themselves on it, and in response a ceremonial guard was placed there, both to honour the dead and to keep vandals away. When shrines or sanctuaries are desecrated, they must be reconsecrated — whether it be the temple of Jerusalem in ancient times or the churches burned this summer in Nigeria.

 

The cenotaph, desecrated in 2006, was reconsecrated on Wednesday in the most dramatic way possible — set apart once again, made sacred once again. It was Lincoln who gave us the words at Gettysburg: “In a larger sense, we cannot dedicate ….we cannot consecrate … we cannot hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract.” The National War Memorial — titled “The Response” — was dedicated in 1939 by King George VI to commemorate the Great War, just months before a war of even greater carnage would begin. In 1982 it was formally re-dedicated to honour the fallen of the Second World War and Korea, and in 2000 the remains of a soldier from Vimy were interred to make it the Canadian tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After Cpl. Cirillo was killed on site, there will be no need for another ceremony to include here the fallen of the wars against Islamist terror. That has been done in his blood.

 

Wednesday was intended by the assassin to be rich in symbols — an attack on the soldiers’ memorial, an attack on Parliament. So it was supremely fitting that he was stopped by a figure both symbolic and real, the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House of Commons, the mace-bearer who marches before the Speaker in the opening ceremonial of the Commons. Kevin Vickers is also the head of security on the Hill, which is why in addition to carrying the mace, he can fire a pistol. It is irreverent to imagine that he might have bludgeoned Michael Zehaf-Bibeau into submission with the mace itself, but that was symbolically the case. The mace represents the authority of the chamber conferred by the Crown (which is why it is draped in the presence of the sovereign herself). It is a fitting symbol of Parliament itself. In the person of its mace-bearer then, Parliament offered its own “Response” to the attempted attack on its peaceable assembly.

 

In the coming days I expect that both the cenotaph and Parliament Hill will be closed off to public access. I remember working on the Hill 25 years ago when it was possible to drive up to Parliament buildings freely and enter them with a simple indication of which office you wished to visit. It has not been like that for many years now, but as soon as possible the symbol of our national democracy — and the symbol of the fallen who have sacrificed their lives in its service — should return to being living symbols, signs that are not only signs, but which accomplish what they signify. Keep them open; do not let them become symbols instead of a free people held captive by liberty’s enemies. Perhaps this Remembrance Day, a variation on the usual ceremony could be added. Have the Sergeant-at-Arms carry the mace from the cenotaph back to the Commons in a public procession which honours the fallen at the memorial and makes it clear that the work they died to protect will continue — open and accessible, glorious and free, for on Wednesday in Canada, Nathan Cirillo and Kevin Vickers were standing on guard for thee.

 

                                                                  

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THE ALLURE OF RADICAL ISLAM IN CANADA

David Frum                                                                                                                    

The Atlantic, Oct. 23, 2014

           

Last year, the head of Canada’s security agency delivered a warning to the Canadian Senate. “Five years ago we weren’t as worried about domestic terrorism as we are now,” said Richard Fadden. He explained why: In the 1990s and early 2000s, Islamic terrorism was perpetrated by structured organizations with lines of command—groups like al-Qaeda and Somalia’s al-Shabab. But the U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition had smashed the leadership of these groups, and left behind a motley bunch of autonomous freelancers whose plots were much “harder to get your hands on.” Western intelligence agencies were seeing far fewer large-scale plots like those that did so much damage in New York City, in Washington, in Bali, in Madrid, and in London in the early 2000s, Fadden continued, but they were collecting much more chatter about smaller-scale threats against less predictable targets.

 

Fadden’s prophecy has been all too tragically vindicated this week. On Monday, a French-Canadian convert to Islam drove his car at two Canadian soldiers in the small city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal. One soldier was killed. The assailant was shot and killed by police after a high-speed car chase. Wednesday brought a spectacular attack on the National War Memorial and Parliament in Ottawa. Again, a soldier was killed, before the assailant himself was reportedly felled by the sergeant-at-arms of the House of Commons. This attacker too was a Canadian-born Muslim convert, the son of a French-Canadian woman and (according to recent press reports) a Libyan man who had emigrated to Canada. The Saint-Jean hit-and-run driver, Martin Couture-Rouleau, appeared on a list of 90 persons monitored by Canadian police and had been identified as a “high-risk traveler”; He was arrested last summer when he tried to leave the country for the Middle East. Official sources have not said anything about whether Couture-Rouleau and the Ottawa shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, were acquainted or connected in any way. Former Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, however, told The Daily Beast on Wednesday that the two men may have visited the same Internet chat rooms. ISIS has promoted using cars as weapons against Westerners, though it remains unclear whether Couture-Rouleau drew inspiration from the extremist group.

 

Since 2006, Canadian security has thwarted many localized plots—two in 2013 alone. At a July 1 Canada Day celebration in front of the British Columbia legislature, two Canadian-born converts to Islam intended to detonate homemade pressure-cooker bombs, police charge. Two non-citizens—one Palestinian, one Tunisian—were arrested in April 2013 for allegedly plotting to derail a passenger train. A lot of energy is wasted debating whether do-it-yourself jihadists should be called “terrorists.” The Obama administration notoriously insisted on describing the Ford Hood shooting of 2009 as an incident of “workplace violence,” not terrorism. The killer at Fort Hood, Major Nidal Malik Hassan, was perceived by colleagues as mentally troubled long before he opened fire, killing 13 and wounding 32 more. Judging by media reports, Zehaf-Bibeau likewise could be described, if one wished to eschew the T-word, as a troubled misfit with a long record of petty criminality. On the other hand, what kind of person would one expect jihadists to recruit from inside a Western society? In countries like Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States, the call to Islamic holy war often appeals to more marginal people: the thwarted, the troubled, the angry. And yet even so, the Saint-Jean killer—Couture-Rouleau—reportedly had a clean police record and a reasonably stable personal life until his conversion to Islam. He owned a pressure-washing business and lived in a single family home with his father.

 

If you are alienated, angry, and attracted to violence, radical Islam provides a powerful ideology of justification. If you are lonely and purposeless, it offers redemptive self-sacrifice (one report claims that Couture-Rouleau persuaded “four or five” friends to convert to Islam with him). Until roughly 1960, French-speaking Quebec ranked as one of the most Catholic societies on earth. In the late 1950s, more than 80 percent of French Quebeckers could be found at Mass on Sundays, according to one famous estimate. Then, abruptly, in the short span of years from 1960 to 1980, religion seemed almost to vanish from the province. It’s been aptly said that from the point of view of religious observance, “centuries, not decades” separated the Quebec of the 1980s from the Quebec of the 1950s. Yet the hunger for meaning is always a part of the human spirit. In a different time, Couture-Rouleau might have vanished into a monastery. In the 21st century, he found a different and deadlier path. The alleged would-be British Columbian bombers might likewise have gravitated to Maoism in the 1960s or Nazism in the 1930s. But those ideologies too have lost their hold on the modern mind, leaving radical Islam as the strongest competitor for the credence of those who seek self-fulfillment through mass destruction…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

                                                                                   

                                                                       

Contents                    

                                                                                                

‘THE DEATH OF KLINGHOFFER’ IS AN INJUSTICE

TO OUR FATHER’S MEMORY                                                            

Lisa & Ilsa Klinghoffer                                                                                      

Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014

 

On Oct. 8, 1985, our 69-year-old wheelchair-bound father, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot in the head by Palestinian hijackers on the Achille Lauro cruise ship. The terrorists brutally and unceremoniously threw his body and wheelchair overboard into the Mediterranean. His body washed up on the Syrian shore a few days later. Beginning on Oct. 20 for eight performances, a baritone portraying “Leon Klinghoffer” is appearing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera and singing the “Aria of the Falling Body” as he artfully falls into the sea. Competing choruses will highlight Jewish and Palestinian narratives of suffering and oppression, selectively presenting the complexities of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

The four terrorists responsible for his murder will be humanized by distinguished opera singers and given a back-story, an “explanation” for their brutal act of terror and violence. Opera-goers will see and hear a musical examination of terrorism, the Holocaust and Palestinian claims of dispossession – all in under three hours. Since the Met Opera’s decision to stage “The Death of Klinghoffer” by composer John Adams became public several months ago, much has been said and written about our father. Those opposed to the opera’s appearance in New York have elevated his murder at the hands of terrorists into a form of martyrdom. To cultural arbiters and music critics, meanwhile, his tragic story has been seen merely as a vehicle for what they perceive to be artistic brilliance. For us, the impact and message of the opera is much more deeply felt and tragically personal. Neither Mr. Adams nor librettist Alice Goodman reached out to us when creating the opera, so we didn’t know what to expect when we attended the American debut at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1991. We were devastated by what we saw: the exploitation of the murder of our father as a vehicle for political commentary. Over the years we have been deeply distressed with each new production of “Klinghoffer.” Critical views of Israel permeate the opera, and the staging and props of various productions have only amplified that bias. To have it now produced in New York – in our own backyard – by the country’s most prestigious opera company is incredibly painful.

 

We have always been strong supporters of the arts, and believe they can play an important role in examining and understanding significant world events. “Klinghoffer” does no such thing. It presents false moral equivalencies without context and offers no real insight into the historical reality and the senseless murder of an American Jew. The opera rationalizes, romanticizes, and legitimizes the terrorist murder of our father. Long ago we resolved never to let the last few minutes of Leon Klinghoffer’s life define who he was as a man, husband, and father. Opera patrons will only see Leon Klinghoffer presented as a victim – but he was so much more. Our father was an inventor who loved to work with his hands. After his stroke, he continued to use his one good arm to repair anything that needed fixing. Every Saturday night he and our mother, Marilyn, would get dressed up and go out dancing. Family and friends meant everything to him. He was on a cruise with our mother, celebrating their 36th anniversary with a group of lifelong friends who summered together on the Jersey shore, when terrorists took over the ship, announced a hijacking in progress, and separated the Jewish passengers from those on board. The terrorist thugs who murdered Leon Klinghoffer didn’t care about the good, sweet man our father was. To them he was just a Jew – an American in a wheelchair whose life they considered worthless.

 

As the years have passed, we have tried to ensure that his murder would not be forgotten or, worse, co-opted or exploited by those with an agenda. We believe his ordeal should continue to serve as a wake-up call to civilized society about the dangers of terrorism. We have dedicated our lives since the tragedy to educating people about terrorism, and putting a personal face on victims and their families through the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Memorial Foundation of the Anti-Defamation League. Our father was one of the first American victims of Middle Eastern terrorism. Today with the memory of 9/11, the reality of al Qaeda and ISIS, and countless other attacks and threats, Americans live under the deadly threat of terrorism each and every day. Terrorism is irrational. It should never be explained away or justified. Nor should the death of innocent civilians be misunderstood as an acceptable means for drawing attention to perceived political grievances. Unfortunately, “The Death of Klinghoffer” does all of this and sullies the memory of our father in the process.

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                        

 

METROPOLITAN OPERA STIFLES FREE EXCHANGE

OF IDEAS ABOUT A PROPAGANDA OPERA       

Alan M. Dershowitz                                                                                                        Gatestone Institute, Oct. 21, 2014

 

On Monday night I went to the Metropolitan Opera. I went for two reasons: to see and hear John Adams' controversial opera, The Death of Klinghoffer; and to see and hear what those protesting the Met's judgment in presenting the opera had to say. Peter Gelb, the head of the Met Opera, had advised people to see it for themselves and then decide. That's what I planned to do. Even though I had written critically of the opera—based on reading the libretto and listening to a recording—I was also critical of those who wanted to ban or censor it. I wanted personally to experience all sides of the controversy and then "decide." Lincoln Center made that difficult. After I bought my ticket, I decided to stand in the Plaza of Lincoln Center, across the street and in front of the protestors, so I could hear what they were saying and read what was on their signs. But Lincoln Center security refused to allow me to stand anywhere in the large plaza. They pushed me to the side and to the back, where I could barely make out the content of the protests. "Either go into the opera if you have a ticket or leave. No standing." When I asked why I couldn't remain in the large, open area between the protestors across the street and the opera house behind me, all I got were terse replies: "security," "Lincoln Center orders."

 

The end result was that the protestors were talking to and facing an empty plaza. It would be as if the Metropolitan Opera had agreed to produce The Death of Klinghoffer, but refused to allow anyone to sit in the orchestra, the boxes or the grand tier. "Family circle, upstairs, side views only." That's not freedom of expression, which requires not only that the speakers be allowed to express themselves, but that those who want to see and hear them be allowed to stand in an area in front of, and close to, the speakers, so that they can fully participate in the marketplace of ideas. That marketplace was needlessly restricted on the opening night of The Death of Klinghoffer. Unable to see or hear the content of the protest, I made my way to the opera house where I first registered a protest with the Met's media person and then sat down in my fourth row seat to listen and watch the opera. I'm an opera fanatic, having been to hundreds of Met performances since my high school years. This was my third opera since the beginning of the season, just a few weeks ago. I consider myself something of an opera aficionado and "maven." I always applaud, even flawed performances and mediocre operas. By any standard, The Death of Klinghoffer, is anything but the "masterpiece" its proponents are claiming it is. The music is uneven, with some lovely choruses—more on that coming—one decent aria, and lots of turgid recitatives. The libretto is awful. The drama is confused and rigid, especially the weak device of the captain looking back at the events several years later with the help of several silent passengers. There are silly and distracting arias from a British show girl who seems to have had a crush on one of the terrorists, as well as from a woman who hid in her cabin eating grapes and chocolate. They added neither to the drama nor the music of the opera.

 

Then there were the choruses. The two that open the opera are supposed to demonstrate the comparative suffering of the displaced Palestinians and the displaced Jews. The Palestinian chorus is beautifully composed musically, with some compelling words, sung rhythmically and sympathetically. The Jewish chorus is a mishmash of whining about money, sex, betrayal and assorted "Hasidism" protesting in front of movie theaters. It never mentions the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, though the chorus is supposed to be sung by its survivors. The goal of that narrative chorus is to compare the displacement of 700,000 Palestinians—some of which was caused by Arab leaders urging them to leave and return victoriously after the Arabs murdered the Jews of Israel—with the systematic genocide of six million Jews. It was a moral abomination. And it got worse. The Palestinian murderer is played by a talented ballet dancer, who is portrayed sympathetically. A chorus of Palestinian women asks the audience to understand why he would be driven to terrorism. "We are not criminals," the terrorists assures us. One of the terrorists—played by the only Black lead singer—is portrayed as an overt anti-Semite, expressing hateful tropes against "the Jews". But he is not the killer. Nor, in this opera, is Klinghoffer selected for execution because he is a Jew. Instead, he is picked because he is a loudmouth who can't control his disdain for the Palestinian cause.

 

At bottom The Death of Klinghoffer—a title deliberately selected to sanitize his brutal murder—is more propaganda than art. It has some artistic moments but the dominant theme is to create a false moral equivalence between terrorism and its victims, between Israel and Palestinian terrorist groups, and between the Holocaust and the self-inflicted Nakba. It is a mediocre opera, by a good composer and very bad librettist. But you wouldn't know that from the raucous standing ovations received not only by the performers and chorus master, who deserved them, but also by the composer, who did not. The applause was not for the art. Indeed, during the intermission and on the way out, the word I heard most often was "boring." The over-the-top standing ovations were for the "courage" displayed by all those involved in the production. But it takes little courage to be anti-Israel these days, or to outrage Jews. There were, to be sure, a few brief expressions of negative opinion during the opera, one of which was briefly disruptive, as an audience member repeatedly shouted "Klinghoffer's murder will never be forgiven." He was arrested and removed. What would require courage would be for the Met to produce an opera that portrayed Mohammad, or even Yassir Arafat, in a negative way. The protests against such portrayals would not be limited to a few shouts, some wheelchairs and a few hundred distant demonstrators. Remember the murderous reaction to a few cartoons several years ago.

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                                

QUIET HEROES OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR                                               

Susan Schwartz                                                                                                   

Montreal Gazette, Oct. 7, 2014

 

Nelly Trocmé Hewett, the daughter of two quiet heroes of the Second World War, will be in Montreal later this month to talk about her parents, Magda and André Trocmé, who inspired a network of resistance to the Vichy government’s deportation of thousands to concentration camps. A book of selected writings by the Trocmés, translated into English for the first time, was published this year by McGill-Queen’s Press: Magda and André Trocmé: Resistance Figures.

 

André Trocmé was a Protestant minister in the small Protestant farming village of Chambon-sur-Lignon in Vichy France, which was collaborating with the Nazis. He used his pulpit to encourage his congregation to shelter Jew fleeing Nazism; Magda Trocmé organized the operation. Other area ministers did the same; together, they helped to motivate several thousand citizens in Le Chambon and surrounding areas to give sanctuary to an estimated 3,500 Jews and 1,500 other refugees, mainly political dissidents, from across Europe. In 1942, when Trocmé was asked to turn over Jews to a Vichy official, he is reported to have said: “We don’t know what a Jew is. We only know men.” In what may well have been the war’s largest communal rescue effort, the people of Chambon, located in the mountains of south-central France, sheltered people in their homes and farms and in public institutions. Defying the Nazis and the French government collaborating with them was dangerous work, with the risk of death for anyone caught. A cousin of Rev. Trocmé, Daniel Trocmé, was sent to the Majdanek concentration camp in Poland, where he perished. Both André and Magda were recognized by Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial centre in Israel, as Righteous among the Nations. Le Chambon and its neighbouring communities are also honoured at Yad Vashem. Their daughter Trocmé Hewett, now 87, was a teenager during the war and later emigrated to the United States…There are two new books on Le Chambon: Caroline Moorehead’s Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France, to be published Oct. 28, and Moorehead, and A Good Place to Hide: How One French Village Saved Thousands of Lives, by Peter Grose, due out next spring.

           

Contents                                               

On Topic

 

Bruce MacKinnon’s War Memorial Cartoon Touches Hearts Worldwide: Mary Ellen Macintyre, Herald News, Oct. 23, 2014 —After his powerful artistic response to tragic events in Ottawa, it seemed everyone wanted a piece of Herald cartoonist Bruce MacKinnon on Thursday.

Canada Mosque Teaches 4-Year-Olds How to Behead (Video): WND, Oct. 3, 2014
An Assault on the Heart of the Canadian State (Video): Mark Steyn, Steyn Online, Oct. 23, 2014

Brigitte Gabriel Keynote Speaker at United Nations (Video): Youtube, Sept. 9, 2014

Hebrew –English Bilingual School in Harlem (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 24, 2014

Klinghoffer and the ‘Two Sides’ of Terrorism: Floyd Abrams, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 15, 2014—The Metropolitan Opera in New York on Monday will present John Adams ’s opera “The Death of Klinghoffer. ” The organization’s decision to mount the production has already spurred protests, with more to come.

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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ATTENTATS

 

FUSILLADE À OTTAWA –

C'ÉTAIT UN TERRORISTE ET IL S'APPELAIT ZEHAF

Michel Garroté

http://www.dreuz.info, 23 octobre 2014

           

L’un des auteurs des fusillades à Ottawa, abattu mercredi 23 octobre 2014, était un certain Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, Canadien, musulman, 32 ans et…connu des services de renseignement ! Zehaf a assassiné un soldat posté devant le monument aux morts avant d’être liquidé par un garde du Parlement canadien.  Michael Zehaf-Bibeau était considéré comme un voyageur à haut risque par les services de renseignements qui lui avaient récemment annulé son passeport.

 

Zehaf avait exprimé son intention d’aller suivre un entraînement au djihad à l’étranger. Zehaf était connu de la police de Montréal, où il avait été arrêté cinq fois pour divers délits. En 2011, il avait été inculpé une sixième fois pour sa participation à un cambriolage à Vancouver. Il n’avait finalement été condamné qu’à un jour de prison pour avoir « proféré des menaces »…

 

TUERIE D'OTTAWA : DES CONVERTIS À L'ISLAM

Réd.

http://www.les4verites.com, 23 octobre 2014

           

« Michael Zehaf-Bibeau est un Montréalais né au Canada en 1982. Né Michael Joseph Hall, converti à l’islam, il était connu des autorités, son passeport ayant été saisi avant l’attentat.

 

Martin Couture-Rouleau  Québécois converti à l’islam depuis avril 2013, qui a percuté deux militaires (un est mort) mardi dans le stationnement d’un édifice de la défense militaire à St-Jean sur Richelieu avec sa voiture, était lui aussi interdit de sortie de territoire, et n’a pu rejoindre l’Etat islamique comme son camarade Zehaf-Bibeau.

 

Ils ont donc déclenché à un jour près avec d’autres djihadistes non encore identifiés, des attaques contre les intérêts canadiens. Les deux djihadistes suivaient le même compte Twitter, celui de @Islamic Media qui a le premier révélé l’identité de Zehaf-Bibeau.

 

Couture-Rouleau était dans la mire des autorités fédérales, et ses comptes Facebook et Twitter indiquent qu‘il était un partisan de l’État islamique…Bizarrement, les médias français ont été très discret sur l’attaque de mardi contre les militaires à St-Jean sur Richelieu.

 

Les deux fous d’Allah sont  connus  : Zehaf-Bibeau a été condamné pour des vols et Couture-Rouleau était suivi depuis sa radicalisation islamique.

 

Le journal La Presse a publié un article citant le président de la mosquée al-Imane de St-Jean sur Richelieu (un dénommé Abdel Hamid Bekkari) disant que Rouleau venait «à peu près» trois fois par semaine à cette mosquée.

 

Rappel: le porte-parole de l’État islamique, le cheikh Al-Adnani, a émis en septembre une fatwa ordonnant aux musulmans du Canada d’y massacrer les incroyants: «Si tu peux tuer un mécréant canadien, alors tue-le par n’importe quel moyen». »

 

ATTENTAT ISLAMIST À JÉRUSALEM
Christian De Lablatinière

http://www.europe-israel.org, 23 octobre 2014

           

Huit personnes ont été blessées, dont deux grièvement, et un bébé de moins trois mois tué ce mercredi à Jérusalem. A bord d’une voiture grise, un conducteur a foncé sur ces personnes près d’un arrêt de tramway. Le gouvernement israélien a affirmé que l’auteur de cette attaque était membre du mouvement islamiste Hamas.

 

Le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a décidé mercredi de renforcer la présence policière à Jérusalem.

 

L’attaque s’est déroulée à la limite de Jérusalem-ouest et de Jérusalem-est. «Le conducteur a tenté de s’échapper à pied et a été atteint par balles par un policier de Jérusalem. Le conducteur, visé par un policier alors qu’il tentait de prendre la fuite, a été transporté à l’hôpital où il est décédé dans la nuit. Il s’agissait d’un Palestinien de 21 ans, utilisant une voiture immatriculée sous le nom de son père. Il est déjà connu des services de police et a même été emprisonné par le passé, a indiqué le ministre de la sécurité intérieure, présent sur place.».

 

«Le suspect est connu de nos services. Il s’agit d’un habitant de Jérusalem-est qui vit dans le quartier de Silwan et qui a déjà fait de la prison», a précisé le ministre. Le suspect appartenait au Hamas.

 

Lire la suite avec vidéo.

 

IL EST TEMPS DE CHANGER DE PARTENAIRE

Caroline Glick

http://www.jpost.com, 21 octobre 2014

 

Dans son discours du 26 septembre dernier à l’Assemblée générale des Nations unies, Mahmoud Abbas, chef de l’OLP, n’a cessé d’accuser Israël de génocide. Une rhétorique qui jette aux orties l’idée de négocier avec Israël, mais aussi celle d’une coexistence pacifique.

Ainsi a-t-il appelé l’ONU à contraindre, à terme, Israël à céder Jérusalem et la Judée-Samarie dans leur intégralité. Aucune considération israélienne, a-t-il dit, ne peut être entendue.

« La Palestine », a-t-il déclaré, « refuse de voir le droit à la liberté de son peuple – actuellement soumis au terrorisme exercé par la puissance occupante raciste et ses colons – demeurer l’otage des conditions sécuritaires d’Israël. »

 

La victime immédiate des diffamations sanglantes d’Abbas est la gauche israélienne. L’élite médiatique et politique qui a attaché son cheval à l’attelage de l’OLP s’est soudain retrouvée en train de bégayer sur le bord de la route.

 

Pour la députée Meretz Zehava Gal-On, bégayer n’est pas une si mauvaise option. « Le Meretz », a-t-elle déclaré, « soutient les efforts internationaux de M. Abbas d’amener la fin de l’occupation et d’obtenir la reconnaissance internationale en tant qu’Etat et membre de l’ONU, afin de parvenir à la paix par des négociations bilatérales d’égal à égal. »

 

Pour elle, c’est à cause du Premier ministre Netanyahou qu’Abbas rejette la paix.

 

Dan Margalit, commentateur politique de centre-gauche, l’affirme dans Israël Hayom : Gal-On et le Meretz sont désormais les seuls à suivre Abbas.

 

Mais ils sont loin d’être les seuls à persister dans leur servile dévotion à l’idée que donner à Abbas tout ce qu’il demande est l’unique façon d’améliorer la situation.

 

Dans un statut Facebook le lendemain du discours, le leader de l’opposition et du Parti travailliste Itzhak Herzog indiquait que les remarques d’Abbas étaient « décevantes, mais pas surprenantes ». « J’ai rencontré Abou Mazen des dizaines de fois », expliquait-il. « Ce n’est ni un ami, ni un allié sympathique. Mais quelqu’un avec qui nous devons signer un accord. »

 

Et Herzog de répéter à l’envi les points qu’avec ses amis de gauche, il assène depuis des décennies : Abbas, c’est mieux que le Hamas, la coopération sécuritaire d’Israël avec l’OLP est excellente et le seul moyen pour que le monde se montre bienveillant à notre égard, c’est de maintenir notre allégeance à Abbas et à l’OLP. Et de rejoindre Gal-On et Abbas pour imputer à Netanyahou la métamorphose d’Abbas en ennemi d’Israël.

 

Israël a obtenu une certaine coopération sécuritaire des forces de sécurité palestiniennes, c’est vrai. Mais ce qui est vrai aussi, c’est que seul Tsahal garantit la sécurité d’Israël. Et si les forces de sécurité palestiniennes devaient être dissoutes demain, Israël s’en porterait mieux, et non moins bien.

 

Pourquoi ? Parce que, comme l’a si bien montré Abbas, l’AP voit Israël comme un ennemi. Si les milices de l’OLP travaillent certes aux côtés de Tsahal de temps en temps, leur objectif stratégique – la destruction d’Israël – reste inchangé. Ceux qui en doutaient jusque-là en ont eux la preuve de la bouche même d’Abbas à New York.

 

Lire la suite.

 

VOICI REVENU LE TEMPS DES IMPOSTEURS

Guy Millière

http://www.europe-israel.org, 23 octobre 2014

           

Guy Millière nous parle de son dernier livre consacré cette fois à l’état de la France…

 

Je m’étais promis de ne plus écrire de livre sur la France.

 

Je pensais avoir tout dit sur le sujet dans un livre paru il y a dix ans, appelé Un goût de cendres… : France fin de parcours ?*. J’avais ajouté quelques précisions dans un autre livre, publié un peu plus tard, que j’avais appelé Pourquoi la France ne fait plus rêver*.

 

Et puis, l’hiver dernier, la situation m’a semblé s’aggraver à un degré tel que j’ai pensé devoir y revenir. Le résultat est un essai que j’ai achevé de rédiger au printemps et qui, en raison des aléas de l’édition, paraît en librairie aujourd’hui seulement (mes lecteurs en Israël ont eu quelques exemplaires en avant première). En le relisant cinq mois plus tard, je ne vois pas une ligne à y changer.

 

J’y pose un diagnostic. J’y explique comment nous en sommes arrivés là. J’y souligne la profondeur du mal.

 

Je pense que la France est un pays malade, et je suis, sur ce point, plus pessimiste qu’Eric Zemmour, qui vient de publier Le Suicide français*.

 

Je pense que la maladie qui ronge ce pays ne s’est pas enclenchée il y a quarante ans, mais il y a bien plus longtemps.

 

Je pense qu’elle était là, déjà, au temps de Louis XIV et de la monarchie absolue, qu’elle s’est accentuée avec la Révolution Française, dont je pense, comme Edmund Burke, qu’elle fut un cataclysme dont le pays ne s’est jamais relevé.

 

Je pense qu’elle a été portée par ceux qui ont eu le pouvoir au temps de la Terreur, qui fut le premier épisode totalitaire des temps modernes.

 

Je pense qu’elle a été incarnée par les intellectuels idéocrates, et que ceux-ci, ayant eu le pouvoir au temps de la Terreur et l’ayant perdu ensuite, n’ont cessé de tout faire pour le retrouver.

 

Je pense qu’ils ont le pouvoir aujourd’hui.

 

Je pense qu’ils ont mis en place patiemment, avec opiniâtreté, une hégémonie.

 

Je pense qu’ils règnent aujourd’hui. Ils tiennent l’université et les médias, la politique et la culture, la pensée, les leviers de commande d’une économie qui est, depuis longtemps, une économie mixte. Ils tiennent la justice, la diplomatie, l’urbanisme.

 

Ils ne cessent de prétendre incarner la connaissance, alors qu’ils ne cessent de la broyer et de lui substituer des dogmes délétères.

 

Ils ne cessent de parler de liberté alors qu’ils détruisent toutes les formes de liberté : liberté d’entreprendre, liberté de choisir, liberté de penser, liberté d’aller et venir.

 

Les résultats sont visibles tout autour de nous, sous la forme d’une grande et multiforme destruction, du délitement économique et de la pauvreté qui monte, de la pénurie organisée, de la destruction de la famille, des identités et des repères qui permettent à une société de fonctionner.

 

J’utilise pour nommer ces résultats un mot que j’emprunte à Emile Durkheim : anomie.

 

Une société en état d’anomie est une société fracturée, striée de révoltes sans finalités définies, de désespoirs et de pessimismes.

 

Nous sommes dans cette société là.

 

J’aimerais penser que nous pouvons nous relever. Je ne l’exclus pas totalement.

 

Je dis, dans la dernière partie du livre, ce que la tentative de se relever impliquerait.

 

Je dis qu’avant de songer à se relever, regarder la maladie en face est essentiel.

 

Je dis que nous commençons à peine à regarder la maladie en face.

 

Je dis que nous sommes en un temps d’imposture et que surmonter l’imposture sera difficile, très difficile.

 

J’ai écrit pour ceux qui veulent surmonter l’imposture.

 

PETITE RÉFLEXIONS SUR LA COMMUNAUTÉ INTERNATIONALE

Victor Perez

JSS News, 23 octobre 2014

           

Inutile de charger encore la mule de la communauté internationale. Celle-ci ayant épousé définitivement les thèses du monde musulman, spécialiste de la désinformation sur le conflit proche-oriental, revenir sur l’idéologie fétide qui mène la planète serait perte de temps. Par contre, il est intéressant de réfléchir sur les conclusions à laquelle celle-ci conduit.

 

Rien n’y fera ! Les Israéliens désireux de vivre à Jérusalem-est, quartier où se situe la veille ville et le Mont du Temple, sont et resteront pour celle-ci des « colons ». Des purs étrangers dans un endroit pourtant construit et célébré par le peuple juif depuis des millénaires. Il suffit donc d’une épuration ethnique (celle de 1948 réalisée par les Jordaniens) pour qu’un territoire devienne judenrein à vie.

 

Idéologie fétide avons-nous écrit ? Mais là n’est pas le principal !

 

La municipalité de Jérusalem depuis 1967 a construit, sur la partie ouest de son territoire, des milliers de logements, dont beaucoup sont occupés de nos jours par des Arabes originaires de Jérusalem-est. Dans la partie de la ville reconnue internationalement comme israélienne, beaucoup d’entre eux de surcroît y travaillent ou festoient sans que nul ne songe à les désigner sous le vocable de « colons ».

 

C’est pourtant ce qu’ils sont ! Si l’on voit les Israéliens comme des étrangers dans la partie EST de la ville, et cette section de la citée comme ne faisant pas partie intégrante de la capitale, et donc de l’Etat d’Israël, les Arabes de Jérusalem-est ne peuvent prétendre, en conséquence, avoir accès librement et de plein droit aux avantages d’un pays devenu, pour eux, étranger par la grâce d’une décision internationale arbitraire.

 

Posséder le beurre, l’argent du beurre ainsi que la crémière n’étant pas dans le domaine du possible dans ce monde-ci, les Arabes de Jérusalem-est sont donc bien des colons.

 

Ne les qualifiez toutefois pas de la sorte, vous seriez immanquablement qualifiés de racistes et d’islamophobes par cette communauté internationale si prompt à cataloguer le juif !

 

Autre petite réflexion :

 

« Nous pressons toutes les parties de maintenir le calme et d’éviter une escalade des tensions à la suite de cet incident », a déclaré la porte-parole du département d’Etat, Jennifer Psaki, dans un communiqué condamnant l’attentat terroriste, commis à Jérusalem, qui a tué un bébé de trois mois et blessé huit civils.

Il faut espérer que les Israéliens ne se mettront pas à ‘’troubler le calme’’ en construisant quelques logements dans Jérusalem-est !

 

FEMME YAZIDI CAPTURÉE PAR L'ÉTAT ISLAMIQUE : « J'AI ÉTÉ VIOLÉE 30 FOIS ET IL N'EST PAS ENCORE MIDI »

Jean-Patrick Grumberg

http://www.europe-israel.org, 23 octobre 2014

           

5 à 7 000 femmes Yazidi ont été capturées et sont enfermées dans des camps de l’Etat islamique, où elles sont ensuite vendue comme esclaves ou offertes aux jihadistes comme concubines.

 

Les informations sur le sort de cette femme ont émergé durant l’interview d’un kurde, lors d’une manifestation à Londres destinée à attirer l’attention du monde – qui s’en moque tant qu’on ne peut pas accuser les juifs – sur le sort des femmes au Moyen Orient.

 

Durant l’interview à BBC World, l’homme qui se faisait appeler Karam a expliqué comment un ami enrôlé chez les peshmerga, a pris l’appel téléphonique de cette femme.

 

Selon Karam, elle serait prisonnière des jihadistes quelque part dans la partie ouest de l’Irak, et a été capturée durant le massacre de Sinjar, début août.

 

Elle pleurait au téléphone, explique Karam, et disait : « si vous savez où nous nous trouvons, s’il vous plait bombardez nous… il n’y a plus de vie pour nous après ça. Je me suiciderai de toutes façons – d’autres se sont suicidées ».

 

 « J’ai été violée 30 fois, et ce n’est même pas encore l’heure du déjeuner. J’ai été tellement violée, je ne peux même plus aller aux toilettes. S’il vous plait, bombardez-nous, » affirme-t-il que la femme a ajouté.

La semaine dernière, l’ONU a confirmé que des milliers de Yazidis ont été massacrés.

 

Plusieurs chercheurs, réunissant les pièces d’informations éparses qui arrivent, ont conclu que plus de 5 000 Yazidi ont été massacrés par les jihadistes dans l’indifférence de l’ONU, des médias et du reste du monde, qui n’oublient jamais de s’émouvoir et de condamner Israël lorsqu’il construit 2 000 logements dans la partie Est de Jérusalem.

 

Selon les mêmes rapports, 5 à 7 000 femmes sont détenues dans des centres de détention de l’Etat islamique. 3 500 femmes et enfants sont enfermés dans cinq centres de détentions situés dans la ville de Tal Afar.

 

Vous en entendez très peu parler.

 

En revanche, les journalistes ne ratent pas une seule occasion de relater chaque fait et geste qui pourrait accuser l’armée israélienne et les « colons » comme ils disent.

 

PLUS CON QU'UN GAUCHISTE: « TWITTER EST LA SOURCE DU MAL SUR TERRE », DIT LE PLUS GRAND MUFTI SAOUDIEN

Hervé Roubaix

http://www.dreuz.info, 21 octobre 2014

           

Le Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, plus haut dignitaire religieux d’Arabie Saoudite, vient de déclarer que « Twitter n’est rien d’autre que la source du mal, de la dévastation et du mensonge. »

 

« S’il était utilisé correctement, il serait d’un réel bénéfice, mais malheureusement, il est exploité pour des raisons triviales, » a déclaré le Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh dans sa Fatwa télévisée diffusée hier.

Twitter est « la source de tous les maux et de toutes le dévastations », a déclaré le grand mufti. Quel dégénéré. Mieux vaudrait qu’il pète et se taise.

 

 « Les gens se ruent [sur Twitter] en pensant que c’est une source d’information crédible, mais c’est une source de mensonges et de tromperie. »*

 

L’Arabie saoudite, comme le Qatar et d’autres état islamiques, sont des Etats qui pratiquent ’Apartheid et ne sont jamais, contrairement à l’Afrique du sud, dénoncés par les ONG et organisation humanitaires internationales pour ce crime.

 

 

 

Shabbat Shalom  à tous nos lecteurs!

 

 

IN MEMORIAM: OTTAWA & JERUSALEM MOURN TERRORIST VICTIMS: HARPER: “WE WILL NEVER BE INTIMIDATED”

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 

 

Contents:

 

Stephen Harper’s Speech on the Ottawa Shooting, Full Text: National Post, Oct. 22, 2014

Visibly Shaken Harper Proclaims ‘Canada Will Never be Intimidated’: John Ivison, National Post, Oct. 22, 2014— The goal of the coward who shot a reservist, providing ceremonial guard to the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier, was to cause shock and fear across this country.

Terrorists Don’t Have a Chance in this Country: Margaret Wente, Globe & Mail, Oct. 23, 2014 I was never prouder of my country than I was Wednesday.

Terrorist Kills Infant, Wounds Several, After Ramming Car Into Crowd in Jerusalem: Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 23, 2014— A three-month-old girl, identified by her grandfather as Chaya Zissel, was killed and several US citizens and Israelis were wounded Wednesday evening when a convicted Palestinian terrorist from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan rammed his vehicle into a crowd of people in the capital.

Israel Under Attack, Again: Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2014— In the capital of a U.S. ally, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd, injuring eight people, including a three-month old baby.

Unrest, Instability, Intifada — Whatever its  Name, it’s in Hamas’s Interest: Mitch Ginsberg, Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014—Whether the violence in Jerusalem since the gruesome murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir in July amounts to a Third Intifada will only be clear in hindsight.

On Topic Links

 

Krauthammer: Ottawa Gunman, Homegrown Threats Are ‘New Face Of Terrorism’ [VIDEO]: Daily Caller, Oct. 22, 2014

The Terrorism Threat to Canada: Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Oct. 23, 2014

Terror Shouldn't Break Our Ties With Our Soldiers: David Bercuson, Globe & Mail, Oct. 22, 2014

Lieberman: Terror in Jerusalem and Ottawa Part of ‘Global Epidemic’: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014

Abbas’s Fatah Honors Jerusalem Hit-and-Run Terrorist: Elhanan Miller, Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014

                            

STEPHEN HARPER’S SPEECH ON THE OTTAWA SHOOTING,

FULL TEXT                                      

National Post, Oct. 22, 2014

 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper addressed the nation on Wednesday to denounce the savage murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo and declare: Canada will never be intimidated. Here is a transcript of his speech.

 

My fellow Canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil. Today our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sunderland Highlanders. Cpl. Cirillo was killed today, murdered in cold blood, as he provided a ceremonial honour guard at Canada’s National War Memorial, that sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society. Likewise our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and Levant] inspired terrorist. Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.

 

Fellow Canadians, we have also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life and, of course, the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police and in Parliament who came quickly and at great risk to themselves to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

 

Fellow Canadians, in the days to come we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he many have had. But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world. We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and on our institutions of governance are by their very nature attacks on our country, on our values, on our society, on us Canadians as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.

 

But let there be no misunderstanding: we will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated. In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts, and those of our national security agencies, to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats and keep Canada safe here at home. Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores. They will have no safe haven.

 

Well, today has been, without question, a difficult day. I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges. Together, we will remain vigilante against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us. For now, Laureen, Ben and Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today’s attack. May God bless them and keep our land glorious and free.

                                                                       

Contents              

                                                                            

                            

VISIBLY SHAKEN HARPER PROCLAIMS

‘CANADA WILL NEVER BE INTIMIDATED’

John Ivison                                                                                                           

National Post, Oct. 22, 2014

           

The goal of the coward who shot a reservist, providing ceremonial guard to the Tomb for the Unknown Soldier, was to cause shock and fear across this country. In one of the most important speeches of his political life, Stephen Harper said we will not be intimidated. “Canada will never be intimidated. It will strengthen our resolve to redouble our efforts,” he said. A visibly shaken Prime Minister said his government will take “all the necessary steps” to keep Canadians safe, without being specific about the measures he plans to take. He condemned the second “brutal and violent” attack this week, particularly the “cold-blooded murder” of Nathan Cirillo. He said the incidents were direct attacks on Canadian democracy, values and society.

 

It was a day of extraordinary feats of courage and compassion by Canadians like Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who is understood to have shot the alleged assailant; by the four remarkable citizens of Ottawa who tended to a dying Cpl. Cirillo; by the caregivers forced to look after toddlers in the parliamentary daycare during more than 10 hours of lockdown; by all the soldiers, police and paramedics who put themselves in harm’s way to protect their fellow Canadians.

 

Ottawa is not a city that engenders warm feelings from the rest of the country. It is a city where it’s been said you can wander safe – but lonely. Neither of those descriptions was appropriate on a very black Wednesday in the capital. How could this not change us? The ceremonial guard at the War Memorial has already been cancelled. All of Canada’s military bases across the country have been closed. There are clear questions about the security arrangements at the front door of Centre Block, and whether they are sufficiently robust.

 

It has always surprised, and delighted, me that access into the Parliament Buildings is so straightforward. It has always worried me that a Mumbai-style attack would meet little in the way of resistance from the unarmed Hill security guards at the front door. That is not to take away from the heroism of security staff, who prevented a much more bloody incident. But we have always made a conscious tilt toward openness and access, and away from the kind of more intrusive security common in Washington and London.

 

We now have to ask ourselves whether we as a society are prepared to give up some of our freedoms in order to provide a little more protection. If we weren’t already aware — we are at war with an enemy that considers its way of life can only flourish if ours is extinguished. We are at war, whether we like it or not.

 

                                                                                   

Contents    

                                                                                                                  

TERRORISTS DON’T HAVE A CHANCE IN THIS COUNTRY                           

Margaret Wente                                                                                                  

Globe & Mail, Oct. 23, 2014

 

I was never prouder of my country than I was Wednesday. I learned that we are pretty cool people in a crisis. It’s easy to overreact when someone with a gun storms your seat of government and opens fire – especially when you suspect that person is a radicalized terrorist with an unknown number of accomplices. But we didn’t overreact.

 

What I saw was an institutional response that was professional, quick, efficient and calm. Nobody panicked. I saw our police and security forces handle an unprecedented emergency with great competence and a minimum of fuss. They sprang into action within minutes of the gunfire, and didn’t push any innocent civilians around. I saw the media report the story with care and restraint. No premature conclusions. No scare talk. The CBC reporters never turned a hair. The unflappable Peter Mansbridge is still the best quarterback in the business. The Globe’s astonishing Josh Wingrove had the fortitude to film the bullets spraying and duck for cover. His electrifying video was shown around the world. I saw half a dozen bystanders come to the aid of the soldier who’d been shot as he guarded the National War Memorial. One gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Clearly they weren’t thinking about themselves.

 

And I learned that I had woefully underestimated our quaint parliamentary traditions. I’d always thought our sergeant-at-arms was just some guy whose job was to re-enact one of our dustier traditions by dressing up in funny clothes and carrying around a mace (whatever that is). Who knew he was also a crack shot? But Kevin Vickers, who is 58 and looks it, reportedly can aim and fire with deadly precision when his nation is attacked, then go back into his office to reload. He’ll never brag about it, either. That would be un-Canadian.

 

Mr. Vickers is the reason why terrorism doesn’t have a chance in this country. He has made a career of reaching out to Muslims, Sikhs, First Nations, and others who haven’t always been included in this country. When the Idle No More movement marched on Parliament Hill, he formally exchanged tobacco with a First Nations chief and said, “I understand your frustration. I understand the conditions in which you people live and I also understand the importance of tobacco and what it means as not only a gift, but as a sign of respect for your people.” After the Quebec National Assembly banned the kirpan, he made sure the ceremonial dagger would be allowed in the House of Commons. As he told one gathering of Sikhs, he doesn’t like the word “tolerance.” “No,” he said. “As head of security, I am going to accept and embrace your symbol of faith within the Parliamentary Precinct.”

 

Did yesterday change everything? I don’t think so. The truth is that we’re still as safe (or not) as we were last week. In spite of the terrible, nerve-rattling tragedies of the past few days, we are no more vulnerable to terrorism than any other Western nation, and probably (because of geography) somewhat less. We’ll simply have to be on guard. We’ll find out much more in the days ahead – about the shooter, why he did it, whether there were lapses in security. We will debate whether our security forces need extra powers to do their jobs. As we do that, we should keep in mind the words of Kevin Vickers. “I told them that if they made me their sergeant-at-arms, there would be no walls built around Canada’s parliamentary buildings,” he said.

 

Parliament Hill, always open to all the people, will probably become less open than before, and that is a real loss. But I’m pretty sure people will be back next summer to do yoga on the grass. Soldiers will continue to wear their uniforms off base. We Canadians are steadfast and a bit phlegmatic. These are among our finest traits. We don’t get that excited, and we won’t be cowed into giving up our freedoms. Also, when necessary, we can shoot to kill. So long as we retain these virtues, the terrorists don’t have a chance.

 

                                                                       

Contents         

                                                                                                                                  

TERRORIST KILLS INFANT, WOUNDS SEVERAL,

AFTER RAMMING CAR INTO CROWD IN JERUSALEM                                   

Daniel K. Eisenbud                                                                                             

Jerusalem Post, Oct. 23, 2014

 

A three-month-old girl, identified by her grandfather as Chaya Zissel, was killed and several US citizens and Israelis were wounded Wednesday evening when a convicted Palestinian terrorist from the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan rammed his vehicle into a crowd of people in the capital. The attack, which was captured by a security camera, took place at the Ammunition Hill light-rail stop a few hundred meters from Israel’s national police headquarters, situated across a densely traveled thoroughfare, shortly after 6 p.m., a senior police official said. The terrorist was shot by police and late Wednesday evening he died in hospital.

“The vehicle ran over a number of people, including several Americans, as they exited the train, and the suspect was shot when he attempted to flee the scene by foot,” the official said, requesting anonymity until the US State Department confirms the American casualties. “Nine people were injured, three seriously, including an American infant who died after sustaining critical injuries,” he continued. The official described the suspect as a convicted terrorist who served a recent prison sentence in Israel, but did not indicate whether he was released during the 2011 Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange or last year’s release of more than 70 convicted Palestinian terrorists during peace negotiations. All the victims of the attack were transported to area hospitals for treatment, he said.

Following the attack, US State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf said she could not confirm or deny the citizenship of the victims and urged restraint while calling on all parties to “maintain calm” as US and Israeli officials continue to gather facts about the incident. The attack comes two days after nine Israeli families moved into the suspect’s Arab neighborhood amid ongoing Palestinian rioting and international condemnation. Meanwhile, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, whose administration has been beleaguered by chronic violence in the capital since June, issued a statement describing Wednesday’s murder as intolerable.
“We must restore peace and security in Jerusalem,” he said. “As I have said for months, the situation in Jerusalem is intolerable and we must act unequivocally against all violence taking place in the city. “Today, more than ever, it is clear that we must send police forces into neighborhoods where there are disturbances, placing them strategically and widely in significant numbers,” he continued. The mayor added that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given instructions to reinforce police units in east Jerusalem “to implement an operational action plan formulated to deal with riots, including the addition of personnel and special units, using technological means and increased intelligence.” “I will continue to be vigilant, and we will not rest until security is restored in Jerusalem,” Barkat said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said rioting ensued in Isawiya and Silwan shortly after the terrorist attack. “Police units have been dispatched and have contained the rioting,” Rosenfeld said at 10 p.m., adding that no injuries were reported. Police issued a statement on Wednesday night saying that Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino had met earlier with the heads of the Jerusalem district police and all top police operational branches and ordered that a special security plan approved Wednesday morning for Jerusalem go into effect immediately. They added that police will deploy officers across the city at flash points and based on real-time intelligence, and that they will work together with all security agencies and do whatever it takes in order return peace and quiet to the city. They also vowed to find any other people involved in Wednesday’s attack. Chaya Zissel’s funeral was held on midnight on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

                                                                       

Contents                             

                                                                                                                      

ISRAEL UNDER ATTACK, AGAIN                                                                 

Jennifer Rubin                                                                                                    

Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2014

 

In the capital of a U.S. ally, a terrorist drove his car into a crowd, injuring eight people, including a three-month old baby. News reports indicate that the baby subsequently died. From the Jerusalem Post:     Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas encouraged violence against Jews in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the vehicular terror attack in Jerusalem Wednesday. “This is how Abbas’ partners in government [Hamas] act. This is the same Abbas who, only a few days ago, incited toward a terrorist attack in Jerusalem,” he said. Netanyahu ordered that security forces in Jerusalem be reinforced following the attack, consulting with Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino and Shin Bet Director Yoram Cohen.

 

According to other media reports, the driver was allegedly a Palestinian who previously was in prison. The Times of Israel reports: “Unconfirmed reports said the suspect was Abdelrahman al-Shaludi, a former Palestinian prisoner from the flashpoint neighborhood of Silwan. Police confirmed that the suspect, which it had yet to name, was from Silwan and had previously served in Israeli prison.”

 

Coincidentally the attack comes on the same day two U.S. senators — Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) — wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry about more than $150 million in assistance going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) despite its track record during the recent Gaza war in storing terrorist weapons at its sites: Given UNRWA’s record and the absence of an independent investigation into its actions during the conflict, we were dumbfounded when, on October 12th, you reiterated, without any qualification, that the United States would provide more than $150 million to UNRWA programs in Gaza. This blind support sends the wrong message to an institution that has already become far too dependent on the largesse of the American taxpayer and repeatedly failed to ensure that its facilities and resources are not used by terrorists who wish to sow chaos and instability rather than aid the Palestinian people.

 

The United States should assist the people of Gaza as they rebuild after yet another Hamas-caused conflict. But this support cannot come at the expense of Israel’s security. We will not support the provision of future U.S. assistance to entities or projects in Gaza unless the State Department assures Congress that UNRWA or the relevant recipient entity has imposed independently audited accountability measures to verifiably prevent any U.S. assistance from aiding, directly or indirectly, extremists’ efforts to rearm or lay the groundwork for future attacks against Israel. What many in the West treat as “Oh, another attack in Israel,” should not be overlooked. It should be obvious who are friends are and who are enemies are. The latter are the ones who take aim at innocents to kill and wound them. Some moral clarity at the presidential level would be most welcomed.                                  

 

                                                                       

Contents     

                                                                                                                                              

UNREST, INSTABILITY, INTIFADA —

WHATEVER ITS NAME, IT’S IN HAMAS’S INTEREST

Mitch Ginsberg                                                                                                  

 

Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014

 

Whether the violence in Jerusalem since the gruesome murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir in July amounts to a Third Intifada will only be clear in hindsight. But what the murder on Wednesday of Chaya Zissel Braun has shown, beyond the ruthlessness of the act and the enduring tension in Jerusalem, is the shrewdness of Hamas’s strategy of overthrowing the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank by, of all things, persistently killing innocent Israelis.

 

That is one of the ways Israel should view the recent developments in Jerusalem. When Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, a Hamas member and relative of a former head of the organization’s armed wing, turned his car into a lethal weapon on Wednesday, he was, whether by design or not, acting exactly according to the alleged Hamas coup plans exposed in August. At the time, the Shin Bet said that it had exposed a Hamas plan to “overthrow the Palestinian Authority and seize control of Judea and Samaria.”

 

Many pictured a coup: the surrounding of the Muqata and the deposing of the chairman of the Palestinian Authority. But what the Shin Bet actually uncovered was a plan, coordinated from Hamas headquarters in Turkey, to establish a loose network of terror cells, comprising a total of 93 operatives, which would “destabilize the security situation in the West Bank and carry out a string of grave attacks in Israel.” The Shin Bet left the rest unsaid: Israel, as happened in Gaza, would assign blame to the PA, seethe, and finally retaliate, weakening the PA to the point that Hamas could step in and finish it off.

 

And the reactions to the terror attack were, in fact, unusually harsh and directed squarely at PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, speaking from Washington, said that “there is none, nor has there ever been, in the Palestinian Authority a culture of peace, but rather a culture of incitement and jihad against Jews.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assigned blame to Hamas, but also to Abbas, “who just a few days ago incited attacks on Jews in Jerusalem,” as he said in a statement. Hamas, of course, cannot take all of the credit for the roiling tension and constant drip of violence in the northern part of the city since the July murder. Other forces are at work, too – the friction on the Temple Mount and the status quo that leaves many Arab residents of East Jerusalem cut off from the West Bank and also unaffiliated, at least by citizenship, with Israel. Nonetheless, it is squarely within the organization’s interest to perpetuate instability so that even a random spark could light the fire of a third intifada.

 

“I say this and I repeat, I do not recognize an intifada,” Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch insisted Wednesday after the terror attack. Instead, he said, there was “a rise of incidents” of late but one that, with the help of an increased police presence in the capital, “we will overcome.” For Aharonovitch and the Israel Police, an organization beset by widespread malfeasance, that will be a tall order, and one hopefully achieved before the fire hops the fence and spreads to the West Bank.

           

Contents                                               

 

On Topic

 

The Terrorism Threat to Canada: Jonathan D. Halevi, JCPA, Oct. 23, 2014—On October 22, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, Canadian-born and a convert to Islam, shot dead a soldier and was killed after opening fire inside the Parliament in Ottawa

Krauthammer: Ottawa Gunman, Homegrown Threats Are ‘New Face Of Terrorism’ [VIDEO]: Daily Caller, Oct. 22, 2014—Appearing on “Special Report” Wednesday night, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer opined that individual attacks such as the shooting at Parliament Hill in Ottawa Wednesday is “the new face of terrorism.” 

Terror Shouldn't Break Our Ties With Our Soldiers: David Bercuson, Globe & Mail, Oct. 22, 2014—Within 72 hours, two members of the Canadian Armed Forces were attacked and killed on the soil of Canada for no reason other than that they wore the uniform of the Canadian military. That has never happened before.

Lieberman: Terror in Jerusalem and Ottawa Part of ‘Global Epidemic’: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, Jewish Press, Oct. 23, 2014—Wednesday’s terrorists attacks “almost at the same time in both ends of the world show that terror is a global epidemic,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page.

Abbas’s Fatah Honors Jerusalem Hit-and-Run Terrorist: Elhanan Miller, Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2014 —Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement published a poster Thursday celebrating Palestinian terrorist Abdel Rahman Al-Shaludi, who killed three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun and injured eight other Israelis in a hit-and-run car attack in Jerusalem the previous day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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