Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up Posted on December 31, 2014 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: firstname.lastname@example.org Contents: Weekly Quotes | Short Takes | On Topic Links On Topic Links Pro Israel American Student Speaks Against BDS: Youtube, Feb. 17, 2014 The Failed Palestinian Effort at the UN: Dore Gold, JCPA, Dec. 31, 2014 Mahmoud Abbas is Again Insisting on Failure: Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2014 Is CAIR a Terror Group?: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Nov. 28, 2014 Top 10 Worst U.N. Decisions Of 2014: Buzzfeed, Dec. 21, 2014 WEEKLY QUOTES "[W]hen I came into office, the world was divided and Iran was in the driver's seat. Now the world's united because of the actions we've taken, and Iran's the one that's isolated," —U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama explained in an NPR interview that "They have a path to break through that isolation and they should seize it. Because if they do, there's incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of — inside of Iran, and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules, and that would be good for everybody. That would be good for the United States, that would be good for the region, and most of all, it would be good for the Iranian people." In the same interview, President Obama acknowledged that Iran sponsors terrorism and wants a nuclear bomb. "Tehran is a large, sophisticated country that has a track record of state-sponsored terrorism, that we know was attempting to develop a nuclear weapon — or at least the component parts that would be required to develop a nuclear weapon — that has engaged in disruptions to our allies, whose rhetoric is not only explicitly anti-American but also has been incendiary when it comes to its attitude towards the state of Israel," he said, mistaking Tehran for Iran. (Weekly Standard, Dec. 29, 2014) “The ambassador said he is happy with orders from the ruler of Iran, [Ali Hosseini] Khamenei, to send weapons to the West Bank. He added, and I quote, ‘The Zionist regime is an aggressive cancerous regime that sooner or later will be eliminated,” —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister was quoting the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Iran at a cabinet meeting Sunday morning. The PA ambassador also said, “We have seen increased Iranian efforts for terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria.” The PA ambassador’s remarks, quoted by Netanyahu, are a carbon copy of those of Hamas. Netanyahu emphasized that the ambassador is not a Hamas official but one from the Palestinian Authority headed by “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas. (Jewish Press, Dec. 28, 2014) “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months,” —Danny Cohen, the director of television at the BBC. “And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually? Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before,” Cohen explained at a conference in Jerusalem. Cohen is a native Londoner who has lived in the UK his entire life. His position near the top of the BBC, which was criticized for its biased coverage of this summer’s Gaza war, has helped draw attention to his comments. (Jewish Press, Dec. 28, 2014) “Many presidents tend to be smitten with the instruments of the intelligence community. I think Obama was more smitten than most,” —a former senior Obama administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “This has been an intelligence presidency in a way we haven’t seen maybe since Eisenhower,” he added. During the presidential campaign in 2008, Obama railed against the CIA’s use of torture and secret prisons during the Bush administration, and shuttered the detention program during his first week in office. But he has empowered the agency in other ways — including allowing its director, not the White House, to make the final decisions about drone strikes in Pakistan. (New York Times, Dec. 26, 2014) “I think relations between the American people and Israel have never been stronger,” —Indiana Governor, and possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Mike Pence, in Jerusalem on Tuesday. “I really believe that after a year where Israel saw 51 days of war, with Iranian nuclear ambitions unimpeded, with the rise of a terrorist army in Syria, now more than ever the American people feel a great bond of support with the people of Israel. I think that will be reflected consistently when the congress convenes in January,” he added. Pence, who spent 12 years in Congress – a decade of that on the House Foreign Affairs Committee – won the Indiana gubernatorial election in 2012. His name is consistently mentioned among possible 2016 Republican candidates, something he does not deny. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 31, 2014) “This was a suspicious visit that aimed to normalize our children with the Zionist occupation,” —Eyad al-Buzom, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza. Thirty-seven young war orphans from Gaza set out on Sunday for a rare visit to Israel. They got as far as the Erez border crossing at the northern end of the Palestinian coastal enclave. There the Hamas authorities turned them back, barring the visit at the last minute. Israeli officials and organizers of the highly unusual weeklong peace-building visit said that it had been fully coordinated with the Israeli liaison authorities and that Israeli approval had been given. But Hamas apparently went back on an initial agreement to allow the youths to enter Israel. “In order to protect our sons, we prevented them from visiting the occupation,” al-Buzom said. (New York Times, Dec. 28, 2014) “We expect him to be treated the way the Prophet Muhammad treated his captives, with mercy and generosity,” —Fahed al-Kasasbeh, the uncle of the Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State members after his F-16 crashed in northern Syria. Jordan threatened Islamic State with “grave consequences” if they harmed the pilot, and members his family appealed to his captors to welcome him as a “guest” and to show him mercy as a fellow Muslim. But no new information on the fate of the pilot, First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, has emerged since his jet went down last week and supporters of the Islamic State distributed photos online that showed him in his underwear and with a bloody mouth as bearded gunmen led him away. (New York Times, Dec. 25, 2014) “This is the place of eternal rest of Martyrs (Shahids) Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal of Jabel Mukaber [neighborhood] in occupied Jerusalem, who ascended [to heaven] a month and a half ago during an operation at an occupation synagogue in occupied Jerusalem. Early morning today, they were escorted to their graves at Al-Sawahreh Al- Sharqiyeh,” —message on the Facebook page belonging to the Fatah movement, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The message is accompanied by a photo of Palestinian flags draping the graves of the terrorists who committed the Har Nof Synagogue attack. Earlier this month, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the PA Mufti likewise called them Shahids when he demanded that Israel return the bodies of the killers because “it is the Shahids’ right for us to pray for them, and this is a right according to Shari’ah. Their relatives, friends and loved ones also have the right to see them one last time.” Two Arab terrorists from eastern Jerusalem entered a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of western Jerusalem on November 18 and massacred worshippers with guns, knives and axes, killing four Jews and a Druze police officer. The terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli police that arrived on the scene. (Jewish Press, Dec. 30, 2014) “We celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace, which has guided millions from the moment that his message came out from a small grotto in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago,” —PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in his annual holiday message. Just as he does every December, Abbas, along with other PA officials, made the claim that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian, rather than a Judean. The theme of the Christmas Eve celebration in the West Bank this year was “All I Want for Christmas in Justice.” “Jesus' message resonates in our prayers for our people in our capital Jerusalem, who continue to resist the Israeli attempts to turn the city into an exclusive Jewish place," Abbas stressed. "The mosques and the churches of Jerusalem will continue to remind the world of the Palestinian, Arab, and Christian and Muslim identity of the city. Justice means ending the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, an integral part of the State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 border." In the new testament, text defines Jesus as a Jewish resident of Judea. The Roman Empire changed the name of “Judea” to “Palestine” one hundred years after Jesus’s death. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 29, 2014) Contents SHORT TAKES PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD RESOLUTION FAILS AT UN SECURITY COUNCIL (Geneva) —The UN Security Council on Tuesday rejected a resolution on Palestinian statehood, with the Palestinians failing to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption by the 15-member council: Eight voted for the resolution and two voted against, with five abstentions. France, China and Russia were among the countries that supported the text setting a 12-month deadline for negotiations on a final peace deal with Israel and an imposed full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem by the end of 2017. Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg also voted for the resolution. Australia and the United States voted against. (Times of Israel, Dec. 31, 2014) ON EVE OF 2015, ISRAEL'S POPULATION HITS 8.3 MILLION (Jerusalem) —Israel’s population has reached 8,296,000, representing a 2 percent increase over 2014, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Of new citizens, 176,600 were newborns, while another 23,000 were new immigrants, representing around 11% of the population increase. Three-fourths of the population, some 6.218 million people, were Jewish. The next largest group, 1.719 million Arabs, accounted for 20.7% of the population. The remaining 4.3%, some 359,000 people, were non-Arab Christians and others whose religion isn’t classified in the population registry. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 30, 2014) YOUNG GIRL SERIOUSLY WOUNDED BY FIREBOMB IN WEST BANK ATTACK (El Matan) — A young Israeli girl and her father were wounded Thursday after the car in which they were traveling in the West Bank was hit by a firebomb. The girl is in serious condition after suffering massive third degree burns after flames engulfed the car, which was traveling near the settlement of El Matan in the Shomron. The father, 40, was also wounded, suffering from light burn injuries. The girl and father have been named as Ayala and Avner Shapira. Ayala's mother's car was hit by a firebomb last month, but managed to escape unscathed. (Ynet, Dec. 25, 2014) TWO POLICE OFFICERS STABBED IN JERUSALEM (Jerusalem) — Two Border Police officers were lightly wounded Friday morning when an unidentified Arab man stabbed them in Jerusalem’s Old City. The unprovoked attack came as thousands of Muslims exited the area upon concluding prayers at al-Aksa Mosque. The assault follows months of ongoing tensions between Muslims and Jews throughout the capital, which has necessitated emergency police measures, including 1,000 extra police officers, aerial reconnaissance balloons and a municipal patrol. Despite Friday’s attack, rioting and violence in the city has largely leveled off over the past several weeks. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 26, 2014) HAMAS RELEASES ‘HOW TO STAB JEWS’ VIDEO (Jerusalem) — After the failed stabbing attack against two border policemen in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, Palestinians have published a training video entitled “How to stab right.” During the attack one officer was stabbed in the neck, and the other in the hand. Both were treated for their wounds in a Jerusalem hospital and are recovering. In the video the assailant demonstrates how to stab in order to cause maximum injury to the victim, displaying several knife attack techniques, including twisting the knife to inflict maximum harm, and how an attacker can quickly stab and flee the scene. The clip became an immediate hit among Palestinian social media groups in Jerusalem, and the West Bank. The video ends by urging viewers to carry out similar attacks: “What are you waiting for? Go out and stab.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 28, 2014) QATAR STOPS PROVIDING SUPPORT TO HAMAS (Doha) — An Egyptian governmental source told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida that the princes are attempting to cut their support for Hamas due to their activities in the Sinai. According to the newspaper, the move is designed to persuade Hamas to stop transferring arms to Sinai based jihadist terror organizations. An anonymous Egyptian source stated that “Hamas wants Qatar to play a significant role in repairing relations with Cairo.” Hamas leaders deny involvement in Sinai terrorism, alleging that the terror organization “does not have an armed presence outside the Palestinian Authority.” However, Hamas’ ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, who was toppled from power in 2013, are well-known and hinder Hamas’ relations with Sisi’s regime. (Jerusalem Online, Dec. 26, 2014) CAIR, MAS JOIN WITH STATE DEPARTMENT TO PROTEST UAE TERROR DESIGNATION (Washington) — State Department officials met with leaders of the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to discuss the group's inclusion on list of terror groups issued by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE listed CAIR and the Muslim American Society (MAS) among eighty Islamist groups worldwide it linked to terror last month. The State Department questioned the designation, saying it wanted "more information from the Emirati authorities" justifying the designation, with a spokesman adding that "the U.S. does not consider them to be terrorist organizations." (IPT, Dec. 23, 2014) SUICIDE BOMBER STRIKES YEMENI SHIITE REBELS (San’a) —A suicide bomber targeted a large gathering of Shiite rebels in the central Yemeni city of Ibb today, killing at least 24 people and wounding 48. A local spokesman for the Houthi rebels, said a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a culture center. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemen’s powerful local al Qaeda affiliate has targeted the rebels in the past. The Houthis seized large areas of Yemen, including the capital, San'a, earlier this year as part of a protracted power struggle with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Their critics view them as a proxy for Shiite Iran that wants to dominate the country, charges the rebels deny. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 31, 2014) JEWISH SITES IN FRANCE HIT BY GUNSHOTS (Paris) — For the third time in one week a Jewish site in Paris was attacked. Last Monday it was a synagogue, on Wednesday it was a kosher restaurant and Friday, Dec. 26, it was a Jewish printing company. The HM (HaShem) printing company is located at 24 Rue de Rochechouart, not far from where the other attacks took place, and the holes left by the bullets were similar. The owner of the shop says the attack was antisemitic because the shop has a mezuzah on the door, and people know it is owned by Jews. Thus far there has only been property damage in these attacks. (Jewish Press, Dec. 26, 2014) PARIS SUBURB HONORS JAILED PALESTINIAN TERRORIST BARGHOUTI (Paris) — The Paris suburb of Aubervilliers has honored jailed Palestinian terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving several life sentences in an Israeli prison for murder, as an honorary citizen of the city. Barghouti “symbolizes the Palestinian cause” and is a “man of peace and dialogue,” the Aubervilliers city council said in a statement. Barghouti was sentenced in 2004 to five life imprisonment sentences for five murders and forty years for attempted murder by a suicide bomber. Aubervilliers is home to a large immigrant population, comprising more than 41 percent of the city’s population, mainly from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. (Jewish Press, Dec. 30, 2014) SECOND SWEDISH MOSQUE TARGETED IN SUSPECTED ARSON ATTACK (Stockholm) — A Swedish mosque was set alight on Monday, in the second suspected arson attack on a mosque in the country in the last four days. No one was hurt in the attack, which occurred in the southern Swedish town of Eslov. On Christmas Day, five people were injured following a blaze at a mosque in Eskilstuna. Despite Sweden’s liberal attitude towards immigration and asylum seekers, the country is not immune to the rise of right-wing sentiment across many European countries. Recent polls in Sweden have indicated a rise in popularity of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, the country’s third biggest party. The party received 12.9% of the vote in September elections. (Newsweek, Dec. 29, 2014) HUNDREDS ATTEND MASS IN HONOR OF ‘ONE OF EUROPE'S BIGGEST MASS MURDERERS’ (Zagreb) — Hundreds of Croatians attended a memorial mass in Zagreb for World War II-era dictator Ante Pavelić. Pavelić’s fascist regime was allied with Nazi Germany and was responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews and ethnic Serbs. The founder of the extreme nationalist Ustaše movement, Pavelić advocated armed rebellion against the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After the Germans conquered in 1941, he was installed as head of the new puppet state, described as a “fiercely cruel regime” in which “hundreds of thousands of Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews were murdered in death camps and in other awful ways” Following the war, Pavelić made his way to Argentina, where he was wounded in an assassination attempt. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 29, 2014) ISRAEL ORDERS ANOTHER FOUR MISSILE SHIPS FROM GERMANY (Haifa) —Israel has acquired four new Saar Missile ships from Germany a few months after the fourth Dolphin submarines reached home base. Nir Dvory, Military Correspondent to the PM, said the ships’ role would be to secure Israel’s naval gas fields. PM Netanyahu added that “he wanted to thank Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for her ongoing commitment and assistance to Israel’s security." Netanyahu said that the new ships will be added to the submarines which are already under construction in Germany. The ships are expected to reach the coast of Israel in about two years. (Jerusalem Online, Dec. 25, 2014) ISRAEL DEPLOYING UNDERWATER BARRIER AGAINST HEZBOLLAH DIVERS (Haifa) — US and EU firms are deploying a defensive barrier and sonar array along the country’s maritime border with Lebanon, meant to foil Hezbollah undersea infiltrations. Israeli security officials believe Hezbollah has built or acquired an array of undersea weapons and delivery systems to be used against Israel in future conflicts. While the exact details and location of the Israeli picket system are classified, its purpose is to prevent the infiltration of divers, swimmers, and submersible craft into Israeli territory. A similar barrier has been in operation south of Zikim beach, along Israel’s maritime border with Gaza, and was instrumental in thwarting two raids by Hamas naval commandos during Operation Protective Edge. (Algemeiner, Dec. 28, 2014) HARVARD STUDENTS’ SODASTREAM BAN FIZZLES AFTER PRESIDENT STEPS IN (Cambridge, MA) —Harvard administration has reversed the dining hall's decision to cut ties with an Israeli soda company based on one-sided input from pro-Palestinian student groups. The decision last week by university President Drew Faust and Provost Alan Garber came quickly after they discovered that Harvard University Dining Services had decided to stop buying SodaStream products due to the company's presence in the West Bank. In a statement, Garber said Harvard’s contracting policies are not to be dictated by partisan student groups. The dining hall administrators agreed last fall to cut ties with SodaStream after meeting with the school's Palestine Solidarity Committee, and the Harvard Islamic Society. (Fox News, Dec. 23, 2014) NEW BILLBOARDS TARGET NY TIMES FOR ANTI-ISRAEL REPORTING (New York) — The CAMERA watchdog organization has posted five new billboards in midtown Manhattan to spread the message of The New York Times’ slanted reportage on Israel. The organization, officially known as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, still posts a billboard opposite the newspaper’s headquarters with a message that reads, “The New York Times Against Israel—All Rant, All Slant, All The Time. Stop The Bias!” “We are expanding our effort to let the public know, beginning with the newspaper-reading public in New York City, that The Times persists—[and] has even doubled-down—in its long-standing pattern of prejudiced reporting and editorializing when it comes to Israel,” said Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s executive director. (Jewish Press, Dec. 25, 2014) EGYPT, MOROCCO, AND UNITED ARAB EMIRATES BAN “EXODUS” MOVIE (Cairo) — Egypt, Morocco, and UAE have banned the biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings. The BBC reported that Egypt's censorship board has banned the film due to what censors called "historical inaccuracies," including, it said, the film depicting Jews having built the pyramids and that an earthquake, not a miracle by Moses, made the Red Sea part. The ancient story claims the pyramids were built by Jewish slaves who were led to freedom by Moses after God inflicted a series of plagues on Egypt. These developments mark just the latest opposition to the controversial film. The movie has drawn criticism for its white stars, including lead actors Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton. (Hollywood Reporter, Dec. 26, 2014) ARGENTINA’S PRESIDENT ADOPTS JEWISH GODSON (Buenos Aires) — Argentina’s president has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. The president described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson in order to counteract a legend that the seventh son, born after six boys without any girls in between, becomes a werewolf whose bite can turn others into a werewolf. The boys receive presidential protection, a gold medal and a scholarship for all studies until his 21st birthday. (Jewish Press, Dec. 26, 2014) On Topic Links Pro Israel American Student Speaks Against BDS: Youtube, Feb. 17, 2014 The Failed Palestinian Effort at the UN: Dore Gold, JCPA, Dec. 31, 2014—The Palestinian draft resolution that was voted down by the UN Security Council was unacceptable to Israel for two essential reasons. First, all Israeli governments have insisted that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be reached through direct negotiations between the parties. Mahmoud Abbas is Again Insisting on Failure: Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2014 —In a meeting with President Obama last March, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to accept a U.S.-brokered “framework” for the creation of a Palestinian state. Is CAIR a Terror Group?: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Nov. 28, 2014 —We who follow the Islamist movement fell off our collective chair on Nov. 15 when the news came that the United Arab Emirates' ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS. Top 10 Worst U.N. Decisions Of 2014: Buzzfeed, Dec. 21, 2014—1. U.N. Adopts 20 Resolutions on Israel vs. 4 on Rest of World Combined. Rob Coles, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284. mailto:email@example.com CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by fax and e-mail. Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series. To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, contact us at http://www.isranet.org/. 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