Month: January 2015

NEVER AGAIN: WHILE THE EVIL OF ANTISEMITISM CONTINUES — ISRAEL SHINES A “LIGHT UNTO THE NATIONS”

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:

 

Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada on the International Day of Commemoration to Honour the Victims of the Holocaust: Jan. 27, 2015— “Today, let us pause to remember one of the darkest moments in human history ,”

Auschwitz 70 Years Later: Universal Lessons For Our Time: Irwin Cotler, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2014 — I write at an important moment of remembrance and reminder, of bearing witness, and of action.

The Strains of War: Michael O’Donnell, Wall Street Journal, Nov. 7, 2014— During the Nazis’ siege of Leningrad, which lasted from September 1941 to January 1944, the city’s radio station broadcast the sound of a metronome.

Should Netanyahu Address Congress?: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Jan. 27, 2015— Presumably, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed his options carefully before accepting U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address the joint session of Congress.

Can Israel Survive?: Victor Davis Hanson, Real Clear Politics, Jan. 29, 2015— Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa.

 

On Topic Links

 

Councilman Greenfield Denounces Anti-Semitic Outburst in NYC Council Chamber:, Youtube, Jan. 22, 2014

Do We Really Mean ‘Never Again’?: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2015

Westminster Abbey to Honour Music of the Nazi Camps: Patrick Sawer & Edward Malnick, Telegraph, Jan. 25, 2015

How My Great-Grandfather, Winston Churchill, Kept Democracy’s Flame Flickering: Randolph Churchill, National Post, Jan. 24, 2015                                                                            

                               

 

STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA ON THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF COMMEMORATION TO HONOUR THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

                                                                        Jan. 27, 2015

 

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today issued the following statement marking the International Day of Commemoration to Honour the Victims of the Holocaust: “Today, let us pause to remember one of the darkest moments in human history, when the Nazis reached a new nadir of inhumanity, intolerance and anti-Semitism, massacring nearly six million Jews and others during the Holocaust. This deliberate, systematic and industrial slaughter of innocent men, women, and children will forever be a stain on human history. Let us join with the families and friends in remembering and honouring those who perished during this senseless horror.

Last week I had the privilege of laying a wreath at Yad Vashem in Israel to honour the victims of the Holocaust. It was a deeply moving experience. On this day, we also remember those individuals of remarkable conviction and fortitude who stood up for what was right during those dark days, risking everything to protect those who were being victimized during the Holocaust. We have a duty to honour and continue their inspirational work. That is why our Government will remain steadfast in its commitment to fight anti-Semitism in all its forms, and will continue to stand up for the existence of a free and democratic Jewish State of Israel.”                                           

                                                           

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AUSCHWITZ 70 YEARS LATER: UNIVERSAL LESSONS FOR OUR TIME                                                     

Irwin Cotler                                                                                                         

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2015

 

I write at an important moment of remembrance and reminder, of bearing witness, and of action. Indeed, I write from Prague, where events commemorating the liberation of Auschwitz 70 years ago are underway as the world marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day. I write on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century, and site of horrors too terrible to be believed, but not too terrible to have happened.

Of the 1.3 million people murdered at Auschwitz, 1.1 million were Jews. As Elie Wiesel put it, "The Holocaust was a war against the Jews in which not all victims were Jews, but all Jews were victims." I write also in the immediate aftermath of the 70th anniversary of the arrest and disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg on January 17, 1945. It is a tragedy that this hero of the Holocaust who saved so many was not saved by so many who could, and we owe a duty to Raoul Wallenberg to determine the truth of his fate. I write as well in the wake of anti-Semitic terror and killing in France, and in the midst of ongoing mass atrocities by Boko Haram in Nigeria, ethnic cleansing in Darfur and South Sudan, and killing fields in Syria and elsewhere. And so, at this important historical moment, we should ask ourselves: What have we learned in the last 70 years, and more importantly, what must we do?

The first lesson is the danger of forgetting, and the imperative of remembrance — le devoir de mémoire. As we remember the victims of the Shoah — defamed, demonized and dehumanized as prologue and justification for genocide — we must understand that the mass murder of six million Jews and millions of non-Jews is not a matter of abstract statistics. As we say at such moments of remembrance, "Unto each person there is a name, each person has an identity, each person is a universe." As the Talmud reminds us, "Whoever saves a single life, it is as if he or she has saved an entire universe." Thus, the abiding universal imperative: we are each, wherever we are, the guarantors of each other's destiny. The second enduring lesson is that the genocide of European Jewry — like the genocides of Rwanda and Darfur — succeeded not only because of the machinery of death, but because of a state-sanctioned ideology of hate. For example, the Jew was seen as the personification of the devil, as the enemy of humankind and humanity could only be redeemed by the death of the Jew. As the Canadian Supreme Court has affirmed — and as echoed by the International Criminal Tribunal in Rwanda — "the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers — it began with words."

The third lesson is the danger of anti-Semitism — the oldest and most enduring of hatreds — and the most lethal. If the Holocaust is a metaphor for radical evil, anti-Semitism is a metaphor for radical hatred. Let there be no mistake about it: Jews died at Auschwitz because of anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism did not die. And as we have learned only too painfully, the killings in France being only one of the latest examples, while anti-Semitism begins with Jews, it doesn't end with Jews. The fourth painful and poignant lesson is that these genocidal crimes resulted not only from state-sanctioned incitement to hatred and genocide, but from crimes of indifference, from conspiracies of silence — from the international community as bystander. Indeed, what makes the Rwandan genocide so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide itself, but that this genocide was preventable. No one can say that we did not know; we knew, but we did not act. Similarly, today, we have yet to act to stop the slaughter of civilians in Syria or the killing fields in Sudan, ignoring the lessons of history and mocking the Responsibility to Protect doctrine.

The fifth lesson is the danger of the culture of impunity that repeatedly emboldens those intent on committing mass atrocities and genocide. Indeed, if the last century — symbolized by the Holocaust and the genocide in Rwanda — was the age of atrocity, it was also the age of impunity, with few of the perpetrators brought to justice. Just as there must be no sanctuary for hate and no refuge for bigotry, so must there not be any base or sanctuary for the enemies of humankind. The sixth lesson is that the Holocaust was made possible not only because of the "bureaucratization of genocide," as Robert Lifton put it, and as the desk murderer Adolf Eichmann personified, but because of the trahison des clercs — the complicity of the elites — including physicians, church leaders, judges, lawyers, engineers, architects and educators. Holocaust crimes were also the crimes of the Nuremberg elites.

The seventh lesson concerns the vulnerability of the powerless and the powerlessness of the vulnerable, as dramatized at Auschwitz by the remnants of shoes, suitcases, crutches, and hair of the murdered, and as found expression in the triad of Nazi racial hygiene: the Sterilization Laws, the Nuremberg Race Laws, and the Euthanasia Program — all of which targeted those "whose lives were not worth living." It is revealing, as Prof. Henry Friedlander points out in his work titled "The Origins of Nazi Genocide," that the first group targeted for killing were the Jewish disabled. It is our responsibility, then, as citizens of the world, to give voice to the voiceless and to empower the powerless, be they the disabled, poor, elderly, women victimized by violence, or vulnerable children — the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. The eighth lesson is the cruelty of Holocaust or genocide denial — a criminal conspiracy to erase and whitewash the horror of mass atrocity. In its most obscene form, Holocaust or genocide denial actually accuses the victim of falsifying the crime, of perpetrating a hoax. Thus, we have a responsibility to remember and bear witness to victims of the Holocaust and genocide, thereby repudiating genocide denial. The ninth lesson is the importance — indeed the responsibility — of remembering the heroic rescuers. Those "righteous among the nations," like Raoul Wallenberg, remind us of the range of humanity that prevailed in the face of evil and transformed history.

Finally, we must remember — and celebrate — the survivors of the Holocaust, the true heroes of humanity. For they witnessed and endured the worst of inhumanity, but somehow found, in the depths of their own humanity, the courage to go on, to rebuild their lives as they helped build our communities. And so, together with them we must remember and pledge — not as an idle slogan but as an injunction to act — that never again will we be indifferent to incitement and hate, never again will we be silent in the face of evil, never again will we indulge racism and anti-Semitism, never again will we ignore the plight of the vulnerable, and never again will we be indifferent in the face of mass atrocity and impunity. We will speak up and act against racism, against hate, against anti-Semitism, against mass atrocity, against injustice, and against the crime of crimes whose name we should shudder to mention: genocide.

                                                           

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THE STRAINS OF WAR                                                                                            

Michael O’Donnell                                                                                                       

Wall Street Journal, Nov. 7, 2015

 

During the Nazis’ siege of Leningrad, which lasted from September 1941 to January 1944, the city’s radio station broadcast the sound of a metronome. Its steady tick-tock between programs reassured listeners that the booth was not empty—or, worse yet, in German hands. The metronome served a practical as well as a psychological function. Faster ticks indicated an imminent air raid and meant that residents should find shelter. The sound was both heartening and terrible, for it called to mind not just the Russian people’s refusal to surrender but also the relentless German assault. One young diarist compared the incessant beating to “the pulse of a fatally ill patient in the silence of a ward.” Nearly 800,000 Russians died of cold and hunger before the siege ended. Corpses littered the city’s streets and disappeared under the snow; no one had the strength to move them. As rations dwindled, residents began eating tree bark. The British journalist Brian Moynahan describes the way arctic temperatures combined with fierce combat to produce a situation of bleak exigency. “The oil in [Germans’] trucks became first a paste and then a glue which seized up the engines,” he writes. “Infantry weapons froze. Only grenades and flamethrowers were reliable.”

 

Mr. Moynahan has written a passionate and moving book focusing on the role music played in this catastrophe. “Leningrad: Siege and Symphony” is filled with vivid details. German soldiers defiled Russia’s cultural heritage by occupying Tchaikovsky’s rural dacha, where they parked their motorcycles inside and burned a lovely gazebo for warmth. In the city, bombs and artillery shells—as many as 12,000 in a single day—destroyed not just homes and families but also priceless musical instruments. Although Leningrad residents continued to attend concerts, they shivered in winter attire rather than evening wear. Mittens and gloves muted their applause. No musical work embodied the siege of Leningrad—indeed, no piece of music embodies any war—like Dmitri Shostakovich’s Seventh Symphony. Its Leningrad premiere, on Aug. 9, 1942, was performed by starving musicians and broadcast over loudspeakers at the front to defy the Nazis and hearten Russian troops. Abroad, it provided “a moral redemption for Stalin and the Soviet regime,” writes Mr. Moynahan—especially for the Western allies, who “wanted badly to believe in the Russians, in their survival, and in their decency.” Shostakovich’s private irony was that his music was not merely a cry against the Nazis but also against Stalinism. Mr. Moynahan calls the Seventh a “requiem for a noble city beset by the twin monsters of the century.”

 

As Shostakovich’s biographer Elizabeth Wilson has shown, Stalin terrorized the composer in a far more immediate way than Hitler. The purges of the 1930s eliminated artists as well as other bourgeois, and Shostakovich’s modern, inaccessible music made him an easy target. Recognizing his talent, the Communist Party commissioned his Second Symphony for the 10th anniversary of the October Revolution but harshly criticized his early forays into opera and ballet. Shostakovich received his first official denunciation in 1936, after Stalin walked out of a performance of his opera “Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.” The next day’s review in Pravda attacked Shostakovich for “formalism” and warned that he was “playing a game” that “may end very badly.” The composer withdrew his Fourth Symphony as a result and curried favor by writing the patriotic Fifth, as well as the Sixth, which he dedicated to Lenin.

 

These episodes from Shostakovich’s life are mostly outside the scope of Mr. Moynahan’s book, which focuses on the siege years. So too is Shostakovich’s second denunciation in 1948 and his tense accommodation with the party after Stalin’s death in 1953. But his full life story reveals a weakness in “Leningrad: Siege and Symphony,” which portrays the nervous, sarcastic and deeply ambivalent composer in a light that is too unequivocal and that at times borders on the heroic. Dmitri Shostakovich—who twitched and fiddled so anxiously that he was painful to watch—knew only one thing for certain: his need to write music. Politics were an intrusion; so was state terror, which he would avoid in any way possible, including miserable cooperation. He once told a friend: “I’d sign anything even if they hand it to me upside-down. All I want is to be left alone.”…

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

                                               

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SHOULD NETANYAHU ADDRESS CONGRESS?                                                                              

Isi Leibler                                                                                                                                  

Candidly Speaking, Jan. 27, 2015

 

Presumably, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed his options carefully before accepting U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address the joint session of Congress. There is no doubt that the bulk of Congress, including many Democrats, are angered with President Barack Obama for ignoring their concerns in his obsession to reach a deal with the Iranians – at any cost. He has already demonstrated his willingness to enable Iran to become a threshold nuclear state. Thus, many members of Congress would be keen to hear Netanyahu’s views, which Boehner undoubtedly hopes will strengthen the resolve of Congress to ramp up sanctions if no deal is achieved by the June deadline. Netanyahu’s acceptance unleashed a firestorm, both at home and in the U.S. Infuriated unnamed White House officials told Haaretz, “We thought we’d seen everything but Bibi managed to surprise even us.” This was a breach of protocol in which “he spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency and that there will be a price.” Another official said it would be difficult to trust Netanyahu in the future and accused him of “preferring to advance his political interests” rather than “maintaining the correct working relationship between both countries.”

 

However, Boehner subsequently revealed on CBS’s “60 minutes” that the White House had in fact been notified before the announcement of the Netanyahu visit, suggesting that the White House rage was less about the breach of protocol and more its concern that Netanyahu would undermine Obama’s policies of appeasement toward Iran. The White House announced that ‘in accordance with standard tradition’, it was inappropriate for the president or the secretary of state to meet Netanyahu two weeks before Israeli national elections. This is inconsistent with the fact that that on April 30, 1996, one month before the elections (in which Netanyahu was victorious), then-Prime Minister Shimon Peres met with President Bill Clinton in the White House. Israeli opposition leaders were hysterical. Labor Chairman Isaac Herzog told Israel Army Radio that Netanyahu was “directly harming the president of the United States” and “what Netanyahu is doing with this thuggish behavior is to harm Israel’s security interests.” Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid expressed similar sentiments. There were even suggestions that the state comptroller should investigate the propriety of the Israeli embassy facilitating the broadcast of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress without the approval of the White House.

 

Despite the fact that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has been energetically lobbying Congress to intensify sanctions against Iran, the American Jewish establishment – which has failed to react to Obama’s frequent biased and offensive statements and initiatives – was clearly distressed that Netanyahu had become an issue between Congress and the White House, but largely remained silent. However, the Anti-Defamation League’s head, Abe Foxman, could not contain himself. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that “this looks like a political challenge to the White House and/or a campaign effort in Israel.” He said, “The invitation and acceptance is ill advised” and had the chutzpah to tell Boehner to withdraw his invitation and urged Netanyahu to rescind his acceptance. Foxman’s outrageous and harmful remarks were met with deafening silence by other Jewish bodies and publicly condemned only by the hawkish Zionist Organization of America.

 

Our prime minister has certainly embarked on a risky enterprise. Many fear that a vindictive Obama could exact payback when it comes to employing the veto at the U.N. Security Council or at the International Criminal Court where the Palestinian Authority is seeking to charge Israel with war crimes. He may intensify the pressures on Israel to withdraw to the indefensible 1949 armistice lines and increase pressure against construction in Jerusalem and the settlement blocs. It is feared that he could even reduce the crucial U.S. defense support to Israel. This is possible. But the reality is that Obama’s attitude toward Netanyahu is so toxic that it probably makes little difference how Netanyahu would act. Besides, whereas normally a U.S. president has considerable control of foreign affairs, Obama is today a lame duck president and for him to engage in vindictive initiatives against the foremost U.S. ally would further damage America’s standing and create a major revolt in Congress…                                                                                                                 

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

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CAN ISRAEL SURVIVE?                                                                                           

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                                                

Real Clear Politics, Jan. 29, 2015

 

Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. Eight million Israelis are surrounded by some 400 million Muslims in more than 20 states. Almost all of Israel's neighbors are anti-Israeli dictatorships, monarchies or theocracies– a number of them reduced to a state of terrorist chaos. Given the rise of radical Islam, the huge petrodollar wealth of the Middle East and lopsided demography, how has Israel so far survived?

 

The Jewish state has always depended on three unspoken assumptions for its tenuous existence. First, a democratic, nuclear Israel can deter larger enemies. In the Cold War, Soviet-backed Arab enemies understood that Israel's nuclear arsenal prevented them from destroying Tel Aviv. Second, the Western traditions of Israel — free-market capitalism, democracy, human rights — ensured a dynamic economy, high-tech weapons, innovative industry and stable government. In other words, 8 million Israelis could count on a greater gross domestic product, less internal violence and more innovation than, say, nearby Egypt, a mess with 10 times more people than Israel and nearly 50 times more land. Third, Israel counted on Western moral support from America and Europe, as well as military support from the United States. Israel's stronger allies have often come to the defense of its democratic principles and pointed out that the world applies an unfair standard to Israel, largely out of envy of its success, anti-Semitism, fear of terrorism and fondness of oil exporters. Why, for example, does the United Nations focus so much attention on Palestinians who fled Israel nearly 70 years ago but ignore Muslims who were forced out of India, or Jews who were ethnically cleansed from the cities of the Middle East? Why doesn't the world worry that Nicosia is a more divided city than Jerusalem, or that Turkey occupies northern Cyprus, or that China occupies Tibet?…

 

Symbolism counts, too. President Obama was about the only major world leader to skip the recent march in Paris to commemorate the victims of attacks by radical Islamic terrorists — among them Jews singled out and murdered for their faith. Likewise, he was odd world leader out by skipping this week's 70-year commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp. Obama is not expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will address Congress in March. An anonymous member of the Obama administration was quoted as calling Netanyahu, a combat veteran, a "coward" and describing him with a related expletive. Another nameless administration official recently said Netanyahu "spat in our face" by accepting the congressional invitation without Obama's approval and so will pay "a price" — personal animus that the administration has not directed even against the leaders of a hostile Iran. Obama won't meet with Netanyahu, and yet the president had plenty of time to hold an adolescent bull session with a would-be Internet comedian decked out in Day-Glo makeup who achieved her fame by filming herself eating breakfast cereal in a bathtub full of milk.

 

Jews have been attacked and bullied on the streets of some of the major cities of France and Sweden by radical Muslims whose anti-Semitism goes unchecked by their terrified hosts. Jewish leaders in France openly advise that Jews in that country immigrate to Israel. A prosecutor in Argentina who had investigated the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires that killed 85 — an attack widely believed to have been backed by Iran — was recently found dead under mysterious circumstances. Turkey, a country whose prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was praised by Obama as one of his closest friends among world leaders, has turned openly non-secular and is vehemently anti-Israel. Until there is a change of popular attitudes in Europe or a different president in the United States, Israel is on its own to deal with an Iran that has already hinted it would use a nuclear weapon to eliminate the "Zionist entity," with the radical Islamic madness raging on its borders, and with the global harassment of Jews. A tiny democratic beacon in the Middle East should inspire and rally Westerners. Instead, too often, Western nations shrug and assume that Israel is a headache — given that there is more oil and more terrorism on the other side. 

                       

                                        CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

On Topic

 

Councilman Greenfield Denounces Anti-Semitic Outburst in NYC Council Chamber:, Youtube, Jan. 22, 2014

Do We Really Mean ‘Never Again’?: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2015

Westminster Abbey to Honour Music of the Nazi Camps: Patrick Sawer & Edward Malnick, Telegraph, Jan. 25, 2015

How My Great-Grandfather, Winston Churchill, Kept Democracy’s Flame Flickering: Randolph Churchill, National Post, Jan. 24, 2015        

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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UN CONFLIT PLANÉTAIRE

OUI, NETANYAHOU A RAISON DE SE RENDRE AU CONGRÈS À WASHINGTON

Guy Millière

www.dreuz.info, 29 janvier 2015

           

La gauche et les grands médias israéliens n’ont voulu voir là qu’une manœuvre électorale, ou un impair diplomatique à même de détériorer gravement les relations entre Israël et les Etats Unis. L’administration Obama a elle-même réagi vivement et le porte parole de la Maison Blanche est allé jusqu’à parler de crachat lancé au visage du Président des Etats Unis. Les journaux européens se sont, pour la plupart, fait un plaisir de répercuter les propos de la gauche et des grands médias israéliens, ainsi que les réactions de l’administration Obama.

 

Ce doit être dit : la gauche israélienne a montré ainsi, une fois de plus, qu’elle est enlisée dans la politique politicienne de bas étage et incapable de se situer au niveau des enjeux impliqués par les dangers régionaux au Proche Orient et par leurs répercussions planétaires. Elle montre aussi sa cécité sur l’attitude de Barack Obama vis-à-vis d’Israël : elle semble n’avoir pas encore compris que Barack Obama est un ennemi, et que rien ne pourrait dégrader les relations entre les Etats Unis et Israël davantage qu’elles ne sont déjà détériorées. Elle est à sa place dans l’opposition, et il est très souhaitable qu’elle y reste. Les grands médias israéliens ont, eux, montrés qu’ils ne faisaient pas un travail d’information et d’analyse digne de ce nom, et étaient au service de la gauche israélienne, ce qui, vu ce qu’est celle-ci aujourd’hui, ne les honore pas.

 

Ce doit être dit aussi : l’administration Obama, en cette affaire, est dans son rôle, et dans une lamentable continuité. Il n’y a pas si longtemps, elle traitait Binyamin Netanyahou de « fiente de poulet », et à l’époque, ce dernier n’envisageait pas de se rendre au Congrès à Washington, car il n’y était pas invité. Depuis six ans, Obama et son administration ont maltraité, diffamé et insulté Binyamin Netanyahou de toutes les façons imaginables : tout simplement parce que Netanyahou a fait ce qu’il était de son devoir de faire, défendre la sécurité d’Israël, et parce qu’Obama et son administration avaient, eux, des objectifs très différents, nuire, voire détruire, la sécurité d’Israël.

 

Ce doit être ajouté : les journaux européens sont eux aussi, en cette affaire, dans leur rôle. Ils ne trouvent des gens présentables dans la politique israélienne que si ceux-ci sont de gauche. Ils ne montrent un intérêt pour les médias israéliens que dans la mesure où ceux-ci eux-mêmes sont de gauche, et ne citent en général que le plus à gauche des quotidiens israéliens, Haaretz. Ils ne sont pas sortis de l’obamalatrie, et ils détestent Netanyahou, quoi que dise et que fasse ce dernier.

 

Ce doit être précisé : John Boehner n’outrepasse aucunement ces fonctions en invitant Binyamin Netanyahou. Il se conduit en chef de la majorité républicaine au Congrès. Il voit qu’Obama ne cesse de violer la Constitution et de contourner le pouvoir législatif. Il voit aussi que Barack Obama pratique vis-à-vis de l’Iran une politique d’apaisement destinée à permettre au régime des mollahs de réintégrer les débats internationaux en position de force, de devenir puissance hégémonique au Proche Orient, voire se doter de l’arme atomique. Il veut que la majorité républicaine au Congrès fasse entendre sa voix, se donne les moyens que ses positions soient très audibles, et puisse réinstaurer des sanctions économiques et financières. Il sait que les Républicains vont sans doute se trouver face à un veto d’Obama. Il entend que le peuple américain soit pris à témoin. Il discerne que la parole de Binyamin Netanyahou aura un impact supérieur à celle de tous les Républicains du Congrès. Il veut cet impact. Il sait que Barack Obama a choisi une position de confrontation avec le Congrès : il assume la confrontation choisie par Obama, sans se soumettre.

 

Lire la suite.

 

DES MILLIERS D'ISRAËLIENS AUX FUNÉRAILLES DES SOLDATS TUÉS PAR LE HEZBOLLAH

Réd.

i24news, 29  janvier 2015

           

Des milliers d'Israéliens ont assisté jeudi aux funérailles de l’officier Yochai Kalangel et du sergent Dor Nini, tués mercredi à la frontière israélo-libanaise dans l'attaque du Hezbollah.

 

Plusieurs milliers de personnes se sont rendues jeudi matin sur le Mont Herzl à Jérusalem pour assister aux funérailles de l'officier Yochai Kalangel, 25 ans, tué dans l'embuscade, promu commandant à titre posthume. Le sergent Dor Nini, 20 ans, a lui été enterré jeudi après-midi, dans le cimetière de Shtulim, le village où il habitait près d’Ashdod (sud). Quelque 1.500 personnes sont venues assister aux funérailles.

 

Sept autres soldats ont été blessés (5 légèrement et 2 modérément), dans l’incident considéré comme le plus grave entre l’Etat hébreu et le mouvement terroriste depuis la Deuxième guerre du Liban en 2006.

 

Un casque bleu espagnol, Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, âgé de 36 ans, a également été tué lors des tirs d’artillerie de l’armée israélienne en représailles à l’attaque du Hezbollah.

 

Par ailleurs, l’enquête préliminaire concernant cette attaque meurtrière menée par le Hezbollah contre l’armée israélienne mercredi à la frontière libanaise a révélé jeudi que les soldats ont été autorisés à pénétrer à bord de véhicules non-blindés dans une zone particulièrement dangereuse, selon le site Ynet.

 

Selon les premiers résultats de l'enquête, les soldats de la brigade d'infanterie Givati circulaient dans des véhicules non-blindés dans une zone particulièrement exposée aux tirs du Hezbollah et dans laquelle ils n'avaient pas l'habitude d'opérer.

 

30 minutes se sont écoulées entre le moment où les soldats israéliens, dans un convoi de cinq véhicules, ont débuté leur ascension vers Har Dov, près de la frontière libanaise, et le moment où le Hezbollah a tiré plusieurs missiles antichar contre eux. Aucun signal ou avertissement concernant la possibilité d'une attaque imminente n’ont été transmis par les renseignements.

 

Lire la suite.

 

EGYPTE: HEURTS ENTRE ARMÉE ET DJIHADISTES DANS LE SINAÏ, 2 ENFANTS TUÉS

Réd.

i24news, 30 janvier 2015

 

De nouveaux heurts entre armée et djihadistes ont tué deux enfants vendredi dans l’instable péninsule égyptienne du Sinaï, où 30 personnes, en majorité des soldats, ont péri dans des attaques d’extrémistes que l’armée ne parvient pas à endiguer.

 

La vaste campagne lancée il y a plus d’un an dans le nord du Sinaï pour enrayer l’insurrection djihadiste n’a pas réussi à stopper les attentats spectaculaires contre les forces de l’ordre, régulièrement visées depuis que l’armée a destitué le président islamiste Mohamed Morsi en juillet 2013.

 

Jeudi soir, 30 personnes sont mortes dans de telles attaques coordonnées, rapidement revendiquées par la branche égyptienne de l’Etat islamique (EI), Ansar Beït al-Maqdess, le principal groupe djihadiste du pays.

 

Immédiatement après les attentats, l’armée a lancé de nouvelles offensives et à l’aube vendredi, deux enfants ont été tués dans des affrontements entre les militaires et des djihadistes.

 

Un bébé de six mois est mort après avoir été touché par une balle à la tête, et un enfant de six ans a péri dans la chute d’une roquette, dans le nord de la péninsule, ont affirmé des responsables de santé.

 

Les corps des 30 victimes de jeudi, en grande majorité des militaires, ont été transférés au Caire par les avions de l’armée, selon des responsables, qui n’étaient pas en mesure de préciser le bilan exact de chaque attentat.

 

La principale attaque s’est déroulée au coeur d’Al-Arich, le chef-lieu de la province du Nord-Sinaï. Des roquettes ont d’abord été tirées sur le quartier général de la police et une base militaire adjacente, avant qu’un kamikaze ne lance sa voiture bourrée d’explosifs sur l’entrée de la base, selon des responsables de la sécurité. Quelques minutes plus tard, des tirs de roquettes ont frappé un complexe résidentiel proche, où sont logés des officiers.

 

Dans cet assaut, 25 personnes au moins auraient été tuées, en grande majorité des militaires, selon un bilan précédent.

 

Un soldat a été tué dans une autre attaque contre un point de contrôle de l’armée à Rafah, à la frontière avec la bande de Gaza palestinienne.

 

Par ailleurs, un policier est mort dans l’explosion d’un bombe dans la ville de Suez.

 

Lire la suite.

 

 

« JE SUIS NISMAN » !

Pascale Davidovicz

http://www.tribunejuive.info, 24 Janvier 2015

 

Le 18 juillet 1994, un attentat contre l’Association Mutuelle Israélite Argentine à Buenos Aires faisait 85 morts et 300 blessés.

 

L’enquête a piétiné pendant vingt ans, bien que l’Iran ait été immédiatement soupçonnée par la justice argentine.

 

Le procureur Alberto Nisman, qui récupère le dossier en 2004, ne baisse pas les bras et continue d’accumuler les preuves qui débouchent sur une implication évidente de l’Iran et de sa protection de la part du gouvernement argentin.

 

Il réclame l’extradition de huit responsables iraniens, dont l’ancien ministre de la défense Ahmad Vahidi et l’ex-président Akbar Hachemi Rafsandjani.

 

La semaine dernière, le procureur Alberto Nisman, demandait l’ouverture d’une enquête pour entrave à l’enquête à l’encontre de la présidente argentine Cristina Kirchner, qu’il accusait, preuves téléphoniques à l’appui, d’avoir protégé l’Iran en échange de relations diplomatiques et commerciales, surtout liées au pétrole.

 

Dans un journal d’opposition argentin le procureur Alberto Nisman explique qu’il pourrait envoyer la présidente argentine Cristina Kirchner en prison et finir dans un cercueil.

 

Quelques heures avant d’être entendu par le Congrès argentin, il est retrouvé mort le 19 janvier à son domicile, dans sa salle de bain au milieu d’une flaque de sang, un revolver de calibre 22 mm à ses côtés.

Après l’avoir présenté comme un suicide, alors qu’il n’y a aucune trace de poudre sur les mains du procureur, la présidente Cristina Kirchner se ravise et dans un revirement surprenant, assure être convaincue qu’il ne s’agit pas d’un suicide et crie au complot !

 

Elle prétend qu’Alberto Nisman a été victime d’une opération orchestrée par des agents des services de renseignements déloyaux.

 

Pire encore, selon elle, le procureur aurait été manipulé et orienté vers de fausses pistes.

 

« Ils l’ont utilisé vivant et ensuite, ils avaient besoin de lui, mort. C’est triste et terrible » écrit-t-elle sur Facebook.

 

Elle est pathétique.

 

L'AGENCE D'ESPIONNAGE DU CANADA SURVEILLE DES MILLIONS DE TÉLÉCHARGEMENTS

Réd.

i24news, 30 janvier 2015

           

Des documents secrets fournis par l'ex-consultant en sécurité Edward Snowden et obtenus par le magazine en ligne The Intercept révèlent qu'une agence canadienne surveille des millions de téléchargements faits par des internautes à travers le monde dans le but d'identifier des extrémistes liés à des activités terroristes.

 

Le Centre de la sécurité des télécommunications (CST) canadien dispose de son propre programme de surveillance informatique d'envergure mondiale, comme son équivalent américain la National Security Agency (NSA).

 

Le programme du CST nommé Levitation recueille, analyse et stocke les données sur les téléchargements des internautes naviguant sur plusieurs sites populaires de partage de fichiers – tels que RapidShare ou le défunt Megaupload – et ce, dans plusieurs pays européens, asiatiques, africains et nord-américains.

 

De 10 à 15 millions de téléchargements sont répertoriés quotidiennement, peut-on lire dans une présentation PowerPoint hautement confidentielle du CST, publiée par CBC. Une situation qui inquiète un groupe de défense de l'accessibi­lité d'internet.

 

"Ces révélations démontrent que le CST est engagé dans la surveillance à grande échelle et sans mandat de nos activités privées en ligne, malgré des affirmations répétées du gouvernement à l'effet contraire", croit David Christopher, porte-parole du groupe canadien pour la neutralité de l'internet OpenMedia.ca, cité par The Intercept.

 

L'agence canadienne traque essentiellement les contenus liés au terrorisme, notamment des guides pour la production de bombes artisanales ou des vidéos de preneurs d'otages.

 

Seuls 350 "évènements" interessent les renseignements canadiens, sur les millions de téléchargements répertoriés, soit moins de 0.0001%.

 

La loi interdit au CST d'espionner les citoyens canadiens.

 

Le programme viserait exclusivement des téléchargements à l'étranger selon une réponse du CST aux questions de CBC. L'agence précise avoir mis "un nombre de mesures en place pour protéger les données privées de Canadiens qui se retrouvent incidemment dans ces opérations de renseignement à l'étranger".

 

NETANYAHU: « NOUS NE SOMMES PLUS CE PEUPLE SANS ETAT. NOUS NES SOMMMES PLUS UN PEUPLE IMPUISSANT. »

Réd.

JSSNews, 28 janvier 2015

           

Le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu a saisi l’occasion de la journée mondiale du souvenir de l’Holocauste mardi pour affirmer sa détermination à empêcher l’Iran d’avoir la bombe atomique et de commettre un « nouveau génocide » contre les Juifs.

 

Les Juifs et l’État d’Israël créé après la Deuxième Guerre mondiale sont visés par une haine remontant « à des temps immémoriaux », a dit Netanyahu au cours d’une visite au mémorial de Yad Vashem dédié aux victimes de l’Holocauste.

 

 « Certaines choses ne changent pas. Mais je peux vous dire, moi, ce qui a changé. Nous avons changé. Les Juifs ont changé. Nous ne sommes plus ce peuple sans État cherchant sans fin un refuge. Nous ne sommes plus un peuple impuissant suppliant les autres de nous aider », a-t-il dit, « Aujourd’hui nous sommes capables de nous protéger et de défendre notre liberté ».

 

« Les ayatollahs iraniens nient la réalité de l’Holocauste tout en préparant un nouveau génocide contre notre peuple. Que les choses soient claires : le peuple juif se défendra par lui-même contre toute menace », a-t-il dit.

 

L’accord nucléaire que les grandes puissances cherchent actuellement à conclure avec l’Iran laisserait la République islamique en mesure de produire l’arme nucléaire en quelques mois, a-t-il dit.

 

Il « ne manquerait pas de déclencher dans la région une course à l’arme nucléaire qui transformerait le Proche-Orient en un baril de poudre. Un tel accord est tout bonnement inacceptable pour Israël. Nous nous y opposerons, et vigoureusement », a-t-il dit.

 

Netanyahu s’est alarmé d’un retour de l’antisémitisme, non seulement dans « l’intolérant Proche-Orient » mais aussi en Occident. Comme les Juifs, l’État d’Israël est lui aussi visé, y compris par certains organes « prétendument éclairés » de la communauté internationale.

 

Il a évoqué les actions du Conseil des droits de l’homme des Nations unies, de la Cour pénale internationale et d’autres organisations pour dénoncer une « offensive » contre « la seule démocratie » de la région.

 

« Cette obsession vis-à-vis des Juifs et de leur État porte un nom. Cela s’appelle l’antisémitisme », a-t-il déclaré.

 

 

 

Nous partageons le deuil des familles des victimes du terrorisme islamiste en France.

 

Shabbat Shalom  à tous nos lecteurs!

 

IRAN, EMBOLDENED BY A FECKLESS WHITE HOUSE, INCHES CLOSER TO NUCLEAR WEAPON & REGIONAL HEGEMONY

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:

 

White House Going Nuclear on Netanyahu: Michael Goodwin, New York  Post, Jan. 24, 2015— Thou shall not cross Dear Leader.

Enabling Iran’s Nukes: Omri Ceren, Commentary, Jan. 15, 2015— The lies began at the very beginning, with assurances that American diplomacy had secured a “halt” in the Iranian nuclear program.

Iran’s Emerging Empire: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Jan. 22, 2015— While Iran’s march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran’s march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked.

Iran and the State of Obama-land: Ruthie Blum, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2015— In his State of the Union address last Tuesday, US President Barack Obama painted a rosy picture of America’s condition at home and abroad, presenting a delusional list of his own accomplishments since taking office six years ago.

 

On Topic Links

 

Ambassador Ron Dermer Explains Bibi’s Upcoming Visit to Washington (Video): Jewish Press, Jan. 26, 2015

Netanyahu's Speech: Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2015— Israel has traditionally been a non-partisan issue for Americans.

Iran Goes Ballistic: Yoel Guzansky & Yiftah S. Shapir, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2015

An Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program in What was Formerly ‘Syria’: J.E. Dyer, Jewish Press, Jan. 18, 2015

U.S. Must Connect the Dots Between Iran Talks and Hezbollah Violence: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Jan. 28, 2015     

Cheap Oil Won't Stop Iran: Mark Dubowitz & Jonathan Schanzer, National Interest, Jan. 27, 2015  

                                                                             

 

WHITE HOUSE GOING NUCLEAR ON NETANYAHU                                                   

Michael Goodwin                                                 

New York Post, Jan. 24, 2015

 

Thou shall not cross Dear Leader. With their guttersniping failing to stop Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned March speech before Congress, White House aides are unloading their full arsenal of bile. “He spat in our face publicly, and that’s no way to behave,” one Obama aide told an Israeli newspaper. “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.” It is pointless to say petty threats do not become the Oval Office. Trying to instruct this White House on manners recalls what Mark Twain said about trying to teach a pig to sing: It wastes your time and annoys the pig. Still, the fury is telling. It reminds, as if we could forget, that everything is always about Obama.

 

How dare Israel be more concerned with the existential threat of Iranian nukes than with Obama’s feelings? And what do members of Congress think they are, a separate branch of government or something? Yes, the presidency deserves respect, even when the president doesn’t. Although Obama routinely ignores lawmakers and their role in our constitutional system of checks and balances, there is an argument afoot that Congress should have taken the high road and consulted him before inviting Netanyahu. The argument has a point — but not a compelling one. To give Obama veto power over the visit would be to put protocol and his pride before the most important issue in the world. That is Iran’s march to nuclear weapons, and Obama’s foolish complicity. His claim in the State of the Union that “we’ve halted the progress of its nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material” would be laughable if it weren’t so dangerous. The claim earned him three ­Pinocchios, with four being an outright whopper, by The Washington Post.

 

Outside the president’s yes-men circle, nobody believes the mad mullahs will voluntarily give up their quest for the bomb. International sanctions made life difficult for the regime, especially with oil prices cratering, but Obama ­relaxed restrictions with nothing to show for it except negotiations where he keeps bidding against himself. He is desperate for a deal, and the Iranians know it, so they want to keep talking. They are gaining concessions and buying time, which means a reversal of their weapons program becomes much harder to achieve. The ticking doomsday clock is what led to the remarkable comments by Democrat Robert ­Menendez. After Obama warned that more sanctions, even if they would not take effect unless the talks collapsed, could scare off the Iranians, the New Jersey senator said Obama was repeating talking points that “come straight out of Tehran.” That’s a zinger for the ages — and has the added advantage of being true.

 

Any deal that leaves Iran with a capacity to make a nuke in weeks or months will ignite a regional arms race. As I have noted, American military and intelligence officials believe a nuclear-armed Iran will lead to a nuclear exchange with Israel or Arab countries within five years. Israel has the most to lose from an Iranian nuke, and ­Netanyahu can be expected to articulate a forceful argument against Obama’s disastrous course. That’s why House Speaker John Boehner invited him, and it’s why the president is so bent out of shape and refuses to meet with Netanyahu. He doesn’t want Americans to hear the other side. But we must. And Congress must not shirk its duty to demand a meaningful agreement with Iran, or none at all. An extra layer of sanctions waiting in the wings is good backup, but another pending bill is more important. It would demand that any agreement come before the Senate for a vote. Naturally, Obama opposes it, but that’s all the more reason why it is needed. As Ronald Reagan famously said about Soviet promises, “Trust but verify.” So must it be with Iran and, sadly, our own president.                         

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

                                                               

ENABLING IRAN’S NUKES                                                                                                        

Omri Ceren                                                                                                                            

Commentary, Jan. 15, 2015

 

The lies began at the very beginning, with assurances that American diplomacy had secured a “halt” in the Iranian nuclear program. Late on the night of November 23, 2013, President Barack Obama stood in the State Dining Room and announced that an interim agreement had been reached between Iran and the P5+1 global powers—the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, and China—that “halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program.” The White House distributed a fact sheet emphasizing that Iran had promised to “halt progress on the growth” of its low-enriched uranium stockpile and to “halt progress on its plutonium track” to a nuclear weapon. Senior-administration officials held a late-night briefing to stress for reporters that the concessions added up to “a halt of activities across the Iranian program”—the word halt was used more than a dozen more times—and that the coming months would also see sustained progress in investigating Iranian research into nuclear detonations. Reporters would be told in subsequent weeks that the agreement even prohibited Iran from further testing on ballistic missiles.

 

Those statements were, on the whole, false. But on that night, the president and those around him badly needed them to be true. So they pretended they were. By November 2014, the six-month interim Joint Plan of Action (JPOA) announced that night had been extended into a year (a contingency that had been formally built into and anticipated by the original text). The parties, unable to seal an agreement even after twelve months, then extended negotiations through the summer of 2015. The move stoked long-standing fears that the Iranians were using negotiations as a stalling tactic as they inched toward a bomb, but the president and his administration insisted that there was no harm in having more talks. Rerunning the claims from that first night, they insisted that Iran’s program had been “frozen” by the JPOA—and that the Iranians were living up to their end of the bargain by keeping it frozen. Those claims remain false.

 

It is a worthwhile exercise to go back and see how the Obama administration’s desperate quest began and why the president and his people are still clinging to hopes about these negotiations, which they have every reason to know are, in truth, delusional. Throughout 2013, domestic criticism of the Obama administration’s overtures toward the Islamic Republic was building. There were broad suspicions of conciliatory moves to Tehran, but nothing definite; as we now know, as of the beginning of the year, the State Department was still flatly lying to reporters about the existence of secret bilateral talks between Washington and Tehran. But in the summer of 2013, the victory of Hassan Rouhani in the Iranian presidential election emboldened those around Obama, and eventually the president himself, to escalate the ongoing outreach.

 

But by fall, Washington and its allies still had little to show for their efforts. Iran was still steadily progressing toward having a nuclear weapon, and Iranian leaders were still regularly boasting that nothing could stop their progress. Congressional leaders were eager to move forward on crippling sanctions legislation aimed at testing that braggadocio. The Obama administration had a different approach. Advisers in and around the White House insisted that Rouhani and his foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, could prevail upon the Iranian establishment and cut a deal addressing the country’s nuclear program. The duo just needed to be shown a little more goodwill; new pressure would scuttle their efforts back home. Congress was skeptical but continued watching from the sidelines even as Iranians marched closer every day to nuclear-weapons acquisition. On November 10, 2013, a much anticipated summit in Geneva— aimed at immediately stopping that very march in anticipation of further negotiations—collapsed. France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, discovered late in the talks that his P5+1 counterparts were preparing to acquiesce to a deal that lacked robust checks on Iran’s plutonium work. He publicly blasted the terms as “a sucker’s deal,” and the talks ended. Everyone agreed to reassemble in two weeks to try again.

 

American diplomats had failed and had looked bad doing it. They had been ready to sign, per the French, an agreement that fell short of stopping Iran’s drive toward a weapon. The Foundation for Defense of Democracies estimated that the Iranians had been offered roughly $20 billion in financial relief to take the deal, far in excess of what the administration could justify. Congressional leaders were beside themselves. The Obama administration had reassured them that it would strike a tough bargain with Iran only if Congress gave U.S. diplomats some breathing room. Instead, the diplomats had been willing to trade billions of dollars for a toothless entente. Well, if American negotiators lacked sufficient leverage to extract meaningful concessions from Iran, Congress would provide it to them. Legislation was prepared and shared that would immediately impose a new round of sanctions on Iran.

 

Democrats and Republicans from the House and Senate sent the president letters objecting to the reported contours of an emerging deal. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid took to the floor and declared that after the Thanksgiving recess, he would present and support bipartisan sanctions legislation against Iran if diplomacy continued to falter. The P5+1 meeting was to be held that weekend. Given all of this, President Obama badly needed Iranian leaders to accept an agreement immediately freezing their uranium, plutonium, and ballistic-missile programs in exchange for limited sanctions relief, and he needed it stat. The agreement that administration officials purported to have secured would have been a diplomatic masterstroke. It would have immediately frozen activity across the three core areas of Iran’s nuclear-weapons program—uranium enrichment, plutonium-related work, and ballistic-missile development—while dealing with the verification issue that hangs over the entire program. In exchange, the West would have provided what the White House fact sheet characterized as limited, temporary, and reversible relief from some sanctions. It would have lasted for only six months, a decent amount of time to test diplomacy. No diplomatic concessions would have been made up front.

 

But since American diplomats couldn’t get Iran to agree to a deal in which it would do any of those things, what they actually brought home was the Joint Plan of Action. It allowed Iran to continue making sustained progress along its uranium and plutonium tracks, contained no restrictions on ballistic-missile development, failed to open up Iran’s atomic facilities to verification, provided sufficient economic relief to stabilize Iran’s economy, and would last for at least 18 months. And it wasn’t even a deal yet. The parties were committed to the contours of a deal that would be outlined and implemented sometime in the future, which would turn out to be January 2014. Until then an “interim before the interim” period took hold, during which Iran was allowed to speed ahead with its nuclear program with zero new restrictions. It was only enough, it seems, to allow the White House to tell lawmakers that progress had been achieved—and that they would have to continue sitting on the sidelines lest they spoil it…

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

 

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                

                      

                                      

IRAN’S EMERGING EMPIRE    

 

Charles Krauthammer                                                                                                   

Washington Post, Jan. 22, 2015

 

While Iran’s march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran’s march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked. In Washington, that is. The Arabs have noticed. And the pro-American ones, the Gulf Arabs in particular, are deeply worried. This week, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized control of the Yemeni government, heretofore pro-American. In September, they overran Sanaa, the capital. On Tuesday, they seized the presidential palace. On Thursday, they forced the president to resign. The Houthis have local religious grievances, being Shiites in a majority Sunni land. But they are also agents of Shiite Iran, which arms, trains and advises them. Their slogan — “God is great. Death to America. Death to Israel” — could have been written in Persian.

 

Why should we care about the coup? First, because we depend on Yemen’s government to support our drone war against another local menace, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It’s not clear if we can even maintain our embassy in Yemen, let alone conduct operations against AQAP. And second, because growing Iranian hegemony is a mortal threat to our allies and interests in the entire Middle East. In Syria, Iran’s power is similarly rising. The mullahs rescued the reeling regime of Bashar al-Assad by sending in weapons, money and Iranian revolutionary guards, as well as by ordering their Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, to join the fight. They succeeded. The moderate rebels are in disarray, even as Assad lives in de facto coexistence with the Islamic State, which controls a large part of his country. Iran’s domination of Syria was further illustrated by a strange occurrence last Sunday in the Golan Heights. An Israeli helicopter attacked a convoy on the Syrian side of the armistice line. Those killed were not Syrian, however, but five Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and several Iranian officials, including a brigadier general. What were they doing in the Syrian Golan Heights? Giving “crucial advice,” announced the Iranian government. On what? Well, three days earlier, Hezbollah’s leader had threatened an attack on Israel’s Galilee. Tehran appears to be using its control of Syria and Hezbollah to create its very own front against Israel.

 

The Israelis can defeat any conventional attack. Not so the very rich, very weak Gulf Arabs. To the north and west, they see Iran creating a satellite “Shiite Crescent” stretching to the Mediterranean and consisting of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. To their south and west, they see Iran gaining proxy control of Yemen. And they are caught in the pincer. The Saudis are fighting back the only way they can — with massive production of oil at a time of oversupply and collapsing prices, placing enormous economic pressure on Iran. It needs $136 oil to maintain its budget. The price today is below $50. Yet the Obama administration appears to be ready to acquiesce to the new reality of Iranian domination of Syria. It has told the New York Times that it is essentially abandoning its proclaimed goal of removing Assad. For the Saudis and the other Gulf Arabs, this is a nightmare. They’re engaged in a titanic regional struggle with Iran. And they are losing — losing Yemen, losing Lebanon, losing Syria and watching post-U.S.-withdrawal Iraq come under increasing Iranian domination.

 

The nightmare would be hugely compounded by Iran going nuclear. The Saudis were already stupefied that Washington conducted secret negotiations with Tehran behind their backs. And they can see where the current talks are headed — legitimizing Iran as a threshold nuclear state. Which makes all the more incomprehensible President Obama’s fierce opposition to Congress’ offer to strengthen the American negotiating hand by passing sanctions to be triggered if Iran fails to agree to give up its nuclear program. After all, that was the understanding Obama gave Congress when he began these last-ditch negotiations in the first place.

 

Why are you parroting Tehran’s talking points, Mr. President? asks Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. Indeed, why are we endorsing Iran’s claim that sanctions relief is the new norm? Obama assured the nation that sanctions relief was but a temporary concession to give last-minute, time-limited negotiations a chance. Twice the deadline has come. Twice no new sanctions, just unconditional negotiating extensions. Our regional allies — Saudi Arabia, the other five Gulf states, Jordan, Egypt and Israel — are deeply worried. Tehran is visibly on the march on the ground and openly on the march to nuclear status. And their one great ally, their strategic anchor for two generations, is acquiescing to both.

                       

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                          

                                          

 

IRAN AND THE STATE OF OBAMA-LAND                                                                              

Ruthie Blum

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2015

 

In his State of the Union address last Tuesday, US President Barack Obama painted a rosy picture of America’s condition at home and abroad, presenting a delusional list of his own accomplishments since taking office six years ago. A careful dissection of each of his falsehoods – which were nearly as numerous as the standing ovations he received from the Democrats in the room every time he punctuated a sentence – could fill the pages of a lengthy book. But the abridged version is as follows: Everything would be even rosier if the Republicans were to stop opposing his policies, which not only have been making Americans healthier, wealthier and wiser, but have bridged gaps with countries all over the world. One didn’t know whether to laugh or cry while watching the lame duck remind us that he still has two more years of damage to inflict and veto powers to exercise.

 

Of most relevance to Israel, and to Americans who grasp the real and present danger of radical Islam, was the president’s position on the Islamic Republic of Iran. To lead into it, Obama first took credit for “stand[ing] united with people around the world who’ve been targeted by terrorists – from a school in Pakistan to the streets of Paris. We will continue to hunt down terrorists and dismantle their networks, and we reserve the right to act unilaterally, as we’ve done relentlessly since I took office to take out terrorists who pose a direct threat to us and our allies.” Purposely omitting the religion and stated goals of these generic “terrorists,” he went on to assert that “for the first time in a decade, we’ve halted the progress of [Iran’s] nuclear program and reduced its stockpile of nuclear material,” and assure Congress that he “will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this [diplomatic] progress.”

 

The giggles of glee from the mullahs in Tehran could be heard across the globe. You see, they have been speeding up their development of long-range missiles, while increasing their anti-Western rhetoric and openly threatening Israel with destruction. Oh, and with serious “retaliation” for Israel having killed a Revolutionary Guards commander during an airstrike on Hezbollah honchos in Syria last Sunday. Nor are Shi’ites the only Islamists emboldened by Obama’s behavior. The Sunni radicals – most notably Islamic State (the IS terrorist organization that has been committing mass atrocities against “infidels” the world over) – are just as buoyed by a weak and supplicant White House. Still, it is Iran that is on the brink of possessing nuclear weapons. This is why Speaker of the House John Boehner extended an invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to address Congress in early March. If anyone can spell out the Iranian threat – and how it relates to and governs the terrorism that Obama claimed to be fighting – it is Netanyahu. The timing of the invitation, which Netanyahu promptly accepted, was eerily apt. On Wednesday morning, an Arab terrorist from the Palestinian Authority boarded a bus in Tel Aviv and stabbed more than a dozen people, wounding several critically.

 

Battling terrorism is nothing new to Israelis. But whenever there is an attack in the White City, it serves as a reminder that the bloodshed against Jews and Israelis really has nothing to do with the so-called “occupation” of lands won in the Six Day War. The Palestinian leadership and media make no bones about their viewing the entire state of Israel as illegitimate and deserving of elimination. Like their Islamist brethren across the Middle East, the Palestinians are players in a global jihad against Christians and Jews. Obama doesn’t see it that way. On the contrary, as he pointed out in his address, he considers “the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world” to be on a par with “offensive stereotypes of Muslims.” He was thus far more angry about the “breach of protocol” made by Boehner and Netanyahu, for arranging a trip to Washington to warn about Iran, than about the terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.

 

And then came the real clincher: a Bloomberg news service report according to which the head of the Mossad told a congressional delegation visiting Israel the previous week that he opposed new sanctions on Iran, on the grounds that this would be “like throwing a grenade into the [diplomatic] process.” Though this did not sound the least bit plausible (and not merely because it goes against Netanyahu’s stance on the matter), it created a big media stir, which spurred an investigation into the allegation. On Thursday, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo issued a statement denying the claim. It turns out that what he had said was, in fact, the opposite – that sanctions have been effective, and that more “sticks,” not fewer, are needed in the “carrot-and-stick” approach with the Islamic Republic. Secretary of State John Kerry, however, was quick to use the misquote as proof that Netanyahu’s demand for tougher measures against Iran is both unreasonable and runs counter to the assessments of Israel’s top espionage echelon.

 

Each new incident revealing the depths of animosity on the part of the Obama administration toward Israel, coupled with its sidling up to the likes of Cuba, gives an energy boost to the enemies of Western democracy. But Obama is more concerned with the weather. No challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” he said, as Israelis in the Golan Heights and the Galilee prepared their bomb shelters for the next round of Iranian-sponsored rocket rain.

 

On Topic

 

Ambassador Ron Dermer Explains Bibi’s Upcoming Visit to Washington (Video): Jewish Press, Jan. 26, 2015—Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer. explains to his audience why PM Netanyahu had a moral obligation to come before Congress and speak about the Iranian nuclear threat, just as he had a moral obligation to go to France and march in the rally.

Netanyahu's Speech: Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2015— Israel has traditionally been a non-partisan issue for Americans.

Iran Goes Ballistic: Yoel Guzansky & Yiftah S. Shapir, Middle East Quarterly, Winter, 2015—While discussions of Iran's growing strategic threat focus almost exclusively on its nuclear capabilities and objectives, Tehran's massive ballistic missile arsenal poses a clear and present danger to both the oil installations of the Persian Gulf monarchies and to the Western military presence in the region.

An Iranian Nuclear Weapons Program in What was Formerly ‘Syria’: J.E. Dyer, Jewish Press, Jan. 18, 2015 —It was evident a year and a half ago that there would be no restoration of Syria, as we know it, under the Assad regime.

U.S. Must Connect the Dots Between Iran Talks and Hezbollah Violence: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Jan. 28, 2015      —The instinct in Washington is to dismiss the latest flare-up in violence along Israel’s northern border as just another incident in a long-running cycle of violence involving Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces.

Cheap Oil Won't Stop Iran: Mark Dubowitz & Jonathan Schanzer, National Interest, Jan. 27, 2015—As President Obama made clear in his State of Union address on Tuesday, U.S. officials are reasonably confident that they have Iran just where they want it.

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

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Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

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-ocrity of the Week: BBC’S HOLOCAUST TWEET SHOCKER (London) — January 27 was International Holocaust Memorial Day and the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. With this in mind and the aftermath of the Paris terror attack on a kosher supermarket, there has been a great deal of discussion and commemoration in the media. But could the BBC have asked a more crass, insensitive and downright offensive question on Twitter?: “Our one big question this morning: Is the time coming to lay the Holocaust to rest? #BBCTBQ” This was the question asked on The Big Questions, a BBC debate show on moral, ethical and religious issues. How inappropriate for the BBC to even be debating the topic with such a question precisely during the buildup to events commemorating the biggest crime in modern history. (Jewish Press, Jan. 27, 2015)

 

 

On Topic Links 

 

Should Netanyahu Address Congress?: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Jan. 27, 2015

The New Greek Government: Israel has Reason for Concern: Amb. Arye Mekel, BESA, Jan. 28, 2015

Obama’s Policies Bring the Golan to a Boil: J.E. Dyer, Jewish Press, Jan. 25, 2015

Radical Islam Poses a Real, Direct Threat to the West — Including Canada: Conrad Black, National Post, Jan. 24, 2015

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price,” — An unnamed senior U.S. official. The public spat between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration escalated further Friday evening, with U.S. officials reportedly charging that it will be “hard to trust” Netanyahu again, following the fallout from the announcement that the PM would address Congress in two months, a move he failed to coordinate with the White House. “At a critical juncture that requires close cooperation on strategic matters, he preferred to advance his political interests while disrupting the correct working relationship” between the two governments. The reference to “strategic matters” was understood to refer to the effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear weapons program, an issue on which the Israeli and American governments are deeply divided. (Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2015)

 

“[Given] the deep disagreements between Israel and the US” on the Iranian nuclear talks, Netanyahu felt that “he must present his stance even if that doesn’t suit Obama. This is a matter of substance,” —Senior Israeli sources. The sources charged that the US was proving “worryingly” willing to over-compromise in the nuclear talks and was ready to allow Iran to keep more than 6,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium. The Israeli sources further said that the US administration was taking advantage of the Israeli election season to seal a deal with Iran, and that this move must be opposed. (Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2015)

 

"The prime minister’s visit to Washington is intended for one purpose, and one purpose only… To speak up while there is still time to speak up. To speak up when there is still time to make a difference," — Ron Dermer, Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Dermer defended Netanyahu's decision to address a joint session of Congress next month, describing the move as a "sacred duty" for the Israeli leader in a critical period for the "survival" of the state. The current agreement under consideration by world powers and Iran, Dermer said, would leave Iran a "threshold nuclear power"— an outcome Israel cannot, and will not, accept. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

“Indeed, you saw what a single Muslim did with Canada and its Parliament of shirk, and what our brothers in France, Australia and Belgium did, may Allah have mercy upon them all and reward them with good on behalf of Islam,” — Islamic State spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. In a nine-minute audio clip distributed on Twitter, Adnani once again urged his followers to attack Canadians over the government’s decision to join the anti-I.S. military coalition. “And there were many others who killed, ran others over, threatened, frightened and terrorized people, to the extent that we saw the crusader armies deployed on the streets in Australia, Canada, France, Belgium and other strongholds of the cross,” he added. The release came shortly before the Armed Forces acknowledged that Canadian special forces had engaged in two more gun battles against I.S. Adnani’s speech also referred to attacks in Canada, including the Oct. 22 shootings on Parliament Hill, and warned that “what lies ahead will be worse — with Allah’s permission.” (National Post, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

“Death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews and victory to Islam,” — Yemen’s Shiite rebels, known as the Houthis, chanted in the capital, Sana’a. The chant is a variation of a popular Iranian slogan often chanted by Shiite militants in Iraq and supporters of Lebanon’s Hezbollah. On Friday, the U.S.-backed president Abed Rabbo Hadi and his cabinet resigned rather than submit at gunpoint to the rebels’ increasing demands for greater power. The fast-moving events have fanned fears of a sectarian conflict that could fuel support for al-Qaida, a Sunni movement that has links to some of the country’s tribes and is at war with both the Shiites and Hadi’s forces. (Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2015)

 

“The Houthis are a legitimate political constituency in Yemen and have a right to participate in affairs of the state,” —U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who said U.S. officials have been in touch with a “full spectrum of political leaders” in Yemen. “We urge them to be a part of a peaceful transition process. That said, we condemn their use of violence and are concerned by their non-compliance with agreements they have been signatories to.” U.S. officials say the developments in Yemen are already undermining military and intelligence operations against al-Qaida’s Yemen-based affiliate. (Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2015)

 

“The world should make every possible effort so that Israel ends its criminal attack and brutality against Palestinians,”—Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister of Greece, and the head of the nation’s far-left Syriza coalition, in a statement from last year. Tsipras, an ex-Communist, and his Syriza party stormed to power in Sunday's snap election on a wave of anger against German-backed austerity that has driven up poverty and pushed unemployment over 25 percent. Syriza has constantly identified itself with the Palestinian cause and its program includes a demand for abolition of Greece’s military cooperation with Israel and the support for the creation of a Palestinian state. Tsipras’ party colleagues and his own inner circle have repeatedly attacked Israel and the "Zionists" claiming that they are not antisemitic, just ''anti-Zionist.'' Hamas on Tuesday congratulated Tsipras, hailing his opposition to "Israeli crimes, aggression, and siege on Gaza." (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2015)

 

“The Greeks have the right to elect whoever they want; we have the right to no longer finance Greek debt,” —Hans-Peter Friedrich, a senior member of German chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc. “The Greeks must now pay the consequences and cannot saddle German taxpayers with them,” he added. The victory of Syriza, who have vowed to renegotiate Greece’s debt, was cheered by anti-establishment politicians left and right across Europe as proof that Brussels, at the urging of Germany, has gone too far in pushing spending cuts that impoverish citizens. But beneath the arguments over austerity is a deeper conflict of democratic wills, between the verdict of voters in Greece, and those in Germany, Finland and the Netherlands, who do not want their taxes used to underwrite a blank check for countries that get into financial trouble. (New York Times, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

“The feeling is the same here as it was the Germans left Greece in World War II. Today we begin a new day,” — Fotis Mazarrakis, a lawyer in Athens. At street rallies in the Greek capital, Syriza voters danced, waved Syriza flags and sang, in English, “Power to the people.” Tsipras’s first act as Greece’s new prime minister was to lay flowers at the National Resistance Memorial at Kaisariani, a suburb in Athens where hundreds of communist national resistance fighters were executed by the Nazis on May 1 1944. (Globe & Mail, Jan. 25, 2015 & Guardian, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

“Today I think it is important to choose what we want…Are we for freedom or for something else?” —Zineb El-Rhazoui, a journalist with the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, at a Montreal news conference Monday. Rhazoui, whose visit was organized by a pro-secularism group, called on Western countries to take a stand in favour of secular values. Rhazoui was in Morocco at the time of the Jan. 7 terror attacks that killed 12 journalists and five other people. “It is out of the question that our colleagues died for nothing, that they be censored after their death, that we not continue to produce satirical journalism as we always have, or that we submit to those who make deals with crime and terrorism to silence us,” she said. Muslims must learn to accept that when it comes to satire, no subject is out of bounds — including their religion, she said. Rhazoui said she was in favour of the charter of values proposed by the former Parti Québécois government, which would have barred public-sector workers like teachers and health-care worker from wearing such religious garb as the Muslim head scarf or Jewish skullcap. “I think it’s a debate that is necessary today, including in Quebec, because free and democratic countries have always thought they were not subject to religion, but in reality, we are realizing today that it is important to adopt laws that protect our freedom. That is the issue,” she said. (Montreal Gazette, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

“Free speech has to include the right to insult Islam,” —Mark Steyn, Canadian-born writer and conservative political commentator. “Not because necessarily anyone approves of insulting Islam, but simply because free speech by definition is for the stuff you don’t approve of. And that is why it’s important for deeply observant Catholics to recognize that a foul-mouthed beery comedian on open-mike night in Hamilton has the right to urinate all over the Catholic Church. Not because it’s a good thing to do, and not because you approve of what he’s saying, but because free speech is in the end for all the stuff you revile and that offends you. So when the CBC say they’re not going to show these critical elements of a news story because it will offend people, they are on the wrong side. Extending special privilege to Islam corrodes free speech,” Steyn said. The typical cultural response to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist atrocity initially reflected the “moral vanity” of showing solidarity by “waving pencils” and publishing cartoons about the pen being mightier than the sword, Steyn said, but then it tipped over into “absurdity” as so many media refused to publish the cartoons for fear of causing offence. (National Post, Jan. 25, 2015)

 

“I’m going to go Jew-bashing. Haha,” — text message by Balawi Sultan, one of four Muslim teenagers who appeared in a British court for a pre-meditated attack on a Jew in Gateshead, UK last July. The victim was saved by a family friend who heard his screams. Prosecutors said that the gang targeted the man because he was wearing a black hat and suit, traditionally worn by Haredim. Gateshead hosts a large Haredi population. (Jewish Press, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

"For a time, we thought that the hatred of Jews had finally been eradicated. But slowly the demonization of Jews started to come back," —Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress. Lauder made his bleak assessment on the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, speaking next to the gate and the railroad tracks that marked the last journey for more than a million people murdered at Auschwitz-Birkenau. He said his speech was shaped by the recent terrorist attacks in France that targeted Jews and newspaper satirists. "Once again, young Jewish boys are afraid to wear yarmulkes on the streets of Paris and Budapest and London. Once again, Jewish businesses are targeted. And once again, Jewish families are fleeing Europe," Lauder said. Europe also saw a spasm of antisemitism last summer during the war in Gaza, with protests in Paris turning violent and other hostility across the continent. "This vilification of Israel, the only Jewish state on earth, quickly became an opportunity to attack Jews," Lauder said. "Much of this came from the Middle East, but it has found fertile ground throughout the world." (ABC News, Jan. 27, 2015)

 

“The greatest debt we have today is to pass on the memory of their lives to others, their desire and will to live,” —Halina Birenbaum, who was at Auschwitz-Birkenau as a child, said of those who were killed at the camps. “Only in my memories, I can be with my loved ones who died here. Only in my memories, I can recognize right from wrong…People forget what Auschwitz was,” Birenbaum said, “and that terrifies me, because I know to what kind of hell it leads.” (New York Times, Jan. 27, 2015)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

TWO SOLDIERS KILLED, SEVEN HURT IN ATTACK ON LEBANON BORDER (Beirut) — Two soldiers were killed Wednesday when an Israeli army patrol came under anti-tank fire from Hezbollah operatives in the northern Mount Dov region along the border with Lebanon. Israel responded to the attack with artillery strikes in southern Lebanon. Two Lebanese officials said Israel targeted the border villages of Majidiyeh, Abbasiyeh and Kfar Chouba with at least fifty shells. A Spanish United Nations peacekeeper was killed, Lebanese reports said. Hezbollah said in a statement that a squad from the “fallen martyrs of the Quneitra brigade” had attacked the Israeli convoy in retaliation for an alleged Israeli airstrike near Quneitra, just over the border in Syria, last week that killed at least seven, including an Iranian general and a senior commander in the organization. (Times of Israel, Jan. 28, 2015)

 

CLASHES IN EGYPT KILL SIXTEEN (Cairo) — Street clashes between antigovernment protesters and police left at least sixteen people dead on Sunday as authorities imposed tight security to prevent an outbreak of protests marking the fourth anniversary of Egypt’s pro-democracy uprising. The fighting throughout downtown Cairo, the suburb of Giza and Alexandria injured at least 38 people. Despite the small outbreaks of violence, the streets of downtown Cairo were relatively free of the kind of mass protests that forced out former President Hosni Mubarak in an uprising that began on Jan. 25, 2011. Since Morsi was overthrown and arrested in 2013, his mostly Islamist followers have staged regular protests demanding that he be released and returned to power. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 25, 2015)

 

KURDISH FORCES DECLARE VICTORY IN KOBANI (Istanbul) —Kurdish forces declared victory in the battle for the Syrian border city of Kobani, but said they still face a daunting challenge in pushing Islamic State from nearly 400 surrounding villages. Officials also cautioned that much of the city is still uninhabitable after four months of intense warfare, offering little relief for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled across the border into Turkey. A local Syrian Kurdish militia was aided by 150 Iraqi Kurdish fighters and hundreds of airstrikes by an international coalition in the seesaw fight to stem the advance of I.S. Meanwhile, Turkish military police reportedly used tear gas to try to prevent Kurds from crossing the border to Kobani. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 27, 2015) 

 

FACEBOOK BLOCKS TURKISH USERS FROM VIEWING PAGES DEEMED OFFENSIVE (Istanbul) — Facebook has reportedly blocked Turkish users’ access to a number of pages that were deemed offensive to the Prophet Muhammad after a court threatened to block the social network entirely. Facebook made the move following a court order issued Sunday in Ankara. This comes on the heels of an ongoing government crackdown on critical political expression in Turkey. Recent legislation has been passed increasing state control over the Internet, and several prominent journalists are under investigation for expressing criticism of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) over Twitter. (National Post, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

KERRY’S VISIT TO NIGERIA COINCIDES WITH MAJOR BOKO HARAM OFFENSIVE (Lagos) — Just as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was preaching the importance of a peaceful Nigerian election in the coastal city of Lagos on Sunday, Boko Haram was engaged in a series of violent attacks in the northern city of Maiduguri, killing an unknown number of soldiers and civilians. Kerry’s visit was meant to reiterate U.S. commitment to a successful democracy in Nigeria, which Kerry called “an increasingly important strategic partner.” The U.S. was worried by rumors the elections would be delayed due to increased violence in the country’s north, where up to 2,000 may have been killed in a Boko Haram attack earlier this month. (Foreign Policy, Jan. 25, 2015)

 

US SGT RELEASED BY TALIBAN FOR FIVE GITMO PRISONERS TO BE CHARGED WITH DESERTION (Washington) — Reports are swirling that U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will be charged with desertion. Bergdahl walked out of his army base in Afghanistan in 2009 without permission, and was later captured by the Taliban and held as a prisoner for five years. In a highly-publicized and widely-criticized move, the U.S. exchanged five prisoners held at Guantanamo last year for Bergdahl’s freedom. After his release, the army conducted an investigation into Bergdahl’s leaving his base. Army General Mark Milley, the command authority in the Bergdahl case, has not publicly released his findings. Nevertheless, people are reporting that military sources confirmed that Sgt. Bergdahl will be charged with desertion. (Jewish Press, Jan. 27, 2015)

 

TEEN GETS PROBATION FOR ASSAULTING WOMAN AT PROTEST (Calgary) — A young pro-Israeli woman says every aspect of her life has been negatively affected since she was punched in the face by a pro-Palestinian teen, who was sentenced Monday to 12 months probation for assault. “I have never felt fear like the fear I experienced that day,” Samantha Hamilton, 23, wrote in a victim impact statement before the male teen, now 17, was sentenced. The incident took place last July after about 300 people gathered near Calgary’s City Hall displaying Palestinian flags and signs to protest Israeli missile attacks in Gaza. The prosecutor said about 15 pro-Israeli counter-protesters, including Hamilton and some family members, gathered across the street, and displayed Israeli flags and placards. Heated words were exchanged and a pro-Palestinian group crossed the street, resulting in a physical altercation, court heard. (Calgary Herald, Jan. 26, 2015)

 

CANADIAN MUSLIM GROUP FUNNELLED $300K TO HAMAS-LINKED CHARITY (Toronto) — One of the country's largest Muslim organizations gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Hamas-linked charity. The Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), based in Mississauga, owns or operates at least 20 Islamic schools and 15 mosques in Ontario, Alberta and Quebec. MAC's website says the group "has no organizational link or affiliation with other organizations." However, an RCMP search warrant reportedly links the group to IRFAN-Canada, a banned charity group and a listed terrorist organization also based in Mississauga. The Conservative government declared IRFAN-Canada a terrorist group on April 29, one day after the RCMP raided the charity. The government said "between 2005 and 2009, IRFAN-Canada transferred approximately $14.6-million worth of resources to various organizations associated with Hamas." (Toronto Sun, Jan. 28, 2015)

 

REPORT ON ANTISEMITISM FINDS FRANCE IS MOST DANGEROUS COUNTRY FOR JEWS (Paris) — France is the “most dangerous country for Jews today,” the Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Ministry asserted Sunday. According to the report, which was presented ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Muslim extremists are the “main instigators of global antisemitism.” The extreme Left, the report asserted, sometimes makes common cause with Islamic extremists. In the surge in antisemitism during Israel’s Gaza incursion last summer, when incidents rose by 400 percent, the primary perpetrators were Muslims, the report stated. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2015)

 

POLISH GROUP DEMANDS IDA ADD CONTEXT ABOUT GERMAN OCCUPATION (Warsaw) — The Oscar-nominated film Ida is under fire, accused by the Polish ADL of failing to acknowledge the German occupation of Poland. The film, which is a front-runner for the foreign-language Oscar, tells the story of a young novice, Ida, in 1960s Poland who is just a few days away from taking her vows when she discovers that her parents were Jewish, killed during the war by the family who had hidden them from the Nazis. In a letter to the Polish Film Institute, the league says that the film might leave a viewer who is unfamiliar with the history of World War II with the impression that Poland was responsible for the Holocaust. The league has started a petition asking for the producers to provide contextualizing information to make it clear that Poland was under German occupation, and that although hiding Jews was punishable by death, many Poles did so. (New York Times, Jan. 23, 2015)

 

RETIRED JOURNALIST TO RUN FOR TORY NOMINATION IN MOUNT ROYAL (Montreal) — Pascale Déry, a former TV journalist, is jumping into the Conservative fold, hoping to help the party shed its negative image in Quebec and win the long-coveted seat of Mount Royal. The fact that Déry is Jewish stands to help her win the nomination in the riding, which has a large Jewish population and has long been courted by Harper’s team. A key selling point for the Conservative Party in the riding is the Harper government’s steadfast support for Israel. Déry, 38, whose parents are Sephardic Jews from Morocco, said the government’s position helps to explain why she was attracted to the party. Other potential candidates include Robert Libman, a former provincial MNA and long-standing defender of anglophones’ rights, and newspaper editor Beryl Wajsman. (Globe & Mail, Jan. 22, 2015)

 

On Topic Links 

 

Should Netanyahu Address Congress?: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Jan. 27, 2015—Presumably, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu weighed his options carefully before accepting U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s invitation to address the joint session of Congress.

The New Greek Government: Israel has Reason for Concern: Amb. Arye Mekel, BESA, Jan. 28, 2015 —Greece chose a new leader this week, the 40 year old Alexis Tsipras of the left-wing party Syriza.

Obama’s Policies Bring the Golan to a Boil: J.E. Dyer, Jewish Press, Jan. 25, 2015 —The attack in the Golan this week, on a convoy of Hezbollah operatives and Iranian military officials, is a sign that things are going to get worse in the volatile area that encompasses southern Lebanon, Syria, northern Jordan, and northern Israel. 

Radical Islam Poses a Real, Direct Threat to the West — Including Canada: Conrad Black, National Post, Jan. 24, 2015 —It is distressing to witness the waffling and quibbling in both federal opposition parties over Canada’s contribution to the anti-terrorist effort in the Middle East, and even more depressing to note the failure of the opposition to show any recognition of the nature of the intensifying struggle between the West and radical Islam.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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/.

 

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible membership contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address or “Donate” button on Website)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s Briefing series attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld: HOW ISRAEL CAN FIGHT MEDIA-BASED DELEGITIMIZATION

 

 

 

 

 

Media play a major role in the delegitimization and demonization of Israel.  Their share in this process cannot be assessed scientifically. Yet over 40% of citizens of the European Union — aged 16 years or older – believe that Israel is a Nazi state, or alternatively, think that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians. There is no doubt that this demonic image of Israel has been partly caused by many media. 

 

Several studies show these statistics. The largest study on this subject was conducted and published in 2011 by the University of Bielefeld, Germany. It covered seven EU countries in which more than half of the European population lives:  the Netherlands, Italy, Hungary, UK, Germany, Portugal, and Poland.[1]  Studies in Switzerland[2] and in Norway[3] gave similar results. 

 

Evidently, there are many other factors besides the media which have led to these abysmal beliefs. Politicians, trade unions, NGOs, various — mostly liberal — church leaders, academics, the Palestinian lobby, as well as others, play a major role in the demonization process. Contributors include the United Nations, and some of its associated bodies, such as the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

 

Media and Media Watchers

 

Over the past decades, anti-Israeli media have made the most of a unique situation. The freedom of the press includes the freedom to cheat, lie, incite, often to extremes, and the liberty to ignore essential facts at will. Media have the power to criticize others, relentlessly and sometimes brutally, and yet there are few ways to take them to task. There are hardly any checks and balances. The work of their staff is only subject to that particular media's rules of self-regulation. Except in extreme cases, journalists are not accountable to anyone outside their profession.

 

Reporters are free to choose which facts they will mention and which they will omit, even if such tactics lead to major distortions of their readers' perceptions. Their means of slanting information, if they wish to do so, are almost unlimited. In addition, media rarely criticize each other, even though it would create much greater accountability among journalists.

 

The battle against big media’s delegitimization of Israel is being fought by a few media watch organizations. Media watching can be defined as critically examining one or more media on a regular or recurrent basis. It usually results from a conviction that certain media are biased against a cause that the monitoring body or individual supports. Media-watching activities include collecting, analyzing, and publishing data.[4]

 

Media watchers are fulfilling an important role in exposing the bias of anti-Israeli media. Yet even the best known among them, such as CAMERA[5] and HonestReporting[6], only reach a limited number of addressees if one compares it to the audience of the media themselves.  

 

The Absence of an Israeli Anti-Propaganda Agency

 

In the current reality, Israel is being attacked on many fronts. The main one is the military battlefield, and to counteract this, Israel has developed an advanced structure – the Israeli army, the IDF.  Another front concerns intelligence, and Israel has three intelligence services which have undertaken remarkable feats over the decades: the Mossad, the domestic intelligence service, Shabak, and the military intelligence service, Aman.  The growing number of cyberattacks on Israel has led to heavy investment in cybersecurity.[7] Israel hopes to become a world leader in this field. 

 

In the area of propaganda, however, which has led to the demonization and partial delegitimization of Israel, there is no such opposing force. One might say that at present, many delegitimizers and demonizers have “a free anti-Semitic lunch.” The situation can only improve in a substantial manner if the Israeli government sets up a properly funded anti-propaganda structure.  Such an agency would lay the groundwork for action concerning biased media and others who demonize and delegitimize Israel or the Israeli government.

 

The anti-propaganda agency’s research department would have to establish a database which would contain both historical and behavioral information on specific enemies of Israel, whether their anti-Semitism is partial or full-blown. A newspaper, for example, can be an enemy of Israel even if it occasionally publishes a positive item about the country, in between publishing mainstream negative information on Israel. Post-modern times have greatly strengthened and expanded the phenomenon of the “part-time anti-Semite.” These are people who commit anti-Semitic acts intermittently, and on a few occasions may even make positive gestures toward Jews and Israel. Several contemporary left-wing and other political leaders regularly commit anti-Semitic acts, including applying double standards against Israel. Similarly, media can be part-time enemies of Israel. 

 

A second activity of the Israeli anti-propaganda structure would be to monitor ongoing issues. On some media, the major pro-Israeli media watchers are already doing an excellent job and have done so for many years. Their work would be an extremely valuable asset for the monitoring division of a future anti-propaganda agency.

 

The third division of the anti-propaganda agency would deal with activism. This is a delicate subject for a state-controlled body. Yet the intelligence services of many countries are activist bodies under the aegis of the government. The operational branch of the new Israeli structure would have to develop increasingly effective methods to fight the anti-Israeli propaganda, as well as anti-Semitism. It would have to assess which activities it would undertake itself, and which would be delegated to and implemented by others, such as other government services, non-governmental bodies in Israel and abroad, or even some individuals.[8] As far as the battle against hostile media is concerned, the reality of free speech within democracies dictates that this fight has to be conducted in a more sophisticated matter.   
 

The News Agencies

 

In today’s media market, much of the international news is provided by big news agencies. The most important ones by far are Reuters and The Associated Press, both of which are biased against Israel. A former AP journalist managed to publicly expose the distorted methods of AP’s Israel office. In August 2014, after he had left AP, Matti Friedman wrote about his experiences working at the agency’s Israel office. In his words:

 

Israeli actions are analyzed and criticized, and every flaw in Israeli society is aggressively reported. In one seven-week period, from Nov. 8 to Dec. 16, 2011, I decided to count the stories coming out of our bureau on the various moral failings of Israeli society – proposed legislation meant to suppress the media, the rising influence of Orthodox Jews, unauthorized settlement outposts, gender segregation, and so forth. I counted 27 separate articles, an average of a story every two days. In a very conservative estimate, this seven-week tally was higher than the total number of significantly critical stories about Palestinian government and society, including the totalitarian Islamists of Hamas that our bureau had published in the preceding three years.[9]

 

Friedman later wrote an article in The Atlantic entitled, “What the Media Gets Wrong about Israel.” The article further exposed how the AP intentionally reported stories that cast Israel in a negative light and chose not to report on Palestinians behaving badly.[10]

 

The reaction of Friedman’s former boss at AP, Steven Gutkin bordered on the ridiculous. It consisted mainly of an ad hominem attack on Friedman. Strangely enough, his former boss chose to publicize his response using the local Indian website Goa Streets, his new place of employment after leaving AP.[11]

 

Searching for those who will tell

 

Friedman’s publications may serve as an excellent example for the potential activities of the anti-propaganda structure. Friedman made his disclosures at his own initiative. There are a few other journalists who have done the same.  For instance, Hans Mol, a retired journalist of the Dutch liberal daily, NRC-Handelsblad, has published a book about the paper’s anti-Israeli positions. He writes, “In its reporting about Moroccans, about Muslims and about Islam, about Israel and the Middle-East conflict, the paper has increasingly chosen its side: in favor of Hamas and against Israel, in favor of multiculturalists against critics of Islam; for covering up, and against disclosure.”[12]

 

The anti-propaganda agency, in collaboration with media watchers, could start to systematically search for journalists who have worked for major media and then either left or retired. Among these journalists, they could look for those who are either pro-Israel or have grievances against their former employer and who are willing to relate information about how the anti-Israel bias functions. Such a tactic is a low-cost activity which can yield much information.  

 

The classic form of media analysis can also be very useful. It is not difficult to get an idea of the pronounced bias AP maintains against Israel, beyond what Friedman has already written. Part of it is easy accessible online, and much can be obtained from media watchers such as CAMERA and HonestReporting. 

 

A Few Examples

 

The anti-Israel bias can be illustrated by some examples. In 2001, Associated Press was one of several organizations who received HonestReporting’s Dishonest Reporting Award. HonestReporting mentioned, for example, that when a Palestinian sniper murdered a 10-month-old Jewish baby in Hebron, the AP published an article titled, “Jewish toddler dies in West Bank.” They made no mention of who perpetrated the murder, and readers could easily get the impression that the baby had died from natural causes or from an unfortunate accident. Several other such examples were given by HonestReporting.[13]

 

Later in 2001, American journalist Jeff Helmreich analyzed in a detailed article how AP had covered Yasser Arafat’s Al-Naqba Speech that May. He wrote, “By the time it reached the newspapers, entire sentences and clauses had been excluded; moderating words had been added; fiery attacks — like a slur about the United States — had been cleaned out; statements had been condensed, enhanced, or otherwise altered. In short, AP's purported ‘excerpts’ of Arafat's remarks were at best edited, at worst fabricated. Moreover, they served to distort — and significantly soften — the message that passed through Arafat's lips.”[14]

 

As previously indicated, one only has to go through CAMERA and HonestReporting’s material about AP in order to start building up a sizable database of its bias and errors. On March 3, 2003, AP published an obituary for a former Israeli diplomat, Shlomo Argov. CAMERA points out that the article mentioned that his attempted assassination in London in 1982 by Palestinian terrorists had triggered Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. Yet the obituary conveniently neglected to mention the seminal factors which prompted the Lebanon invasion – the constant shelling, illegal arms buildup, and terrorism. AP thus seriously misrepresented history.[15]

 

Later in 2003, HonestReporting pointed out that on November 8th, AP had released a list of recent terror attacks that had occurred worldwide. The list noted incidents Islamic terrorism that had taken place since 1998 around the globe, but completely ignored all Palestinian attacks that occurred in Israel. The next day, Reuters released a similar list of “worst guerrilla attacks since September 11th”.  It omitted all terror attacks in Israel.[16]

 

A more recent example of AP bias occurred in October 2014. A terrorist from East Jerusalem rammed his car into a crowd, killing two people, one of them an infant, and injuring several more. The terrorist was shot by the police. AP reported on this incident in an article headlined, “Israeli Police Shoot Man in East Jerusalem.” The article also began with the words, “Israeli police say they have shot a man whose car slammed into a crowded train stop in east Jerusalem, in what they suspect was an intentional attack.” Only after a public outcry was the article edited to reflect what had really happened. An analysis of this case by Israeli journalist Ariel Cahana also describes how other big media also distorted this incident by presenting it as a road accident and not as an intentional terror attack on civilians.[17]

 

All of these examples are but a small selection of the bias concerning AP, a single, albeit important source for many media. It could easily be expanded to dozens, if not hundreds, of other media. 

 

A similar analysis could be made of Reuters’ reporting. CAMERA has also devoted much attention to The New York Times, which is among the world’s most important media.[18] CAMERA currently monitors its activities and has publications on the paper’s bias, systematically covering articles of this daily on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during certain periods.

 

Media watchers can publicize errors and bias, and they can attempt to discuss such bias with media editors. Sometimes they even come up with innovative solutions. In January 2014, CAMERA put up a three-story billboard advertisement on a building facing the Times’ headquarters. The initial text read, “Would a great newspaper slant the news against Israel? The New York Times does.” The text went on to say: “Misrepresenting facts, omitting key information, skewing headlines and photos.” Under this it said, “Stop the bias. CAMERA.”[19]
 

 

The Israeli Government Must Step In

 

There is a limit to what voluntary, grass-roots organizations can do. They can expose media, but they cannot punish their bias. The Israeli government must step in and develop the media strategy of a future anti-propaganda agency. 

 

This has to be done not by limiting freedom of speech, but on the basis of limiting the publications of lies. Israeli government officials can start exposing biased media. For example, at the start of press conferences, they can mention the most recent proven bias of one of the media present. Israel can refuse to provide press cards to biased reporters, indicating that these cards are not intended for non-reporters, i.e., frequent liars and anti-Israel inciters. 

 

All this could be but a very primitive beginning for an anti-propaganda agency. One has to realize that the Israeli army and the Israeli intelligence services today are far more sophisticated than when they began their activities. A similar process would occur with a governmental anti-propaganda agency, once it is established. Its methods would advance over time. 



[1] library.fes.de/pdf-files/do/07908-20110311.pdf.

[2] “Kritik an Israel nicht deckungsgleich mit antisemitischen Haltungen,” gfs.bern, 28 March 2007. (German)

[3] “Antisemittisme i Norge? Den norske befolkningens holdninger til jøder og andre minoriteter,” HL-senteret, 20 May 2012, http://www.hlsenteret.no/publikasjoner/antisemittisme-i-norge. (Norwegian)

 

[4] Manfred Gerstenfeld and Ben Green, “Watching the Pro-Israeli Media Watchers,” Jewish Political Studies Review 16, 3-4 (Fall 2004): 33-58.

[5] http://www.camera.org/

[6] http://honestreporting.com/

[7] “Netanyahu: We’re building a digital Iron Dome,” Jerusalem Post, 1 January 2013.

 

[8] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “How to efficiently fight anti-Israel propaganda?,” The Jerusalem Post, 25 November 2014.

[9] Matti Friedman, “An Insider’s Guide to the Most Important Story on Earth,” Tablet, 26 August 2014.

[10] Matti Friedman, “What the Media Gets Wrong About Israel,” The Atlantic, 30 November 2014.

[11] Steven Gutkin, “My Life As An AP Bureau Chief In Israel,” Goa Streets, 25 September 2014.

 

[12] Hans Mol, Hoe de nuance verdween uit een kwaliteitskrant; NRC Handelsblad neemt stelling tegen Israel, (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2011) 10. [Dutch]

[13] “Dishonest Reporting ‘Award’ for 2001,” HonestReporting, 7 January 2002.

[14] Jeff Helmreich, “Journalistic License: Professional Standards in the Print Media’s Coverage of Israel,” The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 15 August 2001.

[15] “Thumbs Down to Steve Weizman, CAMERA, 3 March 2003.

[16] “AP, Reuters Omit Terror in Israel,” HonestReporting, 12 November 2003.

[17] Ariel Cahana, “How the Murder of a Jewish Baby is Reported Worldwide,” Israel National News, 24 October 2014.

[18] “Indicting Israel: New York Times Coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,” CAMERA, 15 October 2013.

[19] Andrea Levin, “CAMERA Billboard Campaign Calls out New York Times Bias against Israel,” 27 January 2014, www.camera.org.

 

 

Doris Strub Epstein: GROUP FORMING TO RAISE PUBLIC AWARENESS OF YEZIDI GENOCIDE; “THE WORLD IS SILENT” SAYS YAZIDI SPOKESMAN

 

 

 

 

 

The genocidal atrocities being perpetrated daily on the Yazidi people by the Islamic State  have vanished from media radar.   They have been targeted by the IS  for death, forced conversion and sexual slavery. The killing, the torture of thousands; the abduction of girls as young as eight, raped, sold, used as sex slaves by IS fighters, continues unabated. 

Last Friday morning a group met with Yazidis at the Zionist Centre on Marlee, to hear their story and to help raise public awareness of their plight. Participating was Dr. Mordechai Kedar, renowned Arab and Middle East expert, whose cutting edge ideas and leadership abilities have led many to call him the Winston Churchill of our day.  A professor at Bar Ilan University, he also served for many years in the  IDF's Intelligence, specializing on all facets of Islam.  He was in town for a series of lectures.

Hearing Mirza Ismail talk about his people, was eerily reminiscent of the history of the  Jewish people.  He is Chairman of the  Yezidi Human Rights Organization International.  Like the Jews, the Yezidis are an ancient  people, dating back 6,000 years.  Their origin is in the heart of Mesopotamia, the birth place of civilization. They have been attacked again and again over the centuries by Islamic forces, "just because we have a different culture and religion".  Today they are on the verge of annihilation.  "And the world is silent", he told the group in despair.  The Yazidis have an ancient monotheistic religion that is neither Christian nor Muslim.

The present plight of the Yazidis is disturbingly similar to what happened to the Jewish people during the Holocaust. They were persecuted and targeted for  genocide simply because they were Jews and were abandoned by the world.  This time the enemy is wearing black hoods instead of brown shirts.

There are 500,000 -700,000 Yazidis, largely based in Northern Iraq in the province of Nineveh and Mt. Sinjar. But they are also in Syria , Turkey, Iran, Russia, Georgia and Armenia, forced to flee their ancient homelands.  Some are also in the US and about 85 families live in Canada.

In August, 2014, ISIS attacked and took over the Kurdish controlled town of Sinjhar, driving more than 50,00 Yazidis out of their homes and fleeing for their lives to Sinjar Mountain.  An estimated 10,000 men have been executed and as many as 7,000 women and girls have been made sex slaves and sold.  Four hundred escaped and told horrific tales of brutality; multiple rape – 20 to 30 times daily – beatings, being forced to give blood to wounded ISIS fighters. 

Eyewitnesses report stories of beheadings, rape and children dying of starvation and dehydration. William Devlin, a New York pastor who visited in January, called the present situation of more than 300,000 refugees "genocidal and insane" in dire need of humanitarian aid. In the camp "hospitals" there are no doctors.  "For the Yazidis there is no doctors without borders", Merza told the group.  Why in the 21st Century, everybody knows, but nobody cares about our lives?" Furthermore, they are treated "with no respect" by the Muslim UN workers in the camps, he said.

Twelve thousand are still on Mt. Sinjar, totally isolated, lacking food, water and "most important," said Mirza, "arms.  "The US and Europe are giving arms to the Kurds to give to the Yazidis, but they don't.  The world thinks the Kurds are protecting them, but they don't give them any support." Mirza connected Dr. Kedar by telephone to a Yazidi on Mt. Sinjar. They spoke in Arabic.  I could hear the desperation in his voice over the speaker phone. "The world is not taking them seriously.  They have no power because they are not sufficiently organized," said Dr. Kedar.  He proceeded to tell them how to "package" themselves to get the attention of the media and the world.  "If you are not on the media, you don't exist," he said.  Later he arranged a meeting for them with the Indian Consul General.

"Our voices must be their voices," said JIMENA's (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) president, Gina Waldman.  "Their plight must be our plight."

“THE COMMANDING VOICE OF AUSCHWITZ”: NEVER FORGET: 70th ANNIVERSARY OF AUSCHWITZ LIBERATON

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 Commanding Voice of Auschwitz: Emil L. Fackenheim, 1972— What does the Voice of Auschwitz command?

How Auschwitz Is Misunderstood: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015— Auschwitz was liberated 70 years ago, on Jan. 27, 1945, and news of its existence shocked the world.

Remember the Past to Build the Future: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015— The Holocaust is a black hole in human history.

Oskar Gröning to Stand Trial for Being Auschwitz Guard in Case that Could Make German Legal History: Tony Paterson, Independent, Dec. 17, 2014 — He will almost certainly go down in history as the last Nazi death camp guard to face justice.

Anti-Semitism, Old and New: Irwin Cotler, Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015— This past week, I had the privilege of participating in the first-ever UN General Assembly forum on global anti-Semitism, which, as it happened, took place at a critical historical moment…

 

On Topic Links

 

Anti-Semitism Then and Now:, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2014

Auschwitz Survivor Indelibly Marked by Memory of Nazi Horror, Russian Liberation 70 Years On: Aida Cerkez, Montreal Gazette, Jan. 24, 2015

Returning to Auschwitz, 70 Years On: Steve Paikin, National Post, Jan. 27, 2015

For Auschwitz Museum, a Time of Great Change: New York Times, Jan. 23, 2015          

                               

                                   

    

THE COMMANDING VOICE OF AUSCHWITZ

Emil L. Fackenheim

God’s Presence in History: Jewish Affirmations and Philosophical Reflections, 1972

 

What does the Voice of Auschwitz command? Jews are forbidden to hand Hitler posthumous victories. They are commanded to survive as Jews, lest the Jewish people perish. They are commanded to remember the victims of Auschwitz lest their memory perish. They are forbidden to despair of man and his world, and to escape into either cynicism or otherworldliness, lest they cooperate in delivering the world over to the forces of Auschwitz. Finally, they are forbidden to despair of the God of Israel, lest Judaism perish. A secularist Jew cannot make himself believe by a mere act of will, nor can he be commanded to do so…And a religious Jew who has stayed with his God may be forced into new, possibly revolutionary relationships with Him. One possibility, however, is wholly unthinkable. A Jew may not respond to Hitler’s attempt to destroy Judaism by himself co-operating in its destruction. In ancient times, the unthinkable Jewish sin was idolatry. Today, it is to respond to Hitler by doing his work.

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

   

HOW AUSCHWITZ IS MISUNDERSTOOD                                                             

Daniel Jonah Goldhagen                                                                                       

New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015

 

Auschwitz was liberated 70 years ago, on Jan. 27, 1945, and news of its existence shocked the world. With its principal killing center at one of its main camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau, becoming fully operational in 1942, it was Germany’s largest and the most notorious extermination site. There the Germans slaughtered approximately 1.1 million people, a million of whom were Jews. Its mention evokes notions of evil and instant horror. Auschwitz was a death factory, an oxymoron that would have made no sense before the Holocaust, but that now is effortlessly comprehensible. But Auschwitz is also misunderstood — and that misunderstanding distorts what we think about the Holocaust, and about the Nazis themselves.

 

Historical and popular accounts of the Holocaust tend to emphasize its brutal, bureaucratic efficiency, with Auschwitz as its technological pinnacle, whose industrial scale was not only emblematic of, but also necessary for, its success. But as existentially troubling as Auschwitz was and is, and as lethally portentous as it would have been had Nazi Germany won World War II, it was technically unnecessary for the commission of the Holocaust. Had the Nazis never created gassing installations at Auschwitz, Treblinka, Sobibor and elsewhere, they would still have killed around the same number of Jews and non-Jews. About half of the roughly six million Jews whom the Germans and their European collaborators slaughtered, and virtually all the millions of non-Jews the Germans murdered, they killed by nonindustrial means, mainly by shooting or starving them to death. The cliché “assembly line killing” belies the fact that rounding up Jews and shipping them, sometimes for many hundreds of miles, to a death factory was far less efficient than merely killing them where the Germans found them. The Nazi leadership created death factories not for expeditious reasons, but to distance the killers from their victims.

 

Previous and subsequent genocidal assaults also belie the once reflexively intoned notion that modern technology made the Holocaust possible. Regimes and their executioners around the globe have conducted broad eliminationist assaults against targeted peoples, with the perpetrators’ using a variety of means, including mass murder, expulsion, forced conversion and the prevention of reproduction to rid themselves of hated or unwanted groups. In Rwanda in 1994, the Hutu perpetrators killed 800,000 Tutsi at a more intensive daily rate than the Germans did the Jews, using only the most primitive technological means, mainly machetes, knives and clubs.

 

Focusing on Auschwitz’s mechanistic qualities as a precondition for the Holocaust’s vast destructiveness allows people to see the Nazis’ eliminationism as something uniquely modern — to believe that it takes a technically proficient, bureaucratically expert state to carry out such violence. And even though we all recognize that genocides can be unleashed without such advanced systems, people still too often assume that true eliminationism, with the intention of completely destroying another group, takes a relatively rare constellation of a state apparatus and technological means. But that’s not true. To understand the politics of mass murder and eliminationism, the technical means of carrying out the deed are almost never the central issue. Rather, the crucial elements are the political leaders’ decision to commit genocide, the willing participation of a large population of perpetrators, the sympathy of an even broader civilian population — in the case of the Holocaust, principally ordinary Germans, but also many other Europeans — and, above all, the ideology that motivates them all to believe that annihilating the targeted people is necessary and right.

This, rather than its technical specifications, is why Auschwitz is so important. Auschwitz is a symbol of the broader, and little understood, racist revolution that the Germans were bringing about in Europe that sought to overturn the fundamentals of Western civilization, including its core notion of a common humanity.

 

The gassing installations that became Auschwitz’s emblem were but one part of Auschwitz’s system of more than 40 camps and sub-camps. These were run by thousands of German overlords who drove and brutalized hundreds of thousands of Jews, Russians and other “subhumans,” whom they used as slaves to work under horrifying conditions in the camps’ extensive and varied production facilities, making everything from agricultural products to chemicals to armaments. Auschwitz was thus much more than just the gas chambers and crematories — taken as a whole, it was a microcosm, not so much of the specific mechanisms of the Holocaust, but of the Nazis’ ideological vision of a world to be ruled by a master race, resting on the collective graves of the Jewish people and of tens of millions of additional victims the Germans deemed demographically expendable, and served by an enormous population of slaves. It reveals that during the Holocaust, mass annihilation, as genocide always is, was part of a larger eliminationist agenda and, at its core, a mechanism for social and political transformation.

 

This commonality notwithstanding, Auschwitz still had its singular quality: It expressed the Nazis’ unparalleled vision that denied a common humanity everywhere, and global intent to eliminate or subjugate all nonmembers of the “master race.” Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS and the man most responsible for putting the Germans’ plans in action, proudly announced in an address in 1943: “Whether nations live in prosperity or starve to death interests me only insofar as we need them as slaves for our culture.” Such was the Nazis’ moral and mental mutation, the most profound in the history of Europe, that Auschwitz was built upon, and that, better than any other place, it symbolizes. When Europe’s leaders assemble at Auschwitz on Tuesday for the 70th anniversary commemoration, they should of course remember and mourn the Jewish and non-Jewish victims. They should also realize that they are gazing into the abyss that would have consumed their Continent and the world.

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                                

   

                                   

REMEMBER THE PAST TO BUILD THE FUTURE       

 

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

 

Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015

 

The Holocaust is a black hole in human history. There was never anything like it before, and if humanity is to be worthy of its existence, there will never be anything like it again. At some time in the spring or early summer of 1941, Hitler issued an order for a “Final Solution to the Jewish Question,” a brutal euphemism for the planned, systematic destruction of the Jewish people. Four years later, as World War II came to an end, the first soldiers to enter the concentration camps began to realize what had been done, and they did not believe it. Six million human beings, among them one and a half million children, had been shot, gassed, burned, or buried alive for no other reason than that they were Jews. Where once there had been community after community of sages and scholars, poets and mystics, intellectuals and visionaries, there was the stench of death. As Jews, we mourn and, still today, we refuse to be comforted.

 

The Holocaust raises many questions. In an essay entitled “Kol Dodi Dofek,” the late Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik made a profound distinction between two Jewish responses to suffering. There is the metaphysical question, “Why did this happen?” But there is also the halachic question, “What then shall I do?” The halachic response invites us to react to tragedy not as objects, but as subjects, not as figures of fate, but as masters of our destiny. We are not defined by what happens to us, but by how we respond.

 

Judaism has never sought to deny the existence of evil. But, equally, it has not sought to come to terms with it by explaining it away, mystically or metaphysically. “There is,” says Rabbi Soloveitchik, “a theological answer to ‘Why did this happen?’” But it must always elude us, for we are not God, nor can we see events from the perspective of eternity. Halachah summons us not to understand and thus accept the existence of evil, but instead to fight it, as partners with God in the process of redemption. In this mode of Jewish spirituality, there is a profound insistence on human dignity, often in the face of immense and unfathomable suffering. The halachic response is not naïve. It does not hide from questions, but it is courageous. It says: we must continue to affirm Jewish life even in the absence of answers. In that, there is a faith that defies even the Angel of Death.

 

One of the most important halachic responses to tragedy is the act of remembering, Yizkor. More than it has history, the Jewish people has memory. There is no word for history in the Tanach, and modern Hebrew had to borrow one, historiah. But the word zachor (remember), occurs no fewer than 169 times in the Hebrew Bible. The difference between them is this: history is someone else’s story; memory is my story. In history, we recall what happened. Through memory, we identify with what happened so that it becomes part of us and who we are. History is the story of a past that is dead. Memory is the story of a future. We cannot bring the dead to life, but we can keep their memory alive. That is what the Jewish people always did for those who died as martyrs al kiddush Hashem (sanctifying God’s name). They never forgot them, as we must never forget the victims of the Holocaust. But there is a specifically Jewish way of remembering. When the word yizkor is mentioned in the Torah, it refers not to the past, but to the present and to renewal. “Va-yizkor Elokim et Rachel” (God remembered Rachel) and gave her a child, and thus new life. “Va-yizkor Elokim et berito” (God remembered His covenant) and began the process of rescuing the Israelites from Egypt. When we remember as Jews, we do so for the sake of the future, so that those who died may live on in us.

 

Commemorating the 70 years that have passed with 70 days of study, linking individuals with Holocaust victims, and communities with communities that perished – this is the Jewish way of remembering. Few things could do more to give those who died a living memorial. At the core of Judaism is an affirmation of life. Unlike other religions we do not venerate death. In Judaism, death defiles. Moses asked the Israelites to “choose life,” and his words still echo today. One-third of our people died because they were Jews. The most profound Judaic affirmation we can make is to live because we are Jews – to live as Jews, affirming our faith with courage, our identity with pride, refusing to be traumatised by evil, or intimidated by antisemitism.

 

Whenever, through indifference or fear, we drift away from living as Jews, the Holocaust claims yet more belated victims. Hitler’s antisemitism was not accidental. Hitler declared that “conscience is a Jewish invention,” and he was right. Nazi Germany was intended to demonstrate the triumph of everything Jews had fought against since the days of Abraham and Sarah: might as against right, power as against justice, racism as opposed to the respect for human dignity, violence as opposed to the sanctity of human life. Jews have always lived by and for a different set of values and, as a result, we have always been called on to have the courage to be different. We need that courage now. It is not too much to say that humanity needs it now.

If each of us in the coming year makes a significant personal gesture to show that Judaism is alive and being lived, there can be no more momentous signal to humanity that evil does not have the final victory, because Am Yisrael Chai, the Jewish people lives.

 

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                

                      

         

OSKAR GRÖNING TO STAND TRIAL FOR BEING AUSCHWITZ GUARD               

IN CASE THAT COULD MAKE GERMAN LEGAL HISTORY

 

Tony Patterson                                                                                                     

Independent, Dec. 17, 2017

 

NB: Thomas Walther, a former German judge, Nazi investigator and prosecutor, presented his research on the upcoming Oskar Groening case at the CIJR offices today, Jan. 27, 2015. We were most fortunate to have someone so intimately connected to the legal proceedings of what could be one of the final trials for an Auschwitz collaborator, on the 70th Anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz—Ed.

 

He will almost certainly go down in history as the last Nazi death camp guard to face justice. Yet 93-year-old Oskar Gröning says he merely worked as an “accountant” in Auschwitz and feels duty-bound to confront those who claim the Holocaust never happened. After decades of legal inaction, Mr Gröning is to face charges of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Auschwitz prisoners while he worked at the camp. On Tuesday, Hanover state prosecutors ruled he was fit to stand trial.

 

Mr Gröning’s trial opens in a German court next April. His case highlights the failure of the German judiciary adequately to bring Holocaust perpetrators to justice since the end of the Second World War. An estimated 1.2 million were murdered at Auschwitz. Some 6,500 SS guards worked at the camp but only 49 have been convicted of war crimes. Efraim Zuroff, chief Nazi hunter at the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, said he welcomed the decision to prosecute Mr Gröning. “The passage of time does not diminish the crimes of the Holocaust,” he told The Independent.

 

Mr Gröning was one in a line-up of a so-called “dirty dozen” of surviving Auschwitz guards who have been identified over the past two years. He is the only one to face trial. Charges against the remaining 11 suspects were dropped because they were considered too frail or ill. Germany’s justice authorities were able to pursue Mr Gröning with ease because he appeared in a BBC documentary about Auschwitz in 2005. In an interview he said, “I see it as my task now to oppose those who claim that Auschwitz never happened,” he said. “I saw the crematoria and the burning pits,” he added. In subsequent interviews with the media, he claimed that he was a sort of Auschwitz accountant and his job there was merely to “collect” the valuables of Jews arriving at the camp and send them to SS headquarters. But he spoke at length about how Jews were sent to the gas chambers.

 

“On one night in 1943 I saw how the Jews were gassed. It was in a half-built farmyard near Auschwitz,” he recalled. “There were more than 100 prisoners and soon there were panic-filled cries as they were herded into the chamber and the door was shut,” he added. “Then a sergeant went to a hole in the wall and from a tin shook Zyklon B gas pellets inside. In that moment the cries of the people inside rose to a crescendo, a choir of madness. These cries ring in my ears to this day. This guilt will never leave me,” Mr Gröning is on record as saying. He was finally tracked down by the Nazi war crimes investigation unit as part of Germany’s final push to bring the last surviving Nazi war crimes suspects to justice.

 

In the decades after the Nuremberg trials, German prosecutors relied almost exclusively on evidence, largely from eyewitnesses, that linked suspects to specific murders in order to convict them. The practice explains the low conviction rate of Nazi death camp guards. It took a new generation of prosecutors to bring about the recent change in the German judiciary’s attitude to Nazi war crimes. In 2011 they set a legal precedent by securing the conviction of the former Sobibor Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk by a Munich court. Demjanjuk was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of 28,000 Dutch Jews at Sobibor, an “extermination-only” camp in Nazi occupied Poland, in which all prisoners were gassed within hours of their arrival. There were no eyewitnesses at Demjanjuk’s trial. But judges for the first time accepted the prosecution’s argument he was an accessory to mass murder simply by having worked as a guard at the camp. Prosecutors will use the same legal arguments at Mr Gröning’s trial. However Mr Gröning has already denied the charges. He told Der Spiegel in 2005, “I would describe my role as a small cog in the gears. If you can describe that as guilt, then I am guilty. Legally speaking I am innocent.” His trial could make German legal history.

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                               

 

ANTI-SEMITISM, OLD AND NEW                                                                         

Irwin Cotler                                                                                                                  

Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2015

 

This past week, I had the privilege of participating in the first-ever UN General Assembly forum on global anti-Semitism, which, as it happened, took place at a critical historical moment: the eve of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most brutal extermination camp of the 20th century, and site of horrors too terrible to be believed, but not too terrible to have happened. Of the 1.3 million people who died at Auschwitz, 1.1 million were Jews. Let there be no mistake about it: Jews died at Auschwitz because of anti-Semitism, but anti-Semitism did not die. And, tragically, as we have learned only too well, while it begins with Jews, it doesn’t end with Jews. In France and elsewhere, Jews are the canary in the mineshaft of evil.

 

The underlying thesis of my remarks at the UN was this: We are witnessing a new, sophisticated, global, virulent, and even lethal anti-Semitism, reminiscent of the atmospherics of the 1930s, and without parallel or precedent since the end of the Second World War. This new anti-Jewishness overlaps with classical anti-Semitism but is distinguishable from it. It found early juridical, and even institutional, expression in the United Nations’ “Zionism is Racism” resolution – which, as the late U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan said, “gave the abomination of anti-Semitism the appearance of international legal sanction” – but has gone dramatically beyond it. This new anti-Semitism almost needs a new vocabulary to define it; however, it can best be identified from an anti-discrimination, equality rights, and international law perspective.

 

In a word, classical or traditional anti-Semitism is the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon, the rights of Jews as people to live as equal members of whatever society they inhabit. The new anti-Semitism involves the discrimination against, denial of, or assault upon, the right of the Jewish people to live as an equal member of the family of nations – or to live at all – with Israel emerging as the targeted collective Jew among the nations. Observing the complex intersections between old and new anti-Semitism, and the impact of the new on the old, Per Ahlmark, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden, pithily and presciently concluded some 15 years ago: “Compared to most previous anti-Jewish outbreaks, this [new anti-Semitism] is often less directed against individual Jews. It primarily targets the collective Jews, the State of Israel. And then such attacks start a chain reaction of assaults on individual Jews and Jewish institutions … In the past, the most dangerous anti-Semites were those who wanted to make the world Judenrein, free of Jews. Today, the most dangerous anti-Semites might be those who want to make the world Judenstaatrein, ‘free of a Jewish state.’”

 

What has been called a pandemic of anti-Semitism is underpinned by four indicators. The first indicator of the new anti-Semitism – and the most lethal manifestation of it – is what may be called genocidal anti-Semitism. This is not a term that I would use lightly or easily. I am referring here to the Genocide Convention’s prohibition against the direct and public incitement to genocide. Simply put, if anti-Semitism is the most enduring of hatreds, and genocide is the most horrific of crimes, then the convergence of the genocidal intent embodied in anti-Semitic ideology is the most toxic of combinations. This genocidal anti-Semitism can be seen, for instance, in the state-sanctioned incitement to genocide of Khamenei’s Iran, a characterization I use to distinguish it from the people and public of Iran, who are otherwise the targets of Khamenei’s massive domestic repression…

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

 

 

 

 

 

On Topic

 

Anti-Semitism Then and Now:, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2014—The world commemorates International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Tuesday, January 27 – which also marks the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Auschwitz Survivor Indelibly Marked by Memory of Nazi Horror, Russian Liberation 70 Years On: Aida Cerkez, Montreal Gazette, Jan. 24, 2015— The tattoo on her left arm has become unreadable but the habit of reading it aloud in Polish remains strong, seven decades after it first scarred her skin.

Returning to Auschwitz, 70 Years On: Steve Paikin, National Post, Jan. 27, 2015 —A little more than 70 years ago, 11-year old Mordechai Ronen found himself “crammed like cattle” into a boxcar, and transported from his native Romania to a camp where evil thrived like no other place on Earth.

For Auschwitz Museum, a Time of Great Change: New York Times, Jan. 23, 2015—For what is likely to be the last time, a large number of the survivors of the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz will gather next week under an expansive tent, surrounded by royalty and heads of state, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of those held there at the end of World War II.
 

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

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SAUDI KING DIES AMID OIL-PRICE DECLINE, HUMAN RIGHTS CRITICISMS, & OBAMA’S M.E. DITHERING

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:

 

King Abdullah and the United States: Ross Douthat, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015— The Western response to the death of Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, king of Saudi Arabia and custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, followed two paths.

A Smooth Saudi Succession, But a Rough Road Ahead: Karen Elliott House, Wall Street Journal,  Jan. 23, 2015— The death Thursday of Saudi Arabia’s 90-year-old, long-ailing King Abdullah is hardly a surprise, nor are the ascensions of his 79-year-old brother Prince Salman as Saudi king and 69-year-old Muqrin, another brother, as crown prince.

How Did Saudi King Abdullah Become a World Hero?: Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2014 — You’d think that Mandela or Gandhi had passed away, such were the poetic love letters sent by world leaders and the way the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah was announced by media.

The Saudis Believe the West is About to Give in to Iranian Demands. Crashing the Price of Oil is How it Fights Back: Conrad Black, National Post, Dec. 20, 2014 — Responses to the decline in world oil prices have been mystifying — flummoxing, in fact.

 

On Topic Links

 

New Saudi King and U.S. Face Crucial Point in the Relationship: Helene Cooper, Rod Nordland & Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, Jan. 23, 2014

Saudi Arabia’s New King Unlikely to Change Direction on Oil Production: Eric Reguly, Globe & Mail, Jan. 23, 2015

Saudi Society Steeped in Racism: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Dec. 14, 2015

Gulf States and Qatar Gloss Over Differences, But Split Still Hampers Them: David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, Dec. 21, 2014                                                                         

                               

 

KING ABDULLAH AND THE UNITED STATES                                                                                   

Ross Douthat                                       

New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015

 

The Western response to the death of Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, king of Saudi Arabia and custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, followed two paths. Along one, various officials and luminaries offered the gestures — half-mast flags, public obsequies — expected when a great statesman enters the hereafter. John Kerry described the late monarch as “a man of wisdom and vision” and a “revered leader.” Tony Blair called him a “modernizer of his country” and a “staunch advocate of interfaith relations,” who was “loved by his people and will be deeply missed.”

 

Along the other path, anyone outside Western officialdom was free to tell the fuller truth: that Abdullah presided over one of the world’s most wicked nonpariah states, whose domestic policies are almost cartoonishly repressive and whose international influence has been strikingly malign. His dynasty is founded on gangsterish control over a precious natural resource, sustained by an unholy alliance with a most cruel interpretation of Islam and protected by the United States and its allies out of fear of worse alternatives if it fell. Was he a “modernizer”? Well, there were gestures, like giving women the vote in elections that don’t particularly matter. But Abdullah’s most important recent legacy has been counterrevolutionary, in his attempts to rally a kind of axis of authoritarianism against the influence of the Arab Spring. Did he believe in “interfaith relations”? Sure, so long as the other faiths were safely outside Saudi territory, where religious uniformity is enforced by the police and by the lash. Will he be “deeply missed”? Well, not by dissidents, Shiites, non-Muslims, protestors in neighboring countries … and for everyone else, only by comparison with the incompetence or chaos or still greater cruelty that might come next.

 

But Americans should feel some limited sympathy for the late king, because our relationship with his kingdom has something in common with his own. Like so many despots, Abdullah was to some extent a prisoner of the system he inherited, interested in reform in theory but unable to find the room or take the risks required to see it through. And we in the United States are prisoners as well: handcuffed to Saudi Arabia, bound to its corruptions and repression, with no immediate possibility of escape. Much of America’s post-Cold War policy-making in the Middle East can be understood as a search for a way to slip those cuffs. Three consecutive presidents have tried to reshape the region so that alliances with despotic regimes will no longer seem so inevitable or necessary. And all of them have failed. For Bill Clinton, solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was supposed to be the catalyst — in ways never quite elucidated — for reform and progress in the wider Arab world. For George W. Bush, or at least his ambitious advisers, the invasion of Iraq was supposed to create a brilliant alternative to our Saudi alliance — a new special Middle Eastern relationship, but with an oil-producing liberal democracy this time.

 

For President Obama, there have been multiple ideas for how we might, as an administration official put it during our Libya campaign, “realign our interests and our values.” The president has tried rhetorical outreach to transcend (or at least obscure) our coziness with tyrants; he tried, in Libya and haltingly in Egypt, to put his administration on the side of the Arab Spring; he and Mr. Kerry have made efforts to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process; he has sought some kind of realigning deal with that other font of cruelty, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iran project is ongoing, but so far all these efforts either have led (in the case of our Libyan crusade) to outright chaos, or have seen things cycle back to the same old stalemates, the same morally corrosive status quo. Here Obama’s experiences are of a piece with Bush’s, albeit without the same cost in blood and treasure. From Saddam’s Iraq to Mubarak’s Egypt, from Libya to the West Bank, the last two presidents have repeatedly pulled the curtain back, or had it pulled back for them, on potential alternatives to the kind of realpolitik that binds us to the Saudis, and potential aftermaths to the dynasty’s eventual fall. So far, they’ve found nothing good.

 

Meanwhile, the Saudis themselves are still there. And since much of what’s gone bad now surrounds them — the Islamic State very much in business in the north, Iranian-backed rebels seizing power in Yemen to the south — the American interest in the stability of their kingdom, the continuation of the royal family’s corrupt and wicked rule, is if anything even stronger than before. Whatever judgment King Abdullah finds himself facing now, he is at least free of his kingdom, his region and its nightmarish dilemmas. But not America. A king is dead, but our Saudi nightmare is a long way from being finished.                    

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

   

                       

A SMOOTH SAUDI SUCCESSION, BUT A ROUGH ROAD AHEAD

Karen Elliott House

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 23, 2015

 

The death Thursday of Saudi Arabia’s 90-year-old, long-ailing King Abdullah is hardly a surprise, nor are the ascensions of his 79-year-old brother Prince Salman as Saudi king and 69-year-old Muqrin, another brother, as crown prince. But the quick choice of Mohammed bin Nayef as the kingdom’s new deputy crown prince is surprising—and is significant domestically and internationally. The 55-year-old Prince Mohammed is the first of the grandsons of Abdul Aziz, founder of modern Saudi Arabia, to be named in the line of succession. For nearly 60 years, one after another of Abdul Aziz’s more than three-dozen sons followed each other as king. Muqrin is the youngest surviving son.  Watching this band of brothers diminish in number and vigor left many inside the kingdom—and abroad—fearing that one day soon the next-generation princes would quarrel over succession and thereby risk destabilizing oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Now the succession issue appears to be settled. This new leadership trio is likely to continue the kingdom’s foreign policies—specifically its regional competition with Iran, its distrust of the U.S., and its acceptance of low oil prices. At home, the main impact is likely to be further suppression of dissent; the brief spring of more tolerance when King Abdullah began his reign in 2005 is a distant memory.

 

Mohammed bin Nayef’s appointment surely will be welcomed by the U.S. and other Western nations that have worked closely with him over the past decade as the kingdom’s top officer in charge of curbing terrorism. Educated in the U.S. and fluent in English, Prince Mohammed was long seen as Washington’s preferred candidate among the younger princes who aspired to be king. As a result, some inside Saudi Arabia will see his selection as proof that the U.S., despite growing tensions with Saudi Arabia, still exercises a major say in who leads the kingdom. American support for him is a negative among young Saudi fundamentalists, who oppose Saudi ties with what they see as foreign infidels. Since 2012 Prince Mohammed has been head of the powerful ministry of interior charged with internal security. The ministry has its own paramilitary force to guard key facilities, such as oil installations, and operates a sophisticated surveillance system monitoring Saudi citizens. The ascent of this new-generation ruler could come sooner than expected. The new King Salman is said to suffer from Alzheimer’s, and Crown Prince Muqrin’s credentials to be king continue to be questioned by some in the royal family because his mother was only a Yemeni concubine of Abdul Aziz.

 

By contrast, the new deputy prime minister has two advantages: First, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef is part of the powerful family faction called the Sudairi (a Sudairi woman bore Abdul Aziz seven sons, including King Salman) who have dominated family affairs much of the past half-century. Second, Prince Mohammed has no sons, at least so far, which would make his ascension less threatening to other family factions. What is clear is that the appointment of Mohammed bin Nayef as deputy crown prince and his cousin, Mohammed bin Salman, 30, the new king’s son, as defense minister and chief of his father’s royal court, injects clarity and vigor into the future succession of the Al Saud dynasty. The new deputy crown prince is credited by Saudis for keeping terrorism inside the kingdom at bay, but the new defense minister, who has been his father’s chief aide in recent years, is seen as inexperienced and arrogant and thus lacks public support. In the short term, though, the new leadership team faces serious challenges at home and especially abroad.

 

Even as the Al Saud princes buried their late king and then gathered after the day’s fifth and final prayer required of Muslims to pledge their bay’ah or allegiance to the new king, crown prince and deputy crown prince, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels had evicted the Saudi-supported leader of neighboring Yemen. (And at home, in Medina, a Saudi jihadist was shot attempting to storm a building housing security agencies.) The kingdom’s efforts to confront and curb Iranian influence will continue unabated. In particular, the Saudis will continue to accept lower oil prices, a tactic that is helping to bankrupt Iran. Efforts to secure U.S. cooperation against the Islamic State terror group, or ISIS, in Syria and Iraq will also continue, as will the kingdom’s disappointment that the Obama administration is doing little to remove Iran’s ally, Bashar Assad, in Syria. Given the late Saudi king’s prolonged poor health, Salman as crown prince was involved in most of the kingdom’s foreign-policy decisions; he is unlikely to change much, unless he decides to be even tougher on Iran…                                                                                                                                     

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

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                

                               

HOW DID SAUDI KING ABDULLAH BECOME A WORLD HERO?                                                          

Seth J. Frantzman                                                                                                        

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2015

 

You’d think that Mandela or Gandhi had passed away, such were the poetic love letters sent by world leaders and the way the death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah was announced by media. The sixth ruler of what popular Palestinian commentator Jamal Dajani calls “the medieval kingdom,” Abdullah was portrayed as a great world leader. The New York Times lauded him as a “shrewd force who re-shaped Saudi Arabia.” “He will be remembered for his long years of service to the kingdom, for his commitment to peace and for strengthening understanding between faiths. My thoughts and prayers are with the Saudi royal family and the people of the kingdom,” declared UK Prime Minister David Cameron. He worked for “peace and prosperity,” Cameron said. Former UK leader Tony Blair claimed that the king was a “sound ally, a patient and skillful modernizer.” Flags in England (but not in Scotland) flew at half-mast out of respect, and supposedly due to protocol, for this most wonderful and inspiring of monarchs. US President Barack Obama spoke of a “genuine and warm friendship.” US Secretary of State John Kerry was among the most laudatory, calling Abdullah “a man of wisdom and vision… a revered leader.” The media boasted about Abdullah’s “more than 30 wives” and fawned over the 15,000 members of the royal family, who hold the country’s top diplomatic, military and political posts.

 

One wonders if Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek saw the great wisdom of Abdullah when she was dragged from a van by Saudi soldiers last year and executed publicly by a sword-wielding man in a white robe, as crowds looked on in pleasure. She was sentenced to death at the age of 17 in 2007 after her employers claimed she was responsible for the death of their child, that she was taking care of as part of her duties as a housemaid. A video posted online shows the gruesome ceremony, the result of the great wisdom Western leaders showed such fawning appreciation for. Did Burmese maid Layla Bint Abdul Mutaleb Bassim share the “modern” vision of the king as she was dragged through the streets and then beheaded in public while being held by four soldiers on January 18 of this year? She plead for her life and declared her innocence. It is tradition in Saudi Arabia’s injustice system that executioners ask those they kill for forgiveness prior to beheading them. But the young Bassim shouted in the street, blindfolded and with her arms tied behind her back: “haram [forbidden], haram, haram, I did not kill, I do not forgive you, this is an injustice.” And then the sword of modernity, of progress, of “warm and genuine friendship,” fell on her neck – three times, as the executioner could not kill her in one stroke. The man who filmed the gruesome legal murder of Bassim was arrested.

 

And for the dozens of other victims of such executions, many of them young foreign maids, why don’t the flags fly at half-mast in London? In other places in Saudi Arabia there are public canings. Raif Badawi was whipped in public 50 times on January 9 for “insulting religion”; he critiqued Saudi religious clerics on his blog. His 50 lashes were part of a 10-year sentence including 1,000 lashes, to be administered in 50 sessions over 20 weeks. These public whippings were a part of what those like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Abdullah’s “important voice [which] left a lasting impact on his country… a guiding force.” Modi was in an “hour of grief” for the dead king. Modi is right, in a sense. The Saudi king indeed left a “lasting impact”: bloodstained streets and scarred backs. He made a lasting impact on thousands of poor people from families throughout Asia, such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, India and Burma, whose loved ones who were beheaded after working as semi-enslaved housekeepers in the kingdom. When the Times said Abdullah “re-shaped” Saudi Arabia, it was correct; decapitating people is re-shaping them indeed.

 

There are an estimated 9 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. Many of them are young women brought over as “maids.” Thousands flee abusive employers every month to their embassies or safe houses. Usually their passports have been confiscated and they have few options. One Sri Lankan maid told an embassy employee, “After three months of work I asked madam [my employer] for my salary and she started to beat me with iron bars and wooden sticks… she would take a hot iron and burn me or heat up a knife and put it on my body… she threatened to take me to a police station and have me arrested.” In Saudi Arabia, you can be executed for false accusations like this. The great “modernizer” for whom leaders waxed lyrical also did “great service” for gay men. In July 2014 a gay man was sentenced to three years and 450 lashes in Saudi Arabia for the crime of using Twitter to arrange dates with other men. But the homosexual men being lashed for using satanic Twitter are only one part of the modernization pie. Another part is the women like the “girl from Qatif,” who was gang-raped in 2006 by men who filmed the rape. Because they did her the “service” of filming it she wasn’t stoned for “adultery” but rather was mercifully given 200 lashes for “being alone with a man” and sentenced to six months in prison…

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

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

                

THE SAUDIS BELIEVE THE WEST IS ABOUT TO GIVE IN TO IRANIAN DEMANDS.

CRASHING THE PRICE OF OIL IS HOW IT FIGHTS BACK                                                                    

Conrad Black                                                                                                       

National Post, Dec. 20, 2014

 

Responses to the decline in world oil prices have been mystifying — flummoxing, in fact. The secretary general of OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries), Abdullah Al-Badri, said last week that speculation was to blame for the decline by 15% since the last increase in production. He ceremoniously denied that there was any attempt by the cartel to discourage production from shale or oil sands, or to put political pressure on Iran or Russia. In general, the world’s media have bought into the theory that discouragement of production from new sources that would reduce oil imports, especially by the United States, is the real reason for increased production and reduced price. If you doubt that, just ask Russian President Vladimir Putin, who harangued reporters for more than three hours Thursday about the anti-Moscow axis of evil formed by B.O. and its two handmaidens, the United States and Saudi Arabia.

 

Or spare a thought for Scottish leader Alex Salmond, whose campaign to pull Scotland out of the United Kingdom was based on the assurance its share of North Sea oil would guarantee a prosperous and dynamic future. Mr. Salmond lost the vote, which should have Scots thanking their lucky bagpipes around now. This month’s sudden, unforeseen plunge in oil prices would have left a gaping crater in the national budget, before Free Scotland even had a chance to redesign its flag. But Al-Badri has a limited mandate to give the agreed official line of OPEC and has no authority to speak for the motives of the individual member states, and even less standing to mind-read the authorities in those countries and speak for them. OPEC is a slippery cartel at the best of times, many of whose members are virtually, if not actually, at war with each other; the member states don’t necessarily speak truthfully among themselves and anything uttered on behalf of the whole group should be treated with caution. Some member states, including Iraq, Libya and Nigeria, do not really speak for the oil-exporting regions in the country, and there are many other oil-producing countries that either do not export, or even if they do, are not in OPEC, including Canada, Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States.

 

The explanation of speculation is nonsense, as no sane speculator would encourage the sale of oil at less than its real market value other than to himself, and where the claimed OPEC production is 30 million barrels a day, no unofficial speculation would cause the sort of gyrations in oil prices that have occurred. In general, the decline in China’s rate of economic growth, and conservation and alternate energy-encouragement measures in much of the West and the steady advance of increased domestic production in the United States, explain much of the price reduction. But there is no doubt that Saudi Arabia, as the world’s leading oil exporter, has increased production, whether it is advising Mr. Al-Badri of it or not, and there is no doubt that its motives are chiefly political.

 

Saudi Arabia has resigned itself to the fact that neither its oft-demonstrated ability to play the periodic U.S. resolve to reduce its dependence on foreign oil like a yo-yo by price-cutting until the impulse of self-discipline passes, nor the agitation of the environmentalists for restrained oil production, will work again. (Shale-sourced oil is relatively environmentally friendly.) President Eisenhower warned over the Suez crisis in 1956 of the dangers of relying on foreign countries for 10% of America’s oil supply; President Nixon did the same in 1973 during the Arab oil embargo, when the percentage of U.S. oil needs provided by imports had risen to 20%. In the late 1980s, President Reagan arranged for the Saudis to over-produce to bring prices back down by half, by selling Saudi Arabia advanced AWACS reconnaissance aircraft and America’s best interceptor jets and sophisticated air-to-air weapons systems. This was part of Reagan’s plan to squeeze the Soviet Union’s foreign exchange sources while spending them to the mat with his Strategic Defense Initiative. The nature of these arrangements really only came to light in the memoirs of some of those involved on the American side about 20 years later.

 

The principal impact of the reduction in world oil prices from around US$100 a barrel to the mid-50s, and of the cost of gasoline at the pump in the United States from $4.00 to about $2.60, has been severe pressure on the Russian currency (a 50% reduction against the dollar and euro), and the country’s whole financial system, causing severe inflation and drastic interest-rate increases in the usual effort of desperate regimes to maintain a semblance of a believable currency. The Russian ruble has never been a hard currency, even in the piping days of the Romanovs, and that country under Putin is, in economic (and some other) terms, not many rungs above a thugdom of the president and his cronies. But oil speculators operating on their own accounts do not cause the Kremlin to put Holy Mother Russia on the rack of multi-point daily interest rate increases, causing large protests and some public disorder. This is a Saudi move that has ramified very seriously in Russia, far beyond its impact on new oil extraction techniques in the U.S. If a $50 price is reached and maintained, it would negatively alter but not destroy the economics of heavy oil and probably reduce somewhat shale activity, where reserves are more quickly exploited and harder to estimate than traditional subterranean oil fields, even those that are off-shore. But a Saudi move on this scale, with the resulting self-inflicted reduction in their income, makes no sense for the marginal impact it will have on American future production and imports; it is a geopolitical move targeted much closer to home…

 

Al-Badri’s flimflam, for which there is much precedent in the history of OPEC (essentially, the cartel is a perpetual quarrel among thieves pretending to be price-fixing), naturally seeks to disguise the fact that Saudi Arabia is trying to discourage the use of Iranian and Russian oil revenues to prop up the blood-stained and beleaguered Assad regime in Damascus, to finance Iran’s nuclear military program, and to incite the continuing outrages of Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories against Israel. The exotic community of interest that has suddenly arisen between the historically Jew-baiting Saudis and the Jewish state is because the countries in the area fear, with good reason as far as can be discerned, that the UN Security Council members, plus Germany, may be on the verge of acquiescing in Iran’s arrival as a threshold nuclear military power. The oil-price weapon, in the face of the terminal enfeeblement of the Obama administration, is the last recourse before the Saudis and Turks, whatever their autocues of racist rhetoric, invite Israel to smash the Iranian nuclear program from the air.

 

It is perfectly indicative of the scramble that ensues when a mighty power like the United States withdraws, fatigued but undefeated, from much of the world, that Saudi Arabia, a joint venture between the nomadic and medieval House of Saud and the Wahhabi establishment that propagates jihadism with Saudi oil revenues, makes common cause with Israel in a way that inadvertently relieves much of the Russian pressure on Ukraine, which was not an objective in Saudi calculations at all. From the Western standpoint, this is a lucky bounce of the political football. But it is Saudi judgment of its self-interest opposite the contending factions in Syria and the hideous prospect of a nuclear-armed Iran that is discommoding the Saudi leaders, not the ineluctable exploitation by the United States of its own oil resources. It need hardly be added that any conventional definition of “speculation” has nothing to do with it; nor that the Western panic at the bonanza of a $500-billion reduction in the West’s energy costs or the obdurate failure of most Western commentators to understand the implications of the oil price reduction, are an unflattering reflection on the financial and political acuity of the pundits of our society.

 

Contents           

 

On Topic

 

New Saudi King and U.S. Face Crucial Point in the Relationship: Helene Cooper, Rod Nordland & Neil Macfarquhar, New York Times, Jan. 23, 2014—Almost a decade ago, an Arab diplomat famously likened the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia to a Catholic marriage “where you can have no divorce.”

Saudi Arabia’s New King Unlikely to Change Direction on Oil Production: Eric Reguly, Globe & Mail, Jan. 23, 2015—Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah died Thursday night and, the next morning, oil prices rose. A delayed reaction to the launch of the European Central Bank’s €1.1-trillion ($1.52-trillion) quantitative easing assault on deflation might explain the uptick, but markets generally don’t do delayed reactions.

Saudi Society Steeped in Racism: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Dec. 14, 2015 —Following the massacre of Shias in Al Ahsa, Saudi Arabia, which resulted in the death of 8 people and several others being wounded during the Shiite Ashura holiday this year, Saudi journalist Hussein Shobokshi wrote in an article in Al Sharq Al Aswat that was translated into English by MEMRI that racism and extremism permeates Saudi society.  

Gulf States and Qatar Gloss Over Differences, But Split Still Hampers Them: David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, Dec. 21, 2014—Shaking hands and kissing foreheads, the monarchs of the Persian Gulf came together this month to declare that they had resolved an 18-month feud in order to unite against their twin enemies, Iran and the Islamic State.

           

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
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CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

WEST NEEDS ANOTHER CHURCHILL TO TACKLE INCREASING ISLAMIST & ANTISEMITIC THREATS

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:

 

J’accuse la France: David M. Weinberg, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015— Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, who was previously ambassador to Israel and to the United Nations, said this week that “what is happening in France right now, in a sense, has nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians.

Paris Killings Aftermath: Symptoms of French Disease: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 15, 2015— After the recent spate of killings in Paris, French President François Hollande said that, “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”

The Global War on Modernity: Garry Kasparov, Wall Street Journal,  Jan. 20, 2015— The recent terror attacks in Paris at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and at a kosher supermarket, leaving 17 people dead, represented the latest offensive in a struggle that most people, even many of its casualties, are unaware is even taking place.

The Last Lion Remembered: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Jan. 22, 2014 — Fifty years ago this Saturday, former British prime minister Winston Churchill died at age 90.

 

On Topic Links

 

Does Europe Have No-Go Zones?: Daniel Pipes, The Blaze, Jan. 20, 2014

France’s Moment of Truth: Michael Gurfinkiel, PJ Media, Jan. 16, 2015

The Answer to French Anti-Semitism: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015

In Israel, Debate Over Whether French Jews Should Come — Or Stay Home: William Booth and Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, Jan. 15, 2014

                   

                                       

J’ACCUSE LA FRANCE                                                                                              

David M. Weinberg                                                                                                                 

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015

 

Gérard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, who was previously ambassador to Israel and to the United Nations, said this week that “what is happening in France right now, in a sense, has nothing to do with Israel and the Palestinians. It’s a general trend within Islam toward radicalization that is not coming from the conflict.” He went on to suggest that anti-Semitism in France is isolated to its Muslim community, and that nothing in French policy imputes responsibility for the Hyper Cacher massacre. Wrong. The attacks on Jews in France cannot be viewed in isolation from broader, nefarious intellectual trends in French society toward Jews and Israel. The attacks on Jews in France cannot be considered except in the context of increasingly hostile attitudes in France toward Israel in terms of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

 

When a discourse of delegitimization of Israel becomes mainstream, as it has in France; when Israel is portrayed as the enemy of all that is good and the repository of all that is evil, as it is in France; and when Paris raises its hand in favor of Palestinian pomposity and Israeli isolation, as it did at the UN Security Council last week – it’s no surprise that vestiges of anti-Semitism buried deep in French society come to the fore. Put another way: Sustained anti-Israel propaganda, with which France is flooded, encourages terrorism.

 

My late father, former MK Zvi (Henry) Weinberg, was a professor of French literature and a respected scholar of sociocultural trends in France. More than 30 years ago, he wrote a book called The Myth of the Jew in France 1967- 1982 in which he dissected the techniques by which highbrow publications such as Le Monde and the upper echelons of French literary society pursued a long campaign of psychological warfare against the Jewish state. Under the mask of high-minded objectivity and fealty to human rights, they adopted narratives fiercely hostile to Israel, ineluctably sliding into the murky waters of anti-Jewish prejudice. My father chronicled the lifting of taboos on public expression of anti-Semitism in France – from Voltaire and the Encyclopédistes of the 18th century; to the French laboratories for “scientific” racism and National Socialism of the 19th century; to French collaboration with the Nazis under the Vichy regime; to President Charles de Gaulle’s notorious “Sermon to the Hebrews” in 1967; to French policies of appeasement toward Palestinian terrorism under presidents Georges Pompidou and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in the 1970s and 1980s; to lingering far-right French preoccupation with Holocaust denial; to the rhetorical excesses, vehemence and consistency of French attacks on Israeli policy ever since the First Lebanon War; to the malicious depredation wrought by the fashionable antagonism to everything Israeli peddled by French intellectuals.

 

Since he wrote the book, the “myth,” or defamation, of the Jew and the Zionist in France has only darkened and deteriorated. “Progressive” circles in the West, which dominate the discourse in France, are deep into a campaign of vilification against Israel and Zionism. They define what Israel “is doing” to the Palestinians as genocide and crimes against humanity, and as a threat to world peace and security. They promote boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel. All this, alongside total disregard for the genocidal threats against Israel and Jews by Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and deafness to willful distortions of history and current reality peddled by Mahmoud Abbas. Just last month, the UN General Assembly passed 20 resolutions targeting Israel (supported by France); the European Parliament rejected a working group on anti-Semitism; and the European Court of Justice removed Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations. None of these august bodies had anything to say about the urgent plight of political prisoners under repressive governments in Iran, Venezuela, Mauritania and Saudi Arabia; or the desperate situation of refuges in Syria; or escalating suffering of Christians in the Middle East at the hands of Muslim regimes and radicals.

 

“The preoccupation with Israel has the effect of sanitizing other evils,” Prof. Irwin Cotler of Canada points out. Worse still, says the preeminent international human rights jurist, the obsession with Israel and the exaggeration of Israel’s misdeeds has the effect of legitimizing anti-Semitism against supporters of Israel, such as French Jews. In a 2006 study, the European Jewish Congress demonstrated a clear correlation between one-sided media coverage of the Second Lebanon War, which emphasized the suffering inflicted by Israel on the Lebanese, and the anti-Semitic violence that ensued in France. Roger Cukierman, the former president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), wrote that “There is an incompatibility between France’s foreign policy and its internal struggle against anti-Semitism. It is not possible to fight effectively in France against anti-Semitism without doing all that can be done to seek to bring a greater balance in the appreciation of the situation in the Middle East among the general public.”

 

Dr. Tsilla Hershco, an expert on Franco-Israeli relations at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, is even blunter. “France’s unbalanced approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict – as reflected in de rigueur Elysee condemnations of Israel’s legitimate wars of self-defense, in media coverage of the conflict, and in slavish and blind support for destructive Palestinian initiatives at the UN – has created an altogether too-comfortable environment for the resurgence of anti-Semitic violence in France,” she has written. "The Jewish question” has played a significant role in the cultural, social and political life of France in the modern era. French historian Patrice Higonnet has written that the fate of Jews in France is a touchstone for evaluation of French history and society as a whole. We can now add that the increasing hostility toward Israel in French Mideast policy is a benchmark for the (im)morality of France, and, alas, a direct cause of attacks in France against Jews.

          

Contents                                                                                      

                                     

 

PARIS KILLINGS AFTERMATH: SYMPTOMS OF FRENCH DISEASE                                                      

Manfred Gerstenfeld                                     

Arutz Sheva, Jan. 15, 2015

 

After the recent spate of killings in Paris, French President François Hollande said that, “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.” Hollande’s words whitewash rather than clarify the problem, but his statement was just one of the many events in the aftermath of the Paris murders which merit further attention. Among world leaders, Hollande is not alone in whitewashing the Muslim identity of criminals. In a speech about the Islamic State movement, President Barack Obama said it was “not ‘Islamic’” and added, “No religion condones the killing of innocents.” This sentiment about the extreme Muslim movement was shared by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who stated, “They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.”

 

The fact that the Paris murderers were very much Muslims was made even clearer when a variety of Muslim religious leaders and organizations in the Middle East identified with them. One does not even need to go that far. Many Muslim pupils in France refused to participate in the minute of silence, held at schools out of respect for the victims. The murderous events in Paris and the subsequent reactions are still too fresh to allow for a full-fledged assessment. Yet there are already a number of aspects which can be pointed out in the meantime, even if they merit further investigation. First of all, between the two main killing sprees, there were marked differences in motive. The Charlie Hebdo journalists were killed for what they wrote and drew; the Jews in the supermarket were killed for who they were.

 

There is great symbolism in the four Jewish victims having been buried in Israel, even though they are Frenchmen. France has deceived them. The betrayal started long ago. France gave entry to millions of immigrants from a culture hostile to Jews. Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco are among the ten most anti-Semitic countries in the world. These results are from a 2014 ADL study on classic anti-Semitism in the world. The situation in France would have been radically different had there been 500,000 Muslims in the country instead of the actual five million. The number of jihadis could then have been counted in the hundreds, rather than in the thousands, as is now the case. This unselective immigration policy of large anti-Semitic populations might be considered an unconscious form of state anti-Semitism. To make matters worse, only a part of these people have integrated into the general French population and thousands of them have become radicalized.

 

There were other acts over the past few days that carried symbolic meaning. It is understandable that on Friday afternoon the French authorities asked Jewish shop owners to close down their shops, because it wasn’t clear whether or not there were other Muslim killers on the loose. However, the closure of the Great Synagogue of Paris on Friday night by the authorities last happened during the German occupation. Many noticed its symbolism. The only vaguely similar precedent of synagogues closing on the Sabbath, due to threats, is a cancelled synagogue service in 2010 in the small Conservative synagogue of the town of Weesp, in the Netherlands. In this case, the decision was taken by the community leaders after they received a threat. In 2006, on one occasion, the Jewish community of Malmö, Sweden moved the service from the synagogue to a secret location. The Paris unity march, its positive message and the number of participants was impressive. Yet by inviting a variety of dictators who actively suppress freedom of the press, it became tainted. Reporters Without Borders mentions the participation of leaders from Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates. These are all countries where freedom of the press, among a variety of other freedoms and human rights, are suppressed.

 

The invitation sent by Hollande to the chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas was a direct offense to Israelis and to the Jewish people. Abbas has massively glorified the murder of civilians, Israelis, Jews, and others. Abbas should not have been invited by the French to begin with, and certainly should not have been put in the first row. It was a symptom of France’s recurrent duplicity. It has been said that Netanyahu was hurting the French by calling on all French Jews to immigrate to Israel. In referring to Jews who are native French citizens, the form in which it was initially done was tactless; the call for Aliya should have been phrased differently. Netanyahu could also have remarked to the French leaders that Israel has gone through a period where every restaurant has been obliged to have an armed guard. In the current French reality, police or soldiers are now guarding Jewish day schools so that children can go to class. It would not be an exaggeration to take such measures to protect Jewish restaurants and major shops in France, as well. When the hostage situation in the kosher supermarket became publicly known, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a socialist, came to the scene of the crime. This minister said during the past summer’s Protective Edge campaign that he would have participated in pro-Gaza demonstrations had he not been a member of the government. In other words, Cazeneuve would have supported the Islamo-Nazi Hamas movement.

 

Finally, France recently backed the Jordanian UN resolution for the establishment of a Palestinian state. France’s ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, claimed that there was an “urgent need to act”. He added, "Our efforts must not stop here. It is our responsibility to try again, before it's too late." It would have been far more truthful for Delattre to admit that France had voted for the resolution primarily to reward the Muslims who had voted massively for Hollande in the last presidential elections. As far as “an urgent need to act” is concerned, the French need to act urgently at home against the extreme violence perpetuated by criminal elements of its Muslim population. This need seems to be far more urgent than their involvement in the Middle East through messing up the Palestinian-Israeli conflict even further…                                        

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

 

Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                

                                                   

THE GLOBAL WAR ON MODERNITY                                                                                       

Garry Kasparov                                                                                                   

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 20, 2015

 

The recent terror attacks in Paris at the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, and at a kosher supermarket, leaving 17 people dead, represented the latest offensive in a struggle that most people, even many of its casualties, are unaware is even taking place. Globalization has effectively compressed the world in size, increasing the mobility of goods, capital and labor. Simultaneously this has led to globalization across time, as the 21st century collides with cultures and regimes intent on existing as in centuries past. It is less the famous clash of civilizations than an attempt by these “time travelers” to hold on to their waning authority by stopping the advance of the ideas essential to an open society.

 

Radical Islamists, from the Taliban and al Qaeda to Boko Haram and Islamic State, set the time machine to the Dark Ages and encourage the murder of all who oppose them, often supported by fatwas and funds from terror sponsors like Iran. The religious monarchies in the Middle East are guilty by association, creating favorable conditions for extremism by clamping down on any stirring of freedom. Vladimir Putin wants Russia to exist in the Great Power era of czars and monarchs, dominating its neighbors by force and undisturbed by elections and rights complaints. The post-Communist autocracies, led by Mr. Putin’s closest dictator allies in Belarus and Kazakhstan, exploit ideology only as a means of hanging on to power at any cost. In the East, Kim Jong Un ’s North Korea attempts to freeze time in a Stalinist prison-camp bubble. In the West, Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and the Castros in Cuba use anachronistic socialist propaganda to resist increasing pressure for human rights. What unites the time travelers is their rejection of modernity—or what we should instead call modern values, to replace the obsolete and condescending term “Western values.” With violence and with violent rhetoric, the time travelers’ natural target is often the traditional champion of the rights that threaten them: the United States. The guaranteed freedoms represented by the First Amendment frighten the radical mullahs and dictators more than any drone strike or economic sanction.

 

In addition to bringing these relics into contact and competition with the modern world that threatens their power, globalization provides the time travelers with markets for their natural resources and with the technology they use for murder and repression. Thus they cannot disengage from the modern world entirely. Since the time travelers cannot fight head-to-head with the ideas and prosperity of the Free World, they fall back on their arsenal of ideology, violence and disregard for human life. They combat the lure of free speech and free markets with irrationality: radical religion and nationalism, cults of personality and dogma, hatred and fear. Many politicians and pundits in the Free World seem to think that refusing to acknowledge you are in a fight means you can avoid losing it. But ignoring the reality of the conflict puts more innocents like the Paris victims—instead of trained soldiers and law enforcement—on the front lines. There are no easy ways to deter homegrown terrorists or nuclear-armed dictators, but this culture of denial must end before true progress can be made. We know that facing reality works because the Free World was willing to sacrifice to stop the advance of communism and to bring down the Berlin Wall. The 1990s were a honeymoon period with the peace dividend, the economic benefits of globalization and the miracle of the Internet shrinking the world even further. Yet when the 9/11 terror attacks ended the party, they didn’t dispel, for some, the belief that all we had to do was wait for the obvious advantages of liberal democracy and individual rights to spread on their own. Instead, the mullahs, monarchs and dictators are pushing back against the threat to their time-warped reigns. This is the common thread connecting the Putin attack on Ukraine and the murderous Islam-derived ideology that fuels jihadists like the Paris killers…

 

Although the modern world’s broader goal must be to bring those stuck in the past into the present, it cannot be achieved by force. Presenting an overwhelmingly appealing alternative, for instance, is the best way to blunt the jihadist appeal to young, susceptible Muslims. None of this means coddling or tolerating violent extremists or those who create them, at home or abroad. An open society that cannot defend its citizens will not be open for long. Symbols matter in this fight, symbols like Charlie Hebdo still publishing after the attack, and photographs of world leaders marching together for free speech (with the very notable absence of the supposed leader of the Free World). It is not enough to tell the billions of souls still living in the unfree world that these ideals matter; we also must show them. The terrorists and their teachers and the dictators and their enablers are quick to point out every hypocrisy, every double standard. We cannot compromise because, as Victor Hugo wrote in “ Les Travailleurs de la Mer,” “Men grow accustomed to poison by degrees.”…                                                                                                                                          

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

                                                           

Contents                                                                                                

                                                             

THE LAST LION REMEMBERED                                                                                              

Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                                    

National Review, Jan. 22, 2015

 

Fifty years ago this Saturday, former British prime minister Winston Churchill died at age 90. Churchill is remembered for his multiple nonstop careers as a statesman, cabinet minister, politician, journalist, Nobel laureate historian, and combat veteran. He began his career serving the British military as a Victorian-era mounted lancer and ended it as custodian of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. But he is most renowned for an astounding five-year-tenure as Britain’s wartime prime minister from May 10, 1940, to June 26, 1945, when he was voted out of office not long after the surrender of Nazi Germany.

 

Churchill took over the day Hitler invaded Western Europe. Within six weeks, an isolated Great Britain was left alone facing the Third Reich. What is now the European Union was then either under Nazi occupation, allied with Germany, or ostensibly neutral while favoring Hitler. The United States was not just neutral. It had no intention of entering another European war — at least not until after the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor a year and half later. From August 1939 to June 1941, the Soviet Union was an accomplice of the Third Reich. Russian leader Joseph Stalin was supplying Hitler with critical resources to help finish off Great Britain, the last obstacle in Germany’s path of European domination. Some of the British elite wished to cut a peace deal with Hitler to save their empire and keep Britain from being bombed or invaded. They understandably argued that Britain could hardly hold out when Poland, Denmark, Norway the Netherlands, Belgium, and France all had not. Yet Churchill voiced defiance and vowed to keep on fighting. After the fall of France, Churchill readied Britain’s defenses against a Nazi bombing blitz, and then went on the offensive against Italy in the Mediterranean. As much of London went up in flames, Churchill never flinched, despite the deaths of more than 40,000 British civilians. By some estimates, the Soviet Red Army eventually killed three out of four German soldiers who died in World War II. The American economic colossus built more military ships, aircraft, vehicles, and tanks than did any other country during World War II.

 

In comparison with such later huge human and material sacrifices, the original, critical British role in winning World War II is often forgotten. But Britain was the only major power on either side of the war to fight continuously the entire six years, from September 3, 1939, to September 2, 1945. Britain was the only nation of the alliance to have fought Nazi Germany alone without allies. Churchill’s defiant wartime rhetoric anchored the entire moral case against the Third Reich. Unlike the Soviet Union or the United States, Britain entered the war without being attacked, on the principle of protecting independent Poland from Hitler. Unlike America, Britain fought Germany from the first day of the war to its surrender. Unlike Russia, it fought the Japanese from the moment Japan started the Pacific War to the Japanese general surrender.

 

Churchill’s Britain had a far smaller population and economy than either the Soviet Union or the United States. Its industry and army were smaller than Germany’s. Defeat would have meant the end of British civilization. But victory would ensure the end of the British Empire and a future world dominated by the victorious and all-powerful United States and Soviet Union. It was Churchill’s decision that Britain would fight on all fronts of both the European and Pacific theaters. He ordered strategic bombing over occupied Europe, a naval war against the German submarine and surface fleets, and a full-blown land campaign in Burma. He ensured that the Mediterranean stayed open from Gibraltar to Suez. Churchill partnered with America from North Africa to Normandy, and he helped to supply Russia — even as Britain was broke and its manpower exhausted.

 

In the mid-1930s, Churchill first — and loudest — had damned appeasement and warned Europe and the United States about the dangers of an aggressive Nazi Germany. For that prescience, he was labeled a warmonger who wished to revisit the horrors of World War I. After the end of World War II, the lone voice of Churchill cautioned the West that its former wartime ally, the Soviet Union, was creating an “Iron Curtain” and was as ruthless as Hitler’s Germany had been. Again, he was branded a paranoid who unfairly demonized Communists. The wisdom and spirit of Winston Churchill not only saved Britain from the Third Reich, but Western civilization from a Nazi dark age, when there was no other nation willing to take up that defense. Churchill was the greatest military, political, and spiritual leader of the 20th century. The United States has never owed more to a foreign citizen than to Winston Churchill, a monumental presence 50 years after his death.

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

 

Contents           

 

On Topic

 

Does Europe Have No-Go Zones?: Daniel Pipes, The Blaze, Jan. 20, 2014—Comments by Steven Emerson on Fox News have prompted a heated debate over whether predominantly Muslim “no-go zones” exist in Europe.

France’s Moment of Truth: Michael Gurfinkiel, PJ Media, Jan. 16, 2015—The jihadist killing spree in Paris last week (seventeen people murdered, twice as many wounded) has been described as ”France’s 9/11 by Le Monde, the French liberal daily newspaper.

The Answer to French Anti-Semitism: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2015 —January 16 is the nine-year anniversary of the beginning of the Ilan Halimi disaster.

In Israel, Debate Over Whether French Jews Should Come — Or Stay Home: William Booth and Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, Jan. 15, 2014—Soon after four Jewish men were killed in a hostage-taking siege at a kosher market in Paris last week, the Israeli leadership leapt to offer refuge.

           

 

 

 

 

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Contents:         

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

Manfred Gerstenfeld: Paris Killings Aftermath: Symptoms of French Disease

After the recent spate of killings in Paris, French President François Hollande said that, “these fanatics have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”[1] Hollande’s words whitewash rather than clarify the problem, but his statement was just one of the many events in the aftermath of the Paris murders which merit further attention.

 

Among world leaders, Hollande is not alone in whitewashing the Muslim identity of criminals. In a speech about the Islamic State movement, President Barack Obama said it was “not ‘Islamic’” and added, “No religion condones the killing of innocents.”[2]

 

This sentiment about the extreme Muslim movement was shared by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who stated, “They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.”[3]

 

The fact that the Paris murderers were very much Muslims was made even clearer when a variety of Muslim religious leaders and organizations in the Middle East identified with them.[4]  One does not even need to go that far. Many Muslim pupils in France refused to participate in the minute of silence, held at schools out of respect for the victims.[5] 

 

The murderous events in Paris and the subsequent reactions are still too fresh to allow for a full-fledged assessment. Yet there are already a number of aspects which can be pointed out in the meantime, even if they merit further investigation.

 

First of all, between the two main killing sprees, there were marked differences in motive. The Charlie Hebdo journalists were killed for what they wrote and drew; the Jews in the supermarket were killed for who they were.
 

There is great symbolism in the four Jewish victims having been buried in Israel, even though they are Frenchmen. France has deceived them. The betrayal started long ago. France gave entry to millions of immigrants from a culture hostile to Jews. Algeria, Tunisia, and Morocco are among the ten most anti-Semitic countries in the world. These results are from a 2014 ADL study on classic anti-Semitism in the world.[6]

The situation in France would have been radically different had there been 500,000 Muslims in the country instead of the actual five million. The number of jihadis could then have been counted in the hundreds, rather than in the thousands, as is now the case. This unselective immigration policy of large anti-Semitic populations might be considered an unconscious form of state anti-Semitism. To make matters worse, only a part of these people have integrated into the general French population and thousands of them have become radicalized.

 

There were other acts over the past few days that carried symbolic meaning. It is understandable that on Friday afternoon the French authorities asked Jewish shop owners to close down their shops, because it wasn’t clear whether or not there were other Muslim killers on the loose. However, the closure of the Great Synagogue of Paris on Friday night by the authorities last happened during the German occupation. Many noticed its symbolism.[7]

 

The only vaguely similar precedent of synagogues closing on the Sabbath, due to threats, is a cancelled synagogue service in 2010 in the small Conservative synagogue of the town of Weesp, in the Netherlands. In this case, the decision was taken by the community leaders after they received a threat.[8] In 2006, on one occasion, the Jewish community of Malmö, Sweden moved the service from the synagogue to a secret location.[9]

 

The Paris unity march, its positive message and the number of participants was impressive. Yet by inviting a variety of dictators who actively suppress freedom of the press, it became tainted. Reporters Without Borders mentions the participation of leaders from Egypt, Russia, Turkey, Algeria and the United Arab Emirates. These are all countries where freedom of the press, among a variety of other freedoms and human rights, are suppressed.[10]

 

The invitation sent by Hollande to the chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas was a direct offense to Israelis and to the Jewish people. Abbas has massively glorified the murder of civilians, Israelis, Jews, and others. Abbas should not have been invited by the French to begin with, and certainly should not have been put in the first row.[11]  It was a symptom of France’s recurrent duplicity.

 

It has been said that Netanyahu was hurting the French by calling on all French Jews to immigrate to Israel. In referring to Jews who are native French citizens, the form in which it was initially done was tactless; the call for Aliya should have been phrased differently.[12]

 

Netanyahu could also have remarked to the French leaders that Israel has gone through a period where every restaurant has been obliged to have an armed guard. In the current French reality, police or soldiers are now guarding Jewish day schools so that children can go to class. It would not be an exaggeration to take such measures to protect Jewish restaurants and major shops in France, as well.

 

When the hostage situation in the kosher supermarket became publicly known, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a socialist, came to the scene of the crime.[13] This minister said during the past summer’s Protective Edge campaign that he would have participated in pro-Gaza demonstrations had he not been a member of the government.[14] In other words, Cazeneuve would have supported the Islamo-Nazi Hamas movement.

 

Finally, France recently backed the Jordanian UN resolution for the establishment of a Palestinian state. France’s ambassador to the UN, Francois Delattre, claimed that there was an “urgent need to act”. He added, "Our efforts must not stop here. It is our responsibility to try again, before it's too late."[15]

 

It would have been far more truthful for Delattre to admit that France had voted for the resolution primarily to reward the Muslims who had voted massively for Hollande in the last presidential elections.

 

As far as “an urgent need to act” is concerned, the French need to act urgently at home against the extreme violence perpetuated by criminal elements of its Muslim population. This need seems to be far more urgent than their involvement in the Middle East through messing up the Palestinian-Israeli conflict even further.

 

Sources:

[1] “12-French forces kill newspaper attack suspects, hostages die in second siege,” Reuters, 10 January 2014.

[2] “Statement by the President on ISIL,” The White House, 10 September 2014.

[3] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFmCkJ92DRw  
[4] “Algerian Terrorists Linked To ISIS, Al Qaeda, Charlie Hebdo Massacre Was Forewarned By Algeria,” Inquistr, 11 January 2015.

[5] Mattea Battaglia and Benoit Floc’h, “A Saint-Denis, collégiens et lycéens ne sont pas tous ‘Charlie,’” Le Monde Campus, 12 March 2015. [French]

[6] “ADL Global 100: A Survey of Attitudes toward Jews in Over 100 Countries around the World,” Anti-Defamation League, 2014.
[7] Michael Wilner, “Landmark Paris synagogue closes on Shabbat for first time since World War II,” The Jerusalem Post, 9 January 2015. 
[8] Karel Berkhout ‘Synagoge schrapt viering sabbat na dreiging’, NRC Handelsblad, 9 June 2010. [Dutch]

[9] Mikael Tossavainen, “Arab and Muslim Anti-Semitism in Sweden,” in Manfred Gerstenfeld, Behind the Humanitarian Mask – The Nordic Countries, Israel and the Jews, (Jerusalem: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, 2008), 97.
[10] Mark Tran, “Presence at Paris rally of leaders with poor free press records is condemned,” The Guardian, 11 January 2015.
[11] Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Abbas Hypocrisy: Participated in the Anti-Terror march in France, while PA glorifies terrorists who kill Israelis, Palestinian Media Watch, 11 January 2015.

[12] Piotr Smolar, “Le nombre exceptionnel de départs vers Israël traduit une lame de fond,” Le Monde, 11 January 2015. [French]

[13] Marion Souzeau, “Epicerie casher de la porte de Vincennes: les otages ‘vraisemblablement’ tués avant l'assaut,” Le Parisien, 13 January 2015. (French)

[14] “Rassemblement pro-Gaza: Cazeneuve aurait manifesté s’il n’était pas ministre,” Le Point, 15 August 2014. (French)

[15] AFP, “Palestinian Resolution Fails at UN Security Council”, Mail Online, 31 December 2014.