Month: February 2015

BAIRD & HUCKABEE NOBLY DEFEND THE JEWISH STATE & FIGHT THE DEVILS OF ANTISEMITISM & ANTI-ZIONISM

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:

 

Israel’s Scandalously Deficient Response to Global Anti-Semitic Tsunami: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Feb. 24, 2015 — Successive Israeli governments have failed miserably to meet the challenge of global anti-Semitism, not providing the leadership demanded of a Jewish state in these turbulent times and leaving Diaspora Jews to their own devices.

Demonizing Israel With False Moral Equivalence: Manfred Gerstenfeld & Jamie Berk, CIJR, Feb. 27, 2015— Rhetoric plays a major role in the demonization process of Israel.

Mike Huckabee, Tour Guide in the Holy Land: William Booth, Washington Post, Feb. 23, 2015 — Whether or not Mike Huckabee becomes president of the United States, the nation of Israel — and especially Israel’s hard-line right wing — has few more devoted fans than the former Arkansas governor, evangelical pastor and gung-ho tour guide to the Holy Land.

A Salute to John Baird: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Feb. 6, 2014— John Baird, the Canadian foreign minister who announced his retirement from politics this week, was more than a very good friend to the State of Israel.

 

On Topic Links

 

Remembering Prime Minister Menachem Begin: Breaking Israel News, Feb. 25, 2014

Hear Out Israel’s Leader: Joseph Lieberman, Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2015

Citing “Existential” Threat, Dermer Praises U.S.-Israel Ties, Defends PM’s Speech to Congress: Tower, Jan. 26, 2015

US-Israel Ties: The Mutually Beneficial, Two-Way Street: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Feb. 11, 2015

                                                                       

                      

ISRAEL’S SCANDALOUSLY DEFICIENT RESPONSE

TO GLOBAL ANTI-SEMITIC TSUNAMI

Isi Leibler        

Candidly Speaking, Feb. 24, 2015

 

Successive Israeli governments have failed miserably to meet the challenge of global anti-Semitism, not providing the leadership demanded of a Jewish state in these turbulent times and leaving Diaspora Jews to their own devices. The global anti-Semitic tsunami, an unprecedented surge of feral hostility compounded by the Internet, emanates from a combination of factors: rabid Muslim anti-Semitism and violence, demonical anti-Israelism of the Left, and traditional cultural and radical Jew-hatred of the Right. It has impacted on Jewish communities everywhere but ironically is most acute in Europe, the continent drenched with Jewish blood during the Holocaust. It gathered enormous momentum during the recent military confrontation with Hamas, climaxing in France.

 

The responses by European Jewish leaders differ in various countries. Overall, the French have responded courageously. In contrast, others have behaved like “trembling Israelites,” some remaining in denial and continuing to understate the problem. By and large, Jews in Europe are under great stress and many are despondent about their future. The situation in South America and South Africa has increasingly deteriorated. Even Canada and Australia, whose governments are strongly supportive of Israel, have witnessed an upsurge in anti-Semitism. In the United States, the Goldene Medina, despite the strong public and congressional support for Israel, many Jews are stunned by the anti-Israeli hysteria generated by the Left and some liberal media and shocked by the toxic levels of anti-Semitism displayed on many college campuses.

 

It is estimated that well over $100 million is invested in various overlapping agencies purporting to combat anti-Semitism. Some play a constructive role but others are useless and sometimes even counterproductive. Yet, despite this, American Jewry’s graying establishment leadership is on the defensive and has become less strident. The caustic and frequently hostile anti-Israeli remarks expressed by President Barack Obama were met with deafening silence — uncharacteristic of the traditionally feisty leaders. The reluctance, despite grass-roots outrage, of leading Jewish organizations — including the Anti-Defamation League — to publicly protest the New York Metropolitan Opera’s performance of the anti-Semitic opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” also exemplifies this trend.

 

Overall, Diaspora Jews are under enormous stress, confused and frequently divided as how to respond to the upsurge of anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic onslaughts. The global Jewish bodies purporting to combat these vicious trends all have limitations and have proven unable to provide the necessary direction on a global basis. The rejuvenated World Jewish Congress, headed by Ronald Lauder, has been a positive force, especially over the past year, among Jewish communities in Europe and especially in Latin America. Its inherent weakness is the absence of endorsement by the major American Jewish organizations, without which it cannot purport to represent world Jewry.

 

The Jewish Agency is headed by the charismatic Natan Sharansky, who possesses a full intellectual grasp of the problem. Unfortunately, he appears to have been diverted, channeling most of his energies toward fundraising, the bureaucratic management of an old and ailing organization, and concentrating primarily on non-contentious issues such as promoting Jewish identity. His absence of leadership was especially notable following the recent tragic events in France when he actually distanced the Jewish Agency from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call on French Jews to consider aliyah. Alas, today the Jewish Agency is no longer regarded as a major force in leading and coordinating with Diaspora Jews.

 

The World Zionist Organization (WZO), once a major body with active constituents throughout the world, is today utterly moribund, and has negligible impact as evidenced by its hibernation during the recent anti-Semitic upheavals in France. A few weeks ago, the WZO suddenly emerged from its slumber with a childish questionnaire to constituents inquiring whether they felt that anti-Semitism was growing. Incredibly, it was accompanied by a primitive video seeking to depict Belgian anti-Semitism. It highlighted a Rabbi Menachem Margolin of the Association of European Jews (not to be confused with the European Jewish Congress) who the previous week had castigated Netanyahu for his “Pavlovian calls for aliyah after every terror attack.” Former WZO leaders must be turning in their graves at the degeneration of this formerly respected body. Chairman Avraham Duvdevani should consider officially dissolving the organization which disgraces its remaining constituents in the U.K., Australia and South Africa who continue to be engaged in important Zionist activity.

 

Over a decade ago, Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, in conjunction with the Diaspora Affairs Ministry, created the Global Forum for Combating Anti-Semitism. It was enthusiastically supported and endorsed by major Jewish communal organizations and activists throughout the world. Sadly, due to lack of funding and personnel, it was unable to create a meaningful secretariat to maintain operations between the intermittent international conferences and therefore failed to provide the vital ongoing leadership and framework for consultation for which it was created. Ironically, despite the explosion of anti-Semitism, aside from a parliamentary offshoot, this organization is dormant. Its last conference was in 2013, with a follow-up meeting of 20 representatives held in February last year that was a nonevent. However, only recently, in a letter signed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett, the Global Forum invited Diaspora Jewish leaders and activists to participate in the fifth conference, scheduled for May 2015. That ministers, whose sole contribution to the organization comprised an opening statement to conferences, could launch a meeting scheduled for a date when they may no longer be in office, highlights how politicians with a penchant for exploiting platforms to aggrandize their political status have hijacked this area…

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

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

             

DEMONIZING ISRAEL WITH FALSE MORAL EQUIVALENCE                                                    

Manfred Gerstenfeld & Jamie Berk                         

CIJR, Feb. 27, 2015

 

Rhetoric plays a major role in the demonization process of Israel. Besides the use of lies, the dissemination of false arguments is prevalent among the major demonization techniques. It is thus important that those who publicly defend Israel are trained to see through such tactics. One prominent technique used against Israel is false moral equivalence. It is based on the deceitful claim that there is no difference between two greatly dissimilar actions.

 

Comparisons by nature easily lend themselves to abuse. Examples abound and only some of the most frequent ones can be mentioned here. Several go beyond the realm of common sense. A prominent one is the perverse claim that Israel’s behavior is equivalent to that of Nazi Germany or the Nazis. This example of false moral equivalence is widespread throughout Europe. Five studies covering nine European countries show that about 40% of Europeans think that Israel is a Nazi state. Another version of this falsehood is that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. This is also widespread as found in European polls. Yet another variant of this false comparison is that “Zionism is fascism.” When speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna in February 2013, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayipp Erdogan stated, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.” This statement was immediately criticized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Since false comparisons are so easily made, a great variety of them are used against Israel. The false moral equivalence of Zionism and racism was a tactic created by the Soviet Union to justify its refusal to condemn anti-Semitism. This political strategy was initially used in an attempt to expel Israel from the United Nations in the 1960s. Although it failed, the Soviet Union, its satellite states and its Arab allies eventually succeeded in 1975 in passing UN resolution 3379. It determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” Yet another example of false moral equivalence frequently used to demonize Israel is labelling Israel an apartheid state. Former U.S president Jimmy Carter is among those who made this false comparison in the title of his 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

 

Israeli left-wing journalist Benjamin Pogrund’s book, Drawing Fire has as its subtitle Investigating the Accusations of Apartheid in Israel. The author says in a personal note in the book: I was treated for stomach cancer at one of Israel’s leading hospitals, Hadassah Mt Scopus in Jerusalem. The surgeon (he was the head surgeon) was Jewish, the anesthetist was Arab. The doctors and nurses who cared for me were Jews and Arabs. During four and a half weeks as a patient, I watched Arab and Jewish patients get the same devoted treatment. A year or so later, the head surgeon retired; he was replaced by a doctor who is an Arab. Since then, I’ve been in hospital clinics and emergency rooms. Everything is the same for everyone. Israel is like apartheid South Africa? Ridiculous.

 

Another popular false moral equivalence used is the idea that Israel represents a colonial power in the Middle East. Historian Richard Landes exposed the hypocrisy of this moral equivalence. He wrote about the benign nature of Zionist settlements in Ottoman and British Palestine, sharply contrasting from the imperial aspirations of European powers at the time. “Rather than arrive as zero-sum military victors, the Zionists arrived as positive-sum neighbors.” Yet another use of false moral equivalence is comparing the Holocaust to the Naqba. Many have adopted this false moral equivalence. The Holocaust and Naqba are far from similar, however. The Holocaust was a planned genocide of industrial extermination. The Palestinian Naqba was a direct result of the refusal of Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel, which led to their major military defeat.  

 

Another category of moral equivalence implies that the intended murder of innocent civilians is equivalent to the accidental deaths of civilians in military actions. In March 2012, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton compared the deaths of innocent people like the Jewish children killed in Toulouse, France by serial killers and brutal dictators, like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, to the accidental deaths of civilians due to Israeli retaliatory actions in Gaza. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reacted by saying, “There is no similarity between an act of hatred or a leader killing members of his nation and a country fighting terror, even if civilians are harmed."…

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

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                                

                                        

MIKE HUCKABEE, TOUR GUIDE IN THE HOLY LAND                                                                                     

William Booth                                                                                                     

Washington Post, Feb. 23, 2015

 

Whether or not Mike Huckabee becomes president of the United States, the nation of Israel — and especially Israel’s hard-line right wing — has few more devoted fans than the former Arkansas governor, evangelical pastor and gung-ho tour guide to the Holy Land. The man is just nuts about Israel. Huckabee has been a regular visitor to Israel for 42 years, he says. Some years, he comes three or four times. He can’t remember how many trips exactly. Lots.

 

Among the many hats that Huckabee wears — he is also a former Fox news personality — the hat he has worn the longest is leader of the “Israel Experience With Mike Huckabee.” He’s led dozens of tours. Huckabee said he believes that “Americans support Israel, but until they see it, they don’t get it.” He’s not hot on the idea of two states for two peoples. But he is passionate about visiting the places where the Bible comes alive for him, such as the green hills now covered in wildflowers on the Mount of Beatitudes in the Galilee, where tradition says Jesus gave the sermon that called upon his followers to turn the other cheek, rather than take an eye for an eye.

 

Though busy preparing for another run for the White House, Huckabee is currently shepherding his flock of 253 paying guests around Israel for 10 days. That’s six busloads — a lot more people than may follow some candidates around New Hampshire in February next year. The Huckabee entourage includes Christian music hall-of-famer Al Denson, violinist and evangelical minister Maurice Sklar and country western star Larry Gatlin, who came off the bus here at Masada sporting a burnt-orange cap with a stitched-on pistol and the words “Texas: We Don’t Call 911” — which is kind of appropriate if you know the story of Masada. The price is $5,250, including round-trip airfare from New York, five-star hotel accommodations, all meals, deluxe motor-coach transport, licensed guides and all fees, tips and taxes. Huckabee’s wife, Janet, said they tell guests they can bring a $20 bill and come home with the change.

 

The Israel Experience tour focuses on the sacred, but there’s plenty of the political. On past trips, Huckabee and his guests have met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. They get an earful in evening lectures, too. On this trip, they’ve heard from speakers such as the philanthropist and venture capitalist Kenneth Abramowitz, president of American Friends of Likud, Netanyahu’s party. Abramowitz has been quoted calling for shutting down the United Nations. During this trip, Huckabee said, Abramowitz spoke to his group about the myths of the Middle East, “such as if Israel gives up land, it will get peace, which is a complete myth.”

 

The Huckabeeans also heard from Morton Klein, national president of the Zionist Organization of America, who explained to the group, according to Huckabee, that there’s really no such thing as the “Palestinians.” “The idea that they have a long history, dating back hundreds or thousands of years, is not true,” Huckabee said. The tourists didn’t hear from the Palestinians themselves on this matter. Huckabee said he hasn’t met with the leadership in Ramallah. On this tour, the group didn’t go to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, across the Israeli separation barrier in the West Bank, though they looked at it from one of the Jerusalem neighborhoods. “I’ve been a bit outspoken,” Huckabee said. “I’m not sure they’d be delighted to see me.”

 

They started this trip in Jerusalem’s Old City, bowed their heads at the Western Wall, slipped a note between the cracks in the great stones, strolled the Roman-era Cardo Maximus and took in the inspiring view from the Mount of Olives. They knelt where tradition says Jesus prayed in his moment of doubt and pain in the Garden of Gethsemane, hours before his crucifixion, his anguish so great that, according to Luke 22:44, “his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Don’t know your Bible verses? The participants on this tour do. As one of Huckabee’s guests joked, “Scripture will be quoted.” “It’s like the Bible in color,” Janet Huckabee said.

 

Here atop a high red butte in the Negev desert, towering above the Dead Sea, stands the mountain redoubt of Masada, built by King Herod just before the time of Jesus and occupied, as a kind of last-stand Jewish Alamo, by the Zealots who rebelled against Roman rule in 66 A.D. It is one of Huckabee’s favorite places in the world, and here the soon-to-be aspiring presidential contender gathered his people on Thursday. As the visitors stood beneath flapping blue, green and yellow banners — denoting the separate buses — and with the sun fighting with dark snow clouds above, Huckabee explained why. “One cannot understand the psyche of the Israelis, the heart and soul of Israel, without visiting two places,” Huckabee said: the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem and Masada. He called the latter “a God-made fortress” in the middle of the desert.

 

During the Great Revolt of the Jews, the rebels, known as the Sicarii because of their long, curved daggers, fled to Masada. The Roman 10th Legion laid siege to the mountaintop — 10,000 soldiers against 960 ­rebels, including women and children. Quoting the account left by Josephus Flavius, a Jewish ­leader turned Roman citizen who wrote “The Wars of the Jews,” Huckabee told his audience that in the hours before the gates were breached by the Romans, the rebel leader Eleazar Ben Yair told his people it was better to take their own lives than live as slaves to Rome. And that they did, with 10 men slaying all, and the last killing himself, Huckabee said. Huckabee compared their zeal for liberty to that of the American Founding Fathers and said the Jews on Masada fulfilled the New Hampshire license-plate motto, “Live Free or Die.” He said the Jews “reflect the values upon which our country was founded upon,” a love for freedom. He compared the Jewish Zealots to American men and women serving in the armed forces. He called the Jews “the only people who ever had this as their homeland” and said that when young recruits begin their service in the Israel Defense Forces, “they vow that Masada will never fall again — and they mean it.”  “Amen,” the audience said….

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

 

                                                           

Contents                                                                                               

                                                                 

A SALUTE TO JOHN BAIRD                                                                                              

David M. Weinberg                                                                                                      

Israel Hayom, Feb. 6, 2015

 

John Baird, the Canadian foreign minister who announced his retirement from politics…was more than a very good friend to the State of Israel. Baird is proof positive that it is possible to engage in moral diplomacy in a cynical world. He demonstrated that it is possible to be solidly pro-Israel and simultaneously gain a respected role on the international stage and maintain excellent ties with the Arab world. No country has been as trailblazing in its support of Israel in recent years as Canada. Baird and his boss, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have spoken out and acted to defend Israel, without apologies or hesitations. They have never felt the need to be politically correct and to "balance" their statements with (im)moral ambiguities about the Arab-Israeli conflict.

 

Canada was the first country in the world to cut ties with and aid to the Gaza government when Hamas seized power in 2006; the first country to withdraw its support from the infamous anti-Israel U.N. conferences known as Durban II and III; the first country to robustly defend Israel in the four wars it has been forced to fight in recent years against Hezbollah and Hamas; and a leading voice in defense of Israel at the G-8, G-20, U.N. Human Rights Council, and International Atomic Energy Agency. Over three years that it sat on the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, Canada stood alone in defense of Israel, eight times casting the only "no" vote against unfair condemnations of Israel. Canada would not, Baird said, "go along, just to get along" with politically correct, but morally perverse, de rigueur condemnations of Israel. Baird personally cast Canada's vote against U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood, with Canada being one of only nine countries that voted against the proposal. "We took a principled stand," Baird said. "We believe that statehood is a product of peace with Israel, and the Palestinian Authority is trying to go around Israel to the U.N. to get what they couldn't get at the negotiating table." Canada also has led the world in expressing deep skepticism of the interim agreements between the P5+1 and Iran, and in insisting that the scope of the talks must be broadened to include Iran's sponsorship of terrorism and its systemic violation of human rights.

 

The importance of the moral stances that Harper and Baird have taken in recent years must not be underestimated. They have emerged as voices of critique, courage and principle in a world that is in danger of losing its conscience about Jews and Israel. In a recent interview, Baird said the Harper government does not support Israel to win votes — he pointed out there are more Muslims and Arabs than Jews in Canada — but rather "because it is the right thing to do. I think when you do the right thing, in the end you will meet with success." "In our view, liberal democracies and international terrorist groups are not equal. They do not deserve equal treatment. True friends are measured by whether they are there for you when you need them most, when that support is steadfast, even when it's not popular or expedient," he said. "Just as communism and fascism were the great struggles of previous generations, terrorism is the great struggle of ours. And far too often the Jewish state is on the frontline in our struggle, and its people are the victims of terror. Canada will not accept or stay silent when the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory and its citizens."…

 

The upright Canadian stance paves the way toward two important conclusions. First, Canada's leadership suggests that the cynical, often amoral calculations that characterize so much of modern diplomacy — especially when it comes to Israel — need not reign supreme forever. World leaders need not bow to the demonization or to the Orwellian twisting of language and history that increasingly pertains to Israel. On the contrary, Baird's record demonstrates that in the long run, moral stances are possible and can become the basis for pragmatic diplomacy. Second, Baird has demonstrated that you can be solidly pro-Israel and simultaneously gain a respected role on the international stage and maintain excellent ties with the Arab world. Never before has Canada held a more prominent role on the international stage, on issues ranging from the Ukraine to Iran, and from supporting human rights to fighting terrorism. Furthermore, it is demonstrable that Canada's role and stature in the Middle East have been enhanced, not hampered, by the Harper government's close ties with Israel…

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

                       

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

Contents                                                                                     

 

On Topic

 

Remembering Prime Minister Menachem Begin: Breaking Israel News, Feb. 25, 2014—“I am not only a follower of Menachem Begin, but I’m an admirer,” says Prof. Moshe Arens, recalling the Prime Minister’s legacy in an exclusive interview with VOI’s Ernie Singer on the 23rd anniversary of the leader’s death.

Hear Out Israel’s Leader: Joseph Lieberman, Washington Post, Feb. 22, 2015 —Last week, 23 House Democrats asked Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to a joint meeting of Congress scheduled for March 3.

Citing “Existential” Threat, Dermer Praises U.S.-Israel Ties, Defends PM’s Speech to Congress: Tower, Jan. 26, 2015—In a speech Sunday night, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, praised the U.S.-Israel relationship and explained the importance of the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner to Israel’s Prime Minister of Israel to speak before a joint session of Congress on March 3.

US-Israel Ties: The Mutually Beneficial, Two-Way Street: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Feb. 11, 2015—Conventional wisdom suggests that US-Israel ties constitute a one-way-street: The US gives and Israel receives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                    

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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 & Jamie Berk: DEMONIZING ISRAEL WITH FALSE MORAL EQUIVALENCE

 

 

 

Rhetoric plays a major role in the demonization process of Israel. Besides the use of lies, the dissemination of false arguments is prevalent among the major demonization techniques.[1] It is thus important that those who publicly defend Israel are trained to see through such tactics. One prominent technique used against Israel is false moral equivalence. It is based on the deceitful claim that there is no difference between two greatly dissimilar actions.

 

Comparisons by nature easily lend themselves to abuse. Examples abound and only some of the most frequent ones can be mentioned here. Several go beyond the realm of common sense. A prominent one is the perverse claim that Israel’s behavior is equivalent to that of Nazi Germany or the Nazis. This example of false moral equivalence is widespread throughout Europe. Five studies covering nine European countries show that about 40% of Europeans think that Israel is a Nazi state.[2] [3] [4] Another version of this falsehood is that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. This is also widespread as found in European polls.[5] [6]

 

Yet another variant of this false comparison is that “Zionism is fascism.” When speaking at the Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna in February 2013, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayipp Erdogan stated, “Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”[7] This statement was immediately criticized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

 

Since false comparisons are so easily made, a great variety of them are used against Israel. The false moral equivalence of Zionism and racism was a tactic created by the Soviet Union to justify its refusal to condemn anti-Semitism. This political strategy was initially used in an attempt to expel Israel from the United Nations in the 1960s. Although it failed, the Soviet Union, its satellite states and its Arab allies eventually succeeded in 1975 in passing UN resolution 3379. It determined that “Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination.”[8]

 

Yet another example of false moral equivalence frequently used to demonize Israel is labelling Israel an apartheid state. Former U.S president Jimmy Carter is among those who made this false comparison in the title of his 2006 book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

 

Israeli left-wing journalist Benjamin Pogrund’s book, Drawing Fire has as its subtitle Investigating the Accusations of Apartheid in Israel. The author says in a personal note in the book:

 

I was treated for stomach cancer at one of Israel’s leading hospitals, Hadassah Mt Scopus in Jerusalem. The surgeon (he was the head surgeon) was Jewish, the anesthetist was Arab. The doctors and nurses who cared for me were Jews and Arabs. During four and a half weeks as a patient, I watched Arab and Jewish patients get the same devoted treatment. A year or so later, the head surgeon retired; he was replaced by a doctor who is an Arab. Since then, I’ve been in hospital clinics and emergency rooms. Everything is the same for everyone. Israel is like apartheid South Africa? Ridiculous.[9]

 

Another popular false moral equivalence used is the idea that Israel represents a colonial power in the Middle East. Historian Richard Landes exposed the hypocrisy of this moral equivalence. He wrote about the benign nature of Zionist settlements in Ottoman and British Palestine, sharply contrasting from the imperial aspirations of European powers at the time. “Rather than arrive as zero-sum military victors, the Zionists arrived as positive-sum neighbors.”[10]

 

Yet another use of false moral equivalence is comparing the Holocaust to the Naqba. Many have adopted this false moral equivalence. The Holocaust and Naqba are far from similar, however. The Holocaust was a planned genocide of industrial extermination. The Palestinian Naqba was a direct result of the refusal of Palestinians to accept the existence of Israel, which led to their major military defeat.

 

Another category of moral equivalence implies that the intended murder of innocent civilians is equivalent to the accidental deaths of civilians in military actions. In March 2012, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton compared the deaths of innocent people like the Jewish children killed in Toulouse, France by serial killers and brutal dictators, like Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, to the accidental deaths of civilians due to Israeli retaliatory actions in Gaza. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni reacted by saying, “There is no similarity between an act of hatred or a leader killing members of his nation and a country fighting terror, even if civilians are harmed."[11]

 

Many so-called humanitarian NGOs are frequent abusers of false moral equivalence. Even when writing brief statements about the human rights violations imposed upon Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit when he was kidnapped and imprisoned by Hamas terrorists for over five years, the reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch chose to bring attention to the false moral equivalence of a kidnapped Shalit and the convicted Palestinian terrorists sentenced by the courts to Israeli jails.[12] These false moral equivalencies between the Israeli imprisonment of terrorists and Palestinian kidnappings are far from the truth. Says American lawyer Alan Dershowitz,

 

“Every single prisoner held by Israel has judicial review available to him or her and some have won release. Every one of them has access to Red Cross visitation, can communicate with family, and has a known whereabout. Kidnapped Israeli soldiers on the other hand are kept incommunicado by criminal elements, are routinely tortured, often murdered, (as occurred recently) and have no access to the Red Cross or judicial review. Moreover, the prisoners being held by Israel are terrorists—that is, unlawful combatants. Many are murderers who have been convicted and sentenced in accordance with due process. The “women” and “children” are guilty of having murdered or attempted to murder innocent babies and other non-combatants. The soldiers who were kidnapped are lawful combatants subject to prisoner of war status.”

 

Dershowitz mentioned that Hamas or Hezbollah would not treat the Israeli soldiers in the same manner that Israel treats its prisoners, because “they are terrorist organizations who do not operation within the rule of the law.”[13]

 

Many more false moral equivalences can be mentioned. Israel’s public defenders and diplomats have, for the most part, not been trained to recognize and systematically fight against abusive moral equivalence. The damage caused by these demonization tactics should be addressed and dealt with by those who are in the public eye. The same is true for other false arguments that are frequently used, such as sentimental appeals, double standards and scapegoating. Failing to combat false moral equivalence is one of the many Israeli shortcomings in the war of words to which its government authorities should give far more serious attention.[14]



[1] “Some Informal Argument Fallacies,” University of North Carolina. http://www.unc.edu/~tparent/fallacies.htm

[2] Wilhelm Heitmeyer (red),  Deutsche Zustände. Folge 3, (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2005.) 151. [German]

[3] “In Norway, 38% believe Israel treats Palestinians like how Nazis treated Jews, survey shows,” Haaretz, 14 June 2012.

[4] “Zusammenfassung zentraler Ergebnisse,” Frederich Ebert Stiftung and Bielefeld University, November 20, 2014, 5. (German)

 

[5] “Kritik an Israel nicht deckungsgleich mit antisemitischen Haltungen,” GFS Bern, March 2007. [German]

[6] “Intolerance, Prejudice, and Discrimination: A European Report,” FES Projekt Gegen Rechts and Frederich Ebert Stiftung Forum Berlin, 2011. 

[7] “Erdogan: Zionism is a crime against humanity,”YNet, 28 February 2013.

[8] 3379 (XXX). World conference to combat racism and racial discrimination,” United Nations, 10 November 1975.

[9] Benjamin Pogrund, Drawing Fire (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), 152.

 

[10] Richard Landes, “1948-2008 Part I: The Sad Story of the Nakba,” The Augean Stables, 8 May 2008.

[11] JPost.com Staff, “Israel to Ashton: Retract Toulouse-Gaza comparison,” The Jerusalem Post, 20 March 2013.

[12] "Israel-Hamas prisoner swap casts harsh light on detention practices of all sides," Amnesty International, 18 October 2011. See also: "Gaza: Allow Access to Gilad Shalit," Human Rights Watch, 25 June 2010.

[13] Alan Dershowitz, “The Anti-Israel Double Standard Watch,” The Huffington Post, 14 July 2006.

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

 

ISRAELI ELECTION BUILDUP IS DOMINATED BY NETANYAHU’S CONGRESS SPEECH & ROW WITH OBAMA

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:

 

Deadlock Between the Likud and the Zionist Union Continues: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Feb. 25, 2015 — Over the past week, the political debate became heated but remained unfocused.

Netanyahu’s True Electoral Rival: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 19, 2015 — Officially, the election on March 17 is among Israelis.

No One’s Talking About the Palestinian Question: Father Raymond J. De Souza, National Post, Feb. 25, 2015— On Sunday evening, an 18-year-old Palestinian began stabbing 27-year-old Avraham Goldstein, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, near Jerusalem’s City Hall.

In Search of Israeli Leadership: Charles Bybelezer, CIJR, Feb. 23, 2014— With the election cycle in full swing, it has become apparent that Israelis are seriously limited in their choices.

 

On Topic Links

 

United Israeli Front Against Agreement With Iran: Tom Dolev, Jerusalem Online, Feb. 24, 2015

The Appalling Talk of Boycotting Netanyahu: Alan M. Dershowitz, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 23, 2014

Is Obama Stirring up Anti-Semitism?: Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 25, 2015

The Palestinians and Israeli Elections: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 10, 2015

Likud, Zionist Union Spar After Jerusalem Stabbing Attack: Lazar Berman, Times of Israel , Feb. 23, 2015

                                                                       

 

DEADLOCK BETWEEN THE LIKUD AND THE ZIONIST UNION CONTINUES                                                    

Manfred Gerstenfeld

CIJR, Feb. 25, 2015

 

Over the past week, the political debate became heated but remained unfocused. There was a brief moment of unity after MK Uri Orbach of Bayit Yehudi and Minister of Pensioner’s Affairs passed away at the age of 54. He was eulogized by politicians of many parties across the board. The debate over Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the US Congress continued. To avoid having it become election propaganda, the Chairman of the Elections Committee, Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran, decided that the speech will not be broadcast live in Israel. A delay of five minutes will enable broadcasting companies to cut out any elements they would consider to be propaganda.  The speech will be followed online in real time, thus the measure remains largely symbolic.

 

In view of the fragmented and often low-level debates, President Reuven Rivlin said at the Institute for National Security Studies conference that the candidates for prime minister should focus on the more important issues. He mentioned the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, security threats, the economic situation and the treatment of minorities. In view of Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to the US Congress, Rivlin remarked that Israelis have the right to hear what Netanyahu has to say first, and hear it in Hebrew. The Supreme Court overruled the Central Elections Committee’s disqualifications of MK Haneen Zoabi and Yahad candidate Baruch Marzel.  Eight judges voted in favor of reinstating them, and only one voted against.  Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other right-wing MKs stated that letting Zoabi run for the Knesset was akin to supporting terrorism.

 

The marginal issue of the Prime Minister’s home expenses became one of the most discussed topics of the week. The State Comptroller’s office published a report on the expenses of the Prime Minister’s residence, which, from 2009 to 2011, rose from NIS 1.8 million to 3.1 million. In 2013 they declined to 2.4 million. The report also mentioned several potentially criminal issues related to these expenses.  The Attorney General will now have to decide whether or not to have the police probe the issue.  Likud minister Yuval Steinitz said that, “in 2012, [President] Peres’ household expenditures were 20 times as much as Netanyahu’s.” Steinitz questioned the timing of the report, the more so as the State Comptroller had never investigated the residential expenses of any previous prime ministers. Steinitz added, “Perhaps the comptroller gave in to pressure from the media.” In response to the criticism, the Prime Minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu invited a well-known Israeli interior designer to visit the residence and testify that it was not without its problems. This visit was filmed and put online,  which led to further criticism of various kinds. Former domestic intelligence Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin wrote on Facebook that, "filming the Prime Minister's residence is a serious breach of security.” He added that, "every intelligence service or foreign terrorist organization would pay a fortune to get all those details."

 

The sniping between the parties continued. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said that Israel would be in a better position to improve the upcoming agreement between Iran and the West if Prime Minister Netanyahu had not caused the deterioration of relations between Israel and the US.  It was a doubtful comment, as the US President Barack Obama has, on multiple occasions and for many years, been whitewashing extreme crimes coming out of the world’s Muslim communities. Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, along with their security executives, visited the periphery of Gaza. Their “security outlook would be based on defense, deterrence and changing our strategy to initiating and building a future and a horizon,” said Herzog. He added that Gaza remains a “ticking time bomb, and Netanyahu failed against Hamas.” Netanyahu responded in a speech in Ashkelon and called Livni “a danger to the state.” He said that Livni claimed that she would not negotiate with Hamas, yet she went to visit Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, only a few days before he signed a unity agreement with Hamas.

 

The Likud has been rather successful in drawing viewers for two of its videos on line. The first one was called the ‘Bibisitter”, where Netanyahu presents himself as a babysitter to a young couple who are going out for an evening. Bibi tells the couple that they can choose between him or Herzog and Livni. The couple answered that in the latter case, it would be their children that would have to babysit Herzog, rather than the reverse, while Livni would leave in the middle. The latter refers to the fact that Livni has been a candidate of four different political parties — the Likud, Kadima, Hatnuah and the Zionist Union — throughout her various election campaigns. The second Likud clip is called Pizza Buji, a play on Herzog’s nickname “Buji”. It had close to 500,000 views within 12 hours. A young man orders a pizza and finds out that it comes with a side order of Tzipi Livni, which the young man does not want. It presents Livni as a liability to the Zionist Union. Herzog wants to debate Netanyahu directly, but Netanyahu is only willing to do so if Livni also participates, as the agreement between Livni and Herzog is that she will replace him midterm should he be elected as prime minister.

 

The social media network further fragments the election campaigns and makes it increasingly difficult to keep track of developments. This the more so as individual candidates also promote messages in their own field of expertise on their Facebook sites. In the meantime, Herzog has bolstered the Zionist Union’s campaign team with Reuven Adler, an experienced advertiser, who worked closely with the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Polls keep contradicting each other. While there are shifts within various blocs, there are hardly any between them. The Likud, Israel Beiteinu and Bayit Yehudi in the Knesset currently have 43 seats, and most polls give them a combined 41-43 seats. The Zionist Union and Meretz have 27 seats in the current Knesset, and according to the polls, may perhaps gain 1 or 2 seats. Centrist party Yesh Atid currently has 19 seats. The polls say that it may have to share with the other centrist party, Kahlon-led Koolanu, to garner up to 20 seats. The three Orthodox parties may share the 18 seats that Shas and United Torah Judaism currently hold. The United Arab List may gain 1 seat over and above the 11 it holds at present.

 

Polls occasionally ask questions about the public’s favorites for particular minister posts. A Walla poll found that Kahlon was preferred as finance minister by 34% of the respondents, followed by the Zionist Union’s Manuel Trajtenberg with 17% and Lapid with 13%. Surprisingly, Livni was found to be the preferred candidate for foreign minister with 24%, followed by the Likud’s Gilad Erdan with 18%, and Liberman with 17%. Lapid came in with 14% and Koolanu’s Michael Oren at 7%.

                                                           

Contents                                                                                               

                                                    

NETANYAHU’S TRUE ELECTORAL RIVAL                                                                                                

Caroline Glick                                                                                                     

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 19, 2015

 

Officially, the election on March 17 is among Israelis. Depending on how we vote, either Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will remain in office and form the next government led by his Likud party, or Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni will form a government. But unofficially, a far greater electoral drama is unfolding. The choice is not between Netanyahu and Herzog/Livni. It is between Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama. As the White House sees it, if Herzog/Livni form the next government, then Jerusalem will dance to Obama’s tune. If Netanyahu is reelected, then the entire edifice of Obama’s Middle East policy may topple and fall. Secretary of State John Kerry made clear the administration’s desire to topple Netanyahu last spring during his remarks before the Trilateral Commission. It was during that memorable speech that Kerry libeled Israel, claiming that we would automatically and naturally become an apartheid state if we didn’t give Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to the PLO, Jew free, as quickly as possible. Despite Israel’s venality, Kerry held out hope. In his words, “if there is a change of government [in Israel], or a change of heart, something will happen.”

 

Shortly after Kerry gave his Israel apartheid speech, his Middle East mediator Martin Indyk attacked Israel and the character of the Israeli people in an astounding interview to Yediot Aharonot. Among other things, Indyk hinted that to force Israel to make concessions demanded by the PLO, the Palestinians may need to launch another terror war. Indyk also threatened that the Palestinians will get their state whether Israel agrees to their terms or not. In his words, “They will get their state in the end – whether through violence or by turning to international organizations.”  Indyk made his statements as an unnamed US official. When his identity was exposed, he was forced to resign his position. Following his departure from government service he returned to his previous position as vice president of the Brookings Institution and the director of its foreign policy program. Last September, The New York Times reported that the Brookings Institute received a $14.8 million, four-year donation from Qatar, the chief financier of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

This week, Indyk was back in Israel to speak at the annual conference of the Institute for National Security Studies. There he provided us with a picture of what we can expect from the Obama administration in its remaining two years in office if Netanyahu forms the next government. On the Palestinian front, Indyk warned that Israel shouldn’t be worried about the Palestinians getting an anti-Israel resolution passed in the UN Security Council. Rather, it can expect that the US will join with the other permanent members of the UN Security Council to pass a resolution “against Israel’s will” that will “lay out the principle of a two-state solution.” As Indyk intimated, Israel can avoid this fate if it elects a Herzog/Livni government. Such a government, he indicated, will preemptively give in to all of the Palestinians demands and so avoid a confrontation with the US and its colleagues at the Security Council. Indyk explained, “If there is a government in Israel after these elections that decides to pursue a two-state solution, then there is a way forward. It begins with coordinating an initiative with the United States. And then, together with the US, looking to Egypt and Jordan and the resurrection of the Arab Peace Initiative.”

 

As for Iran, Indyk shrugged at Israel’s concerns over the agreement that Obama is now seeking to conclude with the Iranian regime regarding its nuclear weapons program. That agreement will leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state. Indyk suggested that the US could assuage Israel’s concerns by signing a bilateral treaty with Israel that would commit the US to do something if Iran passes some nuclear threshold. There are only three problems with such a deal. First, as former ambassador to the US Itamar Rabinovich noted, such a treaty would likely render Israel unable to take independent action against Iranian nuclear sites. Second, the US has a perfect track record of missing every major nuclear advance by every country. US intelligence agencies were taken by surprise when India, Pakistan and North Korea joined the nuclear club. They have always underestimated Iranian nuclear activities and were taken by surprise, repeatedly, by Syria’s nuclear proliferation activities. In other words, it would be insane for Israel to trust that the US would act in a timely manner to prevent Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold. Third of course is the demonstrated lack of US will – particularly under the Obama administration – to take any action that could prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. So Israel has no reason whatsoever to believe that the US would honor its commitment. But then, since the Obama administration believes that Herzog and Livni will be compliant with its policies, the White House may expect the two will agree to forgo Israel’s right to self-defense and place Israel’s national security in relation to Iran in Obama’s hands.

 

And this brings us to the real contest unfolding in the lead-up to March 17. When Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner announced last month that he had invited Netanyahu to address the joint houses of Congress on the threat emanating from Iran’s nuclear program and from radical Islam, he unintentionally transformed the Israeli elections from a local affair to a contest between Obama and Netanyahu. Obama’s response to Netanyahu’s speech has been astounding. His ad hominem attacks against Netanyahu, his open moves to coerce Democratic lawmakers to boycott Netanyahu’s speech, and the administration’s aggressive attempts to damage Israel’s reputation in the US have been without precedent. More than anything, they expose a deep-seated fear that Netanyahu will be successful in exposing the grave danger that Obama’s policies toward Iran and toward the Islamic world in general pose to the global security…

 

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

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

             

NO ONE’S TALKING ABOUT THE PALESTINIAN QUESTION                                                               

Father Raymond J. de Souza

National Post, Feb. 25, 2015

                                                                     

On Sunday evening, an 18-year-old Palestinian began stabbing 27-year-old Avraham Goldstein, an ultra-Orthodox Jew, near Jerusalem’s City Hall. The mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Birkat, a former paratrooper, was arriving just then and saw the terror attack underway. With his bodyguards, he tackled the assailant and held him until police arrived. Goldstein was moderately injured and is expected to recover. The next day, Birkat was cracking jokes about his heroics with Natan Sharansky, head of the non-profit Jewish Agency for Israel, at a meeting of their board of governors. Sharansky knows something about heroism himself, having survived nine years behind bars in the Soviet Union as a political prisoner. It was one of those only-in-Israel moments: Could anyone imagine Calgary’s Naheed Nenshi or Montreal’s Denis Coderre leaping into action to save someone from a knife-wielding terrorist?

 

Yet what was striking was the normalcy with which it was greeted: In the midst of a national election campaign, the matter did not become an occasion for a heated discussion about the Palestinian question. Indeed, when Israeli voters go to the polls in three weeks to elect a new Knesset, the entire Palestinian issue will be in the background. There are at least three reasons for this change in discourse. First, this election, only two years after the last national election, has been unusually focused on personalities, especially that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Observers from different points on the political spectrum have expressed a frustration with the low tone of the whole campaign, which has featured negative attacks on the character of various politicians, rather than affairs of state. Netanyahu is a dominating figure and has been around a long time — his first premiership began nearly 20 years ago and his second term started in 2009.

 

Second, nobody has the faintest idea of what to do about the supposed Palestinian peace process. Gaza is a mess and only months removed from war. The Palestinian government of Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank is in power only because it is being protected by the Israeli Defence Forces, lest Hamas take over there, too. Further east in the Hashemite Kingdom, there are serious worries about what might happen should ISIS move southward toward the Jordanian border. To the north, Israel now faces an enormous number of Hezbollah forces in southern Lebanon — far more than there were during the war in 2006, and armed with much more advanced rockets — as well as ominous instability on the Syrian border. Even if Israel were to be offered a perfect deal tomorrow, it would not be possible to make an agreement, as it is not clear who would be in charge of the subsequent Palestinian state the day after tomorrow. Abbas, for his part, knows the same, and so is pursuing the Palestinian agenda elsewhere, through UN declarations and manoeuvring at the International Criminal Court. For the first time I can remember, my Palestinian friends here spontaneously speak not of Israel, but of broader regional forces.

 

Third, the entire region is exploding. For decades one has heard the claim that if the Israeli-Palestinian question is solved, everything else in the Middle East would be better. No one believes that now. Even if swords were beaten into ploughshares in Jerusalem tomorrow, it would remain secondary to the main action in the Middle East, which is, in no particular order: i) the question for an Iranian-controlled land corridor from Teheran to the Mediterranean, almost complete now save for territory controlled by ISIS; ii) the rise of ISIS itself, combining brutality with social media sophistication, the better to attract jihadists worldwide; and iii) the response to Iran and ISIS of horrified Arab powers, which explains everything from the president of Egypt visiting Christian churches to the Saudis pumping oil to impoverish the Iranians.

 

Next week, Netanyahu will travel to Washington in mid-campaign for a visit that will highlight his poor relationship with President Barack Obama. On Tuesday, Obama made the point clearly by receiving the emir of Qatar at the White House. Qatar hosts the Al-Udeid airbase, which Americans use to stage attacks against ISIS. But fighting ISIS also helps Iran’s regional ambitions, which Qatar also advances with its support of the Iranian proxy Hamas. That Obama would have him to the White House when he won’t receive Netanyahu is a pointed rebuke, especially when the Israeli prime minister will be speaking to Congress about the Iranian threat. The Israeli-Palestinian question has thus been squeezed out by local forces from below and global forces from above. National struggles have been overtaken by a regional religious war within the Islamic world. Replacing nationalism with religious fanaticism is not a step forward. It’s incredible to think that both Israelis and Palestinians may well pine for the simpler days of the first intifada, and the Oslo accords that followed after.                                                                                                

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                                 

                                             

IN SEARCH OF ISRAELI LEADERSHIP                                                                                     

Charles Bybelezer

CIJR, Feb. 23, 2015

 

With the election cycle in full swing, it has become apparent that Israelis are seriously limited in their choices. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has served his country admirably, he spent his latest term deflecting criticism of indecisiveness, levied against him his entire political career. Despite repeated “hawkish” declarations on security, multiple terrorist attacks in recent months, invoking memories of the second intifada, exemplify the previous government’s inability to protect its citizenry; this, on the heels of the 50-day war against Hamas, which was an abject failure by any measure. Most importantly, Netanyahu has failed to achieve his primary objective; namely, to stop Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons. While he should be commended for forcing the issue onto the international community’s agenda, the Islamic Republic has nonetheless expanded its atomic program by leaps and bounds during Netanyahu’s tenure, to the point where Tehran has effectively become a nuclear threshold state. Nevertheless, Netanyahu may still win reelection, solely on the basis of being the best of a bad lot.

 

By comparison, a Tzipi Livni-led government would undoubtedly steer the country toward the nearest iceberg. Livni is perhaps the worst high-profile politician in Israel’s history, her resume a laundry list of colossal failures. As foreign minister in the Olmert government, Livni spearheaded UN Resolution 1701, which left securing southern Lebanon to international peacekeepers after the 2006 war against Hezbollah. Nearly a decade later, Iran’s proxy has amassed some 100,000 rockets and is battle-tested after fighting on behalf of the Assad regime in the ongoing Syrian civil war. Later, as leader of Kadima (the Likud offshoot responsible for pushing through the disastrous disengagement from Gaza), Livni was unable to form a government despite winning the most mandates in the 2009 election. She was thereafter totally irrelevant as head of the opposition. Most recently, Livni failed miserably in her role as chief negotiator with the Palestinians, overseeing a futile nine-month process that, like all “peace” talks before them, culminated with a surge in Palestinian terrorism. Then there are the middle-of-the-pack candidates: Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid and Moshe Kahlon with his newly-formed Kulanu party. The reality is that time is not on Liberman’s side and, despite attempts to rebrand himself as a moderate, it appears as though diminishing popular support will preclude him from becoming prime minister. For his part, Lapid is the latest Israeli political flameout after an awful run as finance minister; at least half of his mandates will likely be scooped up by Kahlon, this election’s trendy “centrist” running a campaign premised on “social justice.”  

 

Which brings us to what were the two great hopes of the upcoming election, emanating from opposite sides of the political spectrum. But, sadly, both Labor’s Isaac Herzog and Bayit Yehudi’s Naftali Bennett have recently proven they are likewise not ready to assume the mantle of leadership. Herzog is by far the more disappointing. Steeped in Zionist tradition, he could have been the first leader of the Left in decades with mass – perhaps even crossover – appeal; but by joining forces with Livni – whose party was unlikely to pass the electoral threshold – and agreeing to a rotating premiership, Herzog effectively signaled to the nation that he is not ready for the top job. Compared to Netanyahu’s decision to merge with Liberman prior to the last election – a move that, according to polls, virtually ensured Netanyahu would be asked to form the next government – Herzog comes off looking like a serially- dependent political neophyte. Bennett’s case is more complex. While he has become the face of the “far Right,” an alleged fierce opponent of territorial compromises to the Palestinians, recent statements suggest he may not be the consummate ideologue. During his appearance at the Saban Forum in December, Bennett contradicted his previous position by saying that he would not, as prime minister, annex Area C of the West Bank, suggesting that such a process could take up to four decades. In the interim, he called for enhanced cooperation with the Palestinian leadership.

 

The bitter truth is that Israel is suffering from the absence of leadership, which has created a sense of alienation, if not dejection and even anger, among the population. While the Jewish state has faced incredible challenges in its brief history, it has overcome them only because past leaders believed in more than simply amassing power, and acted in accordance with those convictions. They understood Israel to be a living, breathing cause, and that without proper guidance that cause would begin to erode. And this is where Israel finds itself today, its legitimacy eroded. Much of this is attributable to our enemies, but successive Israeli leaders – or lack thereof – have played their part.

 

Charles Bybelezer is a correspondent for i24news, and a former CIJR Publications Manager

 

Contents                                                                                     

 

 

On Topic

 

United Israeli Front Against Agreement With Iran: Tom Dolev, Jerusalem Online, Feb. 24, 2015—Regarding the upcoming elections in Israel, candidates are usually found arguing or attacking each other. With regards to the Iranian nuclear program, however, Netanyahu, Bennett and Ya’alon were able to display a joint front.

The Appalling Talk of Boycotting Netanyahu: Alan M. Dershowitz, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 23, 2014—As a liberal Democrat who twice campaigned for President Barack Obama, I am appalled that some Democratic members of Congress are planning to boycott the speech of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 to a joint session of Congress.

Is Obama Stirring up Anti-Semitism?: Michael Freund, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 25, 2015—Barack Obama is running scared. In advance of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress next week about the growing threat of a nuclear Iran, the normally placid president of the United States is suddenly breaking out into a political sweat.

The Palestinians and Israeli Elections: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 10, 2015—So far, the Palestinians have shown little interest, if any at all, in the upcoming Israeli elections, slated for March 17.

Likud, Zionist Union Spar After Jerusalem Stabbing Attack: Lazar Berman, Times of Israel , Feb. 23, 2015—The ruling Likud party and the Zionist Union, its main rival in the upcoming national elections, squabbled Sunday hours after a Palestinian teenager stabbed a Jewish man in Jerusalem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                    

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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

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: “Hundreds of Palestinians left homeless after Israel opens river dam and floods houses… hours before Jewish state’s electric company cuts off power in West Bank cities,”— report in Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper. An annual lie about Israel flooding the Gaza Strip circled the globe this week. France’s AFP wire service posted a video showing flooding in the Gaza Strip in the wake of last week’s storm, entitled “Gaza village floods after Israel opens dam gates.” Al Jazeera and Palestinian news agency Ma’an also reported that Israel had caused the flooding by opening dams. The official Palestinian Al Wafa news service even said Israel “pumped large amounts of rainwater into the Gaza Strip, causing tens of neighboring homes to sink, according to witnesses and media sources.” Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper outdid the other reports, tying the flooding in with Israel’s Electric Corporation temporarily suspending service to West Banks cities Nablus and Jenin.  “The flooding was today compounded after an Israeli power company cut electricity to two of Gaza’s major West Bank cities,” the report read. Of course, Gaza doesn’t have any major West Bank cities, because Gaza and the West Bank are two separate geographic entities. Israel also doesn’t have any dams in the Gaza watershed that it could open to flood Gaza. (Times of Israel, Feb. 25, 2015)

 

 

 

On Topic Links 

 

 

Deadlock Between the Likud and the Zionist Union Continues: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Feb. 25, 2015

Academic Progressivism Descends into Moral Madness: Richard L. Cravatts, Times of Israel, Feb. 16, 2015

This Week in Jihad: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Feb. 18, 2015

A Dream Deal With Iran: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Feb. 23, 2015

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“It is astonishing that even after the recent IAEA report determined that Iran is continuing to hide the military components of its nuclear program, the nuclear talks with it are proceeding.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister, trying to keep security at the top of the agenda in the election campaign,  added that “Iran is trying to also to develop a third front on the Golan Heights via the thousands of Hezbollah fighters who are in southern Syria and over which Iran holds direct command…The coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threaten our existence. The agreement that is being formulated between Iran and the major powers is dangerous for Israel and therefore I will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world.” Netanyahu is scheduled to address a joint meeting of U.S. Congress March 3; the Israeli elections are March 17. (Jewish Press, Feb. 22, 2015)

 

“Iran has an appalling human-rights record, is a state sponsor of terrorism, and has long held nuclear ambitions,” —Johanna Quinney, a spokeswoman for Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Rob Nicholson. Quinney said the federal government believes “every diplomatic step” should be taken to ensure Iran never obtains nuclear weapons. “Iran has repeatedly called for the destruction of our greatest ally in the Middle East, Israel.” Canada’s sanctions against Iran will remain in place, Ms. Quinney added, “so long as the Iranian regime continues to threaten international peace and security.” (Globe & Mail, Feb. 24, 2015)

 

“We are here to pay tribute to this great country…Prime Minister Netanyahu is a remarkable man; one of the great leaders of our day,” —Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-NC). “Regretfully our president is the Neville Chamberlain of our day – he doesn’t know how to handle evil.” Pittenger said that Netanyahu and Obama represented two different world views: “Netanyahu is Winston Churchill – and the American public deserves to hear his point of view as the prime minister of the country that sits in the heart of it all,” the North Carolina congressman said. With one week to go before Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, Pittenger and  Rep. Dennis Ross visited Israel to demonstrate their support for the Jewish state. Pittenger and Ross spent time visiting with the IDF, meeting local Arab and Israeli politicians as well as Netanyahu. (Jewish Press, Feb. 22, 2015) 

 

“Our greatest ally – Israel – seems to have been cast out to sea with the Iran issue,” —Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL). “It’s unfortunate that President Obama is casting a blind eye to the Israeli-American relationship. There are real life consequences to allowing Iran nuclear arms and the nuclear threat will be one that will impact our everyday lives,” Ross added. (Jewish Press, Feb. 22, 2015) 

 

"There's something wrong with the rhetoric here…I think the President is a very poor leader," —Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani told CNN he was disgusted by Obama and his response to the murders of Egyptian Coptic Christians at the hands of I.S., and the response to last month's attacks in Paris. Obama should have held a press conference to immediately denounce the acts, much as he did after the racial unrest in Ferguson, Mo. Giuliani complained Obama doesn't compare to past presidents John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, or Bill Clinton. "I don't regret making the statement," said the former mayor. "I believe it. I don't know if he loves America. I don't feel the same enthusiasm from him for America.” (Newsmax, Feb. 21, 2015)

 

"If just a handful of mujahedeen fighters could bring Kenya to a complete standstill for nearly a week, then imagine what a dedicated mujahedeen in the West could do to the American or Jewish-owned shopping centres across the world," — Online video reportedly issued by the Somalia-based, al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group, al-Shabaab. Most of the recording posted to YouTube on Saturday glorifies the attack by al-Shabaab on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, where gunmen killed about 60 people in September 2013. Close to the end of the nearly 77-minute video, a masked man with an English accent calls on "Muslim brothers to target the disbelievers wherever they are" and lists a number of shopping centres that could be attacked in the West. "What if such an attack was to occur in the Mall of America in Minnesota, or the West Edmonton Mall in Canada, or in London's Oxford Street, or any of the hundred or so Jewish-owned Westfield shopping centres dotted right across the western world?" he continues. Both West Edmonton Mall and the Mall of America are owned by Canada's Ghermezian family, who are of Iranian-Jewish origins. Al-Shabaab has reportedly recruited members in Minneapolis, home to the largest Somali population in the U.S. and the Mall of America. (CBC, Feb. 22, 2015)

 

“The most recent threat by al-Shabaab against malls, and more specifically against Jewish-owned institutions around the world, is another indication that global jihadi groups are increasingly focusing on Jews and Jewish institutions as a way to rally support for their cause,” —Dr. Joshua Gleis, president of Gleis Security Consulting, and a leading expert on Jewish security and terrorist threats.  After the West­gate Mall attack in 2013, the Anti-Defamation League said it underscored the terror group’s battle against Jews and Israel. ADL cited Sheikh Abu­laziz Abu Mus­cab, a spokesman for the group, who said they picked the target because it is a place “where there are Jew­ish and Amer­i­can shops. So we have to attack them.” (Algemeiner, Feb. 22, 2015)

 

“Canadians are being targeted by jihadi terrorists simply because these terrorists hate our society and the values it represents.” —Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney, representing Canada at a three-day summit on combatting violent extremism in Washington. In his short intervention to the summit, Blaney admitted that his government was “caught by surprise by the terrorists’ attacks” in Canada last October and that they prompted the new, far tougher measures to track, monitor and detain suspects as part of controversial legislation introduced this week in Ottawa. Those measures will “further enhance the ability of Canadian government agencies to prevent and disrupt the evolving terrorist activity. … We must admit that we are facing a challenge within our borders,” Blaney said, referring to the internal threat from radicalized individuals who can be expected to plot further attacks in Canada. (Globe & Mail, Feb. 19, 2015)

 

“You cannot defeat an enemy if you refuse to acknowledge what it is…the President and this administration dogmatically refuses to utter the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’” —Senator Ted Cruz, a Republican. Obama has been under attack from critics at home and abroad for shying away from directly linking violent extremism to Islam. Although Obama spoke at the summit on combatting violent extremism of an unwavering fight against terrorist organizations, he focused his speech on a call for a broader civil effort to create trust, inclusion and understanding. Obama called for international action to confront economic grievances in these communities, especially by expanding education opportunities for girls. (Globe & Mail, Feb. 19, 2015) 

 

“…As many of you know, the ASSU (Associated Students of Stanford University) Senate chose to revote on a resolution and approve a request for divestment that focuses on Israel and Palestine. I have three points I want to make concerning this and the movement for divestment from countries involved in the Middle East conflict. First…I have never seen a topic that has been more divisive within the university community. As a university, we must remain committed to civil and rational discussion, especially when the issues are highly controversial. An atmosphere of intimidation or vitriol endangers our ability to operate as an intellectual community. Second, you should be aware that our policy on investment responsibility specifically allows the Trustees to not act on any proposal that is likely to have negative consequences for the university community. Finally, our policy does not contain provisions for broad or formulaic divestment. Any divestment request needs to focus on individual companies, including specific evidence that their activities cause direct and substantial social injury,” — John Hennessy, President of Stanford University.  Reversing a vote in which an Israel divestment resolution failed, the Stanford University undergraduate senate re-voted last week, passing the measure by the required two-thirds majority. The final vote was 10-4 in favor, with one abstention — exactly two-thirds. (Stanford News, J Weekly, Feb. 19, 2015)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

U.S. JURY FINDS PA, PLO LIABLE FOR TERROR ATTACKS (New York) — A jury in New York federal court found the PLO and the Palestinian Authority partly liable for six terrorist attacks in Israel and awarded survivors and their families $218.5 million in damages. The six attacks between 2002 and 2004, during the second intifada, killed 33 people and wounded hundreds more, including Americans. While the damages awarded by the jury are tripled under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism act to $655.5 million, the award may be largely symbolic. Legal experts say it will be challenge for the plaintiff's to get the money. Kent Yalowitz and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, of the Israeli “law-fare” group Shurat Ha Din who represented American victims of the attacks, said the Palestinian entities would be "forced to pay." (USA Today, Feb. 24, 2015)

 

SWASTIKAS SPRAY-PAINTED ON CARS LEAD TO HATE-CRIME PROBE (Montreal) — Montreal police are looking into a possible hate crime after swastikas were spray-painted on four cars in an apartment building's garage in Montreal's NDG neighbourhood. "There were four cars with swastikas on them, and five cars with envelopes on them, and on the white envelopes there were swastikas on them," said a resident in the building whose car was damaged. Another resident of the building said that one of the envelopes had a bullet inside along with a threatening note. B'Nai Brith Canada said Tuesday that the incident is extremely serious and goes beyond vandalism. "Our reaction is one of shock…When you go out and purchase bullets and take the time to write a death message, this is extremely serious," said Steven Slimovitch, national legal counsel for B'nai Brith Canada. (CBC, Feb. 24, 2015)

 

ISLAMIC STATE: FEARS GROW FOR ABDUCTED SYRIAN CHRISTIANS (Raqqa) —  There are fears that more members of an Assyrian Christian community in north-eastern Syria were abducted by Islamic State militants than at first thought. Initial reports had put the number of missing at 90, but one activist said as many as 285 people had been seized on Monday. Efforts to try to negotiate their release are reported to be under way. Some 1,000 local Assyrian families are believed to have fled their homes in the wake of the abductions. Kurdish and Christian militia are battling I.S. in the area, amid reports of churches and homes having been set ablaze. Thousands of Christians in Syria have been forced from their homes by the threat from I.S. militants. In areas under their control, Christians have been ordered to convert to Islam, pay jizya (a religious levy), or face death. (Telegraph, Feb. 24, 2015) 

 

CARTER: US CONSIDERING SLOWING EXIT FROM AFGHANISTAN (Washington) — The U.S. is considering slowing its military exit from Afghanistan by keeping a larger-than-planned troop presence this year and next because the new Afghan government is proving to be a more reliable partner, U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Saturday. Carter, on his first overseas trip since starting the Pentagon job, also said the Obama administration is "rethinking" the counterterrorism mission in Afghanistan, although he did not elaborate. There are about 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan, down from a peak of 100,000 as recently as 2010-11. (Newsmax, Feb. 21, 2015)

 

SURVEY: MORE THAN HALF OF JEWISH COLLEGE STUDENTS REPORT ANTISEMITISM (New York) — More than half of U.S. Jewish college students surveyed in a new national study said they have been subjected to or have witnessed antisemitism on their campuses. The National Demographic Survey of American Jewish College Students found that among 1,157 self-identified Jewish students at 55 campuses nationwide, 54 percent reported instances of antisemitism on campus during the first six months of the 2013-2014 academic year. The survey revealed that high rates of antisemitism extended beyond both schools with a history of that sentiment and students such as Orthodox Jewish men, who are more easily identifiable as Jewish. (JNS, Feb. 23, 2015)

 

COLUMBIA LEADS LIST OF U.S. COLLEGES ‘WITH WORST ANTISEMITIC ACTIVITY’ (New York) —New York’s Columbia University is home to the worst antisemitic activity in the U.S., according to a list compiled by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a conservative think-tank based in California. According to the Center, Columbia is listed first because it is home to the “most well-known antisemitic professors in the nation such as Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad. In addition, it is home to a highly active SJP (Students for Justice in Palestine) that has recently brought BDS founder Omar Barghouti…to campus.” Cornell University came in second place followed by George Mason University, Loyola University Chicago, Portland State University, San Diego State University and San Francisco State University. (Algemeiner, Feb. 23, 2015)

 

SJP OUTRAGED BY FLYERS SHOWING HAMAS EXECUTIONS (New York) — UCLA’s chapter of anti-Israel group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) was enraged by a series of posters depicting Hamas executions that appeared around the school. The group, which has often been accused of antisemitism, is concerned that the flyers will delegitimize their efforts to persuade university regents to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. One of the posters depicts a Gazan with a bag over his head as Hamas executioners stand by his side, while another shows the body of an alleged collaborator being dragged through the streets of Gaza. “These posters are a clear example of hate speech directed against (SJP), as well as supporters of Palestinian freedom and equality,” SJP asserted in a statement. “They rely on Islamophobic and anti-Arab tropes to paint Palestinians as terrorists and to misrepresent (SJP) as antisemitic.” (Algemeiner, Feb. 24, 2015)

 

JERUSALEM MAYOR SUBDUES TERRORIST AFTER STABBING ATTACK (Jerusalem) — A 27-year-old Haredi youth was stabbed on Sunday by an Arab assailant in IDF Square in Jerusalem. Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat, happening to be passing by, succeeded along with his security detail in subduing the terrorist and preventing a more serious attack. The  youth was taken to Shaare Tzedek hospital in Jerusalem. Police are investigating the incident, and so far have determined that nationalistic motives were behind it. The attacker was an 18-year-old Palestinian man from the West Bank, who was in the area of the Jerusalem Municipality without authorization. Barkat had served as a company commander in the IDF Paratroopers Brigade. (Algemeiner, Feb. 22, 2015)

 

YA’ALON VISITS INDIA IN BID TO BOOST TIES, ARMS SALES (Delhi) — Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon arrived in India last week for an air defense expo, marking the highest-ever level visit by an Israeli official to the subcontinent and underscoring growing security ties between Jerusalem and Delhi. In a historic first since establishing diplomatic ties in 1992, the Israeli Defense Minister met his Indian counterpart amid a report that the two countries are close to finalizing several major defense deals, worth well over $1.5 billion. Ya’alon also spoke with Indian Premier Narendra Modi. Israeli arms manufacturers have reportedly sold approximately $8 billion worth of weapons systems to India, representing roughly 15 percent of total sales, as of 2012. (Times of Israel, Feb. 18, 2015)

 

IRANIAN WOMAN WINS RIGHTS AWARD FOR HIJAB CAMPAIGN (Geneva) — An Iranian journalist has received a human rights award in Geneva for creating a Facebook page inviting women in Iran to post pictures of themselves without their headscarves in defiance of rules requiring them to wear a hijab. Masih Alinejad, 38, launched “Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women” last year. Thousands of women took off their veils in public and sent in their photos to be published. The Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, a group of 20 non-governmental organizations, sponsored by UN Watch, gave Alinejad its women’s rights award. Alinejad’s campaign irritated Iranian authorities, and state media launched a smear campaign accusing her of using recreational drugs or being perverse. (Guardian, Feb. 24, 2015)

 

IRANIAN POLICE RETURN STOLEN TORAH TO JEWISH COMMUNITY (Tehran) —Iran's FARS news agency reports that an ancient hand-written Torah that had been stolen from a synagogue in southern Iran was found and returned to the Jewish community. A number of ancient Torah manuscripts were reported lost about two weeks ago from a synagogue in Shiraz. Soon afterwards, Iran's Basij units succeeded in finding one of the holy books, described as "invaluable." The units returned it to the Jewish community on Feb. 11, which the news agency emphasized was the anniversary of the victory of the Islamic Revolution. More than 8,000 Jews still live in Iran. (Arutz Sheva, Feb. 22, 2015)

 

POLLARD'S LAWYERS: DECLASSIFIED DOCUMENT SHOWS FALSE CHARGES (Washington) — Key portions of a classified document which the US government has cited as justification for keeping Jonathan Pollard in jail have been declassified – and his lawyers say the government has been "dishonest" in "hiding behind the mask of 'classified information' to materially mischaracterize the nature and extent of the harm caused by Mr. Pollard." They say the newly disclosed material shows that any harm possibly caused by Pollard was only "in the form of short-term disruption in foreign relations between the US and certain Arab countries." The government position for years has been that Pollard must remain in prison because a secret note from then-Secretary of State Caspar Weinberger stated that he caused greater harm to U.S. national security than had ever occurred previously. Pollard was arrested in 1985 and — despite an earlier plea-bargain agreement — was sentenced to life in prison, largely on the basis of the Weinberger memo. The average sentence for similar crimes is 2-4 years. (Arutz Sheva, Feb. 24, 2015)

 

On Topic Links 
 

 

Deadlock Between the Likud and the Zionist Union Continues: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Feb. 25, 2015 — Over the past week, the political debate became heated but remained unfocused. There was a brief moment of unity after MK Uri Orbach of Bayit Yehudi and Minister of Pensioner’s Affairs passed away at the age of 54. He was eulogized by politicians of many parties across the board.

Academic Progressivism Descends into Moral Madness: Richard L. Cravatts, Times of Israel, Feb. 16, 2015—In the campus war against Israel, the all too familiar refrain from anti-Israel activists, many of whom form the loose coalition of groups and individuals spearheading the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, is that their quarrel is only with Israelis and their government’s policies, not with Jews themselves.

This Week in Jihad: Father Raymond J. de Souza, National Post, Feb. 18, 2015 — The news often numbs. Not always. I was shaken by the scene from the Libyan beach on Sunday. The Islamic State’s local branch beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians.

A Dream Deal With Iran: Ben Cohen, Algemeiner, Feb. 23, 2015— Love, as the song goes, is in the air. If the latest media reports are accurate, the United States and the Iranian regime are rapidly closing in on a deal over the mullahs’ nuclear ambitions.

                                    

 

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: DEADLOCK BETWEEN THE LIKUD AND THE ZIONIST UNION CONTINUES

 

 

 

Over the past week, the political debate became heated but remained unfocused. There was a brief moment of unity after MK Uri Orbach of Bayit Yehudi and Minister of Pensioner’s Affairs passed away at the age of 54. He was eulogized by politicians of many parties across the board.

 

The debate over Netanyahu’s scheduled speech to the US Congress continued. To avoid having it become election propaganda, the Chairman of the Elections Committee, Supreme Court Judge Salim Joubran, decided that the speech will not be broadcast live in Israel. A delay of five minutes will enable broadcasting companies to cut out any elements they would consider to be propaganda.[1] The speech will be followed online in real time, thus the measure remains largely symbolic.

 

In view of the fragmented and often low-level debates, President Reuven Rivlin said at the Institute for National Security Studies conference that the candidates for prime minister should focus on the more important issues. He mentioned the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, security threats, the economic situation and the treatment of minorities. In view of Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to the US Congress, Rivlin remarked that Israelis have the right to hear what Netanyahu has to say first, and hear it in Hebrew.[2]

 

The Supreme Court overruled the Central Elections Committee’s disqualifications of MK Haneen Zoabi and Yahad candidate Baruch Marzel.  Eight judges voted in favor of reinstating them, and only one voted against.[3] Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and other right-wing MKs stated that letting Zoabi run for the Knesset was akin to supporting terrorism.[4]

The marginal issue of the Prime Minister’s home expenses became one of the most discussed topics of the week. The State Comptroller’s office published a report on the expenses of the Prime Minister’s residence, which, from 2009 to 2011, rose from NIS 1.8 million to 3.1 million. In 2013 they declined to 2.4 million. The report also mentioned several potentially criminal issues related to these expenses.[5] The Attorney General will now have to decide whether or not to have the police probe the issue.[6] Likud minister Yuval Steinitz said that, “in 2012, [President] Peres’ household expenditures were 20 times as much as Netanyahu’s.” Steinitz questioned the timing of the report, the more so as the State Comptroller had never investigated the residential expenses of any previous prime ministers. Steinitz added, “Perhaps the comptroller gave in to pressure from the media.”[7]

 

In response to the criticism, the Prime Minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu invited a well-known Israeli interior designer to visit the residence and testify that it was not without its problems. This visit was filmed and put online,[8] which led to further criticism of various kinds. Former domestic intelligence Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin wrote on Facebook that, "filming the Prime Minister's residence is a serious breach of security.” He added that, "every intelligence service or foreign terrorist organization would pay a fortune to get all those details."[9]

 

The sniping between the parties continued. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said that Israel would be in a better position to improve the upcoming agreement between Iran and the West if Prime Minister Netanyahu had not caused the deterioration of relations between Israel and the US.[10] It was a doubtful comment, as the US President Barack Obama has, on multiple occasions and for many years, been whitewashing extreme crimes coming out of the world’s Muslim communities.[11]

 

Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni, along with their security executives, visited the periphery of Gaza. Their “security outlook would be based on defense, deterrence and changing our strategy to initiating and building a future and a horizon,” said Herzog. He added that Gaza remains a “ticking time bomb, and Netanyahu failed against Hamas.” Netanyahu responded in a speech in Ashkelon and called Livni “a danger to the state.” He said that Livni claimed that she would not negotiate with Hamas, yet she went to visit Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, only a few days before he signed a unity agreement with Hamas.[12]

 

The Likud has been rather successful in drawing viewers for two of its videos on line. The first one was called the ‘Bibisitter”, where Netanyahu presents himself as a babysitter to a young couple who are going out for an evening. Bibi tells the couple that they can choose between him or Herzog and Livni. The couple answered that in the latter case, it would be their children that would have to babysit Herzog, rather than the reverse, while Livni would leave in the middle. The latter refers to the fact that Livni has been a candidate of four different political parties — the Likud, Kadima, Hatnuah and the Zionist Union — throughout her various election campaigns.[13]

 

The second Likud clip is called Pizza Buji, a play on Herzog’s nickname “Buji”. It had close to 500,000 views within 12 hours. A young man orders a pizza and finds out that it comes with a side order of Tzipi Livni, which the young man does not want. It presents Livni as a liability to the Zionist Union. Herzog wants to debate Netanyahu directly, but Netanyahu is only willing to do so if Livni also participates, as the agreement between Livni and Herzog is that she will replace him midterm should he be elected as prime minister.[14]

 

The social media network further fragments the election campaigns and makes it increasingly difficult to keep track of developments. This the more so as individual candidates also promote messages in their own field of expertise on their Facebook sites. In the meantime, Herzog has bolstered the Zionist Union’s campaign team with Reuven Adler, an experienced advertiser, who worked closely with the late Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.[15]

 

Polls keep contradicting each other. While there are shifts within various blocs, there are hardly any between them.  The Likud, Israel Beiteinu and Bayit Yehudi in the Knesset currently have 43 seats, and most polls give them a combined 41-43 seats. The Zionist Union and Meretz have 27 seats in the current Knesset, and according to the polls, may perhaps gain 1 or 2 seats. Centrist party Yesh Atid currently has 19 seats. The polls say that it may have to share with the other centrist party, Kahlon-led Koolanu, to garner up to 20 seats. The three Orthodox parties may share the 18 seats that Shas and United Torah Judaism currently hold. The United Arab List may gain 1 seat over and above the 11 it holds at present.

 

Polls occasionally ask questions about the public’s favorites for particular minister posts. A Walla poll found that Kahlon was preferred as finance minister by 34% of the respondents, followed by the Zionist Union’s Manuel Trajtenberg with 17% and Lapid with 13%. Surprisingly, Livni was found to be the preferred candidate for foreign minister with 24%, followed by the Likud’s Gilad Erdan with 18%, and Liberman with 17%. Lapid came in with 14% and Koolanu’s Michael Oren at 7%.[16]



[1] Jonathan Lis, “Israeli TV to broadcast Netanyahu's Congress speech with five-minute delay,” Haaretz, 16 February 2015.

[2] “Rivlin wants election campaign to refocus on ‘content and values’,” Haaretz, 16 February 2015.

[3] Yonah Jeremy Bob, “High Court:  Zoabi, Marzel back in race,” The Jerusalem Post, 19 February 2015.      

[4] Lahav Harkov, “Right-wing MKs: Allowing Zoabi to run in election is supporting terrorism,” The Jerusalem Post, 19 February 2015.

[5] Yaron Druckman, “Comptroller: Netanyahu family spending raises criminal concern,” Ynetnews, 17 February 2015.

[6] Yaniv Kubovich, “Israel Police expect investigation of spending at Netanyahu’s residence,” Haaretz, 4 February 2015.

[7] Gil Hoffman, Lahav Harkov, “Likud on comptroller report: Peres was worse,” The Jerusalem Post, 17 February 2015.

[8] “Watch: Sara Netanyahu takes celebrity interior designer on tour of PM's residence,” The Jerusalem Post, 16 February 2015.

[9] Hezki Ezra, Cynthia Blank, “Diskin: Filming PM's Residence 'Serious Breach of

Security',” Israel National News, 16 February 2015.

[10] Niv Elis, “Lapid:  PM’s US row hurts ability to influence Iran deal,” The Jerusalem Post, 19 February 2015.

[11] Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Obama’s Negligence,” The Jerusalem Post, 9 February 2015.

[12] Gil Hoffman, “Netanyahu, Zionist Union spar on security matters,” The Jerusalem Post, 19 February 2015.

[13] Gil Ronen, “Netanyahu offers Bibi-sitting services,” Israel National News, 31 January 2015.

[14] Gil Ronen, “'Pizza Buji' Likud Video Goes Mega-Viral,” Israel National News. 18 February 2015

[15] Lahav Harkov, “Zionist Union pulls itself together with ad guru Reuven Adler,” The Jerusalem Post, 20 February 2015.

[16] Tova Dvorin, “Who do Israelis want to see as their next ministers?”  Israel National News, 20 February 2015.

 

 

WHITE HOUSE FAILURE TO DEFINE ISLAM HAMPERS EFFORTS TO CONFRONT TERRORIST THREAT

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:

 

An Administration Adrift on Denial: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 19, 2015 — Great essays tell big truths. A deeply reported piece in next month’s Atlantic magazine does precisely that, and in a way devastating to the Obama administration’s thinking on ISIS.

It Doesn’t Matter One Bit What Obama Thinks ‘True Islam’ Is: Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review, Feb. 21, 2015—In Egypt, the president is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a pious Muslim.

Crusaders and Appeasers: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Feb. 12, 2015 — His secretary of defense says, “The world is exploding all over.”

Bearing the Cross: A Letter to ISIS: Mark Durie, Lapidomedia, Feb. 20, 2014— The Islamic State sent me a letter this week.

 

On Topic Links

 

'A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross': Mark Durie, Lapidomedia, Feb. 20, 2014

What ISIS Really Wants: Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, March, 2015

Betting National Security on a Theory: IPT News, Feb. 24, 2015

How to Empower Violent Extremism: Victor Davis Hanson, Council on Foreign Relations, Feb. 5, 2015

Obama: Christianity No Different From the Islamic State: Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage, Feb. 6, 2015

Say It Like It Is: Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Jan. 20, 2015

                                                                       

                             

AN ADMINISTRATION ADRIFT ON DENIAL     

Peggy Noonan              

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 19, 2015

 

Great essays tell big truths. A deeply reported piece in next month’s Atlantic magazine does precisely that, and in a way devastating to the Obama administration’s thinking on ISIS. “What ISIS Really Wants,” by contributing editor Graeme Wood, is going to change the debate. (It ought to become a book.) Mr. Wood describes a dynamic, savage and so far successful organization whose members mean business. Their mettle should not be doubted. ISIS controls an area larger than the United Kingdom and intends to restore, and expand, the caliphate. Mr. Wood interviewed Anjem Choudary of the banned London-based Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, who characterized ISIS’ laws of war as policies of mercy, not brutality. “He told me the state has an obligation to terrorize its enemies,” Mr. Wood writes, “because doing so hastens victory and avoids prolonged conflict.”

 

ISIS has allure: Tens of thousands of foreign Muslims are believed to have joined. The organization is clear in its objectives: “We can gather that their state rejects peace as a matter of principle; that it hungers for genocide; that its religious views make it constitutionally incapable of certain types of change . . . that it considers itself a harbinger of—and headline player in—the imminent end of the world. . . . The Islamic State is committed to purifying the world by killing vast numbers of people.” The scale of the savagery is difficult to comprehend and not precisely known. Regional social media posts “suggest that individual executions happen more or less continually, and mass executions every few weeks.” Most, not all, of the victims are Muslims.

 

The West, Mr. Wood argues, has been misled “by a well-intentioned but dishonest campaign to deny the Islamic State’s medieval religious nature. . . . The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers,” drawn largely from the disaffected. “But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam.” Its actions reflect “a sincere, carefully considered commitment to returning civilization to a seventh-century legal environment, and ultimately to bring about the apocalypse.” Mr. Wood acknowledges that ISIS reflects only one, minority strain within Islam. “Muslims can reject the Islamic State; nearly all do. But pretending it isn’t actually a religious, millenarian group, with theology that must be understood to be combatted, has already led the United States to underestimate it and back foolish schemes to counter it.”

 

He quotes Princeton’s Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on ISIS’ theology. The group’s fighters, Mr. Haykel says, “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition,” and denials of its religious nature spring from embarrassment, political correctness and an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.” The Islamic State is different from al Qaeda and almost all other jihadist movements, according to Mr. Wood, “in believing that it is written into God’s script as a central character.” Its spokesman has vowed: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women.” They believe we are in the End of Days. They speak of how “the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria.” The battle will be Rome’s Waterloo. After that, a countdown to the apocalypse.

 

Who exactly is “Rome”? That’s unclear. Maybe Turkey, maybe any infidel army. Maybe America. What should the West do to meet the challenge? Here Mr. Wood’s tone turns more tentative. We should help the Islamic State “self-immolate.” Those urging America to commit tens of thousand of troops “should not be dismissed too quickly.” ISIS is, after all, an avowedly genocidal and expansionist organization, and its mystique can be damaged if it loses its grip on the territory it holds. Al Qaeda, from which ISIS is estranged and which it has eclipsed, can operate as an underground network. ISIS cannot, “because territorial authority is a requirement.” But ISIS wants to draw America into the fight. A U.S. invasion and occupation, Mr. Wood argues, would be a propaganda victory for them, because they’ve long said the U.S. has always intended to embark on a modern-day crusade against Islam. And if a U.S. ground invasion launched and failed, it would be a disaster.

 

The best of bad options, Mr. Wood believes, is to “slowly bleed” ISIS through air strikes and proxy warfare. The Kurds and the Shiites cannot vanquish them, but they can “keep the Islamic State from fulfilling its duty to expand.” That would make it look less like “the conquering state of the Prophet Muhammed. ” As time passed ISIS could “stagnate” and begin to sink. Word of its cruelties would spread; it could become another failed state. But that death, as Mr. Wood notes, “is unlikely to be quick,” and any number of things could go wrong, including a dangerous rapprochement with al Qaeda. Mr. Wood’s piece is bracing because it is fearless—he is apparently not afraid of being called a bigot or an Islamophobe. It is important because it gives people, especially political leaders, information they need to understand a phenomenon that may urgently shape U.S. foreign policy for the next 10 years.

 

In sorry contrast, of course, are the Obama administration’s willful delusions and dodges. They reached their height this week when State Department spokesman Marie Harf talked on MSNBC of the “root causes” that drive jihadists, such as “lack of opportunity for jobs.” She later went on CNN to explain: “Where there’s a lack of governance, you’ve had young men attracted to this terrorist cause where there aren’t other opportunities. . . . So how do you get at that root causes?” She admitted her view “might be too nuanced of an argument for some.” Yes, it might. It isn’t about getting a job. They have a job: waging jihad…

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

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

             

IT DOESN’T MATTER ONE BIT WHAT OBAMA THINKS ‘TRUE ISLAM’ IS                                                 

Andrew C. McCarthy                                         

National Review, Feb. 21, 2015

 

In Egypt, the president is Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a pious Muslim. Having grown up in the world’s center of sharia scholarship and closely studied the subject, he has courageously proclaimed that Islam desperately needs a “religious revolution.” In the United States, the president is Barack Obama, a non-Muslim. His childhood experience of Islam, which ended when he was just ten, occurred in Indonesia — the world’s most populous Muslim country, but a non-Arabic one where the teaching and practice of Islam is very different from what it is in the Middle East. While Sisi sees a dangerous flaw in Islam, Obama believes America needs to be “fundamentally transformed” but Islam is fine as is. You see the problem, no?

 

Said problem was very much on display this week at the president’s “summit” on “countering violent extremism,” the administration’s euphemism for confronting violent jihad. The latter phrase is verboten because Obama will not concede the close nexus between Islam and modern terrorism. In reality, the summit had so little to do with confronting terrorism that the president did not invite the FBI director — you know, the head of the agency to which federal law assigns primary responsibility for terrorism investigations.

 

The summit was really about advancing the “social justice” agenda of “progressive” politics. The president and his underlings somehow reason that the answer to the barbarity of ISIS and al-Qaeda is to “empower local communities” here and abroad. Apparently, if the community organizers rouse the rabble to demand that government address “injustice” and Muslim “grievances,” the alienation that purportedly drives young Muslims into the jihadists’ arms will abate. This is the strategic political aspect of the Left’s denial of terrorism’s ideological roots: If terrorism is not caused by Islamic supremacism, then it must be caused by something else . . . and that something somehow always manages to be a government policy opposed by the Left: insufficient income redistribution, running Gitmo, our alliance with Israel, surveillance of radical mosques, etc. Smearing your political opponents as the root cause of mass-murder attacks — it’s a very nice weapon to have in one’s demagogic arsenal.

 

To the extent the summit dealt with Islam, it was to play the counterproductive game of defining the “true” Islam in order to discredit the Islamic State and al-Qaeda as purveyors of a “false” or “perverted” Islam. To try to pull this off, Obama relied on the bag of tricks toted by his “moderate Islamist” allies (who also turn out to be reliable progressives). In his summit speech, Obama made the concession — which was almost shocking coming from him — that ISIS and al-Qaeda terrorists “do draw” from “Islamic texts.” He mocked them, however, for doing so “selectively.” The clear suggestion was that the terrorists deceive when they assert that Islamic scripture commands Muslims to, for example, “strike terror into the hearts” of non-believers, decapitate them (“smite their necks”), or enslave them. He intimated that there must be some balancing scriptures, some other side of the story nullifying these belligerent commands.

 

But then, almost in the next breath, the president engaged in the same bowdlerizing of Islamic teaching of which he had just accused our enemies. We should, he said, be listening to, instead of the terrorists, “Muslim clerics and scholars” who “push back on this twisted interpretation” and assure us “that the Koran says, ‘Whoever kills an innocent, it is as if he has killed all mankind.’” The Koran does indeed say that, in Sura 5:32. Yet, in the very next verse, conveniently omitted by Obama (5:33), it goes on to say: The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land, is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: That is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the hereafter. That puts a somewhat different cast on the whole “whoever kills an innocent” theme, wouldn’t you say?

 

Which leads us to Obama’s other rhetorical chicanery. When he speaks of Islam, Obama not only takes scripture out of context; he also renders it as if there were a universal understanding of words like “innocent.” Yet when we read the above two verses together, and put them in the broader context of Islamic doctrine, we see that Islam can convey a notion of who is an “innocent” that is very different from the one we Westerners are likely to have. To be “innocent,” in this context, one must accept Islam and submit to its law. The same is true of “injustice,” another word the president often invokes when discussing Islam. The true Islam, we are to believe, is just like progressivism: a tireless quest for “justice.” But just as the Left’s idea of justice differs from the average person’s, so does Islam’s. For the Islamist, justice equals sharia, and injustice is the absence or transgression of sharia. So, while this could well have been inadvertent, Obama’s claim that injustice drives young Muslims to join terrorist groups is exactly what the terrorists themselves would say — for the imperative to impose sharia is their rationale for committing terrorism.

 

Obama’s seeming inability to grapple with the Islamic roots of terrorism may not be fully explained by his coziness with Islamists. In a 2005 essay, Cardinal George Pell, the former Australian archbishop (he now runs the Vatican’s secretariat for the economy), observed that in Indonesia, Islam has been has been tempered by indigenous animism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and a pacific strain of Islamic Sufism. Cardinal Pell described the resulting brand as “syncretistic, moderate and with a strong mystical leaning.” As I recounted in The Grand Jihad, that cannot be said for all of Indonesian Islam: There is also plenty of fundamentalism, sharia supremacism, and persecution of religious minorities, particularly of Ahmadi Muslims who reject violent jihad. Still, the practice of Islam in much of the country where the president spent some of his formative years is relatively moderate.

 

Things are different in the cradle of Islam, the Arab Middle East. That was the upshot of President Sisi’s impassioned speech in January. In calling for a religious revolution, he admonished the scholars of al-Azhar — who seemed cool to the warning — that terrorists in the Middle East were relying on a “corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the years, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible” even though it “is antagonizing the entire world.” Sisi is right, of course. How refreshing, how urgently necessary, for him to face the problem honestly. Nevertheless, our challenge is a different one from Sisi’s and Islam’s. It is preserving our own national security, not avoiding antagonism…

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

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                                

                                                                            

CRUSADERS AND APPEASERS                                                                                        

Charles Krauthammer                                                                                                   

Washington Post, Feb. 12, 2015

 

His secretary of defense says, “The world is exploding all over.” His attorney general says that the threat of terror “keeps me up at night.” The world bears them out. On Tuesday, American hostage Kayla Mueller is confirmed dead. On Wednesday, the U.S. evacuates its embassy in Yemen, a country cited by President Obama last September as an American success in fighting terrorism. Yet Obama’s reaction to, shall we say, turmoil abroad has been one of alarming lassitude and passivity. Not to worry, says his national security adviser: This is not World War II. As if one should be reassured because the current chaos has yet to achieve the level of the most devastating conflict in human history. Indeed, insists the president, the real source of our metastasizing anxiety is . . . the news media.

 

Russia pushes deep into eastern Ukraine. The Islamic State burns to death a Jordanian pilot. Iran extends its hegemony over four Arab capitals — Beirut, Damascus, Baghdad and now Sanaa. And America watches. Obama calls the policy “strategic patience.” That’s a synonym for “inaction,” made to sound profoundly “strategic.” Take Russia. The only news out of Obama’s one-hour news conference with Angela Merkel this week was that he still can’t make up his mind whether to supply Ukraine with defensive weapons. The Russians have sent in T-80 tanks and Grad rocket launchers. We’ve sent in humanitarian aid that includes blankets, MREs and psychological counselors.

 

How complementary: The counselors do grief therapy for those on the receiving end of the T-80 tank fire. “I think the Ukrainian people can feel confident that we have stood by them,” said Obama at the news conference. Indeed. And don’t forget the blankets. America was once the arsenal of democracy, notes Elliott Abrams. We are now its linen closet. Why no antitank and other defensive weapons? Because we are afraid that arming the victim of aggression will anger the aggressor. Such on-the-ground appeasement goes well with the linguistic appeasement whereby Obama dares not call radical Islam by name. And whereby both the White House and State Department spend much of a day insisting that the attack on the kosher grocery in Paris had nothing to do with Jews. It was just, as the president said, someone “randomly shoot[ing] a bunch of folks in a deli.” (By the end of the day, the administration backed off this idiocy. By tweet.)

 

This passivity — strategic, syntactical, ideological — is more than just a reaction to the perceived overreach of the Bush years. Or a fear of failure. Or bowing to the domestic left. It is, above all, rooted in Obama’s deep belief that we — America, Christians, the West — lack the moral authority to engage, to project, i.e., to lead. Before we condemn the atrocities of others, intoned Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, we shouldn’t “get on our high horse.” We should acknowledge having authored the Crusades, the Inquisition, slavery, etc. “in the name of Christ.” In a rare rhetorical feat, Obama managed to combine the banal and the repulsive. After all, is it really a revelation that all religions have transgressed, that man is fallen? To the adolescent Columbia undergrad, that’s a profundity. To a roomful of faith leaders, that’s an insult to one’s intelligence. And in deeply bad taste. A coalition POW is burned alive and the reaction of the alliance leader barely 48 hours later is essentially: “Hey, but what about Joan of Arc?”

 

The conclusion to this patronizing little riff — a gratuitous and bizarre attack on India as an example of religious intolerance — received less attention than it merited. India? Our largest and most strategically promising democratic ally — and the most successful multiethnic, multilingual, multiconfessional country on the planet? (Compare India to, oh, its colonial twin, Pakistan.)  There is, however, nothing really new in Obama’s selective condemnation of America and its democratic allies. It is just a reprise of the theme of his post-inauguration 2009 confessional world tour. From Strasbourg to Cairo and the U.N. General Assembly, he indicted his own country, as I chronicled at the time, “for arrogance, for dismissiveness and derisiveness (toward Europe), for maltreatment of natives, for torture, for Hiroshima, for Guantánamo, for unilateralism, and for insufficient respect for the Muslim world.”…

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

                                                                                               

Contents                                                                   

                                                       

BEARING THE CROSS: A LETTER TO ISIS                                                                                                

Mark Durie                                                                                                         

Lapidomedia, Feb. 20, 2015

 

The Islamic State sent me a letter this week. This letter was in the form of a short film produced by the Islamic State’s Al-Hayat Media centre. This was not addressed to me personally, but to all Christians everywhere.  Its title was A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross. This was a video of the ritual slaughter of the 21 Egyptian Christians. Their blood flowing in the ocean waves was the ‘signature’ at the end of the video. As I write this it is Ash Wednesday. This is the start of forty days of Lent, a period of fasting and contemplation for Christians all over the world. For many centuries it has been a custom of Christians to receive a mark of the cross in ash upon the forehead as a sign of repentance.

 

As I received this mark of the cross today I was thinking of the 21 Egyptian Christian martyrs. Copts permanently bear the sign of the cross, tattooed on their wrists, as a sign that they will refuse to renounce their beliefs. I intend to read out these men’s names at our morning church services this Sunday, here in Melbourne, Australia. And I also choose to honour them today by writing to acknowledge the truth about why they were killed, and in particular the explanation given by their killers. I also wish to record, as a Christian and a pastor, my intense protest at the White House official statement of February 15 2015 concerning this event. This makes no mention of the reason the twenty one were killed: their Christian faith.  This culpable denial dishonours them, as it dishonours me and Christians everywhere.

 

The White House statement claimed that ‘ISIL’s barbarity knows no bounds. It is unconstrained by faith, sect or ethnicity.’ Not true. The Islamic State’s actions are constrained by its theology, and in this case its targets are also determined on religious grounds; they were Christians. It is not an endorsement of the killer’s Islamic beliefs to acknowledge that these jihadis follow a form of Islam, and that their sect and faith does constrain their behaviour accordingly. President Obama has defended his administration’s misrepresentations on the grounds that the radicals are ‘desperate for legitimacy’ so ‘They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam.’ But these are not desperate people. They are shockingly confident in their beliefs. They do not ‘try to portray themselves’ as Islamic: they sincerely believe they are. Christopher Hitchens got it right over a decade ago when he suggested of Al Qa’ida recruits that ‘they believe their own propaganda,’ and ‘absolutely subscribe to the tenets of their version … of their religion, Islam.’ Obama also stated that ‘we must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie.’ This too is nonsense. A lie is a deliberate intention to deceive, and these self-described jihadis are – at least by their own understanding – speaking the absolute truth when they claim to speak for Islam.

 

Some years ago I had the privilege of reading the Gospel at a Coptic service held in St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, here in Melbourne.  The service was held to commemorate the 22 martyrs of the attack on Al-Qiddisin Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Eve. It was led by Bishop Suriel, Melbourne’s Coptic bishop. The Al-Qiddisin martyr’s service impressed me deeply. I long pondered the fact that the Coptic church of Egypt has been grieving over the freshly dug graves of its martyred sons and daughters since the dawn of Christianity.  As I sat through the service and sung the hymns about martyrdom, I thought, ‘So this is what it means to be a Copt’. The Islamic State video, a polished production, depicts 21 Christian men, hands bound behind them, being led one-by-one along a beach in Libya to a point where they are forced to bow down with their heads in the sand, and there they are beheaded, crying out Ya Rabbi Yasou ‘Lord Jesus!’, some reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Severed heads were then placed on top of each corpse, their Muslim slayer standing over them.  The final film shots show the Mediterranean washing red with their blood.

 

The whole event was meticulously choreographed and rehearsed.  The video’s obvious purpose is to humiliate and terrorise Christians, whom it derisively calls, ‘The Nation of the Cross’.  I admire the courage of the martyrs, who did not disown the name of Christ and the cross to follow Islam, even as they were being mocked and killed by their tormentors. It is indisputable (see Part 2) that the whole script of this video is intensely religious. It is packed with references to the Qur’an and the Hadiths of Muhammad. As Graeme Wood comments in an important recent Atlantic Monthly article, the Islamic State adherents are constantly referencing Islam’s sacred texts. In their everyday speech, ‘Koranic quotations are ubiquitous’. This film is no exception.  For anyone who knows anything about Islam it is impossible to view this film without being aware of the heavy constraining influence of the Qur’an and the Hadiths on the script.  These references are essential for understanding the true context, meaning and intent of the film…

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

[To Read Part Two of the Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

 

Contents                                                                                     

 

 

On Topic

 

'A Message Signed with Blood to the Nation of the Cross': Mark Durie, Lapidomedia, Feb. 20, 2014—What follows is an explanation of the film of the martyrdoms produced by Al-Hayat Media of the Islamic State. Words in blue are from the film, either in the form of titles or sub-titles, or as narration. Text in grey is used for the words of Muhammad or the Qur’an.

What ISIS Really Wants: Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, March, 2015 —What is the Islamic State? Where did it come from, and what are its intentions?

Betting National Security on a Theory: IPT News, Feb. 24, 2015—The debate over whether it's a good idea to use phrases like "Islamic extremism" in fighting global terrorism took center stage last week as the White House hosted a summit to discuss what it generically calls "violent extremism."

How to Empower Violent Extremism: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Feb. 24, 2015—Not too long ago, most Russians were reportedly unhappy with Vladimir Putin.

Obama: Christianity No Different From the Islamic State: Raymond Ibrahim, Frontpage, Feb. 6, 2015 —As the world reacts with shock and horror at the increasingly savage deeds of the Islamic State (IS)—in this case, the recent immolation of a captive—U.S. President Obama’s response has been one of nonjudgmental relativism.

Say It Like It Is: Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, Jan. 20, 2015 —I’ve never been a fan of global conferences to solve problems, but when I read that the Obama administration is organizing a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism for Feb. 18, in response to the Paris killings, I had a visceral reaction: Is there a box on my tax returns that I can check so my tax dollars won’t go to pay for this?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                    

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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

OBAMA’S RECKLESS FOREIGN POLICY ALIENATES ISRAEL, AND APPEASES ISLAMISTS

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 Rise and Fall of Barack Obama: Seth J. Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 22, 2015 — On February 19, US President Barack Obama delivered another perplexing speech at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in Washington.

Obama Won’t Beat IS With a Half-Hearted Strategy: Konrad Yakabuski, Globe & Mail, Feb. 23, 2015 — The only thing worse than a commander-in-chief who sees the enemy around every corner is one who’s unclear about whom or what he is fighting.

Obama’s Iran Policy and Israel’s Elections: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, Feb. 16, 2014— Unfortunately, there are many sources of tension between the Obama administration and Netanyahu’s government.

Obama’s American Sniper: Daniel Henninger, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 21, 2015— Barack Obama was 15 minutes into his State of the Union speech when I arrived home to watch it, having just walked back from seeing “American Sniper.”

 

On Topic Links

 

Raging Rudy Giuliani Destroys Obama's Policies on Islamism and Iran (Video): Youtube, Feb. 13, 2015

Why is Obama Fixated on Iran?: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Feb. 16, 2015

ISIS and Obama’s Summit: Wall Street Journal, Feb. 16, 2015

Blankets for Ukraine: Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, Feb. 5, 2015

Running for Daylight (Obama, Not Brady): Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015

                                                                       

                              

THE RISE AND FALL OF BARACK OBAMA      

Seth J. Frantzman                    

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 22, 2015

 

On February 19, US President Barack Obama delivered another perplexing speech at the Summit on Countering Violent Extremism in Washington. The speech began in a logical manner, addressing the rise of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, terrorism in Sinai, Copenhagen, Paris, Somalia, Nigeria and against Israel and Pakistan. “We must remain unwavering in our fight against terrorist organizations,” he said. He claimed that Muslim communities have a responsibility to push back the “lie that we are somehow engaged in a clash of civilizations; that America and the West are somehow at war with Islam or seek to suppress Muslims; or that we are the cause of every ill in the Middle East.”

 

Then Professor Obama emerged, who began to lecture the audience. “We must address the grievances that terrorists exploit, including economic grievances…when people feel entirely trapped in impoverished communities, where there is no order and no path for advancement, where there are no educational opportunities, where there are no ways to support families, and no escape from injustice and the humiliations of corruption – that feeds instability and disorder, and makes those communities ripe for extremist recruitment.” He wants us to combat “economic grievances.”

 

He plodded on, talking about education for girls, and about democracy. He delved into minutiae, recalling a nameless “young Palestinian working to build understanding and trust with Israelis, but also trying to give voice to her people’s aspirations.” And he told people, “The world knows about the attack on the Jews at the kosher supermarket in Paris; we need to recall the worker at that market, a Muslim, who hid Jewish customers and saved their lives.” His speech was pilloried across the political spectrum, with Peter Bergen at CNN calling it “nonsense.” The speech was the latest in a litany of strange episodes in which the US president has wrestled with what to say about Islamist terrorism. In Early February he told a Vox interview, “It is entirely appropriate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” The “random” aspect was latched onto by the media, which lambasted him for his callous terminology. On February 10 the White House press secretary was hammered over the comments, and couldn’t bring himself to have much sympathy with the victims: “These were individuals who happened to randomly be in this deli and were shot while they were there.”

 

The latest episode caps a whole month of failed speeches. At the National Prayer Breakfast, just after a Jordanian pilot had been burned alive by Islamic State (IS), Obama lectured the audience: “And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” Playing imam, he told people that IS was “betraying Islam” and quoted a Hadith that states, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” He labeled Syria a “sectarian war,” and claimed that there was “murder of Muslims and Christians in Nigeria,” seemingly unable to admit what was behind these murders. They were, as others would later point out, not random, as much as Obama might like them to be, but part of a carefully planned religious crusade by Islamist extremists.

 

Some people look at Obama and they see an apologist for Islamism. They look at his momentous Cairo speech in 2009, “A new beginning,” and see him blaming the West. They were dismayed that the massacre at Fort Hood in 2009 by Major Nidal Hassan was labeled “workplace violence,” when it was clear Hassan had been in contact with Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. Then there was the comment by NASA chief Charles Bolden in 2010 that his foremost mission, direct from the president, was “to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering.”

 

In some ways, though, the radical rightwing anti-Obama screed, according to which the president is secretly either a Muslim or at the very least not an American citizen, have helped shield Obama from discussion of his real failures. Those like Dinesh D’Souza, author of The Roots of Obama’s Rage, have claimed “the real Obama is a man shaped by experiences far different from those of most Americans; he is as much stranger, more determined, and exponentially more dangerous man than you’d ever imagined.” Obama is portrayed as a weakling, a campus radical with connections to Palestinian intellectual extremists, raised to dislike America and find favor in neo-colonial struggles. Over the weekend former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani told people, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” Comments like this may have helped Obama because his enemies have caused us to forget what has actually happened.

 

Remember back in 2008 when he was elected? Paul Krugman wrote in his New York Times column, “If the election of our first African-American president didn’t stir you, if it didn’t leave you teary-eyed and proud of your country, there’s something wrong with you.” There was a lot of sentiment like that. A cartoon showed the world cheering “Yes They Can,” implying that America could get past its rancorous racial history (it forgot that most of the world is trapped in cycles of racism as bad as the US). Derided as having a “messiah complex” by the Right, Obama went from strength to strength, winning a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 without having done anything. What we fail to understand is that both the rise and fall of Obama were of his own making. His rise was tied into what he was perceived as: a youthful African-American president promising change. Not much actually changed following his election. Guantanamo Bay, the US prison camp for al-Qaida members, wasn’t shut. Drone strikes abroad continued and even increased. To his credit Obama encouraged the hunting down and killing of Osama bin-Laden and Awlaki.

 

Obama’s worldview isn’t anti-American or post-American so much as it is empty. Should the war in Afghanistan continue? Sure, why not. What should America do about Egypt, Iraq and Libya? Something, but not too much. One day it was a “reset” with Putin’s Russia, then it was time to aid the Ukrainians – but not too much, lest they actually win. One day talk of air-strikes for Syria, the next not. Obama is blamed for causing a mess in the Middle East, but that perpetuates the myth that America alone truly influences the Middle East. The US administration likes to negotiate, whether it is opening relations with Cuba or dragging on discussions with Iran, and that plays into the agendas of both Cuba and Iran while gaining nothing for the US or its interests. When it comes to take a chance at helping protesters in places like Iran, the US shies away. Obama is perceived as anti-Israel, but he isn’t so much anti-Israel as simply bereft of a plan for Israel and the Palestinians. Negotiate forever is the plan; punish the recalcitrant Israelis in minor ways, leak comments like “chickens**t,” but do nothing of substance…

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

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

             

OBAMA WON’T BEAT IS WITH A HALF-HEARTED STRATEGY

Konrad Yakabuski                                                         

Globe & Mail, Feb. 23, 2015

 

The only thing worse than a commander-in-chief who sees the enemy around every corner is one who’s unclear about whom or what he is fighting. As U.S. President Barack Obama seeks congressional authorization to continue bombing Islamic State targets, his equivocation about the struggle against an enemy he refuses to name is undermining the success of the mission. This is not the first time Mr. Obama has equivocated. He couldn’t decide which horses to back in the Arab Spring, and so bred distrust on all sides. A trio of foreign policy heavyweights – Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Samantha Power – pushed him into intervening in Libya to oust Moammar Gadhafi. But a lack of follow-up on that United Nations-sanctioned NATO mission left a vacuum that the Islamic State is now filling.

 

Mr. Obama drew a red line in Syria and dared President Bashar al-Assad to cross it. He did. But after Mr. Obama asked Congress for authorization to bomb Mr. Assad’s forces – authorization he insisted he did not need – he withdrew his request and did nothing. Since then, the number of deaths in Syria’s civil war has tripled to at least 210,000, about half of them civilians. Many security experts warned in 2013 that the chaos in Syria was creating fertile ground for a new offshoot of al-Qaeda whose barbaric tactics and force of attraction outdid those of previous terrorist groups. Mr. Obama dismissed such notions, likening the group that has since come to be known as the Islamic State to a “jayvee” (junior varsity) basketball team in Kobe Bryant jerseys.

 

That was barely a year ago. Now, Mr. Obama has gone back to Congress seeking an authorization to use military force (AUMF) against the Islamic State. This comes six months after he began a military campaign against IS, a campaign for which he insisted he did not need congressional approval since the AUMF approved after 9/11 has not expired. Many in Congress fear the President will soon grow just as weary of this battle as he did of the Libyan campaign and the Arab Spring, leaving it to the next commander-in-chief to pick up the pieces. As a result, Mr. Obama seriously risks losing this vote.

 

Republican hawks warn that this AUMF, which would expire in three years, would tie not only Mr. Obama’s hands but those of his successor by prohibiting “enduring offensive ground combat operations,” or U.S. boots on the ground. Liberal Democrats warn the administration’s unwillingness to define “enduring” or “offensive” could open the door to such a ground war. Since a defeat in Congress would be a huge propaganda victory for the Islamic State, enough members in both parties may put aside their reservations and vote yes. (Though some also remain hesitant, since the 2002 vote to authorize the war in Iraq haunted many supporters.) But if Mr. Obama gets his AUMF, it won’t be because he’s convinced Congress that his heart is in this fight.

 

The President did not help his cause last week by hosting a White House summit euphemistically titled Countering Violent Extremism. Words matter. And Mr. Obama’s refusal to utter the words “Islamic State,” “radical Islam” or “Islamic terrorism” could be defended as an attempt to avoid fanning the flames of Islamophobia or stigmatizing an entire religion. Such extreme political correctness can only inspire cynicism, however, when Mr. Obama’s own deradicalization programs and surveillance operations are focused almost exclusively on Muslims. It also insults the intelligence of average Americans, who know well enough that the Islamic State propagates a perverted, medieval interpretation of Islam.

 

Still, the barbarism IS conducts is done in the name of religion, and to deny this is to undermine efforts to thwart it and dishonours the victims – French Jews, Egyptian Christians, Canadian soldiers or moderate Muslims – who are killed simply for who they are or what they believe. Mr. Obama ended his summit sounding like George W. Bush, admonishing representatives of the 60 countries in attendance that democracy is the only antidote to extremism. That did not go over well with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries that remain the West’s most critical allies in the military campaign against the Islamic State. It also further muddied the objectives of a war Mr. Obama only seems half prepared to fight.

                                                           

Contents                                                                                               

                                                    

OBAMA’S IRAN POLICY AND ISRAEL’S ELECTIONS                                                                    

Prof. Efraim Inbar                                                                                                        

BESA, Feb. 16, 2015

 

Unfortunately, there are many sources of tension between the Obama administration and Netanyahu’s government. The main issue of discord is, of course Iran. Obama seeks an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran over its nuclear program that will allow President Obama to claim that he prevented Tehran from building the bomb. The fact that Iran will maintain the capability to enrich uranium, and will not dismantle any of its nuclear installations, is simply swept under the rug as insignificant. Strange as it sounds, it seems that Obama is prepared to brand Iran as a US strategic partner in the attempt to bring stability to a region beleaguered by chaos.

 

Part of this realignment involves American capitulation on the nuclear issue, and an apparent carte blanche for stepped up Iranian activity and influence in the region. Iran is taking over Yemen (and throwing American diplomats out of the country); carving a sphere of influence in Iraq; continuing to support the brutal Assad regime in Damascus; strengthening Hizballah’s grip over Lebanon; engaging in subversion in Central Asia; and developing its terrorist apparatus. In the context of Obama’s “Grand Bargain” with Iran, all this seems to be okay. Tehran gets all it wants, while Washington gets an Iranian promise not to go nuclear as long as Obama is in the White House. Having made no foreign policy achievements throughout his presidency, Obama, perhaps obsessively, now wants the relationship with Iran to serve as his foreign policy legacy.

 

This foolish behavior negatively affects America’s own position in the Middle East, as well as the national interests of its closest ally, Israel. Obama does not care about American international stature. He has advocated a retrenched position in world affairs. Israel, as well, has never been close to his heart, but Obama understands that Israeli concerns strike a sensitive chord with the American public. This is precisely why he does not want Netanyahu to speak in the US Congress. Obama fears that Netanyahu’s planned March 3 speech could become a catalyst for a public debate about his own dangerous policy toward Iran. He does not want undue publicity for his dangerous foreign policy gambit. The last thing he needs is a gifted orator such as Netanyahu pointing out the glaring deficiencies in the American approach toward Iran.

 

And this is precisely why Netanyahu is determined to defy Obama’s wishes. The gravity of the Iranian threat is understood by Israelis of all political hues. As long as there is a chance, however slight, that an address to Congress will reinvigorate the public debate in the US on Iran, and obstruct the administration’s attempt to sign a deal, Netanyahu feels compelled to make a stand against all odds to halt a bad deal with Iran. Paradoxically, Obama’s efforts to prevent Netanyahu from visiting Washington, and to convince Congress members to boycott the session, only increase the interest in what Israel’s prime minister has to say.

 

Beyond the personal animosity and the vast difference in worldviews, Obama does not want Netanyahu around because he considers Israel’s prime minister a serious spoiler of his most important foreign policy initiative. But it is not only in Washington that Obama considers Netanyahu to be unwelcome. Obama wishes to be rid of Netanyahu in Jerusalem as well. This is not the first time we have been witness to American intervention in Israeli elections; with the White House showing displeasure with Likud candidates, and enlisting Jewish activists and donors for the anti-Netanyahu campaign.

 

Obama does not want Netanyahu as prime minister of Israel even after a deal is signed with Iran. He has no desire to be exposed to Netanyahu’s continued criticism, based on the realization that the proposed deal has many loopholes, or based upon probable Iranian violations of the agreement. He also takes seriously Netanyahu’s statement that Israel is not bound by America’s unilateral agreements. In Obama’s view, a paranoid Netanyahu may still revert to the military option, and thereby destroy his only foreign policy “success.”

 

Obama is probably right on this point. Among the candidates for prime minister in the Israeli elections, only Netanyahu is passionate about Iran, and only Netanyahu would consider ordering the IDF to attack Iranian nuclear installations in defiance of the United States. While the campaign in Israel is focused more on personalities than on issues, the underlying theme of the elections is the Iranian threat and who is best placed and most experienced to tackle this challenge.

 

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

                                                      

OBAMA’S AMERICAN SNIPER                                                                                                   

Daniel Henninger                                                                                                        

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 21, 2015

 

Barack Obama was 15 minutes into his State of the Union speech when I arrived home to watch it, having just walked back from seeing “American Sniper.” Watching a movie about a Navy SEAL who served four tours fighting in Iraq was not the best way to enhance the experience of a Barack Obama speech. As a matter of fact, it was pretty unbearable. Because Clint Eastwood directed “American Sniper” the movie is about more than the story of Chris Kyle, the highly skilled rifle marksman from Texas. In 2006, Mr. Eastwood presented two movies about the famous World War II battle of Iwo Jima. “Letters from Iwo Jima” told the story from the perspective of Japanese soldiers, and “Flags of Our Fathers” from the Americans’ side.

 

So “American Sniper” is not a crude paean to “our boys” in the Iraq war. What it does is convey the extraordinary personal, psychological and physical sacrifice of the U.S. Marines who fought al Qaeda in Fallujah, Ramadi and the other towns of Iraq’s Anbar province beginning in 2003 and through the period of the Anbar Awakening, which ended with the Marines pacifying the province. It’s just a movie, so even “American Sniper’s” small slice only hints at the price America paid—some 3,500 combat deaths and another 32,000 wounded—to bring Iraq to a point of relative, if fragile, stability in 2011.

 

Opinions will differ, often bitterly, on the war in Iraq and the reasons for it. In the movie, a painful funeral scene captures that ambivalence. But what is just not possible to choke down is President Obama’s decision in 2011 to reduce the U.S.’s residual military presence to virtually zero. It was a decision to waste what the Marines and Army had done. Announcing the decision at the White House on Oct. 21, Mr. Obama said, “After taking office, I announced a new strategy that would end our combat mission in Iraq and remove all of our troops by the end of 2011.”… Military analysts at the time, in government and on the outside, warned Mr. Obama that a zero U.S. presence could put the war’s gains and achievements at risk. He did it anyway and ever since Mr. Obama has repeatedly bragged about this decision in public speeches, notably to the graduating cadets of West Point last May.

 

In January, months before that West Point speech, the terrorist army of Islamic State, or ISIS, seized back control of both Fallujah and Ramadi in Anbar province. The month after the West Point speech, the city of Mosul and its population of one million fell to Islamic State, and here we are with the barbarians on the loose there, in Yemen, in Nigeria and in France. Watching “American Sniper,” it is impossible to separate these catastrophes from seeing what the Marines did and endured to secure northern Iraq. Again, anyone is entitled to hate the Iraq war. But no serious person would want a president to make a decision that would allow so much personal sacrifice to simply evaporate. Which, in his serene self-confidence, is what Barack Obama did. That absolute drawdown was a decision of fantastic foolishness.

 

In the one spontaneous moment of Tuesday evening’s speech, Mr. Obama cracked back at some chiding Republicans that he’d won two elections. And he’s right. The first election was a remarkable, historic event for the United States. His second election was a historic electoral mistake, leaving the country and the world to be led by a president who is living on his own fantasy island. He said in the State of the Union that we are leading “a broad coalition” against ISIS. We are? What coalition? Mainly it’s the Iraqi army and Kurds battling for survival alongside U.S air support. The president said we are “supporting a moderate opposition in Syria.” But twice in 2014 Mr. Obama derided the Syrian moderates as dentists, pharmacists and teachers. U.S. support for the moderates is de minimis. On Ukraine, Mr. Obama said, “We’re upholding the principle that bigger nations can’t bully the small.” But bullying is exactly what Russia’s Vladimir Putin is doing to Ukraine because Mr. Obama refuses to give its army even basic defensive weapons.

 

Then there’s the grandest foreign-policy self-delusion of the Obama presidency—the never-ending nuclear arms deal with Iran. Mr. Obama said we’ve “halted the progress of its nuclear program.” Slowed perhaps but no one thinks we’ve “halted” Iran’s multifacility nuclear-weapon and ballistic-missile project. Only in the Obama fantasy is it halted. Sen. Robert Menendez , the New Jersey foreign-policy Democrat, who sat bolted to his seat during the speech, said the next day that the administration’s talking points on Iran now sound “straight out of Tehran.” There is a lot of American flag in “American Sniper.” When Chris Kyle’s 2013 funeral procession drives down I-35 in Waco, people with American flags line the streets and overpasses. Until the American people vote for a new president in 2016, what all of that represents will remain a world away from Washington.

 

Contents                                                                                     

 

On Topic

 

Raging Rudy Giuliani Destroys Obama's Policies on Islamism and Iran (Video): Youtube, Feb. 13, 2015

Why is Obama Fixated on Iran?: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Feb. 16, 2015 —Why does U.S. President Barack Obama so desperately want a deal with Iran?

ISIS and Obama’s Summit: Wall Street Journal, Feb. 16, 2015—The White House hosts its Summit on Countering Violent Extremism this week, and Islamic State seems not to understand it wasn’t invited.

Blankets for Ukraine: Elliott Abrams, Council on Foreign Relations, Feb. 5, 2015—Rarely does the fecklessness of current American policy toward Russian aggression against Ukraine emerge as clearly as it does in today’s New York Times.

Running for Daylight (Obama, Not Brady): Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2015 —The talk up in Boston is all about deflation while the talk down here is all about inflation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                    

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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

Charles Bybelezer: In Search of Israeli Leadership

 

 

With the election cycle in full swing, it has become apparent that Israelis are seriously limited in their choices. While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has served his country admirably, he spent his latest term deflecting criticism of indecisiveness, levied against him his entire political career.

 

Despite repeated “hawkish” declarations on security, multiple terrorist attacks in recent months, invoking memories of the second intifada, exemplify the previous government’s inability to protect its citizenry; this, on the heels of the 50-day war against Hamas, which was an abject failure by any measure.

 

Most importantly, Netanyahu has failed to achieve his primary objective; namely, to stop Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons. While he should be commended for forcing the issue onto the international community’s agenda, the Islamic Republic has nonetheless expanded its atomic program by leaps and bounds during Netanyahu’s tenure, to the point where Tehran has effectively become a nuclear threshold state. Nevertheless, Netanyahu may still win reelection, solely on the basis of being the best of a bad lot.

 

By comparison, a Tzipi Livni-led government would undoubtedly steer the country toward the nearest iceberg. Livni is perhaps the worst high-profile politician in Israel’s history, her resume a laundry list of colossal failures.

 

As foreign minister in the Olmert government, Livni spearheaded UN Resolution 1701, which left securing southern Lebanon to international peacekeepers after the 2006 war against Hezbollah. Nearly a decade later, Iran’s proxy has amassed some 100,000 rockets and is battle-tested after fighting on behalf of the Assad regime in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

 

Later, as leader of Kadima (the Likud offshoot responsible for pushing through the disastrous disengagement from Gaza), Livni was unable to form a government despite winning the most mandates in the 2009 election. She was thereafter totally irrelevant as head of the opposition.

Most recently, Livni failed miserably in her role as chief negotiator with the Palestinians, overseeing a futile nine-month process that, like all “peace” talks before them, culminated with a surge in Palestinian terrorism.

 

Then there are the middle-of-the-pack candidates: Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid and Moshe Kahlon with his newly-formed Kulanu party. The reality is that time is not on Liberman’s side and, despite attempts to rebrand himself as a moderate, it appears as though diminishing popular support will preclude him from becoming prime minister. For his part, Lapid is the latest Israeli political flameout after an awful run as finance minister; at least half of his mandates will likely be scooped up by Kahlon, this election’s trendy “centrist” running a campaign premised on “social justice.”

 

Which brings us to what were the two great hopes of the upcoming election, emanating from opposite sides of the political spectrum. But, sadly, both Labor’s Isaac Herzog and Bayit Yehudi’s Naftali Bennett have recently proven they are likewise not ready to assume the mantle of leadership.

 

Herzog is by far the more disappointing.Steeped in Zionist tradition, he could have been the first leader of the Left in decades with mass – perhaps even crossover – appeal; but by joining forces with Livni – whose party was unlikely to pass the electoral threshold – and agreeing to a rotating premiership, Herzog effectively signaled to the nation that he is not ready for the top job.

 

Compared to Netanyahu’s decision to merge with Liberman prior to the last election – a move that, according to polls, virtually ensured Netanyahu would be asked to form the next government – Herzog comes off looking like a serially- dependent political neophyte.

Bennett’s case is more complex.

 

While he has become the face of the “far Right,” an alleged fierce opponent of territorial compromises to the Palestinians, recent statements suggest he may not be the consummate ideologue. During his appearance at the Saban Forum in December, Bennett contradicted his previous position by saying that he would not, as prime minister, annex Area C of the West Bank, suggesting that such a process could take up to four decades. In the interim, he called for enhanced cooperation with the Palestinian leadership.

 

The bitter truth is that Israel is suffering from the absence of leadership, which has created a sense of alienation, if not dejection and even anger, among the population. While the Jewish state has faced incredible challenges in its brief history, it has overcome them only because past leaders believed in more than simply amassing power, and acted in accordance with those convictions. They understood Israel to be a living, breathing cause, and that without proper guidance that cause would begin to erode. And this is where Israel finds itself today, its legitimacy eroded. Much of this is attributable to our enemies, but successive Israeli leaders – or lack thereof – have played their part.

 

The author is a correspondent for i24news, and a former CIJR Publications Manager

ANTI-ZIONISTS, BLAMING ISRAEL FOR VIOLENCE AGAINST JEWS, IGNORE THE PERSISTENCE OF ANTISEMITISM

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:

 

Our Dangerous Historical Moment: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, Feb. 19, 2014 — World War II was the most destructive war in history. What caused it?

Confronting European Anti-Semitism: Alan Dershowitz, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2015 — I just completed a three-day visit to Prague and the former Terezin concentration camp.

Turkey's Bad Joke: Crocodile Tears for Victims of Holocaust: Burak Bekdil, Gatestone Institute, Feb. 8, 2014— For a few moments, one could think there are two countries in the world that go by the name "Turkey." Then reality quickly corrects the mistaken belief.

Persecution Defines Life for Yemen’s Remaining Jews: Rod Nordland, New York Times, Feb. 18, 2015— About all that remain of Yemen’s ancient and once vibrant Jewish community are untended cemeteries, dramatic hillside ghetto villages of thousand-year-old stone houses and a few people like Abraham Jacob and his extended family.

 

On Topic Links

 

He Walked Around Paris ‘as a Jew’ for 10 Hours — the Reality Caught on Video Is Hard to Stomach (Video): Jason Howerton, The Blaze, Feb. 16, 2015

Yemen's Last Jews Eye Exodus To Israel After Shiite Militia Takeover: Mohammed Ghobari, Huffington Post, Feb. 16, 2015

The Uniqueness of Anti-Semitism: Irwin Cotler, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2015

Why Don’t the British Like Israel?: Alex Joffe, Times of Israel, Feb. 5, 2015

 

                                                                                          

                              

OUR DANGEROUS HISTORICAL MOMENT      

Victor Davis Hanson                                               

National Review, Feb. 19, 2015

 

World War II was the most destructive war in history. What caused it? The panic from the ongoing and worldwide Depression in the 1930s had empowered extremist movements the world over. Like-minded, violent dictators of otherwise quite different Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Imperial Japan, and the Communist Soviet Union all wanted to attack their neighbors. Yet World War II could have been prevented had Western Europe united to deter Germany. Instead, France, Britain, and the smaller European democracies appeased Hitler. The United States turned isolationist. The Soviet Union collaborated with the Third Reich. And Italy and Japan eventually joined it.

 

The 1930s saw rampant anti-Semitism. Jews were blamed in fascist countries for the economic downturn. They were scapegoated in democracies for stirring up the fascists. The only safe havens for Jews from Europe were Jewish-settled Palestine and the United States. Does all this sound depressingly familiar? The aftershocks of the global financial meltdown of 2008 still paralyze the European Union while prompting all sorts of popular extremist movements and opportunistic terrorists. After the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, America has turned inward. The Depression and the lingering unhappiness over World War I did the same to Americans in the 1930s.

 

Premodern monsters are on the move. The Islamic State is carving up Syria and Iraq to fashion a fascist caliphate. Vladimir Putin gobbles up his neighbors in Ossetia, Crimea, and eastern Ukraine, in crude imitation of the way Germany once swallowed Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland. Theocratic Iran is turning Yemen, Iraq, and Lebanon into a new Iranian version of Japan’s old Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

 

The Western response to all this? Likewise, similar to the 1930s. The NATO allies are terrified that Putin will next attack the NATO-member Baltic states — and that their own paralysis will mean the embarrassing end of the once-noble alliance. The United States has now fled from four Middle Eastern countries. It forfeited its post-surge victory in Iraq. It was chased out of Libya after the killings of Americans in Benghazi. American red lines quickly turned pink in Syria. U.S. Marines just laid down their weapons and flew out of the closed American embassy in Yemen. America has convinced its European partners to drop tough sanctions against Iran. In the manner of the Allies in 1938 at Munich, they prefer instead to charm Iran, in hopes it will stop making a nuclear bomb. The Islamic State has used almost a year of unchallenged aggression to remake the map of the Middle East. President Obama had variously dismissed it as a jayvee team or merely akin to the problems that big-city mayors face. Europeans pay out millions to ransom their citizens from radical Islamic hostage-beheaders. Americans handed over terrorist kingpins to get back a likely Army deserter.

 

Then we come to the return of the Jewish question. Seventy years after the end of the Holocaust, Jews are once again leaving France. They have learned that weak governments either will not or cannot protect them from Islamic terrorists. In France, radical Islamists recently targeted a kosher market. In Denmark, they went after a synagogue. In South Africa, students demanded the expulsion of Jewish students from a university. A Jewish prosecutor who was investigating the 1994 bombing of a Jewish community center in Argentina was found mysteriously murdered. Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is being blamed for stoking Middle Eastern tensions. Who cares that he resides over the region’s only true democracy, one that is stable and protects human rights? Obama-administration aides have called him a coward and worse. President Obama has dismissed the radical Islamists’ targeting of Jews in France merely as “randomly shoot[ing] a bunch of folks in a deli.”

 

Putin, the Islamic State, and Iran at first glance have as little in common as did Germany, Italy, and Japan. But like the old Axis, they are all authoritarians that share a desire to attack their neighbors. And they all hate the West. The grandchildren of those who appeased the dictators of the 1930s once again prefer in the short term to turn a blind eye to the current fascists. And the grandchildren of the survivors of the Holocaust once again get blamed. The 1930s should have taught us that aggressive autocrats do not have to like each other to share hatred of the West. The 1930s should have demonstrated to us that old-time American isolationism and the same old European appeasement will not prevent but only guarantee a war. And the 1930s should have reminded us that Jews are usually among the first — but not the last — to be targeted by terrorists, thugs, and autocrats.

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                      

             

CONFRONTING EUROPEAN ANTI-SEMITISM

Alan Dershowitz                                                              

Jerusalem Post, Feb. 1, 2015

 

I just completed a three-day visit to Prague and the former Terezin concentration camp. I was there to speak at a conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps. Many European speakers talked about the efforts they are making to confront the rising tide of anti-Semitism throughout Europe. But before one can decide how to confront a sickness like anti-Semitism, one must first describe and diagnose the pathology.

 

There are several distinct, but sometimes overlapping, types of anti-Semitism. The first is traditional, right-wing, fascist Jew hatred that has historically included theological, racial, economic, social, personal and cultural aspects. We are seeing a resurgence of this today in Greece, Hungary and other European countries with rising right-wing parties that are anti-Muslim as well as anti-Jewish.

 

The second is Muslim anti-Semitism. Just as not all Greeks and Hungarians are anti-Semitic, so too not all Muslims suffer from this malady. But far too many do. It is wrong to assume that only Muslims who manifest Jew hatred through violence harbor anti-Semitic views. Recent polls show an extraordinarily high incidence of anti-Semitism – hatred of Jews as individuals, as a group and as a religion – throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Muslim areas in Europe. This hatred manifests itself not only in words, but in deeds, such as taunting Jews who wear kippot, vandalizing Jewish institutions, and occasional violence directed at individual Jews. Among a small number of extremists it also results in the kind of deadly violence we have seen in Toulouse, Paris, Brussels and other parts of Europe. Several decades ago it manifested itself in attacks on synagogues by Palestinian terrorists, including some operating on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

 

Third, there is hard Left anti-Zionism that sometimes melds into subtle and occasionally overt anti-Semitism. This pathology is seen in the double standard imposed on everything Jewish, including the nation-state of the Jewish people. It is also reflected in blaming “Jewish power,” and the “pushiness” of Jews in demanding support for Israel. I’m not referring to criticism of Israeli policies or actions. I’m referring to the singling out of Israel for extreme demonization. The ultimate form of this pathology is the absurd comparison made by some extreme leftist between the extermination of policies of the Nazis and of Israel’s efforts to defend itself against terrorist rockets, tunnels, suicide bombers and other threats to its civilians. Comparing Israel’s actions to those of the Nazis is a not-so-subtle version of Holocaust denial. Because if all the Nazis really did was what Israel is now doing, there could not have been a Holocaust or an attempt at genocide against the Jewish people. A variation on this perverse theme is apartheid denial: by accusing Israel – which accords equal rights to all its citizens – of apartheid, these haters deny the horrors of actual apartheid, which was so much more horrible than anything Israel has ever done.

 

Fourth, and most dangerous, is eliminationist anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism of the kind advocated by the leaders of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic State. Listen to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah: “If [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide,” or, “If we search the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice I didn’t say the Israeli.” These variations on the theme of anti-Semitism have several elements in common. First, they tend to engage in some form of Holocaust denial, minimization, glorification or comparative victimization. Second, they exaggerate Jewish power, money and influence. Third, they seek the delegitimation and demonization of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Fourth, they impose a double standard on all things Jewish. Finally, they nearly all deny that they are anti-Semites who hate all Jews. They claim that their hatred is directed against Israel and Jews who support the nation-state of the Jewish people.

 

This common form of the new anti-Semitism – we love the Jews, it’s only their nation-state that we hate – is pervasive among many European political, media, cultural and academic leaders. It was evident even among some who came to commemorate the liberation of the death camps. A recent poll among Germans showed a significant number of the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Nazi supporters didn’t want to hear about Nazi atrocities, but believed what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was comparable to what the Nazis had done to the Jews. This then is the European problem of anti-Semitism that many European leaders are unwilling to confront, because they have a built in excuse! It’s Israel’s fault – if only Israel would do the right thing with regard to the Palestinians, the problem would be solved. Tragically, it won’t be solved, because the reality is that hatred of Israel is not the cause of anti-Semitism. Rather, it is the reverse: anti-Semitism is a primary cause of hatred for the nation-state of the Jewish people.

                                                           

Contents                                                                                               

                                                                            

TURKEY'S BAD JOKE:

CROCODILE TEARS FOR VICTIMS OF HOLOCAUST                                                                            

Burak Bekdil                                                                                                       

Gatestone Institute, Feb. 8, 2015

 

For a few moments, one could think there are two countries in the world that go by the name "Turkey." Then reality quickly corrects the mistaken belief. "We hope that every person develops an understanding of the Holocaust, which constitutes one of the darkest moments in human history, and will consider the importance of working together so that such a tragedy, and the conditions that made this inconceivable crime possible, will never re-emerge," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on January 27. How nice and thoughtful. But there were more Turkish niceties.

 

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was among the participants in Poland at the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, on Holocaust Remembrance Day. And Turkey donated a modest sum of 150,000 euros this year as its contribution to the long-term preservation and restoration of the concentration camp. Also, for the first time, International Holocaust Remembrance Day was marked in Ankara by high-level officials. Turkish Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Cicek on January 28 addressed members of Turkey's tiny Jewish community and others at a Holocaust Remembrance Day event.

 

It all looks nice. It isn't. The Turkish Foreign Ministry's statement looked like the bad joke of the year: "We observe that anti-Semitism, which formed a basis for the inhuman Nazi ideology, still survives today and therefore we believe in the importance of fighting tirelessly against this phenomenon." The ministry was right to observe that anti-Semitism still survives today. Sadly, most powerfully in its own country, where no prosecutor has indicted a single one of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of social media users who, since last summer, have praised Hitler endlessly, claiming that the "Jews deserved it."

 

Under the nice wrappings of Holocaust Remembrance Day, there is the story of an entirely different Turkey. Parliamentary Speaker Cicek, for instance, linked rising anti-Semitism to Israeli actions. In his address to the Jewish community, he said: "As we remember the pain of the past, no one can ignore the last attacks on Gaza, in which 2,000 innocent children, women were massacred." Perhaps he thinks the Holocaust, too, happened because of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was not a coincidence that back in 2011, a study, released by the Turkish think tank SETA, found that only 8.6% of the Turks had a favorable opinion of Jews. Nearly 20% of the respondents did not have an opinion of Jews, and 71.5% said they had a negative opinion. According to a poll that the Anti-Defamation League released in 2014, 69% of Turks harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

 

More recently, the Hrant Dink Foundation in Turkey, named after the murdered Turkish-Armenian journalist, found that anti-Semitism is the most common racial or religious prejudice in the Turkish media. The study tracked derogatory coverage of over 30 different groups in media reports between May and August, only to find that Jews and Armenians were the subjects of just over half of the recorded incidents in a media landscape filled with "biased and discriminatory language use." Jews led the list with 130 incidents, followed by Armenians (60), [non-Greek] Christians (25), Greeks (21), Kurds (18) and Syrian refugees (10).

 

Foreign Minister Cavusoglu may have bothered to travel all the way to Poland to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day, but his sentiments most probably align with other ideologies. Less than a month after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hosted Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas's political bureau, at a high-level party congress, Cavusoglu in January said that Mashaal, reportedly expelled from Qatar, was free to come to Turkey. He said: "Regardless of which country they belong to, people are free to come and go to Turkey as they wish, as long as there are no legal impediments."

 

But Hamas is not Turkey's only love affair in the neighborhood. Turkey's Islamist leaders are as passionate about the Muslim Brothers as they are about Hamas. Hence, not a word from the Turkish Foreign Ministry (which observes that anti-Semitism is still alive today) over the January 30 call from the Muslim Brotherhood for "a long, uncompromising jihad" in Egypt. Only two days before a terror attack killed 25 in Egypt's Sinai region, a statement from the Muslim Brotherhood said: "Imam al-Bana [founder of the Brotherhood] prepared the jihad brigades that he sent to Palestine to kill the Zionist usurpers…"

 

And in programs aired on January 10 and 26 on Muslim Brotherhood channels based in Turkey, Egyptian clerics and commentators called for the murder of Egyptian President Abdel Fatteh al-Sisi and the journalists who support him. For instance, cleric Salama Abd al-Qawi said on Rabea TV that, "anyone who killed al-Sisi would be doing a good deed." Cleric Wagdi Ghoneim told Misr Alan TV that, "whoever can bring us the head of one of these dogs and hell-dwellers" would be rewarded by Allah. And commentator Muhammad Awadh said on Misr Alan TV that the punishment for the "inciting coup journalists" was death.

But the Turkish Foreign Ministry was right. Anti-Semitism is still alive today!

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

                          

PERSECUTION DEFINES LIFE FOR YEMEN’S REMAINING JEWS                                                               

Rod Nordland                                                                                                     

New York Times, Feb. 18, 2015

 

About all that remain of Yemen’s ancient and once vibrant Jewish community are untended cemeteries, dramatic hillside ghetto villages of thousand-year-old stone houses and a few people like Abraham Jacob and his extended family. Most of them live near this northern Yemeni town in Amran Province, deep in territory controlled by Houthi militants, whose leaders have made anti-Semitism a central plank in their political platform. It shows. When Mr. Jacob, 36, came to the souk here Thursday to meet journalists and take them on a rare visit to his community, he rode a battered motorcycle, his long, curly earlocks flapping and making him readily identifiable as Jewish. When traffic stalled for a minute, a khat dealer accosted the visitors’ Yemeni interpreter, Shuaib Almosawa, a journalist. “What are you doing with that dirty Jew?” the dealer said. “Why are you friendly with him?” “He’s a human being, after all,” Mr. Almosawa replied. “No, he’s not,” the dealer said. “God has damned him.”

 

The last of Yemen’s once numerous Jews, who predated Muslims by many centuries, have seldom been so threatened and had so few protectors. The Houthis, who now dominate the country, are particularly strong in the two places with confirmed remaining Yemeni Jews: here in Raida, where there are 55 Jews, and in Sana, the capital, where a small number live under what amounts to house arrest by the Houthi leadership. The two countries that have long facilitated Jewish emigration from Yemen — the United States and Britain — both closed their embassies last week, as did most other Western countries. And the Yemeni strongman who for three decades was the Jews’ protector, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is not only out of power, but also, more recently, out of favor with the Houthis.

 

“We have no friends,” Mr. Jacob said, “so we just try to stay away from everyone as much as we can.” They have more to fear than bad words. The encounter in the souk took place a short distance from where a Yemeni Air Force pilot in 2008 accosted Moshe Yaish Nahari, the brother of a prominent rabbi and the father of eight children, as he stepped out of his home. The assailant coldly said, “Jew, here’s a message from Islam,” and then fatally shot Mr. Nahari, who was unarmed, five times with an assault rifle, according to Yemeni news accounts. The pilot was convicted and sentenced to death for murder, but Mr. Nahari’s family, pressured into accepting blood money from the killer’s tribe to spare his life, left Yemen as soon as possible.

 

In the next few years, nearly all of Raida’s Jews followed. Among the exceptions were Abraham Jacob and eight other interrelated households, 55 people in all, most of them children, according to Suleiman Jacob, 45, Abraham’s eldest brother and the community’s unofficial rabbi and kosher butcher. Like the men, most of the boys in the Jacob family wear earlocks, a proud sign of who they are in an otherwise Muslim society. Now Suleiman keeps his earlocks thin and long enough so that when he goes out he can tuck them out of sight under an Arabic-style head scarf, which also covers the skullcaps (or kipas) that the men and boys all wear. “It’s a shame that we have to do that sometimes, but we do,” he said. Abraham says he refuses to hide his earlocks: “I fear none but God.”

 

Yemeni Jews, like those in other Arab countries, have suffered wave after wave of persecution. Originally many of them lived in Saada Province in the north, which was predominantly Zaydi, members of an offshoot of Shiite Islam that historically were anti-Semitic. The Houthis, whose base is in Saada, embedded that attitude in their slogan, “Death to America, death to Israel, damnation to the Jews.” The Houthis fought a succession of wars with the central government beginning in 2004, and in 2007, a Houthi representative in Saada gave Jews there an ultimatum: Leave in 10 days or face attack. Yemen’s president then, Mr. Saleh, though a Zaydi himself, became a champion of the Jews from Saada. At government expense, Mr. Saleh relocated them to a gated community in Sana next to the American Embassy.

 

That place is known as Tourist City, and as recently as 2009, there were 400 Jews reportedly living there under the former president’s protection. Now there are said to be only 20 to 40. Many of them have reportedly cut off their earlocks after one of their number was killed in 2002 just outside Tourist City’s gates by a Muslim who accused the victim of ruining his life through witchcraft. One of the Jews still there, Yahya Yousef, who described himself as the Sana rabbi, expressed eagerness to be interviewed when contacted by telephone but said he could not do so unless the Houthi-dominated security office in the Interior Ministry gave formal permission. Repeated requests over a week for such permission were unsuccessful. Army guards at the community’s gate refused entry to journalists.

 

In Raida, Abraham Jacob shrugged off his neighbors’ anti-Semitism, saying, “There are good people, and there are bad people.” But it is harder to overlook the Houthis’ slogan, which is chanted at all Houthi rallies, broadcast on television and painted on what seems like every blank wall space in areas they control. “We know there are Houthi people who are understanding and tolerant, and we have not been harmed by any of them,” Mr. Jacob said. “But this cursing us to damnation is distressing and hurtful to us.” “Honestly,” his brother Suleiman said, “we are a little afraid of the Houthi takeover and don’t know what to do about it.” Their family’s choice would be to emigrate to the United States, rather than Israel, Suleiman said, “because America is quieter, and we’ve had enough problems already.”

 

Despite the embassy closings, he said he remained hopeful that his son Jacob, who will turn 13 late this year, can celebrate his bar mitzvah outside Yemen. The boy has already been memorizing the Hebrew verses that he will have to chant for the occasion. “He is my best Hebrew student,” Suleiman said. The neighborhood still has young children and their parents, as well as elderly people, but there are few single adults of marriageable age. Most have emigrated. The last wedding took place two years ago, Abraham said. The newlyweds left Yemen and never came back. “There isn’t a single one of us here who doesn’t want to leave,” Suleiman said. “Soon there will be no Jews in Yemen, inshallah,” he said, using the Arabic expression for “God willing.”

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends and Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents                                                                                     

 

On Topic

 

He Walked Around Paris ‘as a Jew’ for 10 Hours — the Reality Caught on Video Is Hard to Stomach (Video): Jason Howerton, The Blaze, Feb. 16, 2015 —While walking quietly through the streets of Paris wearing a yarmulke, Zvika Klein claims to have experienced the shocking amount of discrimination and intimidation that Jews can experience on a daily basis.

Yemen's Last Jews Eye Exodus To Israel After Shiite Militia Takeover: Mohammed Ghobari, Huffington Post, Feb. 16, 2015 —A few worried families are all that remain of Yemen's ancient Jewish community, and they too may soon flee after a Shi'ite Muslim militia seized power in the strife-torn country this month.

The Uniqueness of Anti-Semitism: Irwin Cotler, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 27, 2015—Last week, I had the privilege of participating in the first-ever UN General Assembly plenum on global anti-Semitism. At this historic conference, many references were made to other forms of hatred and discrimination.

Why Don’t the British Like Israel?: Alex Joffe, Times of Israel, Feb. 5, 2015—  A recent poll showed that Britons regarded Israel less favorably than any other country besides North Korean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                    

               

 

 

 

                      

                

                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 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

QUI MENACE QUI?

500 000 MIGRANTS : « L'ARME PSYCHOLOGIQUE » UTILISÉE PAR DAECH CONTRE L'EUROPE

Réd.

http://www.europe-israel.org, 19 février 2015

           

L’Italie, en première ligne face au chaos libyen, cherche à mobiliser l’ONU et les Européens pour tenter de ramener un peu de stabilité en Libye, où Daech gagne du terrain et menace même d’envoyer des milliers de migrants vers l’Europe.

 

Le gouvernement italien a clairement manifesté son inquiétude ce week-end face à l’avancée de l’organisation de l’Etat islamique (EI) en Libye, réclamant une mobilisation internationale forte pour contenir cette menace. L’Egypte a semblé apporter un début de réponse en bombardant lundi des positions en Libye de l’EI en représailles après l’assassinat de 21 chrétiens égyptiens par ces djihadistes.

Mais en face, Daech continue la surenchère. « Si vous engagez des forces armées en Libye, nous vous envoyons 500 000 migrants ». C’est le message relayé par les terroristes au gouvernement italien, si l’on en croit des écoutes téléphoniques publiées par le quotidien Il Messagero. « Une arme psychologique » écrit le journal. « Les terroristes suggèrent de laisser dériver des centaines de bateaux chargés de migrants (…) L’objectif serait de créer un nouveau drame (décès en mer, port bloqué) provoquant un impact dévastateur sur l’opinion publique ».

 

 « La Libye, c’est de l’autre côté de la Méditerranée, c’est très proche de nous, d’où la nécessité d’être très vigilants et d’être alliés avec les pays de la coalition, comme l’est l’Egypte », a déclaré le week-end dernier sur RMC le ministre français de la Défense, Jean-Yves Le Drian.

 

Si l’Italie est prête à s’engager militairement, elle ne le fera que dans le cadre de l’ONU et d’une opération de maintien de la paix, a rappelé lundi le chef du gouvernement Matteo Renzi. Or les conditions ne semblent guère réunies. « Il n’y a tout simplement pas de paix à maintenir », juge Ettore Greco, directeur de l’Institut des Affaires internationales de Rome. « Ce n’est pas le moment d’une intervention militaire » en Libye, a confirmé lundi Matteo Renzi, interrogé sur la télévision TG5. « Il faut faire preuve de « sagesse, de prudence », a-t-il ajouté en appelant à éviter « l’hystérie ».

 

Ce week-end, l’Italie était apparue résolument va-t-en guerre. Le ministre des Affaires étrangères, Paolo Gentiloni, a affirmé qu’elle était « prête à combattre » et celle de la Défense, Roberta Pinotti, a précisé que le pays prendrait la tête d’une coalition armée et enverrait au moins 5000 hommes sur le terrain. Rome cherche surtout à relancer les efforts diplomatiques pour stabiliser la Libye, à moins de 350 km de ses côtes, afin aussi d’éviter un « exode massif », selon l’expression du ministre italien de l’Intérieur Angelino Alfano, interrogé lundi dans La Repubblica.

 

Plus de 2000 migrants partis des côtes libyennes ont encore été secourus ce week-end et selon les organisations internationales spécialisées, des dizaines de milliers d’autres attendent de partir. Une menace que Daech a bien comprise.

 

 

L'ETAT ISLAMIQUE, INFILTRÉ EN TURQUIE, PRÉVOIT DES ATTENTATS EN EUROPE

Réd.

i24news, 19 février 2015

           

Plusieurs hauts commandants du groupe Etat islamique se sont infiltrés en Turquie et prévoient d'y attaquer des missions diplomatiques à Ankara, ont rapportés les médias turcs jeudi, citant l'agence nationale de renseignement (MIT).

 

En outre, selon MIT, plus de 3.000 djihadistes du groupe ultra-radical cherchent à entrer en Turquie par sa frontière sud, après avoir perdu la ville frontalière syrienne de Kobane, révèle le quotidien Huriyet.

 

Le rapport qui ne précise cependant pas combien de membres de l'Etat islamique sont déjà présents sur le territoire turc, explique que les "infiltrés" sont des experts en explosifs et qu'ils vont s'en prendre aux représentations diplomatiques des pays membres de la coalition anti-djihadiste dirigée par Washington.

 

"Certains djihadistes de nationalité syrienne ou palestinienne ont également l'intention de passer en Bulgarie et de mener des attaques dans les pays européens", ajoute le communiqué du MIT.

 

Parallèlement jeudi matin, les médias rapportaient que le "Calife" de l'EI, Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, avait été fait prisonnier par l'armée américaine en Irak il y a 10 ans, pendant 7 mois.

 

Cette information a été révélée par le site d'information américain Business insider, qui cite des documents militaires déclassifiés, incluant la photo de Baghdadi ainsi que ses papiers d'identité.

 

Al-Baghdadi, de son vrai nom Ibrahim Awad Ibrahim al-Badry, a été fait prisonnier en février 2004, puis relaché en décembre de  la même année, ajoute le rapport.

 

Selon ces documents, le chef actuelle de l'Etat islamique, était à l'époque un prisonnier civil, secrétaire de profession, et arrêté pour des raisons sécuritaires, n'appartenant à aucune organisation ou force armée étrangère. Il était détenu pour des raisons de sécurité.

 

 

ISRAËL: LA COUR SUPRÊME VALIDE LA CANDIDATURE DE ZOABI ET ANNULE LA DÉCISION DE LA COMMISSION ÉLECTORALE !

Nisso Amzar

JSSNews, 19 février 2015

 

A 26 jours des élections, on apprend que Hanin Zoabi (Balad) va finalement pouvoir se présenter.

 

La Cour Suprême a décidé dans sa très grande majorité (8 juges pour, 1 contre) de valider l’entrée en course électorale de Zoabi, pourtant grande défenderesse des terroriste du Hamas.

 

Miriam Naor (la Présidente de la Cour Suprême) et les juges Esther Hayot, Hanan Melcer, Yoram Danziger, Neal Hendel, Uzi Vogelman, Zvi Zilberthal et Yitzhak Amit ont voté en faveur de Zoabi, alors qu’Elyakim Rubinstein est le seul a avoir voté contre.

 

Jeudi dernier, la Commission électorale avait voté par 27 voix contre 6 pour disqualifier Zoabi en raison de ses acquaintance avec des organisations terroristes islamistes.

 

Hanin Zoabi, 45 ans et députée depuis 2009. Elle est considérée comme une ennemie de l’intérieur. Elle rejette l’idée d’Israël comme Etat juif et juge irréaliste une vision de deux Etats palestinien et israélien coexistants. Elle défend l’idée d’un seul Etat où juifs et Palestiniens auraient les mêmes droits.

 

 

ELECTIONS ISRAËLIENNES: POURQUOI VOTER POUR « UNION SIONISTE » DE GAUCHE SOUTENUE PAR OBAMA EST UN SUICIDE

Jean-Patrick Grumberg

JSSNews, 19 février 2015

 

Puisque Obama a envoyé sa propre équipe de campagne en Israël pour aider la gauche israélienne à gagner les prochaines élections, chaque Israélien, même de gauche, spécialement de gauche, doit se tenir sur ses gardes.

 

Si Obama, qui n’est pas un enfant de chœur, veut que la gauche israélienne l’emporte, ce n’est pas pour le bien d’Israël mais pour arriver à ses objectifs.

 

Et ses objectifs, il les a clairement déroulés en mai 2011.

 

La veille de la visite de Netanyahou à Washington, Il déclarait que les frontières d’avant la guerre de 1967 doivent « servir de base préalable aux discussions de paix ». (préalable, c’est à dire avant les compromis douloureux – c’est son expression – qu’il entend obtenir d’Israël).

 

Je vous laisse libre d’imaginer quels « douloureux » compromis le plus islamo-compatible président des Etats Unis a en stock pour Israël…

 

Tout le monde sait-il bien où passent ces « frontières d’avant 1967″ (le mot frontière est d’ailleurs incorrect, il s’agit de la ligne de démarcation provisoire tracée après la guerre d’indépendance) ?

20speech-articleInline

 

  1. Elles passent si près de l’aéroport Ben Gurion que celui-ci devra être fermé, car les avions se trouveront à portée des roquettes palestiniennes.
  2. Elles font passer la vieille ville de Jérusalem, y compris le quartier juif, y compris le mur des lamentations, du coté palestinien.
  3. Elles mettent le Golan entre les mains de l’Etat islamiste, et le positionne en situation stratétique à quelques minutes des villes israéliennes.
  4. Elles correspondent à ce que Lord Caradon, rédacteur de la Résolution 242 en 1967, a décrit comme « une ligne indéfendable pour Israël » – et vous imaginez bien que depuis 1967, l’armement à fait quelques progrès en précision et portée.
  5. Elles font perdre à Israël le bénéfice naturel procuré par la vallée du Jourdain que les chars et les troupes ennemis ne peuvent franchir, rendant le territoire israélien soudainement très attractif pour les velléités de l’Etat islamiste.

 

Et c’est parce que Obama est certain que Tzipi Livni acceptera les « douloureuses » concessions qu’il veut imposer à Israël, qu’il a envoyé Jeremy Bird, le directeur de sa campagne électorale de 2012, en Israël pour organiser la victoire du parti de Livni.

 

A chacun ses convictions, disais-je.

 

Mais quand Obama se mêle des élections israéliennes pour faire perdre Netanyahou, il y a un comme un problème d’ingérence, et sauf à servir de paillasson à Obama, aucun Israélien ne devrait accepter cette intrusion dans le processus démocratique israélien. Le fait que Tzipi Livni et Isaac Herzog l’acceptent pose en soi un sérieux problème : élus, ils devront renvoyer l’ascenseur, et pas à vide.

 

A chacun ses convictions, mais quand Obama monte sur ses grands chevaux en reprochant au premier ministre israélien son insupportable ingérence dans les affaires américaines, parce qu’il a répondu favorablement à l’invitation du Congrès américain, et qu’il envoie, lui Obama, une organisation d’extrême gauche du nom de V15 faire campagne pour les opposants au Likoud, il y a un sérieux souci.

 

Pour tout vous dire, même le très à gauche Haaretz s’en est ému. Haaretz a dévoilé que le plan de l’organisation envoyée par Obama en renfort consiste à « recruter des milliers de volontaires qui vont faire du porte à porte avant l’élection afin de persuader au moins un million de personnes de voter pour un changement de gouvernement ».

 

Haaretz ajoute que “louer les services d’une telle organisation coûte une fortune. Nous parlons de financement étranger d’une amplitude énorme, en violation des lois de financement des partis ».

 

Obama représente pour Israël son danger le plus immédiat..

 

Lire la suite.

 

L'ANCIEN INTENDANT DES NETANYAHOU VA PORTER PLAINTE CONTRE LE PREMIER MINISTRE

Réd.

i24news, 19 février 2015

           

L'ancien intendant de la résidence du Premier ministre israélien qui témoigne dans le cadre d'une enquête sur la gestion de la résidence des Netanyahou, devrait bénéficier d'une immunité judiciaire afin de pouvoir continuer à se faire entendre par la police, a annoncé jeudi le ministère de la Justice.

 

Menny Naftali a par ailleurs indiqué qu'il avait l'intention de porter plainte contre Benyamin Netanyahou pour diffamation dès la semaine prochaine, après que le Likoud l'a accusé d'être responsable des dépenses excessives à la résidence du Premier ministre, visé par un rapport du contrôleur d'Etat publié cette semaine.

 

"Les jours où les gens pouvaient dire ce qu'ils voulaient sans engager leur responsabilité sont révolus depuis longtemps", a déclaré Naftali.

 

Naftali avait déjà porté plainte contre les Netanyahou l'année dernière, les accusant de l'avoir exploité et d'avoir bafoué ses droits.

 

"Mes employeurs n'ont pas respecté leurs engagements envers moi, et ont enfreint le droit du travail à plusieurs reprises. Je n'aurais jamais imaginé qu'un Premier ministre d'Israël se comporte de la sorte et m'accuse pour ses dépenses privées ainsi que celles de sa famille", a-t-il ajouté.

 

Le rapport du contrôleur de l'Etat hébreu sur la gestion de la résidence des Netanyahou publié cette semaine a notamment révélé des dépenses exorbitantes financées par l'argent public.

 

Le contrôleur d'Etat Yossef Shapira avait reçu la demande de ce rapport du procureur général Yehuda Weinstein qui soupçonnait des irrégularités pouvant mener à une action en justice. Dans l'introduction du rapport, Shapira souligne en outre que l'enquête sur les finances de la résidence s'était avérée "difficile" en raison de la gestion obscure des Netanyahou.

 

Sara Netanyahou, dont les gaspillages publics ont soulevé des scandales ces dernières semaines, se trouve au cœur de la tempête, la femme du Premier ministre étant la gestionnaire principale du portefeuille familiale.

 

Le budget pour l'"habillement", appelé "frais de représentation" qui comprend l'achat de vêtements, le coiffeur et le maquillage, est fixé habituellement à 54.000 shekels par an, par le Comité des finances de la Knesset, or ces frais ont été multiplié par 2.5 sous le mandat de Netanyahou.

 

Bien que le procureur général Yehuda Weinstein n'ait pas encore décidé s'il allait ouvrir une enquête contre Netanyahou suite à ces révélations, celui-ci a déjà engagé un avocat spécialisé en droit pénal, Yaacov Weinroth.

 

Le couple Netanyahou est également soupçonné d'avoir imprimé de fausses factures pour justifier les dépenses douteuses liées à l'entretien de leur résidence privée de Césarée.

 

 

BINYAMIN NETANYAHOU, WINSTON CHURCHILL DE NOTRE ÉPOQUE

Guy Millière

http://www.dreuz.info, 15 février 2015

 

Outre les articles rappelant la vie et l’œuvre de l’un des plus grands hommes du vingtième siècle, ont été publiés des commentaires demandant qui pourrait être considéré aujourd’hui comme un homme politique doté de la lucidité, du sens de la stratégie et de la détermination de Winston Churchill. Un nom est souvent revenu dans ces commentaires : celui de Binyamin Netanyahou. Cela me semble pleinement justifié.

 

Binyamin Netanyahou est, présentement (avec sans doute Stephen Harper) le seul homme politique au pouvoir à comprendre les enjeux politiques et géopolitiques du monde contemporain, et il est le seul homme politique au pouvoir à discerner ce qui est prioritaire. Il est le seul à discerner que nous sommes face à un risque potentiellement mortel pour la civilisation occidentale en son ensemble, et le seul à oser le dire clairement. Il a, tout au long des six années qui se sont écoulées depuis l’élection de Barack Obama su se comporter en stratège et déjouer les pièges qui n’ont cessé de lui être tendus par le Président des Etats Unis le plus hostile à Israël et à la liberté qui soit jamais entré à la Maison Blanche, et cela n’a pas été une mince prouesse. Il a fait preuve d’une détermination rare et n’a, pour l’essentiel, jamais dévié ou fluctué.

 

Il a décidé de répondre à l’invitation de John Boehner et de se rendre au Congrès des Etats Unis dans quelques semaines parce que la situation est grave, et que Barack Obama est en train de passer un accord historiquement catastrophique avec la République Islamique d’Iran. Il n’a contrevenu à aucune règle diplomatique. John Boehner lui-même n’a violé aucune règle. Il entend s’adresser, au delà du Congrès, au peuple américain et au monde, aux fins que la catastrophe soit évitée ou pour le moins qu’on en mesure les conséquences. Il est dans son rôle de Premier Ministre d’Israël, en charge de la défense du peuple d’Israël, très gravement menacé. Il est dans un rôle de défenseur du monde libre, dans un contexte où il n’y a pas d’autre personne qui puisse occuper ce rôle. Il est en train de marquer l’histoire, et il marquera l’histoire.

 

Parce qu’il hait Binyamin Netanyahou, parce qu’il a choisi la République Islamique d’Iran, parce qu’il craint que le discours de Binyamin Netanyahou ait un impact, Barack Obama ne cesse de manœuvrer de manière sordide et de laisser entendre que Binyamin Netanyahou se conduit mal vis-à-vis de lui, Barack Obama. Des Démocrates s’essaient à faire un esclandre de façon à ce qu’on oublie qu’il s’agit de la République Islamique d’Iran et d’une catastrophe dont ils sont prêts à se faire complices, et de façon à ce que Binyamin Netanyahou soit cloué au pilori. Des organisations juives américaines financièrement vendues à l’administration Obama et à l’islam radical, J Street en tête, font campagne contre Binyamin Netanyahou. Des commentateurs pusillanimes, jusque dans la revue Commentary, conseillent à Binyamin Netanyahou de reculer. Binyamin Netanyahou sait qu’il ne peut pas reculer : s’il reculait, il perdrait la guerre et perdrait l’honneur. En ne reculant pas, il n’est pas certain de ne pas perdre la guerre, mais il ne perdra pas l’honneur.

 

Lire la suite.

 

 

Shabbat Shalom  à tous nos lecteurs!