Month: January 2016


The Fading Lessons of the Holocaust: Reflections on International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016: Dr. Charles Asher Small, ISGAP, Jan. 27, 2016 — (Wednesday, Jan. 27 was) International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the date in 1945 when the Russians liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland. 

Palestinians are Knowingly Bringing Knives to a Gun Fight. These are Suicide Attacks: David Sacks, National Post, Jan. 28, 2016— Since mid-September, more than three out of every four people killed in Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have been Palestinian.

Special Report: Globe and Mail Bias Against Israel Continues Unabated: Mike Fegelman, Honest Reporting, Jan. 21, 2016 — “One day India may discover that her one-sided orientation in the Middle East is neither moral nor expedient.”

Associated Press Semantics – a Simple Tactic for Bias: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Jan. 13, 2016— Ability to manipulate language is crucial if a journalist is to transmit a biased message. 


On Topic Links


How Much Do Young People Know About the Holocaust?: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016

UN Condemns Israel as the World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: IPT, Jan. 29, 2016

Italy Has Special Responsibility to Remember Holocaust, Envoy Says: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016

Here’s a Holocaust Story with a Happy Ending: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016





Dr. Charles Asher Small

                                                ISGAP, Jan. 27, 2016


(Wednesday, Jan. 27 was) International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the 71st anniversary of the date in 1945 when the Russians liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps in Poland.  In 2005, 60 years after that liberation, the UN finally established a day of commemoration for the six million Jews, plus five million non-Jews, whom the Nazis murdered.


Nations throughout the world are commemorating the day in distinctive ways.  French Prime Minister Manuel Valls is addressing a memorial event. German Government officials are gathering in the Bundestag to focus on the legacy of forced labor.  The Polish Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum is streaming an event live on YouTube.


And in Iran, the Regime has just announced another Holocaust Denial Cartoons Contest. The announcement is not an aberration. This is, after all, a regime whose president once tried to organize a research mission to Poland to determine whether it was really possible for millions to have died at Auschwitz. (The Polish Government denied his request.) Ten years ago, after a Danish newspaper ran cartoons of Mohammed, an official Iranian newspaper offered prizes for cartoons about the Holocaust.  Some entries were based on Holocaust denial; others merely drew a parallel between the Nazism and Zionism. In 2015, when the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a cartoon of Mohammed after the terrorist massacre at its headquarters, the Iranians announced the Second International Holocaust Cartoons Contest.


This year the Iranian Holocaust Denial cartoon contest will attract participants from more than 50 countries. Emphasis will also be placed on caricatures dehumanizing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Even more disturbing on this Holocaust Memorial Day, representatives of the Iranian Regime are in Europe meeting heads of state and captains of industry to sign major economic agreements. This year marks the normalization of relations with a regime that denies the Holocaust while it openly prepares for another, a fundamental element of the Regime's ideology. 


On this Holocaust Memorial Day, nations of Europe, where the Holocaust was actually planned and perpetrated, and other leading nations, like the United States, are not only engaged in economic relations with this human-rights-abusing nation but are now accepting it as a stablizing force in the blood-drenched Middle East. The fact that on Holocaust Memorial Day, European Governments are hosting a representative of a regime that is dedicated to the annihilation of the Jewish state, and a regime with a dismal human rights record which subjugates women and religious minorities, is a tragedy. It is a tragedy for Europe. It represents the selling of fundamental principles of democracy and human rights for two pieces of silver. Profit and short-term gain have replaced notions of democratic principles, the rights of Iranian citizens, and the memory of the victims of the Shoah.


The last time Europe set aside values of human decency for short term gain, not only did the Holocaust occur, but Europe was essentially destroyed.  It is inevitable that setting aside democratic principles will have a cost. Antisemitism begins with Jews but never ends with Jews. The deadly virus of hate affects the very fabric of society.  The question is what the cost will be and when will the chickens come home to roost. 


Dr. Charles Asher Small is a CIJR Academic Fellow





TO A GUN FIGHT. THESE ARE SUICIDE ATTACKS                                                   

                               David Sachs

National Post, Jan. 28, 2016


Since mid-September, more than three out of every four people killed in Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have been Palestinian. Sounds like Israel is the aggressor, doesn’t it? In fact, for the last four months, Palestinians have waged a terror campaign of random civilian attacks, often using cars and knives as weapons. This wave has been called the “Stabbing Intifada.”


Among these random attacks on Israelis, which are supported by the Palestinian leadership, a pregnant mother was stabbed, a mother of six was killed in front of her children, a 15-month-old baby and her mother were rammed by a car and a 13-year-old girl and an 80-year-old woman were also stabbed. In all, 30 victims have died in over 100 attacks in the last four months — thank God, it’s hard to kill with a knife, particularly in a country with so much security — and close to 300 Israelis have been wounded. Sixty Palestinian attackers have been arrested and over 90 have been shot and killed while carrying out their attacks.


Israel is often been accused of using “disproportionate force” because of such death toll ratios. That accusation is absurd. After all, if Palestinians continue to stab, and get killed for it at a high rate, should they be allowed to kill a few Jews to catch up? No society on Earth would attempt to protect murderers and purposely leave victims more vulnerable.


When someone is trying to stab a child, you shoot them, if you can. The attackers are counting on this, in fact. These are suicide attacks. They are knowingly bringing a knife to a gun fight. Martyrdom, or dying for the cause, is seen as an honour for many Palestinians. Their families are rewarded by the Palestinian government and West Bank streets are often named after them. The Palestinian leadership uses the statistics on the “disproportionate” death toll to fuel their people’s rage, to encourage copycat attacks against Jews in France and to arm the Western anti-Israel movement with more “proof” of the evilness of the Jewish state.


The broader picture of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian forces is similar. More Palestinians are killed than Israelis, and Israel is condemned for using “disproportionate force.” But should Israel ignore Hamas rocket attacks until some magically sufficient number of Israelis have been killed? If Israel does retaliate, with better bombs delivered by jets, but their attackers still don’t stop, regardless of their losses, should Israel just give up and accept the attacks?


In 2008, bragging of the war crime of using human shields, Hamas MP Fathi Hammad said, “The Palestinian people has developed its (methods) of death and death-seeking. For the Palestinian people, death has become an industry.” Former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh echoed this when he said, “We love death like our enemies love life.”


When a society worships death, honours suicide attackers and forces civilians to serve as human shields, they are going to have a high death count. As I mentioned above, this is their stated goal. In 1957, the future prime minister of Israel, Golda Meir, captured the horror of the situation in a way that still rings true: “We can forgive (them) for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with (them) when they love their children more than they hate us.”


“Disproportionate force” is a code word for Jews winning. Only Israel — the one Jewish state in the world — has this concept used against it. When Russia kills hundreds of Syrian civilians, none of whom are threatening Russia, we hear no talk of a proportionate response. When Saudi Arabia bombs civilians and hospitals in Yemen, there is hardly any attention paid to it in Western media. That is what is disproportionate.


So when Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion stated this week that Canada is concerned over the violence that has taken place in Israel and the West Bank over the past 100 days and called “for all efforts to be made to reduce violence,” one has to wonder: why is the context of the violence not mentioned? And what exactly is Israel to do? Let them stab?    






Mike Fegelman

Honest Reporting, Jan. 21, 2016 


What our media report today, often times becomes foreign policy tomorrow. In Canada, the Globe and Mail, our country’s “paper of record” prides itself as being a broadsheet of influence whose reporting and commentary platforms are observed by our nation’s thought leaders and policy makers. Though duty bound at being impartial, fair, accurate and balanced, in the past couple months, the Globe has produced problematic content with an overt anti-Israel slant and has failed to remedy its journalist shortcomings.


Here are just five recent examples of Globe and Mail media bias against Israel:


1) Globe gives platform to incendiary Michael Bell commentary: Writing in the Globe and Mail on December 14, Michael Bell, former Canadian ambassador to Israel and co-director of the Jerusalem Old City Initiative, excused Palestinian terrorism while baselessly charging that a “Judaization” of Jerusalem exists. In truth, Bell’s op-ed was just another example of Palestinian incitement. Without substantiation, Bell claimed Israeli “zealots” are attempting to change the Temple Mount’s status quo while seeking the destruction of the Al Aqsa Mosque, efforts which Bell claimed are prompting Palestinians to commit terrorism.


Bell claimed: “The spate of frequent and growing knife attacks has been provoked by the perhaps unsurprising misperception that Mr. Netanyahu plans to change the “status quo” step by step, given the pressures he is subject to.” As commentator Richard Levy observed: “Mr. Bell is determined to put a halo around the violent and often murderous knifings by those whose passions are inflamed by such incendiary charges. He says that “frequent knifings by Palestinians” are “in reaction to these perceived encroachments”. Note the passive voice which makes the sequence of events look like a physical phenomenon. Perception of an undesired outcome inexorably leads to knifings. In the same way that a very strong wind leads to branches breaking. Bell outdoes himself in making it clear that persons stabbing other persons on the street with intent to maim and kill merit a free pass, when he sums up his whitewashing analysis by writing: “The spate of frequent and growing knife attacks has been provoked by the perhaps unsurprising misperception that Mr. Netanyahu plans to change the “status quo” step by step, given the pressures he is subject to.” The misperception (of change to the status quo) is “unsurprising” in Mr. Bell’s words (even though Mr. Netanyahu strongly denied it). So naturally ” knife attacks” were provoked. It is as if, in Bell’s mind, the knives took action on their own without human control instead of being wielded by persons who stab randomly choosing pedestrians to death because of a misperception.”


In truth, as Ron Dermer, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States, recently put it: “Israel stringently maintains the status quo on the Temple Mount. Last year, some 3.5 million Muslims visited the Temple Mount alongside some 200,000 Christians and 12,000 Jews. Only Muslims are allowed to pray on the Mount, and non-Muslims may visit only at specified times, which have not changed. Though the Temple Mount is Judaism’s holiest site—where Solomon built his Temple some 3,000 years ago—Israel will not allow a change in the status quo. The ones trying to change the status quo are Palestinians, who are violently trying to prevent Jews and Christians from even visiting a site holy to all three faiths.”


Since Jerusalem’s reunification in 1967, Dermer observed, “Israel has vigorously protected the holy sites of all faiths, including al-Aqsa. In the Middle East, where militant Islamists desecrate and destroy churches, synagogues, world heritage sites, as well as each other’s mosques, Israel is the only guarantor of Jerusalem’s holy places. Palestinians have been propagating the “al-Aqsa is in danger” myth since at least 1929, when the Palestinian icon, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Haj Amin al-Husseini, used it to inspire the massacre of Jews in Hebron and elsewhere. Nearly a century later, the mosque remains unharmed, but the lie persists.”


Those who protest the “Judaization” of Jerusalem are themselves guilty of trying to deny and destroy Jewish history in Jerusalem. Rather than “Judaization,” the facts point to a systematic de-Judaizing of Jerusalem by the Palestinian leadership evident in illegal Arab building in Jerusalem and the wanton destruction of ancient Jewish artifacts by the Waqf. Furthermore, Interior Ministry statistics show Jerusalem’s Arab population has increased faster than the Jewish population, from 27% to 37.3% of total Jerusalemites, with a projected Arab majority by 2040. This speaks arguably to an “Arabization” of Jerusalem.


2) Globe whitewashes Palestinian terror: On December 15, HRC called on the Globe and Mail to amend a headline to the following article it published the day prior on its website which whitewashed Palestinian terror and which was recirculated via the Globe’s Twitter account: As a result of this misleading headline, readers may have wrongly concluded that this was a simple traffic accident, whereas Israeli police claimed that the Palestinian man intentionally rammed his car into a bus stop and wounded 14 Israelis in what they referred to as a terror attack. One baby in fact, had to undergo extensive surgery to save his foot. Importantly, the Hamas terror group claimed that the Jerusalem car-rammer was a member of theirs and within this terrorist’s car, was an axe that the Israelis believe shows he was prepared to inflict further carnage post attack.


In the interests of fairness, accuracy and best informing Globe and Mail readers, we submitted to the Globe that this headline should be amended to reference Israeli claims that an attack took place, or that the Palestinian was an “assailant”. Or, instead of placing emphasis on the death of this Palestinian, perhaps an appropriate headline would state “Fourteen Israelis wounded in Palestinian car ramming attack in Jerusalem: police”. This was no simple traffic accident and the Globe should be familiar with how readers are more inclined to read a headline exclusively and not the article itself. Accuracy, fairness, and balance is of paramount concern in headlines, and it’s compounded by the fact that these headlines become the message of Twitter blasts. Though the Globe circulated our complaint to their editors, to our dismay, the Globe did not feel a correction was needed.


3) Mark Mackinnon’s Report About Palestinian Refugees was Misleading and Inaccurate: Also on December 15, HRC called on the Globe to publish a correction and to take remedial action in regards to a misleading and inaccurate front page report by Mark Mackinnon entitled “Impoverished war-weary Palestinians remain the forgotten refugees”. Mackinnon wrote the following: “Like millions of Palestinians scattered around the Middle East, the 46-year-old Mr. al-Laham was born a refugee. He grew up in the Yarmouk camp, on the edge of Damascus, where his parents lived after fleeing their home in Jaffa during the 1948 war that created the state of Israel.“


The concept that a war – rather than the United Nations vote to partition Palestine – created the State of Israel,  is not just an error, but is tantamount to historical revisionism. In reality, the Partition Plan set out to create two states (a Jewish and an Arab state) and while the Jews accepted partition, the Arabs rejected it and combined Arab armies launched a war to wipe the Jewish presence from the region. This error was deserving of a corrective notice.


Mr. Mackinnon also stated: “He was a toddler when his family moved from Yarmouk to Lebanon’s Shatila refugee camp to escape a Syrian crackdown on Palestinian groups, and just 13 when they fled back to Yarmouk after Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, which included a bloody massacre of Palestinians living in Shatila that was carried out by Israel’s Lebanese Christian allies.”


In this sentence, readers likely concluded that Mr. Mackinnon was implying that Israel backed and perhaps even ordered the Christian Phalangist’s massacring of these Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila. This is misleading. In fact, as Jewish Virtual Library notes: “The Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia was responsible for the massacres that occurred at the two Beirut-area refugee camps on September 16-17, 1982. Israeli troops allowed the Phalangists to enter Sabra and Shatila to root out terrorist cells believed located there. It had been estimated that there may have been up to 200 armed men in the camps working out of the countless bunkers built by the PLO over the years, and stocked with generous reserves of ammunition…

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




Manfred Gerstenfeld

CIJR, Jan. 13, 2013


Ability to manipulate language is crucial if a journalist is to transmit a biased message.  Apparently Associated Press journalists have both the ability to manipulate language and the guidelines driving them to do so. AP apparently believes that Palestinians can never be terrorists, however many Israeli soldiers and civilians they kill or attempt to kill, whether with bullets, knives, stones or scissors.


One wonders whether journalists new to AP’s Israel office get an introductory session where they are told that they must not — when it is on behalf of AP — make use of the words “Palestinian terrorists.” It seems however AP-approved to quote an Israeli official saying that a perpetrator of a terror attack is a terrorist, as long as the journalist does not use such incendiary terminology himself. The same goes for terms such as “Palestinian attackers” and “assailants.”


Perhaps newcomers are also offered a convenient list of AP-approved synonyms for use in describing murderous activities by Palestinians which sidestep what the terrorists actually do:  murder others, particularly civilians, out of ideological motives.


Thus the Palestinian killer of Israelis becomes, in the agency’s jargon, a Palestinian extremist, militant, gunman, lone wolf, or a Palestinian rebel. The United States considers Hamas and Hezbollah to be terrorist groups. They are on the list of foreign terror organizations prepared by the US Department of State, France,  Canada, and Australia. The EU considers both to be terrorist organizations as well. Despite this official categorization, the AP commonly refers to Hamas and Hezbollah as “militant” organizations.


One might wrongly assume that the AP believes it impossible for Muslims to be terrorists. However when spouses Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik shot fourteen civilians dead in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015, apparently without the support of any organization, the AP showed no such restraint.  It described them as terrorists, without quotation marks. It did not term them “gunmen” or “lone wolves.” AP reporting on members of the Pakistan-based Muslim terror group that carried out the 2006 Mumbai attacks, killing more than 160 people, also described them unequivocally as terrorists, again without quotation marks. The AP also used this term for the ISIS-backed terrorists who perpetrated a series of attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 that killed 130 people. Even Richard Reid, the Muslim “Shoe Bomber” who was caught before he managed to commit an intended act of terror on a 2001 flight was described as a “terrorist plotter,” without quotation marks, by the AP.


The large international news agencies are a major source of information abroad concerning Israel. Their bulletins are used by many media channels worldwide, and when this information is disproportionally and incorrectly negative about Israel, the impact of that negativity has far reaching consequences on a global level. It is therefore hugely important to expose double standards in their reporting of what may falsely appear to be ‘facts on the ground.’ There is much more to say about the special set of semantics the AP uses in anything to do with Israel. In 2001, 16 year old Shoshana Ben-Yishai was murdered in a random Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem. With complete irrelevance to the attack, the AP described the victim as a “settler,” because she lived in Beitar Illit, roughly one mile away from the Green Line…

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


Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic


How Much Do Young People Know About the Holocaust?: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016—One author interviewed multiple random university students to find out what they knew about World War II. The answer: Almost nothing.

UN Condemns Israel as the World Marks Holocaust Remembrance Day: IPT, Jan. 29, 2016— As the world commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the United Nations (U.N.) compared Palestinians to the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide, according to an opinion piece by Anne Bayefsky posted on FoxNews.

Italy Has Special Responsibility to Remember Holocaust, Envoy Says: Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 28, 2016—Former Nazi ally Italy “was in the middle of the war [and] has a special responsibility” to commemorate the genocide of the Jews, Ambassador Francesco Maria Talo told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, as the world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Here’s a Holocaust Story with a Happy Ending: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Jan. 28, 2016—Most of the major figures or sites of modern European history play at least a minor role in this book. Not only do we see Germany’s Jewish laws play out, the obstinance of German Jewry in refusing to believe Germany would turn on them, the flight of often newly-impoverished Jews to Palestine (the real one), the German railroad system, Auschwitz, and German Communists, but the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie also have cameos.











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Posted in Uncategorized


Israel Strengthens Asia Links as European Ties Fray: Frida Ghitis, World Politics Review, Jan. 21, 2016 — Relations between Israel and major Western countries have become increasingly contentious in recent years, owing largely to disagreements over Israel’s approach to its conflict with the Palestinians.

China, Israel Embraces Golden Age for Innovation Cooperation: Song Miou, Xinhuanet News, Jan. 6, 2016— A buzz filled the auditorium as a drone hovered over the heads of hundreds of businessmen attending the China-Israel trade summit in Beijing.

Why India Is Getting Serious About Its Relationship With Israel: Harsh V. Pant, The Diplomat, Jan. 26, 2016— In recent days, India has reached out to its Middle Eastern partners in a major way.

A Roving Ambassador: Suzanne D. Rutland, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2016 — “One day India may discover that her one-sided orientation in the Middle East is neither moral nor expedient.”


On Topic Links


India’s Foreign Minister a ‘Personal Advocate’ for Strong Ties With Israel: Bradley Martin, JNS, Jan. 20, 2016

India Successfully Tests Missile System Developed With Israel: Times of Israel, Dec. 30, 2015

President Xi Targets Energy, Stability During Debut Middle East Foray: Jeremy Koh, Channel News Asia, Jan. 20, 2016

Latest China Stock Crash Spotlights Urgent Need for Financial Reform: Francesco Sisci, Asia Times, Jan. 5, 2016





Frida Ghitis                                                                                   

World Politics Review, Jan. 21, 2016


Relations between Israel and major Western countries have become increasingly contentious in recent years, owing largely to disagreements over Israel’s approach to its conflict with the Palestinians. Ties with the U.S. and Europe remain of paramount importance to Israel. But the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made a concerted effort to look toward major Asian countries, if not to replace Israel’s traditional European connections, then at least to lessen the country’s diplomatic and economic dependence on the West.


The refocused efforts have started yielding results, most notably in transforming relations with India, China and Japan. To be sure, Israel sees itself as a Western country, one whose culture and values align more closely with the West than the East. But, it also sees itself as a unique state, facing some challenges that are best understood in the East.  The most dramatic and profound change has occurred with India, particularly since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May 2014. Modi and Netanyahu, by all accounts, have developed a strong personal connection, and they have done so very publicly, which is a dramatic change from the two countries’ history of bilateral links.


India’s foreign minister, Sushma Swaraj, who completed a visit to Israel last week, declared that “India attaches the highest importance” to developing the full range of ties with Israel. While reaffirming India’s continuing support for the establishment of a Palestinian state, she spoke of enormous potential for expanded links with Israel. Her visit came just a few months after Indian President Pranab Mukherjee became the first Indian head of state to visit the country. Prime Minister Modi is expected in Jerusalem later this year, and Mukherjee extended an invitation for Netanyahu to visit India.


The old joke in Israel was that India treated Israel as its mistress: Their relationship was intimate, but never in public. New Delhi bought billions of dollars of Israeli goods, mostly weapons, and had all manner of deep connections with the country, but on the surface remained cold and distant. That’s not an altogether unfamiliar position for Israel, which has quiet ties with many countries that publicly shun and criticize it, including many Arab states. That makes the changes with India particularly gratifying.


Since Modi became prime minister, India is no longer bashful about its ties to Israel. Modi and Netanyahu even proclaim their friendship over social media. When Netanyahu won re-election last year, Modi congratulated him in Hebrew via Twitter. In a separate Tweet, he said it in English for all the world to see. “Mazel Tov, my friend Bibi @Netanyahu,” he wrote. “I remember our meeting in New York last September warmly.” Indians and Israelis, and their respective leaders, see their two countries as having much in common. Both are home to lively democracies in regions where democracy remains fragile, in the case of South Asia, or uncommon, in the case of the Middle East; both face active hostility from Muslim states and Islamist militants; and both view their economies as engines of innovation.


While reinvigorated exchanges with China and Japan have focused mostly on expanding economic activity, Israel’s links with New Delhi amount to a full embrace. The newfound boost to ties is not just about technological exchanges and expanded trade, even if those areas have grown at a striking pace. It is also about diplomacy, an area in which Israel is in dire need of international support. Last July, at the United Nations Human Rights Council, India refrained from siding with the Arab bloc in a major anti-Israel vote. Since then, India has twice more abstained when the U.N. held a vote against Israel, reversing what used to be its automatic support for the Arab consensus in international forums.


Israel has reciprocated, declaring its support for India’s aspiration to become a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Not surprisingly, deepening diplomatic and security bonds have coincided with an explosion in trade, which has grown from less than $200 million in 1992 to more than $5 billion now, comprising not only defense equipment, but all manner of technology, in areas such as agriculture, water treatment, recycling and more.


Ties with China have expanded at an even more rapid pace. A recent preparedness conference in Tel Aviv included quite a few Chinese military participants in uniform. But the heart of Israel’s relationship with China is not military or diplomatic; it is commercial. While the U.S. and the Europe Union as a whole remain Israel’s top two trading partners, China has climbed to become Israel’s third-largest, accounting for about one-third of Israel’s total trade.


In a landmark agreement, Israel and China are jointly developing an ambitious project to build a railway from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. When completed, the “Red-to-Med,” or “Steel Canal,” will allow cargo to bypass the Suez Canal by unloading at Israel’s Eilat port on the Red Sea and traveling by train to the port of Ashdod on the Mediterranean. The two countries also just signed an agreement expanding technology and energy cooperation, as countless large- and small-scale projects come together between Israeli and Chinese firms.


Last month, Israel held an event called the Silicon Dragon to promote Israeli firms’ work in China. And last week, Beijing held its first China-Israel Trade Summit, attended by China’s commerce minister and Israel’s minister of industry, trade and labor. Ties with China are not without controversy. Some security experts worry about China’s espionage track record. And former Mossad head Efraim Halevy says deals, particularly in local infrastructure, that have strategic value should be scrutinized more closely. But despite these concerns, the trend remains toward increased economic exchange.


Besides growing connections with India and China, there is another, perhaps more striking change in bilateral relations with a third Asian country. Japan, a nation whose reliance on imported oil made it observe the Arab boycott of Israel and keep its distance from the Jewish state, is suddenly effecting a drastic change in its diplomatic stance toward Israel. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who visited Israel last year, is actively encouraging Japanese firms to engage in the Israeli market. Israel recently opened a trade office in Osaka and expanded its trade staff in Tokyo. Amid feverish activity, bilateral trade volumes are reaching new records.


Israel still views the West as its ideological and diplomatic home. However, the Israeli pivot to Asia is already yielding dividends that lessen the sting of the barbs coming from Europe and the U.S., and is sure to remain a central feature of Israel’s economic and diplomatic activity.





                            CHINA, ISRAEL EMBRACES GOLDEN AGE

                      FOR INNOVATION COOPERATION                                                             

                                         Song Miou

               Xinhuanet News, Jan. 6, 2016


A buzz filled the auditorium as a drone hovered over the heads of hundreds of businessmen attending the China-Israel trade summit in Beijing. Arriving on stage, it dropped a key into the hands of Amir Gal-Or, an Israeli entrepreneur who was presenting his opening remarks. "This key is a symbol of something very small but I hope it opens something very big," said Gal-Or, founder and head of Infinity Group, a China-Israel private equity firm.


Gal-Or is referencing the long-term innovation cooperation between China and Israel, two countries that have both viewed entrepreneurship as a key future growth strategy. However different the two nations are geographically and culturally, innovation is bringing the two countries together at an unprecedented pace.

At the first China Israel Technology Innovation and Investment Summit on Jan. 5 and Jan. 6 in Beijing, entrepreneurs lined extra chairs along the back wall of the packed conference hall. Outside the hall, Israeli businessmen were busy exchanging business cards with Chinese counterparts, hoping to find potential partners.


The enthusiasm from both sides doesn't come out of nowhere. Chinese investors have begun parking their money in world-renowned Israeli high-tech industries at a stunning pace. About 40 percent of all venture capital flowing into Israel came from China in 2015, according to Ziva Eger, chief executive of the foreign investments and industrial cooperation division at the Ministry of Economy of Israel. "2016 will be much much bigger than that, (the investment from China) will probably double," Eger told Xinhua.


But it's not merely money that the fund-thirsty Israeli companies are looking for. Seeing the tremendous market in China, Israel is trying to form a long-term strategic relationship with China through academic exchanges, research and development (R&D) cooperation and incubator programs. About 4,000 miles away from each other, China, with a population of 1.3 billion and Israel, with 8 million, have hardly anything in common. While China is a giant economy with significant manufacturing power, Israel is widely regarded as the innovation hub of the world, with little interest in manufacturing.


But it's the anomalies that have made Israel and China the perfect match, said Raz Gal-Or, co-founder of weWOWwe, a startup that tries to connect football fans around the world. "They say opposites attract," the Israel-born, China-educated entrepreneur told Xinhua. Indeed, Israel excels in fields where Chinese technology eagerly looks for breakthroughs. Modern agriculture, medical devices, and cyber security are sectors that brew the most innovation from partnership.


Alibaba, for example, made its way into the Israeli startup scene by investing in QR code company Visualead in 2015. It then became an investor of the Israel-based venture fund Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), a venture capital firm known for its investment in cyber security. Fosun International, one of China's biggest private conglomerates, acquired Israeli medical device firm Alma Lasers for 222 million U.S. dollars in 2013. China's major food manufacturer Bright Food closed a deal in 2015 to purchase a majority stake in Israeli dairy giant Tnuva, a deal the Bright Food executive said would creates synergy in R&D.


The increase in cooperation between China and Israel is not surprising. Partnerships between the two countries can be traced back to the ancient Silk Road, according to Philippe Metoudi, co-author of the book "Israel and China: From Silk Road to Innovation Highway.” While differences exist, the Israelis and the Chinese still have many in common, Metoudi said. Their views on education, family values and appreciation for history, for example, are all shared philosophies that will help further boost long-term cooperation between the two nations. "We don't speak the same language, but we speak the same 'language' — we have the same ideas, the same values," Metoudi said.


As China transforms into a more innovation-driven economy, it's speeding up efforts to partner with Israel to strengthen its own technological might. For Israeli officials, helping create a better startup ecosystem in China also benefits local firms. "It's not only about money," said Ophir Gore, head of the trade mission at the Embassy of Israel in Beijing. "It's getting access to the Chinese market." In the past few years, China and Israel stepped up academic exchanges and R&D collaboration.


The recent establishment of Guangdong Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, a partnership between China's Shantou University and the Israel's Technion, is a prime example of the attempt by the two countries to cooperate in higher education. Platforms such as the Changzhou Innovation Park in southern China provide physical proximity for Israeli firms to get funds and collaborate with Chinese companies in industrial R&D.


Israeli officials are further calling for Chinese companies to build R&D centers and set up production lines in Israel, pledging the best platform and grants from the government. With growing academic cooperation, collaborative programs, and shared vision from both governments, "the golden age for Israel-China innovation cooperation has come," said Yin Hejun, China's Vice Minister of Science and Technology.           




      Harsh V. Pant

the Diplomat, Jan. 26, 2016


In recent days, India has reached out to its Middle Eastern partners in a major way. Last week, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj went to Bahrain to attend the first ministerial meeting of the India-Arab League Cooperation Forum. This was an opportunity to engage with the 22 member countries of the Arab League at a time when the region is going through a major crisis and sectarian divisions are rearing their heads like never before.


Further cementing the goodwill generated by the visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Israel and Palestine some three months ago, Swaraj also visited Israel and Palestine. Her visit has paved the way for a possible visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to India later this year and it is also likely that Prime Minister Narendra Modi may pay a return visit to Tel Aviv.


A hallmark of the Modi government’s foreign policy has been a self-confident assertion of Indian interests. This is reflected in his government’s moves vis-à-vis Israel, marking a distinct break from the unnecessary and counterproductive diffidence of the past. Despite sharing 24 years of diplomatic ties and working closely on defense, counterterrorism, agriculture, and energy-related issues, no Indian prime minister or president had visited Israel until Mukherjee’s visit last year.


There has been a steady strengthening of India’s relationship with Israel ever since the two established full diplomatic relations in 1992. It is a tribute to Prime Minister Narasimha Rao’s foresight that he was able to lay the foundation of the Indo-Israeli partnership. In contrast to the back-channel security ties that existed before the normalization of bilateral relations, India has been more willing in recent years to carve out a mutually beneficial bilateral relationship with Israel, including deepening military ties and liaising on countering the threat terrorism poses to the two societies.


Over the years, the Indian government has toned down its reactions to Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. India has also begun denouncing Palestinian suicide bombings and other terrorist acts in Israel, something that was seen earlier as rather justified in light of the Israeli policies against the Palestinians. India is no longer initiating anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations and has made serious attempts to moderate the Non-Aligned Movement’s (NAM) anti-Israel resolutions. This re-evaluation has been based on a realization that India’s largely pro-Arab stance in the Middle East has not been adequately reciprocated and rewarded by the Arab world.


India has received no worthwhile backing from Arab countries in the resolution of problems it faces in its neighborhood, especially Kashmir. There have been no serious attempts by the Arab world to put pressure on Pakistan to reign in the cross-border insurgency in Kashmir. On the contrary, Arab nations have firmly stood by Pakistan, using the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to build support for Islamabad and jihadi groups in Kashmir. If Arab nations, such as Jordan, have been able to keep their traditional ties with Palestine intact while building a new relationship with Israel, there is no reason for India not to take a similar route, which might give it more room for diplomatic maneuvering in the region.


In fact, it was recently revealed that since the beginning of 2014, representatives from Israel and Saudi Arabia have had five secret meetings to discuss a common foe, Iran. Though Saudi Arabia still doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist and Israel has yet to accept a Saudi-initiated peace offer to create a Palestinian state, this has not prevented the two from working together to thwart a strategic threat that they both feel strongly about.


Keeping India’s wider strategic interests in perspective, successive Indian governments since the early 1990s have walked a nuanced line between expressing genuine concern for the Palestinian cause and expanding its commercial and defense ties with Israel. India is the world’s largest buyer of Israeli weaponry and was Israel’s third largest trading partner in Asia, just after China and Hong Kong…

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




   Suzanne D. Rutland

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2016


“One day India may discover that her one-sided orientation in the Middle East is neither moral nor expedient. She may yet adopt a truly independent policy between the Arab states and Israel; only then will she be able to become a factor working for peace in the area which Indians call ‘West Africa.’” – Dr. S. Levenberg, January 4, 1957, Jewish Observer and ME Review, p.14. Despite the optimism of this hope expressed by Jewish Agency representative Dr. S. Levenberg, it took 35 years before it was realized.


On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed India’s external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, and the two discussed increasing the already lucrative ties between the two countries. But the road to cooperation between the two democracies was not without struggle. Until 1992, India refused to grant full diplomatic relations to Israel. Even though the two nations shared much in common, and despite efforts made by Jewish leaders, including key Australian figure Isi Leibler, there seemed to be no chance of change. However, in 1991, a number of factors led to a dramatic change. Leibler and Australia’s role in India’s granting full diplomatic statues to Israel has been largely forgotten. With the full realization of Levenberg’s hope – thanks to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – it is worthwhile recalling this history.


IN 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru became India’s first prime minister. He was concerned with maintaining India’s neutrality in relation to the Cold War and with building the block of Third World nations. In November 1947, India voted against the partition of Palestine, but in 1950 Nehru granted de facto and de jure recognition to Israel. Yet, for reasons of expediency, he left the question of diplomatic recognition unresolved due to concerns about the Arab world, India’s 40-million- strong Muslim minority and the conflict in Kashmir. Nehru maintained an ambiguous position. In 1958 he stated: “Israel is a fact and I am not one to deny facts… I am not one to say it is altogether a negative fact.” But he did not change his policy.


After Nehru’s death in 1964, his daughter, Indira Gandhi, became the dominant figure until her assassination in 1984. She sought to strengthen India’s connections with the Arab world and remained very antagonistic to Israel. During the Six Day War, India supported Egypt, Russia and the Arab world. Commenting later, US B’nai B’rith leader William Korey wrote in The New Leader that the war “unmask[ed] India’s posture of Olympian morality and neutrality – so carefully cultivated among liberals through the world – as sheer pretense. From the start of the crisis on May 18 [1967], the Indian government has parroted the Cairo-Moscow arguments, however contradictory…”


Similarly, during the Yom Kippur War, India continued to maintain its anti-Israel policies, largely due to its dependence on Arab oil and trade. In 1978, Isi Leibler was elected as president of Australian Jewry. He had founded Jetset Travel, the largest travel agency in the Southeast Asia/Pacific region, and was keen to build links between Israel and the Asian countries. At the same time, the World Jewish Congress was becoming more aware of the importance of the region and Leibler was appointed as vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, Asia Region.


During a business trip in December 1981, Leibler managed to meet with Indira. After a five-minute presentation, when he spoke about Jewish concerns, she responded: “You are politically on dangerous ground here in India. I am under enormous pressure. It is not only Pakistan. I have a potential catastrophe with Muslims.” She then said: “Tell me why the American Jewish dominated press hates me… [and why] Jews concentrate their spite on me as if I were their worst enemy.” She ended by saying that she felt that Israel “hated” her and stressed that she liked Jews…

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





On Topic


India’s Foreign Minister a ‘Personal Advocate’ for Strong Ties With Israel: Bradley Martin, JNS, Jan. 20, 2016—Almost three months after the landmark visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj this week followed suit with a two-day visit to Israel amid increasingly warm ties between the two countries.

India Successfully Tests Missile System Developed With Israel: Times of Israel, Dec. 30, 2015—The Indian Navy overnight Tuesday successfully tested the Barak 8 missile defense system, which was developed jointly with Israel.

President Xi Targets Energy, Stability During Debut Middle East Foray: Jeremy Koh, Channel News Asia, Jan. 20, 2016—Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to focus on energy and negating regional extremist influences during his five-day tour through Riyadh, Cairo and Tehran, which began Tuesday (Jan 19).

Latest China Stock Crash Spotlights Urgent Need for Financial Reform: Francesco Sisci, Asia Times, Jan. 5, 2016— The crash of the Chinese stock market on the first day of trading in 2016 is a stark reminder of the urgent need for reform in China’s financial system in particular and its economy in general.














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                                        Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 2016


International Holocaust Remembrance Day, commemorated today, is an occasion not just to reflect on the past but to marvel at the persistence and adaptability of Jew-hatred. The day falls on the anniversary of the liberation by Soviet troops of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest German death camp. But Holocaust remembrance ceremonies – particularly in Europe – tend to focus as much on current events as on the horrors of Nazi genocide.


It is no secret that Jew-hatred is rampant in Europe. The number of anti-Semitic incidents in London rose more than 60 percent during the 12-months ending November 15 over the same period a year earlier. Incidents in France were up 84 percent in the first quarter of 2015, compared to the same period in 2014. German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke this week of the dangers of Jew-hatred, particularly among “youth [from] countries where hatred of Israel and Jews is widespread.”


A new book based on surveys of 724 French Jews called L’an prochain à Jérusalem? (“Next Year in Jerusalem?”) found the French-Jewish community is “living with a strong feeling of insecurity.” Sixty-three percent of those polled reported being insulted for being Jews, and more than half reported being subjected to anti-Semitic threats.


Europeans have struggled to combat anti-Semitism but have met with little success. Why? Part of the answer has to do with longstanding, deep-rooted anti-Semitism. But exacerbating the situation is the tendency in our world of hyper-political correctness to attribute inordinate moral weight to those minorities considered to be the most oppressed or disenfranchised. Also known as “intersectionality,” this voguish social theory, spawned in university gender studies departments, posits that power is inherently linked to one’s identity.


Race, gender, religion and sexual orientation determine the extent of one’s “marginalization.” And the more one’s identity is marginalized, the likelier one’s arguments will be celebrated and embraced by the politically correct. It is not the power of a person’s reasoning that matters, it is who he or she is. This explains, for instance, how champions of LGBT rights join forces with Muslim extremists against Israel, the only country in the Middle East where gays’ rights are respected. Israel’s respect for the rights of LGBT people is turned on its head and seen as a “pinkwashing,” a smokescreen for supposed oppression of the Palestinians.


Similarly, emphasizing the uniqueness of the Holocaust – on days such as International Holocaust Remembrance Day – is portrayed as a Jewish ploy to stifle criticism of Israel or its policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians. In this scale of identity-based values, Jewishness as an identity is ranked very low on the value totem-pole, because Jews are perceived to be part of the establishment; tend to be well-off economically; and their state – Israel – is powerful and aligned with America.


In contrast, other identities – Palestinians, refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, Europeans of Muslim faith – are perceived as far more marginalized and oppressed and, therefore, are more likely to receive sympathy. When prejudice and anti-Semitism is spouted by white, far-right nationalists, Europeans find little trouble fighting it. When the virus of Jew-hatred is found in the Muslim community, moral clarity is lost in a morass of political correctness, identity politics and “intersectionality.”


Few have the morality clarity of the prominent British journalist Mehdi Hasan, a Muslim who had the courage to note in a 2013 op-ed in the New Statesman that the British- Muslim community has a “dirty little secret” which he referred to as “the banality of Muslim anti-Semitism.” Yet a British politician, particularly of the white, Christian variety, would be loath to publicly criticize a minority population, particularly one perceived as oppressed or that is itself targeted by the far Right.


The only way to fight this form of Jew-hatred is to deconstruct the premise of identity politics and intersectionality. “Crimes” perpetrated by the Israeli government do not make the murder of Jews in Israel, the West Bank or Paris different from the murder of Europeans. The suffering of Arabs – including the Palestinians – do not negate the right of the Jewish people to national self-determination.


Holocaust Remembrance Day is a time to relearn lessons of the past. No less important, however, it is an opportunity to confront challenges of the present.



Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links


On Topic Links


Stop the Incitement, Stop the Killing: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2016

Israel’s New Security Minister and his Four Ideas for Stopping Violence: William Booth & Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, Jan. 21, 2016

Iran Opening Stirs New Interest From Businesses: Benoît Faucon, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 22, 2016

The Island of Tears: CBN Documentaries, Jan. 11, 2016




“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] or of other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists to some degree…I’m not going to sit here and tell you that every component of that can be prevented.” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, acknowledging that Iran will likely use some of the tens of billions of dollars it receives as a result of sanctions relief under the nuclear deal to sponsor terrorists. Kerry said there were no indications yet that released funds were being directed “to that kind of endeavor” but that he was “sure at some point some of it will.” (CNS News, Jan. 21, 2016)


“…Security measures alone will not stop the violence. They cannot address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians –- especially young people. The full force of the law must be brought to bear on all those committing crimes –- with a system of justice applied equally for Israelis and Palestinians alike…Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process…Some have taken me to task for pointing out this indisputable truth. Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.” — UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, at the UN Security Council. (Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2016)


“There is no justification for terrorism…The Palestinian terrorists don’t want to build a state; they want to destroy a state, and they say that proudly. They want to murder Jews everywhere and they state that proudly. They don’t murder for peace and they don’t murder for human rights.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu accused Ban Ki-moon of “stoking terror” after the UN Secretary General’s statement.  The UN has “lost its neutrality and its moral force, and these statements by the Secretary-General do nothing to improve its situation,” Netanyahu said in a furious video statement. (Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2016)


“Canada believes strongly in a two-state solution and that negotiations provide the only viable path to peace…As a steadfast ally and friend to Israel, Canada calls for all efforts to be made to reduce violence and incitement and to help build the conditions for a return to the negotiating table. Unilateral actions, such as Palestinian initiatives toward statehood in international forums and continued Israeli settlements, are unhelpful and constitute serious obstacles to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace.” — Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion. Commentators noted the difference in tone between Dion’s statement and those of the previous Conservative government, which was acknowledged to be steadfastly pro-Israel. (CJN, Jan. 26, 2016)


“The statement…fails to condemn such violence by only expressing ‘concern,’ and by omission, equates such terrorist attacks with Israeli settlement construction…This is unacceptable.” — Conservative foreign affairs critic Tony Clement and deputy critic Peter Kent, in a statement. The two Conservative MPs criticized Dion’s message for not mentioning terrorist group Hamas, which has launched numerous rocket attacks against Israel and encouraged Palestinians to attack Israelis at random. The previous Conservative government had strongly opposed Palestinian bids for statehood, and had deployed then-foreign affairs minister John Baird to the UN to rally opposition to the idea in November 2012. (National Post, Jan. 25, 2016)


"Anti-Semitism is more pervasive than we imagine and that is why we must act intensively against it…We have seen manifestations of anti-Semitism in several schools and meeting places by young people, against which every adult must act…We must also encourage students who do not think that way and enable them to make it possible for them to clearly say this is not the way it should be…We can argue about this issue but it should also be clear: (antisemitism) has no place in our society…we must simply set clear limits.” — German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The chancellor called on people to seriously consider the concerns raised by the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, who was worried that many asylum seekers "come from cultures where hatred of Jews and intolerance are deeply ingrained." Germany welcomed some 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015, many fleeing war and persecution in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. "We must be specifically careful with young people who come from countries where hatred of Israel and Jews is widespread," Merkel insisted. (Ynet, Jan. 23, 2016)


“We don’t want it and they don’t either, but it is possible that there could be a religious war…Belgium and France could hit us and win, but what happens later?” — Osama, a fourth year Moroccan-Belgian medical student. Like a fair number of young people in Molenbeek, Belgium, the 24-year-old has grown a beard and is wearing Islamic robes to demonstrate his piety. “There are far more tensions today than a few years ago. I feel that Belgians are becoming Islamophobes. Some of them are very hard on Islam,” Osama says. (National Post, Jan. 23, 2016)


“We’ve had enough. We are saturated by Arabs and things are boiling over…But it is pointless to speak about this because there is no solution.” — Pascal Moulin, who supports Marine Le Pen’s xenophobic National Front party, which has found fertile ground in the Marseille-Nice region in France. (National Post, Jan. 23, 2016)






DAVID STOLIAR, SURVIVOR OF WORLD WAR II DISASTER, DIES AT 91 (Bend, OR) — For more than a half-century, David Stoliar remained a silent witness to the worst civilian maritime disaster of World War II, the only survivor among nearly 800 Jews fleeing the Holocaust in Romania aboard a refugee ship that was barred from Palestine, interned by Turkey for months, set adrift without power and torpedoed by a Soviet submarine in the Black Sea in 1942. The sinking of the overloaded ship, a 150-foot steamer called the Struma, was a calamity compounded by Britain’s refusal to admit the refugees into Palestine and by Turkey’s quarantine, ending with the vessel being towed out to sea. The coup de grâce was fired by the submarine as the ship lay dead in the water seven miles offshore. Stoliar died on May 1, 2014, at his home in Bend, Ore., at the age of 91. (New York Times, Jan. 23, 2016)


WOMAN KILLED, ANOTHER WOUNDED IN TERROR STABBING IN WEST BANK (Jerusalem) — Two Palestinian terrorists stabbed two Israeli women and threw pipe bombs at a grocery store in the West Bank settlement of Beit Horon on Monday. One of the victims of the attack, Shlomit Krigman, a 23-year old woman, died from her wounds. The other victim, 58, who was moderately wounded in the stabbing remained hospitalized on Tuesday. The assailants fled from the store in the direction of homes in the settlement, but within moments a security guard shot and killed them. The slain terrorists were identified as Ibrahim Yusef Allan, 23, and Hussein Abu Gosh, 17. This was the third successful attack within a settlement in the last eight days. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 26, 2016)


ISRAELI TROOPS EVICT JEWISH SETTLERS FROM WEST BANK HOMES (Jerusalem) — Israeli troops forcibly removed Jewish settlers on Friday from homes in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron that they said they had bought from Palestinians, prompting some right-wing lawmakers to threaten to withhold support for the government. Ministers and members of parliament from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party decried Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon's refusal to sign off on the settlers' occupancy of the homes. Two right-wing lawmakers from Likud and another from the Jewish Home party said they would boycott parliamentary votes in protest at the move. Hebron, a city of about 220,000 Palestinians, has long been a source of tension, fueled by the presence of around 1,000 Jewish settlers who live in the heart of the city, protected by Israeli troops. (Yahoo, Jan. 22, 2016)


TEEN PALESTINIAN TWINS PLANNED TERROR BOMBINGS (Jerusalem) — The Shin Bet, in cooperation with the IDF, recently arrested 18-year-old Palestinian twin sisters Diana and Nadia Hawilah. The arrests of the sisters followed a search of their house that revealed weapons including pipe bombs, fertilizers used for making explosives, as well as a knife and Hamas headbands. According to a Shin Bet investigation, Diana bought the chemicals found in her home independently, used online video tutorials to learn how to build explosive devices, and intended to use them against Israelis. The Shin Bet said that Diana was exposed via the internet to radical Islamic preaching encouraging women to take part in acts of terror against Israel and Jews. (Ynet, Jan. 25, 2016)


CANADA TO LIFT SOME SANCTIONS ON IRAN (Ottawa) — Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion says Canada will begin to lift some sanctions on Iran now that a deal has been reached to curb that country's contentious nuclear program. The Conservative's foreign affairs critic, Tony Clement, condemned the policy shift, adding that the government is "going 180 degrees in the wrong direction." Dion also signaled that Canada would look to open its embassy in Tehran, but said in French that it wouldn't be the first step in restoring relations with the country. The Harper government abruptly closed the Canadian Embassy in Tehran in 2012, and expelled Iranian diplomats from Ottawa. The government also formally listed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism. (CBC, Jan. 27, 2016)  


SOMALIA ATTACK DEATH TOLL RISES TO AT LEAST 20 (Mogadishu) — Somalia's security forces ended a deadly siege of a beachfront restaurant in the capital, with more than 20 people killed in the attack, a police official said Friday. It was not clear a report of more than 20 killed included the assailants. Witnesses said that gunmen shouted "Allahu akbar," the Arabic phrase for "God is great," and entered the restaurant from the direction of the beach as clients, sitting behind razor wire, watched the seashore.  Islamic extremist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack. Al-Shabaab also attacked Kenyan peacekeepers in southwestern Somalia last week. The al-Qaeda-linked group said it had killed about 100 Kenyans and seized weapons and military vehicles. (CBC, Jan. 22, 2016) 


I.S. VIDEO APPEARS TO SHOW PARIS ASSAILANTS EARLIER IN SYRIA AND IRAQ (Paris) — I.S. released a video apparently showing footage of the men who carried out the November attacks in Paris while they were in Syria and Iraq, where they are pictured carrying out executions, including beheadings. If the identities of all of the men in the video are confirmed, it would be the first evidence that the group that killed 130 people in coordinated attacks in Paris had been sent from I.S.’s base in Syria. It is unclear why it took I.S. over two months to release the video, which also includes numerous images of the attacks. Under the headline “Target Area: Paris,” it shows frantic scenes of soccer players and fans reacting to explosions at the Stade du France, and chaos on the streets near the Bataclan and other venues where the mass shootings took place. (New York Times, Jan. 24, 2016)


I.S. OBLITERATES IRAQ’S OLDEST CHRISTIAN MONASTERY (Mosul) — The oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to a field of rubble, yet another victim of I.S.’s relentless destruction of ancient cultural sites. For 1,400 years the compound survived assaults by nature and man, standing as a place of worship recently for US troops. Now, satellite photos confirm that St. Elijah’s Monastery of Mosul has been completely wiped out. I.S. extremists swept through in June 2014 and largely cut communications to the area. St. Elijah’s has joined a growing list of more than 100 demolished religious and historic sites, including mosques, tombs, shrines and churches. I.S. has defaced or ruined ancient monuments in Nineveh, Palmyra and Hatra. (New York Post, Jan. 20, 2016)


FRENCH JEWS FEAR A NEW STRAIN OF I.S.-INSPIRED ANTISEMITISM (Marseille) — It was the heavy leather-bound volume of the Torah he was carrying that shielded Benjamin Amsellem from the machete blows. His attacker, a teenage fanatic who the police say was inspired by I.S., was trying to decapitate Amsellem, a teacher at a local Jewish school. But Amsellem used the Torah — the only defense at hand — to deflect the blade and save himself. It was the third such knife attack since October on a Jew in Marseille, where the Jewish population, around 70,000, is the second largest in France after Paris. And it was the latest example of how France is confronting both the general threat of terrorism, especially after two large-scale attacks in Paris last year, and a particular strain of antisemitism that has left many French Jews deeply unnerved. (New York Times, Jan. 24, 2016)


OVER 40% OF EUROPEANS HOLD ANTISEMITIC VIEWS (Berlin) — More than 40% of EU citizens hold antisemitic views and agree with the claim that Israel is committing genocide against the Palestinians and behaving like the Nazis. Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day this week, Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett presented the country’s 2015 antisemitism report. The report discusses the rise in antisemitism following what it calls a “triple alliance against the Jews – an increase in antisemitism on the part of Muslim immigrants; a rise in the extreme Right, accompanied by xenophobia and violence against minorities; and a rewriting of Holocaust history, mainly in Eastern Europe…and in Western Europe, dissemination of hate-filled propaganda by radical left-wing movements, which promote boycotts and the delegitimization of Israel and create a climate that encourages attacks on Jews for their identification with Israel.” (Algemeiner, Jan. 24, 2016)


BERLIN OPENS BIGGEST EXHIBITION OF HOLOCAUST ART OUTSIDE ISRAEL (Berlin) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the biggest exhibition of Holocaust art outside Israel in Berlin, after pledging to take concerns about rising antisemitism seriously. The "Art from the Holocaust" show features 100 works from Yad Vashem, Israel's official Holocaust memorial center, which were created by Jewish inmates at concentration camps, labor camps and ghettos during the Nazi time. Of the 50 artists featured in the exhibition, 24 were killed by the Nazis. Christoph Heubner, executive president of the international Auschwitz committee, called Yad Vashem's decision to host the exhibition in Germany of all places a "very symbolic move…after all, it was in Berlin where all these crimes were planned and prepared and displaying the artwork in Germany's historic museum shows that they are an immediate part of German history." (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2016)


TEKOA SECURITY UPGRADE FUND RAISING (Tekoa) — Tekoa is a small community south east of Jerusalem. Last Monday, a terrorist stabbed a young pregnant woman, moderately injuring her (Read: “Palestinian attacker stabs Israeli woman in West Bank” here—Ed). This terrible incident brought residents and various government security branches to work together to make nine urgent upgrades to the security environment for the town. The total estimated costs are $700,000, of which the IDF is contributing around $275,000 and Tekoa residents are committing $75,000, leaving a shortfall of $350,000 to be raised from friends. If you can help Tekoa’s residents live a more secure life, given these conditions, please be generous and send a check to CENTRAL FUND OF ISRAEL…TEKOA SECURITY, C/O Marcus Brothers Textiles, 980 Ave of America's, New York, NY 10018, Or send a wire to: CITIBANK NA, 411 5th Ave New York, 10016, ABA# 021000089, Central Fund of Israel ac# 4985590372 Swift code CITI US 33, Tax ID # 132992985




On Topic Links


Stop the Incitement, Stop the Killing: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Jan. 26, 2016— Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has taken to giving press conferences to Israeli journalists of late.

Israel’s New Security Minister and his Four Ideas for Stopping Violence: William Booth & Ruth Eglash, Washington Post, Jan. 21, 2016—Meet Israel’s public security minister, Gilad Erdan. He’s a star in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party. He has only been on the job for six months, but for the last four he has been dealing with a wave of almost daily attacks — stabbings, shootings, car rammings — by Palestinians against Israelis.

Iran Opening Stirs New Interest From Businesses: Benoît Faucon, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 22, 2016—Iran is pushing full throttle to re-establish business with the rest of the world as Western companies move cautiously to renew ties abandoned during international economic sanctions that largely ended a week ago.

The Island of Tears: CBN Documentaries, Jan. 11, 2016—Everyday, thousands of refugees from Syria arrive by boat on the shores of the Greek island of Lesvos, hoping to find a new start in Europe. Waiting for them on the shore is a rescue team of doctors and nurses, both Arab and Jewish, from the Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAid.


Oh No, Canada: Ruthie Blum, Israel Hayom, Jan. 26, 2016 — It was clear that it wouldn't take long for Canada's new government to sink its liberal fangs into Israel.

How Can We Stand Aside as the World Falls to Poisonous Totalitarian Beliefs?: Robert Fulford, National Post, Jan. 22, 2016— Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still has CF-18 fighter jets supporting the anti-ISIL campaign but he’s made it clear this is only a temporary measure.

Canada’s Growing Jihadi Cancer: Dana Kennedy, Daily Beast, Dec. 14, 2016 — Ignore growing Muslim fundamentalism and extremism in Canada at your peril.


On Topic Links


Canada to Send 'Tough Message' on Violence to Ally Israel: Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2016

Sorry Israel, Canada is Climbing Back on the Fence. And Other Reasons to Fear for Humanity: Kelly McPharland, National Post, Jan. 26, 2015

Why Jews Will Continue to Support the Tories: Michael Taube, Canadian Jewish News, Jan. 21, 2015

When Foreign Policy Hits Foreign Reality: Konrad Yakabuski, Globe & Mail, Jan. 25, 2016



OH NO, CANADA                                   

     Ruthie Blum                                                                                              

Israel Hayom, Jan. 26, 2016


It was clear that it wouldn't take long for Canada's new government to sink its liberal fangs into Israel. Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper's loss to Justin Trudeau in October virtually guaranteed an end to the honeymoon between Ottawa and Jerusalem. Sunday's message from Canadian Foreign Minister Stephane Dion to the Jewish state, then, though contemptible, was not the least bit surprising.


Borrowing a page from the U.S. State Department's playbook — and emulating an abusive marriage — Dion professed his love and commitment while throwing a punch. "As a steadfast ally and friend to Israel," his statement read, "Canada calls for all efforts to be made to reduce violence and incitement and to help build the conditions for a return to the negotiating table." This little of piece of immoral parity came on the heels of a couple of particularly horrifying stabbing attacks by Palestinian terrorists against two Israeli women — one slashed to death in front of her traumatized teenage daughter; the other wounded while pregnant.


But the above brutal assaults are merely drops in the bucket of the uprising that began in September and has been continuing daily without letup. Nor is the purpose of this "lone-wolf intifada" — spurred by incitement on social media and given the stamp of approval by Palestinian Authority officialdom — to bring about a "return to the negotiating table." It is, rather, to beat the Jewish state into submission and defeat. Because the terrorists have not succeeded in this mission, a number of Israel's good "friends" in the West have been trying to lend a hand.


In Europe, which is now having its own experience with Islamist terrorism, Israel is literally and figuratively being labeled as the culprit of the Palestinian war being waged against it. The idea is that if settlements in Judea and Samaria ceased to exist, both peace and Palestinian statehood would emerge. The United States under President Barack Obama also holds this preposterous position, as its ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, made clear in his speech last week at a national security conference in Tel Aviv. In his bosses' eyes, there are "two sides" to the Palestinian-Israeli violence, and each has to do its part to curb it. In other words, Israel has to cease adopting policies that cause terrorists to go out and murder innocent people.


But Canada — O Canada — had a different approach. Harper and his foreign ministry did not qualify their country's loyalty to the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. The sole conditions about which they spoke were those that had to be met by the PA. It was thus with a heavy heart that the Israeli government and conservatives in Canada and elsewhere parted with Harper and watched an Obama clone replace him.

Indeed, it was the Canadian Conservative Party that responded most loudly to Dion's statement for "equat[ing] … terrorist attacks with Israeli settlement construction. This is unacceptable."


On Monday, as Shapiro "apologized" for the poor timing of his comments from the previous week, Dion's spokesman, Joe Pickerill, "clarified" Canada's reprimand and explained why a longer "tough message" to Israel was soon to be delivered. "We're not necessarily equating the violence by any means on both sides," Pickerill said. "But there have been issues, and we need to be in a position to point that out."


These words coincided with a stabbing attack on two women at a grocery store in a Jewish community northwest of Jerusalem. The terrorists were killed by a security guard before they had the chance to detonate the pipe bombs they had brought with them to maximize carnage. Shame on you, Canada.






                Giulio Meotti

     Arutz Sheva, Jan. 25, 2016


What better place than the Davos Forum in Switzerland to offer "the new image of Canada" to the people who count? Like George Soros, who elected Justin Trudeau his favorite politician. The compassionate Canadian premier in Davos was shown with a Jamaican who praised the green energies at the Caribbean and a woman who told him of her suffering in Gaza. 


Since being elected, “baby face” Trudeau has excelled in photo opportunities and tears. There is the photo of Trudeau receiving, between “ahlan sahlan wa” (welcome in Arabic) and a selfie, the first group of Syrian migrants at the Toronto airport, reaching out to them with warm clothes to face the Canadian winter. There is the photo in which Trudeau, to atone for his sense of guilt, is dressed in a robe of Indian natives and dances to a Punjabi song. There is a photo in which Trudeau appears in a sort of gay nativity alongside an MP of his party, his partner and their two daughters conceived with the surrogate mother.


But the first real test of leadership, the massacre in Burkina Faso and the killing of six civilians who were Canadians, served to wipe off Trudeau’s smile. Yves Richard, who lost his wife Maude in the massacre, hung up on the phone call from the Canadian Prime Minister, who had waited three days before presenting his condolences. Maude’s mother has instead told Trudeau that if he wants to honor her murdered daughter, he must abandon his plans for disengagement from the war on the Islamic state.


The day after the killing of Canadians in Burkina Faso, where they had gone to build schools and hospitals, Trudeau visited a mosque in Peterborough. And when he spoke at the podium, Trudeau equated the terrorist attack with the arson at a mosque in Canada. He used stronger words for the mosque than those he used to condemn the massacre in Burkina Faso. It is the impossible paradox of a liberal prime minister who, since being elected, defended the right of Canadian women to wear the hijab (Islamic veil), but also praised Canadian secularism and in whose government,  half of his ministers chose not to pronounce the words of the rite “So Help Me God” during their oath.


The first political gesture by Prime Minister "baby face" Trudeau was the withdrawal of the six Canadian fighter bombers engaged in the war on ISIS. This despite the fact that Canada is, in proportion to its population, the country from which more volunteers left to fight for the Caliphate. Terrorism has not been the priority of Trudeau in these three months, not like “gender equality”, global warming and the injustice committed centuries ago against the Natives. And the Prime Minister has already made it clear that for Israel, which had a great and principled ally in Harper's Canada, the music has already changed.


Trudeau’s government itself is a postcard vision of political correctness: half of the ministers are women ("we are in 2015!" chanted Trudeau at the presentation of the executive), there are two Aboriginal and three members of the Sikh minority, including a disabled person and an Afghan refugee. A policy of “inclusion” that Trudeau has also applied to migrants is open doors for male homosexual Syrians, less to heterosexuals because those are more likely to embrace ISIS. At least in the magical world of Justin Trudeau who, according to the perfidious Ezra Levant, “cannot distinguish Hummus from Hamas”. Trudeau's stupid smile is the mirror of the Western decadence.






TO POISONOUS TOTALITARIAN BELIEFS?                                

                    Robert Fulford

National Post, Jan. 22, 2016


Prime Minister Justin Trudeau still has CF-18 fighter jets supporting the anti-ISIL campaign but he’s made it clear this is only a temporary measure. He plans to withdraw the fighters and deal with the Islamist threat through non-military means — medical aid, help for refugees, training of soldiers. He believes we can accomplish much through diplomacy. That’s the Canadian way, the peaceful way, as his statements since taking office indicate. But his approach reveals a misunderstanding of both Canada and the current emergency.


The Islamist progress across the globe resembles the wave of poisonous totalitarian beliefs that swept across Europe in the 1930s and 1940s, first conquering the continent under Hitler and later subjugating Eastern Europe for half a century under the Soviet empire. The Nazis and communists had the great advantage of an industrial base to provide armaments. The Islamist totalitarians, on the other hand, have the advantage of a religious fervour that attracts supporters among some fellow Muslims as far away as China and Indonesia.


In defending democracy in the 1940s against the Nazis and the communists, Canadians played a direct and costly part. They did not hope that the dictators would be handled by diplomatic means. The Canadian tradition is to use military means when necessary, as it was in the past and appears likely to be in the current onslaught. We love to see ourselves as peacekeepers but forget that Canadians have often been warriors. Jack Granatstein, the distinguished historian, has claimed for years that we have ignored our military history while over-emphasizing our claims of keeping the peace. It’s important to know that Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, who won the Nobel peace prize for inventing the UN force in the Suez crisis, was also among the inventors of NATO, the most powerful military alliance in history.


Islamists constitute a fierce, angry and intensely savage element in politics. A UN report this week said ISIL has about 3,500 Iraqis, mainly Yazidi women and children, “currently being held in slavery.” The Yazidis, a non-Muslim minority in northern Iraq, are considered devil-worshippers by ISIL. Francesco Motta, head of the UN human rights office in Iraq, said ISIL seeks to “eliminate, purge or destroy minority communities. The intent seems clear — genocide.” The report said doctors, teachers and journalists opposed to ISIL ideology have been singled out and murdered. Motta also described the use of children as young as nine being forced to give their blood, compelled to operate as suicide bombers and drafted for armed combat roles.


The jihadists have learned to fight with car bombs, sending them in waves against their targets. They use small drones for reconnaissance. They impose what they consider correct sexual morals with horrendous fury. Videos show ISIL soldiers punishing homosexuals by throwing them off seven-story buildings in Syria. One victim, who somehow appeared to survive the fall, was quickly stoned to death by the watching crowd below.


This is no longer a question limited to the Middle East, and it reaches far beyond ISIL. It is now a global problem, a form of spiritual and military colonialism that reaches into every corner of the planet. Just last weekend, six Canadians engaged in African humanitarian work, including the building of a school, were killed in a Burkina Faso hotel attack by al Qaida terrorists. On Wednesday Singapore arrested 27 Bangladeshi construction workers as Islamists.


Islamists, while by no means unified, share the belief that much of Muslim civilization has fallen into heresy and drifted away from the Koran, adopting alien practices from the West. They hope to reconstruct society according to their definition of “pure Islam” by killing heretics or forcibly converting them. Waves of would-be jihadists have come to the Middle East to take part in this movement or have set themselves up as foreign emissaries who can act out Islamist violence at home, anywhere from Indonesia to Canada. They all claim to be heading in the correct direction but so far ISIL, with its claim to embody a Caliphate to rule the world, appears to have the most attractive reputation.


It’s possible that the U.S.-led coalition will defeat ISIL (it already shows signs of weakness) and kill its chief, Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi (also known as The Caliph Ibrahim). But the Islamist ideology is strong and infectious enough to revive itself and remain a menace to the world for decades. If most of the democracies consider this movement an imminent danger that must be opposed, Canada should not stand by and watch.





Dana Kennedy

Daily Beast, Dec. 14, 2015


Ignore growing Muslim fundamentalism and extremism in Canada at your peril. That’s the message an increasingly vocal number of moderate and secular Canadian Muslims and counterterrorism experts want to send to the United States and the rest of the world. The attention focused … on the Ontario branch of al-Huda, the same religious school the San Bernardino killer Tashfeen Malik attended in Pakistan, is just one example of increasing Saudi-funded Islamic fundamentalism all over Canada.


Radical mosques with reported ties to terrorist organizations have flourished in and around Toronto as well as in Montreal, while some politicians, including Canada’s new prime minister, Justin Trudeau, have been reluctant to constrain or even criticize these groups, defending them in the name of diversity and multiculturalism.


For instance, the Mississauga, Ontario, branch of the al-Huda school closed for at least one day last week after CBC reported that four girls who studied there left Canada to join the so-called Islamic State. “Farhat Hashmi runs al-Huda and denies that jihad is being taught there,” Dr. Farzana Hassan of the moderate Canadian Muslim Congress told The Daily Beast. “She’s not telling the truth. I’ve listened to her podcasts in the Urdu language. She praises jihad and says women should participate. There is a possibility of impressionable young women hearing that and being radicalized.”


Canada’s new telegenic Prime Minister Trudeau, 43, the ultimate anti- Donald Trump, was pictured last week warmly greeting the first of an estimated 25,000 Syrian refugees arriving between now and March 2016. (Canada’s population is about one-tenth of the United States, so that’s as if 250,000 Syrian refugees were arriving in the U.S. in the space of just four months.)


But the feel-good photo op for Trudeau and his Liberal Party could portend trouble for Canada, according to Brian Levin, a former NYPD officer turned counter-terrorism and extremism specialist at San Bernardino State. “People talk about Mexico,” said Levin. “They totally overlook Canada. Nobody has any idea what’s going on up there. In my opinion it’s a bigger threat than Mexico.”


Given Prime Minister Trudeau’s good looks, his political pedigree, a one-time TV-anchor wife who the New York Post called “the hottest First Lady in the world,” and his headline-making cabinet featuring many women and minorities, he recently scored a spread in Vogue. But he’s come under fire at home for what some see as pandering to the Muslim vote and an extreme political correctness. He has said he will revamp aspects of C-51, the controversial anti-terrorism bill that the Conservative Party enacted this year.


Trudeau visited mosques all over Canada as part of his political campaigns leading up to his recent win. He visited a notorious Montreal mosque in 2011, a month before the U.S. classified it as an al Qaeda recruitment center. He addressed a mosque with ties to Hamas and, unlike his Conservative Party predecessor, former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, he defends the right for Muslim Canadian women to wear the niqab, a veil covering the face, when they take their citizenship oaths.


In 2011 Trudeau objected to the word “barbaric” in a Canadian citizenship guide for new immigrants that included the passage: “Canada’s openness and generosity do not extend to barbaric cultural practices that tolerate spousal abuse, honor killings, female genital mutilation, forced marriage or other gender-based violence.” “There’s nothing the word ‘barbaric’ achieves that the words ‘absolutely unacceptable’ would not have achieved,” said Trudeau, who later retracted his statements after a Twitter firestorm.


Trudeau’s key aide helping him nail the Canadian Muslim vote was Omar Alghabra, 46, a Saudi-born Syrian immigrant. Alghabra was once president of the controversial Canadian Arab Foundation which lost government funding in 2009 because of its support for groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, which are officially listed as terrorist groups in Canada. Trudeau just named Alghabra as his Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs (Consular).


Alghabra once denounced Toronto’s police chief for taking part in a charity walk for Israel and also said the chief’s official visit to Israel was akin to going to meet with Saddam Hussein. When Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) leader Yasser Arafat died, Alghabra put out a press release expressing “sorrow and regret.” He condemned a major Canadian newspaper for using the term “terrorist” to describe Islamist terrorist groups like al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade.


Canada has had its share of terrorist plots, some of them aimed at the United States. The so-called Toronto 18 were arrested in 2006 before the could carry out planned attacks involving bombs, storming the Parliament, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and beheading the prime minister. According to former NYPD counter-terrorism analyst Mitchell Silber in his book The Al Qaeda Factor: Plots Against the West, members of this group were also linked to an infamous British jihadist, Aabid Khan, who wanted to use Canada as a staging area for attacks on the United States. Two men in Atlanta, Georgia, were arrested after sending him video of potential targets in and around Washington, D.C.


Algerian-born al Qaeda member Ahmed Ressam, the so-called Millennium Bomber, lived for awhile in Montreal while plotting to bomb The Los Angeles International Airport in 1999. Suspicious border agents arrested him after they found explosives in his car on a ferry from Vancouver to Washington State. In retrospect, the Ressam operation staged out of Canada was seen in counter-terror circles as a small-scale prelude to the horrors of the 9/11 attacks.


The mastermind of the attacks on New York and Washington had plotted to carry out a second wave using at least one naturalized Canadian citizen originally from Tunisia, Abderraouf Ben Habib Jdey, also known as Farouq al-Tunisi. The United States has a $5 million reward on Jdey’s head, noting on the State Department’s official website, “Authorities remain concerned that Jdey may attempt to return to Canada or the United States to plan or participate in a terrorist attack.”


Last year Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian convert to Islam and the son of a Libyan father, fatally shot a soldier in Ottawa and stormed Parliament before being killed by police. But, at least so far, homegrown attacks in Canada are fairly rare. Mubin Shaikh, a former Muslim extremist turned counter-terrorism operative who went undercover for Canadian intelligence to infiltrate the Toronto 18, says the low incidence of terror attacks is precisely because of Canada’s policy of multiculturalism.


“Our multiculturalism is a protective factor and one of the reasons why Canada has seen lower numbers [of terrorist incidents] is largely due to the fact that Muslims are treated very well,” Shaikh told The Daily Beast. “This is the whole point, that when you actively prevent isolation and marginalization, so too do you see a low level of extremism,” said Shaikh. “The problem in the U.K. is that although there is multiculturalism, there is a colonial history that grievances-centered people can take advantage of.”


Others disagree and say multiculturalism has spawned a more subtle type of fundamentalism taking over some communities to the point where they look like areas of the Middle East with a corresponding mind-set—and dangers. A public middle school not far from Toronto made news in 2012 when the principal bowed to local pressure and allowed the cafeteria to be used as a mosque for Friday prayers led by a local imam known for his fundamentalist rhetoric. The girls have to sit behind the boys and menstruating girls are forced to stand in the back.


The notorious Toronto imam Aly Hindy of the influential Salaheddin mosque is well known for calling the 9/11 attacks a CIA operation, praising the Toronto 18 terrorists, calling homosexuality “invented garbage” and mocking Canada. When denouncing what he called “illegal sexual acts,” Hindy once added, “Illegal means illegal in Islam, not illegal in the Canadian law, because everything is legal in the Canadian law, except children. Other than that, they allow everything.” …

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





On Topic


Canada to Send 'Tough Message' on Violence to Ally Israel: Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2016—Canada's new Liberal government said on Monday it was delivering a "tough message" to Israel as a good friend after expressing concern about Israeli-Palestinian violence, Israeli settlements and unilateral Palestinian moves.

Sorry Israel, Canada is Climbing Back on the Fence. And Other Reasons to Fear for Humanity: Kelly McPharland, National Post, Jan. 26, 2015—Just what Canada needed is Ottawa climbing back on the fence of moral relativity in relations with Israel and Palestine. So, for 10 years we acknowledged the reality of Israel’s right to exist without being attacked, bombed, threatened or invaded by neighbours who want to wipe it off the earth, but now we’re back to pretending Israel could somehow end the violence if only it was nicer to the people who hate it.

Why Jews Will Continue to Support the Tories: Michael Taube, Canadian Jewish News, Jan. 21, 2015 —Not long after the Tories were defeated in last year’s federal election, some pundits started to speculate that Canada would experience a long-term political shift. What would this entail? The pundits didn’t know for sure. Yet their magical crystal balls of (ahem) wisdom suggested a significant realignment of policies, ideas, individuals and groups.

When Foreign Policy Hits Foreign Reality: Konrad Yakabuski, Globe & Mail, Jan. 25, 2016—There is something perversely reassuring about the Liberal government’s insistence that it will stand by a controversial arms sale to Saudi Arabia despite the kingdom’s egregious human-rights record, exemplified by the recent execution of an outspoken Shia cleric. It suggests that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau understands that foreign policy is often more about dark arts than sunny ways.













How (and Why) Palestinian Leaders Scare the World: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 15, 2016— What do you do when your home has become hell?

Demise of the Palestinian Authority is Only a Matter of Time: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Dec. 17, 2016 — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tried this week to explain the motives behind the unprecedented phenomenon — referred to by many as the “third intifada” — that we have been witnessing over the past two and a half months.

Where Does All That Aid for Palestinians Go?: Tzipi Hotovely, Wall Street Journal, Jan. 24, 2016— One often-cited key to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is economic development.

A Lonely Palestinian Moderate: Machla Abramovitz, Mishpacha, Dec. 28, 2016 — Dr. Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi started his adult life as a Fatah activist in Beirut.


On Topic Links


Palestinians Ponder Succession After 11 Years of Abbas: Mohammed Daraghmeh & Karin Laub, National Post, Jan. 6, 2016

Two More Middle East Martyrs: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Jan. 18, 2015

New Report on Palestinian Anti-Semitism Reveals Intense Jew-Hatred and Incitement: United With Israel, Jan. 14, 2015

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Jan. 20, 2016




Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestone Institute, Jan. 15, 2016


What do you do when your home has become hell? If you are Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, you divert attention from the mess as fast as possible. For a start, Abbas is trying to scare the international community into believing that without increased pressure on Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be forced to resort to unilateral measures, such as attempting to create new "facts on the ground" in the West Bank.


Next, Abbas is threatening to renew the Palestinian call for convening an international conference for peace in the Middle East and to step up rhetorical attacks against Israel. Finally, Abbas has perfected the art of financial extortion. Every Monday and Thursday, as it were, the PA president has threatened to resign and/or dissolve the PA. This tactic has a twofold aim: cold hard European and American cash and a gaze directed away from the PA's turmoil. Abbas wants the world's eyes on Israel — and Israel alone. That way, the fierce behind-the-scenes battle for succession that has been raging among the top brass of the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank will stay far from the limelight.


This week, Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced that the Palestinian Authority was coordinating with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan in order to create "facts on the ground" to establish a Palestinian state. This announcement was designed to tighten the international screws on Israel. The threat to "create facts on the ground" was a direct message to the US and the EU that they had better push Israel farther — and faster — or the Palestinians would be left with no recourse but to build in Area C of the West Bank, currently under exclusive Israeli control. Yet Palestinian building in Area C is not just a threat. In fact, and thanks to the financial and logistical aid of the EU, Palestinians have already begun building that project in some parts of the West Bank.


What the PA wants is the following response from the international community: "Oh my God, we must do something to salvage the peace process. We need to put even more pressure on these Israelis before matters get out of hand." The PA seeks a solution imposed upon Israel by the international community. This has been quite clear for some time, but the PA spokesman's recent announcement leaves no room for doubt. Abbas has no incentive whatsoever to return to the negotiating table with Israel. Why negotiate when Western powers are prepared to do everything to see Israel brought to its knees?


As part of this strategy, Abbas last week renewed his call for an international conference to discuss "ways of solving the Palestinian cause." According to the PA president, the international community that has reached understandings that Syria, Libya and Iran should be able to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is nothing but an Abbas scare-tactics redux. Radical Islam and terrorism, so we are to believe, will be conquered by solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The president of the PA desires to implant in the minds of the West a direct link between the Islamic State terror group (ISIS) and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


But Abbas might have done well to check in with his sources. ISIS and the other terror groups currently destroying the Arab world do not give a damn about Israeli settlements or checkpoints. Nor is a two-state solution on their docket. These groups have a different agenda — to conquer the world and establish an Islamic empire. En route to achieving their aim, the Muslim terrorists will kill "apostates" and "infidels" including Abbas and other Arab leaders.


"President Abbas's call for an international conference reflects the state of confusion and wallowing he is in," remarked former Palestinian cabinet minister Hassan Asfour. "The appeal is designed to search for an unclear and jellied formula and it has no legitimacy." Asfour noted that there was no need for such a conference, in light of the fact that the UN already recognized a Palestinian state in 2012. So what exactly is Abbas trying to achieve? For the most part, Palestinian political analysts are convinced that the eighty-year-old president, who is about to enter the eleventh year of his four-year term in office, is simply seeking to hold onto the reins of power. The best way to do so, they argue, is by keeping up the buzz about international conferences and potential Palestinian unilateral moves on the ground.


In order to run the Palestinian show until his last day, Abbas needs to divert attention from the battle of succession that has hit the spotlight in the past few days. Top Fatah officials have been pushing him to appoint a deputy president, in the hope of forestalling a power vacuum upon his departure from the scene for one reason or another. These officials have long censured Abbas for running the PA as if it were his private fiefdom. Among the critics are Jibril Rajoub, Tawkif Tirawi, Mohamed Dahlan, Salam Fayyad and Yasser Abed Rabbo — all of whom regard themselves as potential successors to his seat.


Meanwhile, Abbas's preferred candidate for deputy president appears to be none other than Saeb Erekat, the PLO's chief negotiator who was recently upgraded to the post of PLO Secretary-General. This choice, however, is not going down well with Fatah officials, many of whom have expressed their opposition to the attempt to pave the way for Erekat to become the next Palestinian president. A direct link does exist, then, but it is not, as Abbas contends, one between ISIS and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The true direct link is between the urgency Abbas feels at home to prop up a crumbling empire and his intimidation of the international community. In other words, when Abbas feels the heat, Israel is thrown into the fire.                                                                                   



DEMISE OF THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY IS ONLY A MATTER OF TIME                                                        

Avi Issacharoff                                                                                                                             

Times of Israel, Dec. 17, 2015


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tried this week to explain the motives behind the unprecedented phenomenon — referred to by many as the “third intifada” — that we have been witnessing over the past two and a half months. To date, more than 130 terrorists have taken part in attacks or attempted attacks against Israeli targets. If you add the number of terrorists who have carried out attacks to those who were arrested preemptively by the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli security services, you get to a quick estimate of around 200-250 Palestinians who were ready to die in order to kill Jews — in the short period of 75 days.


So, a rough average of around three terrorists a day — a figure that is both unimaginable and deeply dangerous. Abbas has claimed that despair about the Israeli occupation and the dashed prospects of a two-state solution brought these youngsters to do what they did; Israel blames incitement. Prime Minister Netanyahu this week rushed to attack Abbas and quoted surveys carried out in the West Bank that show the Palestinian public’s opposition to a two-state solution. He did not note that the Palestinian Authority itself prevents attacks of all kinds against Israelis almost every day.


The problem is that neither Abbas’s explanation (“the occupation”) nor Netanyahu’s (“the incitement”) fully sheds light on this sick phenomenon. It may also be that through our Western eyes, we can never really understand how hundreds of youngsters are willing to die without a second thought in order to stab Israelis.


Taha Katnani, the father of Ashrakat, a 16-year-old terrorist who last month tried to stab Jewish passersby at the Hawara checkpoint near Nablus (she was run over by Gershon Mesika, who was passing by chance, and then shot dead by security forces), is a known figure in the Islamic Jihad terror group. In recent years, he’s been the imam of one of the mosques in the Askar refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus. In an interview with a Palestinian TV station identified with Islamic Jihad, he said that his daughter had told him before she died that in the event she was killed (“martyred”), “if the occupiers try to barter with my body, don’t agree to it.” He went on to describe a subsequent meeting he had with Israeli security officials at Hawara. “They tried to understand if there had been a crisis, if she had been in a crisis, or I had, or [aunt] Yassin… In other words, they tried to understand the motive.”


“But the occupiers don’t understand,” the father added, tearfully. “They’re deluded. Ashrakat lived in her home, with a high standard of living, doing what she wanted. Whoever knows us — everyone knows the warm relations between myself and my children. Everyone is moved when they see my approach and my relationship with them,” he added. In short, Ashrakat presumably grew up in a home and an environment profoundly hostile to Israel, but did not have family or psychological problems.


Many commentators had warned of a blow-up but none of them predicted the way this “third intifada” would develop. Certainly not the Israeli political echelon, which continues to exist in its bubble, waiting for the storm to pass… and it is refusing to pass. The withholding of terrorists’ bodies, and the threat to destroy their families’ homes, are supposed to prevent the next terror attack. But these techniques don’t stand up to the reality test.


The flood of attacks isn’t letting up for a moment. It’s emphatically not always related to family crises, or to what emerges as a psychological problem. It is at least partly an expression of despair and frustration, as Abbas said, but it also relates to the Palestinian Authority and all the Palestinian factions and even to the older generation in general, which has disappointed the younger generation. A large majority of the attackers have not belonged to any kind of organization, were not known to the security services, and had not received an order to carry out their attack.


Most of these young people come from the Palestinian cities, some are more religious and some less, most are single. They are not simply fed incitement from the social networks and certainly not only from the Palestinian Authority’s official media networks. They also get their hatred almost intravenously, in the internet cafes, the mosques, the billiard clubs, from the family — in almost every place. And for such a phenomenon, it’s difficult to find one single convincing explanation — or a solution that will stop the epidemic. On the Israeli side, there is no credible plan for calming the tensions. During a meeting between senior Israeli and Palestinian security personnel, the Palestinians demanded a “political road map” that they argued would bring about calm on the streets. The Israelis demanded that the PA first stop the violence.


Dramatic political moves may be essential to achieve long-term calm. But what are the Palestinians demanding within the framework of a “road map” ahead? A freeze in settlement building and an agreement in principle to negotiate on the basis of creating a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders. These are unrealistic in light of the current coalition makeup in Israel and the policy of the person at its head. It’s an impasse: The Palestinian Authority isn’t capable of calming the street without dramatic political steps that Israel has no intention of taking.


What does this say for the PA and Abbas? That in all likelihood, they’re living on borrowed time. Or, as a senior figure from the Authority said in his office in Ramallah, “The game is over.” Does this mean the dismantling or crumbling of the PA in the near future? It seems so. Security cooperation is wearing thinner with each passing day — after each Palestinian terror attack, and each Israeli security operation in the field (such as the operation Tuesday night in the village of Qalandiya, during which Israeli forces looking for terrorists killed two Palestinians who, in separate incidents, tried to ram their cars into Israeli soldiers). It’s like a countdown whose end is hard to predict but which will clearly stop at some point. Thus the demise of the PA is a question of when, not if…

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




WHERE DOES ALL THAT AID FOR PALESTINIANS GO?                               

                         Tzipi Hotovely

Wall Street Journal, Jan. 24, 2016 


One often-cited key to peace between Israel and the Palestinians is economic development. To that end, there seems to be broad agreement about the importance of extending development aid to help the Palestinians build the physical and social infrastructure that will enable the emergence of a sustainable, prosperous society. But few have seriously questioned how much money is sent and how it is used.


Such assistance will only promote peace if it is spent to foster tolerance and coexistence. If it is used to strengthen intransigence it does more harm than good—and the more aid that comes in, the worse the outcome. This is exactly what has been transpiring over the past few decades. Large amounts of foreign aid to the Palestinians are spent to support terrorists and deepen hostility.


For years the most senior figures in the Palestinian Authority have supported, condoned and glorified terror. “Every drop of blood that has been spilled in Jerusalem,” President Mahmoud Abbas said last September on Palestinian television, “is holy blood as long as it was for Allah.” Countless Palestinian officials and state-run television have repeatedly hailed the murder of Jews. This support for terrorism doesn’t end with hate speech. The Palestinian regime in Ramallah pays monthly stipends of between $400 and $3,500 to terrorists and their families, the latter of which is more than five times the average monthly salary of a Palestinian worker.


According to data from its budgetary reports, compiled in June 2014 by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the PA’s annual budget for supporting Palestinian terrorists was then roughly $75 million. That amounted to some 16% of the foreign donations the PA received annually. Overall in 2012 foreign aid made up about a quarter of the PA’s $3.1 billion budget. More recent figures are inaccessible since the Palestinian Authority is no longer transparent about the stipend transfers.


Embarrassed by public revelations of the misuse of the foreign aid, in August 2014 the Palestinian Authority passed the task of paying stipends to terrorists and their families to a fund managed by the Palestine Liberation Organization, also led by Mr. Abbas. Lest there be any doubt as to the purely cosmetic nature of the change, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah made assurances as recently as September 2015 that the PA will provide the “necessary assistance” to ensure these terror stipends. This procedural ruse apparently calmed the consciences of donor governments that continue to transfer aid. It is difficult to think of another case in which such a forgiving attitude would be taken regarding foreign aid to an entity that sponsors terror.


This situation is particularly disturbing given the disproportionate share of development assistance the Palestinians receive, which comes at the expense of needy populations elsewhere. According to a report last year by Global Humanitarian Assistance, in 2013 the Palestinians received $793 million in international aid, second only to Syria. This amounts to $176 for each Palestinian, by far the highest per capita assistance in the world. Syria, where more than 250,000 people have been killed and 6.5 million refugees displaced since 2011, received only $106 per capita.


A closer look at the remaining eight countries in the top 10—Sudan, South Sudan, Jordan, Lebanon, Somalia, Ethiopia, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo—is even more alarming. CIA Factbook data show that these countries have a combined population of 284 million and an average per capita GDP of $2,376. Yet they received an average of $15.30 per capita in development assistance in 2013. The Palestinians, by comparison, with a population of 4.5 million, have a per capita GDP of $4,900.


In other words, though the Palestinians are more than twice as wealthy on average than these eight countries, they receive more than 11 times as much foreign aid per person. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a case in point: Its 79 million people have a per capita GDP of $700, yet they receive only $5.70 in aid per person. Between 1993 (when the Oslo Process began) and 2013, the Palestinians received $21.7 billion in development assistance, according to the World Bank. The Palestinian leadership has had ample opportunity to use these funds for economic and social development. Tragically, as seen in Hamas-run Gaza, it prefers to use the funds on its terrorist infrastructure and weaponry, such as cross-border attack tunnels and the thousands of missiles that have rained down in recent years on Israel…

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




Machla Abramovitz

Mishpacha, Dec. 28, 2015


Dr. Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi started his adult life as a Fatah activist in Beirut. But after experiencing the generosity of his supposed Israeli “oppressors,” he began to question his assumptions. Now he’s trying to do what might seem impossible: reform Palestinian society from the inside…


Dr. Dajani, a secular Muslim and founder of American graduate studies at Al-Quds University in east Jerusalem who now lives in Washington DC, made headlines last year when he took Palestinian graduate students on a study tour of Auschwitz. The idea was to expose Palestinian students to the attempted Nazi genocide of the Jewish People, something standard Palestinian education promotes as exaggerated at best, mythological fantasy at worst. But Dr. Dajani couldn’t have anticipated the outrage that followed. He lost his job at Al-Quds, and Palestinian critics torched his car and threatened his life. Despite these personal setbacks, he remains steadfast in his determination to establish a model for peace and reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews.


“We, as a generation, have inherited this conflict, so it is important that we leave for our children a peace inheritance. We seek reconciliation in the midst of conflict,” he told Mishpacha. “The idea is that moderation leads to reconciliation; reconciliation paves the way for negotiations with good spirit and good will, which leads to conflict resolution, which will lead to democracy and prosperity.”  Professor Dajani Daoudi spoke candidly to Mishpacha about what Palestinian society teaches its children about Jews, and how his own personal experiences with Jewish doctors changed his outlook on the “enemy.”


Yet despite his moderate views, it was a difficult conversation at times. On one hand, Dajani sacrificed his career as a professor due to the backlash against his university trip to Auschwitz. In an era when the head of the Palestinian Authority wrote his doctoral thesis on Holocaust denial and Palestinian schoolbooks are replete with racial incitement against Jews and Israel, Dajani’s trip was courageous step in the name of academic freedom and in search of the truth. On the other hand, his language is sprinkled with the terminology referring to Israel’s capture of parts of its ancestral homeland as the “occupation” and to Israel’s Independence Day as the “Nakba” the Arabic word for catastrophe. It’s part of the Arab-Palestinian narrative that doesn’t fade or soften with time, despite all of the positives Dajani says he has experienced in his relations with the Jewish state and the Jewish people.


While thousands of people take tours of Auschwitz on a regular basis today, Dr. Dajani’s group was unusual because both he and his students grew up in a society that denies the Holocaust. “In school we studied the Protocols of the Elders of Zion and were taught that Israelis were our enemies and that the Holocaust was simply Zionist propaganda to justify Jews coming to Palestine to take over our land,” he explains. “I believe this is a myopic and immoral view: myopic in that it is wrong to see the Holocaust exclusively through the lens of Palestinian suffering, and immoral in that it denies history and betrays the memory of the victims, a betrayal that is inherently unjust.”


Professor Dajani hasn’t relinquished his dream of Palestinian statehood, but he has recalibrated his attitude toward the accepted Palestinian narrative. Perhaps it’s in his blood. He comes from a long line of political movers, some of whom refused to toe the party line. The 69-year-old Dajani hails from a centuries-old Arab family, and the honorific “Daoudi” was added to the family name way back in 1563, when Sultan Suleiman appointed the Dajani family as custodians of King David’s Tomb (although many Jews believe King David is buried elsewhere). Two Dajanis served as mayors of Jerusalem in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and Hassam Sidiqqui Dajani, a relative, was assassinated on the orders of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, for calling for reconciliation and a binational state for Jews and Palestinians.

Dajani found himself suffering from the same intolerance.


“I anticipated some criticism for taking 27 students to Auschwitz, since this had never been done before. What I hadn’t anticipated was the furor that ensued not only within academia, but throughout Palestinian society,” he says. “Our trip was discussed and dissected on the streets and reported and analyzed in newspapers and on television. Social media was ablaze with indignation and cruel invectives directed against me and my students. I was called a ‘normalizer,’ someone who wants to normalize relations between Palestinians and Israelis, which in Palestinian parlance is equivalent to being a traitor. My life was threatened and my car was torched.”…

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




On Topic


Palestinians Ponder Succession After 11 Years of Abbas: Mohammed Daraghmeh & Karin Laub, National Post, Jan. 6, 2016—Unpopular after 11 years in power, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is starting to face some open machinations from would-be successors, as his dream of negotiating Palestinian statehood lies in tatters. One likely contender is believed to be behind recent claims — swiftly denied by Abbas' camp — that the 80-year-old's health is failing, while another has complained of a "real leadership crisis" in rare open criticism of Abbas from within his Fatah movement.

Two More Middle East Martyrs: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Jan. 18, 2015—The last thing the Middle East needs is another two martyrs. But that’s what it got on Sunday night as a result of a horrifying crime that took place in a West Bank settlement. The incident isn’t likely to generate the kind of headlines that terror attacks in the West have gotten.

New Report on Palestinian Anti-Semitism Reveals Intense Jew-Hatred and Incitement: United With Israel, Jan. 14, 2015 —Since the Palestinian Authority (PA) was established, and continuing throughout 2015, it has systematically used anti-Semitism to indoctrinate young and old to hate Israelis and Jews. The PA has actively promoted religious hatred by demonizing Judaism and Jews and spreading libels that present Jews as endangering Palestinians, Arabs and all humanity.

Luxury Alongside Poverty in the Palestinian Authority: JCPA, Nov. 5, 2015—In communities throughout the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, a surprising degree of luxury exists alongside the poverty. This study includes “A Photo Album of Palestinian Luxury in the West Bank,” offering a more complete picture of living standards there. The truth is that alongside the slums of the old refugee camps, which the Palestinian government has done little to rehabilitate, a parallel Palestinian society is emerging.













The Roots of Anti-Israeli Attitudes: Prof. Efraim Inbar, Arutz Sheva, Jan. 14, 2016— Israel is demonized and singled out by the media and international bodies.

Jews and the Global Tilt Coward Conservativism and Populism: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 23, 2016 — Since the emancipation of the eighteenth century, Jews traditionally supported liberal, reform and even revolutionary movements which, in most cases, paved the way for them to achieve equality.

Cultural Relativism Undermines Human Rights: Philip Carl Salzman, Daily Caller, Jan. 20, 2016— Anthropologists invented cultural relativism.

Grandson of Infamous Nazi Spends Lifetime Making Amends for Namesake's Atrocities: Tal Bashan, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2016 — I had to re-read the email I received from Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic, to make sure I understood it correctly…

Herman Wouk: The Well-Adjusted American Jewish Writer: Perry J. Greenbaum, Jan. 20, 2016—An article, by Adam Kirsch, in Tablet looks at the latest book by Herman Wouk [born in 1915], who is an American Jewish writer; he is also religiously observant and content with his life.


On Topic Links


Land for Peace in the Middle East?: Yoram Ettinger, The Ettinger Report, Jan. 22, 2016

Uncovering J-Street: Benjamin Gerstein, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 18, 2015

Amos Oz, BDS’s Man of the Year: Ben-Dror Yemini, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 10, 2015

The Challenge Facing Education Minister Naftali Bennett: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Jan. 20, 2016




Prof. Efraim Inbar

Arutz Sheva, Jan. 14, 2016


Israel is demonized and singled out by the media and international bodies. Israel is accused of excessive use of force, despite its great efforts to minimize collateral damage, while the massacres by the Assad regime or the heavy collateral damage resulting from Saudi attacks in Yemen are hardly mentioned. The EU decided to mark the products of the Israeli settlements beyond the “Green Line,” taking no similar action for the products in northern Cyprus (occupied by Turkey), or in Tibet (occupied by China), or in Western Sahara (occupied by Morocco). Israel, a democratic state, is accused of human rights violations, while the UN ignores the human rights violations of many of its members.


The reasons for the dislike of the Jewish state are numerous and often reinforce each other. First, there is a theological base for hatred towards the Jews and Israel. For the two largest religions, Christianity and Islam, comprising roughly half of the world population, Jews are problematic. Theological considerations have produced centuries of anti-Semitism. While not all Christians and Muslims are anti-Semitic, their cultures are permeated with anti-Semitic motifs.


Deicide is a main motif in the Christian tradition. However, the obstinate Jews have consistently across time rejected the Christian conditions for redemption. Similarly, Islam was conscious of the Jewish rejection of the prophet Muhammad. While Jews, as people of the book, are not considered infidels, they are still relegated to dhimmitude – second class citizens. We can detect attempts in Christianity to change internal attitudes towards the Jews. It remains to be seen how successful they are. In contrast, very few Muslim religious leaders have engaged in similar efforts. Furthermore, the rise of radical Islam is also hardening the attitudes towards Jews among Muslims and particularly Arabs.


Second, Israel’s unique story is not always easily accepted. Israel reflects an unprecedented journey of an ancient people in the diaspora back to their homeland.  After 2000 years the Jews returned to reestablish their state. The juxtaposition of Israel’s Zionist story against the Palestinians’ is not always convincing. Often Zionists have to explain that a large proportion of the Arabs in Palestine have arrived in the 19th century. In addition, most of the world does not remember that the Arabs in Palestine have rejected all compromise proposals, and that attempts at co-existence were countered by rampant violence. Justifying Israel’s story needs prior knowledge when many people do not pay attention to historical details. Zionism is very different from the annals of national movements elsewhere. Jews are nowadays involved in a tragic struggle with a population that is seen by many as oppressed natives.


Part of the animosity toward Israel is the result of the activities of misguided Jews. Indeed, part of the West is displaying feelings of guilt for its colonial past, which is projected onto the Arab-Israeli conflict. The establishment of Israel is seen through a colonialist prism, according to which Western powers have implanted a Jewish state in the Middle East to enhance their control of this region. The Muslim world has largely embraced this outlook, which reinforces its religious hostility to the Jewish state. Israel is seen by the Arabs as a nation of modern crusaders that are doomed to disappear.


Third, we witness, particularly in the West, widespread post-nationalist attitudes that are critical of nationalist particularism. For example, young Europeans adopt transnational identities. They consider themselves Europeans rather than belonging to a particular nation. Such a new transnational identity is encouraged by the spread of the multi-cultural ethos. Multi-culturalism obfuscates particular national identities. In contrast, Israel is a nationalist phenomenon, when in certain circles, particularly on the left, nationalism has become more suspicious. Nationalism is often equated with jingoism and narrow minded conservatives. Furthermore, some reduce Judaism to constitute a religious phenomenon only, denying the legitimacy of its nationalist manifestation.


Fourth, the radical left, that has traditionally been hostile to Zionism, has become in many countries more influential. Such a shift we see in the socialist parties of Europe. For example, the new Labour leader in the UK, Jeremy Corbyn, is far to the left and is of course anti-Israeli. President Barack Obama in the US is part of the left wing of the Democratic Party, which has been more critical of Israel’s policies than other elements in the American political spectrum. Fifth, we witness the tightening of the Red-Green alliance. Its main glue is anti-Americanism. The Reds (Marxists and Communists) and the Greens (Islamacists) don’t like America for what it stands for, and as Israel is rightly perceived as a staunch US ally, they by extension don’t like Israel. The Red-Green alliance is nowadays a stronger political force, particularly in Europe, where increasingly larger Muslim minorities are located.


Sixth, the memory of the Holocaust for non-Jews is becoming more distant. The feelings of sympathy for Jewish suffering are weaker today and cannot overcome deeply rooted cultural anti-Jewish dispositions. Unfortunately, such feelings are sometimes replaced with pervert sympathy for the Palestinians who are portrayed as victims of Israeli Nazi-type behavior. Furthermore, the Palestinians have capitalized on this with systematic propaganda to cultivate their perceived (and cherished) victimhood status. Seventh, part of the animosity toward Israel is the result of the activities of misguided Jews. Often, we hear critics of Israel saying: “I read this argument in Haaretz.” We have organizations such as “Jews for Justice in Palestine,” similarly to “Jews for Jesus.” In the US, the J-Street lobby joins in supporting anti-Israeli campaigns….

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





JEWS AND THE GLOBAL TILT COWARD CONSERVATIVISM AND POPULISM                                                       

Isi Leibler                                                                                                                                    

Jerusalem Post, Dec. 23, 2015


Since the emancipation of the eighteenth century, Jews traditionally supported liberal, reform and even revolutionary movements which, in most cases, paved the way for them to achieve equality. This was not surprising as, by and large, the conservatives and especially the nationalist and radical right embraced anti-Semitism as a central part of their political world outlook. That was not deflected by the fact that many of the early socialists, even those of Jewish origin like Karl Marx, frequently also promoted anti-Semitism. This trend accelerated in the 1930s when many conservatives tolerated Nazism as a bulwark against Bolshevism.

As the global Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda onslaught mushroomed, it was primarily (but not exclusively) the socialists and liberals who spoke out. In countries where Jews found haven from the Nazis, the liberals and socialists tended to be more accommodating to the refugees than the frequently hostile conservatives.
In occupied Western Europe, it was parties on the Right, such as the French Vichy government, which collaborated with the Nazis. In Eastern Europe it was the traditional radical right-wing nationalists with a long tradition of instigating pogroms against Jews who often directly aided and abetted the Nazis in their Final Solution.

It is thus hardly surprising that in the postwar era, the Jews in the West largely supported, contributed and were overwhelmingly represented in liberal and labor parties, even when their own economic status would have inclined them toward the more conservative parties. Even at the turn of the century this applied, especially in the United States which absorbed large numbers of East European Bundist social democrats and where Jewish involvement with and support of the Democratic Party became part of their uniquely American DNA, at times superseding their Jewish cultural and religious background.

However, the past three decades have witnessed dramatic changes. Together with organizations purporting to promote human rights, the liberals and the left-wing political parties have distanced themselves from Israel and, at best, employed moral equivalence toward the Palestinian perpetrators of terrorism and the Israelis defending themselves. Throughout Western Europe they have become outrightly hostile to Israel.

The newly elected UK Labour Party leader is even on record praising Hamas. This has led increasingly to many committed Jews who had traditionally voted for parties on the Left to tilt toward more conservative parties. This applies to Europe, Canada and Australia.

The United States is an exception. Even following President Barack Obama’s vicious diplomatic onslaughts against Israel and the Republican Party’s committed support for Israel, the majority of American Jews remain Democratic supporters. Over the past two or three years, the emergence of populist parties on the far Right of the political scene has further complicated the political situation for Diaspora Jews. Of course the Hungarian Jobbik and Greek Golden Dawn are disgusting outright anti-Semitic Nazi parties which Jews abhor. But there are other populist parties which have grown dramatically in response to Arab terrorism and more recently in protest to the massive Syrian and other Muslim “refugee” influx…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]





Philip Carl Salzman

Daily Caller, Jan. 20, 2016


Anthropologists invented cultural relativism. Founding figures of American anthropology, Franz Boas and Ruth Benedict, the latter in her famous pre-war book Patterns of Culture, argued that you can only understand other peoples’ lives if you consider their cultures and their actions from their own points of view.


In the latter decades of the 20th century, the idea of cultural relativism was expanded to moral or ethical relativism. As we have our own values, and other people have different ones, no one being on neutral ground, the argument goes, on what basis can we pass judgement on the beliefs or actions of those in another culture? Every judgement is cultural. From this perspective, ethical judgement being culturally-based and thus inapplicable cross-culturally, every value or practice must be seen as good as every other practice. There is no way that we can judge some better or worse. Judgement of other cultures and those in them must be suspended entirely. There are no objective, non-cultural criteria to allow us to decide whether giving a widow a pension is better or worse than burning her alive on the pyre of her dead husband.


Cultural relativism has been built into public policy through “multiculturalism,” the official policy of Canada and the unofficial policy of many European countries. Multiculturalism is often thought of as the opposite of assimilation; that is, multiculturalism allows immigrants to live in their own culture, with their own values, rules, and customs. Cultural communities, rather than individual citizens, would be the operative units of society.  The shift from individuals to collectivities is a major transformation of Western political philosophy, with people being judged not on their individual merits, but on the characteristics of their community. However, there is an alternative, assimilationist understanding of multiculturalism, one that is held, according to repeated polls, by a large majority of the Canadian population: we welcome people from all cultures to come to Canada and adopt Canadian ways.


In the case of multiculturalism, Canadian common sense is on firmer ground than collectivist multicultural political philosophers, for multiculturalism is an incoherent concept. A culture is a distinct way of life; different cultures are distinct ways of life. For people to live together in society, they must at least to a degree share a common culture. An obvious example is language; people must be able to communicate in a common language. The previous Conservative Government of Canada advised immigrants that, whatever the laws, customs, and practices of their countries and cultures of origin, they must obey Canadian law. For example, “honour” killings of family members, regarded as proper in cultures of the Middle East and South Asia, are not acceptable in Canada. Three members of the Afghan Shafia family of Montreal were recently convicted of murdering four female family members who they deemed to have been insufficiently modest, or too Canadian.       


We are urged by champions of multiculturalism to acknowledge that each immigrant cultural community has a right to pursue its vision, values, customs, and practices. So increasingly public institutions, such as the Toronto schools, are providing space and time for Friday prayers, with girls required to sit in the back, and menstruating girls excluded altogether. Demands in Ontario for Sharia family courts enforced by the state were almost instituted by the provincial government, but for a clamorous public opposition by an informal group of young Muslim women. Should we recognize the right of South Asian families to force marriages to insure that the caste hierarchy is respected? Recently two South Asians in British Columbia were convicted of murder of the daughter of one of them, having killed in retaliation for marriage to a man of an “inappropriate” caste. Is forced marriage acceptable as the custom of a cultural community? Are hierarchies of purity, as in the caste system, acceptable in North America?…

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






Tal Bashan

Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2016


I had to re-read the email I received from Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic, to make sure I understood it correctly: “In commemoration of International Students’ Day, which falls on November 17 – the day the Nazis closed down all the universities in the Czech Republic in 1939, and the day students in Prague protested against the Communist regime in 1989 – we are holding a major event and we would like to invite you to be one of two keynote speakers on a panel titled ‘Humanity and Barbarism in the Holocaust and in Europe today.’” I was okay with everything up until the next point in the email. “The other keynote speaker will be Mr. Rainer Höss, the grandson of Nazi war criminal Rudolf Höss, who, like you, also has a family connection with Auschwitz.”


Rudolf Höss? As in the commandant of Auschwitz – the chief commanding position within the SS service of a Nazi concentration camp? His grandson? No way. I was freaked out and closed the email, the instinctual reaction to that name by a child of Holocaust survivors. The next thing I did was call my 92-year-old mother, who survived Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. “I don’t see what the problem is,” my mother told me in her matter-of-fact Czech. “Rainer is his grandson. He hadn’t even been born yet when all of this took place.” That’s true, I responded.


In the days leading up to my trip, I obsessively read everything I could find on radicalization and racism in Europe, about Höss the grandfather, who was responsible for killing at least 500,000 Jews, and about Höss the grandson, who is active in Holocaust education and preaches tolerance. There is nothing like a dialogue between the descendants of the victims with those of the perpetrators, so long as the latter want to make amends.


MONDAY, NOVEMBER 16. The Old Town Square in Brno is full of candles for the victims of the Paris terrorist attacks. Someone has hung up Lebanese and Turkish flags – there were victims there, too, a passerby mentions. Brno, the capital of Moravia, is a three-hour drive from Prague. It used to be ethnically German, and tens of thousands of Germans who lived there before World War II were deported en masse in 1945. In short, this is an appropriate place for my first meeting with Höss the grandson. We meet at a local café and drink Czech beer.


The organizers of the event are walking around us on eggshells, a little nervous about how the program will turn out. Rainer Höss is tall, athletic and has a chiseled face (“I’ve been told a number of times that I look like my grandfather. It’s not pleasant to hear, but there’s not much I can do about it.”). He’s used to meeting with survivors, as well as children of survivors, and he speaks freely with me. I, for one, am still keeping my distance. To me, he’s first and foremost the grandson of the man who commanded Auschwitz-Birkenau, the hell my mother was sent into in September 1943. Every once in a while I remind myself that Rainer was born in 1964, and that he isn’t responsible for his family’s horrific past. The first question I ask him is why didn’t he change his name? “Before he was hanged, my grandfather wrote to my grandmother that she should change her name,” Rainer explains.


“Both my grandmother and my father were in complete denial of his crimes, and so they adamantly refused to change their names. ‘Höss will remain Höss,’ my grandmother would say. I decided that if I kept the name, this would enable me to do my part in repenting in my grandfather’s name. It’s not so simple, of course – you need to always be careful about everything you say, because people are judging you. Sometimes people curse me on the Internet and neo-Nazis are always trying to contact me. Ultimately, the name Höss is connected with Auschwitz, where millions of people were murdered.”


For years, Rainer engaged obsessively in rehabilitating his family name. He researched his grandfather’s and others’ crimes, spent hours in archives, has had talks with groups of teenagers about tolerance and fighting racism, and he gives (self-financed) guided tours of Auschwitz. He’s active in an organization called Footsteps, which was founded so that people can not only learn about what happened in history, but also so that history doesn’t repeat itself. Rainer also works with Khubaib Ali Mohammed, a German- Muslim attorney, to bring to justice other Nazi war criminals who are still alive. “We work together – Christians, Muslims and Jews – and I’m very proud of that.”


RAINER, 51, lives in Munich, is divorced and is the father of three children. He is a chef by profession. At the age of 15, when he found out who his paternal grandfather was, he ran away from home. By 18, he was already married with a baby. Today, his eldest granddaughter is 15 years old. One of his daughters is married to a Bosnian Muslim, “and I’m so happy for her – I’m in favor of pluralism,” he says. At the age of 21, Rainer cut off all contact with his family – his father, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles. His mother, who divorced his father in 1983, is the only person he’s still in contact with…

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





Perry J. Greenbaum

Perry J. Greenbaum, Jan. 20, 2016


An article, by Adam Kirsch, in Tablet looks at the latest book by Herman Wouk [born in 1915], who is an American Jewish writer; he is also religiously observant and content with his life. There is no evidence of alienation or existential angst, no deep inner agonies present in his work. This makes him a rarity among Jewish writers, notably his endorsement of happiness and contentment. He has has achieved longevity, both as a writer and as a human being. Wouk turned 100 in May; his latest book, his 17th, Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author, was released in January 2016. It is a slim volume of 138 pages…


Like many millions of others, I read This is My God (1959), first as a teenager and later in middle age, where I posted a few thoughts. Wouk is on record as saying that his maternal grandfather (Mendel Leib Levine from Minsk, Belarus,) who took charge of his Jewish education, and his military service during the Second World War in the U.S. Navy were the two most important influences in his life. One had an effect at home in his years as a child; the other away from home in his years as an adult. The former strengthened his Jewish identity, his sense of self; the latter directed his sense of purpose onto a wider stream of life, which in Wouk’s case was an openness to American culture and what it both represented and offered.


This in many respects defines modern Orthodoxy; observe the rules of Judaism (Shabbat, kashrut, etc.), but do not deny the reality and significance of the surrounding culture. What Wouk says in so many words is that you can be a doctor, lawyer, professor or writer and follow the traditional laws of Judaism while moving around freely in the great and large secular culture, which does have much to offer. This includes success and happiness, If there was a conflict between the two, it was not great or apparent in Wouk’s case, as it was in Bellow or Roth or, to a lesser extent, Potok. (Malamud belongs in a different category, one closer to my heart.) If misery begins at home, then so does happiness.


CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!



On Topic


Land for Peace in the Middle East?: Yoram Ettinger, The Ettinger Report, Jan. 22, 2016—US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro believes in “Land for Peace” and echoes the US Administration pressure on Israel to retreat to the pre-1967 ceasefire lines: an 8-15 mile sliver along the Mediterranean, towered over by the mountain ridges of Judea & Samaria.  

Uncovering J-Street: Benjamin Gerstein, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 18, 2015—With J-Street announcing that they will be allocating funds to oust two prominent pro-Israel Senators, Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), I believe that it is important to examine J-Street, their motives, and their past.

Amos Oz, BDS’s Man of the Year: Ben-Dror Yemini, Breaking Israel News, Nov. 10, 2015 —Amos Oz will win the BDS campaign’s man of the year award. It’s strange, because the Israeli author is against the BDS movement. But he recently announced that he would boycott state-sponsored events around the world.

The Challenge Facing Education Minister Naftali Bennett: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Jan. 20, 2016—Anyone following the leftist media in Israel could be forgiven for believing that Israel is undergoing a Kulturkampf and that a desperate struggle is taking place in the secular school stream to retain freedom of expression from an extremist government seeking to subvert democracy and promote fascism.



















Pascale Zonszain                                       

ACTUJ, 19 jan., 2016


« Pardon ! Pardon de n’avoir pas réussi à te sauver » lance la fine adolescente de 17 ans devant la dépouille de sa mère, Daphna Meïr,  inhumée lundi au cimetière Guivat Shaul de Jérusalem. Renana a assisté aux derniers instants de Daphna, qui s'est battue avec le terroriste pour protéger ses enfants qui se trouvaient dans leur maison d'Otniel.


Toujours sous le choc, elle cherche à retrouver l'image de sa mère vivante et souriante. Elle se souvient de leurs derniers moments ensemble, dans la cuisine familiale. « J’étais assise et tu rangeais les affaires de Papa. Tout à coup, tu as parlé des occasions où je t’ai demandé conseil » raconte Renana, qui poursuit le dialogue brisé. « Tu étais étonnée que je puisse te demander ton avis, à un âge où les ados font exactement le contraire de ce que veulent leurs mères. Tu m’as dit : ça me fait plaisir que mon opinion compte pour toi ».


Cette proximité, elle manque déjà à la jeune fille qui sait que sa mère ne sera pas là pour les moments futiles ou importants de sa vie. "C'est dur de penser qu'on ne rira plus ensemble, qu'on ne se disputera plus, qu'on ne boira plus du thé à minuit" regrette Renana. "C'est dur de penser que tu ne me conduiras pas à la Houppa, que tu ne m'accompagneras pas à l'armée ni au jour de mon accouchement". La jeune fille pleure la perte de sa mère qui fut aussi sa meilleure amie.



          PAS APPLICABLES DANS LES TERRITOIRES                                                                

                          I24, 18 jan., 2016



L’Union européenne et ses pays membres ont confirmé lundi leur décision de ne pas appliquer les accords entre l’UE et Israël dans les territoires disputés, au-delà de la ligne verte de 1967, malgré la campagne israélienne à l’encontre de cette décision.

“L'UE exprime son engagement à s’assurer – conformément au droit international – que tous les accords conclus entre l'Etat d'Israël et l'UE ne soient pas appliqués dans les territoires occupés par Israël en 1967. Cela ne constitue pas un boycott d'Israël auquel l'UE s’oppose fermement”, peut-on lire dans un communiqué.


Le long texte a été adopté par les 28 chefs de la diplomatie des pays de l'UE après une journée de négociations, alors qu'il devait initialement être validé sans débat à l'ouverture de leur réunion mensuelle à Bruxelles.


Lors d'une ultime relecture du texte au plus haut niveau, le ministre grec Nikos Kotzias a notamment exprimé des réserves sur les références aux violences exercées par certains habitants des implantations israéliennes à l'encontre des Palestiniens, dont certaines ont été abandonnées, a précisé un diplomate.


Et son homologue polonais, Witold Waszczykowski, a refusé une formulation insistant sur l'unité de l'UE sur la question de l'étiquetage des marchandises issues des implantations israéliennes, comme prévu dans la législation européenne depuis 2012.


Des responsables israéliens ont indiqué que “les intenses efforts diplomatiques ont empêché la rédaction d’un texte compromettant chaque pays membre” de l’Union européenne. Le texte ne représente pas une nouvelle politique mais est simplement la confirmation d'une politique existante, ont indiqué des responsables européens et israéliens.

Tzipy Hotovely, vice-ministre des Affaires étrangères, a déclaré que “les Européens continuent de traiter le conflit israélo-palestinien de manière unilatérale. Ce texte ne réalisera que le contraire de ce qu'il espère atteindre.”


Le leader de l’opposition israélienne, Yitzhak Herzog a regretté la décision de l’UE qui selon lui ne fait que renforcer le mouvement BDS (Boycott, désinvestissement et sanctions). Yair Lapid, leader du parti centriste israélien, indique que la décision des ministres de l’UE “continue une ligne politique problématique qui veut intervenir dans les affaires internes d’Israël.”


“Cette décision essaie de déterminer les futures frontières et de créer une réalité sur le terrain”, ajoute-t-il.

Initialement prévu pour être relativement modéré, le libellé du projet s'est avéré de plus en plus dur à l'égard d'Israël à l'issue de la séance de jeudi au siège de l'UE à Bruxelles, selon de hauts responsables israéliens.


La dernière version du projet de résolutionmet l'accent sur la distinction faite par l'UE entre Israël et les implantations. "L'UE continuera explicitement à établir une distinction entre Israël et les territoires occupés par Israël en 1967", peut-on y lire.





Times of Israel, 20 jan., 2016



Isaac Herzog, le chef de l’opposition et le président du parti de l’Union sioniste, a déclaré mercredi que la solution à deux Etats n’est pas une option réaliste dans un avenir proche.


« Je ne vois pas une possibilité pour le moment de mettre en œuvre la solution à deux Etats », a-t-il déclaré à la radio militaire. « Je veux y aspirer, je veux aller vers elle, je veux des négociations, je veux le signer et je m’y suis obligé, mais je ne vois pas la possibilité de le faire pour le moment ».


Le leader de l’opposition a accusé les dirigeants israéliens et palestiniens actuels d’être responsables de l’impasse. « Netanyahu et [le président de l’AP Mahmoud Abbas] sont incapables d’avancer », a-t-il affirmé mais a ajouté que si lui devait être élu Premier ministre, sa coalition se concentrerait sur la mise en œuvre de mesures de sécurité plutôt qu’un accord bilatéral.


« Il y a une nécessité de prendre des mesures de sécurité qui correspondent à la réalité sur le terrain et cela signifie la séparation avec les Palestiniens », a-t-il déclaré à la radio militaire, exposant un plan qui comprend l’achèvement de la barrière de sécurité en Cisjordanie et de se « séparer physiquement » des villages palestiniens environnants de la capitale Jérusalem.


Mardi, Herzog, avait fait des commentaires similaires à l’Institut pour la conférence sur la sécurité nationale (INSS) à Tel-Aviv.

« Je tiens à me séparer avec autant de Palestiniens que possible, aussi rapidement que possible », a-t-il déclaré à la foule composée de professionnels diplomatiques et sécuritaires. « Vous existez là-bas et nous existons ici ».


Et dans une déclaration, que beaucoup considèrent comme un virage serré à droite pour le chef de l’Union sioniste – un parti comprenant le pilier du centre-gauche, le parti travailliste et le parti pacifiste Hatnua de Tzipi Livni – Herzog a déclaré qu’il a vu la nécessité de « compléter la barrière de sécurité autour de tous les blocs d’implantation ».


Il a ajouté que l’acheminement de la clôture autour des blocs permettrait à la fois de protéger les gens qui y vivent d’attaques et d’envoyer un message aux Palestiniens que ces blocs feront partie d’Israël dans les négociations futures.




Raphael Ahren

       I24, 18 jan., 2016



Le ministre israélien de l’Energie, Yuval Steinitz, s’est récemment rendu à Abu Dhabi, a indiqué la seconde chaîne de télévision israélienne.


La visite du ministre avait pour but de participer à une conférence sur les défis énergétiques à laquelle participait également l'Iran. Steinitz se serait entretenu avec des représentants diplomatiques sur différents sujets concernant Israël et les Émirats arabes unis.


Les Émirats arabes unis et Israël ne disposent pas de relations diplomatiques officielles et les détenteurs de passeports israéliens n'ont pas la possibilité d'entrer dans les pays du Golfe.


En novembre 2015, le ministre israélien avait confirmé l’ouverture d’un bureau israélien au sein de l’Agence internationale pour les énergies renouvelable (IRENA)


Le directeur général du ministère des Affaires étrangères d'Israël, Dr. Dore Or avait participé à la réunion biannuelle du Conseil de l'IRENA à Abu Dhabi. L’organisation se définit comme une "organisation intergouvernementale qui sert de plate-forme pour la coopération internationale".


Le Premier ministre israélien avait exprimé la semaine dernière que les relations diplomatiques d’Israël changeaient, peut-être une allusion au réchauffement des relations entre Israël et Abu Dhabi. “Lorsque vous observez les relations que nous avons avec les nations individuelles, cela change de manière dramatique. Nous avons des relations proches avec certains petits pays du monde comme la Chine, l’Inde, le Japon, la Russie… mais également de plus en plus avec les pays arabes du Moyen-Orient”.


Times of Israel,  18 janvier, 2016



Selon une enquête menée en France, 70 % des sondés disent que cela équivaudrait à céder aux terroristes si les Juifs étaient forcés à retirer leurs kippa pour des raisons de sécurité.


Le sondage, commandé par le magazine Paris Match, a été mené le 14 et 15 janvier sur un échantillon de 1 011 adultes, a été publié le vendredi suivant l’appel d’un leader de la communauté juive de Marseille qui exhortait les Juifs à ne pas porter leurs kippot.


Zvi Ammar, le président du bureau du Consistoire de Marseille – l’organisation communautaire chargée d’organiser les services religieux – a appelé les Juifs de sa ville à cacher leurs couvre-chefs traditionnels suite à l’agression d’un homme de confession juive à Marseille le 11 janvier.


Il s’agissait de la troisième attaque perpétrée sur un Juif portant une kippa à Marseille depuis le mois d’octobre.


La suggestion d’Ammar a été fermement rejetée par d’autres représentants de la communauté, dont le Grand Rabbin de France, Haïm Korsia, qui a appelé les Juifs français à continuer à porter la kippa « pour ne pas céder aux terroristes ».


Dans l’enquête de Paris Match, menée par l’institut de sondage Odoxa, 36 % des sondés ont affirmé qu’ils étaient « absolument d’accord » avec l’affirmation de Korsia et 34 % ont indiqué qu’ils étaient « à peu près d’accord ».


Seuls 10 % des sondés, qui ont été pré-sélectionnés pour représenter la répartition des voix dans le spectre politique de la société française, ont déclaré qu’ils étaient « totalement en désaccord » avec Korsia et 19 % ont dit qu’ils étaient « plutôt en désaccord ».


De quoi la kippa est-elle le nom ?: Shmuel Trigano, Times of Israel, 15 jan., 2016



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