Month: June 2016

CANADA DAY SPECIAL: RELATIONS WITH ISRAEL, “BREXIT”, FOREIGN POLICY, MASTER HISTORIAN, REMEMBERING WWI

The Indigenous Tribes of Israel: Barbara Kay, National Post, June 28, 2016— Two stories this week turn on a misunderstanding of the word “indigenous.” On June 21, Conservative MP Jason Kenney tweeted: “On Aboriginal Day we honour those who first settled in Canada, and their generations of descendants.” The word “settled” whistled up the identity police. One twitterer responded: “Oh puleeze. Calling Indigenous (Peoples) settlers? Yeah right, 20,000 year old settlers … Canada is how old?

Radical Islam was Brexit's Elephant in the Room: Tarek Fatah, Toronto Sun, June 29, 2016— The beauty of an uprising like the Brexit vote is that it makes the political and media elites who govern our lives look like fools. Brexit was no Haitian, Cuban or French Revolution, nor was it the Great Indian “Mutiny” of 1857. But it did demonstrate the power of the working class over elites, who showed they were cut off from reality.

The Master Historian of the Middle East: Martin Kramer, Mosaic Magazine, June 27 2016— It is gratifying that my essay in Mosaic should have prompted such moving tributes to Bernard Lewis from Robert Irwin, Itamar Rabinovich, Eric Ormsby, and Amir Taheri: distinguished scholars and writers whose friendships with him span many decades. And they are but a few of the many admirers who would have eagerly answered Mosaic’s call.

Shlomo Riskin Review of “Religion and Power”: Shlomo Riskin, Jewish Review of Books, Summer 2016— At a time of alarming nuclear tests, terrorism, and starving, half-naked refugees seeking safety, Jonathan Sacks, the distinguished theologian and former chief rabbi of Great Britain, has written an ecumenical—yet deeply Jewish—and timely tour de force about religion and violence.

 

 

Lest We Forget: Battle of the Somme Begins, July 1, 1916:

 

The four-month Battle of the Somme was fought from 1 July to 18 November 1916. Allied commanders sought to relieve pressure on the French defenders of Verdun to the south by inflicting heavy losses on German forces farther north and drawing German reserves into the battle. The Somme was a costly stalemate that led to harsh criticism of Allied commanders, especially Haig, and German determination to avoid similar casualties by altering their defensive systems. In the fighting of 1917, improved Allied assault tactics would face deeper, more sophisticated German defences. (For full article, click the following link)

 

 

On Topic Links

 

After Fleeing the Nazis, a Legacy That Won’t Run Dry: Seth M. Siegel, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2016

Canada Chastises Palestinian President for Accusing Israel of Poisoning Well Water: Lee Berthiaume, National Post, June 28, 2016

‘Come to Canada’: Ontario Looks to Woo, Learn From Israelis: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, June 7, 2016

A testimony to Canada’s Human Rights Superstar: Barbara Kay, National Post, May 30, 2016

Canada's PM: We'll Continue to Stand With Israel: Dalit Halevi, Arutz Sheva, May 31, 2016

 

THE INDIGENOUS TRIBES OF ISRAEL

Barbara Kay

National Post, June 28, 2016

 

Two stories this week turn on a misunderstanding of the word “indigenous.” On June 21, Conservative MP Jason Kenney tweeted: “On Aboriginal Day we honour those who first settled in Canada, and their generations of descendants.” The word “settled” whistled up the identity police. One twitterer responded: “Oh puleeze. Calling Indigenous (Peoples) settlers? Yeah right, 20,000 year old settlers … Canada is how old?” Another: “What profound unease with losing settler colonial privilege looks like: @jkenney trolls Indigenous people.”

 

Bewildered, Kenney replied: “I don’t follow. The ancestors of our aboriginal people were the first to come to North America. Not really a point of contention.” Well, not a point of contention if actual history is your thing, but certainly contentious if non-factual identity “narrative” is.

 

Indigenous rights is a hot international theme. But many people are unclear on the concept, assuming, for example, that the word applies only to the first people ever to inhabit what comes to be sacred space, or that only non-whites can be indigenous peoples.

 

Which brings us to the second story: a Green party faction lobbying to support the boycott, divestment and  sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel, calling, shamefully, for withdrawal of charity status from the Jewish National Fund. (Shamefully, for the JNF is one of the “greenest” organizations on the planet, and its land not only legally acquired, but usually at hugely inflated cost.)

 

The anti-Kenney tweeters’ moral panic over “settlers” is absurd. Indigenous peoples aren’t so called because they have a protozoic relationship to hallowed ground. Whether or not aboriginals’ ancestors were here for 100,000 years or 10,000 or 1,000 is not the basis for indigenous status.

 

The working definition of “indigenous people” was developed by anthropologist José R. Martinez-Cobo, former special rapporteur of the Sub-commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities for the United Nations (thanks to researcher Ryan Bellerose for bringing him to my attention).

 

According to Martinez-Cobo, indigenous communities, peoples and nations demonstrate a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that evolved on their territories. Though non-dominant and a numeric minority, they consider themselves distinct from the societies that now prevail on their lands. They are determined to inhabit and transmit their territories to future generations, while maintaining their ethnic identity, cultural patterns, social institutions and sometimes even legal systems.

 

Some significant factors in identifying indigenous peoples are: continuous occupation of ancestral lands, common religion or tribal system emphasizing spiritual ties to the land, common language, and genetically common ancestry – i.e., “blood quantum” – a charged trope, but a factor in assigning legal authenticity nonetheless.

 

So BDS supporters, who accept the premise that the Palestinians are indigenous and oppressed by white colonialists have it backward. It is the (non-white) Mizrachi Jews in continuous habitation in Israel from time immemorial who were oppressed under a series of imperial regimes, up to and including the British Mandate.

 

Thus its purest irony that Idle No More, comprising those who meet all UN-approved specifications for indigeneity themselves, have offered full-throated support to Palestinians, whom they perceive as brothers-in-arms against colonial oppressors. In fact, it is the Jews who meet internationally endorsed measures of authentic indigeneity, while the Palestinians (a people literally 60 years old) do not.

 

Palestinians are ethnically Arab and (mostly) Muslim by religion. Islam’s connection to Jerusalem is one of conquest, not Qur’anic ties; Arabic is indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, not Israel; no specifically Palestinian culture existed before the 1960s; and it was the Arabs, following the Romans, who occupied land sacred to Jews, not the other way around. Most significantly, the great majority of the Arab population inhabiting what became the state of Israel in 1948 were comparative newcomers to the area.

 

This latter fact and the historical case for Jewish indigeneity were settled in Joan Peters’ magisterial 1984 tome, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine. A liberal, Peters began her research as an investigation into the plight of Arab refugees, but the “whole fabric of historical presuppositions unraveled upon close inspection.”

 

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

 

Contents                                                                                                

RADICAL ISLAM WAS BREXIT'S ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Tarek Fatah

Toronto Sun, June 9, 2016

 

The beauty of an uprising like the Brexit vote is that it makes the political and media elites who govern our lives look like fools. Brexit was no Haitian, Cuban or French Revolution, nor was it the Great Indian “Mutiny” of 1857. But it did demonstrate the power of the working class over elites, who showed they were cut off from reality.

 

The three main political parties of Britain endorsed the UK remaining in the European Union. They were backed by big business. Two hundred of Great Britain’s top business leaders called on the public to vote to stay in the EU. Meanwhile, labour leaders representing 52 of the country's largest trade unions, threw their lot in with the elites.

 

Leading up to the June 23 vote, virtually every pollster and pundit predicted the UK would vote to “remain” within the EU. Thus the “leave” victory was a shock for the political and media elites. Appeals by 23 British Nobel Prize winners and 300 academics fell on deaf ears as the UK’s previously side-lined working class voted to raise the “Gates of Vienna” and stop their country from being swamped by refugees, camped on the other side of the English Channel in France.

 

The so-called, riff-raff that the leftist Labour Party had taken for granted as it appeased ethnic voters, came out to exercise their rights and took the elites by surprise.

 

The veteran leftist, author and filmmaker Tariq Ali labelled the EU as “Cuckoo Land”, saying Britain was better off without it. The Latin American TV network TeleSur quoted Ali branding the recent EU refugee deal with Turkey as “squalid”. In the once-thriving mining town of Barnsley, where 70% of the population voted to leave the European Union, one middle-aged man summed it up as he spoke to Britain’s ITV network: “It’s to stop the Muslims from coming into this country. Simple as that.”

 

Few others dared to be so explicit. But neither before nor after the Brexit vote has the political and media elite dared to discuss the elephant in the room – radical Islam. The fear of being labelled racist may silence many for now. But in the future there will be an ultra right-wing backlash in which innocent Muslims may well suffer.

 

I remember the fallout when former British foreign secretary Jack Straw in 2006 asked one of his constituents to remove her burka while speaking to him. He was accused of “thinly veiled racism” and his fate gave the elites one of many cues to tiptoe around such issues.

But trust ordinary Britons to be appalled at how their country was being reshaped to accommodate medieval values, not imported by Muslim immigrants, but entrenched in the values their British-born children were being taught at school.

 

The UK is not alone. From India to Myanmar; France to the Central African Republic, ordinary people are angry at Islamism. As as a result, innocent Muslims suffer while their radical leaders gloat at this “proof” of their predictions that the “kuffar”, non-Muslims, are enemies of Islam. If Muslim leaders do not acknowledge the flaunting of radical Islam on the streets and in the workplaces of Europe’s cities, then Brexit is just the beginning. Is blocking off streets in Paris and Delhi for Friday prayers the best way for Muslims to display our faith? It’s time to take stock, but is anyone listening?

 

Contents                                                                                              

THE MASTER HISTORIAN OF THE MIDDLE EAST

Martin Kramer

Mosaic Magazine, June 27, 2016

 

It is gratifying that my essay in Mosaic should have prompted such moving tributes to Bernard Lewis from Robert Irwin, Itamar Rabinovich, Eric Ormsby, and Amir Taheri: distinguished scholars and writers whose friendships with him span many decades. And they are but a few of the many admirers who would have eagerly answered Mosaic’s call.

 

This is all the more remarkable given that Lewis’s own contemporaries are gone. If Bernard is so beloved today by so many, it is because he readily assumed the role of a mentor to the young. I was a case in point, having first enrolled in Bernard’s class at Princeton as a twenty-two-year-old graduate student. He was then sixty, almost two full generations older, but within a month he had set me up with an assistantship, giving me a key to his office at the Institute for Advanced Study and tasking me with cataloguing incoming scholarly offprints. There, working after hours and on weekends, I would sit at his desk, marveling at the sheer volume and variety of the incoming mail and catching glimpses of the correspondence of a scholar with a global reputation.

 

Every few weeks, Bernard would invite me to lunch at the Institute, followed by a vigorous walk in its surrounding woods. Then would come the high point. Choosing a shelf in his massive library, he would go through it one book at a time, estimating each tome’s significance to scholarship, sharing some lore (or was it gossip?) about its author, and parsing the dedication. I recall his taking up a book by Maxime Rodinson, the French former Communist and scholar of Islam whose political opinions were polar opposites to his. Rodinson had inscribed a warm and affectionate dedication. “He’s a scoundrel,” Bernard said with a twinkle in his eye. “But I like him.”

 

Such gifts of precious time were hardly mine alone. Over the years, I heard many similar stories from other students, dispelling any illusion that I was especially privileged. (Still, less than two years after we met, he traveled from Princeton to Washington to attend my wedding, and in a fluent Hebrew hand signed the wedding contract as a witness.) His generosity to students and younger scholars assured him a devoted personal following over the course of several generations.

 

It is fitting that Robert Irwin’s was the first response to my essay. Irwin studied under Bernard at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, at a time when that school enjoyed a reputation as the mecca of scholarship on the Middle East and Islam. Irwin’s Dangerous Knowledge, a brilliant account of the history of Orientalism, offers an erudite and thorough validation of Bernard’s own defense of the great scholarly tradition of Orientalism against ignorant defamers, of whom Edward Said was the slickest.

 

Irwin confirms my judgment that Bernard proved singularly prescient when it came to the “return of Islam,” although he believes that the record of Middle East experts in predicting outcomes isn’t particularly distinguished—and that in any case prediction isn’t part of a historian’s job description.

 

About this, I think Bernard would agree—up to a point. In his memoirs, he explained his view of what a historian could contribute to prognostication:

 

I don’t think the historian can reasonably be expected to predict the future but there are certain things that the historian can and should do. He can discern trends. He can look at what has been happening and what is happening and see change developing. From this he can formulate, I will not say predictions, but possibilities, alternative possibilities, things that may happen, things that may go this way or that way, in evolving interactions.

 

This is precisely what Lewis did in his 1976 Commentary article, “The Return of Islam,” which was not so much a prediction as a projection of a discerned trend. Moreover, it was a trend that Bernard had identified even earlier when he insisted that the victory of secular nationalism over Islamic identity might not be as total as some observers believed. Consider, for example, this passage from The Middle East and the West, published in 1964 at the crest of Nasserism and pan-Arab nationalism, and at the lowest ebb of the Muslim Brotherhood:

 

In recent years, these militant religious organizations appear to have lost ground, and in many countries they have been outlawed or restricted. There can be little doubt, however, that they continue to work in secret, or that they respond to the mood and desires of a great many people among the submerged classes in Islamic society. Even the governments, however modern and secular, have often found it useful or expedient to take account of Islamic sentiments and loyalities…

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

 

Contents

             

SHLOMO RISKIN REVIEW OF “RELIGION AND POWER”

Shlomo Riskin

Jewish Review of Books, Summer 2016

 

At a time of alarming nuclear tests, terrorism, and starving, half-naked refugees seeking safety, Jonathan Sacks, the distinguished theologian and former chief rabbi of Great Britain, has written an ecumenical — yet deeply Jewish — and timely tour de force about religion and violence. Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence draws upon history, theology, psychology, evolutionary theory, and, perhaps above all, close readings of biblical texts to argue that the God of Abraham — that is to say the God not only of Judaism, but of Christianity and Islam — is, properly understood, a God of life, not death; of love, not hate; of peace, not war; and of compassion, not cruelty. Which is not to say that Sacks denies that people have attempted to justify violence in God’s name.

 

In contrast to Hannah Arendt’s famous description of the “banality” of Nazi perpetrators of the Holocaust, Sacks calls violence in the name of a sacred cause “altruistic evil.” He elaborates: By this I do not mean the kind of behaviour that people argue over: abortion, for instance, or assisted suicide. Nor do I mean issues like the highly complex question of civilian casualties in asymmetric warfare. I mean evil of the kind that we all recognize as such. Killing the weak, the innocent, the very young and old is evil. Indiscriminate murder by terrorist attack or suicide bombing is evil. Murdering people because of their religion or race or nationality is evil [. . .] There are acts so alien to our concept of humanity that they cannot be justified on the grounds that they were the means to a great, noble or holy end.

 

Of course, as Sacks notes, such evil has often been committed in the name of secular causes; indeed one might say that this is the story of the 20th century. But he is no simple apologist for religion either, and his argument has several steps. In the first place, he acknowledges that religions — even his own — can and have been used to dehumanize, demonize, and scapegoat others in justification of such evil.

Indeed, as he writes (the italics are his), “The first religious act, Cain and Abel’s offerings to God, leads directly to the first murder.” And yet, he argues, the true intention of the biblical accounts of apparent divine favoritism and sibling rivalry, from Cain and Abel to Jacob and Esau and beyond, was not to suggest that Divine favor was a zero-sum game, but rather the opposite: a scriptural admonition not to commit violence in the name of God.

 

Judaism and Christianity have, according to Sacks, historically evolved away from justifying “altruistic evil,” as they learned to thrive without the power of the state. In the Jewish case, this happened with the destruction of the Second Temple and the rabbinic accommodation to powerlessness and diaspora (a point to which I shall return); with Christianity he sees this as having happened in the wake of the early modern wars of religion:

 

More gradually, but also more extensively, Western Christianity had to learn what Jews had been forced to discover in antiquity: how to survive without power [. . .] [This] suggests two hypotheses. First, no religion relinquishes power voluntarily. Second, it does so only when the adherents of a faith find themselves fighting, not the adherents of another religion, but their own fellow believers [. . .] You do not learn to disbelieve in power when you are fighting an enemy, even when you lose. You do when, with a shock of recognition, you find yourself using it against the members of your own people, your own broadly defined creed.

 

It is this process of internecine violence leading to religious moderation that Sacks, who is in the end an optimistic thinker, sees happening within Islam now. As he notes, “The primary victims of Islamist violence are Muslims themselves, across the dividing lines of Sunni and Shia, modernist and neo-traditionalist, moderate against radical,” and so on. One terrible instance Sacks cites is of a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar, Pakistan, in which 141 people were massacred, 132 of them children.

 

It is clear, however, that Sacks does not think that the problem of religious violence has been solved once and for all by Islam’s older Abrahamic siblings. Sacks adduces at least three reasons that religious violence remains a problem for all of us. First, and most generally, Sacks argues (and I agree) that if the 17th century was the dawn of the age of secularization, the 21st century will be one of desecularization…

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

 

Contents           

On Topic Links

 

After Fleeing the Nazis, a Legacy That Won’t Run Dry: Seth M. Siegel, Wall Street Journal, June 23, 2016— How does one overcome almost unimaginable horror and trauma? For Holocaust survivors Howard and Lottie Marcus, the healing came, in part, from the hope that they could help to provide refuge for other Jews who might find themselves at risk. But after restarting their broken lives in America, this modest couple could never have imagined that they would end up giving what is likely the largest single charitable gift in Israel’s history—$400 million—to be announced June 24.

Canada Chastises Palestinian President for Accusing Israel of Poisoning Well Water: Lee Berthiaume, National Post, June 28, 2016— Canada has lodged a formal complaint with the Palestinian Authority over what it says were “baseless” accusations against Israel by President Mahmoud Abbas. The move came after Abbas alleged in a speech to the European Parliament in Brussels last week that Israeli rabbis had plotted to murder Palestinians by poisoning their wells — a claim that was quickly proven false.

‘Come to Canada’: Ontario Looks to Woo, Learn From Israelis: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, June 7, 2016— When people think of cutting-edge cities, where innovation and new businesses thrive, they generally think of San Francisco, of Boston, Tel Aviv or London. Not many think of Toronto. In the world of high-tech, Canada has an image problem, and it’s turning to Israel — the self-described start-up nation — for help.

A testimony to Canada’s Human Rights Superstar: Barbara Kay, National Post, May 30, 2016— Is there a Nobel Peace Prize in the near future for former Liberal Justice Minister and human-rights luminary Irwin Cotler? There will be if fellow human-rights superstar Alan Dershowitz has his way. Cotler and Dershowitz are Canada’s two most recognizable names in human rights advocacy. Both are so articulate and passionate about their work that people often confuse them. In fact, recently in Israel, when a woman approached Cotler and expressed sympathy for his experience battling a false allegation of sexual misbehavior, and Cotler explained that she was confusing him with Dershowitz, she retorted, “Cotler. Dershowitz. What’s the difference?”

Canada's PM: We'll Continue to Stand With Israel: Dalit Halevi, Arutz Sheva, May 31, 2016— Despite the hot weather, tens of thousands of supporters of Israel participated in the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s 46th annual Walk for Israel, which took place on Sunday. Before the walk began, a letter sent by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the participants and expressing the government’s support for Israel was read.

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

On Topic Links

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK:

 

“Omar Mateen shattered the tenuous, hard-fought sense of personal safety that many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have begun to feel as the movement for equality has made significant gains in recent years. His bullets and the blood he left behind that early morning were a reminder that in many corners of the country, gay and transgender people are still regarded as sinners and second-class citizens who should be scorned. While the precise motivation for the rampage remains unclear …(The New York Times Editorial Board, June 15, Emphasis Added).

 

“The shooting in Orlando was an act of Islamic extremist terrorism. In this particular case it was focused on a gay club. The tape that we have now heard makes his motive clear. His motive was to act on behalf of the Islamic State,” former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said. “So you add this to what is now a growing list of attacks in less than a year — San Bernardino was in December, and then we had Brussels and then Paris and now Orlando. We are getting more terrorist attacks than we’ve ever had before, and I attribute that to something that I predicted: I said that the more America withdraws, the more weakness America shows, the more they will attack,” he warned. The “weakness” shown by the administration, said the former New York Mayor, is illustrated by the “withdrawal from Iraq, the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the withdrawal of police officers from mosques, the failure of the president to use the term ‘Islamic extremist terrorism,’ these are all very bad signals to give to terrorists. The more they see weakness, the more they attack.” (ISRAPUNDIT, June 26, 2016)

 

“Only a week ago, a number of rabbis in Israel announced, and made a clear announcement, demanding that their government poison the water to kill the Palestinians,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claimed from the EU Parliament podium. “Isn’t that clear incitement to commit mass killings against the Palestinian people?” He gave no source for the claim. Yet Haaretz reports that Abbas received a standing ovation from the EU lawmakers after his speech. Quotes from an alleged “Rabbi Mlmad” on the website of the Palestinian Authority foreign ministry supposedly calling for Jews to poison wells, and citing a ‘Council of Rabbis in the West Bank’ were similarly found by international news outlets such as Reuters and others to be impossible to trace. Abbas retracted the lie he told to the EU on Thursday. (The Jewish Press, June 25, 2016)

 

“I’ve seen the comments. I can’t confirm the veracity of that” said State Department Spokesperson John Kirby when asked to comment on PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ accusation that Israeli rabbis were demanding that their government poison Palestinian water supplies in order to commit genocide against the Palestinians. “I – again, I’ve seen nothing to indicate the truth of that. But we have long said what we want is for both sides to ratchet down not just the violence but the rhetoric, which can inflame some of the violence. And we just don’t find that sort of rhetoric helpful.” (The Jewish Press, June 24, 2016)

 

“We began with President Abbas’ morning-after-Brexit blood libel speech before a perfidious European Parliament. His libel and the applause it received still reverberate despite Abbas’ subsequent retraction. For this episode highlights the lack of moral accountability infecting EU elites ensconced in the ivory towers of Brussels’ bureaucratic headquarters. We can only hope and pray that European captains of industry, politicians, media and NGOs take the UK vote as a wake-up call for them all. For if they fail to actually address the economic and social crises with real solutions, it won’t only be the Jews of Europe who will be searching for the nearest exit.” — Rabbi Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman on PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ latest accusation that Israel was committing genocide against the Palestinians and that Israeli rabbis were poisoning Palestinian water supplies. Harkening back to a medieval anti-Semitic libel, where Jews were held responsible for the “Black Plague” that ravaged Europe, Abbas’ speech to the European Parliament last week received a standing ovation. (The Jerusalem Post, June 27, 2016)

 

“An anti-establishment wind is blowing through the creaky house of global government. The peoples of the free world have seen how the choking mass of multilateral institutions failed them economically and politically. Global government is an expensive and totalitarian proposition that silences free speech and funnels rapists from Syria, Sudan and Afghanistan to the streets of European cities and American towns. It’s a boon for professional consultants, certain financial insiders and politicians who can hop around unelected offices and retire with vast unearned pensions while their constituents are told to work another decade. But global government is misery and malaise for everyone else. The campaign to stay in the EU relied on fear and alarmism, on claims of bigotry and disdain for the working class voters who fought and won the right to decide their own destiny. But the campaign for independence asked Britons to believe in their own potential when unchained from the Eurocratic bureaucracy. And now Brexit will become a model for liberation campaigns across Europe. And it will not end there.” — Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, comments on the recent referendum in the United Kingdom, which resulted in the majority of UK voters supporting a withdrawal from the EU.  (ISRAPUNDIT, June 26, 2016)

 

“A great earthquake has shaken Europe and the UK has quit the European Union,” wrote Political Deputy of Iran’s Presidential Office Hamid Abutalebi. “The stars of Europe’s union are falling down. Economic changes in south European countries, terrorism and the refugee crisis is showed that the union is about to fall. But the domino was ticked off with Brexit.” On Twitter, Abutalebi said the UK’s decision will trigger a domino effect leading to the EU’s downfall and the Iranian government must be ready to capitalize on it. (Algemeiner, June 24, 2016)

 

“As long as Iran has money, we have money… Just as we receive the rockets that we use to threaten Israel, we are receiving our money. No law will prevent us from receiving it…” In a Friday speech marking 40 days after the death of senior Hezbollah commander Mustafah Bedreddine in Damascus, the leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah announced that his group is “open about the fact that Hezbollah’s budget, its income, its expenses, everything it eats and drinks, its weapons and rockets, come from the Islamic Republic of Iran.” Nasrallah’s speech now indicates that US money transferred to Iran’s banks and the sanctions relief have empowered both the Iranian government and Hezbollah, this after a few years in which the Lebanese terror organizations suffered the worst string of casualties in its proxy war in Syria alongside the IRGC. (The Jewish Press, June 26, 2016)

 

“Citizens around the world listening to today’s debate have reason to be confused. For never before in the history of the United Nations have the pronouncements made here been more disconnected to reality. In here, we have been told by various Middle Eastern nations that Israel is the greatest violator of the rights of health, women, equality and the environment,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “In reality, Israel, with all its flaws, is the only country in the Middle East whose hospitals treat Palestinians and Israelis; Jews, Muslims and Christians; the only country in the Middle East that respects women’s rights; the only country in the Middle East that respects the rights of minorities; and the only country in the Middle East that is a world leader in developing vital technologies such as desalination, water treatment, and drip irrigation. In here, Syria, Libya, Yemen are some of the countries that lecture on human rights. In reality, many of these are not even countries any more. Mr. President, Let us be clear. Israel should be subject to criticism like any other country. But Israel is not treated like other countries. No other country has an entire agenda item devoted to it—not even Syria, not even North Korea.” — Hillel Neuer spoke in front of the Human Right’s Council on its 10th anniversary, noting how the free world has protested the vilification of Israel and how not a single Western democracy showed up to the debate. (UN Watch, June 27, 2016)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

TURKISH PM: ISLAMIC STATE BEHIND ISTANBUL AIRPORT ATTACK THAT KILLED 41 (Istanbul) — Turkish investigators pored over video footage and witness statements on Wednesday after three suspected Islamic State suicide bombers opened fire and blew themselves up in Istanbul's main airport, killing 41 people and wounding 239. The attack on Europe's third-busiest airport was the deadliest in a series of suicide bombings this year in Turkey, part of the US-led coalition against Islamic State and struggling to contain spillover from neighboring Syria's war. President Tayyip Erdogan said the attack should serve as a turning point in the global fight against terrorism, which he said had "no regard for faith or values". Five Saudis and two Iraqis were among the dead, a Turkish official said. Citizens from China, Jordan, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Iran and Ukraine were also among the 13 foreigners killed. One attacker opened fire in the departures hall with an automatic rifle, sending passengers diving for cover and trying to flee, before all three blew themselves up in or around the arrivals hall a floor below, witnesses and officials said. Video footage showed one of the attackers inside the terminal building being shot, apparently by a police officer, before falling to the ground as people scattered. The attacker then blew himself up around 20 seconds later. (The Jerusalem Post, June 29, 2016)

 

WHY IS THE GREEN PARTY TARGETING ISRAEL? (Ottawa) — Of 13 resolutions to be debated at the Green Party of Canada's convention in August, only two deal with foreign policy – and both target Israel. The first would make it Green Party policy to blacklist the Jewish National Fund – one of the world's most successful environmental charities – by revoking their charitable status. The second would endorse the discriminatory, fringe Boycott, Divestments, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. JNF recommends sending an email to Elizabeth May and the Green Party to ask them to reject these anti-Israel policies here.  (CIJA, June, 2016)

 

HAMAS LEADERSHIP PANICKED OVER DEFECTIONS TO ISRAEL (Gaza) — A number of recent defections has Hamas in a panic. Because there is no apparent link among the defectors – all of whom have absconded from Gaza to Israel and are sharing key information with Israeli security forces – it is proving difficult for the terrorist organization’s leadership to decipher a pattern and put a stop to the phenomenon. As was reported last week, a senior member of Hamas – Bassam Mahmoud Baraka – told his family he was going on an errand, and then turned up at the Gaza-Israel border, with his laptop in tow, and surrendered himself to the IDF. Baraka, it was reported, is privy to significant details about how Hamas builds its terror tunnels. (Algemeiner, June 22, 2016)

 

HAMAS MURDER SQUAD WHICH KILLED PARENTS IN FRONT OF KIDS SENTENCED (Samaria) — An IDF military tribunal in Samaria sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday four Palestinian members of the Hamas terrorist organization who murdered an Israeli rabbi and his wife in October 2015. A fifth member was found guilty but has not yet been sentenced, and two others await trial. Yahia Abdullah Hajj-hamad, Samir Qusah, Karem Razik, and Amjad Aliwi, are four of the five terrorists responsible for the ambush and murder of a husband and wife, Rabbi Eitam and Naama Henkin, who were shot while driving their car near the Itamar community in Samaria as their four kids sat in the back seat. Eitam, son of the prominent American-born educators Rabbi Yehuda and Chana Henkin, was a US citizen. (Breaking Israel News, June 23, 2016)

 

JEWISH PAC TO PRESS REPUBLICANS TO CALL WEST BANK ‘JEWISH HOMELAND’ (Washington) — A Jewish Political Action Committee is seeking to get the Republican Party platform to recognize the West Bank as an “indigenous” part of the Jewish homeland. “The Land of Israel is the indigenous homeland of the Jewish people by right and by law and we oppose any measures to force, coerce or otherwise impose a security ‘solution’ or artificial borders on the Jewish state,” says the language proposed by Iron Dome Alliance. “We recognize an undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Judea and Samaria as integral parts of the indigenous Jewish homeland.” (ISRAPUNDIT, June 23, 2016)

 

THE F-35 WILL CREATE REAL DETERRENCE, DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS (Fort Worth, Texas) — At rollout ceremony for Israel's first cutting edge F-35 stealth fighter, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman says these jets will “safeguard Israel's aerial superiority" IAF chief of staff says the F-35 flight simulator was like "holding the future in my hands.” “The State of Israel is proud to be the first in our region to receive and operate the plane,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman remarked as Israel's first F-35 fighter jets were unveiled at a festive rollout ceremony at the Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas on Wednesday. Lieberman described the jet as “the most advanced in the world, and is the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level, adding that “it is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.” (Israel Hayom, June 23, 2016)

 

SENATOR QUESTIONS PALESTINIAN AID DIRECTED TO STIPENDS FOR CONVICTED MURDERERS (Washington) — US Sen. Dan Coats (R-Indiana) called for ending US aid to the Palestinian Authority this week until the entity ceases its program of providing stipends to convicted murderers. Delivering remarks from the Senate floor, the senator said he is increasingly concerned that US taxpayer dollars go to funding programs that incite Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians. For decades, the PA has maintained a program that provides regular monthly stipends to men and women convicted by Israel of murder or terrorism. Members of Congress have long repudiated the program, but it has never been enough for the legislature to suspend its annual aid – the PA’s lifeblood. The funding program was moved in 2014 from PA to Palestine Liberation Organization control, ostensibly to avoid controversy over Congress’s direct funding of the PA. “This system of payments has been formalized and expanded by President [Mahmoud] Abbas in presidential directives,” Coats said. “Palestinian terrorist prisoners are regarded by the PA as patriotic ‘fighters’ and as employees of the government of the Palestinian Authority. (The Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2016)

 

WORK TO BEGIN ON $120M. LEVIATHAN GAS ENGINEERING PLAN (Jerusalem) — Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas Exploration announced Wednesday that the consortium developing the Leviathan off-shore natural gas reservoir had approved the agreement for an eventual detailed engineering plan. Lauded as a “significant milestone,” the $120 million plan will lay out the detailed structural design for the production platform as well as its operation. The platform, which will include a 90-meter-deep underwater support platform, will treat and deliver natural gas from the offshore reservoir. From the platform, its two pipelines will connect to on-land sites for domestic natural gas use, one near Emek Hefer and the other near Yokneam. (The Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2016)

 

SOUTH AFRICA ORGANIZATION PULLS OUT OF HEBREW U CONFERENCE FOLLOWING BDS PRESSURE (Jerusalem) — Following pressure from the BDS movement The Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) in South Africa withdrew its participation from a conference at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The center was scheduled to participate in the Fifth Global Conference of the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS), taking place this year in Jerusalem. According to BDS South Africa, it reached out the CSVR urging them to reconsider their participation in the conference. (The Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2016)

 

US MUSLIM ADVOCACY NON-PROFIT (CAIR) TO STAND TRIAL FOR MASSIVE FRAUD (Washington) — The Council on American Islamic Relations, a US-based organization with a history of ties to radical Islamic extremism, is now charged with fraud and cover up perpetrated against hundreds of victims. CAIR will stand trial on charges of fraud and cover up for alleged crimes perpetrated against hundreds of victims, according to a new ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The case against CAIR National was originally dismissed by a federal judge but unanimously overturned by the appellate court. (United With Israel, June 23, 2016)

 

ISRAELI SPOKESMAN IN NEW DELHI: INDIAN WATER MINISTER’S UPCOMING TRIP TO JERUSALEM SIGNIFIES ADDITIONAL BOOST TO BILATERAL AGRICULTURAL TIES (INTERVIEW) (New Delhi) — The upcoming visit of India’s water minister to Israel is a “very important step forward” in furthering bilateral ties, a spokesman from the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi told The Algemeiner on Wednesday. Ohad Horsandi said that one of the main purposes of Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti’s trip to Israel is “to gain first-hand knowledge of Israeli technologies and expertise in the water sector — including desalination and urban water systems — and how these techniques can be implemented back in India.” According to Horsandi, one of the most significant aspects of the relationship between the two countries is the optimization of Israeli agricultural expertise and technology — and water conservation. As India grapples with the latter, he said, “This year, water has been at the center of our attention.” And Israel, he said, is a world leader in making agriculture flourish in an arid environment with limited water. (Algemeiner, June 22, 2016)

 

WHY DOES THE ADL CONTINUE TO HINDER ANTI-BDS EFFORTS? (New York) — The anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions (“BDS”) campaign is hateful, antisemitic economic activity that is designed to delegitimize, economically destroy and culturally and academically isolate the Jewish state. Pro-Israel groups need to work together to combat the BDS onslaught, using every tool at our disposal — including legal action and anti-BDS laws — to curtail discriminatory BDS economic activity. Our organization, the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), frequently collaborates with other pro-Israel organizations. It thus deeply saddens us that a major organization, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) — with a $58 million annual budget — whose mission includes combating antisemitism, has repeatedly harmed anti-BDS efforts by publicly opposing and lobbying against needed federal and state anti-BDS laws. (Algemeiner, June 28, 2016)

 

SHURAT HADIN TO PM: HAVE TURKEY EXPEL HAMAS COMPLETELY (Jerusalem) — If the government does not get Hamas expelled from Turkey as part of the impending deal, Shurat Hadin will try to block it by going to the High Court of Justice, it threatened on Monday. The NGO sent a threatening letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the cabinet as part of a last-ditch effort to have the expulsion of Hamas included in the deal. From Monday’s news conferences and the information provided to the public, Turkey agreed that Hamas would not be allowed to plan terrorist operations from its territory, but did not agree to expel its political wing. (ISRAPUNDIT, June 28, 2016)

 

GOP BENGHAZI REPORT INCLUDES 15 QUESTIONS NOT ANSWERED BY PRESIDENT OBAMA (Washington) — When did President Obama first hear about the attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, and when did he learn it was a terrorist attack? Did he issue any orders to his Defense Secretary? Did he know what military assets were available to respond to the attack and was he aware of State Department concerns that a U.S. military rescue might look like an invasion to the Libyans? Appendix C of the Republicans' Benghazi report includes 15 questions for President Obama, which the White House has declined to answer. According to Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, "the President is uniquely situated to answer these questions. In fact, he is the only person who can answer some of these questions." (CNSNews.com, June 28, 2016)

 

ANALYSIS: FOR DETERRENCE AND THE SECOND NUCLEAR STRIKE (Jerusalem) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, obsessed with his Holocaust fears and motivated by his political agenda, could not resist Tuesday hinting what has been so clear to the rest of the world for two decades – the fact that the Israeli submarine fleet was mainly established for the purpose of deterrence and, according to foreign reports, to grant Israel the capability of a second nuclear strike. On Tuesday, the Israel Navy’s fifth submarine anchored at Haifa Port after a 3,000 kilometer voyage from the German shipyards in Kiel where it was built. “Above all, our submarines serve to deter enemies that aspire to destroy us,” Netanyahu stated at the ceremony. (The Jerusalem Post, Jan. 13, 2016)

 

 

 

Contents

On Topic Links

 

More than 22 million click on Netanyahu social media response to Orlando massacre: Herb Keinin: Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2016—A “masterclass in responding to tragedy” is how the Financial Times characterized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's video statement on the Orland tragedy that went viral and was viewed by more than 22 million people.

Israel Memorializes 10 Years Since 2006 Lebanon War: Breaking Israel News, June 27, 2016— Academics and students studying at Israel’s Bar-Ilan University commemorated the tenth anniversary since the Second Lebanon War, also known as the Israel-Hezbollah War. It was during this war that IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was taken captive, and held by Hamas in Gaza until his release in 2011.

Southern Baptist Convention Passes Resolution in Support of Israel: Breaking Israel News, June 21, 2016—The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) adopted a resolution reaffirming the church’s support and prayers for Israel as well as condemning the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Bill Gates Jumps into the Start-Up Nation, Makes First Ever Israeli Investment: Breaking Israel News— Microsoft Founder Bill Gates has made his first ever investment in the start-up nation. Gates has invested an undisclosed amount through the Intellectual Ventures company in the MEDX XELERATOR incubator, a medical device developer.

ISRAEL AS HAVEN FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS IN MIDDLE EAST

Assyrian Bishop Wants Friendship With Israel: Bradley Martin, Algemeiner, June 21, 2016— “Israel has stability, the ear of the world community, and the ability to be a modern state in the Middle East. Israel has withstood the test of time,” says Mar Awa Royel, the first American-born Assyrian bishop in history.

The Assyrians’ plight has been overshadowed by the suffering of the Yazidis. But they are very much in danger: Terry Glavin, National Post, June 9, 2016 — They are the original people of Mesopotamia’s cradle of civilization, the indigenous people of ancient Sumer and Babylon, and they’ve been around for at least 5,000 years. From their heartland on the Nineveh Plains and the Upper Tigris in what is now the transboundary region of Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, their empires waxed and waned down through the centuries from the Caucasus Mountains to Cyprus and Egypt and deep into the Arabian Peninsula.

Autonomous Assyria: The Only Possible Solution to the Arab World’s Terminal Disorder: Paul Merkley, Bayview Review, Apr. 27, 2016— Christianity was born in the Middle East – long before the Middle East became Arab and Muslim. For perhaps a decade or two following the Ascension of Jesus Christ, all of the people who accepted the Christian message were Jews – most of them living in Jerusalem. But then missions, headed originally by surviving apostles, went out beyond Judea and Samaria and sought converts among the many neighboring kingdoms that were, like the Jews of Judea,  subject to Roman rule.

Obama's Refugee Policy: Yes to Potential Terrorists, No to Victims of Genocide: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, June 5, 2016— "Without doubt, Syrians of all confessions are being victimized by this savage war and are facing unimaginable suffering. But only Christians and other religious minorities are the deliberate targets of systematic persecution and genocide." — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, March 17, 2016.

 

On Topic Links

 

The Orlando Shooting Launches a War on Christianity: David French, National Review, June 15, 2016

Arabs Using Christians to Fight Israel: Shadi Khalloul, Gatestone Institute, May 29, 2016

The Pope Who Gained the World, But Lost His Own Soul: Raymond Ibrahim, Breaking Israel News, June 6, 2016

Christian Zionists Are Among Our Best Supporters: Pini Dunner, Algemeiner, June 17, 2016

 

 

ASSYRIAN BISHOP WANTS FRIENDSHIP WITH ISRAEL

Bradley Martin

Algemeiner, June 21, 2016

 

“Israel has stability, the ear of the world community, and the ability to be a modern state in the Middle East. Israel has withstood the test of time,” says Mar Awa Royel, the first American-born Assyrian bishop in history. Born David Royel in Chicago, Illinois on July 4, 1975, His Grace Mar Awa, Bishop of the Assyrian Church of the East, who presides over the Diocese of California, conveys his desire for friendship between Israel and the Assyrian people.

Noting that “we’ve had a long history,” he cites prophecy in the Book of Isaiah in order to provide a biblical foundation for his desired brotherhood with Israel, and describes several church-organized pilgrimages that he has led to Israel.

 

While there are very few Assyrian Christians in Israel, until 1853 the Assyrian Church of the East shared a part of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Numerous records and Assyrian manuscripts are now in the possession of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Israel.

 

Bishop Royel also described the relations and commonalities between Jews and Assyrian Christians in Iraq prior to the establishment of the state of Israel. Even after the Arab Muslim conquest of the Middle East, which installed Arabic as the lingua franca of the region, Assyrians continued to speak Assyrian.

 

The Nash Didan (Aramaic for “our people”) refers to Jews who lived in villages in northern Iraq (modern-day Kurdish Regional Government) and near the borders of Iran, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. Tradition indicates that the community was founded by Jews who fled to that area during the Babylonian Exile, and did not return to their homeland after the declaration issued by Cyrus II of Persia. Assyrian and the Nash Didan dialect are very close. It is currently estimated that about 300,000 of the Nash Didan live in the state of Israel.

 

“We are the most Semitic of the churches,” says Bishop Royel. Jews and Assyrians in the region were bound by more than a common linguistic heritage. Royel describes the Targumim (the Aramaic translations/paraphrases of the Hebrew Bible and accompanying rabbinic teachings) as an influential text in Church doctrine. In fact, the Targumim are the antecedents of the version of the Old (and New) Testament of the Assyrian Church of the East. Queen Helena of Adiabene, an Assyrian who converted to Judaism in about 30 C.E., spent the latter part of her life in Jerusalem, where she gave gifts to the Second Temple of Jerusalem and was meticulous in her observance of the precepts of Judaism.

 

Assyrian churches themselves are a fusion of synagogue and Jerusalem Temple worship. “There are no examples like it in any churches that are found in North America,” says Royel. “Facing east, there is a Holy of Holies, and a bima in the middle of the church building where the Scriptural readings take place.” The Assyrian Church of the East also follows the Jewish practice of not pronouncing the holy name of God when the Bible is read in church. Readings from the Old Testament are also featured more prominently than in other church services.

 

The Assyrian Church at one time had an estimated 80 million adherents. As it now stands, their worldwide numbers have been reduced to a little less than 4 million people collectively. In Iraq, 1.5 million Assyrians lived in the country at the start of the US invasion in 2003. Today, the Assyrian Christians in Iraq number around 150,000. That is a 90 percent reduction of Assyrian Christians in their ancient homeland.

 

“Iraq does not view Assyrians as part of their society,” says Royel. “Maybe, it is time to reconsider Sykes-Picot. There is talk of establishing martial law in Iraq, like in Egypt, but that doesn’t seem practical. Egypt is more homogenous than Iraq.”

 

When asked what a modern state of Assyria would look like, Royel stated that he would like very much to see a free Assyrian homeland for his people to live in peace within its borders. Friendship between Israel and Assyria would be mutually beneficial, with both countries being strong allies. Whereas Israel would serve as a model for a successful Middle Eastern state for Assyria, Israel would gain a strong ally in an increasingly tumultuous region.

 

Bradley Martin is Deputy Editor at CIJR and a Fellow of the Haym Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought

 

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THE ASSYRIANS’ PLIGHT HAS BEEN OVERSHADOWED BY THE SUFFERING OF THE YAZIDIS, BUT THEY ARE VERY MUCH IN DANGER

Terry Glavin

National Post, June 9, 2016

 

They are the original people of Mesopotamia’s cradle of civilization, the indigenous people of ancient Sumer and Babylon, and they’ve been around for at least 5,000 years. From their heartland on the Nineveh Plains and the Upper Tigris in what is now the transboundary region of Syria, Turkey, Iran and Iraq, their empires waxed and waned down through the centuries from the Caucasus Mountains to Cyprus and Egypt and deep into the Arabian Peninsula.

 

The Assyrians were among the world’s first peoples to adopt Christianity, and they still speak varieties of Aramaic, the language of Christ and his apostles. They survived a series of genocidal anti-Christian frenzies during the Ottoman Empire’s final convulsions a century ago, and again in the 1930s. They survived the persecutions and ethnic cleansings waged against them by Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and the Iranian Khomeinists. But their survival now, as a distinct people, looks bleak.

 

There were perhaps 1.5 million Assyrians holding out in the region at the close of the 20th century. Two years ago, Minority Rights Group International reckoned their numbers in Iraq had dwindled to maybe 350,000 There are probably fewer — estimates are wildly conflicting — in Syria.

 

With Syria’s continuing destruction, mainly at the hands of President Bashar Assad and his Russian and Iranian allies, and with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) carrying out its bloody jihad in Iraq from Mosul to Fallujah and the outskirts of Baghdad, the Assyrians are again wandering the roads of the Middle East. They’re huddled in makeshift displaced-persons camps or fleeing as United Nations’ refugees to the four corners of the earth.

 

But they are not without hope. The cause of an Assyrian homeland has gained a great deal of traction lately: not an independent country, but a separate province, in a federated and decentralized Iraq. “An autonomous region. A safe haven. That’s what the people want — a homeland. We want to be able to protect ourselves,” Juliana Taimoorazy, founding president of the Chicago-based Iraqi Christian Relief Council, told me the other day. The idea is not as implausible as it sounds.

 

The Assyrian predicament has been overshadowed by the suffering of the Yazidis, a similarly ancient non-Muslim minority in the region. Targeted for genocide and enslavement by ISIL in the autumn months of 2014, hundreds of thousands of Yazidis were forced to flee an ISIL advance in the Yazidis’ homeland in Iraqi Kurdistan.

 

The encirclement of hundreds of unarmed Yazidis on Mount Sinjar captured the world’s attention and finally shamed the NATO countries into mounting an air-power campaign to curb ISIL’s depredations — a coalition effort that first involved a half-dozen Canadian CF-18s and now includes the Canadian Special Operations Regiment in a “train, advise and assist” mission, mostly with the Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga.

The Western support won by the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, and the KRG’s tentative allies among the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) guerrillas of Rojava in northern Syria, has been a mixed blessing for the Assyrians. The secularist KRG goes out of its way to insist that it embraces the Assyrian minority, but Assyrians are wary and mistrustful. Iraqi Kurds have turned on them before, and as recently as 2011 anti-Assyrian riots broke out in the predominantly Kurdish city of Duhok, incited by a Kurdish political party affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. “At any moment, some mullah can declare a fatwa against us,” Taimooorazy said.

 

With Syria and Iraq having degenerated into hellholes of jihadism, mass murder and unceasing sectarian war, the Assyrians’ allegiances of convenience have sometimes left outsiders perplexed about whose “side” they’re on.

 

The Assyrians sided with the Kurds against Saddam Hussein from the 1980s to the 2003 Anglo-American invasion. “We hoped the Americans would help us regain our land, the way the Zionists did,” Taimoorazy said, “but that didn’t happen.” As a result, a lot of Assyrians cooled to the Americans. At the same time, while Israel is seen as a pariah in much of the Arab world, many Assyrians see Israel as a “model,” Taimoorazy said.

 

In Syria, meanwhile, Assyrian church leaders and their flocks tended to oppose the uprising against Assad for fear of what might follow and doubts about the NATO countries’ willingness to intervene to protect them against jihadists. But other Assyrians have formed militias in alliance with Kurdish and Arab guerillas to fight both ISIL and Assad’s regular troops. Still, the crux of the Assyrian dilemma in the region’s turmoils is fairly straightforward, Taimoorazy said: “We don’t trust the Arabs, and we don’t trust the Kurds.”

 

He insisted that Assyrians are not demanding an independent state. “We don’t want Iraq to fall apart. We want Iraq to stay together.”

An Assyrian province in a more decentralized Iraq would be an uphill battle because it would have to come at least partly at the expense of the KRG, in areas it now controls. But it would also offer a refuge to Yazidis and minority Turkomans and Shabaks. But then again, there are now-powerful Sunni Arabs in Iraq who are also contemplating a constitutional breakout from Baghdad’s control.

 

Owing to the Shiite-dominated government giving every appearance of being hopelessly mired in brutal sectarianism and runaway corruption — and not least because of the growing influence of Iran’s Khomeinists in semi-official militias as vicious as ISIL, as well as in Iraq’s official security apparatus — a move is underway to establish a semi-autonomous Sunni region in Iraq. About a third of Iraqis are Sunni.

 

“But the Assyrians are not just a religious group,” Taimoorazy said. “We are an ethnic minority, and we are losing our language and our culture. The world has to begin to see the Assyrian people not just as Christians, but as a distinct people. And we are being wiped out.”

 

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AUTONOMOUS ASSYRIA: THE ONLY POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO THE ARAB WORLD’S TERMINAL DISORDER

Paul Merkley

Bayview Review, April 27, 2016

 

Christianity was born in the Middle East – long before the Middle East became Arab and Muslim. For perhaps a decade or two following the Ascension of Jesus Christ, all of the people who accepted the Christian message were Jews – most of them living in Jerusalem. But then missions, headed originally by surviving apostles, went out beyond Judea and Samaria and sought converts among the many neighboring kingdoms that were, like the Jews of Judea,  subject to Roman rule. Among the first of these Kingdoms to accept Christian faith as its national faith was Armenia — a prosperous Kingdom in part of what is today Turkey. Shortly thereafter, various Kingdoms in Egypt,  Abyssinia (Ethiopia), North Africa and Arabia also entered the world of Christianity. Nearly six centuries later, Islam came into the world.

 

For perspective, we might note that several further centuries would again go by before the English language came into the world. And yet it is safe to say that most people who imagine themselves well-informed about history nod passively before the politically-correct fiction that Islam is indigenous to the Arab world, and that where there are churches anywhere in that world these were imposed during recent centuries by European missionaries working hand-in-hand with political imperialists.  It is Islam that was and is the imperialist in this story.

 

Within a few decades of the appearance of the Qur’an (630 AD), these Christians were faced with the terrible dilemma of either surrendering to fanatical illiterates everything that they believed — or converting, by simple vocal declaration. Ever since then, those brave souls who stayed with the faith have lived under the stigma of being subversive opponents of Truth, denied the benefit of full participation in the circles of those who govern and subject to punishing taxes from which the faithful are exempt. This is called the dhimmmi system, the system under which non-Muslims are allowed to exist but with restricted liberties, as less than citizens. This state of affairs continued legally until the last of the Muslim empires fell – that is the Ottoman Empire, which was dismantled about the end of the First World War.

 

At the same time, the Islamic warriors who founded their kingdoms beyond Arabia quickly became aware of certain benefits that they could gain by not bearing down too far on their Christian subjects, by not compelling their conversion. Compared to the Muslim warriors who were sweeping in from Arabia, indigenous Christian people throughout the Middle East and beyond had enjoyed high levels of literacy, education, professional accomplishment, economic success and extensive connections abroad. Accordingly, the Arab masters drew the Christians into eminent roles in the public life.

 

The political leaders in the Arab world have always had to tread a fine line as they sought to sustain these valued indigenous, non-Arab, non-Muslim communities, while fending off accusation from the Muslim majority that they are aggrandizing the enemies of Allah. In moments of extraordinary crisis in the public life of the Arab world, these political masters swiftly turned their backs on the Christians and surrendered them to the Muslim mobs.

 

I have space here only to note two major extirpation campaigns of this kind that have taken place since the year 1900.  One of these campaigns resulted in the absolute ejection from the Arab world of one of the most ancient Christian communities – the Armenians. The other, still ongoing, has so far  resulted in the savage reduction of numbers and of political and social significance of the Assyrians, who  existed until recently  in scattered communities in parts of Iraq and Syria, but who are being targeted for annihilation by the Islamist politicians who have come to power during the so-called Arab Spring. While this has happened, Western governments and Western news media have looked the other way.

 

Shortly after World War One began, the new nationalist-secularist leaders of what had been the Ottoman empire, found themselves courted by the masters of both camps in that War. Anticipating (reasonably enough) a great victory for the Central Powers, the Turks threw their lot on the wrong side – against the Allied Powers (including Britain, France and Russia.) Under cover of preventing massive Armenian betrayal of the national interest, the Turks conducted a popularly-supported extermination campaign against the Armenians — remembered as “the Armenian massacre” of 1915…

[To Read The Full Article, Click the Following Link–ED]

 

Paul Merkley is a CIJR Academic Fellow

 

 

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OBAMA’S REFUGEE POLICY: YES TO POTENTIAL TERRORISTS, NO TO VICTIMS OF GENOCIDE

Raymond Ibrahim

Gatestone Institute, June, 5, 2016

 

"Without doubt, Syrians of all confessions are being victimized by this savage war and are facing unimaginable suffering. But only Christians and other religious minorities are the deliberate targets of systematic persecution and genocide." — U.S. Senator Tom Cotton, March 17, 2016.

Christians account for 10% of Syria's total population — yet they account for less than 0.5% of the refugees received into America. Sunni Muslims are 74% of Syria's population — yet 99% of those received into America. In other words, there should be 20 times more Christians and about one-quarter fewer Sunnis granted refugee status than there already have been.

 

ISIS is "taking advantage of the torrent of migrants to insert operatives into that flow." — James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence. Although the U.N. and U.S. know that Sunni refugees are terrorizing Christians in their camps, they abandon the true victims who deserve sanctuary in the West, while "humanitarianly" taking in their persecutors. The Obama administration has been escalating a policy that both abandons Mideast Christians and exposes Americans to the jihad.

 

Late last year it was revealed that 97% of Syrian refugees accepted into the U.S. were Sunni Muslims — the same Islamic sect to which the Islamic State belongs— while fewer than half-a-percent were Christians. This disparity has since gotten worse. From May 1 to May 23, 499 Syrian refugees — a number that exceeds the total number of refugees admitted during the last three years — were received into the United States. Zero Christians were among them; 99 percent were Sunni (the remaining one percent was simply listed as "Muslim"). These numbers are troubling.

 

First, from a strictly humanitarian point of view — and humanitarian reasons are the chief reason being cited in accepting refugees — Christians should receive priority simply because currently they are among the most persecuted groups in the Middle East. Along with the Yazidis, Christians are experiencing genocide at the hands of ISIS, as the State Department recently determined. The Islamic State has repeatedly forced Christians to renounce Christ or die; has enslaved and raped them, and desecrated or destroyed more than 400 of their churches.

Sunni Muslims are not being slaughtered, beheaded, and raped for refusing to renounce their faith; they are not having their mosques burned, nor are they being jailed and killed for apostasy, blasphemy, or proselytization. On the contrary, non-ISIS affiliated Sunnis are responsible for committing dozens of such atrocities against Christian minorities every single month all throughout the Islamic world.

 

Even before ISIS' new "caliphate" was established, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims— Muslim mobs, Muslim individuals, Muslim regimes, and Muslim terrorists, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian, etc.) — and for the same reason: Christians are infidel number one. See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hatred and contempt for Christians who are especially deserving of refugee status…

[To Read The Full Article, Click the Following Link–ED]

 

Contents           

On Topic Links

 

The Orlando Shooting Launches a War on Christianity: David French, National Review, June 15, 2016— We are now fully through the looking glass. A Muslim man walked into a gay nightclub and gunned down 49 men and women, most of them gay or lesbian. He paused in the middle of his massacre to call 911 and a local television station, making clear that he wanted the world to know he had pledged allegiance to ISIS.

Arabs Using Christians to Fight Israel: Shadi Khalloul, Gatestone Institute, May 29, 2016— Christians in Holy Land, Judea and Samaria — what today is called the West Bank or the Palestinian Authority (PA) — are, with the Jews and assorted Arabs, the indigenous people of the land. The region has been inhabited by Jews and then Christians for nearly three thousand years; until the seventh century, Muslims did not even exist.

The Pope Who Gained the World, But Lost His Own Soul: Raymond Ibrahim, Breaking Israel News, June 6, 2016— Last week I appeared on the Glazov Gang discussing Pope Francis’ increasingly strange remarks. This special edition of The Glazov Gang presents The Raymond Ibrahim Moment with Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.

Christian Zionists Are Among Our Best Supporters: Pini Dunner, Algemeiner, June 17, 2016— Shortly after moving to the United States, I was introduced to Evangelical Christian supporters of Israel for the first time. I found them confounding and intriguing.

BREXIT AFTERMATH & THE ONGOING SYRIA CRISIS

Results of the Brexit referendum is a rebuke to Western elites: Rex Murphy, National Post, June 24, 2016— It’s an old concept I grant you, but nonetheless worth restating. If you want to know what people really think and feel about an issue, have them vote on it, have a referendum.

Get Used to the new Europe: John O’Sullivan, The Globe and Mail, June 24, 2016 — When Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington following the decisive American victory at Yorktown, the British military band retreating from the scene played an old drinking song The World Turned Upside Down.

The Syrian Catastrophe: The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2016— A day after CIA Director John Brennan testified that ISIS now boasts far more fighters than al Qaeda had at its peak, there’s more disagreement in the Obama ranks. Fifty-one State Department diplomats have signed a letter that assails President Obama’s Syria policy—and calls for military strikes and the ouster of dictator Bashar Assad.

Leader of U.S. Supported Syrian Rebel Group Backs Al-Qaida: John Rossomando and Ravi Kumar, The Investigative Project on Terrorism, June 1, 2016— Al-Qaida and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are allies fighting alongside each other for the same cause and should not be viewed differently when it comes to toppling the Assad regime.

 

On Topic Links

 

Britain just gave the GOP a tremendous gift: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Jun. 24, 2016

A Peasant Revolt Upends Britain’s Ruling Elite: Quentin Letts, The Wall Street Journal, Jun.24, 2016

Chemical Weapons Could Change the Game in Syria: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham, BESA, June 7, 2016

51 State Dept. Diplomats Slam Obama on Syria, Urge Military Strike: Newsmax, Jun.17, 2016

 

 

RESULTS OF THE BREXIT REFERENDUM IS A REBUKE TO WESTERN ELITES

Rex Murphy

National Post, June 24, 2016

 

It’s an old concept I grant you, but nonetheless worth restating. If you want to know what people really think and feel about an issue, have them vote on it, have a referendum. It’s a principle we might want to hang on to in Canada, if it comes to changing how we vote. But for now the most firm illustration of its wisdom is the just-known results of the Brexit referendum.

 

The often-ignored, sometimes quite rudely deplored British people have spoken and, to the horror of enlightened opinion, respectable party leaders, the ever-guiding liberal intelligentsia, have decided they don’t want “in” the European Union. The vote comes as a mighty shock to broad-minded continentalists and supranationalists everywhere, but particularly the high elites of British politics. The Guardian’s readership will need special help — grief counsellors are already overwhelmed.

 

The EU vote is the most dramatic illustration to date of how the “guiding elites” of many Western countries have lost the fealty and trust of their populations. Of the gap between ordinary citizens, facing the challenges of daily life, and the swaddled, well-off and pious tribes of those who govern them, and increasingly govern them with a mixture of moralistic superiority and witless condescension.

 

But a decade ago, “Euroskeptics” were a slender group, derided by their betters as xenophobes and bigots, a splinter faction of regressive nationalists and illiberal tribalists. That, at least, was the approved version from on high. And from those smug heights, they dismissed with icy contempt the concerns of ordinary people that the “EU project” was draining their national identity, dissolving centuries-old democratic systems, and forcing their submission to an alien, unelected and unaccountable Brussels super-government.

 

Above all, they dismissed concerns about changing the nature of their country by the new rules on immigration, and the abolition of all borders between the ancient states of Europe.

 

The Europe-firsters of the British establishment — journalistic, academic and political — were essentially taking the hoary line of Gertrude Stein about Oakland — “There is no there, there” — and telling the broad mass of one of the oldest, most successful nation-states the world has ever seen, that such was Great Britain. There are lessons here for the U.S., particularly now with the emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the presidential campaign

 

Events in Libya, and Syria, and the mass migration from the Middle East flowing from the disasters of those and other countries, continued global Islamic terror, the gruesome attacks on London’s streets, and in Paris and Brussels, too, accelerated and intensified the concern and alarm of those who saw their country drifting away from them, losing its coherence, shedding its core identity.

 

There are lessons here for the U.S., particularly now with the emergence of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders in the presidential campaign. Barack Obama shocked a great slice of the American public with his executive order (since suspended by the Supreme Court) — a pure fiat from the Oval Office — to exempt five million illegal aliens, what Time magazine described as “the largest single immigration action in modern American history.” He did this with a wave of his imperious pen. It was a decree less fit for a president than an emperor, a clear flight of that “Caesarism” which all good Obamaphiles prefer to see only in demon Trump.

 

It was effected without the consultations and accommodations with a concerned electorate that should always precede great changes in a nation’s character and circumstance. Nothing gave more of an uplift to Trump and Sanders (they’ve both been riding the same wave of distrust of the governing class) than Obama’s highhanded and supercilious dismissal of working-class worries on immigration.

 

Obama also bears not a little blame — if blame is the word — for the Brexit vote. His inactions in Syria, his famous declaration of the “red line” and the retreat from it, coupled with the mess of his (and Hillary Clinton’s) intervention in Libya, are heavily responsible for the great migratory convulsions of the Middle East.

 

To cap things off, during his trip to Britain during the referendum, Obama warned that if the country were to leave the EU, in any future trade deal it “would be at the back of the queue.” This was seen both as interference and an insult. The words of a Telegraph columnist capture the sentiment this intrusion provoked: “(T)he condescending tones that Mr. Obama used (may produce) the reverse effect” from the one intended.

 

Indeed. There is a price for governing from on high, for being detached from voters’ expressed concerns and anxieties, and for characterizing those concerns and anxieties always as small-minded, or proceeding only from anti-liberal biases, or xenophobia and racism. Might it not also be possible that people in turbulent times, in an uncertain economy, increasingly apprehensive that their leaders are not listening to them and do not care to listen, will finally decline to follow those leaders? David Cameron has just now learned that the hard way. He has announced his resignation as prime minister.

 

And if enough Americans in the coming election start to feel that Washington has “evolved” into a home-grown version of Brussels, a regulation- and executive-order driven, citizen-detached administration, those citizens may choose Trump for their president. Not so much because they see him as “saviour” but as a rebuke to those “better” leaders who so scorn him. The Brexit vote is an item in a larger wave of change, one that has immediate relevance for most Western democracies.

 

 

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GET USED TO THE NEW EUROPE

John O’Sullivan

The Globe and Mail, June 24, 2016

 

When Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington following the decisive American victory at Yorktown, the British military band retreating from the scene played an old drinking song The World Turned Upside Down. That may be a myth; the story was originally told by someone who hadn’t been at Yorktown. But it’s a myth that has lasted right down to the present (being referenced most recently in the Broadway hit musical Hamilton) because it captures the widespread and serious consequences of Cornwallis’s defeat.

Well, it’s a bigger world today, but Brexit looks to be turning pretty much all of it upside down. Just consider some of the leading players and institutions hit by it:

David Cameron: He had been walking a tightrope as the Europhile leader of a Eurosceptic party who hoped to finesse the issue of Europe indefinitely. In order to fend off UKIP and a Tory rebellion, he promised a referendum, hoping that his coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats, would nix it in the next coalition. But he won an outright majority and had to keep the promise. Then, wanting the referendum out of the way, he held quick talks with the EU, asked for little, got less, and returned to London boasting of trivial concessions. Finally, he fought a tough campaign against half of his own party and lost it. It turned out that his Eurosceptic Tory opponents had a better sense of the Tory faithful (and U.K. voters generally) than he did. He fell off the tightrope with dignity, however, and will resign to allow a Eurosceptic to be elected Tory leader and prime minister who can conduct Brexit negotiations more plausibly than a Europhile.

Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker, and the European Commission: If the European leaders negotiating with Prime Minister David Cameron over his package of concessions had been only slightly more generous, he might well have won yesterday’s referendum. A reformed Europe or a Europe à la carte was acceptable to many Brits who disliked an over-centralized and undemocratic one.

Such a looser Europe would also have solved or ameliorated their other problems such as the euro. But the Eurocrats calculated either that Mr. Cameron was bluffing or that the Brits would always halt at the brink of withdrawal. As a result Britain will soon be out of the EU, other euro-problems are growing worse, and the “contagion” of Euroscepticism has been given a boost throughout Europe.

Chancellor George Osborne, (Canadian) Governor of the Bank of England Mark Carney, the Lords of H.M. Treasury, the IMF, OECD, etc., etc.: Both men and institutions (and Christine Lagarde for the IMF) made extravagant predictions of the economic and financial disasters that would descend upon Britain following Brexit. One Tory commentator described Mr. Osborne as the first Chancellor to try to spook the markets. The financial markets were duly spooked – as always happens in response to a major uncertainty – but they seem now to be stabilizing. The reputations of institutions and their leaders are now on the line, however. If their long-term predictions (which were widely derided as simply made up) prove false, exaggerated, or misleading, they may need to follow Mr. Cameron into other professions.

President Barack Obama and the U.S. State Department: Pressure on the U.K. to participate in an integrated European political entity has been a sustained theme in U.S. foreign policy since the early 1950s. Much of the time the Brits were reluctant or even hostile; Washington kept pressing. This time Mr. Obama made it personal. But the implied deal – you surrender your independence in order to advance our interests within the EU – is obviously a tad one-sided. And the referendum result is now an insuperable obstacle to Washington taking it up in future. Mr. Obama will simply have to learn several European telephone numbers – if only to ring more than one of the EU’s five presidents.

Almost all commentators inside and outside Britain: Opinion polls kept showing that large majorities of British voters were worried about loss of sovereignty, loss of democracy inside the EU, and their consequences in loss of U.K. control over immigration levels. Most commentators, including those who were otherwise acute in their observations, failed to take these concerns (especially democratic sovereignty) at all seriously.

They repeatedly discussed immigration in terms of racism, xenophobia, and fear of globalization, never seeing that many decent people were worried about loss of community. As journalist David Goodhart (not incidentally a social democrat) theorized, it was a case of “nowhere” people simply not grasping the outlook of “somewhere people.” They were still making the same mistake in their explanations of the result on Friday morning.

Almost every foreign leader: Everyone knew that Brexit was bound to fail. So they happily agreed to give Mr. Cameron a helping hand by saying what a bad thing it would be. The exception was Australia’s former prime minister, John Howard, who endorsed it. Moral: experience counts.

Now, everyone will have to adjust to a different Europe, a different Britain, and a different structure of international relations. This 52-48 victory for Brexit on a turnout of 72 per cent has more democratic authority than any election in Britain since 1945. The political reality is that it can’t be reversed. And if it works reasonably well – i.e., without the string of disasters predicted – then almost all its opponents will themselves have to adjust to it as the new dominant consensus of British politics.

 

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THE SYRIAN CATASTROPHE

The Editorial Board

The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2016

 

A day after CIA Director John Brennan testified that ISIS now boasts far more fighters than al Qaeda had at its peak, there’s more disagreement in the Obama ranks. Fifty-one State Department diplomats have signed a letter that assails President Obama’s Syria policy—and calls for military strikes and the ouster of dictator Bashar Assad.

 

This is remarkable. These rebels aren’t the “neocons” of liberal myth. They are career diplomats whose mission is to pursue the peace through diplomacy that Mr. Obama invokes as his highest foreign-policy principle. Yet they are indicting Mr. Obama’s Syrian diplomacy as a strategic and moral failure.

 

The 51 signers recognize that American priorities for Syria—a genuine cease-fire, relief for its suffering citizens and regime change—have failed because U.S. diplomacy is a wish list with nothing to back it up. A “judicious” use of military force, they say, would “undergird and drive a more focused and hard-nosed U.S.-led diplomatic effort.”

 

The Russians understand this. When Mr. Obama was scrambling in 2013 for some way not to make good on his red-line threat over Assad’s use of chemical weapons, Vladimir Putin offered a face-saving climbdown: Washington and Moscow would work together to remove the weapons and persuade Assad to negotiate a cease-fire.

 

Assad never has given up all of his chemical weapons, and Mr. Putin has since used the opening to play the military card Mr. Obama wouldn’t. He has used Russian forces to prop up Assad and attack the regime’s opponents—all the while claiming to want a cease-fire. In Oslo this week after months of Russian and Syrian deception, Secretary of State John Kerry declared that “Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite.”

 

Really? Russia seems to understand Messrs. Obama and Kerry very well.

So Syria burns. Assad’s war on his own countrymen has left more than 250,000 dead and created millions of refugees. A Pew Research Center analysis this week says the percentage of the Syrian population displaced from their homes has reached 60%—“unprecedented,” it says, “in recent history for a single country.”

 

The numbers don’t convey the full horror. The city of Aleppo, home to the greatest resistance to the Assad regime, has been pounded for months by Russian and Syrian warplanes. Almost every day brings some new crime: the bombing of a hospital, attacks on women and children, and the Assad government’s successful efforts to prevent aid convoys of food and medicine from reaching besieged civilians.

 

Two decades ago the world stood by as thousands of Bosnian Muslims were rounded up and killed in Srebrenica. Aleppo is President Obama’s Srebrenica—not that a fawning press corps has noticed.

 

Syria’s chaos has also incubated the rise of Islamic State, set America against its traditional allies, sent refugees pouring into Europe, invited the Russians back into the region, fed Iran’s influence in a nervous Arab world and spread instability across the region. But Mr. Obama carries on with business as usual.

 

And why should anyone expect anything different? This is the President who stayed silent in 2009 when Iranians took to the streets to demand their freedom; who ignored his generals when he withdrew too quickly from Iraq and Afghanistan; who in 2012 rejected the call from his CIA Director (David Petraeus), his Defense Secretary (Leon Panetta) and his Secretary of State (Hillary Clinton) to arm moderate Syrian rebels. Now add the diplomatic rank and file to the list of those he ignores.

 

Two years ago the U.S. Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, resigned because he said he could no longer defend Mr. Obama’s policy. The only difference between the dissent now and then seems to be that the men and women at the State Department handling Syria are determined to make clear that the wreckage the world is witnessing in Syria is Mr. Obama’s handiwork, not theirs. They understand that Syria didn’t merely “happen” on Mr. Obama’s watch. It has unfolded so horribly because of the President’s abdication.

 

Mr. Obama came to office in 2009 scoring George W. Bush for the high price of his interventions abroad. In the human and strategic tragedy that is today’s Syria, the world is learning that the failure to intervene can exact an even higher price.     

 

 

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LEADER OF U.S SUPPORTED SYRIAN REBEL GROUP BACKS AL-QAIDA

John Rossomando & Ravi Kumar

The Investigative Project on Terrorism, June 1, 2016

 

 

Al-Qaida and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are allies fighting alongside each other for the same cause and should not be viewed differently when it comes to toppling the Assad regime, said Anas al-Abdeh, president of the U.S.-backed National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces.

 

"They are all in the same trench," Al-Abdeh told the London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat on May 23. "We cannot differentiate between fighters whether they are Al Nusra, Ahrar Al Sham or the Free Syrian Army," Al-Abdeh said.

 

Al-Abdeh has had an association with the U.S. government since at least 2009. Classified cables released by Wikileaks show that U.S. taxpayers gave up to $6 million to his former group, the Movement for Justice and Development in Syria, which al-Abdeh founded in 2006. The money funded the Syrian opposition channel Barada TV, headed by his brother, Malek al-Abdeh, and other activities inside Syria.

 

A secret 2009 State Department cable cited a Syrian source who described Movement for Justice and Development in Syria followers as "liberal, moderate Islamists," including ex-Muslim Brotherhood members.

 

Anas Al-Abdeh opposes the recent American effort to work with his group's Kurdish rival, the Syrian Democratic Forces, because he and his brother have supported Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Turkey represses its Kurdish minority, opposes the idea of a Kurdish state and has used the Syrian conflict to attack Kurdish opposition forces.

 

In an interview with Rudaw on Monday, Al Abdeh criticized the SDF's recent offensive against Raqqa, ISIS's capital in Syria, because it is not part of the Syrian Revolution and aligned with Turkey.

The U.S. government spent more than $500 million to train and equip the Syrian rebels only led to the training of four or five fighters. Also, American weapons that provided to Al-Abdeh's group found their way into the hands of pro Al- Qaeda groups in Syria, including Jabhat al-Nusra.

 

 

 

 

Contents           

On Topic Links

 

Britain just gave the GOP a tremendous gift: Seth Lipsky, New York Post, Jun. 24, 2016— What a gift to the Republican Party. No sooner had Britons made their historic vote for independence than Donald Trump—already in Scotland—declared that they have “taken their country back” and called it a “great thing.”

A Peasant Revolt Upends Britain’s Ruling Elite: Quentin Letts, The Wall Street Journal, Jun.24, 2016—What indignation we had from London liberals when the result of Britain’s referendum on the European Union became clear early on Friday. By a majority of 52% in a high turnout, voters had opted to leave the Brussels-based union of 28 European countries.

Chemical Weapons Could Change the Game in Syria: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham, BESA, June 7, 2016—The Syrian regime unleashed full military grade chemical weapons against IS several weeks ago, a move that occasioned little response from the wider world. The assault demonstrated that the dismantling of the Syrian chemical arsenal has not been fulfilled.

51 State Dept. Diplomats Slam Obama on Syria, Urge Military Strike: Newsmax, Jun.17, 2016— More than 50 State Department diplomats have signed an internal memo critical of U.S. policy in Syria, calling for military strikes against President Bashar al-Assad's government to stop its persistent violations of a civil war ceasefire.

 

‘BREXIT’ VOTE TODAY—IMPLICATIONS FOR ISRAEL?

Britain and Obama’s ‘Back of the Queue’: Andrew Roberts, Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2016— On June 23 the British people will be going to the polls to choose whether they want to continue with the present system whereby 60% of British laws are made in Brussels and foreign judges decide whether those laws are legitimate or not, or whether we want to strike out for independence and the right to make all of our own laws and have our own British judges decide upon them.

Brexit and the Jews: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, June 14, 2016— The outcome of the 23 June referendum on Brexit, i.e whether the United Kingdom should remain or leave the European Union, will have consequences for Israel, whether direct or indirect. Polls indicate that the result will be very close.

Brexit is an Escape From a Failed and Frightening Europe: John Podhoretz, New York Post, June 19, 2016— In May, on a trip to London, almost every couple I met said they were in a mixed marriage. Their division was not over religion, or over party — rather, it was over Brexit, the referendum vote in the United Kingdom that takes place this week.

Exit Britain?: Douglas Murray, National Review, June 6, 2016— For at least a quarter of a century, there was no greater bore in British politics than the Eurobore, who warned against Britain’s loss of sovereignty to Brussels.

 

On Topic Links

 

Both Sides of the Brexit Referendum Sound Like Out-Takes From the 1988 Canadian Federal Election: Robert Fulford, National Post, June 3, 2016

Jewish Commentators on Brexit: Jeremy Sharon, Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2016

British Jewry Faces Brexit Vote With Fear and Trepidation: Jenni Frazer, Times of Israel, June 20, 2016

In Britain, Anti-Semitism Endures: George F. Will, Washington Post, June 10, 2016

Voting to leave the EU is a vote for freedom: John Robson, National Post, June 23, 2016

 

 

BRITAIN AND OBAMA’S ‘BACK OF THE ‘QUEUE’

Andrew Roberts

Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2016

 

On June 23 the British people will be going to the polls to choose whether they want to continue with the present system whereby 60% of British laws are made in Brussels and foreign judges decide whether those laws are legitimate or not, or whether we want to strike out for independence and the right to make all of our own laws and have our own British judges decide upon them.

 

It’s about whether we can recapture the right to deport foreign Islamist hate preachers and terrorist suspects, or whether under European human-rights legislation they must continue to reside in the U.K., often at taxpayers’ expense. The European Union is currently experiencing migration on a scale not seen since the late 17th century—with hordes of young, mostly male Muslims sweeping from the southeast into the heart of Europe. Angela Merkel invited them in and that might be fine for Germany, but why should they have the right to settle in Britain as soon as they get a European passport?

 

Surely—surely—this is an issue on which the British people, and they alone, have the right to decide, without the intervention of President Obama, who adopted his haughtiest professorial manner when lecturing us to stay in the EU, before making the naked threat that we would be sent “to the back of the queue” (i.e., the back of the line) in any future trade deals if we had the temerity to vote to leave.

 

Was my country at the back of the line when Winston Churchill promised in 1941 that in the event of a Japanese attack on the U.S., a British declaration of war on Japan would be made within the hour? Was Great Britain at the back of the line when America was searching for allies in the Korean War in the 1950s?

 

When America decided to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War in the early 1990s, was Britain at the back of the line when we contributed an armored division that fought on your right flank during Operation Desert Storm?

Were we at the back of the line on 9/11, or did we step forward immediately and instinctively as the very first of your allies to contribute troops to join you in the expulsion of the Taliban, al Qaeda’s hosts, from power in Afghanistan?

Or in Iraq two years later, was it the French or the Germans or the Belgians who stood and fought and bled beside you? Whatever views you might have over the rights or wrongs of that war, no one can deny that Britain was in its accustomed place: at the front of the line, in the firing line. So it is not right for President Obama now to threaten to send us to the back of the line.

 

Britain is the largest foreign investor in the U.S.—larger even than China—so it makes no economic sense for you to send us to the back of the line. Yet quite apart from your economic or strategic best interests, it also makes no moral sense for America to treat your genuine friends (you also see this phenomenon in the case of Israel, of course) as though they are your enemies, while all too often you treat your rivals and enemies—Cuba, China, Venezuela and others—as though they’re your friends. In what sane world does America put Iran at the front of the line for trade deals, while sending Britain to the back?

President Obama might be very clever intellectually, but he hasn’t grasped the central essence of American foreign policy over the centuries, which is the honorable one of being a strength and beacon to your allies and a standing reproach and constant source of anxiety to your enemies and to the enemies of freedom.

 

Fortunately, the best kind of Americans instinctively understand that truth, and outside the Obama administration nobody seems to want to relegate my country to the back of the line. Anglo-American friendship is far stronger than any one administration or government. I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve read the obituaries of people who have written the obituary of the Special Relationship. It survives because it lives on in the hearts of our two peoples—who have so much more in common than that which separates us—rather than just in the pages of venerable treaties and history books.

The good news is that the British people don’t seem to have taken much notice of President Obama—indeed, on the day he left the U.K., the Leave campaign actually saw a 2% increase in the polls. (As it’s neck and neck at the moment, perhaps we should invite him back?)

 

The endless threats about trade deals and GDP per capita from the EU and the IMF and the World Bank and the OECD, instead of cowing the British people, seem merely to have excited their bloody-mindedness. They recognize that they might indeed take a short-term financial hit, but there are some things more important than money. Imagine if a bunch of accountants had turned up at Valley Forge in that brutal winter of 1777 and proved with the aid of pie-charts and financial tables that Americans would be better off if they just gave up the cause of independence. George Washington would have sent them off with a few short, well-chosen words on the subject—probably derived from the Anglo-Saxon.

 

Winston Churchill was warned repeatedly by the Treasury that it was bankrupting Britain to continue her lonely and seemingly doomed struggle against the power that utterly dominated the entire European Continent in 1940 and 1941, but he treated all such warnings with his characteristically coruscating ire. That is what people do who love their country, and that is what I hope my countrymen will do on June 23.

 

And if we do vote to leave the EU on Thursday, I hope that Americans with a sense of history, Americans with a sense of tradition who honor friendship past and future, above all Americans who know what self-government means to a free people, will rally to the cause of an independent Britain.

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BREXIT AND THE JEWS

Manfred Gerstenfeld

Arutz Sheva, June 14, 2016

 

The outcome of the 23 June referendum on Brexit, i.e whether the United Kingdom should remain or leave the European Union, will have consequences for Israel, whether direct or indirect. Polls indicate that the result will be very close. If the majority of the British vote to remain, the EU will get a boost. It is unlikely that there will be a new British referendum on the subject for several years to come. Furthermore no other member country is likely to consult its citizens whether to stay in the EU or to leave.

 

Israel has a vested interest in the continued existence of the present EU membership, albeit greatly weakened internally. Like several other supranational bodies, the EU scandalously discriminates against Israel. It regularly incites against Israel and interferes in its internal affairs. The EU applies double standards in its relations with Israel, such as its requirement for labeling of products from the West Bank and the Golan. This is an anti-Semitic act according to the IHRA definition of this hatred which was accepted by many countries.

 

No such demands are made of other countries dealing with a similar territorial reality. In its stance against Israel, the EU's actions have more to do with imperialist law than with the precepts of international law which, it claims, govern its attitudes.  

Yet if Britain exits the EU, the resulting instability in Europe could potentially bring disadvantages for Israel in its wake. A Brexit would also free the UK from commitments to act in line with overall EU policies. If, untrammeled by such commitments, a Labour party government would win British elections in the future, the resulting problems for Israel could increase greatly.

This would be even more likely if Jeremy Corbyn, the current party leader who calls Hamas and Hezbollah ‘his friends, would become Prime Minister. A situation could then be created where many Government positions would be filled with extreme Israel haters. If Labour came to power while the UK remained in the EU, the need to stay more or less in line with other countries would be a constraining force on its anti-Israelism. That is why I think that a victory for the Remain supporters, preferably by a very small majority, would be in Israel’s best interest.

 

Only a few people have publicly stated that their viewpoint on Brexit is determined by their Jewishness or by their attitude toward Israel. Times Columnist and author Melanie Phillips wrote “I am in favor of Britain leaving the EU so that it can become once again a democratic, self-governing nation. I also believe it would be in the interests of the US, Israel and Europe itself if the EU were to break up.” She added: “Uncontrolled migration, Islamization and the absence of any ability to hold EU rulers to account have caused mass alienation among the European public from the political mainstream. This has created rising support for ultra-nationalist and extremist parties.”

 

Journalist Angela Epstein, also in favor of Brexit, referred to "the bloody history of pan-European fascism." Academic Geoffrey Alderman concluded a lengthy analysis of the pros and cons of Brexit by writing “Brexit comes down to a question of sovereignty. As a religious Jew, I pray for the welfare of the nation. And that is why I shall be voting for Brexit on June 23.”

Some well-known Jews have expressed personal opinions on Brexit which are not based on their being Jewish. For instance, Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, opposes Brexit. This Russian billionaire who lives in London, does so for economic reasons.

 

There is one group of Jews living in the UK who have potentially much to fear from Brexit. This is the growing colony of French Jews, who in recent years have left France for Britain. Part did so because of the increasing anti-Semitism in France. They may have to go through bureaucratic processes to maintain the right to live and work in the UK. In an extreme development, some may even lose their British residency.

 

The British have many problems running their own country. Yet like several other European governments they claim wrongly that they know what is best for Israel, and regularly interfere in Israel’s affairs. The Israeli government, by contrast, has wisely kept out of the Brexit debate.  However, an Israeli NGO Regavim, has teamed up with anonymous British expats living in Israel, setting up a campaign website in support of Brexit. The website features a clip of a fake Hamas press conference, praising the EU because of its – illegal — construction of housing in the Area C, its labeling of products on the West Bank and the Golan, and the EU aid funds made available to the Palestinians, part of which are used for Hamas’s terror tunnels and to support terrorists in Israeli prisons.

 

There are other aspects of the Brexit debate, which have some relevance from an Israeli or Jewish point of view. As with almost any major issue, the Holocaust has featured in the rhetoric. British minister and former London Mayor Boris Johnson, among the leaders of the Brexit campaign, invoked Winston Churchill and told Brits to be “the heroes of Europe again.” Johnson said of European integration….

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

 

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BREXIT IS AN ESCAPE FROM A FAILED AND FRIGHTENING EUROPE

John Podhoretz

New York Post, June 19, 2016

 

In May, on a trip to London, almost every couple I met said they were in a mixed marriage. Their division was not over religion, or over party — rather, it was over Brexit, the referendum vote in the United Kingdom that takes place this week. The results will determine whether Britain remains a member of the European Union, the financial amalgamation of 28 countries very loosely modeled on the United States’ domestic economic structure — or departs from it after 41 years.

 

A conservative thinker I know was passionately in favor of Britain exiting the European Union. His support for “Leave” centered on his understanding of his country’s ancient nationhood and how its sovereignty is slowly being eroded to nothing by the heavy hand of the central European Union bureaucracy based in Brussels. His wife, a leading businesswoman who shares most of his politics, was as passionately against Brexit as her husband is for it. She viewed Brexit as a danger because it will ignite trade hostilities with the rest of Europe and even the United States — since President Obama traveled to London in April and threatened the UK that a Brexited Britain would “go to the back of the queue” when it comes to future trade agreements with America. (Yes, he used the word “queue,” just to give it that extra dollop of locavore menace.)

 

Another friend, a freelance maker of television commercials, supported Brexit because it will weaken the British pound against the Euro and therefore make her bids for jobs more competitive. Her husband, a writer and intellectual, worried that the move is just too destabilizing and risky and so was inclined against it. Their 22-year-old son said he didn’t feel comfortable making the choice but said his friends were against Brexit because they feared their free movement through the continent with train passes would be stymied.

 

And so it went. You might say that the entire Conservative Party is now a mixed marriage—with Prime Minister David Cameron advocating that Britain remain in the EU, and his likely someday successor, the brilliantly flamboyant Boris Johnson, leading the charge to leave. When I was there, it looked as though Cameron had pulled off a coup by scheduling and framing the Brexit vote as he had. He wants Britain to stay in, but many of his Conservative Party’s natural constituents have been tempted to join the upstart UKIP — and to win their support in the 2015 election, he promised to bring Britain’s membership in the European Union to a vote. So he went to Brussels and spent a week supposedly negotiating new and more favorable terms for Britain and then announced there would be a vote on June 23.

 

Staying in the EU became the default position of the cognoscenti. Jeremy Corbin, the neo-Marxist clown who opposed the EU most of his career before becoming head of the opposition Labour Party last year, joined Cameron in supporting “Remain.” The polling was strongly in Cameron’s favor, but he took nothing for granted and inaugurated a campaign his opponents called “Project Fear.” Daily warnings about the dreadful fate awaiting Britain should it exit the EU came out of 10 Downing Street, capped by Obama’s threat.

 

And then something funny began to happen. The people of Britain began to change their minds. Nightly television debates of very high quality made it clear that the supporters of Brexit were serious, thoughtful and analytical — and that it was those arguing to remain who were more likely to erupt in unreasoning anger and simply accuse their rivals of bad faith or evil.

Those who want Britain to leave are accused of romanticizing a long-lost past in which Britannia ruled the waves. But what voters in Britain discovered was that the Brexiters are actually making an argument about the future — and using highly disturbing information and data from the present moment to bolster their case. The case is simply that Europe itself is in danger of a slow-motion collapse due to a perfect storm of troubles and that Britain should extricate itself from the EU’s suffocating embrace before it’s too late.…. [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                  

 EXIT BRITAIN?

Douglas Murray

National Review, June 6, 2016

 

For at least a quarter of a century, there was no greater bore in British politics than the Eurobore, who warned against Britain’s loss of sovereignty to Brussels. From the moment the House of Commons narrowly passed the Maastricht Treaty in the early 1990s, turning the European Economic Community into the European Union, the species could be sighted around Westminster. But its natural habitat became sparsely populated meetings of the already converted. Occasionally an overreach by Brussels would find the Eurobore staring into the bright lights of the nation’s broadcast media, there to answer a few hostile questions while demonstrating an unappetizing combination of monomania and over-fondness for detail. But for at least a generation, people said to be “banging on about Europe” suffered from the political equivalent of halitosis.

 

And then things began to change. Of course, nobody wanted to credit the fact, but over the course of recent years the wilderness dwellers began to assume the mantle of prophets. The backbenchers in Westminster and the MEP (Members of the European Parliament) flotsam in Brussels who had kept a flame of British independence alive became politically palatable again. Their knowledge of the minutiae of EU laws and regulations proved useful. Soon bigger political beasts found the courage once again to join this renegade band. Today, with a vote on Britain’s remaining in or leaving the EU taking place on June 23, Britain’s Euroskeptics are not just back in the mainstream but at the helm of the most important decision facing the country in decades. Indeed, they may soon be running the country. With the polls currently showing “Remain” and “Leave” tied, an entire political establishment is now angrily trying to work out why Leave is doing so well. Why has wheeling out every other expert and authority in the land not browbeat the British people into overwhelmingly voting Remain? Why, indeed, does it seem to be pushing them the other way? Sad to say, the explanation is the facts — and two very large facts in particular, both of which have long been visible from Britain, even if not from Brussels.

 

The first is the legacy of the endless euro-zone crises. For years, British Euroskeptics argued that currency union, or the euro, could not possibly work unless the countries that participated in it gave up all remaining sovereignty. How, they asked, could Greece and Germany share a currency if they did not share fiscal habits and constraints? How the Europhiles scoffed at this! From different political sides, the former deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine and the über-Blairite Peter Mandelson pooh-poohed all such complaints. Indeed, these grandees insisted that Britain would regret not joining the euro zone. Such men may still pretend to sail on as though nothing ever ruffled this core argument, but for seven years the nightly news has torn it to shreds.

 

The euro-zone crises that have battered the Continent since 2009 vindicated every British Euroskeptic fear. As one southern European country after another found itself unable to refinance its debts, the euro zone became a raft of the Medusa. In an effort to impose fiscal restraint on the southern European countries, northern European countries, especially Germany, not only imposed further financial rules on their neighbors but ousted their elected leaders, imposing bureaucrats to run things on Brussels’s behalf. Even now, youth unemployment in these countries sits between 25 and 50 percent, blighting an entire generation.

 

As events in Greece keep showing, these southern countries retain the ability to crash the entire continent at any moment. After lying their way into the euro zone (they cooked their books to mask the weakness of their financial state) and then refusing to impose sufficient austerity while inside it, the Greeks unwittingly demonstrated what the Euroskeptics had long warned about. In any ordinary financial arrangement, a country such as Greece should have been thrown out of the union and allowed to return to its own currency, devalue, and then climb its way out of recession in the usual manner. The EU’s refusal to allow Greece to do this was just one reminder that the euro project — like everything else the EU does — was never about economics so much as it was about politics. The economics could not be allowed to fail, because the political project could not be allowed to fail. A Greek exit from the euro zone risked pushing other countries to exit. So despite its failure, the euro zone stays together even now, with the effects felt even outside it. The EU today, as IMF figures show, remains the only region of the world to be consistently experiencing zero economic growth….

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

 

Contents           

On Topic Links

 

Both Sides of the Brexit Referendum Sound Like Out-Takes From the 1988 Canadian Federal Election: Robert Fulford, National Post, June 3, 2016— It came as a surprise, to many on this side of the Atlantic, when the British began seriously to contemplate the idea of withdrawing from the European Union. Why would they want to do a thing like that?

Jewish Commentators on Brexit: Jeremy Sharon, Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2016— With the UK poised for its fateful referendum on Thursday to decide whether to stay in the European Union or leave the continent to its own devices, political commentators from the Jewish community have weighed in both for and against Brexit.

British Jewry Faces Brexit Vote With Fear and Trepidation: Jenni Frazer, Times of Israel, June 20, 2016— As Britain heads into the last few days of campaigning before the historic referendum on whether to stay in or leave the European Union, only one thing is clear: This will be a narrow, knife-edge, vote.

In Britain, Anti-Semitism Endures: George F. Will, Washington Post, June 10, 2016— Of the fighting faiths that flourished during the ideologically drunk 20th century, anti-Semitism has been uniquely durable. It survives by mutating, even migrating across the political spectrum from the right to the left.

Voting to leave the EU is a vote for freedom: John Robson, National Post, June 23, 2016— If the British vote to leave the European Union, it will be the greatest blow for freedom the world has seen in many years. It would mean a return to what made Britain Great.

 

LA COMPLEXITÉ DU POUVOIR

  

             

 

LES PALESTINIENS FOUS DE RAGE APRÈS « L’ASSASSINAT »

D’UN ADO PAR L’ARMÉE

Judah Ari Gross

Times of Israel, 21 juin, 2016

 

 

Le chef de l’OLP a appelé à une enquête après que Mahmoud Badran, 15 ans, a été mortellement touché de façon accidentelle par les troupes israéliennes après un incident de jets de pierres ; Jérusalem blâme ‘l’incitation palestinienne »

Les responsables officiels palestiniens ont exprimé leur outrage mardi après qu’un adolescent palestinien a été tué. Le jeune était suspecté d’avoir lancé des pierres sur des voitures sur une autoroute plus tôt dans la journée. Les responsables palestiniens ont dénoncé Israël et accusé ses troupes d’avoir procédé à « l’exécution » de l’adolescent de 15 ans.

 

Les troupes israéliennes ont touché mortellement Mahmoud Badran et ont blessé plusieurs autres personnes qui étaient initialement suspectées d’être impliquées dans une attaque de jets de pierres plus tôt ce mardi, mais dont on a découvert ensuite qu’elles n’étaient pas impliquées, a affirmé Tsahal. Les médias palestiniens ont identifié Badran comme étant un résident du village de Kafr Qadum, à l’Est de Qalqilya.

 

Les militaires ont ouvert une enquête concernant l’incident, qui s’est produit en dehors de Jérusalem près du village de Beit Ur al-Tahta, a affirmé un porte-parole de l’armée, après une attaque sur des véhicules israéliens. Trois Israéliens ont été blessés quand leur voiture a été la cible de jets de pierres et de cocktails molotov sur la route 443, une autoroute qui connecte Tel-Aviv et Jérusalem, a dit Tsahal. Plusieurs autres véhicules ont été endommagés.

 

Le secrétaire général de l’OLP Saeb Erekat a condamné « l’attaque brutale » par Israël sur la « route de l’apartheid » sur laquelle Badran a été tué et quatre autres blessés. « Cet assassinat de sang-froid nous pousse à réaffirmer notre appel en direction du Rapporteur spécial des Nations unies pour les exécutions extra-judiciaires, sommaires et arbitraires, afin qu’il lance immédiatement une enquête étendue en ce qui concerne les assassinats extra-judiciaires de Palestiniens par Israël ; en particulier les enfants », a-t-il dit. « La communauté internationale a la responsabilité d’arrêter d’autoriser l’impunité d’Israël concernant les crimes qu’il commet contre la terre occupée et le peuple palestinien. »

 

Le ministère des Affaires étrangères palestinien a qualifié l’incident d’ « exécution extra-judiciaire » et l’a décrit comme une « réaction » du Premier ministre Benjamin Netnyahu « à l’adoption par l’UE de l’initiative de paix française », faisant allusion au soutien de Bruxelles au plan de paix régional initié par Paris et rejeté par Israël…

 

                           

SANUSEY, 4 ANS, EST LE 4 000E ENFANT                                                             

 

A ETRE AIDE PAR SAVE A CHILD’S HEART                                                      

                                                               Times of Israel, 16 juin, 2016

 

 

Le petit Sanusey, âgé de quatre ans et originaire de Gambie est le 4 000e enfant à avoir subi une opération chirurgicale qui lui a sauvé la vie grâce à l’organisation caritative israélienne Save A Child’s Heart, a annoncé l’organisation aujourd’hui.

Sanusey souffrait d’un défaut congénital au cœur, défaut qui ne pouvait être corrigé que grâce à une opération qui ne pouvait être accomplie en Gambie. Sanusey est en Israël depuis le mois dernier, ainsi que 12 autres autres enfants venus de Tanzanie et de Gambie et amenés sur place par l’organisation caritative pour une opération au cœur. Après une opération réussie de plusieurs heures au centre médical Wolfson de Holon à la mi-mai, le garçon récupère apparemment rapidement.

 

 

Un communiqué de l’organisation caritative affirme : « Le Dr. Lior Sasson et son équipe médicale ont accompli l’opération sur Sanusey pendant plusieurs heures. Penda était assise dans la salle d’attente, pleurant et espérant pour le mieux. Heureusement, l’opération chirurgicale a été réussie ! Seulement trois jours après son opération, Sanusey était assis dans son lit et souriait. Il est actuellement en convalescence à la maison pour enfants de Save a Child’s Heart à Holon. Son rire contagieux résonne à travers la maison alors qu’il joue avec les volontaires, et avec toute la gamme de jouets incluant des camions, et des activités manuelles et artistiques. Il irradie la confiance et c’est un plaisir de le voir jouer avec les autres enfants venus du monde entier, souriant, heureux, et enfin en bonne santé ».

 

 

 

KATZ : LES ETATS-UNIS PROFILENT DEJA LES MUSULMANS

Judah Ari Gross

Times of Israel, 21 juin, 2016

 

 

Un important ministre israélien a affirmé lundi que les Etats-Unis profilaient déjà les arabes et les musulmans dans leurs aéroports, après des appels de Donald Trump pour adopter cette pratique controversée.

 

« Les Etats-Unis appliquent [le profilage], quel que soit l’argument, qu’ils disent terrorisme islamique ou qu’ils ne disent pas terrorisme islamique, contrairement aux Européens qui ne le font vraiment pas », a déclaré Yisrael Katz, ministre des Transports, en faisant référence à une controverse entourant la décision du président américain Barack Obama de ne pas définir l’attentat terroriste d’Orlando comme du terrorisme islamique.

 

Pendant un briefing avec des journalistes dans son bureau de Jérusalem, Katz a défendu le profilage des musulmans dans certains cas. « Nous sommes en guerre », contre un ennemi qui a « une idéologie meurtrière dont le but est fondamentalement de renverser la civilisation occidentale, a déclaré Katz. Nos réseaux de renseignements et les réseaux du ministère de l’Intérieur doivent pratiquer le profilage. »

 

Bien que Katz ait librement admis qu’Israël pratiquait le profilage, le ministre des Transports a déclaré que les nouveaux systèmes de détection rendraient cela inutile dans le futur. « Nous avons ajouté nombre d’outils technologiques pour limiter l’interaction entre les vérificateurs et les vérifiés, pour que nous n’ayons pas à profiler », a-t-il expliqué.

 

Katz, qui en plus d’être ministre des Transports est également ministre des Renseignements, a souligné qu’il n’accusait pas toute la population arabe ou musulmane de terrorisme, mais a déclaré que « le terrorisme islamique, vous ne pouvez le chercher que parmi les musulmans. » Cela était nécessaire pour protéger « toute la population, y compris la population arabe », a-t-il déclaré.

 

Et pourtant en Israël, la pratique du profilage a récemment été critiquée quand un photographe de presse arabe a été obligé d’enlever ses sous-vêtements pour pouvoir entrer dans un évènement avec le Premier ministre. Dans les jours suivant l’incident, d’autres Arabes israéliens ont partagé des histoires similaires de fouilles invasives. Cependant, a déclaré Katz, grâce à ces pratiques, Israël a l’un des aéroports les mieux protégés du monde.

 

Ce mois-ci, 45 pays du monde entier sont venus à l’aéroport international Ben Gurion pour apprendre comment Israël défend son terminal, a-t-il déclaré. « Il y a beaucoup de menaces, dans les avions, dans le aéroports, a déclaré Katz. Les gens viennent ici pour apprendre les pratiques israéliennes. » Pendant une interview diffusée dimanche sur CBS, Trump avait déclaré que le profilage est une question de choisir le « bon sens » sur le « politiquement correct », à l’ère du terrorisme international.

 

Les remarques de Trump s’inséraient dans le cadre d’une discussion sur le massacre du club d’Orlando, par le tireur Omar Mateen, qui était musulman, et sur les remarques passées de Trump disant que s’il était élu président en novembre, il placerait « respectueusement » les mosquées sous surveillance.

 

Les Afro-américains, les latinos, les musulmans et d’autres minorités des Etats-Unis se sont amèrement plaints pendant des décennies de cette pratique, dans laquelle la police utilise la race, la religion, l’origine ou l’ethnicité d’un individu comme bases pour la suspecter de commettre un crime. « Eh bien, je pense que le profilage est quelque chose à laquelle nous allons devoir commencer à penser en tant que pays », a déclaré Trump, qui s’était félicité il y a une semaine d’avoir « eu raison sur le terrorisme islamique » juste après l’attentat sanglant d’Orlando.

 

« D’autres pays le font, regardez Israël, regardez d’autres, ils le font, et ils le font avec succès. Et je hais le concept de profilage, mais nous devons commencer à faire preuve de bon sens, et nous devons utiliser nos têtes », a-t-il ajouté. Un porte-parole de l’Autorité israélienne des aéroports a démenti l’utilisation du profilage, soulignant qu’« Israël conduit les mêmes vérifications des bagages et des corps pour tous les passager. »

 

 

 

POUR UN NOUVEAU PARADIGME AU MOYEN-ORIENT

David Bensoussan

Times of Israel, 19 juin, 2016

 

 

Aujourd’hui, la compétition fait rage entre le Sunnistan dont l’Arabie se veut être le protecteur et le Chiistan que l’Iran tient à dominer ; elle se fait par milices interposées en Syrie, en Irak, au Liban et au Yémen.

 

L’Islamistan radical s’oppose aux deux dans l’État islamique. Le Fréristan formé par le Qatar et la Turquie tente quant à lui à pousser l’agenda des Frères musulmans sans susciter d’enthousiasme auprès des Sunnites dits modérés. Il est peu probable que cette mouvance des Frères musulmans puisse s’allier aux Sunnites modérés eu regard la personnalité et les ambitions néo-Ottomanes du président Erdogan. Il y a donc peu de chance que le conflit cesse.

 

Les monarchies riches en pétrole et disposant d’armes sophistiquées à profusion n’arrivent pas à soumettre les Houtis au Yémen et certaines font appel à des mercenaires sud-américains. La présence de plus de 50 000 miliciens chiites contrôlés par l’Iran, qu’ils soient irakiens, afghans ou pakistanais de même que le Hezbollah libanais et les gardiens de la révolution iraniens est mal acceptée par la majorité des Syriens et des Irakiens. Dix millions de Sunnites d’Irak et de Syrie sont sous le contrôle de l’État islamique qui, bien que honni, les protège contre le revanchisme chiite.

 

Le désintérêt américain du Proche-Orient a créé un vide que d’autres occupent. La Russie se rend indispensable au Proche-Orient. Elle défend l’Alaouistan sur la côte ouest de la Syrie. Détruire complètement l’État islamique ouvrirait toute grande la porte du Proche-Orient à l’Iran et il n’est guère sûr que cela ne se voit d’un bel œil dans la région ni même par la Russie. Par ailleurs, la Russie n’abandonnera pas aisément le contrôle des pipelines de gaz menant du Qatar et de l’Iran à la Méditerranée – s’ils voient le jour bien entendu.

 

Qu’espérer dans l’avenir ? Bien des questions demeurent sans réponse ferme et il est possible que l’état d’anarchie subsiste encore longtemps. L’Arabie et l’Iran voudront-ils et pourront-ils mettre fin à leur antagonisme chronique ? La répression contre les Frères musulmans en Égypte incitera-t-elle des insatisfaits à rallier le camp des radicaux de l’islam ?

 

Bagdad, autrefois capitale d’un puissant califat sunnite et qui est devenue aujourd’hui une ville costumée de panneaux géants des imams et des ayatollahs chiites fera-t-elle une place aux maîtres d’hier qu’étaient les Sunnites ? Les richissimes princes de l’Arabie accepteront-ils de modérer la proportion prélevée des royautés pétrolières qu’ils s’octroient ? Les sociétés de la péninsule arabique qui ont maintenu un niveau de vie élevé grâce aux subsides étatiques se mettront-elles au labeur maintenant que leurs revenus du pétrole sont moindres ?

 

La martyrologie chiite risque-t-elle d’embrigader de nouvelles mouvances radicales ? Les sociétés pourront-elles dissocier l’état de la religion et notamment de la lecture littéraliste de la religion ? La démocratie pourrait-elle être adoptée dans l’harmonie ? Le statut de la femme va-t-il évoluer ? Dans le Moyen-Orient déchiré par la zizanie, deux entités demeurent relativement stables : Israël et le Kurdistan. Ces deux pays sont soumis à une pression très forte des pays alentour, mais réussissent à prospérer.

 

Des alliances se dessinent avec ces entités autour desquelles pourraient se joindre d’autres entités stables si le Moyen-Orient venait à se débarrasser du carcan de l’enseignement stérile de la haine. Cette haine entretenue envers les minorités à des fins démagogiques déborde sur des conflits internes dont nous voyons les effets dévastateurs.

 

Des ressources considérables continuent donc à être consacrées aux armements alors que le potentiel du Moyen-Orient est immense : imaginons la richesse pétrolière orientée vers les techniques avancées d’irrigation et de désalinisation de l’eau de mer pour ne citer qu’une des possibilités de développement. Les défis ne le sont pas moins, tant sont criants les besoins de services de santé et d’une alimentation équilibrée qui soient abordables. Changer le paradigme actuel en un esprit de collaboration constructif pour le bien-être de tous requiert imagination, courage et vision.

 

 

DE TEL AVIV À MAGNANVILLE, LA DÉROUTE DES BELLES ÂMES

Shmuel Trigano

Rubrique France, 17 juin, 2016

 

 

Les derniers évènements à Tel Aviv, Orlando, Magnanville et Rennes marquent un tournant dans le rapport à la situation, que certains d'entre nous connaissent bien depuis 15 ans. La défaite des belles âmes qui ont parasité la conscience collective du réel est annoncée. Oh! la chose reste encore fragile. Ainsi François Hollande a oublié le massacre de Tel Aviv dans sa nomenclature de l'horreur à l'occasion de Magnanville. De même une information très contrariante a été squizée tout simplement par les médias car elle éclairait trop grossièrement la réalité: à savoir qu'une femme a reçu trois coups de poignard à Rennes le jour même de Magnanville, de la part d'un individu qui voulait selon ses mots "faire un sacrifice pour le Ramadan". C'est ce qu'on pouvait lire sur le moment dans les dépêches de presse des chaînes d'information. Puis on a lu que ce meurtrier mystique était un "déséquilibré" et l'information a ensuite disparu. Attendons demain? Aujourd'hui on nous dit que le meurtrier du commissariat de Joué les Tours en 2014 [1] n'était pas un déséquilibré comme on nous l'avait dit alors, mais un terroriste se réclamant de l'islam…

 

Le cas de Rennes reste le plus significatif car ici le meurtre est justement défini par l'auteur comme un "sacrifice", c'est à dire un acte religieux, ce que sont tous ces actes barbares et pas uniquement "terroristes". Leur finalité est religieuse – sauf que la religion du califat est aussi sa politique… Or c'est ce que le discours officiel s'évertue à nier et cacher, ce qui a conduit à la confusion totale des esprits et à l'égarement du public.

 

La scène pathétique d'Obama réagissant au massacre d'Orlando restera dans la mémoire historique, comme l'exemple même du déni de la réalité: l'homophobie et la vente libre des armes devenaient les causes d'un meurtre commis au nom de l'islam, sans que ce dernier – un fait, gros comme le nez au milieu de la figure – ne soit nommé. C'est aussi vrai en France des débats médiatiques qui s'évertuent à comprendre – disent-ils – les causes d'un tel phénomène et s'épuisent en considérations qui n'ont de sociologiques que le nom car elles négligent le constat du fait idéologique ,religieux et politique, qui est pourtant au cœur du social.Une telle situation vaut aussi pour Tel Aviv. Après Orlando, le maire de Tel Aviv, Ron Barkaï, a pu dire que les meurtres de Sarona, perpétrés au sortir du Ramadan, après que les assassins, en costume-cravate de cérémonie, aient cassé leur carême, avaient pour cause l'occupation israélienne. Entendra-t-on le chef d'Etat major ou son second fustiger le fascisme de la partie palestinienne? Car ce ne fut pas là un acte isolé: le soir même du massacre, toutes les villes de Cisjordanie et de Gaza ont célébré l'ignominie avec feux d'artifices, offrande de douceurs, comme si il y avait là un rituel de Ramadan. C'est cet Etat terroriste -là que la France veut ériger…

 

Il y a un fait évident. Il y a aujourd'hui dans l'islam, un courant qui se revendique de ses valeurs pour commettre ces actes. C'est un problème pour les musulmans qui doivent le combattre s'ils veulent s'en démarquer. ce n'est pas aux non musulmans à le faire, au nom d'un islam transcendantal qui n'est qu'une invention de l'esprit. La guerre de religion qui fait rage dans l'islam contemporain entre sunnites et chiites confirme cet état de faits. Il y a tout simplement, si l'on peut dire, un courant, l'islamisme, qui est à l'œuvre dans ce chaos. Dans les rangs de cet univers religieux, se produit une terrible régression de l'humanité qui voit la religion régresser aux temps primitifs des sacrifices humains, des crimes rituels.

 

 En quoi constater cela pose-t-il problème aux victimes et aux Etats qui sont agressés comme c'est encore le cas? C'est là qu'est le mystère. Quelles explications pourrait-on trouver? Tout d'abord un gauchisme déliquescent, le fameux islamo-gauchisme, celui qui exalte les non occidentaux parce qu'ils seraient des victimes éternelles de l'Occident. L'islamo-gauchisme est une succursale de l'idéologie postmodernisme, un marxisme sans communisme.

 

Ce postmodernisme est une idéologie anti-démocratique et totalitaire qui récuse l'Etat, la nation, le principe de majorité et de représentation. Elle impose la censure idéologique en se revendiquant d'une pseudo morale de l'Autre qui n'est qu'une démission de soi: une morale pervertie fondée sur la non-réciprocité. Mais il y a peut être aussi des causes politiques internationales car l'Union Européenne est liée par des accords avec l'Organisation de la Conférence islamique qui visent, entre autres, à remodeler l'histoire et la culture de l'Occident en fonction d'une apologie de l'islam et de sa propre version de l'histoire. Le discours du Caire d'Obama a par ailleurs bien montré le choix des Etats Unis sous sa  gouverne, si catastrophique pour l'ordre mondial. Certains évoquent la dhimmitude de l'Occident, cet état d'esprit qui sous la contrainte finit par adopter la morale et les raisons du persécuteur…

 

Dans la réalité, il n'y a aucune raison solide à de tels comportements. Il faut appeler un chat, un "chat". C'est la condition sine qua non de la salubrité publique et de la santé mentale, ce que le discours dominant officiel autant que médiatique a mis en très grave danger depuis 15 ans.  La question doit être posée au monde musulman[2]. C'est comme celà qu'il faut concevoir un rapport d'égalité et de respect que nous sommes en droit d'attendre et d'exiger.

 

 

PROBLÈME POUR S’ENDORMIR?

UNE START-UP ISRAÉLIENNE A LA SOLUTION

Luke Tress

Times of Israel, 14 juin, 2016

 

L’entreprise israélienne d’appareils médicaux 2breathe Technologies a mis au point un système qui aide les utilisateurs à s’endormir et surveille leurs habitudes de sommeil, le tout sans utiliser de produits pharmaceutiques. « Surveiller le sommeil, c’est bien, provoquer le sommeil, c’est mieux », a déclaré Erez Gavish, co-fondateur et PDG de la société.

 

Les utilisateurs portent un petit capteur autour de leur torse, maintenu en place par une sangle élastique. Le dispositif, qui se vend 180 dollars (environ 160 euros) avec une garantie de 60 jours, surveille les schémas de respiration en détectant la pression sur le capteur lorsque les utilisateurs inspirent et expirent.

 

Les informations sont transmises à un smartphone via Bluetooth. L’application 2breathe guide les clients vers des modèles de respiration relaxant en utilisant des tonalités musicales personnalisées. Elle combine la « sagesse ancestrale » de la respiration thérapeutique avec la technologie moderne, basée sur le cloud, a expliqué Gavish.

 

Gavish et son père, le Dr Benjamin Gavish, ont commencé à développer cette technologie au sein d’une précédente entreprise qu’ils avaient créée, appelée RESPeRATE. Ils avaient créé un dispositif qui surveille et guide la respiration des gens pour réduire leur tension artérielle. C’est le seul système autorisé par l’Agence américaine des produits alimentaires et médicamenteux (FDA) pour traiter l’hypertension artérielle qui n’utilise aucun produit pharmaceutique, a déclaré Gavish. La société en a vendu environ 250 000 unités…

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WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

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

 

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

On Topic Links

 

Jewish Commentators on Brexit: Jeremy Sharon: Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2016

Why I Voted Against My Party: Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, National Post, June 16, 2016

Remaking Rutland with Refugees: Sonia Bailley, American Thinker, May 24, 2016

Terror Show at a Gaza Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony (Video): Youtube, June 1, 2016

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“I am in favor of Britain leaving the EU so that it can become once again a democratic, self-governing nation. I also believe it would be in the interests of the US, Israel and Europe itself if the EU were to break up…Uncontrolled migration, Islamization and the absence of any ability to hold EU rulers to account have caused mass alienation among the European public from the political mainstream. This has created rising support for ultra-nationalist and extremist parties.” — Melanie Phillips. In Thursday’s “Brexit” vote, the European Union could see the first-ever departure of a member state. The United Kingdom is putting their E.U. membership to a country-wide referendum that still remains too close to call. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 27, 2016)

 

“Israel has a vested interest in the continued existence of the present EU membership, albeit greatly weakened internally. Like several other supranational bodies, the EU scandalously discriminates against Israel. It regularly incites against Israel and interferes in its internal affairs. The EU applies double standards in its relations with Israel, such as its requirement for labeling of products from the West Bank and the Golan. This is an anti-Semitic act according to the IHRA definition of this hatred which was accepted by many countries…Yet if Britain exits the EU, the resulting instability in Europe could potentially bring disadvantages for Israel in its wake. A Brexit would also free the UK from commitments to act in line with overall EU policies. If, untrammeled by such commitments, a Labour party government would win British elections in the future, the resulting problems for Israel could increase greatly.” — Manfred Gerstenfeld (Arutz Sheva, June 14, 2016)

 

"I think profiling is something we're going to have to start thinking about as a country…You look at Israel and you look at other countries; they do it and they do it successfully. I hate the concept of profiling, but we're going to have to use common sense." — Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump. Racial profiling is a strategy in which individuals or groups are targeted for additional law-enforcement scrutiny because of race or other characteristics. It has been sharply criticized by Democrats and Libertarians in the US, who view it as a form of racism. (Jerusalem Online, June 19, 2016)

 

“Hillary Clinton will be a disaster for Israel.” — Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee, an early dropout in the GOP race, suggested Clinton would continue Obama’s policy regarding Israel. “And I don’t think anyone would say that Israel-US relations have been good under his leadership over the last eight years,” he commented. Huckabee noted that the greatest common foe facing Israel, the US and the free world was “radical Islamic ideology that takes us back to the 7th century…We have a common enemy and that enemy is radical Islam that wishes to destroy civilization itself and wishes to turn the clock back to centuries ago.” (Telegraph, June 12, 2016)

 

“Estranged in important ways from both mainstream America after 9/11 and modern Islam, the president nonetheless sees himself as a bridge between the two. He gave himself that assignment in his 2009 Cairo speech, citing his father’s Islamic background in Kenya and his own boyhood in Indonesia. “I consider it part of my responsibility as president of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear,” he declared…That aim, surely born of good intentions, was a profound mistake that continues to wreak havoc. The president of the United States cannot be a broker between his countrymen and a foreign enemy that has declared war on us…As the late Fouad Ajami wrote, Obama sees himself as the American “redeemer,” a man who would fix the country by acknowledging its past errors and charting a different course for the future.” — Michael Goodwin. (New York Post, June 19, 2016)

 

“This is yet another attempt at hollow victories by the Palestinian representatives…They are once again avoiding direct negotiations and instead turning to the international community. This meaningless statement does not bring any stability to our region and, more importantly, will not better the life of a single Palestinian.” — Israel’s United Nations ambassador, Danny Danon. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad H. Mansour, said that his government had begun preliminary negotiations with Egypt to define the extent of Palestinian-claimed territory in the Mediterranean off the roughly 25-mile-long coast of Gaza, the strip bordering Israel and Egypt. Mansour said the negotiations were possible because of the Palestinian territories’ UN status as a non-member observer state, which the General Assembly recognized in 2012. (New York Times, June 17, 2016)

 

“BDS has failed as both an economic and diplomatic weapon. Consider that since 2006, when the movement began, Israel’s gross domestic product has nearly doubled, going from a little over $154 billion to $299 billion for 2015. Israel is also warming ties with countries all over the world, even as Europe and the United States are increasing the pressure over Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Start with Africa. Next month…Netanyahu will be the first Israeli prime minister since Yitzhak Rabin to travel to African capitals for meetings with the leaders of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. Israel…is also expanding links with China, now the country’s third-largest trading partner. A similar story can be told about Israel’s relationship with India, whose Narendra Modi is expected to be the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel later this year. As the Israelis increase defense trade with India, it has also begun to end some of its historic support for the Palestinians at the United Nations. Then there’s Russia. Netanyahu met with President Vladimir Putin four times in the last year. He also worked out a deal…in which Russia will allow Israeli jets to target members of the terrorist group Hezbollah in Syria, where Russians now control the air space.” — Eli Lake (New York Post, June 18, 2016)

 

“Why has it taken over 70 years for the defendant to be put on trial?…The answer is as simple as it is shocking — German society did not want to deal with the injustice of the Holocaust…It was late, very late…but thankfully it comes in just enough time to provide some justice…This is the very least that our society can do to give survivors of the Holocaust at least a semblance of justice, even 70 years after the crime. Even with a 94-year-old defendant.” — German judge Anke Grudda. Reinhold Hanning, a 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard, was convicted Friday of being an accessory to the murder of 170,000 people, in what could be one of Germany's last Holocaust trials. Hanning was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in facilitating the slaughter at the Auschwitz death camp. Grudda, in a stirring, impassioned hour-long judgment, acknowledged the pain he and his fellow survivors described in their harrowing testimonies earlier this year. “The arbitrary terror was boundless and without any mercy,” she said, admitting that their memories often left her trembling. “They were always on the brink of death.” (National Post, June 17, 2016)

 

“The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killer; Old age is no excuse…These are people who are least deserving of any sympathy because they showed no sympathy to their victims, including people who were as old as they are now.” — Efraim Zuroff, the lead Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Centre. According to historian Andreas Eichmuller, 6,500 SS officers at Auschwitz survived the war, but fewer than 100 were ever tried and only 50 were convicted. (National Post, June 17, 2016)

 

“I feel that my loved ones that were murdered finally got some justice, an acknowledgment against those who say, even today, that this never happened…My murdered mother and father now, perhaps, can rest in peace.” — Hedy Bohm, a Toronto Holocaust survivor whose parents were murdered at Auschwitz. (National Post, June 17, 2016)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

TURKEY, ISRAEL TO AGREE NORMALIZATION DEAL (Istanbul) — Turkey and Israel will announce a deal on normalizing ties, ending a six-year diplomatic crisis sparked by an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in which ten Turkish nationals died. Two of Turkey's key conditions for normalization – an apology and compensation – were largely met, leaving its third demand, that Israel lift its blockade on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, as the main obstacle. Under terms of the deal, Israel will allow the completion of a much-needed hospital in Gaza, as well as the construction of a new power station and a sea water distillation plant. Israel imposed its blockade on Gaza in June 2006 after terrorists there snatched an Israeli soldier. The restrictions were tightened when Hamas took control of Gaza. (Arutz Sheva, June 21, 2016)

 

ISRAEL REPORTEDLY CONSTRUCTING AN UNDERGROUND WALL AROUND GAZA (Jerusalem) — Israel is reportedly constructing a deep underground wall around the Gaza Strip, in an attempt to counter the threat of assault tunnels built by Hamas. The move, which comes almost two years after Israel fought a deadly 50-day war with Hamas in Gaza, was reported by the Israeli news outlet Ynet. The presence of more than 30 Hamas-built attack tunnels around the Gaza periphery shocked Israeli citizens during the 2014 war. At least 14 of the tunnels went under the fence line and into residential communities in Israel. According to the media report, the new wall will update the existing wire border fence, which was constructed in 2005 after Israel withdrew its Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip. It will extend the length of the Palestinian territory’s roughly 40-mile border with Israel and cost an estimated $570 million. (Washington Post, June 19, 2016)

 

FBI RELEASES PARTIAL TRANSCRIPTS OF MATEEN’S 911 CALLS (Washington) — Orlando gunman Omar Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier in calls with authorities during his rampage and demanded to a crisis negotiator that the U.S. “stop bombing Syria and Iraq,” according to transcripts released by the FBI on Monday. The partial, printed transcripts were of a 911 call made by Mateen and three conversations he had with the police crisis negotiators during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, in which 49 people died and dozens were wounded. In the first call Mateen told a 911 operator, “Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” he told the dispatcher, referring to God in Arabic. (National Post, June 20, 2016)

 

STATE DEPT. DIPLOMATS SLAM OBAMA ON SYRIA (Washington) — More than fifty State Department diplomats have signed an internal memo critical of U.S. policy in Syria, calling for military strikes against President Assad's government to stop its persistent violations of a civil war ceasefire. The "dissent channel cable" was signed by 51 State Department officers advising on Syria policy. It calls for "targeted military strikes" against the Syrian government in light of the near-collapse of the ceasefire brokered earlier this year. Military strikes against the Assad government would represent a major change in the Obama administration's policy of not intervening directly in the Syrian civil war. However, the White House reaffirmed its policy toward Syria and said it wouldn’t be swayed by calls within the State Department for airstrikes to weaken the Assad regime. (Newsmax, & Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2016)

 

SUICIDE ATTACK KILLS THREE AT ASSYRIAN GENOCIDE MEMORIAL IN SYRIA (Aleppo) — A suicide bomber reportedly killed three people Sunday in an attack in the city of Qamishli during an event commemorating the 101st anniversary of the massacre of Assyrian Christians by the Ottoman army in 1915. Syriac Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II was presiding over the event and was unharmed. A group that advocates for the protection of Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, posted a comment from Patriarch Ignatius following the attack. "I would like to see Christians remaining here in their homeland of their ancestors. The blood of our martyrs has been mixed with the soil of this land, Bethnahrin for many centuries," he wrote. (CNS News, June 21, 2016)

 

US-LED COALITION SAYS ONLY 1/3 OF FALLUJAH CLEARED OF I.S. (Baghdad) — Only a third of Fallujah has been "cleared" of I.S., the U.S.-led coalition said Tuesday, days after the Iraqi government declared victory in the city west of Baghdad, which was held by I.S. for more than two years. Iraqi forces pushed into the center of Fallujah on Friday, retaking a government complex and the central hospital. That evening Brig. Gen. Haider al-Obedi, with Iraq's special forces, said his troops controlled 80 percent of the city. But in recent days there have been persistent clashes between Iraqi forces and I.S. fighters holed up in dense residential neighborhoods along the city's northern edge. Fallujah is the last I.S. bastion in the sprawling Anbar province. I.S. still controls pockets of territory in Iraq's north and west, including Mosul, the country's second largest city. (New York Times, June 21, 2016)

 

LIBERALS RECOGNIZE I.S. ATROCITIES AGAINST YAZIDIS AS GENOCIDE (Ottawa) — After months of pressure from the opposition, the Liberal government has recognized I.S. atrocities against the Yazidi religious minority in Syria and Iraq as genocide. Canada joins the likes of the U.S. and the European Commission in calling the terrorist group’s actions genocide. A UN investigative panel found that I.S. still holds more than 3,200 Yazidi women and children, most of whom are in Syria, where Yazidi women and girls continue to be sexually enslaved. It said thousands of Yazidi men and boys are also missing. (Globe & Mail, June 16, 2016)

 

SECURITY CONTRACTORS EN ROUTE TO CANADIAN EMBASSY IN KABUL KILLED IN BOMBING (Kabul) — A suicide bomber killed 14 Nepalese security guards in an attack Monday on their minibus in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The Nepalese were on their way to the Canadian Embassy, where they worked as guards, according to another Nepalese guard who was wounded in the attack. A Canadian official confirmed that all embassy staff and officials are safe. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement to media, saying it was retaliation for the execution last month of six Taliban prisoners. But in a conflicting statement, the Afghanistan affiliate of I.S. in Iraq and Syria also claimed responsibility. (CBC, June 20, 2016)

 

TERRORISTS INFILTRATE JORDAN FROM SYRIA, KILL SIX TROOPS (Amman) — A car bomb attack at the Jordanian-Syrian border on Tuesday killed six Jordanian guards and wounded 14 more, a Jordanian army source said. The explosives-laden vehicle exploded a few hundred meters from a camp for Syrian refugees in a desolate eastern area of the country. A Jordanian official source said the attack was launched from the Syrian side of the border. Earlier this month, five people including three Jordanian intelligence officers were killed in an attack on a security office near the Jordanian capital, Amman. The authorities said that was an isolated incident. (Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2016)

 

IRAN REACHES DEAL TO PURCHASE 100 BOEING PLANES (Tehran) — Iran said it has reached an agreement with U.S. aerospace giant Boeing to purchase 100 aircraft to renew its aging fleet, though the deal must still be approved by the US government. Iran has ordered about 200 planes from three Western manufacturers since January, when economic sanctions were lifted following a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program. A nuclear agreement in July has lifted some of the economic sanctions on Iran in return for limits on the Islamic Republic’s controversial atomic program. Many of Iran’s aging civil aviation fleet are in desperate need of replacement. (Times of Israel, June 19, 2016)

 

FORMER MOSSAD CHIEF JOINS BOARD OF ‘UNITED AGAINST NUCLEAR IRAN’ (Jerusalem) — Former Mossad director Tamir Pardo is joining the board of directors of the American ‘United Against Nuclear Iran‘ organization, a non-profit group intent on raising awareness about the dangers posed by the Iranian regime. Members of the group include former heads of the CIA, Sen. Joe Lieberman and a number of other officials from around the world. The organization was founded in 2008 by U.S. Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the late U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA director Jim Woolsey and Middle East expert Dennis Ross. UANI operates at an international level, working to convince domestic and global corporations not to do business with Iran. (Jewish Press, June 21, 2016)

 

IRAN ORDERED TO TURN OVER TORONTO HOUSE TO VICTIMS OF TERROR (Toronto) — A tiny house in the North York area of Toronto may be vacant and run-down, but the story behind it is replete with terrorism and diplomatic headaches. An Ontario court found that the building — as well as another empty property in Ottawa and two bank accounts — is owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran.  And last week, a Toronto judge dismissed the country’s arguments of state immunity from seizure of property and ordered that the assets be turned over to American victims of Iran-sponsored terrorism who have won cases against Iran in U.S. courts. The complex case highlights the little-known fact that federal legislation allows for victims of state-sponsored terrorism from other countries, and their families, to ask Canadian courts to seize Iranian assets here if they can prove their case. (Toronto Star, June 20, 2016)

 

ABBAS, HERZOG REPORTEDLY AGREED ON BROAD PEACE FRAMEWORK (Jerusalem) — PA President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog reached understandings on the main principles of a peace agreement through secret talks they conducted prior to the 2015 election. The two agreed that the Arab Peace Initiative should be the basis for a new Middle East reality to be created by the signing of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. However, Herzog shelved these understandings immediately after the election. The two reportedly agreed that the Palestinian state should include an area equivalent to 100 percent of the territory Israel captured in 1967. They also agreed that East Jerusalem would be the capital of a Palestinian state and Israel would withdraw from that part of the city, but both halves of the city would be governed by a single municipal administration. (Ha’aretz, June 19, 2016) 

 

ADL: DRAMATIC RISE IN US ANTI-SEMITIC ASSAULTS IN LAST YEAR (Washington) — According to new data released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the US saw a dramatic increase of violent antisemitic assaults, contributing to almost a three percent rise in the number of antisemitic incidents during 2015. The ADL reported a total of 941 incidents recorded in the US during 2015, up from 912 recorded in 2014. The largest increase of antisemitic incidents recorded were incidents at college campuses, which nearly doubled. The ADL reported that while antisemitism had declined recently in the US overall, reaching its highest peak in 2006 with 1,554 incidents reported, the rising trend in campus antisemitism, violent assaults and online hate-speech is greatly worrying. (Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2016)

 

MASS NAZI SALUTE AT EURO 2016 MATCH SPURS INVESTIGATION (Paris) — French police are investigating a group of Hungarian soccer fans who were caught on camera performing the Nazi salute during their team’s Euro 2016 match against Iceland. The fans in question, believed by police to be far-Right “ultras” (soccer enthusiasts whose fanaticism about the game often erupts into violence), were wearing identical black shirts with the word “Magyarország” (Hungary) in white letters, as they made the gesture, en masse, in the direction of the competing team. The Stade Velodrome, the stadium in Marseilles where the match took place, is located near a Jewish district, whose residents regularly complain of intimidation from antisemites. (Algemeiner, June 19, 2016)

 

PROSECUTOR TURNING AROUND POOR RECORD AT CONVICTING SS SOLDIERS (Berlin) —Thomas Walther is a retired German judge outraged by how little his country has done to bring Nazis to justice. More than 120,000 investigations of suspected Nazi war criminals were carried out by post-war Germany, but only 560 people were ever convicted. Walther has pursued the last surviving ex-Nazis in a way that is beginning to turn those results around. One of his first successes was John Demjanjuk, a former Ukrainian and later Ohio autoworker, and former SS guard at the Nazi extermination camp of Sobibor. Walther convinced German prosecutors they could bring him to trial because he stood guard as thousands were marched into the gas chambers. And now, his work on behalf of 30 of the 57 plaintiffs in the case of Reinhold Hanning has resulted in a guilty verdict. (National Post, June 17, 2016)

 

BIBLICAL SHEEP TO END 3,000-YEAR EXILE (Toronto) — A flock of sheep from Canada is even closer to making “baa-aliyah” after El Al agreed this week to subsidize the cost of flying the 113 sheep from Toronto to Tel Aviv. The sheep belong to Gil and Jenna Lewinsky, and are called “Jacob sheep” because they sport the markings of “spots and speckles” that also characterized the sheep forefather Jacob took from his father-in-law in the book of Genesis. The Lewinskys are still working to secure land where they hope to house them in a farm that will be open to visits from the public. They are still working to raise approximately $200,000, including around $30,000 to get the sheep from British Columbia to Toronto, where they will board a direct flight to Israel. (Times of Israel, June 21, 2016)

 

KNESSET APPROVES NATIONAL HOLIDAY TO CELEBRATE IMMIGRATION TO ISRAEL (Jerusalem) — A bill creating Israel’s newest national holiday, Yom HaAliyah, passed its final reading in the Knesset. Yom HaAliyah pays homage to Aliyah – immigration to Israel – as a cornerstone of both Israel’s founding and its future. The law also makes history with Israel becoming the first country in the world to dedicate a national holiday to honoring the contribution of immigrants. Although the legislation earmarks the 10th of Nisan, Israeli schools and the Knesset, which are on Passover recess during that time, will mark the national holiday on the 7th of Heshvan, coinciding with the Torah portion in which God commands Abraham to leave his home and head for the land of Israel. (Breitbart, June 22, 2016)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Jewish Commentators on Brexit: Jeremy Sharon: Jerusalem Post, June 21, 2016—With the UK poised for its fateful referendum on Thursday to decide whether to stay in the European Union or leave the continent to its own devices, political commentators from the Jewish community have weighed in both for and against Brexit.

Why I Voted Against My Party: Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, National Post, June 16, 2016—On Tuesday, I stood with three of my Liberal colleagues to support a Conservative motion. My government encourages reasonable and respectful disagreement, yet it was still an odd position to be in, and one that I’d like to explain to my constituents and to Canadians. The actions of ISIL are unspeakable, and should be condemned without reservation. But do they amount to genocide? The Conservative motion called on the House to declare yes.

Is ISIS a GOP Franchise?: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, June 16, 2016—Is Islamic State opposed to gay marriage? Was anger at the US Supreme Court’s decision mandating recognition of homosexual marriage what prompted Omar Mateen to massacre fifty Americans at the gay nightclub in Orlando on Saturday night?

Remaking Rutland with Refugees: Sonia Bailley, American Thinker, May 24, 2016 —The character of the city of Rutland, Vermont is facing major change.  Nestled in the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont, it is an unsuspecting city targeted for refugee resettlement.  After being kept in the dark since their mayor’s unilateral decision to accept 100 Syrian and Iraqi refugees in October, Rutland citizens should investigate the threatening impact that refugee resettlement has on their own public security, economic stability and community health before it’s too late.

Terror Show at a Gaza Kindergarten Graduation Ceremony (Video): Youtube, June 1, 2016 —The following is a translated report by Israel's channel 1 news of a kindergarten graduation party held in Gaza, courtesy of the Islamic Jihad movement. This is but one of many examples showing the anti-Israel incitement and indoctrination prominent in various sections of the Palestinian public.