Month: July 2016

“BALANCED” ANTI-ZIONISM OF THE PA, LEFTISTS, CANADIAN GREEN PARTY & UK LABOUR PARTY IS THE “NEW ANTISEMITISM”

Why Should we be ‘Balanced’ in Our Opinion of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority?: Robert Fulford, National Post, July 22, 2016— When Ottawa announced that Vivian Bercovici will no longer be ambassador to Israel, The Globe and Mail elicited a few happy remarks from Ferry de Kerckhove, a former diplomat who has served as Canadian ambassador to Egypt and Pakistan.

Is Antisemitism the New ‘Normal’ in Europe?: Judith Bergman, Algemeiner, June 21, 2016 — In Michel Houellebecq’s dystopian novel, Submission (2015), which takes place in an imaginary France ‎in 2022, when the Muslim Brotherhood has won elections and rules the country in alliance with the Socialists…

The Holocaust, the Left, and the Return of Hate: Jamie Palmer, The Tower, April 2016— Alex Chalmers, the co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, resigned on February 17, citing widespread anti-Semitism and hostility to Jews among its members.

The Green Party’s Anti-Israel Agitators: Josh Cooper, National Post, July26, 2016— Among the various reasons I won’t be addressing the Green Party of Canada’s upcoming convention is the fact that I was invited by the party to do so on a Saturday — a surprising (and some would say insensitive) invitation for a Jewish organization.

 

On Topic Links

 

Middle East Studies Implicated in AMCHA's Campus Anti-Semitism Report: Cinnamon Stillwell, Campus Watch, July 28, 2016

On Modern Antisemitism, Christian Silence Is Complicity: Carla Brewington, Algemeiner, July 20, 2016

Can a Hobbled EU Live up to its Vow to Combat Anti-Semitism and Racism?: JTA, July 21, 2016

In History's Court: Michael M. Rosen, Weekly Standard, July 25, 2016

 

 

 

WHY SHOULD WE BE ‘BALANCED’ IN OUR OPINION OF THE ISRAELI

GOVERNMENT AND THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY?

Robert Fulford             

    National Post, July 22, 2016

 

When Ottawa announced that Vivian Bercovici will no longer be ambassador to Israel, The Globe and Mail elicited a few happy remarks from Ferry de Kerckhove, a former diplomat who has served as Canadian ambassador to Egypt and Pakistan. De Kerckhove said the gang at Global Affairs would be feeling “total, total elation” over the news of Bercovici’s dismissal. Since her appointment in 2014, he said, she had become the mouthpiece for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “She showed no balance at all,” he said.

 

“Balance” is what a veteran diplomat like de Kerckhove sees as the key to a successful career in his business. No one will argue that Bercovici was a model of balance. But it was de Kerckhove’s implicit endorsement of this principle that jumped out of the news story.  “Balance” implies that the opinions of two antagonists should be regarded as morally equivalent. It would mean that our ambassador would consider that Israel and the Palestinian Authority are similar entities, with similar goals and similar methods, to be taken seriously in a similar way. But how could an ambassador manage that? How could Canada do that? Would we want to?

 

In many ways Israel lives by the same principles as Canada. It is a democracy, with rival political parties. Its government lives under constant scrutiny, as governments should. It has independent judges, a free marketplace, freedom of speech and media. It has academic freedom. In all these ways, Israel is unique in the Middle East. These are the bones of Israel’s public life, as they are of Canada’s. They form the basis of our national identities. But the Palestinian Authority has none of those attributes.

 

It has no articulate political parties, no sign of an independent judiciary, nothing in the way of self-criticism in its education system. Instead, it holds itself together through a pervasive sense of resentment — and through violence. It cherishes its wounds and soothes itself by wounding Israel. Since the 1940s, the Palestinians have been effectively at war with Israel. PA President Mahmoud Abbas talks peace when he talks at all with Israel, but his quasi-nation is still conducting a particularly vicious kind of warfare, which Abbas approves of or ignores.

 

It is an unpredictable, as well as underhanded conflict, a violent attack on the nervous system of Israel. It breaks out, undeclared, when a bus suddenly blows up or a bomb consumes a restaurant and its patrons — or when one individual Palestinian suddenly draws out a knife and kills a stranger who is identified as a Jewish citizen of Israel. And it is almost always a war against civilians, children and women as well as men.

 

I was in Israel during the Second Intifada in 2002, and I was astonished by the fact that the Israelis were so calm. They had more than the usual amount of security, but otherwise they went about their business. They weren’t particularly interested in discussing the terror. They were excited, in normal ways, about sports, politics, TV and (a special interest of many Israelis) archeology. They were not letting fanatics from the West Bank interfere with real life. They were acting as citizens of a democracy should act. “Intifada” means “shaking,” but the Israelis chose not to be shaken.

 

The random murders committed by Palestinian terrorists are not treated, back home, as a necessary evil. The terrorists are greeted with exuberant gratitude and their families accept congratulations even if their son or brother died while killing others. And if an anti-Israel atrocity occurred three or four decades earlier, the murderer can still be treated as a hero. Last Sunday, for example, the Palestinian Authority installed a monument to Ahmed Jabara, who killed 15 people and injured 60 in 1976 by leaving a refrigerator packed with explosives in Zion Square in West Jerusalem. An Arab-American, Jabara was sentenced to life in prison for murder. After 27 years, he was released by the Israeli government as a peace gesture to the Palestine Liberation Organization. He died of a heart attack at age 78 in 2013.

 

Now he’s treated as an example for all time. A bust of him in white marble sits in a square in Ramallah, in the West Bank, looking suitably noble. It’s labelled  “Monument for the heroic martyr prisoner Ahmad Jabarah.” At the unveiling, a Palestinian official declared that the purpose of the monument is “to implant in the minds of our sons and daughters that we are continuing to be loyal to the path of the martyrs.” Should a Canadian treat with balance a community that teaches young people to revere terrorist martyrs?  Sympathy, perhaps, or some level of understanding. But balance? No.        

 

 

Contents                                                                                                                               

IS ANTISEMITISM THE NEW ‘NORMAL’ IN EUROPE?                                                                                     

Judith Bergman                                                                                                   

Algemeiner, June 21, 2016

 

In Michel Houellebecq’s dystopian novel, Submission (2015), which takes place in an imaginary France ‎in 2022, when the Muslim Brotherhood has won elections and rules the country in alliance with the Socialists, the non-Jewish protagonist, a professor at the Sorbonne, tells his Jewish student, who is escaping to Israel with her family, that there ‎can be “no Israel for me.” This is one of the most poignant observations in the book.‎

 

Another is the protagonist’s reflection that the increasing violence, even the gunshots in the streets of Paris as a ‎civil war threatens to explode during the run-up to the elections, has become the ‎new normal: something that everyone is resigned to as an inevitable fact, barely reported in the ‎media and treated as unremarkable by his fellow lecturers. Even after the Muslim Brotherhood wins the ‎elections, and the Sorbonne is turned into an Islamic university, with all that this entails, his colleagues treat ‎this development as nothing out of the ordinary. Houllebecq’s indictment against the silence and ‎complicity of his fellow intellectuals in the face of the Islamist encroachments on French society is ‎scathing. As a matter of course, in the new France, where freedom of speech comes at a prohibitive ‎price, Houllebecq now has to live under 24-hour police protection. Submission, by the way, was published on the day of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks.‎

 

The resignation and the precarious pretense that everything is normal in the face of rapidly deteriorating ‎circumstances, is a predictable human reaction, testimony to the sometimes practical but lamentable human capacity for adaptation to most circumstances, whatever they may be. ‎Historically, Jews have excelled in this discipline, simply because they had no choice. Just like Houllebecq’s ‎protagonist, they had nowhere else to go. However, whereas there “can be no Israel” for the lost ‎professor, today, unlike the last time Jews were threatened on a large scale in Europe, there is an Israel ‎for the Jews. Uniquely among all the peoples of Europe, the Jews have a welcoming place to go. ‎Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of Western European Jews choose to stay put in Europe.‎

 

In 2015, 30,000 Jews made aliyah from all over the world. Almost 22,000 of these arrivals were from ‎France, Russia and Ukraine, and approximately 3,700 new immigrants made aliyah from the United States and ‎Canada. Other countries included Argentina and Venezuela, but Western Europe, outside of France, only ‎accounted for the tiniest contribution to these figures.‎ From the Netherlands, home to an estimated 50,000 Jews, only 96 Jews made aliyah in ‎‎2015, still the highest figure recorded in a decade. In Belgium, which saw an Islamic terrorist attack on the ‎Jewish museum in 2014, only 287 Jews made aliyah last year out of an estimated Jewish population of ‎‎40,000. Aliyah from the Scandinavian countries was equally negligible in 2015, despite a terrorist attack on ‎the synagogue in Copenhagen in 2015 and a growing anti-circumcision lobby in all the Scandinavian ‎countries, threatening to literally make a continued Jewish presence in those countries untenable. In ‎‎2014, kosher slaughter was made illegal in Denmark. In Sweden and Norway it was already outlawed. ‎

 

In the Netherlands, the beginning of 2016 saw an extraordinarily savage antisemitic attack on a Jewish ‎octogenarian couple in Amsterdam, who were robbed and beaten nearly to death while the Muslims ‎who perpetrated the attack called them “dirty Jews.” The couple had to be confined to an old-age home, ‎having sustained permanent injuries. Incredibly, the Dutch media, aided by the prosecution, upon reporting ‎the crime, chose not to mention the strong antisemitic element of the hate crime. Antisemitism was ‎also reported to be on the rise in Dutch schools, a dire foreboding for the future. ‎

 

The situation all over the European continent is depressingly similar with the occasional fluctuations in the ‎rise and fall of antisemitic incidents, but with a clear and persistent anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli ‎sentiment that makes itself felt in everyday life. Recently, the president of the Jewish society at the ‎London School of Oriental and African Studies explained that “we are too scared to go anywhere ‎so we walk in a group to the station. People come up to me and say, ‘I heard you hate Palestinians.'”‎

 

Jews are particularly at risk from the rise of jihad on the continent, but they are also existentially ‎threatened by the antisemitic campaigns against circumcision and kosher slaughter, which often have a broad ‎popular base that defies any categorization of left and right. The Social Democratic government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt brought about the prohibition against kosher slaughter in Denmark in 2014.‎..

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

                                                                       

 

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THE HOLOCAUST, THE LEFT, AND THE RETURN OF HATE                                                                        

Jamie Palmer                                                                                                         

The Tower, April 2016

 

Alex Chalmers, the co-chair of the Oxford University Labour Club, resigned on February 17, citing widespread anti-Semitism and hostility to Jews among its members. His statement and a subsequent press release by the Oxford University Jewish Society make for sobering reading, not least because this is not an isolated case.

 

In early March, the British Labour Party was forced to explain why it allowed Gerry Downing, who had written about the need to “address the Jewish Question,” and Vicki Kirby, who once tweeted that Adolf Hitler might be the “Zionist God,” to be readmitted to the party following their suspension for anti-Semitism. Kirby had been nothing less than a parliamentary candidate, and upon her return was appointed vice-chair of her local party executive committee. Over the past few years, a palpable sense of alarm has been quietly growing amongst Jews on the European Left. At the heart of an often-fraught relationship lies the following dilemma: The vast majority of Jews are Zionist, and the vast majority of Left-wing opinion is not.

 

But the problem goes beyond the question of Israel itself. It also involves a general sense that the Left is unconcerned with Jewish interests and unwilling to take the matter of rising anti-Semitism seriously, preferring instead to dismiss it as a consequence of Israeli policies or a censorious attempt to close down discussion of the same. The horror with which many Jews greeted the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the leadership of the Labour Party was outstripped only by the realization that his supporters felt that his fondness for the company of anti-Semites was unworthy of their concern.

 

This is a complex subject, with roots that stretch back to the beginning of the last century. I have attempted to outline in necessarily broad fashion some of the trends of thought that have informed the relationship between Jews and the Left, as well as the shifting attitudes towards Israel in particular. In doing so, I hope to shed some light on their implications. The key question facing the European Left is whether or not it can change in such a way that Jews can once again feel part of the Left’s political family. Unfortunately, for the foreseeable future the answer to that question appears to be no.

 

Jews and Europeans drew different lessons about nationalism from the experience of World War II. On a continent disfigured by the mayhem of conquest, occupation, collaboration, and genocide, Nazism and fascism were perceived to have been nationalism’s logical endgame. As chauvinism and self-glorification gave way to introspection and self-doubt, a new universalism and internationalism emerged from the rubble—the establishment of the United Nations, the adoption by its General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and a rise in anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist feeling that eventually led Western democracies to dismantle their empires.

 

But for European Jews, nationalism, in this case Zionism, was now a matter of liberation and a guarantor of survival. So they moved in the opposite direction. Before the war, the Zionist question had been controversial. Disproportionately radical, many Jews preferred to commit themselves to the international struggle for world socialism. Many more preferred to assimilate as loyal members of their societies. The war changed all that. Jewish communists had already been betrayed by the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which created the temporary alliance between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The pact required bewildered communists to defend an agreement with genocidal anti-Semites. Neutral countries blocked Jewish immigration and turned away refugees. Neither the capitalist West nor the Soviet Union took steps to target the infrastructure of the Final Solution once word of it reached them. And when the war ended, the proletariat failed to rise up and Sovietize Western Europe as Stalin had foretold. Instead, a wave of pogroms swept the occupied East. Concluding that neither Western assimilation nor Soviet utopianism offered much in the way of security or salvation, Europe’s forsaken threw in their lot with Zionism.

 

In spite of the horrors of the Shoah, the Zionist question divided the post-war British Left. Unlike the Nazi-occupied countries on the European continent, Britain did not have a legacy of collaboration to contend with. As the ruler of Mandatory Palestine, however, Britain was responsible for the 1939 White Paper that restricted Jewish immigration at the behest of the Arab nationalist leadership, thus consigning countless Jews to deaths they might otherwise have escaped. The leadership of the post-war Labour government—prime minister Clement Attlee and foreign secretary Ernest Bevin, in particular—were unenthused by the prospect of a Jewish state in Palestine. Bevin went so far as to deport Jewish immigrants from Palestine, many of them survivors of the Holocaust, and sought to sabotage the creation of a Jewish state at the UN. But in response to public and party pressure and the escalating violence in Palestine, the government finally opted to turn the mess over to the UN.

 

While the Labour Party sought to separate anti-Semitism from the question of Palestine for reasons of politics, European communist parties did the same for reasons of ideology, despite anguished protests from their Jewish members. In April 1947, the Communist Party of Great Britain’s theorist Rajani Palme Dutt published a statement entitled Declaration on Palestine in which he wrote, “We warn all Jewish people that Zionism, which seeks to make Palestine or part of Palestine a Jewish state as an ally of the imperialist powers and their base in the Middle East, diverts Jewish people from the real solution of the problem of anti-Semitism, which is along the lines of democratic development and full equality of rights within the countries where they live”…      

                                         

In response to sentiments such as these, Moshe Sneh, a member of the Knesset from the Israeli Communist Party, later reflected, “Every Jew who remained alive knows and feels that he is alive only by chance – either because he was outside the Third Reich or because there wasn’t enough time to put him into a gas chamber and furnace.…To come to this people now and advise them: “Assimilate please, forget that you are Jews, free yourself from your Jewishness so that you will be free”—can anything more cynical and cruel be imagined?…                                                                                                                                                           

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

 

Contents                                                                                                                       

                                                               

THE GREEN PARTY’S ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATOR                                                                                     

Josh Cooper                                                                                                          

National Post, July 26, 2016

 

Among the various reasons I won’t be addressing the Green Party of Canada’s upcoming convention is the fact that I was invited by the party to do so on a Saturday — a surprising (and some would say insensitive) invitation for a Jewish organization. As the chief executive officer of Jewish National Fund (JNF) Canada, a charity that has worked on environmental preservation for more than a century, I am deeply disturbed by what is transpiring within the Green party. Among the various resolutions set to be debated at the convention, only two pertain to foreign policy and both target Israel.

 

The first calls for boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israelis, a modern-day blacklist that is discriminatory and counterproductive to peace. The second calls for revoking the charitable status of JNF Canada, an organization that has been supported by Canadians for generations. JNF has been a symbol of the global Jewish community, highlighting the importance of Israel and the environment to our people for over a century. JNF was green long before the modern environmental movement existed. Today, we are at the forefront of protecting the natural environment in Israel for the benefit of all residents. The JNF builds and manages water reservoirs, parks and green spaces; we pioneer research in green technology; and we plant millions of trees and combat desertification in a region plagued by ecological and political challenges.

 

It is for these reasons that I am so disappointed that the Green party, which I would hope would be our ally in the environmental movement, would even consider these resolutions. Worse, this entire process is based on falsehoods, contained in the text and backgrounder of the resolution, about our practices. Despite having sponsored it herself, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has openly admitted that this resolution contains false allegations. This is why she is now committed to opposing it at the convention and, if it passes, holding an emergency debate to annul it.

 

She is right to do so. Contrary to the resolution, every JNF project is open and accessible to people of all backgrounds — whether Jewish, Muslim or Christian. Many of our initiatives are designed to benefit Arab and Bedouin communities. Sadly, these are the very people who would be harmed by efforts to eliminate our charitable status, in addition to the hundreds of workers our projects employ from economically challenged communities. It is not uncommon for the JNF, and other organizations affiliated with Israel and the Jewish community, to be the target of malicious and false accusations. What is shocking, is the fact that the Green party would give credence to these voices. Delegates must be aware that those pushing for these resolutions include individuals and organizations dedicated to boycotting all Israelis (including athletes, academics and artists) and demonizing the broader Jewish community.

 

One can only conclude that the Green party’s democratic processes and openness to a diversity of viewpoints are being manipulated by a small fringe that is intent on advancing an extreme, anti-Israel agenda, at the expense of the party’s future success. Passing these resolutions would hand over the keys to those intent on driving the party to the far margins of Canadian discourse. The party’s drift on this issue has already pushed Jewish Greens out of the tent and alienated the broader Jewish community. Two years ago, party president Paul Estrin, a member of the Jewish community, was forced to resign his position and faced an onslaught of hateful accusations, simply for expressing sympathy for Israelis during the Israel-Hamas war. In the past few weeks, the party was forced to distance itself from former candidate Monika Schaefer, who recently declared that the Holocaust is “the biggest and most pernicious and persistent lie in all of history … there were no gas chambers.”

 

It is impossible to view the resolutions targeting Israel and JNF in a vacuum. If passed, these resolutions will confirm that the Green party is not a serious, inclusive political party, but is instead a marginal activist group. Worse, they risk turning the party into a home for anyone with a toxic cause, no matter how detrimental it is to the Greens’ worthy environmental agenda. While the impact is immediately felt by the Jewish community, what’s ultimately at stake is the Green party’s future in Canadian politics. Will the Greens reclaim their party from fringe anti-Israel ideologues and conspiracy theorists? Or will they placate an extreme agenda at the cost of their own ability to connect with mainstream Canadians?

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents                         

                                                                                                                                              

On Topic Links

 

Middle East Studies Implicated in AMCHA's Campus Anti-Semitism Report: Cinnamon Stillwell, Campus Watch, July 28, 2016—The AMCHA Initiative's recently released "Report on Antisemitic Activity During the First Half of 2016 At U.S. Colleges and Universities With the Largest Jewish Undergraduate Populations" exposes the bias and politicization afflicting the field of Middle East studies.

On Modern Antisemitism, Christian Silence Is Complicity: Carla Brewington, Algemeiner, July 27, 2016 — In the 1930s in Germany, many caved to the dangerous political agenda of the time. They wanted power, peace, and prosperity, to reclaim their country from the ravages of World War I.

Can a Hobbled EU Live up to its Vow to Combat Anti-Semitism and Racism?: JTA, July 21, 2016 —When the late Austro-Hungarian aristocrat Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi attended church on Good Friday, his father would famously cause a scene, storming out when the liturgy came to the anti-Semitic exhortation “Let us also pray for the faithless Jews.”

In History's Court: Michael M. Rosen, Weekly Standard, July 25, 2016 —The death this month of Elie Wiesel left a gaping moral and historical void that widens daily as the ranks of the generation of Holocaust survivors continues to thin. But in The Nazi Hunters, Andrew Nagorski fills that void, blending key documentary evidence with over 50 interviews of central figures in a comprehensive treatment of the dogged men and women whose heroic efforts restored a measure of justice to millions of murdered souls.

 

UNE NOUVELLE CONSTELLATION?

  

             

LA MÈRE DU TERRORISTE AYANT TUÉ UN RABBIN

DIT QUE SON FILS EST ‘UN HÉROS’

Times of Israel, 27 juillet, 2016

 

 

La mère d’un terroriste palestinien qui a tué le rabbin Miki Mark dans une fusillade menée depuis son véhicule, en Cisjordanie, le 1er juillet a fait l’apologie de son fils. Ce dernier a été tué dans une opération nocturne de Tsahal, dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi. La mère de Muhammad al-Fakih a dit à Hamas TV que son fils « était un héros et un homme qui voulait mourir en tant que shahid [martyr] et a réussi à le faire », selon la Dixième chaîne.

 

La famille du terroriste palestinien affirme que les forces de sécurité palestiniennes ont donné à Israël son emplacement, rapporte la radio israélienne. Le responsable palestinien Saeb Erekat a déclaré que la mort de Fakih est un « crime », d’après le rapport de la radio. Fakih est mort dans le village de Cisjordanie de Surif, au nord de Hébron, tôt mercredi matin quand les Forces de défense israéliennes ont tiré des missiles anti-chars avant de démolir la maison dans laquelle il s’était replié.

 

L’armée a déclaré que les trois autres membres de la cellule – le frère de Fakih, Sahir, leur cousin Muaz Fakih, et Mohammed Omaireh – appartiennent tous au groupe terroriste du Hamas, qui gouverne la bande de Gaza et a vu sa popularité augmenter en Cisjordanie. Mark a été tué le 1er juillet dans une attaque terroriste qui a également gravement blessé sa femme. Deux de ses enfants ont également été blessés au cours de l’attaque.

 

 

 

DES FONDS DU DEPARTEMENT D'ETAT DANS

LA CAMPAGNE CONTRE NETANYAHOU                                                                                                             Pascale Zonszain                                                                         

Rubrique Israël, 22 juillet, 2016

 

 

C'était en 2014. L'administration américaine avait entrepris une nouvelle tentative pour relancer le processus de paix israélo-palestinien. Tandis que les choses avançaient tant bien que mal, le Département d'Etat décidait de promouvoir une campagne de communication auprès des opinions israélienne et palestinienne. Un budget de 350 000 dollars était alloué à l'association israélienne “One Voice” pour l'organisation d'événements et de dialogue. Au bout de quelques mois, le processus tournait court après le refus de l'Autorité Palestinienne de reprendre les négociations sans condition préalable. Parallèlement, la crise politique interne israélienne conduisait en décembre à la dissolution de la Knesset et à la tenue d'élections anticipées.

 

“One Voice”, qui se retrouve avec un budget et des moyens inutilisés, décide alors de les employer pour soutenir Itzhak Herzog, qui se présente contre Binyamin Netanyahou. Elle se met à la disposition de l'association V15 qui va se lancer en campagne contre le chef du gouvernement sortant. A l'époque, le Likoud avait accusé l'Union Sioniste de profiter de fonds étrangers, sans que l'affaire aille plus loin. Mais voilà qu'une commission d'enquête du Sénat américain vient de confirmer que l'argent du Département d'Etat s'était bien retrouvé dans la campagne électorale israélienne. Les deux sénateurs, républicain et démocrate, ont reconstitué le mouvement des fonds et critiqué l'action de l'administration Obama.

 

Il existe une ligne rouge fixée depuis des décennies dans la politique américaine : les Etats-Unis ne doivent jamais intervenir ou tenter d'influer sur le processus électoral d'un autre pays, et encore moins d'un allié. Pourtant, les rapporteurs ont écarté tout soupçon de manœuvre illégale ou délibérée. C'est apparemment la négligence d'un fonctionnaire du Département d'Etat qui est à l'origine de la dérive. L'association israélienne l'avait averti par écrit de son intention d'employer l'argent dans la campagne. Le fonctionnaire américain n'avait jamais ouvert le courrier.

 

 

                           

ISRAËL SOUTIENT LE « PROCESSUS DEMOCRATIQUE » EN TURQUIE                                                         

                                                   Times of Israel, 16 juillet, 2016

 

 

Israël a exprimé samedi son soutien au « processus démocratique » après la tentative de coup militaire en Turquie, pays avec lequel l’Etat hébreu vient de signer un accord de réconciliation. « Israël respecte le processus démocratique en Turquie et compte sur la poursuite du processus de réconciliation entre la Turquie et Israël », a déclaré un porte-parole du ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères, Emmanuel Nahshon, dans un communiqué.

 

Israël et la Turquie ont conclu fin juin un accord de réconciliation qui a mis fin à six ans de brouille après un assaut en 2010 de commandos israéliens contre le Mavi Marmara, un navire affrété par une ONG humanitaire turque pour tenter de briser le blocus imposé par Israël à la bande de Gaza. Cette opération s’était soldée par la mort de 10 Turcs.

 

La réconciliation entre les deux pays, qui étaient de proches alliés régionaux jusqu’en 2010, a d’importantes implications économiques et stratégiques. Israël qui a commencé à exploiter des réserves gazières en Méditerranée cherche en particulier des débouchés pour ce gaz. La Turquie veut de son côté retrouver une influence régionale sur le déclin en renouant avec ses anciens alliés, la Russie et Israël. L’armée turque a annoncé samedi matin la fin de la tentative de putsch de la part de militaires rebelles contre le président Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

 

 

CANADA : UN ARTICLE JUSTIFIE L’EXTERMINATION DES JUIFS DURANT LA SHOAH

Times of Israel, 25 juillet, 2016

 

 

La communauté juive canadienne s’est indignée suite à la publication d’un article remettant en cause la Shoah dans un mensuel publié en langue arabe. Cet article était intitulé « La question que tout le monde se pose : pourquoi Hitler a-t-il exterminé les Juifs ? », rapporte le site Radio Canada. Al Saraha dans son édition de juin-juillet a été publié dans la municipalité ontarienne de London où de nombreux citoyens ont pu avoir accès au contenu haineux de cette tribune.

 

Dans cet article, son auteur soutient que le nombre de victimes de la Shoah serait de 600 000 tout au plus et ne s’élèverait donc pas à 6 millions de victimes. Il sous-entend également que le traitement inhumain subit pas les Juifs pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale était, d’une certaine manière, justifié. Il explique que les Juifs étaient à l’origine de la crise économique de l’Allemagne dans les années 20 et que les Juifs promouvaient « tous les types de déviances sexuelles ».

 

L’article était issu d’un quotidien égyptien al-Masry al-Youm connu pour son antisémitisme, rapporte le National Post. Abdul Hadi Shala, l’éditeur du magazine, a expliqué qu’il ne partageait pas les opinions de cet article mais ne s’était pas rendu compte que le contenu poserait problème. « Les opinions exprimées ici ne sont que celles de l’auteur, pas les miennes », s’est-il justifié.

 

De son côté Michael Mostyn, président de l’association B’nai Brith Canada s’est dit scandalisé par la publication d’une telle tribune et a souligné l’inutilité de l’intervention de son éditeur. « Que ce soit ou non les convictions de l’éditeur, ce n’est pas le problème. Elles ont été relayées aux gens d’une communauté dans le but de les informer. Cet article explique pourquoi les Juifs devraient être tués. »

 

Le B’nai Brith a alerté la Première ministre Kathleen Wynne et la police qui a ouvert une enquête. La tenue de tels propos pourrait constituer un délit. C’est un membre de la communauté arabe du Canada qui a informé le B’nai B’rith de la parution de cet article. « Les propos de ce genre pleins de haine, de préjugés et de mensonge n’ont aucune place dans notre société, » s’est révoltée la députée de London-Centre-Nord, Deb Matthews.

 

Le Parti libéral, dont Deb Matthews est issue, a déclaré qu’il ne fera plus de publicité dans le mensuel. D’autre part, le lien vers le journal qui existait à partir du portail d’immigration de la ville de London a également été retiré.

 

 

 

LE CHEF D’ETAT-MAJOR CANADIEN EST EN ISRAËL

Times of Israel, 26 juillet, 2016

 

 

Selon un communiqué de l’armée, le général J.H. Vance, chef d’Etat-major de l’armée du Canada, est arrivé lundi en Israël pour une visite officielle. Il est l’invité du chef d’Etat-major israélien, Gadi Eizenkot. Le général Vance a été reçu par une garde d’honneur, en présence d’Eizenkot. Leur rencontre, le première entre les deux hommes, se concentrera sur différents sujets d’intérêt commun, notamment la coopération opérationnelle et dans le domaine des renseignements à la lumière des menaces mondiales et régionales.

 

 

TURQUIE, EGYPTE, AFRIQUE : COMMENT « L’INFLEXIBLE » NETANYAHU A DÉCROCHÉ UN TIERCÉ GAGNANT

Ron Kampeas

Times of Israel, 23 juillet, 2016

 

 

La sagesse conventionnelle veut que gagner le sobriquet de « gouvernement le plus à droite de l’histoire d’Israël » ne conduit pas à des succès diplomatiques. Depuis quelques semaines, sur les fronts turc, égyptien et africain, le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu prouve que la sagesse se trompe.

 

Comment se fait-il que le chef d’un gouvernement battant en retraite dans la solution à deux Etats a mené une tournée triomphale en l’Afrique, a accueilli lors d’une rencontre conviviale un ministre égyptien des Affaires étrangères pour la première fois en près d’une décennie et a renouvelé les liens complets avec la Turquie ?

 

Voici un aperçu de ce que signifient les succès diplomatiques de Netanyahu – et leurs limites. Oh, Bibi, Bibi, c’est un monde sauvage. Donald Trump, le candidat républicain pressenti, parle de se retirer du rôle prééminent de l’Amérique dans le monde. Bien qu’il soit absolument pro-israélien, Trump a suggéré qu’il pourrait faire payer Israël pour les milliards de l’aide militaire qu’il reçoit.

 

De même l’Europe, submergée par une crise des réfugiés, est de plus en plus insulaire et, pour la première fois depuis des décennies, fait face à la perspective de s’effondrer en tant que force politique commune, avec la sortie prévue de la Grande-Bretagne de l’Union européenne et d’autres pays envisagent des actions similaires.

 

Pendant ce temps, les appels à s’en prendre à Israël – ou à ses implantations – par des boycotts gagnent du terrain sur le Vieux Continent. « En Israël, il est largement reconnu que rien ne remplace l’alliance américano-israélienne. Elle demeure cruciale », selon Jonathan Schanzer, vice-président à la Foundation for Defense of Democracies, un groupe de réflexion mettant l’accent sur le Moyen-Orient.

 

« Il y a aussi une reconnaissance du fait que nous traversons une période de turbulences, et d’un point de vue diplomatique, il existe des moyens de contourner certains de ces défis. » Parmi eux : Renforcer les liens sécuritaires avec l’Egypte, revigorer les liens datant de plusieurs décennies en Afrique et réparer les liens avec la Turquie.

 

L’immensité de la péninsule du Sinaï, en Egypte, son positionnement stratégique entre l’Asie et l’Afrique, et la nature poreuse de ses côtes de la mer Rouge et la mer Méditerranée ont été comme de l’herbe à chats pour des groupes terroristes comme al-Qaïda et l’État islamique. Cela pose un défi commun à Israël et l’Egypte, et a déjà contribué aux relations amicales entre ces deux pays ; Israël a été l’un des rares pays à célébrer le coup d’Etat de 2013 qui a renversé le gouvernement dirigé par les Frères musulmans et porté au pouvoir le président égyptien Abdel Fatah al-Sissi.

 

Ces derniers mois Israël a discrètement permis à l’armée égyptienne d’entrer à nouveau dans la péninsule, ce qui permet dans les faits à l’Egypte d’abroger l’un des principes, la démilitarisation, de l’Accord de paix de Camp David de 1979. Dans le même temps, l’Egypte a permis à Israël de cibler les terroristes avec des drones. « Vous avez une stratégie de lutte contre le terrorisme étroitement coordonnée dans le Sinaï », a dit Schanzer. « Vous avez le partage de renseignements, de plus en plus d’Israéliens opèrent dans le Sinaï. »

 

Cela aide à expliquer pourquoi al-Sissi était disposé à envoyer cette semaine en Israël son ministre des Affaires étrangères, Sameh Choukri, pour une visite de haut profil – réchauffant dans les faits une paix que les prédécesseurs de Sissi préféraient garder au frais. Un Sinaï sûr est le prix aus coups que Sissi savait qu’il allait endurer pendant la visite.

 

Les Français tentent d’engager des pourparlers de paix avec les Palestiniens sous un parapluie international. Les Palestiniens espèrent faire avancer la reconnaissance d’un Etat lors du lancement de l’Assemblée générale de l’ONU en septembre. Et le président Barack Obama pourrait surprendre apres les élections presidentielles, fixant les paramètres des États-Unis pour un arrangement de statut final. Toutes ces initiatives sont un anathème pour Netanyahu, qui favorise des négociations directes avec les Palestiniens, où Israël est en mesure d’exercer une plus grande influence….

Lire la Suite

 

 

ISRAËL SE TOURNE VERS L’AFRIQUE, ET DORE GOLD RENCONTRE LE PRÉSIDENT TCHADIEN

Raphael Ahren

 

 

Un haut diplomate israélien a rencontré la semaine dernière le président du Tchad, un pays à majorité musulmane qui n’a pas de relations diplomatiques avec Israël. Cette rencontre est un autre signe des relations grandissantes avec les pays africains à la suite du voyage du Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu sur le continent au début du mois.

 

Dore Gold, le directeur général du ministère des Affaires étrangères, a rencontré le président Idriss Déby le 14 juillet, au palais présidentiel de Fada, au cœur du désert saharien, a annoncé vendredi dans un communiqué le ministère des Affaires étrangères. L’annonce de cette rencontre suit le rétablissement en début de semaine des relations diplomatiques avec la République de Guinée, un pays largement musulman d’Afrique de l’Ouest.

 

La République du Tchad, en Afrique centrale, a rompu ses relations diplomatiques avec Jérusalem en 1972. La rencontre de Gold et Déby la semaine dernière ne signifie pas encore que les relations sont rétablies officiellement. « Nous voyons cette rencontre comme une étape importante de nos relations avec le Tchad », a déclaré vendredi au Times of Israël Emanuel Nahshon, le porte-parole du ministère des Affaires étrangères.

 

« Le Tchad est un pays central du continent africain », est-il écrit dans le communiqué du ministère des Affaires étrangères. « C’est un pays musulman arabophone qui affronte le terrorisme islamique radical et assume cette année la présidence tournante de l’Union africaine. » Les deux parties ont discuté de sujets qui suscitent un intérêt commun et de l’approfondissement de leur coopération bilatérale. Le Tchad compte 13,5 millions d’habitants, dont 55 % sont musulmans, et environ 40 % chrétiens.

 

Gold a signé mercredi une déclaration commune annonçant le renouvellement des relations diplomatiques avec la Guinée pendant une courte réunion avec le chef de cabinet de la présidence guinéenne, Ibrahim Khalil Kaba. Netanyahu a déclaré que la mise en place de relations diplomatiques avec toutes les nations africaines était un objectif stratégique de son gouvernement. Il s’est rendu en Afrique de l’Est il y a deux semaines.

 

Le Times of Israël a annoncé récemment que Netanyahu avait rencontré le président de Somalie, Hassan Shekh Mohamud, le premier contact à haut niveau de l’histoire des deux pays. La Somalie, un état majoritairement musulman membre de la Ligue arabe, n’a jamais reconnu l’Etat d’Israël. Pendant une conférence de presse commune le 7 juillet avec le Premier ministre éthiopien Hailemariam Desalegn au Palais national d’Addis Abeba, Netanyahu avait déclaré qu’il était ravi de « la coopération que nous avons avec tant d’autres pays africains dans la consolidation pour une reconnaissance que tous les pays africains, tous sans exception, peuvent bénéficier d’une coopération renouvelée avec Israël. » S’adressant ce même jour au Parlement éthiopien, le Premier ministre s’était dit « fier d’annoncer qu’Israël revient en Afrique de manière importante… Je veux voir chaque pays africain représenté par une ambassade en Israël. »

 

Pendant son voyage historique en Ouganda, au Kenya, au Rwanda et en Ethiopie, la première visite d’un Premier ministre en 30 ans, Netanyahu avait annoncé l’intention de la Tanzanie d’ouvrir sa première ambassade à Tel Aviv. Il a également déclaré que les dirigeants de ses pays hôtes avaient promis publiquement de faire pression pour qu’Israël retrouve son statut d’observateur au sein de l’Union africaine.

 

« A la fois pendant les visites et après, nous avons reçu des appels d’autres pays, dont certains avec qui nous n’avons pas de relations, disant qu’ils voulaient améliorer les relations », a déclaré Netanyahu pendant la réunion du cabinet du 10 juillet. « Ceci pour dire qu’il y a ici un certain processus qui avance vers l’amélioration et la normalisation de nos relations avec les pays africains. »

 

De nombreux pays d’Afrique subsaharienne à majorité musulmane, comme le Tchad, le Niger ou le Mali, ont rompu leurs relations avec Israël au début des années 1970. Mais selon un diplomate, ces pays font actuellement face à « une poussée de l’islam radical et pensent qu’Israël, avec son expérience et sa technologie dans le domaine de la lutte anti-terroriste pourra les aider. » Israël de son côté lorgne sur le potentiel d’expansion commerciale constitué par les pays africains : l’Afrique ne représente que 2 % du commerce extérieur israélien. L’Etat hébreu cherche aussi à s’assurer du soutien des pays africains dans les institutions internationales, où il fait l’objet de vives critiques liées à la situation en Cisjordanie.

 

 

 

QUE D'ERREURS HISTORIQUES COMMISES

PAR LES ARABES CONTRE ISRAËL !

Fred Maroun

 

 

Nous Arabes avons géré notre relation à Israël en dépit du bon sens ; le pire étant aujourd'hui la situation faite aux Palestiniens. La plus monumentale de nos erreurs a été de ne pas accepter le plan de partition de l'ONU en 1947. Il ne faut pas déclarer la guerre si l'on n'est pas prêt à accepter les conséquences d'une éventuelle défaite. Contrairement à nous, les Juifs n'enferment pas les Arabes dans des camps. La Jordanie n'a intégré qu'une partie des réfugiés. Nous aurions pu saisir l'occasion de prouver au monde que les Arabes sont un grand et noble peuple. Au lieu de cela, nous prouvons – et continuons de prouver – que les haines qui nous divisent, et celle que nous portons aux Juifs, sont plus fortes que n'importe quel concept de prétendue solidarité arabe.

 

Ce texte est le premier d'une série de deux articles. La deuxième partie étudiera en détail comment nous, les Arabes, pourrions agir différemment. La relation que le monde arabe entretien avec Israël se caractérise par un patchwork de situations qui vont de l'hostilité à la paix froide en passant par une coopération limitée, le calme et la violence. Nous Arabes, avons géré notre relation à Israël en dépit du bon sens ; le pire étant la situation faite aujourd'hui aux Palestiniens.

 

La première de nos erreurs a duré des siècles, et a été commise bien avant la déclaration d'indépendance de l'Etat d'Israël en mai 1948. Nous avons refusé de traiter les Juifs en égaux. Comme le démontre Mark R. Cohen, spécialiste américain de l'histoire juive dans le monde musulman, « les Juifs ont, avec d' autres non-musulmans, partagé le statut de dhimmis [non-musulmans soumis à une taxe pour leur protection et qui pour être tolérés sur un sol islamique, acceptaient d'être régulés par une série de lois spécifiques] … nul ne pouvait construire de nouveaux lieux de culte et les anciens ne devaient pas être réparés. En présence d'un musulman, le comportement des juifs devait être humble.

 

Dans leur pratique liturgique, ils devaient reconnaître et honorer la prééminence de l'islam. Ils devaient en outre se différencier des musulmans par leurs vêtements et renoncer à porter des signes honorifiques. Ils étaient évidemment exclus de toute fonction en rapport avec l'exercice d'un pouvoir ».

 

Le 1er Mars 1944, alors que les nazis massacraient six millions de Juifs, et bien avant qu'Israël ait déclaré son indépendance, Hadj Amin al-Husseini, Grand Mufti de Jérusalem, a déclaré à l'antenne de Radio Berlin, « Arabes, levez-vous comme un seul homme et combattez pour vos droits sacrés. Tuez les juifs partout où vous les trouverez. Cela plaît à Dieu, à l'Histoire et à la religion. Sauvez l'honneur ! Dieu est avec vous ».

 

Si nous n'avions pas commis cette erreur, deux conséquences bénéfiques auraient pu se produire. Les juifs auraient probablement continué de vivre nombreux au sein d'un Moyen-Orient musulman, et auraient joué un rôle d'accélérateur culturel plutôt que de partir dynamiser les sociétés où ils ont trouvé refuge, l'Europe et plus tard les États-Unis.

 

Deuxièmement, si les Juifs s'étaient sentis en sécurité et acceptés par les Arabes du Moyen-Orient, ils n'auraient probablement pas ressenti le besoin de créer un Etat indépendant, ce qui nous aurait épargnés bien des erreurs ultérieures.

 

La seconde et la pire de nos erreurs a été de ne pas accepter le plan de partition des Nations Unies de 1947. La résolution 181 des Nations Unies fournissait la base légale pour la création de deux Etats, un pour les juifs et l'autre pour les arabes, sur le territoire de ce qui fut la Palestine mandataire britannique.

 

Comme l'indique la BBC, cette résolution prévoyait : « Un Etat juif couvrant 56,47% de la Palestine mandataire (hors Jérusalem) et doté d'une population de 498.000 Juifs et 325.000 Arabes. A côté, un Etat arabe était institué sur 43,53% de la Palestine mandataire (hors Jérusalem), avec 807.000 habitants arabes et 10.000 habitants juifs. Une gouvernance internationale était prévue pour Jérusalem où la population était composée de 100.000 Juifs et 105.000 Arabes ».

 

Les juifs héritaient certes d'un territoire plus vaste, mais essentiellement désertique avec le Néguev et la Arava. Le territoire arabe était certes plus petit mais regroupait l'essentiel des terres fertiles. En fait, le plan était à l'avantage des arabes pour deux raisons supplémentaires :  Les juifs ne disposaient que d'une majorité relative sur le territoire qui leur était attribué, ce qui aurait donné à la minorité arabe une grande influence dans la gestion des institutions. Le territoire arabe était lui homogène au plan ethnique, les juifs étant trop minoritaires pour prétendre exercer une quelconque influence.

 

Chaque Etat se composait de trois morceaux plus ou moins bien connectés entre eux, ce qui générait une forte interdépendance géographique. Si les deux Etats avaient décidé d'entretenir des relations cordiales, ils auraient fini par former une fédération ou les arabes auraient été majoritaires.

 

Plutôt que d'accepter ce cadeau, nous les arabes avons décidé que l'existence d'un Etat juif était intolérable. En mai 1948, Azzam Pacha, Secrétaire général de la Ligue arabe, a rejeté la partition et annoncé « une guerre d'extermination, un massacre mémorable, qu'on comparera plus tard aux massacres perpétrés par les mongols ou contre les croisés ». La guerre destinée à tuer dans l'œuf le tout jeune Etat juif a été lancée… et perdue. Résultat, nous avons eu à la place un Etat juif beaucoup plus fort :

 

La majorité juive d'Israël a augmenté de façon spectaculaire à la suite d'un échange massif de populations. En grand nombre, les arabes ont fui la guerre avec Israël tandis que de nombreux juifs, contraints de quitter leur patrie arabe, ont rejoint le nouvel Etat juif.

 

Les Juifs ont élargi leur territoire en prenant le contrôle d'une partie des terres précédemment allouées à l'État arabe. Et l'Etat d'Israël a été redéfini par des lignes d'armistice (appelées aujourd'hui ligne verte ou frontières d'avant 1967). L'Etat juif est aussi devenu plus homogène au plan géographique, alors que les parties arabes (Gaza et Cisjordanie) sont distantes l'une de l'autre de presque 50 kilomètres.

Moralité : il ne faut pas déclarer la guerre si on n'est pas prêt à gérer les conséquences d'une éventuelle défaite.

 

En mai 1948, Azzam Pacha, Secrétaire général de la Ligue arabe, a rejeté la partition et annoncé « une guerre d'extermination, un massacre mémorable, qu'on comparera plus tard aux massacres perpétrés par les mongols ou contre les croisés ».

 

Après la guerre d'indépendance (du nom que les juifs ont donné à la guerre de 1947/1948), Israël s'est retrouvé confiné à l'intérieur de la ligne verte sans aucune autorité – ni prétention – sur Gaza et la Cisjordanie. Si nous, Arabes, avions à ce moment-là choisi de faire la paix avec Israël, deux options s'offraient à nous :

 

Nous aurions pu incorporer Gaza à l'Egypte, et la Cisjordanie à la Jordanie, fournissant aux Palestiniens une citoyenneté au sein de l'un ou l'autre de ces deux pays arabes, chacun plus puissant qu'Israël tant au plan démographique que géographique.

 

Nous aurions pu créer un nouvel Etat à Gaza et en Cisjordanie. Au lieu de cela, nous avons opté pour la poursuite des hostilités. Au printemps 1967, nous avons formé une coalition pour attaquer Israël. Le 20 mai 1967, le ministre de la défense syrien Hafez Assad a déclaré : « Le temps de l'annihilation est venu ». Le 27 mai 1967, le Président Abdel Nasser a déclaré , « Notre objectif fondamental est la destruction d'Israël ». Six jours seulement ont été nécessaires à Israël pour nous vaincre et nous humilier à la face du monde. Nos pertes en territoires ont été encore plus importantes, y compris la bande de Gaza et la Cisjordanie.

 

Après la guerre de 1967 (que les Juifs appellent la guerre des Six Jours), Israël a proposé de restituer les terres en échange de la paix, nous offrant ainsi une chance de corriger l'erreur de la guerre des Six Jours. Nous avons répondu avec les résolutions de Khartoum : « Pas de paix avec Israël, pas de reconnaissance d'Israël, et pas de négociations avec Israël ».

 

Faute d'avoir tiré les leçons de 1967, nous avons formé une nouvelle coalition en Octobre 1973. Cette troisième tentative de détruire Israël a commencé par des gains préliminaires mais le vent a tourné et nous avons perdu la guerre à nouveau. A la suite de cette troisième défaite humiliante, la coalition contre Israël s'est rompue, l'Egypte et la Jordanie ayant décidé de signer la paix avec Israël.

 

Les autres pays arabes sont demeurés obstinément hostiles à l'existence d'Israël, y compris la Syrie qui, à l'instar de l'Egypte et de la Jordanie, a perdu une portion significative de son territoire en 1967. Aujourd'hui encore, Israël contrôle le Golan et aucune perspective d'une éventuelle rétrocession à la Syrie ne se profile. « Israël ne rendra jamais les hauteurs du Golan » a récemment déclaré le premier ministre d'Israël.

 

La plus répréhensible et la plus tragique de nos erreurs demeure le traitement que nous Arabes avons infligé aux Palestiniens depuis la déclaration d'indépendance d'Israël. Les Israéliens ont fait le choix d'accueillir les réfugiés juifs des pays arabes et musulmans sans se poser la question du coût, ni se laisser rebuter par les difficultés d'assimilation de personnes en provenance de cultures et d' horizons aussi différentes que l' Ethiopie, l'Inde, le Maroc , leBrésil , l'Iran , l'Ukraine et la Russie. En agissant ainsi, ils ont fait la preuve du lien puissant qui unit les Juifs les uns aux autres. Sur la même période, nous avons eu l'occasion de montrer qu'un lien unit tous les Arabes, mais au lieu d'accueillir les réfugiés arabes de la guerre 1947-1948, nous les avons confinés dans des camps et multiplié les contraintes sur leur vie quotidienne.

 

Au Liban, comme l'a rapporté Amnesty International, « les Palestiniens continuent de souffrir de discriminations qui les marginalisent sur le marché du travail, maintiennent un niveau élevé de chômage, tirent les salaires vers le bas sans parler des mauvaises conditions de travail. Bien que les autorités libanaises aient récemment levé les interdictions à l'exercice de 50 professions (sur 70 métiers initialement protégés), les Palestiniens sont toujours en butte aux mêmes obstacles sur le marché de l'emploi. La difficulté de trouver un emploi correspondant à ses compétences conduit un nombre élevé d'élèves palestiniens à quitter l'école d'autant que l'accès au secondaire leur est également limité. La pauvreté qui en résulte est exacerbée par un accès limité aux services sociaux ».

 

Le Liban et la Syrie n'ont pas intégré ces réfugiés qui vivaient auparavant à quelques kilomètres des frontières de leurs pays et dont ils partageaient la culture, la langue et la religion. La Jordanie a intégré une partie des réfugiés, mais pas tous. Nous aurions pu saisir l'occasion de prouver au monde que les arabes sont un grand et noble peuple. Au lieu de cela, nous prouvons – et continuons de prouver – que les haines qui nous divisent, ainsi que celle que nous portons aux juifs, sont plus fortes que n'importe quel concept de prétendue solidarité arabe. Il est honteux de constater que sept décennies après la fuite des premiers réfugiés palestiniens, leurs descendants sont toujours étiquetés du statut de réfugiés.

 

Le pire est que même en Cisjordanie et à Gaza, la distinction entre réfugiés palestiniens et Palestiniens autochtones se poursuit. Selon les statistiques 2010 établies par le Palestinian Refugee Research Net de l'Université McGill, 37% des Palestiniens de Cisjordanie et de Gaza vivent dans des camps ! Gaza a huit camps de réfugiés palestiniens, et la Cisjordanie en a dix-neuf . Les Juifs n'ont pas enfermé les Arabes dans des camps, nous nous l'avons fait. Le président palestinien Mahmoud Abbas revendique un Etat en Cisjordanie et Gaza, mais comment le prendre au sérieux quand il maintient dans des camps les réfugiés palestiniens qui dépendent de son autorité et n'entreprend pas les intégrer aux autres Palestiniens. Le ridicule de la situation n'a d'égal que sa dureté.

 

La somme de nos erreurs fait que toute relation avec Israël est aujourd'hui dans l'impasse. La seule force de nos économies repose sur le pétrole, une ressource périssable et dont la valeur diminue en raison des nouvelles capacités d'extraction du pétrole de schiste. Nous n'avons pas assez préparé l'avenir, alors que le besoin de créativité et de productivité se fait sentir. SelonForeign Policy Magazine, « les gouvernements arabes savent depuis longtemps qu'ils doivent rompre avec leur dépendance excessive aux hydrocarbures, mais aucun tournant significatif n'a été entrepris. … Même l'économie des Emirats Arabes Unis, l'une des plus diversifiées, est fondamentalement dépendante des exportations de brut ».

 

En 2015, Business Insider a classé Israël au troisième rang des pays les plus innovants de la planète. Tous les pays du monde profitent de la créativité d'Israël, y compris des pays aussi éloignés et avancés que le Japon. Mais nous, nous continuons de snober Israël, un centre d'innovation de classe mondiale situé à notre porte.

 

Nous nous sommes donc également privés du génie militaire d'Israël qui pourrait nous aider à combattre des ennemis aussi dévastateurs que l'Etat islamique.

 

Le pire demeure que notre propre peuple, les Palestiniens, sont aujourd'hui dispersés – divisés, désabusés, et tout à fait incapables de relancer un projet national que nous avons dérobé sous leurs pieds en 1948 et que nous avons depuis défiguré au point de le rendre méconnaissable. Dire que nous devons modifier notre approche d'Israël est un euphémisme. Nous devons trouver le courage et la force morale d'opérer des mutations sur nous-mêmes par nous-mêmes. Les Juifs ne placent pas les Arabes dans les camps, nous oui.

 

 

 

 

 

Nous souhaitons à nos lecteurs Shabbat Shalom!

 

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GOP & DEM’S PRESENT THEIR CANDIDATES, BUT DEMOCRACY FAILS IN M.E. (OUTSIDE ISRAEL)

Trump Looks Out the Window: Zalman Shoval, Israely Hayom, July 26, 2016— Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week was well delivered.

How the Clintons Got Rich Selling Influence While Decrying Greed: Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, July 26, 2016 — Most presidents, before and after holding office, are offered multifarious opportunities to get rich, most of them unimaginable to Americans without access to influential and wealthy concerns.

Lebanon 2006-2016: Deterrence is an Elusive Concept: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, July 10, 2016— Never, it seems, has there been such dissonance between the media perception of a military operation and the reality a decade later as there is surrounding the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

The Crisis of Political Islam: Yaroslav Trofimov, Wall Street Journal, July22, 2016— In 1999, a former mayor of Istanbul named Recep Tayyip Erdogan was imprisoned and banned from politics for life for reciting a poem.

 

On Topic Links

 

Implications of US Disengagement from the Middle East: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, July 26, 2016

Iran Says One of its Top Commanders Toured Israeli-Syrian Border: Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, July 27, 2016

Don’t Forget, or Deny, Hezbollah’s Brutal Crimes: Matthew Levitt, National Post, July 20, 2016

Israel's Interests and Options in Syria: Larry Hanauer, Rand Corporation, 2015

 

 

 

TRUMP LOOKS OUT THE WINDOW

Zalman Shoval                      

    Israel Hayom, July 26, 2016

 

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week was well delivered. Just like FDR and Harry Truman, he used this occasion to attack his rivals using various rhetorical devices, including irony. Trump pounced on President Barack Obama's record during his speech and stressed America's decline in every possible metric. He also offered an alternative vision as president: making American great again. Judging from the public's reaction, the speech was successful. Instant polls conducted after he stepped down from the podium showed that 75% of viewers responded positively to what he had articulated; only 24 responded negatively.

 

National security and foreign policy were not supposed to be front and center in this election cycle. But the crisis in Syria, the rise of the Islamic State and Islamic fundamentalism as a whole, and Russia's newly asserted role in eastern Europe and the Middle East have catapulted those issues to the heart of the campaign — and Trump's acceptance speech.

 

Trump also sat down for an interview with The New York Times last week. Needless to say, there is not a lot of love lost between Trump and the Gray Lady, but he nevertheless turned to this publication to bolster his foreign policy credentials. Both this interview and his speech provide insight into the foreign policy his administration would pursue.

 

As mentioned, the overarching theme of this speech was "Making America Great Again," after eight years of America being humiliated under the Obama-Clinton administration. Trump drove home the message that his administration would follow the slogan "America First." This, and past statements, had many people worried that a Trump presidency would be a throwback to the 20th century, when isolationist Republicans vehemently opposed any U.S. intervention overseas, including coming to the help of Britain in World War II.

 

But a closer look at what Trump is saying points to the opposite direction. Trump may very well ask U.S. allies to pay their fair share when it comes to global security, but has also made it clear that he would abide by the international agreements the U.S. has signed or renegotiate them. He also told The New York Times that peace in Europe was also important for the security of the United States and spoke about the ongoing war on Islamic terrorism.

 

In his speech he elaborated on other aspects of his would-be foreign policy. He lambasted the Iran nuclear deal ("Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons") and was highly critical the conduct of Obama and Clinton in Syria and Libya, which he said inflicted major damage on America's prestige. He also called on the U.S. and its allies to destroy Islamic terrorism (Israel was one of the two allies he specifically mentioned his speech).

 

Yes, some of what he said has raised some eyebrows. This includes his apparent defense of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or his apparent view that economic considerations should dictate America's national security and economic interests. But as former Secretary of State James Baker recently noted, he would have to accept reality as it is, and he will be checked by the U.S. Constitution.

 

After party conventions, the nominee usually gets a bounce in the polls, and 2016 is no exception — Trump is now polling ahead of Clinton. But we must wait and see what effect the Democratic National Convention, held this week, will have on voters. What is clear beyond all doubt is that Clinton will have to work extra hard to defend her record as secretary of state. She will also have to find a way to reconcile her views with Obama's without appearing disloyal. But above all, she will have to convince the public that the path she wants to take is the right path and she has a better chance of making America great again.

                                               

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                   

                      HOW THE CLINTONS GOT RICH

SELLING INFLUENCE WHILE DECRYING GREED                                          

                 Victor Davis Hanson                                                                                                      

            National Review, July 26, 2016

 

Most presidents, before and after holding office, are offered multifarious opportunities to get rich, most of them unimaginable to Americans without access to influential and wealthy concerns. But none have so flagrantly circumvented laws and ethical norms as have Bill and Hillary Clinton, a tandem who in little more than a decade went from self-described financial want to a net worth likely over $100 million, or even $150 million.

 

The media had been critical of former president Jerry Ford’s schmoozing with Southern California elites, with Ronald Reagan’s brief but lucrative post-presidential speaking, and with George W. Bush’s youthful and pre-presidential windfall profits from his association with the Texas Rangers. And all presidents emeriti glad-hand and lobby the rich to donate to their presidential libraries, but with important distinctions. One can argue that Jimmy Carter sought donations to his nonprofit Carter Library and Center out of either ego or a sincere belief in doing good works. The same holds true of the libraries of the Bushes and Reagan. No president, however, sought to create a surrogate nonprofit organization to provide free private-jet travel for the former first family while offering sinecures to veteran operatives between campaigns. The worth of both the Clinton family and the Clinton Foundation (augmented by a recent ten-month drive to raise $250 million for the foundation’s endowment) is truly staggering, and to a great extent accrued from non-transparent pay-for-play aggrandizement.

 

What, then, makes the Clintons in general, and Hillary in particular, so avaricious, given that as lifelong public officials with generous pensions and paid expenses they nevertheless labored so hard to accumulate millions in ways that sometimes bothered even friends and supporters? Wall Street profiteering aside, why, while decrying soaring tuition and student indebtedness, would Hillary Clinton charge the underfunded University of California, Los Angeles, a reported $300,000 — rather than, say, $50,000 — for a 30-minute chat?

 

Some have suggested that Bill Clinton’s impoverished upbringing accounts for his near-feral ambition to get rich. But he also seized a unique moment in which to do so. Globalization of the early 21st century and a rather new phenomenon of progressive Silicon Valley and Wall Street families’ having fabulous fortunes certainly made the idea of being a multimillionaire many times over hardly embarrassing in the fashion of the old caricatures of the robber barons in the days of J. P. Morgan and John D. Rockefeller. Banking, investment, and high technology seemed a less grubby route to elite financial status than did the old pathways of oil, minerals, agriculture, railroads, steel, and construction. The Clintons discovered that one could become very rich from a host of sources and still be considered quite progressive; indeed, liberal pieties both assuaged any guilt about one’s privilege and in a more public manner provided exemption from the logical ramifications of one’s own redistributionist rhetoric.

 

After a decade of loud liberal pronouncements, a Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, George Soros, Mark Zuckerberg, or Steyer brother is likely to be seen as coolly progressive rather than inordinately wealthy and exploitative. So the Clintons had unprecedented opportunities to shoulder-rub with liberal financial titans without suffering the class invective reserved for the Koch brothers or Sheldon Adelson. Former vice president Al Gore is emblematic of the progressive contradictions in leveraging politics to get rich. After winning the popular vote in 2000 and losing the presidency, he discovered that the road to multimillionaire status was to mouth green and progressive pieties while monetizing his political contacts and celebrity among new networks of the global liberal rich. Fearing that new capital-gains taxes of the sort he supported would kick in, Gore then rushed to sell a failed cable station to the often anti-Semitic Al Jazeera, a Middle East media conglomerate funded from the carbon-exporting wealth of the right-wing royal autocracy in Qatar.

 

But Clinton greed was empowered not just by the unique opportunity of being both a former president and a liberal operator in the age of progressive billionaires who sought access and influence. More important, unlike other presidents, Bill Clinton never quite entered emeritus status. Hillary Clinton was no Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, or Barbara or Laura Bush but, while her husband was still in office, sought a U.S. Senate seat from New York in an undisguised trajectory designed for the 2008 presidential campaign and predicated on the idea that a mature Bill would de facto be back in the Oval Office as well. Indeed, well before Hillary Clinton’s failure in the Democratic primaries in 2008 and her subsequent appointment as secretary of state, the Clintons had found a way to exploit the idea that both of them would return to the White House. That reality gave them access to quid pro quo opportunities, often funneled through a philanthropic foundation, of a sort unknown to any past American president. Most important, the Clintons had long since discovered that public outrage at their impropriety could be dismissed as the empty and vindictive charges of a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” be they allegations of sexual assault or criticisms of Bill’s becoming the highest-paid “chancellor” in the history of higher education, hired by private for-profit Laureate University at some $4 million a year…

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

                                                           

 

Contents                                                                                                                                          

LEBANON 2006-2016: DETERRENCE IS AN ELUSIVE CONCEPT                                                         

Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror                                                                                             

BESA, July 10, 2016

 

Never, it seems, has there been such dissonance between the media perception of a military operation and the reality a decade later as there is surrounding the 2006 Second Lebanon War. The public was left with a bitter aftertaste once the campaign ended, and media pundits tried to outdo each other with criticisms of the military's performance, the outcome of the war, and government policies, all while marveling at the sophistication shown by Hezbollah and its leader, Hassan Nasrallah.

 

This notorious campaign, however, has given Israel unprecedented calm on the northern border. Over the last 10 years, residents of the area have enjoyed peace and quiet. So what caused such a big gap between perceptions of the campaign and the results on the ground? The first, and perhaps most important, reason stems from the media, which evaluated the campaign's success according to its own expectations rather than according to the campaign’s effect on the enemy. These two worldviews were miles apart, especially when you consider Nasrallah's own admission that "had we known this would be the result of the abduction [of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev], we wouldn't have done it."

 

As it turns out, the Israel Defense Forces inflicted massive damage on Hezbollah. Nasrallah found himself in a highly precarious situation in which his men were a hair's breadth from their breaking point. Many in Israel have failed to understand that it was not, in fact, Hezbollah's sophisticated tactics that spared them, but Israel's hesitancy and the disappointing performance of several IDF senior commanders on the ground. The criticism of the military was justified, but as Nasrallah learned the hard way, the IDF has the upper hand in any clash between itself and Hezbollah. Nasrallah understood he was on the verge of a crushing defeat, one he could not spin into a "divine victory". The crippling blows Hezbollah suffered, particularly at the hands of the Israeli Air Force, also explain why the Shiite terrorist group has been focusing considerable effort on building up its air defenses.

 

The second reason for the misperception is that Israeli pundits failed to account for Iranian interests. Iran formed Hezbollah as its regional proxy, a long strategic arm to be used to generate deterrence and retaliate for major events. And there the group was, wasting its resources on a minor move like the abduction of two Israeli soldiers, for which it was made to pay dearly. Already anxious about its strategic asset, Iran responded to Hezbollah’s gambit by deciding it needed to supervise the group far more strictly, as it had to be kept from making such costly mistakes. So, following the 2006 campaign, Iran imposed restrictions on Hezbollah's aggression.

 

Since 2012, another restriction has been curtailing Hezbollah's activity, one no one could have foreseen in 2006. Four years ago, Hezbollah became an active participant in the Syrian civil war, fighting alongside President Bashar Assad's army. It is now embroiled in a life-or-death battle in Syria, making the launch of another battle against Israel in southern Lebanon very challenging. Still, while Hezbollah may be cautious in its dealings with Israel, it has been gaining valuable experience on the Syrian battlefield that will come into play in the next confrontation.

 

For Hezbollah, the preservation of Assad's regime in Syria is a must if it is to maintain its iron grip on Lebanon, successfully deal with internal and external Sunni pressure, including by Islamic State, and continue its armament efforts. Assad's Syria is Hezbollah's strategic home front and part of its link to Iran. This is why Hezbollah has prioritized Syria over Israel, and as long as the civil war in Syria continues to rage, that order of priorities will remain.

 

The past decade of calm on the northern border may not have been solely the result of the 2006 war, but it is doubtful that any cease-fire would have held up as long as it has without it.

 

The nature of the military campaign itself has been misunderstood by many. The public failed to internalize that when dealing with non-state entities such as Hezbollah, which pose a considerable threat to the Israeli home front but not to the country's existence, Israel launches "campaigns," rather than wars that achieve a decisive result. Many expected something along the lines of the unequivocal victory of the 1967 Six-Day War and wanted to see Hezbollah raise a white flag, which of course did not happen.

 

One must remember that the impressive victory of 1967 was immediately followed by the War of Attrition, and six years after that the devastating Yom Kippur War. The lesson is clear: Israel must win its wars, but cannot expect victory to result in its enemies' disappearance or even to guarantee longer intervals between conflicts, let alone peace. Victory on the battlefield is a necessary condition, but it is not enough. Deterrence is an elusive concept, one difficult to predict and apply, even in the context of successful military campaigns.

 

As Israel must continue to fight organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas, it is best if certain things, underscored by the 2006 campaign, are made clear. Non-state organizations can be defeated militarily, but while it is possible to destroy their operational abilities, one should not aspire to annihilate them through extreme measures (although doing so is possible under certain circumstances). The real question is not whether they should be vanquished, but rather how beneficial vanquishing them would be, compared to the price of achieving victory and maintaining the new situation.                                                            

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

                                                                       

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                                             

                                            THE CRISIS OF POLITICAL ISLAM

Yaroslav Trofimov                                     

                                                Wall Street Journal, July 22, 2016

 

In 1999, a former mayor of Istanbul named Recep Tayyip Erdogan was imprisoned and banned from politics for life for reciting a poem. “Our minarets are our bayonets, our domes are our helmets, our mosques are our barracks,” the incriminating lines went. “My reference is Islam. If I am not able to speak of this, what is the use of living?” The ban on Mr. Erdogan didn’t stick. Now Turkey’s president (and prime minister for 11 years before that), he is presiding over a nationwide purge of suspected enemies after the failure last week of a military coup against his government.

 

For decades, in much of the Middle East, Islamist politicians like Mr. Erdogan weren’t able to speak out—and, when they did, they frequently faced a prison cell or a hangman’s noose. From Algeria to Egypt to Turkey, the apparatus of the state repeatedly unleashed repression—of varying degrees of harshness—to marginalize political Islam, crushing democratic freedoms while offering the excuse of preserving secular values. The West, preferring the autocratic devils it knew over the Islamists it didn’t, often concurred.

 

In response, many of the Islamist movements that sprang up under the influence of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood—groups that include Mr. Erdogan’s party—have gradually embraced the language of pluralism and the idea of democratic politics and elections. Crucially, however, these modern Islamists have often viewed democracy not as a value in itself but merely as a tactic to bring about a “true” Islamic order. To them, the voting booth was simply the most feasible way to dismantle the postcolonial, secular systems that, in the eyes of their followers, had failed to bring justice or development to ordinary Muslims.

In 2005, Mr. Erdogan—then serving as Turkey’s prime minister and acclaimed for improving the country’s human-rights record and pushing forward its bid for membership in the European Union—let slip on a trip to Australia that he viewed democracy just as “a vehicle.”

 

In the subsequent decade, Mr. Erdogan has extinguished major centers of opposition in Turkey’s bureaucracy, media, military and judiciary. In the wake of the failed coup—itself a vivid confirmation that his suspicions weren’t unfounded—he has launched a crackdown on tens of thousands of potential opponents, including detaining nearly 9,000 people since the collapse of the plot. “All the checks and balances have now been eliminated,” said Soner Cagaptay, a Turkey expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

 

In Egypt, hopes for democracy were high in the wake of the 2011 demonstrations in Tahrir Square that helped to topple longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. But the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, took just a few months after being elected in 2012 to start ominously consolidating his rule, granting himself immunity from judicial oversight. His power grab was cut short by a successful military coup the following year, which installed the country’s current strongman, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. His regime has quickly proven more repressive even than Mr. Mubarak’s.

 

This cycle of conflict—between the entrenched “deep state,” dominated by a country’s military and security establishments, and Islamist parties eager to grab as much power as possible whenever elected due to their wholly legitimate fears that they won’t otherwise be allowed to govern—has been a major reason why democracy has failed to take root in the Middle East.

Tainted by their associations with the West or the autocratic regimes long in power, liberal and secular parties have struggled to emerge as a third option in much of the region. And democracy, after all, is a tough proposition when neither of the two major forces now shaping the Middle East’s politics—the old-guard autocrats and the Islamist movements—truly believes in it.

 

The democratic exception to this rule is Tunisia, the one Arab democracy to emerge from the Arab revolutions of 2011. It is the only country now rated as “free” by Freedom House, a U.S. organization that analyzes civil liberties and political rights, out of the 17 Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East and North Africa. That’s the worst record for any region. “There is a lot to be done before democracy has a chance. Education, pluralistic ideas and consensus-building are in short supply in many of these countries,” said Hassan Hassan, a fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy in Washington, D.C.

 

This democracy problem is linked not so much with Islam, an ancient religion, as with political Islam—a modern ideology developed in 20th-century Egypt, in part, to redress the Middle East’s backwardness compared with the West. Its founding fathers in the Muslim Brotherhood met violent deaths— Hassan al-Banna was gunned down in 1949, Sayyid Qutb was hanged by the Egyptian government in 1966—but their ideas took root throughout the Middle East after the repeated failures of autocratic regimes that preached the rival ideas of socialism and Arab nationalism. Offshoots of the Brotherhood now represent the dominant political movements from Morocco to Turkey to the Gaza Strip…                                                  

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

 

Contents               

                                                                                                                                                        

On Topic Links

 

Implications of US Disengagement from the Middle East: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, July 26, 2016—The United States is retreating from the Middle East. The adverse implications of this policy shift are manifold, including: the acceleration  of Tehran’s drive to regional hegemony, the palpable risk of regional nuclear proliferation following the JCPOA, the spread of jihadist Islam, and Russia’s growing penetration of the region. Manifest US weakness is also bound to have ripple effects far beyond the Middle East, as global players  question the value of partnership with an irresolute Washington.

Iran Says One of its Top Commanders Toured Israeli-Syrian Border: Stuart Winer, Times of Israel, July 27, 2016— The commander of a key Iranian military force recently visited the border between Israel and Syria, Iran said

Don’t Forget, or Deny, Hezbollah’s Brutal Crimes: Matthew Levitt, National Post, July 20, 2016— For the victims of Hezbollah terrorism, this week is a painful one. While the world was focused on horrifying attacks in France, Germany and across the Middle East, a grim anniversary on July 18th went little noticed.

Israel's Interests and Options in Syria: Larry Hanauer, Rand Corporation, 2015—With little ability to affect the outcome of the Syrian civil war, and with limited interest in intervening in the conflict other than to pre-empt or respond to attacks on its territory, Israel seems to have been a passive actor in recent events shaping the Levant.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: KERRY SAYS REFRIGERATORS, AIR CONDITIONERS AS BIG A THREAT AS I.S. “Air conditioners, refrigerators and other devices which use cooling agents harmful to the environment pose as great a threat to the world as terrorism and the I.S.” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking to a group of negotiators gathered to work out a global climate deal, Kerry compared their work to the international fight against terrorism, saying that eliminating the threat currently posed by materials inside household appliances had the potential to “literally save life…Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations – defense ministers and foreign ministers – as we were working together on the challenge of [the Islamic State], and terrorism,” Kerry, a long-time advocate of fighting climate change, told the group. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we – you – are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.” (Breaking Israel News, July 25, 2016)

 

On Topic Links

 

I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy: Fethullah Gulen, New York Times, July 25, 2016

Is Europe Helpless?: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2016

Germany is in a Dangerous State of Denial About Immigration, Islam and Terrorism: Telegraph, July 25, 2016

Why Should We Be ‘Balanced’ in Our Opinion of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority?: Robert Fulford, National Post, July 22, 2016

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“We have witnessed firsthand that a failed coup attempt is as bad as a successful one…Erdogan has a narrow window of opportunity to crack down once and for all against all of his enemies – real or imagined – because his popularity runs historic high these days.” — Mahir Zeynalov, a Turkish journalist who lives in exile in the U.S. Erdogan declared the start of a three-month state of emergency last week, deepening a crackdown on political opponents in the wake of a failed military coup. Among other powers, the decree allows the government to declare curfews, restrict media broadcasts and conduct on-the-spot searches. Residents and visitors will be required to carry identification at all times. Erdogan, as President, also gains the ability to pass new laws by decree, without consulting parliament. (Globe & Mail, July 20, 2016)

 

“Mao and the Iranian Revolution are the ones that come to mind…But these were revolutions. You expect this…So the interesting question is, Is Erdogan having his own revolution? He is going to completely restructure the Turkish state.” — Henri J. Barkey, an expert on Turkey and director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Trying to grasp for historical parallels to the upheaval in Turkey, historians and analysts have compared this purge to Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. More than a sudden attack on the government, the attempted coup this month has emerged as a turning point in a years-long struggle for control of the Turkish state.  (New York Times, July 22, 2016)

 

“Does (Sanders) believe in a God? He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps.” — Email to DNC officials, by an official identified only as “Marshall”. A cache of more than 19,000 emails from Democratic Party officials, leaked in advance of Hillary Clinton’s nomination at the party’s convention, details the acrimonious split between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Several emails posted by Wikileaks on its document disclosure website show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters and in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion. Although Wikileaks’ posting of the emails Friday did not disclose the identity of who provided the private material, those knowledgeable about the breach said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC computer system. (National Post, July 23, 2016)

 

“What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these e-mails and other experts are now saying that Russians are releasing these e-mails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” — Clinton campaign chairman Robby Mook. The Clinton camp questioned whether Russians may have had a hand in the hack attack on the party’s e-mails and were interested in helping Trump, who has exchanged words of praise with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort said the Clinton camp was trying to distract from its party discord ahead of the convention. (Globe & Mail, July 24, 2016)

 

“What’s in those e-mails show that it was a clearly rigged system, that Bernie Sanders … never had a chance.” — Paul Manafort. (Globe & Mail, July 24, 2016)

 

“We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria…My opponent has called for a radical 550-percent increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people….Anyone who endorses violence, hatred, or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.” — Donald Trump, accepting the GOP nomination for president at the Republican National Convention. Trump also said that the U.S. “must work” with all of its allies to destroy I.S. and radical Islamic terrorism. “This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel,” he said. (Algemeiner, July 22, 2016)

 

“The one thing that I think is important to recognize, is this idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse; this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn't really jibe with the experience of most people. I hope people, the next morning, walked outside and birds were chirping and the sun was out and this afternoon, people will be, you know, watching their kids play in sports teams and go to the swimming pool, and folks are going to work and getting ready for the weekend. And in particular, I think it is important, just to be absolutely clear here, that some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week [at the Republican convention] just don't jibe with the facts.” — U.S. President Barack Obama, disputing the vision of America presented at the Republican National Convention. (Real Clear Politics, July 22, 2016)

 

“I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart…Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him.” — Malik Obama, Obama’s Kenyan half-brother. Obama, 58, a longtime Democrat, said his “deep disappointment” in his brother Barack’s administration has led him to recently switch allegiance to “the party of Lincoln.” The last straw, he said, came earlier this month when FBI Director James Comey recommended not prosecuting Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail servers while secretary of state. “She should have known better as the custodian of classified information,” said Obama. (New York Post, July 24, 2016)

 

“The NY Times is alienating its independent and open-minded readers, and in doing so, limiting the reach of their message and its possible influence.” One reader from California who asked not to be named believes Times reporters and editors are trying to sway public opinion toward their own beliefs. “I never thought I’d see the day when I, as a liberal, would start getting so frustrated with the one-sided reporting that I would start hopping over to the Fox News webpage to read an article and get the rest of the story that the NYT refused to publish,” she says. Here’s frustration as it crests, from James, an Arizona reader: “You’ve lost a subscriber because of your relentless bias against Trump — and I’m not even a Republican.” You can imagine what the letters from actual conservatives sound like…Like the tiresome bore at a party, I went around asking several journalists in the newsroom about these claims that The Times sways to the left. Mostly I was met with a roll of the eyes. All sides hate us, they said. We’re tough on everyone. That’s nothing new here.” — Liz Spayd, Public Editor of the New York Times. (New York Times, July 23, 2016)

 

“I want to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the statements in the Al-Saraha article that deny the Holocaust and express anti-Semitic and homophobic views. Statements like these, filled with hatred, prejudice and lies, have no place in our society…The Ontario Liberal caucus was completely unaware of Al-Saraha’s intent to publish this article when it purchased advertising space to convey Ramadan greetings to the community. I assure you that our caucus will no longer purchase advertising space in this publication.” — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. An article titled “The Question Which Everyone Ignores: Why Did Hitler Kill the Jews?” ran in the June-July issue of the Al-Saraha newspaper, which, according to B’nai Brith, can be found “in every Middle Eastern restaurant and every Middle Eastern grocery in Southwestern Ontario.” The article by Egyptian writer Salah Montasser originally published in Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egyptian daily newspaper, asserts that the figure of six million Jewish Holocaust victims is based on “Jewish propaganda” that “managed to spread [this number] and establish it.” It accuses Jews of causing “most of the economic collapses that occurred in the banks in the period between 1870 and 1920.” After contacting Wynne’s office to inform them about the antisemitic content in the newspaper – in which it had placed a full-page “best wishes” ad on the occasion of Ramadan – Wynne sent an email to B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn condemning the publication. (CJN, July 22, 2016)

 

“The attack on Jewish students is a concerning national trend that cannot be ignored any longer. University officials cannot have a type of wishful thinking when something bad happens on their campus and will the situation to not happen again…What’s happening on college campuses today is not students just being students. The activities of these anti-Israel groups have serious repercussions and cannot be excused. Jewish students are being seriously threatened, their civil rights suppressed and routinely violated across the country…University administrations cannot say there is no problem…The problem is there. It is national and it cannot be ignored.” — Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative, following the release of a new report revealing the rise of antisemitic activity across more than 100 US college campuses. According to the report, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist groups on campus “have become significantly more brazen in both their strategy and tactics,” which has contributed greatly to an increase in antisemitic activity. The calls and acts opposing Israel’s right to exist were found to be highly correlated with behavior that targeted Jewish students for harm. The presence of three factors — anti-Zionist student groups; faculty who support boycotts of Israel; and pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activity — are “each strong predictors of anti-Jewish hostility.” (Algemeiner, July 26, 2016)

 

“We need to make the basic distinction between Daesh (I.S.) and the problem we have with terrorism inspired by radical and false interpretation of Islamism…Daesh pretends to be a state. They try to conquer villages, towns, cities, and they do it in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya. We are confident that we’ll get rid of that. It will be difficult, but we are making progress…Once it’s done, terrorism is still there. Daesh as an organization is likely to survive that, and you have al-Qaeda, Boko Haram. So we’ll need to continue to work very hard, all together, with our police, intelligence services and deradicalization efforts, and we’ll continue to fight.” — Canada’s Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion. Last week, Canada co-hosted a multinational conference aimed at raising $2-billion to rebuild Iraqi cities devastated by the military campaign. But aid and humanitarian groups warned the ongoing military offensive could add another 1.8 million Iraqis to the more than 3.5 million already driven from their homes by the conflict. Many of them will need assistance for years. (Globe & Mail, July 20, 2016)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

GERMAN REFUGEE POLICY UNDER FIRE AFTER A WEEK OF BLOODSHED (Berlin) — Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism. Anxiety over Germany's ability to cope with last year's flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations. But in the last seven days, the violence has become even more deadly. The bloodshed began July 18, when a 17-year-old from Afghanistan wielding an ax attacked people on a train near Wuerzburg, wounding five people before he was shot to death by police. I.S. claimed responsibility. On Sunday, a 21-year-old Syrian used a machete to kill a 45-year-old Polish woman in the southern city of Reutlingen. Authorities said the incident was not related to terrorism. Also Sunday, a 27-year-old Syrian who was denied asylum detonated a backpack of explosives and shrapnel at the entrance to an outdoor music festival in Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 15 people. I.S. claimed responsibility. The deadliest attack came Friday night in Munich. The German-born, 18-year-old son of Iranian asylum seekers went on a shooting spree and killed nine people. (MSN, July 27, 2016)

 

ATTACK ON CHURCH IN FRANCE KILLS PRIEST, AND I.S. IS BLAMED (Paris) — Two men stormed a parish church in northern France on Tuesday morning and took several hostages, fatally stabbing Rev. Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old priest, and critically injuring another person, before the attackers were shot dead by the police. President Hollande said that I.S. was behind the attack, the latest in a series of assaults that have left Europe stunned. St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray, the town in Normandy where the attack occurred, is about 65 miles northwest of Paris and has about 29,000 inhabitants. Townspeople said it was a peaceful community with a number of residents of immigrant ancestry. (New York Times, July 26, 2016)

 

NICE ATTACKER PLOTTED FOR MONTHS AND HAD ACCOMPLICES (Nice) — The man who plowed a truck into a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France — killing at least 84 and injuring more than 300 — plotted his attack for months and had accomplices, the Paris prosecutor announced. Speaking to reporters, François Molins said an analysis of the attacker’s cellphone revealed photographs and search histories suggesting that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the 31-year-old Tunisian-born driver of the truck, had contemplated an attack as early as 2015. Molins also confirmed that five suspects have been identified and taken into custody. They will face preliminary terrorism charges over their alleged roles in the July 14 attack. (Washington Post, July 21, 2016)

 

DEADLY I.S. ATTACK IN AFGHANISTAN (Kabul) — Afghanistan marked a national day of mourning on Sunday, a day after at least 80 people were killed by a suicide bomber attack on a peaceful demonstration. The attack was claimed by I.S. Authorities say another 231 people were wounded, some seriously, in the attack Saturday afternoon on a march by members of the ethnic Hazara community, who are predominantly Shia Muslim. Most Afghans are Sunni, and I.S. regards Shia as apostates. It was the first I.S. attack on Kabul — and the city's worst since a vicious Taliban insurgency began 15 years ago — raising concerns about the group's reach and capability in Afghanistan. (CBC, July 24, 2016)

 

BRAZIL ARRESTS TEN SUSPECTED OF PLOTTING ATTACKS TIMED FOR OLYMPICS (Rio de Janeiro) — Brazil’s federal police arrested 10 Brazilians they said were linked to I.S. and planning terrorist acts during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The arrests come just two weeks ahead of the opening ceremonies amid questions over Brazil’s security preparations for the Games. The suspects were members of a terrorist cell called “Defenders of Shariah,” which had communicated via the encrypted messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram. The suspects reportedly used those platforms to exchange comments about I.S. and cheer the attacks in France and Orlando. (Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2016)

 

ISRAELI-TRAINED BRAZILIAN FORCES TO SECURE RIO OLYMPICS (Rio de Janeiro) — The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will take place under watchful eyes of 10,000 Brazilian soldiers and police officers trained by Israelis. According to a report, the International Security & Defense Systems (ISDS) Israel defense company took on the $2.5 billion project, assisted by the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Argus Corporation, Kaylor, Kela and others are all involved in helping to secure the 10,000 athletes who will compete from 26 nations in 1,000 competitions. 26,000 journalists must also be protected at the 50 different stadiums and facilities. (Jewish Press, July 26, 2016)

 

CLINTON’S VP PICK TIM KAINE HAS ANTI-ISRAEL TRACK RECORD (Philadelphia) — While Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence are seen as supporters of Israel, Kaine does not take pro-Israel positions, and has shown support for organizations connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. To supporters of Israel among the most damaging things about Tim Kaine is that he is the darling of the anti-Israel organization J-Street. J-Street endorsed Kaine’s 2012 run for Senate, and JStreet was the second largest donor to Tim Kaine’s campaign committee between 2011-2014. Tim Kaine was one of the first Democrats to announce he was boycotting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress, and Kaine was an effusive supporter of the P5+1 Iran deal. (Jewish Press, July 26, 2016)

 

PROTESTERS BURN ISRAELI FLAG OUTSIDE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION (Philadelphia) — Protesters set an Israeli flag on fire and chanted “Long live the intifada” outside of the Democratic National Convention site in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, as others clashed with police. A woman wearing a black bandana on her face lit the flag on fire, as protests continued outside of the secure zone around the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Someone stood nearby waving a Palestinian flag. Meanwhile, die-hard Sanders loyalists demonstrated inside and outside the convention and clashed with police after Clinton won the party’s presidential nomination Tuesday. (Times of Israel, July 27, 2016)

 

PA UNVEILS STATUE OF 'REFRIGERATOR BOMBER' (Jerusalem) — On July 4, 1975, in Zion Square in Jerusalem, a booby-trapped refrigerator exploded, killing 15 people and wounding 77. The perpetrators were two Palestinians from the West Bank, one of whom escaped to Jordan. The other, Ahmad Jabara — nom de guerre of Abu Sukkar — was eventually apprehended, tried by an Israeli military court, and sentenced to life in prison. In 2003, under pressure from the Bush administration to make a “gesture” to the PA, Israel freed Sukkar, then 70, along with 99 other security prisoners. A few days ago, at a ceremony attended by top PA officials, the PA unveiled a statue of him. (PJ Media, July 22, 2016)

 

PA WANTS TO SUE BRITAIN FOR BALFOUR DECLARATION (Jerusalem) — PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki has said that the PA intends to sue Great Britain for the Balfour declaration. Al-Maliki, speaking at an Arab League conference, said that the declaration by the British Empire in 1917 "gave that which wasn't theirs to give to those to whom it did not belong." The Balfour declaration was a letter from UK Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour declaring that the British government "views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." This was the first recognition of the Zionist endeavor by a major world leader. (Arutz Sheva, July 26, 2016)

 

GERMAN GOVERNMENT DONATING MILLIONS TO BDS GROUPS: REPORT (Berlin) — A new report claims that the German government has been donating millions of euros to groups promoting the BDS movement. The NGO Monitor watchdog has found that between 2012 and 2015, Germany funneled at least $4.4 million to some 15 Israeli organizations, and 42 percent of the donations went to groups supporting an international boycott against Israel. The report found that the German Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry operates a Civil Peace Service project in Israel, but in fact, on the ground the project is headed by a different German group which has partnered with two local organizations that support the BDS movement (JNS, July 25, 2016)

 

ISRAEL SECRETLY SEEKING RESTITUTION FOR JEWISH PROPERTY FROM ARAB STATES, IRAN (Jerusalem) — Israel is working secretly to obtain the return of Jewish property in Arab countries, and millions of shekels have been allocated to the process. It is believed that nearly a million Jews resided in Arab countries and in Iran on the eve of the War of Independence in 1948. After Israel was established, around 600,000 of them immigrated to Israel over the next three decades in waves that continued in 1956 and 1967 and after the Iranian revolution in 1979. A report published in 2014 blasted the state for neglecting the issue, and put the combined value of the lost assets at “a few billion dollars.” Despite repeated promises by successive governments, the state has made almost no effort to gather data on this lost property. The covert activity is presumably not unrelated to another law passed in 2014, which established an annual memorial day, November 30, for the expulsion of the Jews from Muslim countries. (Ha’aretz, July 13, 2016)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

 

I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy: Fethullah Gulen, New York Times, July 25, 2016— During the attempted military coup in Turkey this month, I condemned it in the strongest terms. “Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force,” I said. “I pray to God for Turkey, for Turkish citizens, and for all those currently in Turkey that this situation is resolved peacefully and quickly.”

Is Europe Helpless?: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2016—At last count, members of the European Union spent more than $200 billion a year on defense, fielded more than 2,000 jet fighters and 500 naval ships, and employed some 1.4 million military personnel. More than a million police officers also walk Europe’s streets. Yet in the face of an Islamist menace the Continent seems helpless. Is it?

Germany is in a Dangerous State of Denial About Immigration, Islam and Terrorism: Telegraph, July 25, 2016—In the past seven days, German civilians have come under attack from four men of Middle Eastern or Asian origin. Three have been linked to Isil. The latest incident saw a Syrian blow himself up outside a Bavarian festival after pledging allegiance to Isil.

Why Should We Be ‘Balanced’ in Our Opinion of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority?: Robert Fulford, National Post, July 22, 2016 —When Ottawa announced that Vivian Bercovici will no longer be ambassador to Israel, The Globe and Mail elicited a few happy remarks from Ferry de Kerckhove, a former diplomat who has served as Canadian ambassador to Egypt and Pakistan.

 

WHILE BIBI LEADS ISRAEL’S “RETURN” TO AFRICA, HERZOG SECRETLY NEGOTIATES WITH THE PA

Israel’s Strategy Shift Bears Fruit: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, July 22, 2016— Wednesday’s announcement that Guinea is resuming ties with Israel almost half a century after severing them is a nontrivial piece of good news.

Where Israeli and African Interests Intersect: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, July 4, 2016 — When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold talk about a “confluence of interests,” they generally refer to a commonality of interests with the Arab countries in the region that is behind the unprecedented, but discreet, cooperation with them.

Herzog’s Intolerable Deceit: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, June 29, 2016— Zionist Union Chairman MK Isaac Herzog is the scion of one of Israel’s most distinguished families.

Israel's Socialist Dreams vs. Capitalist Realities: Steven Plaut, Middle East Quarterly, Summer, 2016— A colorful legend holds that when God offered the Torah to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, they were reluctant to accept it.

 

On Topic Links

 

Turkey, Egypt, Africa: How ‘Hard-Liner’ Netanyahu Pulled Off a Diplomacy Trifecta: Ron Kampeas, Times of Israel, July 13, 2016

'Palestinians, Sudan Working to Restrain Israeli Breakthrough in Africa': Adam Rasgon, Jerusalem Post, July 21, 2016

More Positive Signs for the Israel-China Relationship: Judith Bergman, Algemeiner, May 26, 2016

End US Aid to Israel: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, July 26, 2015

 

 

ISRAEL’S STRATEGY SHIFT BEARS FRUIT

Evelyn Gordon                                 

Commentary, July 22, 2016

 

Wednesday’s announcement that Guinea is resuming ties with Israel almost half a century after severing them is a nontrivial piece of good news. Granted, Guinea is a poor and relatively unimportant African country. But it’s 85 percent Muslim, and few Muslim-majority countries have yet been willing to forge open relations with Israel; consequently, its decision could encourage others to follow suit. Guinea was also the first country in Africa to sever relations with Israel following the 1967 Six-Day War. For both those reasons, its renewal of ties underscores the degree to which a new Israeli strategy aimed at improving relations with the non-Western world has begun bearing fruit.

 

The Guinea announcement comes on the heels of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s successful trip to Africa earlier this month. Highlights of that trip included announcements by both Kenya and Ethiopia–two of Israel’s closest African allies–that they would push for Israel to receive observer status at the African Union, as well as Tanzania’s announcement that it planned to open an embassy in Israel, 21 years after renewing relations.

 

Israeli media outlets have also reported that officials from three other Muslim-majority African countries that don’t have relations with Israel–Mali, Chad, and Somalia–recently paid secret visits, indicating that the prospect of other Muslim countries following Guinea’s lead is far from inconceivable. Indeed, just last week, Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold visited Chad for a meeting with its president. This prospect is made more plausible by the warming of Israel’s relations with key Arab states. As several African leaders noted during Netanyahu’s trip, there’s little point in African countries continuing to give Israel the cold shoulder when some of the very Arab countries that originally pushed them to do so now have either overt or covert relations with it.

 

There are two reasons why Israel ascribes such importance to its warming ties with Africa, and both have more to do with the long term than the short term. The first is the need to diversify its trading partners. Currently, about a third of Israel’s exports go to Europe. But the combination of Europe’s slowing economy and its growing hostility to Israel make this heavy reliance on Europe a potential threat to Israel’s economic future. Africa is the world’s poorest continent, but it’s experiencing rapid economic growth, and many of Israel’s fields of expertise fit well with Africa’s needs, including agricultural technology, water conservation, and counterterrorism. Thus by expanding and improving its diplomatic relations with African countries, Israel hopes to eventually expand its trade relations as well.

 

The second, as Netanyahu said during his Africa trip, is the hope of ending the automatic majority against Israel in international forums. As he readily acknowledged, this could well take decades; long-entrenched voting patterns don’t change overnight. Nevertheless, change is far from impossible: See, for instance, the 2014 Security Council vote on setting a deadline for Palestinian statehood, which was defeated because the Palestinians failed to muster the requisite nine votes. Two of the five crucial abstentions came from Africa (Rwanda and Nigeria).

 

Even if African countries can’t yet be flipped into the minuscule camp of pro-Israel voters, just moving them from the anti-Israel bloc to the abstention column could ease Israel’s dependence on America’s Security Council veto. Since Security Council resolutions need a minimum of nine “yes” votes to pass, an abstention has the same effect as a “no” for countries without veto power. It should also be noted that reliably abstaining would suffice to make African countries better voting allies than about half the European Union and of equal value to most of the rest: EU countries almost never vote with Israel, and some regularly vote against it.

 

Israel’s burgeoning relations with Africa obviously stem partly from something beyond its control: the rise of Islamist terror. As several African leaders openly acknowledged during Netanyahu’s trip, counterterrorism assistance is currently the thing they most want from Israel. And if reports of the visits by officials from Mali, Chad, and Somalia are true, it’s a safe bet they were also seeking counterterrorism help; all three have serious problems with Islamist terror.

 

The improvement also stems partly from Israel’s longstanding policy of proffering aid even to countries it has no relations with, which sometimes bears belated fruit. For instance, Israeli officials said one factor in Guinea’s decision to renew relations was the medical aid Israel gave it during the Ebola crisis two years ago. A salient example from Asia, another continent with which Israel’s ties have recently blossomed, is Singapore. Singapore asked Israel to train its army in the mid-1960s, before the two countries even established relations, and then concealed that fact for decades. But last month, as Elliott Abrams noted, Singapore joined forces with India and Rwanda–the third country in the club of Israel’s closest African allies–to help Israel gain the Non-Aligned votes it needed to win the chairmanship of a key UN committee.

 

The third reason for Israel’s declining isolation, however, is a deliberate decision by successive Netanyahu governments that the country could not afford, either economically or diplomatically, to keep focusing almost exclusively on the West while largely ignoring the rest of the world. Avigdor Lieberman, now the defense minister, made a major push to improve Israel’s ties with Africa and Asia during his term as foreign minister, and since his departure, the ministry has continued this drive under the de facto leadership of Gold (Netanyahu is the nominal foreign minister).

 

This constituted a major shift in Israel’s strategy, and it stemmed from a simple realization: Relations with Europe are inevitably being frayed by the fact that what the EU seems to want most from Israel is something beyond Israel’s power to provide. Namely, a peace deal with people who have consistently refused every Israeli offer and are currently refusing even to negotiate with it. Europe’s attitude could change someday, but Israel can’t count on that. Hence it must develop alternative sources of trade and diplomatic support as an insurance policy. The restoration of relations with Guinea is yet another sign that this strategy is starting to pay off. And that’s very good news for Israel.                                                    

 

Contents                                                                                   

                                                    

WHERE ISRAELI AND AFRICAN INTERESTS INTERSECT                                                      

Herb Keinon                                                                                                                    

Jerusalem Post, July 4, 2016

 

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold talk about a “confluence of interests,” they generally refer to a commonality of interests with the Arab countries in the region that is behind the unprecedented, but discreet, cooperation with them. That term, however, is also used when explaining why precisely now – nearly 30 years after Yitzhak Shamir was the last sitting prime minister to visit Africa – Israel, as Netanyahu puts it, is returning to Africa, and Africa is returning to Israel.

 

Interestingly, Shamir's six-day, four country tour took him to western Africa – Togo, Cameroon, Liberia and the Ivory Coast – while Netanyahu's five-day, four-country hop takes him to the east: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. The main common interest revolves around security issues. Three of the four – Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia – are facing terrorism from Islamic extremists, and Rwanda is concerned about a spill-over effect. These countries are afraid that what has happened in Libya, Mali and the Ivory Coast could happen to them as well.

 

For this reason they are interested in forging stronger ties with Israel. It is not all about getting water, energy and agricultural know-how, but it is also very much about getting Israeli knowledge and assistance in how to combat terrorism. These countries, and other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, are more concerned with questions of homeland security than they were some 20 years ago, and they see Israel as one country with a great deal of experience – and technology – in this field .

 

One of the reasons for this enhanced concern is the break-up of Libya, and the negative forces that it unleashed on its neighbors – Mali and Chad. The break-up of Libya has had another impact as well – it removed the single biggest factor inside Africa that was working against a normalization of ties with Israel.

It was former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi who pressed to get Israel's observer status removed from the African Union, arguing in one debate that Israel was responsible for all the continent's ills. And it was Gaddafi who actively lobbied to keep countries from welcoming Israel. His fall had an impact on the willingness of a number of countries to strengthen their ties.

 

South Africa has also been an impediment to Israeli inroads into the continent, and indeed has been key in recent years to blocking an upgrade for Israel at the African Union, an upgrade that Netanyahu will raise in his meetings. There are many reasons for the South African animosity, including Israel's relations with the apartheid regime, and the ANC's close ties to the PLO. But, according to diplomatic officials, while Libya actively tried to convince African states not to strengthen their ties with Israel, South Africa is not doing the same with countries such as Rwanda, Ethiopia and Kenya. Partly, officials in those countries will say, because Pretoria realizes that they will not be able to do so.

 

Another common interest is keeping Iran and Hezbollah from gaining ground on the continent. Iran is active in east Africa, keen on getting access to the Red Sea, and Hezbollah in the west. A high-profile Israeli presence can serve as a counterweight to their efforts. Israel's close security cooperation with Jordan and Egypt is also something that is well-known in Africa, as are Israel's discreet ties with Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf countries. This, diplomatic officials maintain, has led to some of the African countries asking themselves: “If they can do it, why can't we?”

 

During Shamir's visit to west Africa in 1987, The New York Times quoted from an editorial in the Nigerian Tribune: ''We can do business with Israel and keep our Arab friends – Egypt is doing exactly that,'' the editorial read. ''Our Arab friends should not be seen as choosing our enemies for us.” Israel and Africa's “return” to one another is an indication that 30 years later, this sentiment is indeed taking hold.                                                               

 

Contents                                                                                               

                                                                       

HERZOG’S INTOLERABLE DECEIT                                                                                         

Isi Leibler                                                                                                                         

Candidly Speaking, June 29, 2016

 

Zionist Union Chairman MK Isaac Herzog is the scion of one of Israel’s most distinguished families. His late father Chaim served with distinction as president, and his grandfather, whose name he carries, was one of Israel’s most respected and beloved chief rabbis.  I have been lauding Herzog over the past year, relating to him as a Labor Zionist of the old school who had the ability to revive the party and rid it of the delusional leftists who alienated many of its former supporters and weakened it – almost to the point of destruction.

 

I bemoaned the fact that a unity government was not formed, insisting that Herzog, like the head of all Zionist parties, would basically be implementing the same policies as the current government. In this context, I believed that he would make an excellent foreign minister and enable Israel to display unity in the face of the concerted diplomatic pressures being exerted against us. In January after the elections, while as leader of the opposition, Herzog continued castigating Netanyahu, he nevertheless publicly endorsed the consensus policy toward the Palestinians adopted by Professor Shlomo Avineri, Labor Zionism’s foremost intellectual.

 

Although he emphasized that he remained committed to a separation from the Palestinians, Avineri maintained that the Oslo Accords were no longer relevant as the Palestinian leadership refused to accept Israel’s right to exist and considered Israel’s destruction a higher priority than achieving their own statehood. Avineri concluded that under such circumstances, efforts to implement a two-state solution were delusionary. Despite bitter protests and condemnations from the radical ranks of Labor, Herzog publicly identified with this approach, explicitly stating that there is “no chance of peace in this era.” Furthermore, he declared that the Israel Defense Forces must remain in the West Bank and in the Jordan Valley. He told French President François Hollande that “hatred and incitement among the Palestinians” are currently too intense to contemplate implementing a two-state solution.

 

Thus, it was a shocking revelation when it was disclosed last week that, prior to last year’s election, at the height of Palestinian incitement and frenzied calls to “save Al-Aqsa,” Herzog was secretly negotiating terms for a final settlement with the corrupt and degenerate Palestinian Authority. Through former Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh, Herzog outlined the following surrealistic principles which were summarized in a secret letter of understanding with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and scheduled to be implemented following the elections:

 

Israel would withdraw to the 1949 armistice lines, i.e., from all of Judea and Samaria, with the exception of 4% territory swaps enabling Israel to retain portions of the settlement blocs. Those resident outside these areas would either be repatriated to Israel or obliged to accept Palestinian rule. Israel would retain a “symbolic” presence in the Jordan Valley in conjunction with Palestinian forces. East Jerusalem would become the capital of a Palestinian state with a single municipality acting under the jurisdiction of both Israel and the Palestinian State. The Temple Mount would be administered by an international force with an Israeli presence at the Western Wall. The Palestinian refugee issue would be resolved on the basis of U.N. Resolution 194 with a “joint decision” to accept those wishing to return or accept financial compensation. The Arabs claim that currently over 5 million people – the original refugees and their descendants – are awaiting repatriation.

 

This is simply an extension of the Olmert formula – which was not approved by the cabinet or the Knesset and rejected by Abbas. It was surely utterly naïve and politically counterproductive to extend such unilateral concessions before obtaining a single indication of reciprocity from the Palestinians. But the worst travesty was the unprecedented initiative of an opposition leader to furtively engage in foreign affairs initiatives that conflict with the policies determined by a democratically elected government. When this is applied toward hostile forces that promote and endorse terrorism, it could even be considered seditious.

 

What makes Herzog’s behavior even more reprehensible is that all opinion polls clearly demonstrated that a broad consensus of the nation was adamantly opposed to further unilateral territorial concessions. Most Israelis aspire for separation but recognize that unless the Palestinians demonstrate a willingness to accept the reality of a Jewish state and cease terror activities, there is no possibility of creating a Palestinian state.

 

To cap it, Herzog fought an election and failed to disclose to the electorate that these negotiations had taken place. Today, he admits that had he won, he had every intention of implementing these policies. Needless to say, had he disclosed his policy, he would have been decimated at the polls.

 

A year later, after this sleazy episode has been exposed, Herzog tries to justify his deceit by suggesting that the entire operation was designed to persuade Abbas to cease inciting against Jews. The late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin would turn in his grave if he could visualize how a youngster whom he personally nurtured politically and had become leader of his party, crossed every one of the red lines he had drawn in relation to territorial concessions to the Palestinians…

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

                                                           

 

Contents                                                                                                                       

                                 

ISRAEL'S SOCIALIST DREAMS VS. CAPITALIST REALITIES

Steven Plaut                                     

                                                  Middle East Quarterly, Summer, 2016

 

A colorful legend holds that when God offered the Torah to the Israelites at Mt. Sinai, they were reluctant to accept it. God then lifted the mountain over their heads in a threatening manner, mak-ing them an offer they could not refuse. They reconsidered. The saga of economic liberalism, some-times dubbed "neoliberal-ism," and Israeli economic growth bears some similarities to that legend. Modern Israel has developed into something of an economic miracle, largely as a result of economic liberalization, driven by entrepreneurship, innovation, investment, and the accumulation of human capital. Yet Israelis have never been entirely comfortable with economic liberalism and indeed are by and large hostile to it. Like their wandering ancestors, they have benefitted in spite of their disinclinations.

 

Israelis may be the most entrepreneurial population on the planet; their capabilities in innovation being, for example, the essential message of Start-Up Nation, the New York Times business bestseller. There are supposed to be more startups in Israel than in Western Europe, not per capita, but in absolute numbers. With a population of eight million people, Israel has over 6,000 startups. In the 2015 Bloomberg Innovation Index, Israel was ranked ahead of the United States, France, and the United Kingdom. The number of Israeli patents is among the largest for any country in the world while shares of numerous Israeli companies trade on the American NASDAQ stock exchange as well as other exchanges. Acquisitions of Israeli high-tech companies by foreign investors inject many billions of dollars into the country every year. Among the reasons for the country's success are its well-educated labor force, a high household savings rate, high levels of imported capital, a strong immigration rate (which includes many highly-educated people), and especially—in recent years—an extremely creative high-tech sector, which so far operates largely outside the realm of government regulation.

 

This economic good news is all the more remarkable in light of the fact that Israel began its existence in the late 1940s as an impoverished third-world country, whose economy might have been discussed in the same breath as that of India or Egypt. Today, Israel has a gross domestic product per capita comparable to that of the middle-income countries of Western Europe, roughly the same as Italy's. Israel was one of the only countries in the world whose economy did not contract during the global financial crisis that began in 2007. Its rates of inflation and unemployment have been better than those of the United States and Western Europe in recent years. The economy has shown its resilience in the face of numerous challenges and shocks, including chronic terrorism, frequent military conflict, a huge defense burden, a dearth of physical natural resources, and the need to integrate people arriving from scores of different countries and cultures.

 

Ironically, this dramatic transition from low-development status to today's very high level took place largely despite economic policies that were, in many cases, designed to prevent growth and efficiency. Economic policy has been liberalized slowly over time, but this occurred by and large in the face of governmental reluctance. In some cases, especially regarding the reduction of import protectionism, this was forced upon the government as part of multinational trade agreements. Israeli economic policy has almost always stifled competition; protected inefficient sectors; allocated resources based on political negotiation, lobbying, and political power; and suppressed market forces in large swaths of the economy. This "reign of pork"— has included the maintenance of an enormous bloated public sector, a long series of bailouts for failed enterprises, high tax rates, and a gargantuan budget.

 

Israeli economic success is disconnected from the every-day economic philosophy of most of the Israeli public, Israelis from all parts of the political spectrum are devoted to maintaining a near-Scandinavian level of welfare state benefits. Income and wealth disparities are obsessions for a broad swath of the citizenry, and all parties promise to redress them, often by means of taxes that will "soak the rich." Most Israelis use the terms "capitalist," "privatization" and "deregulation" as pejoratives while "socialist," or at times even "communist," is something of a romantic compliment (though one that has also come to imply a certain naiveté.) Both middle- and upper-income Israelis are highly likely to vote for political parties of the Left, like the Israeli Labor Party or Meretz, which openly denounce economic liberalism and romanticize the egalitarianism of socialism. Working-class and low-income Israelis are much more likely to vote for the parties of the Right and religious parties although these parties are often really parties of the Left when it comes to economic liberalism…                                                              [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]

 

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On Topic Links

 

Turkey, Egypt, Africa: How ‘Hard-Liner’ Netanyahu Pulled Off a Diplomacy Trifecta: Ron Kampeas, Times of Israel, July 13, 2016—The conventional wisdom has it that earning the sobriquet “the most right-wing government in Israeli history” does not lead to diplomatic successes.

'Palestinians, Sudan Working to Restrain Israeli Breakthrough in Africa': Adam Rasgon, Jerusalem Post, July 21, 2016 —Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced on Wednesday that the Palestinian Authority and Sudan are coordinating to “restrain Israeli movements” in the African continent. 

More Positive Signs for the Israel-China Relationship: Judith Bergman, Algemeiner, May 26, 2016 —Welcome to the beauty of Chinese-Israeli cultural relations. Seen against the backdrop of solid loathing of all things Israeli that so dominates the European cultural establishment, the relations between China and Israel almost seem like something out of a dreamlike alternate reality.

End US Aid to Israel: Daniel Pipes, Israel Hayom, July 26, 2015 —Exactly 20 years ago, a newly elected Israeli prime minister — Benjamin Netanyahu — dramatically announced the following to a joint session of Congress: "We are deeply grateful for all we have received from the United States, for all that we have received from this chamber, from this body. But I believe there can be no greater tribute to America's long-standing economic aid to Israel than for us to be able to say: 'We are going to achieve economic independence…

 

 

WHILE DEM. CONVENTION BEGINS AMID NEW EMAIL SCANDAL, CLINTON PICKS VP CRITICAL OF BIBI WHO SUPPORTED IRAN “DEAL”

Democrats’ Disunion: Jim Geraghty, National Review, July 25, 2016— Remember when political conventions were boring?

Hillary Risks Being Upstaged by Rivals at her Own Convention: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, July 23, 2016 — Now that Donald Trump has nailed his manifesto to the door and defined the election in stark and certain terms, Hillary Clinton gets her chance.

Is Clinton VP Pick Tim Kaine Good for Israel – or Dangerous?: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, July 24, 2016— It didn’t take long after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced Tim Kaine as her running mate on Friday…

What if the GOP Wins? – Potential Payoffs and Pitfalls for Israel: Dr. Martin Sherman, Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2016— Rejecting decades-old policy, the Republican Party approved on July 12 a [2016] platform that does not include a call for a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.—Forward, July 10, 2016

 

On Topic Links

 

Behind Hillary’s Mask: Gail Collins, New York Times, July 23, 2015

It's a Family Tradition: Weekly Standard, July 18, 2016

It’s Hillary Clinton’s Moment — So Why is she the Most Hated Woman in the United States?: Robyn Urback, National Post, July 23, 2016

The Genius of Donald Trump: Conrad Black, National Post, July 23, 2016

 

 

 

DEMOCRATS’ DISUNION

Jim Geraghty                                             

National Review, July 25, 2016

 

Remember when political conventions were boring? Last week saw the GOP primary’s runner-up booed off the stage for refusing to endorse its winner. This week, the Democrats begin their convention with the resignation of their national committee chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after nearly 20,000 of the committee’s e-mails were published by WikiLeaks.

 

Most explosive of all was an e-mail from Brad Marshall, the committee’s chief financial officer, which suggested getting reporters to ask Bernie Sanders about his religious beliefs, convinced they would be a liability in some states. “It might may [sic] no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief [sic]. Does he believe in a God,” Marshall wrote. “He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.” There are no e-mails of any of Marshall’s colleagues reacting with shock or disapproval or rebuking him for suggesting such a course.

 

Some might shrug and say this is typical bare-knuckle politics, except that the DNC isn’t supposed to be sitting around strategizing new ways to kneecap Democratic presidential candidates. And the committee’s private chatter complicates the current Democratic rallying cry against Donald Trump: that he’s unacceptably divisive, willing to exploit fear of a religious minority (Muslims) for his own political gain.

 

“First of all, I am not an atheist,” Sanders declared on CNN Sunday. “But aside from all of that, I mean, it is an outrage and sad that you would have people in important positions in the DNC trying to undermine my campaign. It goes without saying the function of the DNC is to represent all of the candidates, to be fair and even-minded.” Sanders speaks to the convention Monday night. He’s already endorsed Hillary Clinton, and will no doubt follow through on that in Philadelphia. But the e-mail revelations create drama where before there was none: Will he address the DNC’s undermining of his campaign? Will he bring up the fact that targeting his religion was considered fair game within the committee?

 

At the exact moment that Clinton needed to distance herself from Wasserman Schultz’s management of the DNC, she chose instead to embrace the departing chairwoman, naming her an “honorary chair of my campaign’s 50-state program to gain ground and elect Democrats in every part of the country.” Sanders supporters, who already had every reason to be apoplectic with Wasserman Schultz, now have even more reason to be angry with Clinton, too.

 

On Sunday, they marched through Philadelphia echoing the “Lock her up” chant from the Republican National Convention floor. Clinton’s team went into damage-control mode, with campaign manager Robby Mook appearing on the Sunday shows to portray the Democrats as victims of the nefarious Russian government. The e-mail revelations create drama where before there was none. “The hackers that got into the DNC are very likely by to be working in coordination with Russia,” Mook told Jake Tapper. “And, again, I think it’s — if the Russians in fact had these e-mails, again, I don’t think it’s very coincidental that they are being released at this time to create maximum damage on Hillary Clinton and to help Donald Trump.” Who knows, maybe Mook is right. But if cyber-security is suddenly a preeminent issue on voters’ minds, why on God’s green earth would they entrust presidential power to the woman whom FBI director James Comey called “extremely careless in [the] handling of very sensitive, highly classified information”?

 

Ordinarily, a troubled candidate might turn to her running mate to unite the party. But there isn’t much for Sanders supporters to admire in Kaine; from their hard-left perspective, he’s more of the same: blandly uncontroversial, shifting with the winds, a smiling centrist who never makes too many waves. “Bernie delegates here and reflecting supporters around the country are so upset about the Kaine pick,” says Norman Solomon, a Sanders delegate from California. “It’s the one thing that Hillary Clinton cannot go back on later on. She’s locked into her pick. . . . [What] we believe, from what we understand on the ground, coming from all over this country, is that the selection of Kaine will make defeating Donald Trump that much more difficult.”

 

Solomon is among a small group of Sanders delegates attempting to reject the Kaine nomination on the floor. His effort is unlikely to succeed, but there are lesser ways of punishing Kaine that would still make for some memorable images. Solomon says some delegates have discussed walking out of Kaine’s acceptance speech, remaining completely silent, remaining seated throughout, or turning their backs to him. The Republicans just enjoyed a surprisingly peaceful convention, with only one major protest and no violent confrontations with police. But in Philadelphia, a bigger city not far from New York and Washington, police expect “much larger and potentially more turbulent demonstrations.” Temperatures are expected to be in the mid-to-high 90s, so every Democrat in Philadelphia will be feeling the heat this week — literal and metaphorical.                                                                   

 

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                        HILLARY RISKS BEING UPSTAGED

BY RIVALS AT HER OWN CONVENTION                                                            

Michael Goodwin                                                                              

New York Post, July 23, 2016

 

Now that Donald Trump has nailed his manifesto to the door and defined the election in stark and certain terms, Hillary Clinton gets her chance. But unless she suddenly finds a backbone, look for her to deliver a muddled list of Democratic nostrums that satisfies no one. To compensate for her wishy-washy, flippy-floppy untruthiness, Clinton has loaded her lineup of convention speakers with political sluggers. As such, she seems determined to test the proposition that you can never have too much of a good thing.

 

But you can, if it means the star of the show gets lost in the crowd and her message looks like a puréed compromise of others’ convictions. That’s the risk Clinton takes by featuring President Obama and Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton and Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Her husband’s star power is diminishing and the others resemble a reunion of rivals rather than a supporting cast. It’s weird enough to make you feel sorry for poor Hillary. Well, almost.

 

She earned her predicament. Having failed to establish a rationale for her campaign beyond a sense of entitlement and inevitability, she is acting like a European-style parliamentary candidate hoping to be selected prime minister by her party instead of an American presidential candidate appealing directly to voters. Her approach represents a big change from her campaign in 2008, when she exhibited more moxie and certainty. A lurid joke in her race against a young Obama was that she should give him one of her balls so they’d both have two.

 

Whether it’s circumstance, health issues, or a combination of factors, she’s now running as a shrunken version of that person, quickly trimming her sails to meet the demands of others. In truth, there was always a taint to her image as a trailblazer because she owes her political career to her husband and especially to his infidelity. After she saved his butt during the Monica Lewinsky impeachment battle, it was no secret he would repay her by helping her win the Senate seat in New York.

 

Selling pardons to Puerto Rican terrorists and Hasidic thieves in exchange for votes were just some of the unseemly things they did together. Then, after losing to Obama in 2008, she further compromised her independence by hitching her wagon to his White House. Whatever the truth of their awkward personal relationship, she is now dependent on the president’s support.

 

She deserved to be indicted in the e-mail scandal, and almost certainly would have been without Obama’s protection. That burdened her with yet another IOU that limits her ability to maneuver around his failed policies. Suppose, for example, more terror attacks at home force her to take a more muscular approach to the Islamic State. How does she do that without breaking from his refusal even to call the enemy by its name? And what does she say about his limited airstrike campaign, which, as Obama’s CIA head admitted, hasn’t reduced the barbarians’ ability to carry out slaughters in Europe and America?

 

Obama’s power over her is the black vote. If he signals a lack of enthusiasm for her, turnout among his most loyal supporters could sag and cost her the election. Obviously, Obama doesn’t want to help Trump, but his vanity is easily pricked. Complicating things even more for Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are also squeezing her. She won the nomination with the backing of the establishment and the connivance of the Democratic National Committee, but Sanders won the hearts of the new generation. To woo his backers and his endorsement, Clinton repudiated many of her long-held positions. Her stands on trade, criminal justice, Wall Street, health care, college tuitions — all were thrown overboard in a craven bid to save herself.

 

Some of that is politics as usual, and effective leadership often requires compromise. But Clinton’s reputation for dishonesty is both personal and political, and the nomination crown she has won is battered with dings and dents. A test will come in her acceptance speech Thursday night. She must finally articulate a rationale for why she should be president and demonstrate that she is leading the party, and not the other way around. If she succeeds, she’ll be the clear front-runner for November. If she can’t, she will have sold her soul and have nothing to show for it.

                                                                       

 

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                          IS CLINTON VP PICK TIM KAINE

GOOD FOR ISRAEL – OR DANGEROUS?                                                                          

Abra Forman                                                                                     

Breaking Israel News, July 24, 2016

 

It didn’t take long after presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton announced Tim Kaine as her running mate on Friday for Jewish groups and leaders to delve into the Virginia senator’s history with his state’s Jewish community and his stances on Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the two-state solution.

 

While liberal Jewish site the Forward called Kaine the “Jewiest Vice President pick” and noted that he had been “a friend to the Jewish community for about as long as he’s been in public service”, conservatives pointed to Kaine’s criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and condemned his decision last year not to attend Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on the Iranian nuclear deal.

 

A practicing Catholic and former missionary, Kaine joins the Senate’s weekly prayer breakfast on Wednesdays and is part of a “reflection group” in the Senate which discusses faith-related issues. In a speech given in May at the Jewish American Heritage Celebration in Washington, D.C., Kaine spoke at length on the importance of religious freedom, his trips to Israel, and his work in opening a huge Sabra hummus factory in his state.

 

Kaine differs from many Democrats in his support of defense for Israel, representing a break with the increasingly vitriolic left-wing narrative painting Israel as an oppressive apartheid state. (In fact, many former Bernie Sanders supporters have spoken against the choice of Kaine as the Democratic running mate.) He has said that he feels Netanyahu and the Israeli government are pushing Democrats away despite their pro-Israel stance. “Our party has a long tradition of being pro-Israel, and being pro-Israel doesn’t mean we agree on everything, but we’re friends, we’re allies, we’re partners and to the extent we have disagreements we try to work them out productively,” he said last year. “I want Israel to be safe and secure in the future and I worry that some of the activities vis-à-vis Palestine have weakened Israel’s future security, not strengthened it.”

 

In November, Kaine joined a number of Democratic policymakers who called on President Barack Obama to write a strengthened “Memorandum of Understanding” on security assistance to Israel. He has visited Israel a number of times, most recently in January, when he and a delegation of Democratic senators met with Netanyahu to discuss oversight of the Iran deal. J Street, the influential left-wing Jewish lobby decried by many as hostile to Israel, praised Clinton’s choice, saying in a statement that Kaine “has proven himself to be a great friend of Israel and a champion of pragmatic, proactive American foreign policy.” “On Capitol Hill, Senator Kaine, as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has consistently advocated the need for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the only way to ensure that Israel can survive and flourish as a Jewish and democratic state and that Palestinians can live with independence and dignity,” the statement continued.

 

The organization also commended Kaine on his support of 2015’s nuclear deal with Iran, which Israel and Netanyahu fought passionately, warning that the deal would only embolden Iran to increase its aggressive military and nuclear activities with impunity. The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) called Clinton’s selection of Kaine “[proof] she cannot be trusted to keep our country safe”, citing the same political moves which J Street had championed and adding that the fact that J Street had endorsed him was a major red flag.

 

“Whether it’s his vote for the Iran deal, which paves the way to a nuclear-armed Iran, or his proud support of the progressive anti-Israel J Street agenda which earned him their enthusiastic endorsement, Senator Kaine has shown how out of touch he is on the dangers facing our country,” said RJC’s executive director Matt Brooks in a press release.                    

 

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                                                WHAT IF THE GOP WINS? –

               POTENTIAL PAYOFFS AND PITFALLS FOR ISRAEL

Dr. Martin Sherman     

                                                 Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2016

 

“Rejecting decades-old policy, the Republican Party approved on July 12 a [2016] platform that does not include a call for a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.”—Forward, July 10, 2016. “We believe the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank would be destabilizing and harmful to the peace process.” – 1980 Republican platform that brought Ronald Reagan to the White House. “We oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state; its establishment is inimical to the security interests of Israel, Jordan, and the US. We will not support the creation of any Palestinian entity that could place Israel’s security in jeopardy.” – 1988 Republican platform that brought George H. W. Bush to the White House.

 

These three excerpts spanning over a quarter-century relating to the GOPs attitude towards the establishment of a Palestinian state include two important lessons for Israel. One of these lessons relates to the past; the other to the future. Israel will ignore either at its peril—or at least, to its grave detriment. With regard to the past, these excerpts underscore the breathtaking erosion that has taken place since the late 1980s in the GOPs opposition to Palestinian statehood—from utter rejection; to retraction of opposition (1996); to explicit—albeit conditioned—endorsement in 2002. It is only now that the GOP is setting aside its ill-considered support, and has thankfully begun to revert—albeit it still partially—to its former position.

 

What makes this spectacular erosion—from un-conditional rejection to conditional acceptance—even more remarkable is the fact that it took place over a period in which for the overwhelmingly greater proportion of time, the incumbent Israeli government was headed by Likud, which until mid-2009 (Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan Speech) explicitly opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state. Indeed, for the twenty-two years (between 1980 to 2002), Likud-led coalitions were in power for about double the time that Labor-led ones were. This is clearly a grave indictment of the Israeli “Right’s” inability to convincingly convey the validity of its political credo, and to undermine that of its ideological adversaries on the “Left”.

 

The gravity of this indictment is further compounded by two factors that make it even more damning. The first is that this dismal outcome emerged despite the highly favorably point of departure, which opponents of Palestinian statehood enjoyed. After all, no effort was required to win over the GOP to this “rejectionist” position, for it was a priori staunchly behind it to begin with. Yet despite this, the “Right” was unable to sustain this like-minded support, which by 2002, had for all intents and purposes, been totally eroded.

 

The second is that this erosion occurred despite the fact that the “Right’s” opposition to Palestinian statehood was completely validated by facts on the ground – i.e. by the bloody events that tragically arose from the fatally failed attempt to implement it.

 

So, sadly, the “Right” was not able to marshal the distinct dual advantage it had of a highly favorable point of departure and overwhelming empirical corroboration of its credo to sustain the GOP’s natural inclination to oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state. This in itself is reason enough for intense soul-searching among “Right” wing activists, but it acquired even greater pertinence and urgency, precisely because of the encouraging signs that the GOP is reverting—at least, partially and cautiously—to its past position of opposition to Palestinian statehood. For today, the challenges Israel may have to face in a post-two-state era could well be as dire—perhaps even most so—than those that the perilous two-state paradigm posed.

 

It is no secret that enthusiasm for the two-state concept is waning—even among ardent erstwhile adherents. Indeed, recently, some obsessive two-staters such as New York Times’s Tom Friedman (February 10, 2016), New York University’s Alon Ben Meir (Huffington Post, April 7, 2016), and recently the Jerusalem Post’s Gershon Baskin (July 20, 2016) have acknowledged that, (gasp!), the Palestinians may actually have contributed to the accelerated irrelevance of the two-state idea.

 

Thus, and without wishing in any way to diminish the sterling efforts of those who helped bring about the welcome change in the 2016 GOP platform, this was, to some extent, as Rafael Medoff points out (Algemeiner, July 20, 2016) a sober and clear-sighted response to the changing realities on the ground. Of course, according to conventional wisdom in “Right-wing” circles, the changes in the GOP platform are a development that bodes well for Israel, as it signals growing awareness of the futility and dangers entailed in continued pursuit of the two-state chimera as the only route to a resolution of the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs. While this, of course, is undoubtedly true, a word of warning is called for. With the passing to the two-state paradigm as a relevant policy option, new perils will immediately emerge. Planning on how they should be contended with is a pressing imperative for the Israeli “Right”—and one that, hopefully, it will display greater acumen and competence in contending with than it did in dealing with the two-state menace.

 

With the growing prospect of the two-state option being abandoned, the question of what alternative paradigm Israel should adopt is becoming a question of increasing relevance. It is also one which the Israeli “Right” has been appallingly remiss in addressing. Indeed, for the better part of two decades, the “Right” limited itself to underscoring the myriad defects and dangers entailed in the two-state proposal, but largely refrained from articulating and advancing some cogent and comprehensive alternative prescription for its preferred vision of a permanent-status arrangement with the Palestinian-Arabs.

 

As a result, the “Right” found itself unable to respond effectively to the pointed and very pertinent question from adversarial two-state adherents: “So what’s your alternative?” Failure to provide an adequate response to this question, eventually led to a drastic erosion of the Likud-led opposition to the two-state formula until its acceptance by Netanyahu in 2009. But the recanting of support for the two-state formula by the GOP, and its waning attractiveness elsewhere, will create a dramatically different and challenging reality for both the reluctant Likud-like two-staters on the one hand, and for still die-hard two-state opponents, on the other.

 

For not only will it be increasingly less plausible to invoke “irresistible international pressure” for reluctant acceptance, under duress, of a two-state compliant policy; but it will also no longer be possible to confine oneself to criticism and rejection of the two-state formula. To the contrary, with the declining dominance of the two-state concept, its opponents will be obligated to proactively produce and present a plausible and practical Zionist-compliant alternative…or suffer the consequences of its generally accepted default option: a multiethnic un-Jewish state-of-all-its-citizens…                                                                                              

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

 

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On Topic Links

 

Behind Hillary’s Mask: Gail Collins, New York Times, July 23, 2015—Right after the Sept. 11 attacks, I ran into Hillary Clinton outside an armory in Manhattan that served as a sort of clearing house for tragedy, where people brought pictures of the missing and checked for information. She talked for a long time, very freely, about Washington politicians who had always hated New York but were turning out to be helpful in the crisis.

It's a Family Tradition: Weekly Standard, July 18, 2016— There has been much slackjawed amazement about the FBI’s decision to recommend that Hillary Clinton not be charged over her cavalier treatment of classified material on her private email server while secretary of state.

It’s Hillary Clinton’s Moment — So Why is she the Most Hated Woman in the United States?: Robyn Urback, National Post, July 23, 2016—America looked most favourably on Hillary Clinton when she was at her lowest. It was December 1998, and the U.S. House of Representatives had just impeached her husband on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in relation to his extramarital affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

The Genius of Donald Trump: Conrad Black, National Post, July 23, 2016—Even in the week that he is nominated by the Republican party for the presidency of the United States, intelligent people fail in droves to understand what Donald Trump has accomplished.

 

 

UNIVERSITIES: CHAMPIONS OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS & IDENTITY POLITICS, LEADERS OF THE “GLOBAL DESCENT INTO AMORALITY”

Global Chaos — a Byproduct of the Failure to Confront Evil: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, July 21, 2016— A generation ago, the term evil had meaning. There were no bleeding hearts — certainly no Jews — who minimized the malevolency of the Nazis. Evil was evil.

Western Universities: The Best Indoctrination Money Can Buy: Dr. Denis MacEoin, Breaking Israel News, June 28, 2016 — In asking why Western civilization has been the greatest in history, many point to European and, later, American military power…

Anthropology: Abandon All Truth Ye Who Enter: Philip Carl Salzman, Daily Caller, July 19, 2016— In the decades after WWII, anthropologists carried out ethnographic field research in the Middle East inspired by a scientific spirit to discover the cultures of the region and their dynamics.

Can You be Jewish and Liberal? The Evidence Says: Not So Easy: Shmuel Rosner, Jewish Journal, July, 2016— What kind of question is this?

 

On Topic Links

 

AIPAC’s Moment of Decision: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, July 12, 2015

UNESCO and the Denial of Jewish History: Ricki Hollander, Algemeiner, July 19, 2016

Pro-Israel Campus Groups: UC Irvine ‘Dragging Out, Burying’ Investigation Into Violent Anti-Israel Protest: Lea Spyer, Algemeiner, July 18, 2016

The Sterile, Vapid, Chauvinistic Alley of Identity Politics: Rex Murphy, National Post, June 11, 2016

 

 

GLOBAL CHAOS — A BYPRODUCT OF THE FAILURE TO CONFRONT EVIL

Isi Leibler  

                                                 Candidly Speaking, July 21, 2016

 

A generation ago, the term evil had meaning. There were no bleeding hearts — certainly no Jews — who minimized the malevolency of the Nazis. Evil was evil. Today, as moral relativism dominates, the world has effectively abandoned the concept of evil, replacing it with a “sophisticated” political correctness in which aggressors and victims are frequently considered moral equivalents. For example, critics of Islamic terror are accused of Islamophobia.

 

There is “shock “at the mass murders and beheadings by Islamic fundamentalists but we are told that it is misleading to describe such behavior as “evil” because this diverts attention from the real source — colonial exploitation. We also repeatedly hear the mantra that social and economic suffering cause desperation and provide the incentive for jihadi recruitment. Yet the majority of ISIS terrorists operating in Western cities are university graduates from middle class families. Moreover the Western governments, whose countries now face terror attacks from “sleepers” and home-bred ISIS supporters, bury their heads in the sand and refuse to face the reality of the evil enemy of Islamic fundamentalism incubated in Muslim communities whose rank and file is unwilling or fearful to expose the jihadists in their midst.

 

At the core of this is the refusal to identify and confront the Islamic fundamentalist threat as a global evil seeking to destroy the Judeo-Christian moral heritage and substitute democracy with Sharia law or the caliphate. This evasion of using concepts such as good and evil is evidenced by the treatment of Israel which, in this context, is truly the canary in the coal mine and spotlights the global descent into amorality. Thus for example: Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East region — a society based on law and equality and unqualified freedom of expression. Despite hostile Arab neighbors seeking its destruction, it provides full political equality to all its citizens Arab and Jew alike. Visit a hospital, shopping mall or park to appreciate how outrageous it is to employ terms like apartheid in Israel.

 

Contrast this with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, where basic human rights are denied and where a criminal society promotes terrorism. Its mullahs glorify “shaheeds” and mothers proudly boast about their martyred children on TV and express the hope that more of their offspring will follow. The PA and Hamas provide substantial pensions to families of those killed while murdering Jews or jailed in Israeli prisons. Schools, city squares and football clubs are named in their honor. Moreover, every time a Jew is murdered, spontaneous celebrations erupt in Palestinian streets. Truly a culture of death.

 

Yet the global community continuously applies moral equivalence to Israel democracy and the criminal Palestinian society. Evil is ignored. Two Israeli prime ministers, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, were rebuffed by Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas when they offered the Palestinians 97% of the territories previously occupied by the Jordanians. The “right-wing” Benjamin Netanyahu made far more extensive concessions than Yitzchak Rabin was ever willing to contemplate, including support for a two-state policy subject to security guarantees and Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinian objective remains to terminate Jewish sovereignty in stages by demanding concessions without any reciprocity. Yet the global community — headed by the Obama administration — at best blamed both sides equally for the breakdown in negotiations but usually held Israel responsible. Again, a denial of evil and the application of moral equivalence.

 

The Middle East region is reminiscent of the Dark Ages with half a million innocent civilians butchered and over 4 million displaced from their homes. Instead of addressing these atrocities, the Obama administration leads the pack in demonizing Israelis for home construction in Jewish neighborhoods. This obsession over “settlements,” which other than Jerusalem comprise 3% of the territories formally administered by the Jordanians, is utterly bizarre. Nobody would argue that an Israeli Arab is prohibited from building on property he purchased. However, Jews who bought land legitimately over the so-called Green Line are criminalized. How grotesque it is that an Israeli extending a terrace in his Jerusalem home could lead to sanctions while a few kilometers away, murder and mayhem continue unabated.

 

Western leaders and their media display cowardice when they grovel to the Islamists in their reporting of terrorist atrocities with their implications that terrorist acts like the stabbing to death of a 13-year-old girl in her bed in Israel are “resistance to occupation”. It is despicable when U.S. and European representatives remain silent at the U.N. as the PA president receives standing ovations after delivering his blood libels against Israel and denies any connection between Jews and Jerusalem. When they support or abstain from U.N. resolutions demonizing or delegitimizing the Jewish state, they become active accomplices to evil. Moral equivalence — which is the order of the day in relation to Israel — was a precursor to a global collapse of confidence among rank-and-file masses in democratic countries…

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

 

 

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                        WESTERN UNIVERSITIES:

THE BEST INDOCTRINATION MONEY CAN BUY                                                                          

                 Dr. Denis MacEoin                                                                                     

     Breaking Israel News, June 28, 2016

 

In asking why Western civilization has been the greatest in history, many point to European and, later, American military power, the strength of the British, French, Spanish and Portuguese empires, their command of the oceans, or the progress brought about through the Industrial Revolution. Today, of course, there is a general trend to picture Western achievements in a uniformly negative light, often for valid reasons, including our use of slavery or the mistreatment of so many Native Americans. This negativity is, however, highly selective. Why, for example, are Western Christian empires considered a blight on mankind while the great many Muslim empires of the past — which lasted over a much longer period, engaged in the largest and longest-lasting slave trade in history, sought to impose one religion over all others, and placed enormous barriers on rational thought from about the 10th century — regarded as a blessing?

 

The greatness of the modern West owes much to those discoverers, conquerors, and traders and to the worldwide enterprises they built — just as the Islamic empires had their explorers, traders, and international networks (as in the great Sufi orders). Important civilizations were created in both realms: great urban developments, great architecture, the first universities, great poetry, great art, great philosophy, a flurry of scientific and mathematical activity in the Muslim middle ages, and then in the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution in Europe. The tendency of modern liberals to wring apologies out of governments for the actions of their ancestors, from the slave trade to Orientalist depictions of the peoples of Islam, is a pointless attempt to re-write history. There are, of course, no calls for Muslim governments to apologize for anything from their slave trade to the early Arab conquests.

 

The modern world of the West is a product of a period that created the greatest advances in human history: the Enlightenment. From that era we can date the beginnings of the most important strengths of our modern world. It is these strengths, in spite of the many blessings they have bestowed and their role as buttresses for cohesive societies, that are derided and often attacked from the Islamic sphere as well as by forces within the West. It is not hard to remember what those strengths are: liberal democracy, human rights, religious tolerance, international instruments for the managing of conflict, women’s rights, minority rights of all kinds, legislation out of political debate, an abhorrence of tyranny, freedom of thought, belief, and speech, critical inquiry, freedom of the press and other media, secularization that permits freedom of religious worship, and safety for the authors of opinions that dissent.

 

Of these blessings, the most important would seem the last: freedom of thought, belief, and speech, critical inquiry, freedom of the press and other media, secularization that permits freedom of religious expression, and safety for the authors of dissenting opinions. Without them, none of the others would last. There is also another, closely related to them: academic freedom. The liberation of the universities from the 18th century onwards from restrictions placed on scholars by kings and churches, the use of censorship to maintain the status quo, the blocking of scientific advances by appeals to scripture or the power of the clergy or simple traditionalism and all the other forces of obscurantism, meant a quantum leap, not just in the physical sciences, but in all areas of human understanding, from politics to society to philosophy and to religion and the arts. We owe more than we often imagine to the freedoms of academia: that a teacher or researcher may not be censored, dismissed, or financially ruined for expressing his opinions; that publications, whether books, monographs or entire learned journals, be free to include critical, even controversial content, and that controversy itself, far from being an impediment to a search for truth, is an essential mechanism for that search to take place.

 

This process did not take hold in the Islamic world, where, as mentioned, rationality was dismissed in favour of faith, from public and scholarly discourse early on. Starting with an internal dispute between rationalists and theologians of a fundamentalist bent, the shift from fairly open enquiry was shut down when the dogma of the Qur’an’s “uncreatedness,” perfection and infallibility was established. Questioning was a risk to faith; it was safer to avoid hellfire by accepting all aspects of sacred scripture and law without a “wherefore?” or “why?” This doctrine of infallibility and the dangers of reason were promulgated by the most important thinker in the history of Islam, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali (1058-1111). According to this doctrine, God acts at every instant within every atom, destroying and creating as He wills, so that it is impossible to predict just what will happen at any given moment — thus precluding the need or worth of rational enquiry. It is this conclusion that creates the fatalism which denies any human responsibility for the slightest action or exercise of personal will…

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

 

                                                                       

 

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ANTHROPOLOGY: ABANDON ALL TRUTH YE WHO ENTER                                                     

Philip Carl Salzman                                                                                               

Daily Caller, July 19, 2016

 

In the decades after WWII, anthropologists carried out ethnographic field research in the Middle East inspired by a scientific spirit to discover the cultures of the region and their dynamics. Among those who produced sound, grounded research were Fredrik Barth on the Basseri nomads, William Irons on the Yomut Turkmen, Lois Beck on the Qashqa’i confederation, William Lancaster on the Rwala Bedouin, and A. S. Bujra on Yemen. I had the privilege of carrying out field research among the Baluchi tribes of Iran.

 

However, anthropologists, including those studying the Middle East, gradually moved away from a scientific perspective toward a more subjective and politicized view. They were influenced in part by Edward Said, who in Orientalism (1978) argued that Western accounts of the Middle East were fabrications invented to justify imperialist invasion, colonial imposition, and oppression of local peoples. This “postcolonial” view blames Western imperialism for myriad problems worldwide, a view which neglects the cultures and agency of people around the globe.

 

This intellectual revolution has infected anthropology (among many fields) with a dangerous, self-contradictory nihilism that rejects the possibility of objective Truth toward which we may move and posits many different truths held by different peoples — all equally valid. Yet they behave as if their belief in many truths must be treated as The Truth that must not be questioned.

 

Anthropologists insist on the relativity of knowledge, except when it comes to their own statements, which they take to be The Absolute Truth. One should not, however, expect anthropologists who believe in “many truths” to encourage a diversity of opinion within their university departments. Intellectual homogeneity is enforced, with Marxism, postcolonialism, and radical feminism the principal approved paths to enlightenment. Classical liberal beliefs in markets, liberty, and individual rights are verboten.

 

So, today, is the once-regnant faith in science itself rejected as the best way of uncovering the truth about anthropologists’ subjects. Witchcraft, oracles, ancient religious systems, voodoo, and just about any pseudo-science that denies the validity of Western systems of thought are championed as equally valid paths to knowledge in fields from botany to medicine. Of course, anthropologists still employ the latest products of scientific research and live as affluent Westerners, but they do not claim that the way they live conforms to their beliefs.

 

This abandonment of objective methodologies underscores anthropologists’ belief that their discipline is not the science of humankind as upheld by its original practitioners, but a subjective, political commitment to a “praxis” that will liberate the world’s oppressed. The result is deplorably partisan, faux “anthropological” accounts by notoriously partisan writers, such as Palestine, Israel, and the Politics of Popular Culture, edited by Rebecca L. Stein and Ted Swedenburg, and Nakba: Palestine, 1948, and the Claims of Memory, by Ahmad H. Sa’di and Lila Abu-Lughod. Yet past and current “praxis” in such places as the USSR, Eastern Europe, the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cambodia, and Cuba, and its consequences for the people concerned, holds little interest to anthropologists.

 

The same moral and intellectual incoherence underlies anthropologists’ insistence that they do not study culture and cultures since these are invalid concepts from a bygone age. Rather, anthropology’s mission is the study of victims and their oppressors. Among the many “victims,” Palestinians are awarded pride of place, their century of violence against Jews and their public commitment to refuse any compromise or cooperation with others notwithstanding. Israeli Jews, on the other hand, are often characterized by anthropologists, using “postcolonial” Leninist terminology, as “settler colonialists” even though Jews are the indigenous population of Israel, including Judea and Samaria (the so-called West Bank), are agents of no metropolitan home country, and originate as much from the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Russia as from Europe and North America.

 

Such is the inevitable result of contemporary anthropology, which has jettisoned the objective, scientifically-grounded study of humankind’s cultures in favor of advocating for selected “victims” of supposed Western perfidy. The outcome of this abandonment of the search for Truth is not a plethora of “truths,” but a regnant false Truth that reduces scholarship to advocacy and demands blind adherence to approved yet false narratives. If anthropologists hope to restore the integrity of their field, they must abandon their intellectually flaccid, morally corrupt habits and readopt the scientific objectivity toward their subjects that marked their discipline from its inception.

 

Philip Carl Salzman is a Professor of Anthropology at McGill University and a CIJR Academic Fellow

                                                           

                                                                       

 

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                               CAN YOU BE JEWISH AND LIBERAL?

THE EVIDENCE SAYS: NOT SO EASY

Shmuel Rosner                      

                                                  Jewish Journal, July, 2016

 

What kind of question is this? Of course you can be Jewish and liberal. Millions of American Jews prove it every day of their lives. They are – Jewish Americans – the most liberal group in America. And they are – well – Jewish Americans. That is to say: Jewish.

 

And yet, the question stands. The evidence makes it necessary. The numbers make it real. Not real in the sense that it is impossible to be Jewish and liberal – real in the sense that the combination of Jewish and liberal apparently presents a unique challenge for those of us who worry about the Jewish future. Numbers have this annoying habit of forcing an inconvenient reality upon us. Numbers assembled by Prof. Steven Cohen have often forced inconvenient reality upon us in recent years – and I suspect his recent collection of numbers could do it again.

 

Cohen presented these numbers at a keynote address at the last NRJE (Network for Research in Jewish Education) annual conference last month. He opened his presentation by sharing the headline that American Jews are “very” liberal. His alternate read as follows: “Does being liberal conflict with Jewish engagement? (Definitely).”

 

Definitely. Conflict. These are strong words that surely justify the question “Can you be Jewish and Liberal?” – strong words backed by evidence. American Jews are “disproportionately liberal, in terms of self-definition,” Cohen says and shows. 51% of them are “liberal” or “very liberal”. They are “secular, in terms of their beliefs & religious participation. About as religious as non-churched Christians.” All this data is based on further analysis of the numbers presented in the 2013 PEW report on American Jewry. 56% of Reform Jews are liberal – 18% of them “very liberal.” 28% of “other Jews” – Jews that do not belong to any denomination – are “very liberal.” Younger Jews are somewhat more liberal. “Jews’ liberalism,” Cohen said, “is not going away very soon.”

 

So what? The more liberal they are, the less their tendency to be actively “Jewish.” The level of liberalism is high among those who raise non-Jewish children “or who are married to non-Jews.” Liberal Jews feel less responsible for other Jews. They have a somewhat lesser sense of belonging to the Jewish people. Only a third of the “very liberal” (34%) feel that “being Jewish is very important” – compared to 54% of “right of center” non-Orthodox Jews. The “very liberal” don’t belong to synagogues (18%), have less Jewish friends, and tend less than others to fast on Yom Kippur or light Shabbat candles. Their attachment to Israel is markedly lower than the attachment of less liberal Jews.

 

That is to say: all across the board – feelings, activities, traditions, and affiliations – the liberals show a lesser level of engagement. The correlation between liberalism and disengagement is “modest” when it comes to “feelings” (Feel responsible for Jews in need, Feel a sense of belonging to the Jewish people, Feel being Jewish is very important). It is “strong” when it comes to “religious engagement” (Being religious very important, Kosher home, Shabbat candles usually+, Attends services monthly). It is also “strong” when it comes to “Israel attachment” (Israel essential to being Jewish, Feel very attached to Israel). In other words: liberal Jews feel moderately passionate about being Jewish; but they do not appreciate religion and do not appreciate Israel, and they especially do not appreciate hawkish views on Israel.

 

If you are a reasonably curious Jew – if you have had a chance to meet with Jews and speak with Jews in the United States – if you haven’t just returned from a mission to Mars – none of this should be a huge surprise to you. I assume that the numbers were not a huge surprise to Prof. Cohen when he assembled the data and analyzed it. He surely is curious enough, has spoken to many Jews (probably too many for his own good), and is still waiting for his turn to go to Mars. What Cohen does with the numbers is not to unearth a shocking revelation, it is to try and force a conversation about an unpleasant reality – a reality that American Jews do not like to discuss.

 

Why is it so difficult to seriously discuss these numbers and this reality? That’s simple: because often times liberal Jews tend to value their “liberalism” more than they value their “Jewishness” (this is me speaking, not Cohen. I am not sure he’d agree). If the numbers tell a story from which one learns that liberalism and Judaism cannot go hand in hand, the liberals will choose liberalism. So the obvious policy of Jewish leaders and institutions is to avoid this seeming contradiction – to hide it for as long as possible and thus not force the choice on a growing group of Jewish liberals. It is good not to force this choice on liberal Jews, because it is a false choice (somewhat similar to the one often forced on Israel between Jewishness and democracy). It is good not to force this false choice, but it's not good to not discuss these true numbers. These numbers have meaning…

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents          

                                                                                                                                                             

On Topic Links

 

AIPAC’s Moment of Decision: Caroline Glick, Breaking Israel News, July 12, 2015—Later this month the Republicans and Democrats will hold their respective conventions. Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will officially become the presidential nominees. Ahead of the conventions, both parties selected delegates to draft their platforms. The Democratic platform committee convened late last month.

UNESCO and the Denial of Jewish History: Ricki Hollander, Algemeiner, July 19, 2016 —For years, Palestinians and other Arabs have tried to deny the historical record and usurp Jewish holy sites. Their latest attempt to do so takes the form of a Palestinian-Jordanian draft resolution to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, calling for a return of the Temple Mount to its alleged “historic” status quo before 1967 — as if history starts and ends with Jordan’s 19-year, illegal occupation of eastern Jerusalem, during which Jews were expelled from the area.

Pro-Israel Campus Groups: UC Irvine ‘Dragging Out, Burying’ Investigation Into Violent Anti-Israel Protest: Lea Spyer, Algemeiner, July 18, 2016 —Officials at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) appear to be “burying” the institution’s own investigation into a violent anti-Israel protest in May, leaving student demonstrators off the hook for their actions, the heads of two Israel advocacy campus groups told The Algemeiner on Monday.

The Sterile, Vapid, Chauvinistic Alley of Identity Politics: Rex Murphy, National Post, June 11, 2016—Identity politics is an instrument of division and a stew of contradictions. Curiously or otherwise, this thought emerges out of the one of Donald Trump’s many flare-ups, his current denunciations of the judge hearing the case of the university that bears Trump’s name.

 

APRÈS L’AFRIQUE, L’AMÉRIQUE LATINE?

  

             

 

UN HOMME AVEC UNE BOMBE ARRÊTÉ AVANT DE MONTER DANS LE TRAMWAY DE JÉRUSALEM

Times of Israel, 17 juillet, 2016

 

 

La police a arrêté dimanche matin dans le centre de Jérusalem un homme qui transportait des explosifs dans son sac à dos. Le suspect, un Palestinien de Cisjordanie, a été arrêté près d’un arrêt de tramway sur la rue de Jaffa, quand il a éveillé la suspicion d’un garde de sécurité. La police a déclaré que l’homme se tenait « derrière l’arrêt, avec un sac à la main ». Quand le garde a demandé à examiner le contenu du sac, il a remarqué une bombe et a prévenu la police.

 

Des démineurs ont été rapidement déployés sur place et la rue a été fermée, ainsi que la rue voisine de King George. La police a déclaré que l’homme transportait « nombre d’engins explosifs » et avait été arrêté et emmené pour être interrogé. Le garde de sécurité qui a empêché une tentative d’explosion de bombe dans le tramway de Jérusalem dimanche matin a déclaré à la Dixième chaîne que quelque chose n’allait pas à propos du terroriste, qui a éveillé sa suspicion.

 

« Alors que je montais, j’ai regardé la station et vu un type avec un chapeau, des lunettes et un sac sur le dos. J’ai pensé que quelque chose n’allait pas chez lui et je suis allé le voir. Je lui ai demandé d’enlever son sac et il a refusé, et donc je l’ai retourné, placé contre le mur et fouillé, a-t-il déclaré. Dans le sac à dos, j’ai trouvé un sac, et dedans un engin explosif, et je l’ai poussé au sol. »

 

Le chaîne a annoncé qu’un démineur qui passait par hasard et entendu les cris de « terroriste » et a couru pour aider et « [s]’occuper de la bombe », selon les mots du démineur. Une vidéo de la scène a montré les policiers pointer leurs armes en direction du suspect, qui était allongé au sol près de l’arrêt de tramway. Une deuxième vidéo montrait les démineurs en train de le fouiller, apparemment à la recherche d’explosifs. Les médias ont annoncé que l’homme habitait à Beit Ula, près de Hébron, en Cisjordanie. La police a déclaré qu’il avait « une vingtaine d’années ».

 

L’israélien blessé samedi soir par une attaque à main armée en Cisjordanie a déclaré que le terroriste n’avait pas tiré sur sa voiture avant qu’il ne l’ait dépassé, ce qu’il a décrit comme un « miracle ». Eitan Finkel, qui a été blessé à la jambe, a dit aux journalistes depuis le centre médical Shaare Zedek de Jérusalem dimanche qu’il rentrait chez lui, à Netivot, dans le sud, depuis l’implantation de Metzad avec sa femme et six enfants quand ils ont repéré l’homme armé.

 

« Quand nous sommes arrivés au carrefour T, à juste deux mètres, ma femme et moi avons vu un terroriste devant nous avec une arme… pointée sur nous. Nous avons attendu un bruit. Ma femme a crié, et j’ai crié. » « Pourquoi n’a-t-il pas tiré, je ne sais pas », a-t-il ajouté. Finkel a décrit comment il avait tourné à droite au carrefour, et ensuite, « j’ai entendu des tirs. Le pare-brise a craqué, j’ai vu que j’étais toujours vivant, Dieu merci, et j’ai fui. J’ai appuyé sur l’accélérateur. »

 

Après avoir conduit environ cinq minutes, les Finkel ont vu une jeep militaire garée sur le côté de la route et se sont arrêtés pour obtenir de l’aide. « Je sentais ma chaussure se remplir de sang. J’avais peur de perdre conscience. Je me suis arrêté devant les soldats et leur ai dit que j’avais reçu une balle dans le pied. » Mais quand les soldats sont arrivés pour le sortir de sa voiture, Finkel n’a pas voulu sortir du véhicule, disant que c’était dangereux. Les soldats lui ont alors demandé de conduire jusqu’à une autre zone, où une ambulance attendait.

 

« Il m’a demandé si je pouvais sortir et j’ai dit oui, alors il m’a dit, ‘allez-y, il y a une ambulance là-bas’. C’était à 10 – 15 minutes, en conduisant vite. J’y suis arrivé, et ma femme m’a dit, ‘continue, va un peu plus loin’. J’ai dit que je ne pouvais pas, je sentais que je perdais conscience. J’ai garé la voiture, ma femme a appelé les soldats et ils ont fait un garrot. »

 

Les six enfants du couple, à l’arrière de la voiture, ne savaient pas ce qu’il se passait, a-t-il dit.  Finkel a décrit l’hésitation du terroriste avant qu’il ne commence à tirer comme un « miracle ». « Une balle m’a touché et ma famille s’en est sortie sans une égratignure ; par miracle. » L’attaque a eu lieu au sud du carrefour T, sur la route liant les parties est et ouest du Gush Etzion, un bloc d’implantations au sud de Jérusalem.

 

 

LA CHEF DE L’UNESCO : JERUSALEM EST SACREE POUR LES 3 RELIGIONS MONOTHEISTES

                              Times of Israel                                                                                                        

18 juillet, 2016

 

 

Juifs, Musulmans et Chrétiens ont tous le droit de revendiquer des liens historiques avec la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem, a déclaré la chef de l’organisme culturel de l’ONU, alors que l’organisation a reporté à octobre un vote sur une nouvelle résolution qui cherchait à minimiser les liens entre les Juifs et la Vieille Ville. Irina Bokova, directrice générale de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’éducation, la science et la culture (UNESCO), a publié un communiqué affirmant que la Vieille Ville est sacrée pour les trois religions monothéistes.

 

« Le patrimoine de Jérusalem est indivisible, et chacune de ses communautés a le droit à la reconnaissance explicite de son histoire et de son lien avec la ville. Nier ou occulter l’une ou l’autre des traditions juive, chrétienne ou musulmane revient à mettre en péril l’intégrité du site, contre les raisons qui justifièrent son inscription en 1981 au Patrimoine mondial, » a déclaré Bokova dans le communiqué.

 

La Jordanie et les Palestiniens ont soumis la semaine dernière un nouveau projet de résolution sur « la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem et ses remparts », qui minimise les liens du judaïsme à ses lieux saints du mont du Temple et du mur Occidental. Mais le vote sur la résolution a été reporté – ainsi que le reste de la session de l’UNESCO de ce week-end à Istanbul – en raison du coup d’Etat manqué en Turquie.

 

« La 40e session du Comité du patrimoine mondial est suspendue jusqu’à nouvel ordre », a déclaré dans un communiqué l’organisme basé à Paris sur son site.

 

Un premier projet de la résolution, dont le texte a été condamné par Israël, a été abandonné quelques minutes avant qu’il ne soit soumis au vote mardi dernier, les délégations palestiniennes et jordaniennes craignant qu’il ne recevrait pas suffisamment de voix. L’Union européenne a ensuite présenté une version révisée du texte, qui a également été rejetée par Israël. « La proposition de l’UE nie toujours le lien du peuple juif avec le mont du Temple », dit communiqué du ministère des Affaires étrangères.

 

Le texte original appelait à un retour du mont du Temple et de la mosquée Al-Aqsa à ce qu’il a appelé « le statu quo historique» d’après la guerre des Six Jours de 1967, en vertu duquel l’autorité religieuse jordanienne Waqf avait le droit d’administrer tous les aspects des sites », y compris l’entretien, la restauration et la régulation de l’accès. »

 

Israël était mentionné à plusieurs reprises comme la « puissance occupante », tout en étant accusé de causer des dommages au site, d’y mener des fouilles illégales, et d’empêcher le Waqf jordanien, qui administre le site, de procéder à des réparations et des rénovations. Le texte mentionnait également l’esplanade du mur Occidental entre guillemets, après avoir utilisé le terme arabe esplanade al-Buraq sans guillemets.

 

Le communiqué de Bokova rappelle l’inscription de la Vieille Ville de Jérusalem au Patrimoine mondial en 1981 comme un site du patrimoine mondial laquelle mentionne : « Ville sainte du judaïsme, du christianisme et de l’islam, Jérusalem a toujours eu une valeur symbolique. Parmi ses 220 monuments historiques, se détache le formidable Dôme du Rocher, construit au VIIe siècle et décoré de beaux motifs géométriques et floraux. Il est reconnu par les trois religions comme le lieu du sacrifice d’Abraham. Le mur des Lamentations sert de limite aux quartiers des différentes communautés religieuses, tandis que la Rotonde de la Résurrection abrite le tombeau du Christ. » L’UNESCO avait approuvé en avril une résolution similaire, et a été condamnée par Israël.

 

 

                           

ISRAËL SOUTIENT LE « PROCESSUS DEMOCRATIQUE » EN TURQUIE                                                        

                                                   Times of Israel, 16 juillet, 2016

 

 

Israël a exprimé samedi son soutien au « processus démocratique » après la tentative de coup militaire en Turquie, pays avec lequel l’Etat hébreu vient de signer un accord de réconciliation.

 

« Israël respecte le processus démocratique en Turquie et compte sur la poursuite du processus de réconciliation entre la Turquie et Israël », a déclaré un porte-parole du ministère israélien des Affaires étrangères, Emmanuel Nahshon, dans un communiqué.

 

Israël et la Turquie ont conclu fin juin un accord de réconciliation qui a mis fin à six ans de brouille après un assaut en 2010 de commandos israéliens contre le Mavi Marmara, un navire affrété par une ONG humanitaire turque pour tenter de briser le blocus imposé par Israël à la bande de Gaza. Cette opération s’était soldée par la mort de 10 Turcs.

 

La réconciliation entre les deux pays, qui étaient de proches alliés régionaux jusqu’en 2010, a d’importantes implications économiques et stratégiques. Israël qui a commencé à exploiter des réserves gazières en Méditerranée cherche en particulier des débouchés pour ce gaz. La Turquie veut de son côté retrouver une influence régionale sur le déclin en renouant avec ses anciens alliés, la Russie et Israël. L’armée turque a annoncé samedi matin la fin de la tentative de putsch de la part de militaires rebelles contre le président Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

 

 

 

RENCONTRE CHALEUREUSE ENTRE CARTES ET NETANYAHU A JERUSALEM

LaPresse, 20 juin, 2016

 

 

Mardi, le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahu a rencontré le Président paraguayen Horacio Cartes. Ils ont tenu une réunion privée et signé une déclaration commune résumant la visite du Président Cartes en Israël ainsi que les accords bilatéraux sur la coopération en cas d’urgence, la coopération sur les questions juridiques, la coopération sur l’éducation, l’Holocauste et la culture, et un protocole d’entente sur l’aide au développement technique pour le Paraguay.

 

Les deux dirigeants ont ensuite tenu une réunion élargie avec la délégation paraguayenne qui comprenait les ministres des Affaires étrangères, de l’Agriculture, du Commerce et de l’Industrie, et de l’Education et de la Culture, ainsi que d’autres hauts fonctionnaires.

 

Le Premier ministre Netanyahu et le Président paraguayen Cartes ont discuté de la coopération sur un éventail de questions, y compris la sécurité, l’agriculture, l’eau et l’éducation. Il a été convenu qu’Israël enverrait une délégation au Paraguay pour stimuler la production agricole, et que le Paraguay enverrait une délégation en Israël en ce qui concerne l’apprentissage électronique.

 

Le Premier ministre Netanyahu a déclaré : « Président Cartes Horacio, bienvenidos, cela me fait plaisir de vous accueillir, ainsi que toute votre délégation en Israël pour cette visite historique, la première visite d’un président du Paraguay en Israël. Cela reflète quelque chose de très profond. Nous venons d’en parler. Non seulement du partenariat croissant entre nos deux pays, mais aussi de votre amitié personnelle pour l’Etat d’Israël ainsi que de quelques racines plus profondes, comparables, dans notre histoire : de petits pays entourés par beaucoup de grands pays, pas toujours dans des termes sympathiques. De l’espoir d’assurer un futur prospère, sûr dans notre région.

 

Et je tiens à souligner aussi le fait que vous avez pris une position, une position très franche et courageuse pour défendre la vérité, et pour défendre la vérité sur l’Etat d’Israël dans des circonstances difficiles et que les amis sont testés dans les moments difficiles. Et vous êtes un grand ami. Nous vous remercions et vous souhaitons la bienvenue, bienvenu ami.

En Israël, nous ne prenons pas nos amis pour acquis. Au contraire, nous nous engageons à travailler avec eux pour nous rendre tous plus forts, plus sûrs et plus prospères. Nous travaillons déjà en direction de ces objectifs et, aujourd’hui, nous allons signer plusieurs accords pour faire progresser notre coopération.

 

Nous travaillons ensemble dans le développement, dans la gestion de l’eau, dans l’agriculture, mais je pense que les possibilités sont infinies, vraiment sans limites. Et je me réjouis de l’intensification de cette coopération. Nous allons signer des accords dans la science, dans la culture, dans les échanges entre jeunes, dans la gestion des urgences. Si nous travaillons ensemble, nous pourrons améliorer l’avenir de notre peuple, de nos citoyens.

 

Nous sommes aussi intéressés, comme je vous ai dit tout à l’heure, par l’expansion de notre relation avec les pays d’Amérique latine. Vous avez été une ancre d’amitié. Et nous sommes impatients de discuter avec vous des possibilités d’accroître notre coopération avec tous les pays d’Amérique latine que nous pensons être un continent qui a un grand avenir. Donc, nous voulons développer l’avenir de nos relations et à travers vous, et avec votre aide, l’avenir d’une relation plus large entre Israël et la région, et les pays et les peuples d’Amérique latine. Bienvenue à Jérusalem. Bienvenu mon ami ».

 

Le Premier ministre Netanyahu a ajouté : « Puis-je révéler aux membres de la presse qu’il y a une grande carte dans mon bureau, et qu’elle vient de s’agrandir. Avant c’était le Moyen-Orient. Aujourd’hui, elle englobe une bonne partie de l’hémisphère Est et le président Cartes m’a dit : « Elle n’est pas assez grande, vous devez inclure l’Amérique latine. Il y a un morceau d’Israël là-bas ».

 

Le président du Paraguay Cartes a répondu : « En mon nom, et le nom de la délégation, je voudrais dire que je vous remercie. Bien sûr que nous acceptons depuis longtemps cette coopération et bien sûr, nous sommes très reconnaissants que vous êtes chaleureux – la coopération, le soutien que nous recevons sont vraiment très chaleureux. Comme nous le disions auparavant, il est bon de rappeler que, en 1947, lorsque le Paraguay vous a donné le droit de vote, Israël allait devenir un Etat le 14 mai 1948, et que, comme je vous le disais cela coïncide avec l’indépendance de notre pays, le Paraguay, qui est le 14 mai également, mais en 1811.

 

Personne ne veut se souvenir, mais je pense que la bonne chose que vous faites est que vous gardez à l’esprit l’Holocauste que vous avez subi, et le Paraguay a subi son Holocauste. Nous avons perdu pratiquement toute notre population dans une guerre qui a été appelé la Triple Alliance, qui s’est déroulée avec notre voisin. Mais je ne veux pas être le pays qu’on se souvient en raison du vote, ou parce que nous avions l’Holocauste. Je veux être nos pays beaucoup plus proches parce que nous partageons des principes et des valeurs, Premier ministre.

 

Je suis tellement heureux. Je suis vraiment choqué par la visite. Ils l’appellent visite historique, car c’est la première fois que vient un président, mais je pense que nous devons avoir honte que nous sommes si proches, amicaux, que c’est la première visite. Donc, nous avons obtenu deux choses : Nous regardons en arrière et nouspleurons parce que nous avons perdu beaucoup de temps ou nous nous réjouissons et nous rattrapons le temps.

 

Merci beaucoup et au nom de mon pays, de toute la population, je veux que vous sachiez qu’Israël est au cœur de tout le Paraguay. Nous vous aimons beaucoup ». Dans une déclaration commune, les deux dirigeants ont affirmé : « Les deux dirigeants ont exprimé leur satisfaction quant à l’excellence des relations bilatérales amicales, du dialogue renforcé et des visites de haut niveau entre les deux pays. Ils ont également souligné l’importance d’améliorer les relations économiques bilatérales et la coopération dans divers domaines d’intérêt commun.

 

Afin de réaffirmer les excellentes relations et l’amitié entre les deux pays et de promouvoir la coopération, les dirigeants ont déclaré ce qui suit : 1. Le président Cartes a souligné le rôle de MASHAV, l’Agence israélienne pour la coopération internationale de développement, pour son aide dans le développement de programmes d’assistance et de capacité technique pour les institutions du Paraguay responsables de la Coopération internationale. Il a reconnu le soutien reçu de l’Etat d’Israël et a exprimé son désir de renforcer cette relation. Le Premier ministre Netanyahu a noté que l’intention d’Israël est de continuer à renforcer cette coopération, et à cet effet, une déclaration d’intention, qui met en évidence les principaux domaines de coopération, sera signée.

 

2. Le Premier ministre Netanyahu a noté le commerce israélien et l’intérêt économique au Paraguay. Le président Cartes a souligné les opportunités offertes par le Paraguay, tels que les avantages du coût de la production, la stabilité monétaire et juridique, ainsi que sa situation géographique stratégique, qui est une plate-forme pour le MERCOSUR et le monde. Les deux dirigeants ont demandé à leurs ministres et institutions respectives d’élargir les liens économiques, les relations commerciales, les investissements et la coopération entre les deux pays.

 

3. Le Premier ministre Netanyahu et le président Cartes ont échangé leurs opinions sur les principales questions à l’ordre du jour international, en particulier sur les développements au Moyen-Orient et en Amérique du Sud, et ont convenu de poursuivre la coordination entre les deux pays sur ces questions, réaffirmant l’importance de valeurs fondamentales telles que la démocratie, les droits de l’Homme et la primauté du droit et soulignant l’importance de la résolution pacifique des conflits, conformément au droit international.

 

4. Les deux dirigeants ont exprimé leur satisfaction en ce qui concerne les dialogues politiques en cours entre les ministères des Affaires étrangères des deux pays, qui ont lieu depuis 2015.

 

5. Le président Cartes a expliqué que la situation géographique de la République du Paraguay lui permettra de devenir un centre important pour l’interconnexion avec les pays de la région, à travers le développement des infrastructures et de la logistique régionale. Le Premier ministre Netanyahu a exprimé son soutien pour la reconnaissance des besoins particuliers du Paraguay en tant que pays en développement sans littoral. Le président Cartes a exprimé sa volonté de coordonner dans les instances internationales une position équilibrée en ce qui concerne les questions relatives à l’Etat d’Israël.

 

6. Les deux dirigeants ont exprimé la volonté de promouvoir la coopération bilatérale juridique et l’échange de connaissances et d’expériences entre les deux pays, et se sont félicités de la signature de la déclaration commune d’intention sur la coopération dans le domaine des affaires juridiques entre le ministère de la Justice de l’Etat de Israël et le ministère de la Justice de la République du Paraguay.

 

7. Les dirigeants ont salué la signature de la déclaration commune d’intention sur la gestion de la coopération d’urgence, et ont noté avec satisfaction la signature du programme de coopération dans les domaines de l’éducation, de la science, de la culture, de la jeunesse et des sports pour les années 2016 -2018.

 

8. Le président Cartes et le Premier ministre Netanyahu ont réaffirmé l’importance de travailler ensemble sur les défis mondiaux, comme les questions abordées dans le cadre de l’Organisation des Nations unies, y compris l’Agenda 2030 pour le développement durable, les droits de l’Homme, l’environnement et le changement climatique, et l’importance et le rôle de l’Organisation des Nations unies pour préserver la paix et la sécurité internationales. Les deux pays poursuivront leur dialogue étroit dans diverses instances des Nations unies.

 

9. Israël et le Paraguay encouragent l’utilisation de l’énergie nucléaire à des fins pacifiques, en particulier dans le domaine des applications radiologiques à des fins médicales et agricoles. Les deux dirigeants encouragent la coopération entre les autorités compétentes des deux pays.

 

10. Le président Cartes, au nom du gouvernement et du peuple de la République du Paraguay a exprimé sa profonde gratitude pour l’accueil chaleureux et l’attention privilégiée offerts par le gouvernement et le peuple de l’Etat d’Israël, à la fois pour lui et pour sa délégation lors de la visite. »

 

 

 

HABAD OUVRE SON PREMIER CENTRE EN AFRIQUE DE L’EST

Times of Israel, 15 juillet, 2016

 

 

Le mouvement Habad Loubavitch ouvre son premier centre en Afrique orientale. Le centre Loubavitch du Kenya ouvrira à Nairobi pour les Grandes Fêtes juives de cette année, qui commencent à la veille de Rosh Hashana, le 2 octobre 2016, a annoncé cette semaine le mouvement hassidique. Il sera dirigé par le rabbin Avromy Super et son épouse Sternie.

Le couple a été envoyé dans la capitale du Kenya pendant la fêtes de Pessah pour aider la synagogue de Nairobi vieille de 112 ans, qui avait besoin d’un rabbin. Seule synagogue de Nairobi, elle est fréquentée par des Juifs du Kenya ayant des racines européennes ; d’expatriés américains, britanniques et sud-africains, et d’Israéliens travaillant au Kenya. Avromy Stern sera son rabbin.

 

Le mouvement Habad Loubavitch a déjà des centres dans 17 pays africains. Le rabbin Super a passé plusieurs mois à la yeshiva Habad Loubavitch au Congo comme étudiant rabbinique, a visité le Ghana et d’autres pays africains, où d’autres jeunes rabbins sont fréquemment envoyés pour des séjours de courte durée, selon le site chabad.org.  « J’ai adoré l’Afrique depuis la première fois que je suis arrivé, » a confié Super à chabad.org.

 

« Dans d’autres parties du monde, vous pouvez voir des rabbins courir après les Juifs pour essayer de les convaincre de participer à un événement. En Afrique, les gens cherchent à se connecter avec leur patrimoine ; c’est eux qui vous appellent. Pour moi, c’est incroyable. »

 

 

 

 

 

Nous souhaitons à nos lecteurs Shabbat Shalom!

 

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WHILE IDF PREPARES FOR NEXT WAR, BIBI MANAGES THREATS FROM OBAMA & GENERALS

National Best Interest: John Golan, Jerusalem Post, July 9, 2016— Despite what some might wish us to believe, the United States does not provide aid to Israel out of charity.

Why Bibi Defeated the Generals: Evelyn Gordon, Commentary, July 8, 2016 — It’s pure chance that Amir Tibon’s lengthy essay on “Netanyahu vs. the Generals” appeared just 10 days after the Brexit vote, but both demonstrate the same blind spot on the part of the so-called elites.

Bracing For Next War, IDF Troops Drill for Mass Casualty Rocket Strike: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, July 8, 2016— Smoke, explosions, rubble, screams, blood.

Reflections On The Second Lebanon War: Dr. Jonathan Spyer, Jewish Press, July 7, 2016— Ten years since the Second Lebanon War.

 

On Topic Links

 

Israel: The World's Most Moral Army (Video): Prager U, Dec. 7, 2015

Israel Balks at Obama’s New 10-Year Aid Offer: Barbara Opall-Rome, Defense News, July 15, 2016

No One-Shot Solution to the Hamas Challenge: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, June 30, 2015

How Much Should Israel Fear ISIS? (Video): Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, July 12, 2016

 

 

          NATIONAL BEST INTEREST

John Golan                  

                                                 Jerusalem Post, July 9, 2016

 

Despite what some might wish us to believe, the United States does not provide aid to Israel out of charity. Rather, it is a strategic investment, closely tied to US interests in the region: safeguarding the only reliable ally that the US has in that corner of the world; stabilizing the Arab-Israeli conflict and deterring Israel’s neighbors from resorting to war; giving Israelis the security that they need to make the painful concessions necessary for peace, should Israel’s neighbors eventually return to the negotiating table; and doing so without requiring the direct intervention of US troops, as has been necessary in virtually every other conflict zone in the world. Towards achieving these ends, the US has received more than its money’s worth. Which is what makes it all the more vital that negotiations over the next 10 years of security assistance should not fall prey to petty personality conflicts or to individual grievances.

 

The 10-year, $40 billion aid package that the Israeli government has reportedly negotiated its way down to, would amount to an annualized increase of only 2.9-percent over the prior 10-year agreement – only slightly greater than the pace of inflation. In the aftermath of a deal that fortified Iran’s defenses – freeing up billions for Iran’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs, as well as arming Iran’s proxies along Israel’s borders – it should be readily evident that such an increase should be the minimum appropriate. What is equally essential toward supporting US objectives, however, is the sustainment of the off-shore portion of this aid.

 

Of the $3.1 billion in annual aid that Israel currently receives (neglecting for a moment separate funds allocated by Congress for ballistic missile defense), one quarter has been made available for off-shore procurement of goods and services in Israel. This funding goes to pay for everything from daily weapons maintenance and air base renovations – things that can more affordably be acquired locally in Israel – to the procurement of unique weaponry available nowhere else. As history has proven, exercising this spending power locally is not only more cost-effective, due to lower Israeli labor rates, but also provides specialized weaponry that often goes on to benefit both Israel and the United States.

 

For decades, Israeli arms developers have pioneered technologies that have provided the Israeli armed forces with unique capabilities. Israel’s multilayered missile defense system – from the shortrange Iron Dome designed to protect against Hamas rockets to the long-range family of Arrow interceptors intended to defend against Iranian ballistic missiles – is today the only battle-tested, tiered network of its kind. Combining Israeli innovation and program management with serial production capabilities in the United States has benefited the defense and industrial capabilities of both nations.

 

Similarly, Israel pioneered the systematic use of unmanned air vehicles for both surveillance and strike roles decades ago, and remains a leader in this field. Moreover, time-and-again Israeli- developed weapons have stepped in to bridge gaps in the US arsenal: from the AGM-142 Have Nap or “Popeye” airto- ground missile, developed in Israel and manufactured in the US by Lockheed- Martin for use by American armed services; to helmet-mounted sights and displays that were designed, developed and battle-tested in Israel before being transferred to the US for production under a joint-venture for service in the US armed forces.

 

There is a long-standing pattern of the US benefiting from Israeli innovations. This has been no accident. Israeli arms developers are invariably closer to the needs of their military customers than are their counterparts in the US. Furthermore, Israeli developers have proven adept at overcoming a natural inclination to reinvent every detail and component technology each and every time that a new weapon is developed – instead focusing their energy on those attributes that are truly unique and add value. The result has been a more effective, affordable approach to weapons development.

 

This is not a new trend. A case in point was provided decades ago by the Lavi fighter program. By the estimate of the US GAO at the time, the Lavi development effort was expected to deliver a fighter uniquely adapted to Israel’s strike aircraft requirements at a total development cost of a mere $1.9 billion in Fiscal 1985 dollars. In contrast, the US Navy’s F/A-18 development effort – adjusted to Fiscal 1985 dollars – had cost some $3.38 billion. Combining both US and Israeli components and subsystems, the Israeli development team had re-used existing technologies in actuators, engines, and fly-by-wire computers to keep the program’s development cost to a minimum – allowing them to focus their innovation instead on those features that would grant the Israeli warplane superior survivability over the battlefield.

 

Israeli weapons developers have succeeded precisely because they have taken a practical, evolutionary approach to adding capability as the technology matured and became available. Israel’s first helmet-mounted sights, for example, were deployed into front line fighter cockpits with a sight only, and without a visual display. Visual displays were added only later, as the technology matured and could meet the space and weight requirements of a high-g fighter. Still later, the field-of-view for the visual display was expanded. It was a practical, incremental approach to fielding technology that succeeded where many other developers with an all-or-nothing strategy had failed…                                                                           

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

 

Contents                                                           

             

WHY BIBI DEFEATED THE GENERALS                                                                                             

Evelyn Gordon                                                                                                    

Commentary, July 8, 2016

 

It’s pure chance that Amir Tibon’s lengthy essay on “Netanyahu vs. the Generals” appeared just 10 days after the Brexit vote, but both demonstrate the same blind spot on the part of the so-called elites. After thousands of words describing the Israeli defense establishment’s years-long, no-holds-barred war against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Tibon’s verdict, shared by everyone he interviewed, is that Netanyahu has succeeded in curbing defense officials’ power to thwart his policies. Yet Tibon seems at a loss to explain why the widely loathed Netanyahu was able to defeat the most respected institution in Israel. In fact, the reason is the same one that produced the Brexit campaign’s victory: Experts, however respected, will never be able to persuade voters to disregard the lessons of their own lived experience.

 

As Tibon readily admits, the defense establishment consists “mostly of men who grew up in the strongholds of the left-leaning Israeli Labor Party” and hold dovish views. Thus they were understandably appalled by many of Netanyahu’s positions, such as that Israeli-Palestinian peace isn’t currently achievable, or that the Iranian nuclear deal was a disaster.

 

What is neither understandable nor acceptable, however, is that they then proceeded to flout one of the fundamental norms of democracy: Instead of respecting the elected government’s right to set policy, they sought to undermine Netanyahu’s policies in every conceivable way. For instance, at the very moment when Netanyahu’s government was lobbying Congress for stiffer sanctions on Iran, then-Mossad chief Tamir Pardo met with American senators and lobbied against new sanctions, claiming they would cause another Mideast war. His predecessor as Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, “had a direct communication channel with Obama’s first-term CIA director, Leon Panetta, over the head of Netanyahu,” Tibon wrote.

 

While Tibon doesn’t specify what they discussed, Panetta himself, interviewed by Israel’s Channel 2 television in May, implied that Dagan was passing on information about the government’s internal debate over attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. In any normal democracy, both Pardo and Dagan would have been promptly fired for such insubordination–and Dagan might well have been investigated for espionage.

 

Nevertheless, for most Israelis, the top voting issue isn’t proper democratic norms, but security. And this, remarkably, is where defense officials really lost the Israeli public. As Tibon acknowledges, the defense establishment overwhelmingly backed the Oslo Accords. But most Israelis consider Oslo a disaster since it led to a massive upsurge in terror. Palestinians killed more Israelis in 2000-04 alone than in the entire previous 53 years of Israel’s existence. Tibon also acknowledges that defense officials overwhelmingly supported the disengagement from Gaza. But most Israelis think that, too, was a disaster: It led to thousands of rockets and mortars being fired at Israel from Gaza over the last decade, compared to zero from the Israeli-controlled West Bank.

 

Finally, as Tibon painstakingly documents, almost every single defense official who served under Netanyahu publicly challenged his position on the peace process. They argued that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal should be Israel’s top priority and that it was achievable if Netanyahu would just do it. But most Israelis disagree. They’ve seen the Palestinians reject repeated Israeli final-status offers over the past two decades; they’ve seen the upsurge in terror that followed every territorial cession to the Palestinians, the massive incitement perpetrated by our Palestinian “peace partners,” the consistent denial of any Jewish rights in the Land of Israel. And consequently, like Netanyahu, they have overwhelmingly concluded that peace isn’t currently achievable.

 

This disconnect between the defense establishment and ordinary Israelis was even more glaring in a riveting article that appeared in Haaretz just two days after Tibon’s piece ran in Politico. It consists largely of interviews with numerous former senior Israeli defense officials about Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences in Israel for the murder of five Israelis.

 

Almost without exception, these officials agreed on two things. First, although the court managed to convict him of only five murders, Barghouti was, in fact, the person in charge of Fatah’s armed wing throughout the second intifada, meaning he was actually responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Israelis killed by Fatah members. And second, despite all the Israeli blood on his hands, he shouldn’t be in jail: Israel should never have arrested him to begin with; once it did so, it should have released him quickly; and having failed to do that, it should at least release him now, or very soon. Why? Because, these experts say, he’s the one who can deliver a Palestinian peace deal.

 

Needless to say, most Israelis don’t share this enthusiasm for releasing vicious killers. But even more importantly, they don’t buy the theory that a mass murderer is the key to making peace–because Israel already tried that theory 23 years ago, and it failed spectacularly. This, after all, was precisely the argument for signing the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat: Only a leading anti-Israel terrorist had the credibility to make peace with Israel. Instead, it turned out that despite his glib talk of peace in English, what Arafat really wanted to do was what he had always done–kill more Israelis. And there’s no reason to think Barghouti is any different, because he, too, glibly talked peace during Oslo’s heyday, yet returned unhesitatingly to organizing mass murder just seven years later…                                                                                              

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

                                                                       

Contents                                                                                               

                                                                        

BRACING FOR NEXT WAR,                                                        

IDF TROOPS DRILL FOR MASS CASUALTY ROCKET STRIKE                                                             

Judah Ari Gross                                                                                                     

Times of Israel, July 8, 2016

 

Smoke, explosions, rubble, screams, blood. Down in the south of Israel, a residential building in Safed was hit by a missile with a half-ton warhead. There was no immediate body count, but videos surfaced on social media of people trapped in collapsed building and under cars. Not really, of course. This was a search and rescue exercise by the Israel Defense Forces’ Home Front Command, on their base in Zikim near the Gaza border.

 

The residential building hit by a rocket in “Safed” was actually hundreds of miles away from the real northern Israeli city. The explosions and smoke were clever pyrotechnics. The blood was fake, as were the screams. The rubble has been there for years, playing the part of numerous Israeli cities for search and rescue exercises. Sunday’s exercise was designed to be immersive, as close to the real thing as possible, with fake rocket alert sirens blaring in the background, pretend journalists interviewing rescue workers and the aforementioned pyrotechnics and other theatrics meant to reproduce the clamor of such attacks.

 

“This advanced training exercise also included the integration of IDF officers, police officers, firefighters and Magen David Adom,” Brig. Gen. Dedi Simchi, chief of staff for the Home Front Command, told The Times of Israel on the sidelines of the exercise. Less than a week after a real rocket fired from Gaza struck an Israeli kindergarten in Sderot, IDF soldiers took part in a large, theatrical drill on Sunday designed to imitate just such an incident. The timing was a coincidence. The exercise had been planned long before last Friday night’s attack. But the recent strike demonstrated the necessity of drills like it.

 

In Gaza, Lebanon, Syria or Iran, the immediate threats to Israel come in the form of rockets, missiles and mortars. While Israel possesses one of the world’s best missile defense batteries, the IDF has repeatedly stressed that those systems are not a panacea, that in the next war the country needs to be prepared for civilian casualties and strikes on Israeli cities. “In the next war, we determined that a lot of missiles of varying sizes and types will fly at the Israeli home front. Some of them will hit residential areas,” Simchi said.

 

Israel may be a society that is used to war, but the Israeli civilian population has not been seriously harmed during a war in decades. In the 2014 Gaza war, six Israeli civilians died. In the 1973 Yom Kippur War — arguably the closest the Jewish state came to destruction — though approximately 2,500 Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting, there were zero Israeli civilian deaths. The only person who died away from the front lines in the October war was an air force pilot who was killed when a Syrian surface-to-surface missile struck the Ramat David base in northern Israel. Israel’s last war with a large number of civilian casualties was in fact its first, with some 2,400 non-combatants dying in the War of Independence.

 

Those figures are undoubtedly a testament to the IDF’s ability to protect the civilian population, but they may also give Israeli citizens a false sense of security, one that the IDF top brass has worked and is working to fix. “I don’t think that the population isn’t prepared. But I do think that we need to adjust citizens’ expectations. In the past three rounds with Hamas in Gaza, the rockets weren’t so heavy,” he said.

 

In a speech last month, the head of army intelligence Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevy stressed the importance of those “expectations.” “In the Yom Kippur War, we had one person” — the IAF pilot — “killed on the home front from a Syrian missile. The situation in the next conflict will be completely different,” Halevy said. As such, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot instructed the Home Front Command to put additional effort into preparing itself and the country for attacks, Simchi said. “We understand that the home front is going to be the secondary front in every war. If there’s going to be a war up north or down south, the Israeli home front is going to be hit with rockets,” Simchi said.

 

In addition to large-scale exercises, like the one conducted on Sunday, this has meant speaking with the country’s rescue services and government agencies to ensure that there is an understanding of who is responsible for what during an emergency — something that Israel has not always excelled at. “Today there are agreements — written and signed — between the Home Front Command and National Emergency Authority, written and signed agreements between the Home Front Command and the Israel Police. We are ready,” Simchi said.

 

“There’s no doubt that since the Second Lebanon War, everything dealing with the home front and emergency preparedness has improved greatly. For instance, Simchi offered, in the 10 years since that conflict, the precision of Israel’s rocket alert system has improved tenfold. Where the country was once divided into 25 alert zones, there are now 250, Simchi said, and there are plans to make the system even more accurate. In addition to the military’s improvement, individual Israeli cities have also become more prepared for rocket attacks, the brigadier general said. “Approximately 93 percent of the local authorities are in ‘Good’ condition, which we define as being able to handle threats and know how to provide a response [to disaster],” he said. “There’s a lot to do, but we’ve done a lot. We have a very good trend of improvement.”  

                                                                       

 

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REFLECTIONS ON THE SECOND LEBANON WAR

Dr. Jonathan Spyer      

                                                 Jewish Press, July 7, 2016

 

Ten years since the Second Lebanon War. For those of us who took part in it, that war remains always just in view. Like a suitcase filled with items of vivid memory, waiting quietly in the corner of a room. It was an entirely inglorious and partially botched and inconclusive affair. A “great and grave missed opportunity” as the second report of the Winograd Committee termed it.

 

It has also been rapidly forgotten. This, it seems, is the way of the small wars that Israel fights these days. None of them passes into legend, as did the great conflicts of the state’s foundation. Today’s conflicts, after a short time, become largely the private property of those who participated in them. That’s perhaps not a bad thing. Perhaps it is akin to the rapidity with which Israeli cities clear up and move on after terror attacks. Still, the long quiet that has followed the 2006 war on the northern border has helped to further obscure some of the lessons of that summer. It is worth therefore recalling, in unforgiving focus, some of what took place.

 

A cabinet led by individuals with minimal security experience (and a prime minister and president now serving jail terms), and an IDF led by its first chief of staff from the Air Force set out for war with the Iranian proxy Hizbullah organization in July 2006. It is now evident that no coherent and achievable plan for the conduct of the war had been decided on at the rushed and overheated cabinet meeting that set it in motion. This problematic, unprepared leadership was in turn commanding an army ill suited for the war it would need to fight.

 

There were two reasons for the IDF’s state of unreadiness. The first was practical: The 2006 war came immediately after an intensive five-year period of counter-insurgency, in which the IDF was engaged against a large scale Palestinian uprising. The demands of the Second Intifada left little time for training for conventional war. The challenges faced by troops at that time were considerable. But they were mainly of a police-like nature, not employing or testing the specialized skills of front line military units in battlefield conditions. This army in 2006 found itself facing a well armed, mobile enemy, on terrain the Israeli side knew far less well than its foe.

 

The resulting difficulties were compounded by a second, conceptual issue. The 2006 war was not the fight the army was expecting. Chief of Staff Dan Halutz expected to spend his period at the IDF’s helm facing the key challenge of the Iranian nuclear program and focusing on ballistic missile defense. Future wars, it was assumed, would be fought using air power, with small numbers of trained specialists on the ground. As a result, resources had in preceding years been diverted from training the large, reserve land army. It was assumed that this was a force unlikely to be used. In 2006, some reserve armored formations, as a result, went into battle against Hizbullah having taken part in only one training exercise using tanks in the previous half decade. Full disclosure: I was a member of such a force.

 

These were the circumstances in which Israel went to war in 2006. The war for the greater part of its duration consisted of limited ground operations by the IDF in an area adjoining the border, air operations up to Beirut, as well as a successfully maintained naval blockade; and on Hizbullah’s side, defense of areas under ground attack and a successful effort to maintain throughout a constant barrage of short-range rockets on northern Israel. A cease-fire went into effect at 8 a.m. on August 14, following the passage of UN Resolution 1701. The end of the fighting found some IDF forces deployed at the Litani River, but with Israel far from control of the entire area between the river and the Israeli-Lebanese border…

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

 

Contents               

                                                                                                                                                        

On Topic Links

 

Israel: The World's Most Moral Army (Video): Prager U, Dec. 7, 2015—Is the Israeli military a paragon of morality and wartime ethics? Or is it an oppressive force that targets innocent Palestinian civilians and commits war crimes as a matter of policy?

Israel Balks at Obama’s New 10-Year Aid Offer: Barbara Opall-Rome, Defense News, July 15, 2016—Israeli industry is bracing for lost funding and layoffs as a result of a proposed $38 billion, 10-year US military aid package that rescinds Israel’s ability to convert a significant portion of US grant dollars into shekels for local research, development and procurement.

No One-Shot Solution to the Hamas Challenge: Prof. Efraim Inbar, BESA, June 30, 2015 —A senior Defense Ministry source in Israel said recently that a confrontation with Hamas is inevitable, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) must be prepared for it. The source added, significantly, that “the next round must be the last one for the Hamas government.”

How Much Should Israel Fear ISIS? (Video): Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, July 12, 2016—Dr. Daniel Pipes is the founder and president of the Middle East Forum and a prolific commentator on the Middle East. He joins me now to discuss the threats on Israel's borders. Dr. Pipes, welcome.

 

 

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

 

On Topic Links

 

The World is Becoming Immunized to the Horrors of Terrorism: Rex Murphy, National Post, July 15, 2016

Turkey’s Schizophrenic Civil War: Burak Bekdil, Hurriyet Daily News, July 20, 2016

The 28 Pages that Damn Saudi Arabia: A.J. Caschetta, Gatestone Institute, July 19, 2016

Welcome Home!: Jewish Press, July 19, 2016

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“The coup was a blessing to him…He emerged easily as a hero and now is likely to squash the remaining opposition as well as the few media outlets left.” — Suat Kiniklioglu, a former parliamentarian in Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party. Kiniklioglu, who is now a critic of Erdogan’s rule, said the President had emerged “strengthened exponentially” from the failed putsch. The putsch attempt, which was launched Friday only to collapse Saturday morning, started to crumble when Erdogan – who won three consecutive terms as prime minister before winning election as president in 2014 – made an appeal on state television (via his mobile phone) for his backers to go into the streets. (Globe & Mail, July 17, 2016)

 

“The people on the streets have made that request…The people have the opinion that these terrorists should be killed. … Why should I keep them and feed them in prisons for years to come, that’s what the people say.” — Turkish President Erdogan. More than 7,500 members of the military, police and judiciary – including 27 generals and admirals, as well as Mr. Erdogan’s own chief military adviser – have been detained since Saturday. Almost 9,000 others, including 30 local governors, have been removed from their posts. The crackdown shows no sign of slowing. On Monday, the government suspended some 1,500 finance ministry officials. It also cancelled annual leave for the country’s three million civil servants, demanding that those already on vacation return immediately to their posts. Public officials were also banned indefinitely from travelling abroad. (Globe & Mail, July 18, 2016)

 

“The United States is not harbouring anybody, we’re not preventing anything from happening…We think it’s irresponsible to have accusations of American involvement when we’re simply waiting for their request, which we’re absolutely prepared to act on, if it meets the legal standard.” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Erdogan quickly accused his long-time rival Fethullah Gulen, a retired imam who lives in self-imposed exile in the U.S., of inspiring the move against his rule, and vowed to eliminate what he called the “virus” of Gulen’s supporters within Turkey’s army and other state structures. Erdogan demanded the immediate extradition of Gulen to face trial in Turkey. Kerry said the U.S. could only consider extraditing Gulen if Turkey produced evidence of his involvement. (Globe & Mail, July 17, 2016)

 

“Terrorism is a threat that weighs heavily upon France and will continue to weigh for a long time…We are facing a war that terrorism has brought to us. The goal of terrorists is to instil fear and panic. And France is a great country, and a great democracy, that will not allow itself to be destabilized.” — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Last Thursday, 84 people were killed and 303 injured when a cargo truck was deliberately driven into crowds celebrating Bastille Day on the Promenade des Anglais in Nice. The driver was Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, a Tunisian resident of France. (National Post, July 15, 2016)

 

“We’re on the verge of a civil war. I think this confrontation is going to happen. One or two more attacks and it will take place. It is up to us to anticipate and stop all those groups who would trigger clashes…Where is the spark going to come from that will light the powder, transforming France into an uncontrollable country where groups take up arms and hand out their own justice? Who sees a crumbling country where violence and vengeance alternates between two camps, where the spiral of attacks does not stop?” — Patrick Calvar, head of the General Directorate for Internal Security (DGSI), France’s most senior security chief. Growing tensions between the “extreme Right and the Muslim world” have pushed France to the “verge of a civil war”, Calvar warned in May. His dramatic comments were leaked to French media last week. France is still reeling from the Nov. 13 attacks, which killed 130 people at the Bataclan concert hall, Paris restaurants and cafes, and the national stadium, as well as a separate January 2015 attack in Paris that targeted journalists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and Jews at a kosher supermarket. (Daily Mail, July 12, 2016)

 

“I can’t hide that I feel a deep anger…How is it possible in our country that after everyone said there was a state of emergency, a state of war, we forgot it after Charlie Hebdo…Then there was the Bataclan. After the Bataclan, we forgot. There was Brussels. After Brussels, we forgot and there was Nice, so there are questions that need to be answered.” — Christian Estrosi, the head of the Nice region and a member of the Republicans, the party of former President Nicolas Sarkozy. French President François Hollande, breaking records of unpopularity in the polls, is severely weakened. He confronts a rising populist onslaught from the far right, and even challenges within his own party. Facing an election next year, he is almost certain to lose. (New York Times, July 15, 2016)

 

“The war against the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism has not begun; it’s now urgent to declare it. We will truly engage in it by implementing a set of measures I have already detailed and which I’ll have the occasion to come back to, which will aim at tackling the roots of the phenomenon. To our shock and compassion, we must now add action, the necessary measures of prevention and control, and the most absolute determination to eradicate the scourge of Islamist fundamentalism. On this day, I will put all of my energy toward the profound desires of the bruised people of France, so that they are heard and that the battles are waged.” — Marine Le Pen, the leader of the National Front, the French right-wing party that has risen to prominence by warning against immigration and railing against the European Union. (New York Times, July 15, 2016)

 

“The heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible, and each of its communities have a right to the explicit recognition of their history and relationship with the city…To deny or conceal any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site.” — Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. Amid the heated atmosphere surrounding the pending decision by UNESCO to solely recognize Muslim sovereignty over the Temple Mount, the general director of the organization acknowledged the ancient connection between Jews and Christians to the city of Jerusalem. The resolution seeks to prioritize Islamic ties to the Old City of Jerusalem while simultaneously erasing any Jewish historic connection to the site. The committee had originally planned to vote on the resolution during this month’s meeting in Istanbul, but due to the recent attempted coup in Turkey, UNESCO agreed to reschedule. (Breaking Israel News, July 20, 2016)

 

“He’s turned into President Hector…He hectors us about our moral failings; about how we have to do better. I understand the frustration…But you know, I’m allowed to be frustrated as a citizen. The president isn’t supposed to be frustrated, he’s supposed to be the problem solver.” — Gil Troy, a professor at McGill University, the day after Obama gave a 40-minute speech at a memorial for five police officers shot dead in Dallas. In his Dallas speech, Obama praised the police while addressing the racial tensions that flared after two black men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, were shot dead by white police in Louisiana and Minnesota this month. (National Post, June 15, 2016)

 

"We obviously disagree with the decision and want to know what precautions will be taken and what assurances the director can give that Secretary Clinton won't mishandle classified information. She has proven herself untrustworthy." — Spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan. Ryan is upset with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's decision to allow Hillary Clinton to receive pre-election classified briefings. Ryan cosponsored a bill last week that would revoke Clinton's security clearance in response to her use and cover up of private email servers as secretary of state. The legislation may be the only way for Republicans to block Clinton from obtaining classified information after she secures the nomination this month. (Washington Examiner, July 11, 2016)

 

“When [police] come to save your life, they don't ask if you are black or white, they just come to save you…It's time to make America safe again…I know we can change it because I did it by changing NYC from the crime capital of America to the safest large city in the U.S. What I did for New York, Donald Trump will do for America.” —New York's former mayor Rudy Giuliani, at the Republican Convention. Giuliani also addressed the terror threat facing the US and other countries around the world. He said: "We must not be afraid to define our enemy. It is Islamic extremist terrorism. I for the purposes of the media, I did not say all of Islam, I did not say most of Islam, I said Islamic extremist terrorism – you know who you are, and we're coming to get you." (IBT, July 19, 2016)

 

“I shared with Mr. Trudeau how much it meant to me to be here with him praying at the site of mass murder in the presence of my wife, my daughter, and my granddaughter and I was moved to tears when I recited prayers for the dead…I saw that he too was visibly touched and he shared his tears with mine … With his permission, I placed my hands on his head and blessed him with the Priestly Blessing, the most ancient blessing in Judaism.” — Auschwitz survivor Nate Leipciger. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was escorted through Auschwitz earlier this month by Leipciger, now of Toronto. The prime minister couldn’t hold back the tears as he stood before the ruined gas chamber where Leipciger’s mother and sister were killed 70 years ago. (National Post, July 19, 2016)

 

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

I.S. CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR ATTACK IN NICE (Nice) — I.S. claimed responsibility for the deadly truck attack in the French city of Nice, saying the assault was a response to calls by the extremist group to target those nations allied against it. Despite the assertion of responsibility, the nature and scope of the Sunni Muslim extremist group’s involvement in Thursday’s attack, which killed 84 people and wounded scores more, was unclear. French authorities said Saturday they had found no evidence of ties between terror groups and the man who carried out the assault in Nice, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, a 31-year-old Tunisian man living in the city. Prosecutors also said they had little doubt I.S. had, at the very least, inspired the attack. (Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2016)

 

I.S. CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR AXE ATTACK ON GERMAN TRAIN (Berlin) — I.S. claimed responsibility on Tuesday for an attack by an axe-wielding Afghan refugee on a German train, according to its Amaq news agency. The interior minister for the state of Bavaria said a hand-drawn I.S. flag was found in the room of the 17-year-old Afghan refugee who attacked passengers on a train in southern Germany before being shot dead by police. Four people were severely wounded in the attack before he was shot dead by police. The attack is likely to deepen worries about so-called "lone wolf" attacks in Europe and could put political pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants to Germany over the past year. (Jerusalem Post, July 19, 2016)

 

FRENCH WOMAN AND HER DAUGHTERS STABBED BY MOROCCAN-BORN MAN IN FRANCE (Paris) — A French woman and her three young daughters were seriously wounded in a knife attack at an Alpine resort on Tuesday by a man who reportedly complained that they were scantily dressed. The man was arrested after the attack at the Alpine resort of Garde-Colombe in southern France. The youngest girl, aged 8, was rushed to hospital in Grenoble with a punctured lung. Her mother, 46, and sisters aged 12 and 14, were being treated at a hospital closer to the scene of the attack. Their injuries were serious but not life-threatening. The attacker, named as Mohamed B, 37, "may have acted out of religious motives", French television channel TF1 reported. (Telegraph, July 19, 2016)

 

MAJOR TERRORIST ATTACK PREVENTED IN DOWNTOWN JERUSALEM (Jerusalem) — A mass-casualty terrorist attack was averted in downtown Jerusalem Sunday when security guards prevented a West Bank man armed with explosives and knives from boarding the light rail at the Jaffa Center station. Shortly before 9 a.m., police said security guards stationed in the city center observed a suspicious man carrying a shoulder bag. Confronted, the man admitted he was armed. The suspect, who police described as in his 20s and from the village of Beit Ula near Hebron, was forced to lay on the ground at gunpoint. Security personnel found three pipe bombs and knives in his bag. (Jerusalem Post, July 17, 2016)

 

ISRAEL BALKS AT OBAMA’S NEW TEN-YEAR AID OFFER (Jerusalem) — Israeli industry is bracing for lost funding and layoffs as a result of a proposed $38 billion, 10-year US military aid package that rescinds Israel’s ability to convert a significant portion of US grant dollars into shekels for local research, development and procurement. While Israel still hopes to prevail upon the White House to bump its top line closer to $40 billion over 10 years, government and industry sources hold little hope of Obama's administration wavering on Buy America demands. The proposed deal aims to follow the current $30 billion memorandum of understanding inked by both countries in 2007, which expires October 2017. (Defense News, July 15, 2016)

 

GINSBURG APOLOGIZES FOR ATTACK ON DONALD TRUMP (Washington) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has apologized for her unprecedented attack on GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump. Ginsburg had said in an interview, “I can’t imagine what this place would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president … For the country, it could be four years. For the Court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.” After criticism that followed the report Ginsburg said in a statement: “On reflection, my recent remarks in response to press inquiries were ill-advised and I regret making them. Judges should avoid commenting on a candidate for public office. In the future I will be more circumspect.” (Jewish Press, July 14, 2016)

 

SECRET DOCUMENT SHOWS IRAN CAN UPGRADE NUCLEAR PROGRAM IN DECADE (Tehran) — A secret document shows that an add-on agreement to the nuclear deal with Iran would, after a decade, allow Iran to upgrade parts of its nuclear program. The document is the only part of the deal that hadn't yet been made public. Although it was already known that some of the restrictions put in place by the agreement would be lifted after 10 years, the document addresses what will happen to the uranium enrichment part of Iran's nuclear program. It sets out that as of 2027, Iran will be able to replace some of its centrifuges with more advanced machines. These new centrifuges would cut in half the time Iran would need to build a nuclear bomb from a year to six months. (I24, July 18, 2016)

 

IRAN CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY OF NUCLEAR DEAL BY FIRING BALLISTIC MISSILE (Tehran) — One year almost to the day after the signing of the nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers, and in blatant violation of UN Resolution 2231, Tehran tried to launch a ballistic missile using North Korean technology. In UN Resolution 2231, Iran is “called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” The test failed when the missile exploded after liftoff at a site Iran has used before to conduct ballistic missile tests. This is the latest attempt in the year since the signing of the nuclear deal. (Jewish Press, July 16, 2016)

 

9/11 ATTACKERS MAY HAVE HAD SAUDI HELP, CLASSIFIED PAGES SAY (Washington) — Saudi nationals connected to the government in Riyadh may have aided some of the Sept. 11 hijackers in the U.S. before they carried out their attacks, according to a long-classified portion of a congressional inquiry. But top U.S. intelligence officials who approved releasing the report emphasized that they didn’t consider it accurate or reliable. The 28 pages were released as complaints have re-emerged in recent months from some Americans that Saudi Arabia or organizations and wealthy individuals based there have financed groups linked to terrorism or failed to crack down on militants. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks were identified as Saudi nationals. (Bloomberg, July 15, 2016) 

 

HAMZA BIN LADEN VOWS REVENGE AGAINST U.S. FOR KILLING HIS FATHER (Kabul) — In a speech entitled “We Are All Osama,” 23-year-old Hamza bin Laden said al Qaeda would continue waging jihad against the U.S. and its allies. “We will continue striking you and targeting you in your country and abroad in response to your oppression of the people of Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and the rest of the Muslim lands that did not survive your oppression…As for the revenge by the Islamic nation for Sheikh Osama…it is not revenge for Osama the person but it is revenge for those who defended Islam,” he said. A U.S. Navy SEAL commando killed Osama bin Laden at his hideout in Pakistan in 2011, dealing a major blow to al Qaeda, the terrorist group behind the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. Osama bin Laden’s son has been dubbed “the Crown Prince of Terror.” (Breitbart, July 11, 2016)

 

PAKISTANI INTERNET CELEBRITY, IS KILLED IN ‘HONOR KILLING’ (Islamabad) — An internet celebrity who pushed the boundaries of what is considered acceptable behavior for women in Pakistan was killed by her brother in a suspected “honor killing.” Officials said Qandeel Baloch, a 26-year-old who was described as the country’s Kim Kardashian, died at her parents’ house. Baloch became one of the country’s best-known media figures for posting videos and selfies on her social-media accounts, which have hundreds of thousands of followers. Many of her videos enraged conservative Pakistanis. While there was no nudity in her social-media posts, critics said her commentary, poses and clothes were inappropriate, overly sexual and violated Pakistani and Islamic norms. (Wall Street Journal, July 16, 2016)

 

GREEN PARTY MOVES TO EXPEL HOLOCAUST DENIER (Ottawa) — The Canadian Green Party issued a press release condemning “statements made by former candidate” Monika Schaefer. B’nai Brith Canada exposed Schaefer—the Green Party’s candidate in Alberta in 2006, 2008 and 2011—as denying the Holocaust in a YouTube video. Schaefer described the Holocaust as “the most persistent lie in all of history,” and claimed that victims of Nazi death camps “were kept as healthy and as well-fed as was possible,” and that “there were no gas chambers there.” She denounced “the 6-million lie” and recommended the writings of Ernst Zündel, a German Holocaust denier who had been deported from Canada in 2005. (Jewish Press, July 17, 2016)

 

POLICE INVESTIGATE TEACHER’S COMMENTS AT AL-QUDS DAY RALLY (Washington) — B’nai Brith Canada has filed a complaint with police against Mississauga teacher Nadia Shoufani for glorifying terrorists at the Toronto Al-Quds Day rally. Shoufani allegedly praised two men with ties to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a group that the government of Canada classifies as a terrorist entity. Jewish groups have unsuccessfully tried in the past to have the Al-Quds Day rally banned in Ontario. International Al-Quds Day, typically celebrated after the fast month of Ramadan, was started in 1979 by Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini. The day is held in solidarity with the Palestinians and in opposition to the existence of Israel as a Jewish state. (CJNews, July 14, 2016)

 

CANADA MUST DO MORE TO HELP PERSECUTED YAZIDIS, MPS TOLD (Ottawa) — Canada must do more to help Yazidi survivors of genocide and cannot rely on a "flawed" refugee identification system led by the UN, advocates told MPs in Ottawa. The House of Commons immigration committee heard horrific accounts of torture, rape, murder and enslavement as witnesses offered emotional testimony about atrocities carried out by I.S. Nadia Murad Basee Taha, who was abducted and held by I.S., said the world has remained "negligent" and "silent" as I.S. continues to rape, torture, kill and enslave Yazidis in a quest to exterminate the targeted population. (CBC, July 19, 2016)

 

BRITAIN’S YORK UNIVERSITY PAYS STUDENT £1,000 OVER ANTISEMITIC ABUSE (London) — A student at York University is to receive a public apology and £1,000 from the student union for antisemitic abuse he was subjected to during his studies. Zachary Confino, a law student and former treasurer, said the university had done very little when he was called a “Jewish prick”, an “Israeli twat” and subjected to an anonymous social media comment that Hitler was “on to something”. The payment is believed to be the first of its kind by a UK university. (Guardian, June 2, 2016)

 

200 FRENCH JEWS IMMIGRATING TO ISRAEL WEDNESDAY (Paris) — More than 200 French Jews arrived in Israel July 20, aboard a special Aliyah flight organized by The Jewish Agency for Israel. This is the largest Aliyah flight from France set to land in Israel this summer. The flight was planned months ago, without any connection to recent events in France. Numbering just under half a million, the French Jewish community is the largest in Europe and the second-largest in the world outside of Israel. French Jewish immigration to Israel has surged since the year 2012, breaking records for Aliyah from France and from Western countries. (Jewish Press, July 17, 2016)

 

Contents

On Topic Links

 

 

The World is Becoming Immunized to the Horrors of Terrorism: Rex Murphy, National Post, July 15, 2016 —If what occurred in Nice, France, on Thursday was a one-of-kind event, I’m certain the world’s response would be dramatically more powerful and intense. Who rents a truck with the intended purpose of driving it into a crowd of people celebrating a national holiday, with the intended purpose of running over and maiming as many as possible? Unfortunately, the world is becoming immunized to these horrors.

Turkey’s Schizophrenic Civil War: Burak Bekdil, Hurriyet Daily News, July 20, 2016 —It is amazing that the Crescent and Star never ceases to shock with the most unexpected insanity. The capacity to shock is a feature most observed at times of war. And Turkey is at war – a schizophrenic civil war.

The 28 Pages that Damn Saudi Arabia: A.J. Caschetta, Gatestone Institute, July 19, 2016—After keeping them secret for 14 years, the White House has finally released the 28 pages that were removed from the 2002 Congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks and withheld from the final 9/11 Commission Report. More puzzling than the elusive pages is why Obama released them, and specifically, why now.

Welcome Home!: Jewish Press, July 19, 2016 —223 American Jews made Aliya and arrived in Israel today! Welcome home.