Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

Month: August 2016

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?…It is journalism’s job to be true to the readers and viewers, and true to the facts, in a way that will stand up to history’s judgment. To do anything less would be untenable.” — Jim Rutenberg (New York Times, Aug. 7, 2016)

 

On Topic Links

 

Why the Next US Prez Won’t be Able to Ignore the Growing Middle East Turmoil: New York Post, Aug. 29, 2016

The Real Hillary Clinton Scandal Is Her Need for Secrecy: Dan O'Sullivan, Vice, Aug. 30, 2016

‘Who Did This to Us?’: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 29, 2016

So You’re a Jew and You’re Starting College? Prepare for Anti-Zionism: Molly Harris, Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2016

 

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"The burkini is not a religious sign, it is the affirmation of political Islam in the public space." — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.  Valls said the court ruling suspending a ban on burkinis in a Mediterranean beach town doesn't put an end to what he says is a fundamental debate. Valls wrote on Facebook that denouncing the burkini "in no way puts into question individual freedom" and is really about denouncing "fatal, retrograde Islamism." The Socialist Prime Minister had come out in favor of the bans and said in his commentary that "to remain silent … is a small renouncement." (New York Times, Aug. 26, 2016)

 

“We will support all work to clean Syria and Iraq of Daesh…That’s why we are in Jarablus, that’s why we are in Bashiqa [in Iraq]. If necessary, we will not shy away from taking responsibility in the same way in other areas.” — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The dramatic escalation of Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian civil war last week aimed to help the Syrian rebels drive I.S. out of the border town of Jarablus. But it also is aimed at U.S.-allied Kurdish forces that have gained control in recent months of most of the territory along the Turkey-Syria border. The fighting pits Turkey, a NATO ally, against a U.S.-backed proxy that is the most effective ground force battling I.S. in Syria in the five-year-old civil war. “We are as determined about the PYD, the separatist terror organization’s Syrian wing,” he said. Ankara views the PYD, which forms the backbone of the U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces, or SDF, as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency that is raging in southeastern Turkey. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 28, 2016)

 

"We have called upon Turkey to stay focused on the fight against ISIL and not to engage Syrian [Democratic] Forces.” — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter. Carter, saying the U.S. understands Turkey's "objections" to a Kurdish militia known as the YPG, called on the two sides to stop shooting at one another and retreat to agreed-upon geographical boundaries designed to keep the two sides apart. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist group linked to attacks in Turkey. "We do understand that they have historical differences with one another, but American interests are quite clear," Carter said. "We, like they, want to combat ISIL." (Washington Examiner, Aug. 29, 2016)

 

“The people will leave their homes, they will leave their city…We were forced to make this decision. We had no other choice.” — Hytham Ghazal, manager of a humanitarian office in Daraya, Syria. For nearly four years Daraya had been under siege by the forces of President Assad. But this week, locals and the government struck a rare deal to empty the town. Some 8,400 civilians and 1,300 rebel fighters had been in Daraya before Friday. The town was expected to be empty by Saturday. Daraya has lost an estimated 3,000 people in the war. It was one of the first places to come out against Assad after the uprising in 2011. Its loss represented another significant blow to the rebels, who have seen a string of defeats since Russia intervened on the side of the regime almost a year ago. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 26, 2016)

 

"They don't even try to hide their crimes…They are beheading them, shooting them, running them over in cars, all kinds of killing techniques, and they don't even try to hide it." — Sirwan Jalal, the director of Iraqi Kurdistan's agency in charge of mass graves. In exclusive interviews, photos and research, AP has documented and mapped 72 mass graves I.S. have scattered across Iraq and Syria. It is the most comprehensive survey so far, with many more expected to be uncovered as I.S.'s territory shrinks. In Syria, AP has obtained locations for 17 mass graves, including one with the bodies of hundreds of members of a single tribe all but exterminated when IS extremists took over their region. (Toronto Sun, Aug. 30, 2016)

 

"I was number 43. I heard them say '615,' and then one ISIS guy said, 'We're going to eat well tonight.' A man behind us asked, 'Are you ready?' Another person answered 'Yes,' and began shooting at us with a machine-gun. Then they all started to shoot us from behind, going down the row." — Human Rights Watch account of a survivor identified only as A.S. Nearly every area freed from IS control has unmasked new mass graves, like one found by the sports stadium in the Iraqi city of Ramadi. Many of the graves themselves are easy enough to find, most covered with just a thin coating of earth. (Toronto Sun, Aug. 30, 2016)

 

The terrorists who operate in the name of Islam are not Muslims. They have nothing to do with Islam, and jump on the bandwagon in order to justify their crimes and stupid acts. They are people who have been led astray, and they are destined to dwell in Hell for all eternity. Led by their ignorance, they believe that what they do constitutes Jihad. When was Jihad ever about the killing of innocent people?…They are exploiting some Muslim youth, especially in Europe. They are exploiting their ignorance of the Arabic language and of true Islam, in order to convey their erroneous messages and misleading promises. Can anyone of sound mind believe that the reward for Jihad could be some virgins in Paradise?…The terrorists and extremists are using all possible means to persuade the youth to join them, and to strike at societies that bask in the values of liberty, openness, and tolerance…We are all being targeted.” — King Mohammed VI of Morocco. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 26, 2016)

 

“In difficult times, such as the present (when oil prices have fallen disastrously), Russians admire proud, ambitious leaders, those willing to establish Russian power and influence in distant places. No one knows that better than Putin…Putin has been taking on the greatest problem in the Middle East, apparently believing that his status can solve it. The president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, having talked recently to Putin, said this week that Putin wants to revive peace talks between the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He’s invited them to meet in Moscow. If that were to work, and Putin were to succeed where a string of American presidents had failed, no one could ever again deny that Russia is a great power.” — Robert Fulford. (National Post, Aug. 26, 2016)

 

“Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau had promised in last year’s general election that the Liberals, if elected, would bring Canada back to its glory days as a UN “peacekeeping” contributor, in obvious contrast to the “war making” of Stephen Harper’s Conservatives. Earlier this month, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan toured Africa to judge for himself the conflict situations in several countries in an effort to decide where a Canadian mission might be most valuable. The actual country where Canadian soldiers (some 600), aid workers and police will go has not yet been decided, although Mali is said to be favoured. What was notable in the government’s official press release is that the word “peacekeeping” did not appear. The operative word is now “peace operations” because as both Mr. Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion have pointed out on several occasions, any mission to Africa isn’t the “peacekeeping” of old, but far more dangerous and even likely to produce Canadian casualties…Canadians are joining a war in progress. In fact, at least 44 UN troops have been killed by rebels, jihadis or others in ambushes, bombings and IED strikes there over the past several years. With some 13,000 UN troops trying to keep a lid on the multifaceted war in Mali, it’s hard to see how Canada’s contribution of 600 will affect the conflict, although it will give the government here the ability to claim that another election promise has been fulfilled.” — David Bercuson. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 30, 2016)

 

“Homa Hoodfar, an anthropology professor at Concordia University, is being treated abominably as a pawn in Iranian politics. At this rate, she may well die from illness in a notoriously horrendous prison without having been charged or convicted of any crime…Earlier this year, she visited Iran and was detained by the counterintelligence unit of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp. She was freed for a while, but not allowed to leave Iran, and then she was moved to the horrific Evin Prison – which may be said to specialize in political prisoners. Appearances suggest that Prof. Hoodfar has been set up by the Revolutionary Guards, as if she were some sinister Western agent trying to undermine Iranian values. Surely President Rouhani should stand up against the Revolutionary Guards to demand Prof. Hoodfar’s freedom.” — Editorial (Globe & Mail, Aug. 30, 2016)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

I.S. SAYS SENIOR COMMANDER KILLED IN SYRIA (Damascus) — I.S. said on Tuesday one of its most prominent and longest-serving leaders was killed in what appeared to be an American air strike in Syria, depriving the militant group of the man in charge of directing attacks overseas. Adnani was one of the last living senior members, along with self-appointed caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who founded the group and stunned the Middle East by seizing huge tracts of Iraq and Syria in 2014. As I.S.’s spokesman, Adnani was its most visible member. As head of external operations, he was in charge of attacks overseas, including Europe, that have become an increasingly important tactic for the group as its core Iraqi and Syrian territory has been eroded by military losses. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 30, 2016)

 

IRAN WARNS ENCROACHING U.S. SHIPS WILL BE ‘SEVERELY PUNISHED’ (Tehran) —Iran’s defense minister vowed that any U.S. or other warships that enter Iranian waters would be “severely punished,” as the Pentagon confirmed that a U.S. patrol vessel had fired warning shots after being approached by an Iranian attack boat. In the latest in a series of incidents in the area, an Iranian vessel approached two U.S. Navy ships Thursday, prompting crew on the USS Squall to fire three warning shots. In an earlier incident Thursday, four Iranian vessels approached the destroyer USS Nitze in the Strait of Hormuz in what the Pentagon described as “an unsafe and unprofessional manner.” (CNS, Aug. 26, 2016)

 

IRAN DEPLOYS AIR DEFENSE SYSTEM AROUND FORDO NUCLEAR SITE (Tehran) — Iran has deployed a Russian-made S-300 air defense system around its underground Fordo nuclear facility. Video posted Sunday showed trucks arriving at the site and missile launchers aimed skyward. Critics of the nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers questioned Iran’s claim that the site was no longer used to enrich uranium. As part of the nuclear deal, Iran agreed to convert the Fordo facility into a technology and science center and to give inspectors access to the site. Russia began delivering the S-300 system to Iran this year under a contract signed in 2007. The delivery had been held up by sanctions over Iran’s nuclear program, which were lifted this year. (New York Times, Aug. 29, 2016)

 

GERMAN GOV’T: NO NORMALIZED RELATIONS WITH IRAN REGIME UNTIL IT RECOGNIZES ISRAEL (Berlin) — Germany’s normalization of relations with Iran are tied to Tehran’s recognition of Israel, according to a letter written in the name of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration. German media reported in July that Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Economic Minister Sigmar Gabriel wanted to invite Iran’s President Rouhani to Berlin. In response a Green Party member of the German parliament, called on the Merkel administration to not be lured into a false normalization of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic. Steinmeier was an energetic supporter of the nuclear deal with Iran and slammed Prime Minister Netanyahu for his “very coarse” criticism of the agreement. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 31, 2016)

 

ATTACK ON AMERICAN UNIVERSITY IN AFGHANISTAN LEAVES TWELVE DEAD (Kabul) — An attack on the American University of Afghanistan ended after at least 12 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the assault on the campus on Kabul’s outskirts. The dead included seven students. Three police officers and two security guards were also killed. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the assault but suspicion is likely to fall on the Taliban. The attack came two weeks after two university staffers, an American and an Australian, were kidnapped from their car by unknown gunmen driving. Their abductors were men dressed in Afghan military uniforms. Last month, Kabul was shaken by a massive suicide bombing that struck a peaceful rally by Afghanistan’s minority ethnic Hazara community, killing more than 80 people and wounding hundreds. (National Post, Aug. 25, 2016)

 

CANADIAN SHOT BY BANGLADESH POLICE LINKED TO CALGARY TERRORISTS (Dhaka) — A Canadian man killed by Bangladesh police for his suspected role in plotting a deadly terrorist attack at a Dhaka café was linked to a cluster of radicals from Calgary who are collectively responsible for more than 70 deaths overseas. Bangladeshi officials believe Tamim Chowdhury, 30, was the architect behind last month’s attack that killed 24 in the name of I.S. Gunmen stormed a popular bakery, taking hostages, separating out those who identified as Muslim from the rest and executing a number of patrons for being foreign non-Muslims. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 28, 2016)

 

CANADA A TERROR TARGET: GOODALE (Ottawa) — Canada’s “principal terrorist threat” comes from those inspired by extremist ideologies to conduct attacks, the government said in its latest update on the security challenges facing the country. Released by Pubic Safety Minister Ralph Goodale just over two weeks after a failed I.S.-inspired suicide bombing in Ontario, the report said I.S. and its sibling al-Qaida “continue to appeal to certain individuals in Canada.” Some promote violence online, radicalize their peers, recruit and fundraise, it said. “Others may consider travelling abroad to join a terrorist group or conducting terrorist attacks themselves.” As of the end of 2015, about 180 “individuals with a nexus to Canada” were suspected of participating in terrorist activities overseas, up from 130 the previous year, it said. More than half were thought to be in Turkey, Iraq or Syria. (National Post, Aug. 25, 2016)

 

BRIT KILLED IN AUSTRALIA STABBING, SUSPECT SHOUTED ‘ALLAHU AKBAR (Sydney) — A 21-year old woman from Britain was stabbed to death in an Australian youth hostel by a man who reported shouted “Allahu Akbar” during the attack. The victim was Mia Ayliffe-Chung, from Derbyshire. A dog was also killed in the attack and a 30-year-old British man was severely injured. The attack took place in Queensland near Townsville. Allahu Akbar is an Arabic phrase meaning “God is the Greatest” and used in a variety of religious contexts. It has been adopted by jihadists as a slogan to shout before they strike. A 29-year-old French man was arrested for the murder. (Clarion Project, Aug. 24, 2016)

 

HUNGARY TO BUILD STRONGER ANTI-MIGRANT FENCE (Budapest) — Hungary's Prime Minister says the country will build a new, "massive" fence on its southern borders to defend against a possible surge in the number of migrants. Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who earlier said migrants were "poison," said that there may soon be a "greater need for security" and the fortified barrier would be able to stop "several hundreds of thousands of people," if needed. He did not say when construction could start. Hungary built fences protected with razor wire on its southern borders with Serbia and Croatia last year, when nearly 400,000 people passed through the country. (Fox News, Aug. 26, 2016)

 

POLISH SOCCER FANS TORCH 'JEWISH' EFFIGIES (Lodz) — A group of soccer hooligans in Poland torched effigies representing Jews and displayed banners calling for Jews to be burned in a shocking display during a match. The incident occurred when dozens of fans supporting the Widzew Łódź side rallied against the town rival ŁKS Łódź, which is often derided as "Jewish" by opposing teams' fans. The rally took place ahead of the derby match at a local train station in the central Polish city that used to boast a large Jewish population prior to WWII. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 29, 2016) 

 

JEWISH GRAVES VANDALIZED IN BELFAST (Belfast) — 17 Jewish graves were destroyed and vandalized in what appears to have been an organized attack inside a Belfast cemetery. The attack took place on Friday and up to eight youths, some using hammers, were involved. The Police Service of Northern Ireland has confirmed it is investigating the incident as a hate crime. The graves, some of which date back to the 1870s, are in a walled-off section of Belfast city cemetery between the Whiterock and Falls roads. Antisemitism has been on the rise in Europe in recent years and Ireland has not been immune. In 2014, windows were repeatedly smashed at a Belfast synagogue. In 2013, the Teachers Union of Ireland voted to institute an academic boycott against the state of Israel. (Arutz Sheva, Aug. 29, 2016)

 

AIRLINE RESTORES "CONTROVERSIAL ISRAELI DESSERT" AFTER BACKLASH (Brussels) — Responding to pressure from Israel, Brussels Airlines has reinstated supplying the Israeli Ahva brand halva on its flights. Brussels Airlines had stopped serving Israeli-made halva on flights after a complaint was launched by a Palestinian activist last week. The activist was traveling from Ben Gurion Airport to Brussels when he noticed the dessert being served was made by the Ahva brand. He informed other activists about the product and they complained to the airline, which conceded to their request. In a new letter sent by the airline to the Israeli Ambassador to Belgium, the airline stated that, “Ahva remains one of our trusted providers…we will continue to have Ahva products on our flights, especially in light of the critical role it plays in the (Israeli) community.” (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 31, 2016)

 

NORWEGIAN GOVERNMENT FUNDS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTING BDS CAMPAIGNS (Oslo) — The Norwegian government has been contributing to an organization that funds NGOs active in promoting anti-Israel boycotts, the watchdog organization NGO Monitor reported. According to the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, NOK 5 million (over $600,000) was allocated to the Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law Secretariat in the second half of 2016, half of which has already been paid. The organization gave $5.78 million to NGOs supporting BDS in the past four years, amounting to over half of its operating budget of $10.38 million. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 29, 2016)

 

FIFTY-STATE CAMPAIGN AGAINST ISRAEL BDS LAUNCHED BY STATE GOVERNORS (New York) — The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has launched a bipartisan campaign against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, calling on fifty state governors to condemn BDS and reaffirm that Israel is an indispensable U.S. ally. The campaign, called Governors United Against BDS, is co-chaired by Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas and Governor Dannel P. Malloy of Connecticut. AJC’s declaration emphasizes that BDS seeks “to isolate Israel—a pluralistic nation with deep cultural, familial, security, educational, scientific and commercial bonds with our state and with the United States as a whole—rather than recognize the profound mutual benefits of our engagement with it.” (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 30, 2016)

 

JEWISH COMIC ACTOR WILDER DIES AT 83 (Budapest) — Gene Wilder, one of America’s most beloved actors, passed away on at the age of 83 from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease. Best known for playing the title role in 1971’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, Wilder also shone in classic comedies such as “The Producers”, “Young Frankenstein” and “Blazing Saddles”, which were all collaborations with Jewish producer and actor Mel Brooks. Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Wisconsin to Jewish parents. He started his acting career on the stage before moving into film, going on to star in over 20 movies and television shows. In a less-known role, Wilder played Rabbi Avram Belinsky, a Polish rabbi, in the 1979 film “Frisco Kid”. (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 30, 2016)

 

ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1929 HEBRON MASSACRE (Hebron) — Shabbat marked the 87th (Hebrew calendar) anniversary of the horrific 1929 Hebron Massacre. Rampaging Arab mobs killed 67 Jewish residents and yeshiva students in the biblical holy city, where the patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people are entombed and King David ruled. Three days later British soldiers evacuated the surviving remnant of the ancient Jewish community. Hebron was Judenrein. So it remained for 50 years, until 10 women and 35 children, led by Miriam Levinger and Sarah Nachshon, entered Beit Hadassah, the former medical clinic in the heart of the destroyed Jewish Quarter. Hebron, Mrs. Levinger proclaimed, “will no longer be Judenrein.” (Algemeiner, Aug. 28, 2016)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Why the Next US Prez Won’t be Able to Ignore the Growing Middle East Turmoil: New York Post, Aug. 29, 2016—As if the Middle East weren’t explosive enough, there are fresh signs of new danger. The next US president, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, will have his or her hands full.

The Real Hillary Clinton Scandal Is Her Need for Secrecy: Dan O'Sullivan, Vice, Aug. 30, 2016—"Now's a good time for a question, right?" wisecracked a journalist from the press scrum, as two chocolatiers flanked the candidate. The scene was yet another Hillary Clinton campaign photo opportunity, this time at Hub Coffee Roasters in Reno, Nevada, just after she denounced Donald Trump for his association with the online racists of the "alt right." It was, in the words of CNN's Dan Merica, "a great chance to answer questions."

‘Who Did This to Us?’: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 29, 2016—Bernard Lewis once made the point that there are two basic ways in which people and nations respond to adversity and decline. The first, the great historian wrote in 2002, is to ask “Who did this to us?” The second is, “What did we do wrong?”

So You’re a Jew and You’re Starting College? Prepare for Anti-Zionism: Molly Harris, Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2016—Congratulations, new college freshmen! Welcome to what will undoubtedly be some of the most exciting years of your life. Get ready to meet new people, learn things that fascinate you, and figure out who you are and who you want to be. If you’re Jewish, you should probably also prepare yourself for the various forms of anti-Israel sentiment, and maybe even anti-Semitism, you’re likely to encounter on your new college campus.

 

 

Ira Robinson: Sara Zfatman. Jewish Exorcism in Early Modern Ashkenaz [Hebrew]. Jerusalem: Magnes Press, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

One of the salient characteristics of spiritual life in Europe in the early modern era (the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries) was an increased sensitivity to supernatural phenomena, particularly those ascribed to the demonic realm.  In the Christian world in this era, this was expressed in a veritable epidemic of accusations of witchcraft, mostly against women, as well as frequent and persistent accusations against Jews that they were in league with the devil, and that they regularly desecrated Christian sacra. Within Jewish communities, a similar dynamic translated, among other things, into a series of narratives concerning spirits of the dead taking possession of the bodies of the living [dybbuk].

 

These spirit possession narratives have long held an important place in the Jewish folkloric imagination and they spurred a significant modern literary creation: the early twentieth century play “The Dybbuk” by S. Ansky.  The early modern Jewish narratives, which begin in earnest in the kabbala-suffused intellectual atmosphere of Safed in the sixteenth century, have been studied by both Gedalyahu Nigal and, more recently, by J.H. Chajes in his English book, Between Worlds: Dybbuks, Exorcists, and Early Modern Judaism (2003).

 

Sara Zfatman of the Hebrew University, who specializes in early modern Yiddish literature and folklore, uses her formidable literary investigative abilities in order to shine important new light on spirit possession narratives among Ashkenazic communities in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  In particular, this book showcases her talent as a meticulous literary detective in tracking down two major and several additional minor literary sources (some surviving in only one copy) in both Hebrew and Yiddish describing a spirit possession and exorcism that occurred in the Moravian town of Nikolsburg in 1696.  She considers the Nikolsburg narratives to be of great significance as the model followed by subsequent spirit possession narratives among Ashkenazic Jews.

 

By judiciously comparing her sources and correlating them with the knowledge we possess of Moravian Jewry and its rabbinate of that era, the author shows us not merely the bare facts of the incident (from several mostly complementary perspectives) but also with considerable specificity how the exorcism was handled and by whom.  Most importantly, beyond the narrative sources, she has identified a manuscript (Oxford 1965, opp. 485) that she claims was the “handbook” utilized by the scholar conducting the exorcism, Moshe ben Menahem Preger.

 

Zfatman’s analysis, therefore, gives us a unique vantage point from which to examine the praxis of kabbala ma’asit [“practical kabbala”], the expertise of those claiming to be able to utilize the numinous power contained in divine names.  The men who performed the exorcism rituals that Zfatman describes in such minute detail were often called ba’alei shem [masters of the utilization of divine names].  These men, the most famous of whom was Israel ben Eliezer, whom Hasidim revere as the founder of their movement, were much in demand in the Ashkenazi world of the eighteenth century from the Polish Commonwealth in the east to London in the west for healing, exorcism, protective amulets, and much else.  Zfatman’s study adds significantly to our growing understanding of these men, what they believed, and how they practiced their profession.

 

Zfatman’s discussion of Ashkenazic intellectuals at the turn of the eighteenth century almost inevitably brings her to a consideration of the influence of the seventeenth century messianic movement of Shabbetai Zvi on these men.  Scholars of early modern Judaism have long noted the tremendous influence and lasting power of Sabbatian belief on many rabbis, preachers, and scribes who remained within Jewish communities (as well as others whose Sabbatian beliefs drove them beyond the Jewish community into conversion to Islam or Christianity).  Zfatman’s investigation largely substantiates Yehuda Liebes’ findings in this area and convincingly demonstrates that a large number of the men who took part in the Nikolsburg exorcism were likely Sabbatian believers themselves or at the very least travelled in intellectual circles replete with such believers.

 

Beyond its meticulous textual analysis which, refreshingly, lets us know not merely what Zfatman has discovered, but also those details on which she is still unclear, the book has the merit of publishing some 250 pages of primary documents in Yiddish and Hebrew that allow the reader to examine the material she presents on their own.  The book should be read by all those wishing to delve deeply into the spiritual and intellectual world of Ashkenazi Jews in early modernity.

 

Ira Robinson is a Professor of Judaic Studies in the Department of Religion,

Concordia University, and a CIJR Academic Fellow

 

U.N.’S RECORD OF ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS REACHES NEW LOW WITH IMMUNITY DEMAND FOR HAMAS SUPPORTER

A New UN: Jerusalem Post, Aug. 21, 2016— The UN’s predisposition against Israel is well documented.

Give the UN Immunity for Terror?: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Aug. 29, 2016— Since ancient times, nations have granted immunity to diplomats from arrest or mistreatment.

Jewish Settlements are Legal: Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom, Aug. 18, 2016— The misperceptions, misrepresentations and ignorance over the legal status of Jewish settlements in the disputed ‎area of Judea and Samaria reflect the general attitude ‎toward the unique phenomenon of the reconstruction of the Jewish national ‎home in Israel.‎

Don’t Send Canadian Troops to Dysfunctional UN Missions: Matt Gurney, National Post, Aug. 16, 2016— Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, is a serious guy.

 

On Topic Links

 

UN Security Council to Convene Meeting on Israeli Settlement Building: Danielle Ziri, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2016

The Aid Workers Aiding Hamas: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Aug. 19, 2016

Why an African Mission Could be More Dangerous than Afghanistan: Matthew Fisher, National Post, Aug. 29, 2016

Who Will Lead the United Nations?: John Bolton, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 7, 2016

 

 

A NEW UN

Editorial

                              Jerusalem Post, Aug. 21, 2016

 

The UN’s predisposition against Israel is well documented. A low point was undoubtedly a 1975 resolution pushed by the Soviet Union that equated Zionism with racism. The demise of the Soviet Union did not improve matters. Arab countries and other third world nations have consistently voted en bloc against the Jewish state.

 

For decades Israel has been the only member state consistently denied admission to a regional group, which is the organizational structure by which member states can participate in UN bodies and committees. Arab states refuse to allow Israeli membership in the Asian Regional Group, Israel’s natural geopolitical grouping. Though eventually accepted to the Western and Others Group in May 2000, Israel’s membership is limited and does not allow it to participate in the UN’s Geneva-based activities.

 

Israel is the only country in the world that is singled out to appear on the UN Human Rights Council’s permanent agenda. Countries that regularly commit horrific human rights abuses such as Sudan and Iran are mentioned by the HRC – if at all – as part of the general debate. Not only does the number of resolutions brought against Israel by the HRC outstrip resolutions brought against any single country, it exceeds the number brought against all other countries in the world – by a long shot. In 2015, for instance, the HRC brought 20 resolutions on purported human rights abuses against Israel and just three against all other countries – one against Iran, one against Syria and one against North Korea.

 

“Special rapporteurs” on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967” have outdone one another in their biased conduct. In 2008, John Dugard justified Palestinian terrorism as an “inevitable consequence” of Israel’s actions. Richard Falk compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to Nazi actions during the Holocaust. Justice Richard Goldstone, on behalf of the UN in 2009, leveled the claim that Israel intentionally targeted civilians, before he retracted it in an op-ed in 2011.

 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon admitted to the UN’s bias during his visit to Israel in August 2013.

“Unfortunately, because of the [Israeli-Palestinian] conflict, Israel’s been weighed down by criticism and suffered from bias – and sometimes even discrimination,” Ban said in response to a question about discrimination against Israel at the UN. “It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said, adding that Israel should be treated in the same way as all the other 192 member states.

 

The time has come for a restart. Ban ends his second term as secretary-general on December 31. Custom dictates that the job rotates between regions and it is now the turn of Eastern Europe. Two Bulgarian women are the front-runners for the position and they have an opportunity, where Ban has failed, to take steps to end the UN’s anti-Israel bias.

 

There have been a few positive developments in recent years. In 2009 the UN adopted an Israel-initiated resolution that deals with agricultural technology for development. And in January 2015 the General Assembly held its first-ever special session on the rise of anti-Semitic violence worldwide. Signs of normalization of relations between the UN and Israel can be discerned from the increasing amount of goods and services UN institutions purchase from Israel. In 2015, the UN purchased $91.8 million in goods and services from Israel, double the amount two years earlier. A large proportion of the goods were medical, and IT and communications equipment, which seemed to point to the attractiveness of Israel’s advanced technologies.

 

The UN has a long history of bias against Israel, but change is possible. Once upon a time the UN was very different. It is thanks to General Assembly Resolution 181 on the partition of Palestine that the State of Israel came into being. The appointment of a new secretary-general and next month’s General Assembly meeting present an opportunity for a reevaluation of the UN’s treatment of Israel.

 

The next secretary-general should take steps to integrate Israel into the UN’s institutions; end the prejudiced approach of the Human Rights Council toward Israel’s purported human rights abuses; and take further steps to normalize relations between the UN and Israel. If he or she is successful, the UN of the 21st century will more closely resemble the UN that brought the State of Israel into existence nearly 70 years ago.

 

Contents                                                                                                             

GIVE THE UN IMMUNITY FOR TERROR?

                                      Jonathan S. Tobin

                               Commentary, Aug. 29, 2016

 

Since ancient times, nations have granted immunity to diplomats from arrest or mistreatment. Without such immunity, diplomacy is virtually impossible and breaches of this tradition—such as the 1979 assault on the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and the hostage crisis that followed—are not only heinous crimes but also proof of the breakdown of the rule of law anywhere such conduct is tolerated. But this important principle has sometimes been expanded to shield diplomats from the consequences of ordinary illegal behavior. As any resident of New York City knows, diplomatic license plates are a license to park illegally and not pay the tickets they are assessed. But for the United Nations, the concept of immunity has now taken a completely new meaning: any employee of the world body, even those without any diplomatic status whatsoever, are entitled to aid terrorist groups with impunity.

 

That’s the position the UN is taking on the case of Waheed Borsh, a Palestinian engineer who works for the United Nations Development Program, an agency tasked with assisting building projects in poor countries. Borsh has worked for the UNDP since 2003, a group that has become even more important since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas that resulted in the destruction of many homes in Gaza. But rather than carry out the UN’s mandate to rebuild civilian infrastructure and homes, Borsh was discovered to have been transferred 300 tons of building materials to the Qassam Brigades—Hamas’s military arm—in order to build a naval jetty from which it conducts operations and smuggling. Borsh also used his influence to ensure that the rebuilding of homes of Hamas officials was a UNDP priority. This meant that thanks to Borsh, the UNDP was subsidizing a terrorist group’s activities.

 

The UN said it was “greatly concerned” by the allegations and has “zero tolerance” for wrongdoing–a stance belied by the way all of its agencies have allowed themselves to be co-opted by Hamas in Gaza. But it nevertheless asserted this past week in a letter that Borsh should be released from Israeli custody because he should be considered to have diplomatic immunity.

 

The technical legality of this assertion is dubious. If any local employee of the United Nations, let alone, one of an embassy or consulate anywhere, is considered to have the immunity tradition accords actual diplomats the entire concept is called into question. It’s bad enough when real diplomats commit crimes and then are allowed to return home, albeit in disgrace. More common is when diplomats involved in spying—an activity not wholly unrelated to the business of foreign policy. But while those with diplomatic passports must be accorded a fair amount of latitude for countries to feel free to exchange representatives, giving employees of UN agencies a free pass for blatantly illegal conduct is absurd. Even more outrageous is the notion that those who aid terrorist organizations should be treated with kid gloves.

 

This UN demand is especially egregious when one considers the record of both the UN and other philanthropic groups in Gaza. The same week that Borsh was arrested, an employee of the World Vision humanitarian group in Gaza was also apprehended for siphoning off for Hamas tens of millions of dollars donated from well-meaning foreigners that were intended to help Palestinian children. Another recent controversy has centered on Hamas infiltration of the Save the Children organization in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations Relief Works Agency was found to have hired members of Hamas and allowed its facilities and schools to be used by the terrorists for storing weapons during the 2014 war.

 

But rather than take responsibility for this fiasco that occurred in their name, the UN thinks Borsh and every other Palestinian working for them in Gaza ought to be given impunity for misdirecting international aid to terrorists. Israel is right to ignore this request and to vigorously prosecute all those who abuse their UN jobs in this manner. The UN has been a cesspool of corruption and anti-Semitism for so long that to speak of salvaging its reputation is a fool’s errand. Yet this incident shows how little the world body actually cares for the welfare of ordinary Palestinians, who are being shortchanged of desperately needed assistance to bolster their Islamist rulers’ military infrastructure. By invoking diplomatic immunity, the UN is calling into disrepute a basic principle upon which the entire structure of its efforts rests.

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JEWISH SETTLEMENTS ARE LEGAL ‎

                                          Yoram Ettinger

                                         Israel Hayom, Aug. 18, 2016

 

The misperceptions, misrepresentations and ignorance over the legal status of Jewish settlements in the disputed ‎area of Judea and Samaria reflect the general attitude ‎toward the unique phenomenon of the reconstruction of the Jewish national ‎home in Israel.‎ ‎"Fidelity to law is the essence of peace," opined Professor Eugene Rostow, a former dean of the Yale University Law School, undersecretary of state and a co-author of ‎the Nov. 22, 1967, U.N. Security Council Resolution 242. Rostow resolved ‎that under international law, "Jews have the same right to settle in the West ‎Bank as they have in Haifa." ‎

 

Rostow determined that according to Resolution 242, "Israel is required to withdraw 'from territories,' not 'the' territories, ‎nor from 'all' the territories, but 'some' of the territories, which included the ‎West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Desert and the Golan ‎Heights." Moreover, "resolutions calling for withdrawal from 'all' the territories ‎were defeated in the Security Council and the General Assembly. … Israel was ‎not to be forced back to the 'fragile and vulnerable' [9- to 15-mile wide] lines … but ‎to 'secure and recognized' boundaries, agreed to by the parties. … In making ‎peace with Egypt in 1979, Israel withdrew from the entire Sinai … [which ‎amounts to] more than 90% of the territories occupied in 1967."‎

 

Former International Court of Justice President Judge Stephen ‎M. Schwebel stated: "[The 1967] Israeli conquest of territory was defensive ‎rather than aggressive … [as] indicated by Egypt's prior closure of the Straits of ‎Tiran, blockade of the Israeli port of Eilat, and the amassing of [Egyptian] ‎troops in Sinai, coupled with its ejection of the U.N. Emergency Force … [and] ‎Jordan's initiated hostilities against Israel. … The 1948 Arab invasion of the ‎nascent State of Israel further demonstrated that Egypt's seizure of the Gaza ‎Strip, and Jordan's seizure and subsequent annexation of the West Bank and ‎the Old city of Jerusalem, were unlawful. … Between Israel, acting defensively ‎in 1948 and 1967 ‎‏]‏according to Article 52 of the U.N. Charter‏[‏‎, on the one hand, ‎and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively in 1948 and 1967, on the other, ‎Israel has better title in the territory of what was [British Mandate] Palestine, ‎including the whole of Jerusalem. … It follows that modifications of the 1949 ‎armistice lines among those states within former Palestinian territory are ‎lawful." ‎

 

The legal status of Judea and Samaria is embedded in the following ‎authoritative, binding, internationally ratified treaties, which recognized that ‎the area has been the cradle of Jewish history, culture, aspirations and ‎religion:‎

 

1. The Nov. 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration, issued by Britain, called for "the ‎establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." 2. The April 24, 1920 resolution, adopted by the post-World War I San ‎Remo Peace Conference of the Allied Powers Supreme Council, incorporated ‎the Balfour Declaration, entrusting both sides of the Jordan River to the ‎Mandate for Palestine: "The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into ‎effect the [Balfour] declaration … in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a ‎national home for the Jewish people." It was one of over 20 mandates ‎‎(trusteeships) established following World War I, responsible for most boundaries in ‎the Middle East.

 

3. The Mandate for Palestine, ratified on July 24, 1922, by the Council of the ‎League of Nations, entrusted Britain to establish a Jewish state in the entire ‎area west of the Jordan River, as demonstrated by Article 6: "[To] encourage … ‎close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste ‎lands." The mandate is dedicated exclusively to Jewish national rights. 4. The Oct. 24, 1945 Article 80 of the U.N. Charter incorporated the ‎Mandate for Palestine into the U.N. Charter. Accordingly, the U.N. or any other ‎entity cannot transfer Jewish rights in Palestine, including immigration and ‎settlement, to any other party.‎

 

The Nov. 29, 1947 U.N. General Assembly Partition Resolution 181 was a ‎nonbinding recommendation — as are all General Assembly resolutions — ‎superseded by the binding Mandate for Palestine. The 1949 Armistice ‎Agreements between Israel and its neighbors delineated the pre-1967 ‎cease-fire — non-ratified — boundaries. ‎

 

According to Article 80 of the U.N. Charter, and the Mandate for Palestine, the ‎‎1967 war of self-defense returned Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria to its ‎legal owner, the Jewish state. Legally and geo-strategically the rules of ‎‎"belligerent occupation" do not apply to Israel's presence in Judea and ‎Samaria since the area is not "foreign territory" and Jordan did not have a ‎legitimate title over the area in 1967. Also, the rules of "belligerent occupation" ‎do not apply in view of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty…

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

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DON’T SEND CANADIAN TROOPS TO DYSFUNCTIONAL UN MISSIONS

Matt Gurney

                         National Post, Aug. 16, 2016

 

Canada’s Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan, is a serious guy. A respected combat veteran of our war in Afghanistan, he has brought vast knowledge and credibility to his new job in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. One of the priorities for our Liberal government has been finding a peacekeeping mission that Canada can contribute forces to. To that end, the Minister has been travelling through some global hotspots of late, meeting with officials and allies and discussing ways that Canada may contribute. He says that he knows how many troops Canada could spare, on top of our existing domestic security needs and our recent agreement to lead one of the four NATO augmented battalion groups being established in Eastern Europe. The Minister told the CBC he needs only a decision from cabinet as to where those troops should go.

 

Peacekeeping can work. When the right factors align, a properly armed and equipped neutral third party can be a critical ingredient of transforming a ceasefire into a stable peace. Canada has done honourable service on these missions in the past, and there’s nothing wrong, in theory, with seeking to do so again. But unless Canada intends to lead a mission on its own, or in partnership with like-minded nations under their own rules of engagement, Canadians have to question if this is the best use of our military resources, or even worth pursing at all.

 

Too many of the UN’s recent peacekeeping forays have been absolute debacles. As flattering as it is to tell ourselves that they failed for lack of sufficient Canadian involvement, the truth is probably this: the UN is too dysfunctional to operate effective peacekeeping missions in the parts of the world most urgently in need of the help.

 

You may have read in recent days a report about a horrific incident in South Sudan. A purportedly secure compound in the capital of South Sudan, home to foreign aid workers, including Americans and other Westerners, was besieged by armed men in South Sudanese Army uniforms. The people inside the compound called for help, notifying a nearby — one mile away, according to the report — UN base that they were under attack. The message was received and logged. And nothing was done.

 

The troops besieging the compound forced their way inside eventually. They took the aid workers prisoner. At least one man, a local, was executed. The men were beaten and threatened, some apparently tortured. At least five women were gang raped, by as many as 15 soldiers. Americans were singled out for particular abuse. It was, in other words, an entirely typical atrocity of the type too often seen and heard of in failing states and war zones all the world over. It’s exactly the sort of reason the international community came up with the concept of peacekeeping and stabilization missions in the first place.

 

But this incident does more than illustrate the need for such missions. It also illustrates how, under the current UN structure, they’ve become impotent. There are 17,000 UN troops in South Sudan. The aid workers’ compound was minutes away from local UN military headquarters. The staff there knew there was an attack against civilians, including foreign aid workers, unfolding. They logged the incoming distress calls in their logs. But the local UN quick reaction force declined to deploy. Local troops, who were waiting around for the UN to lead the mission, also stood down. Individual battalions of troops assigned to the UN mission, including Ethiopian, Chinese and Nepalese soldiers, were then contacted. None bothered to come to the aid of a group of civilians under attack by an armed force practically in their backyard. Local troops eventually rescued the civilians, except for three Western women who were taken by the attackers. The UN was asked to send a rescue party to find them, and declined.

 

It is an absolutely astonishing story of failure … and yet not at all that astonishing. Time after time, we have heard reports of civilians under attack while UN forces nearby do absolutely nothing. Just a few weeks ago, the Associated Press reported that UN peacekeepers in South Sudan ignored the mass rape of women who had sought shelter at a UN compound. The AP reported that the peacekeepers declined to intervene when the women were attacked by local forces, and watched as women and girls were attacked. Indeed, we’ve heard too many stories of the UN forces themselves being the attacking force, raping their way through villages they’re there to protect.

 

And how did the UN respond to these incidents? After the rapes near its compound last month, a spokesperson said, “The mission takes very seriously allegations of peacekeepers not rendering aid to civilians in distress and the (local UN) command is looking into these allegations.” They must still be looking into it, because that sounds a lot like what they said after the incident at the aid workers’ compound. And no doubt it’ll be what they say next time, too. The UN is supposed to be an institution that makes the international community responsible for the safety of vulnerable populations. In reality, it does the opposite —it absolves countries of taking real action by offering up instead the comforting fiction of engagement and commitment. The locals, who turn to the UN for help and are ignored, understand this better than Canada’s government seems to.

 

And yet we are apparently determined to offer up hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Canadian troops. These troops will be sent thousands of miles from home, away from their families and at great expense, to take their place in a system that is so dysfunctional it cannot stop the rape of women and girls that unfolds literally on the doorstep of their barracks. Canada’s troops, fine and brave as they are, can only ever be as effective as the system they are assigned to serve in, and unless the UN is willing to completely overhaul its operations, so that atrocities such as this stop happening with such bleak regularity, there’s no point tainting our troops and our proud military with any affiliation with disgraces such as these. Unless the Liberals are willing to guarantee the public that any mission Canadian troops would serve on would include rules of engagement that not just authorize but require our troops to use whatever force necessary to stop attacks on civilians, the troops shouldn’t be sent. Absent that guarantee and major reforms, there’s no point.

 

Come to think of it, pushing for that kind of meaningful reform of the broken UN sounds like a fine idea. The world does need peacekeepers, but it needs better peacekeepers, and better leadership, than the UN is capable of providing. This is a place Canada could lead. Perhaps the Trudeau government and our highly capable Minister of National Defence should make a priority of fixing what’s broken, rather than taking part in the dysfunctional process in exchange for praise and a chance to reassure the world, once again, that Canada’s back.

 

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On Topic Links

 

UN Security Council to Convene Meeting on Israeli Settlement Building: Danielle Ziri, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 30, 2016—The UN Security Council will hold a meeting on October 14 to address Israeli settlement building. News of the upcoming meeting emerged after UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov appeared in front of the Security Council on Monday and slammed Israel for continuing to build settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

The Aid Workers Aiding Hamas: Hillel Neuer, UN Watch, Aug. 19, 2016—The arrest of Palestinian humanitarian officials in Gaza from two separate international organizations – charged with siphoning aid resources to support Hamas terrorism – along with allegations about at least two other entities raises troubling questions about the culture within the United Nations and non-governmental agencies that allowed such crimes to take place.

Why an African Mission Could be More Dangerous than Afghanistan: Matthew Fisher, National Post, Aug. 29, 2016—The Liberal government has been silent about where in Africa Canada’s soldiers and a cadre of diplomats, aid workers and police officers will be deployed. None of the potential United Nations missions are safe. All are complex. None come with an exit strategy.

Who Will Lead the United Nations?: John Bolton, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 7, 2016—Although few Americans are paying attention, the race to succeed Ban Ki-moon as United Nations secretary-general is well under way.

ARAB WORLD “CRUMBLES”, U.S. M.E. INFLUENCE WANES, BUT ISRAEL STRENGTHENS REGIONAL ALLIANCES

As the Arab World Crumbles, New Alliances Emerge: Dr. Mordechai Kedar, Arutz Sheva, Aug. 25, 2016— Several looming challenges pose a clear and present danger to the Arab world's ability to continue as a viable culture and functioning political system.

Bibi the Strategist: Lazar Berman, Jewish Press, Aug. 21, 2016— In June, the Israeli journalist Amir Tibon wrote an article for Politico detailing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-standing and bitter fights with Israel’s defense leaders.

A Covenant of Shadows: Yaakov Amidror, Israel Hayom, Aug. 5, 2016— Many of the world's nations are looking on in surprise and admiration at the ever-strengthening ties between Israel and the more important Sunni Arab countries in the region…

Jew-Hatred at the World Social Forum: Bradley Martin, American Spectator, Aug. 25, 2016— The 2016 annual meeting of the World Social Forum took place in Montreal this month to strategize and coordinate campaigns in support of anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, and now anti-Semitism.

 

On Topic Links

 

Can Israel and the Arab States Be Friends?: New York Times, Aug. 27, 2016

Why ‘Cash for Prisoners’ May End Up Being Least of U.S. Concerns Over Payment to Iran: Aaron David Miller, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 22, 2016

Israel's Strategic Imperative: Prof. Louis René Beres, Arutz Sheva, Aug. 7, 2016

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

 

 

 

AS THE ARAB WORLD CRUMBLES, NEW ALLIANCES EMERGE

Dr. Mordechai Kedar

                                   Arutz Sheva, Aug. 25, 2016

 

Several looming challenges pose a clear and present danger to the Arab world's ability to continue as a viable culture and functioning political system. At the head of the list are Iran, Islamic State, and the deterioration of the status of the state itself in countries where terror, motivated mainly by Islam and its dictates, is on the rise.

 

The Iranian challenge received a boost last year from the signing of Iran's Nuclear Agreement with the West and the billions of dollars accompanying it, part of which will be invested in pouring more boiling jet fuel on the epicenters of Middle Eastern bloodshed and tension – Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon – in a way that poses a direct threat to certain key countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The agreement will also make it easier for Iran to export the revolution to other parts of the world, starting with Europe and America.

 

The Islamic State challenge continues to threaten Syria and Iraq directly, but its influence is increasing in other focal points such as Libya and the Sinai Peninsula. Jordan, too, has been the scene of activities meant to prepare the population for the day after the monarchy, when an Islamic State-type regime can come to power. Although Islamic State lost territory in its battles with the Iraqi and Syrian armies, it is far from losing its ongoing ability to spread terror and propaganda and its defeat is not at all a sure thing.

 

The modern Arab state – as an ideology and political entity – is facing several difficult questions. Many of its citizens ask why they are forced to live in states created, designed and planned by the West to promote its own interests. Why, they ask, must they live under dictatorships where a ruling elite runs an economically and morally corrupt government?  Social media are the main platform for expressing these opinions and serve as the stage where large numbers of people take part in a public debate that puts their own countries in the dock.

 

There is a not insignificant number of people in the Arab world who have reached the conclusion that it is time to act against their own states by means of intimidation, threats, terrorist acts and murder. The main leader of this trend is the Muslim Brotherhood and the political Islamic organizations it spawned. These organizations make use of social media to organize, plan, get new volunteers, all the while sending their messages anonymously and without the constraints of government censorship.

 

A clear example of the deteriorating situation is the terror state that was established in Gaza nine years ago, in June 2007, when an Islamic terrorist organization – Hamas – took over an area that is home to over one million people and established an entity that is the political implementation of the Muslim Brotherhood's ideology. The Arab world is paralyzed and prevented from reacting because every word against Hamas is immediately interpreted as being pro-Israel and therefore totally unacceptable in Arab circles. The disastrous situation was actually strengthened when wealthy and important states such as Qatar and Turkey stood behind the Hamas state and aided it financially and politically, while Iran provided it with military support.

 

Meanwhile, the same phenomenon is developing in Lebanon, where the Hezbollah terrorist organization is taking over an entire country and turning it into a state run according to decisions made in Tehran. The most crucial decision that Iran made for Lebanon was throwing the country into the midst of the fierce civil war raging in Syria between Assad and his enemies. This challenging state of events has been ruling the Arab scene for years with no solution in sight.  Iran not only is not disappearing, its influence is getting stronger by the day. Islamic State is also not disappearing, despite the West's declaration of war against it. The modern Arab state is not seen as a legitimate answer, causing the internal terror fueled by Islam to get more and more powerful.

 

In the past, the United States was a stabilizing factor that preserved the political systems in the region, but it has decided to step back and leave the area ripe prey for Iran, Sunni Jihadists, Turks and lately the Russians who have arrived to secure their own interests. Sadly, those who suffer most from this maelstrom of problems are peaceful citizens who once suffered under dictatorships and now suffer under Jihadist swords. They are fleeing en masse to Europe.

 

Israel can be accepted more easily while the Arab world is in this miserable situation because it does not pose a threat to any nations except the two terrorist mini states that have arisen in the Middle East: the Gazan Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah. Islamic State will also be a potential target for Israel from the second that its territory reaches any Israeli border, so that Israel has been transformed from being a problem to being a solution to problems.

 

The first Arab country to realize the Israel solution was Egypt, which shares Israel's concern about terror and Islamic State, especially since IS has established a branch in the Sinai. Al Sisi's Egypt, since 2013, works stubbornly and steadily, with minimum sensitivity, against Hamas.  Egypt closed the Rafiah Pass almost hermetically, and has almost entirely eliminated the tunnel system into Egypt that the Gazans worked hard to dig. Those tunnels were not used only for weapons smuggling – an entire circus once arrived in Gaza that way! Rumors have it that Israel is helping Egypt in the shared struggle of both countries against Islamic State's "Sinai Province," an organization that was once called "Ansar Beit al Maqdis" and was affiliated with al Qaeda, and whose hands are smeared with the blood of hundreds of Egyptian civilians and soldiers.

 

It has reached the point where the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Sameh Shoukri, refused to accuse Israel of engaging in terror when it battles Palestinian Arabs. In his opinion, "Israel's history forces it to grant an important place to security because Israeli society is faced with challenges that demand strict attention to security, control of the area and the sealing of any breaches in its protective shield." He might well say the exact same words regarding Egypt. Shoukri also noted that it is impossible to accuse Israel of terror since there is no accepted international definition for terror. This remark is actually a complaint aimed at all the Islamic countries which refuse to define terror in legal terms because doing so would by definition point to Islam as the factor motivating most terrorists today. The US government is not eager to identify the connection between Islam and terror either, so that his words seem to be pointed in that direction as well…

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

 

 

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BIBI THE STRATEGIST

Lazar Berman

                                  Commentary, Aug. 21, 2016

 

In June, the Israeli journalist Amir Tibon wrote an article for Politico detailing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-standing and bitter fights with Israel’s defense leaders. Former IDF chiefs of staff and spymasters described Netanyahu as messianic, driven by personal calculations, and incapable of protecting Israel’s interests. His former defense minister, Moshe Yaalon, said the prime minister’s conduct had caused him to lose faith in Netanyahu, and ex- Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin said he “represents six years of constant failures.” Bibi-bashing of this sort is neither new nor limited to Israel. Diskin’s remarks echoed the charges of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who wrote in his 2014 memoir, Duty, that under Netanyahu “Israel’s strategic situation is worsening, its own actions contributing to its isolation.” Gates claimed that the Jewish state was acting “strategically stupid” as it pursued tactical gains. “Time,” he concluded, “is not on Israel’s side.”

 

Messianism and stupidity are as bad a combination as one could find in a nation’s leader. What, then, might Diskin and Gates have made of the accord Netanyahu reached with Turkey right around the time the Politico piece appeared? Six years after Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Israel and took to obsessively condemning the Jewish state, Netanyahu got Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to drop his key demands and agree to resume full diplomatic relations with Israel. That victory for Netanyahu’s statecraft is one example of many that highlight an enduring contradiction between his reputation for ineptitude and his record of achievement. And considering what Israel is up against, almost any foreign-policy success would be noteworthy.

 

Since Netanyahu regained the premiership in 2009, Israel has faced a multitude of challenges—from Turkey’s hostile turn, to Iran’s nuclear program, to Hamas’s cross-border tunnels, to rocket attacks on civilians, to a rash of terrorist knifings and automobile attacks. Any one of them would try the sharpest strategic thinkers. What’s more, Egypt and Syria both collapsed into turmoil during his time in office. The civil war in Syria turned Israel’s quietest border into an ungoverned zone filled by rival jihadist groups. The fall of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt meant that a Muslim Brotherhood government temporarily bordered the Gaza Strip and could give aid to its Palestinian faction, Hamas. And while Egypt’s current leader, Abdel-Fattah Al-Sissi has since fought Hamas aggressively, the Sinai Peninsula has become an ungoverned home to terrorists who pledge allegiance to ISIS.

 

Then there’s the United States. With the election of Barack Obama, America’s approach to the Middle East changed in drastic ways. Determined to build bridges to the Muslim world, Obama saw Israeli settlements as the central obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. Thus, he instituted a policy of maintaining “daylight” between Washington and Jerusalem in hopes of wearing down Israel’s supposed obstinacy on settlements. To make matters worse, Obama and his advisers evinced a strong animus against Netanyahu that only escalated as time progressed. Washington scaled back its influence at the same moment that Sunni–Shia, tribal, and ethnic battles began gutting Arab states. Iran capitalized on the resulting power vacuum to expand its reach in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and beyond. As for Iran’s nuclear program, Obama and the Islamic Republic entered into the P5+1 Joint Plan of Action. What’s become known simply as “the Iran deal” has both enriched and rehabilitated the regime while leaving its nuclear program largely intact and free from serious scrutiny.

 

How has Netanyahu handled this dizzying constellation of threats? Although far from perfect, he has shown himself to be a careful thinker, a leader whose reading of complex situations has allowed him to outmaneuver adversaries and protect Israel’s interests. The growing threat from Hamas and the dangers of a rising Iran have not abated. But in reviewing Netanyahu’s actions as prime minister, we emerge with a list of improbable foreign-policy accomplishments of which most world leaders would be proud…

 

Problems generated by the Syrian civil war have exploded outward in every direction. To name a few: Refugees have spilled over into Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Europe. Terrorist groups inside Syria, especially ISIS, pose a strategic threat to Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt. Additionally, ISIS continues to carry out major terrorist attacks in the heart of Europe. Yet Israel, on Syria’s western border, remains effectively out of the fray.

 

Although Syria was long an enemy of Israel, its collapse posed a major strategic challenge for Israeli leaders. Before Syria spiraled out of control, Israel had hoped for (and repeatedly tried to attain) a peace agreement with Damascus. With the Syrian state in chaos, this was no longer even a remote possibility. And with ISIS taking the lead in the fight against Assad, it was clear that Israel couldn’t support either side. In any event, Israel had to deal with more immediate threats emerging from the meltdown. Some of the terrorist groups fighting Assad—including the Al-Nusra Front and the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade—had gained a foothold along Israel’s Golan Heights border with Syria. There were (and are) still more complicating factors. Mortar fire from the conflict occasionally strays into Israel. Druze residents of the Israeli Golan Heights maintain close ties to family members and other co-religionists on the Syrian side and have vowed to take action if jihadist groups threaten Syrian Druze. And Hezbollah and Iran have tried to take advantage of the chaos to open a new front against Israel in the Golan.

 

Through it all, Israel has stayed safe. Netanyahu has been quietly shaping the situation to protect his country’s interests. Israel has reached a stable—and officially unconfirmed—understanding with rebel groups on its border. These groups, including some jihadist factions, know they don’t have to protect their western flank from Israel. In return, they refrain from attacking Israel and keep others from doing so as well. In coordination with IDF forces on the border, rebel groups hand over wounded fighters and civilians to be treated in Israeli hospitals. Israel has also transferred aid to these groups, but it is unclear if this goes beyond food and medicine. There is likely intelligence sharing as well…

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

 

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A COVENANT OF SHADOWS

Yaakov Amidror

                                   Israel Hayom, Aug. 5, 2016

 

Many of the world's nations are looking on in surprise and admiration at the ever-strengthening ties between Israel and the more important Sunni Arab countries in the region — the open relationship with Egypt and Jordan, with which Israel maintains official diplomatic relations, but also the informal relationships with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf emirates.

 

This shift appears to be fueled by three main factors: First, these Sunni countries fear Iran's growing power over a Shiite bloc, which threatens the security as well as the unity of the Sunni states. There is an ancient religious conflict between the Sunni majority and the Shiite minority, but the minority enjoys the advantage of a singular leadership that is willing to do anything to change the status of the Shiites in the Middle East. This leadership, which sits in Tehran, is spearheading orchestrated and focused efforts to liberate the Shiites in Yemen, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and defend the Shiites in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. The objective is to create an uninterrupted distribution of Shiites from Tehran through Baghdad to Beirut.

 

Meanwhile, Iran is trying to undermine the Sunni dominance on the Arab side of the Gulf between the Saudi Peninsula and Iran: Saudi Arabia, with its Shiite minority, in the oil-rich region; Bahrain, which underwent a Shiite coup attempt; and Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is fighting with the Sunni majority against the Iranian-backed Houthi minority. The Sunni-Shiite conflict also has a nationalist aspect. It is impossible to ignore the fact that Iran is focusing its efforts exclusively on Arab countries. This nationalist struggle also manifests itself in inter-Shiite disputes, especially in Iraq, where the city of Najaf was once considered the most important Shiite city, but has since been replaced by the Iranian city of Qom…

 

The second factor fueling the Sunni countries' concerns is the threat of extreme Salafism led by the Islamic State group. The group's Arabic acronym, Daesh, stands for "the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria," but today, the organization is active in Sinai and in Libya as well, and it has active chapters in Africa and in Europe, as the recent wave of terrorist attacks may indicate. Therefore, the simple name "Islamic State" may be more apt.

 

The expansion of the group's activities poses a threat to the Sunni states, because they represent an enemy of the highest order. In Egypt, the threat is even more pronounced thanks to IS deployment in parts of Sinai and its collaboration with Hamas, the Palestinian chapter of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood — the mortal enemies of the current Egyptian leadership. In Jordan and in Saudi Arabia, Islamic State threatens the regime from within, because in both countries there is extensive sympathy for the group among various sectors in the population. Even if the coalition of nations currently working to combat IS manages to dramatically diminish the areas under its control in Iraq and Syria, the ideology propagated by the group will still pose a very palpable threat to the Sunni states. Moreover, the coalition is currently having trouble maintaining its momentum against IS, following a string of important victories.

 

The third factor stems from the general sense that the U.S. has abandoned its allies in their time of need, intending to scale back its involvement in the region. In Egypt, this feeling is founded on America's having abandoned deposed President Hosni Mubarak and having appeared to support the Muslim Brotherhood. In Saudi Arabia and in the Persian Gulf, the frustration stems from the fact that they view the landmark agreement between the West and Iran, spearheaded by the U.S., as an American capitulation. The countries in the region have been very disappointed with the U.S.'s conduct toward Mubarak on the one hand, and toward Syrian President Bashar Assad, who continues to massacre Sunnis uninhibited, on the other. They realize that not only is the U.S. no longer on their side in the fight against Iran, the U.S. expects them to make concessions to Iran. It is clear to the Sunni states, which once viewed the U.S. as a superpower whose mere existence was enough to stop any threat they faced, that things have profoundly changed. Even if the U.S. is still a superpower, it has lost the will to use its power in the Middle East. Furthermore, when it does exercise its power, like in leading the anti-IS coalition, action is taken sparingly and extremely cautiously. And now, the U.S. is compromising with its adversaries, as indicated by the weak American response to Russia's increasing involvement in Syria…

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

 

 

Contents           

JEW-HATRED AT THE WORLD SOCIAL FORUM

Bradley Martin

American Spectator, Aug. 25, 2016

 

The 2016 annual meeting of the World Social Forum took place in Montreal this month to strategize and coordinate campaigns in support of anti-globalization, anti-capitalism, and now anti-Semitism. Viewed as a progressive alternative to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, it began with an anti-Semitic cartoon depicting a stereotypical hook-nosed Orthodox Jew controlling the United States government as well as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by proxy. The cartoon, part of a now-canceled talk by Seyed Ali Mousavi, titled “Terrorizm [sic], Wahhabism [sic], Zionism,” was criticized by two Canadian members of Parliament, leading to removal of the Canadian government logo from the forum’s list of partners.

 

Although Mousavi’s talk was canceled, the WSF website lists at least a dozen other events intended to promote the wholesale boycott of Israel. They include a workshop comparing the calling-out of anti-Semitism to McCarthyism, headlined by Diane Ralph, a notorious conspiracy theorist who has blamed Israel and the U.S. for staging the September 11 terrorist attacks. WSF attendees also heard from Sabine Friesinger, a former student union president involved in the violent riot preventing current-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from speaking at Concordia University in 2002. Elderly Holocaust survivor Thomas Hecht was physically assaulted during that riot.

 

Another speaker at the conference was Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel. In a 2014 speech at UCLA, Barghouti denied the existence of the Jewish people, claiming that Jews are not indigenous to Israel and have no right to self-determination or collective rights. Nonetheless, Barghouti rejected the notion that BDS is anti-Semitic. The anti-Jewish bigotry at the conference was not only shameless, but also deceitful. While Bargouti’s presentation promoted academic BDS against Israel, he himself is a student at Tel Aviv University, currently pursuing his Ph.D. after having completed his MA in philosophy at the Israeli institution. When asked about this blatant contradiction, Bargouti replied that his studies were a “personal matter.” Bargouti also claimed that BDS was opposed to violence, yet just a day earlier he spoke alongside Friesinger at a militant roundtable presented by the WSF that focused on international BDS coordination against Israel. Bargouti has previously voiced approval of Palestinian violence against Israel. Jamal Jomaa, of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, echoed Bargouti’s insistence that BDS is non-violent, and then went on to support the Palestinian right to commit violence against Israel…

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

 

Bradley Martin is a CIJR Student Intern

 

 

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

           

On Topic Links

 

Can Israel and the Arab States Be Friends?: New York Times, Aug. 27, 2016—Israel and Saudi Arabia have no formal diplomatic relations. The Saudis do not even recognize Israel as a state. Still, there is evidence that ties between Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states and Israel are not only improving but, after developing in secret over many years, could evolve into a more explicit alliance as a result of their mutual distrust of Iran.

Why ‘Cash for Prisoners’ May End Up Being Least of U.S. Concerns Over Payment to Iran: Aaron David Miller, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 22, 2016—It’s not clear how much worse things will get for the Obama administration over its $400 million payment to Iran in January, but the cash-for-prisoners scandal may end up being the least of U.S. concerns in all this.

Israel's Strategic Imperative: Prof. Louis René Beres, Arutz Sheva, Aug. 7, 2016—In world politics, preserving equilibrium has a recognizably sacramental function. The reason is obvious. Without at least minimum public order, planetary relations would descend rapidly, and perhaps irremediably, into a profane disharmony. In any such global "state of nature," we may further extrapolate from Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, the life of individual nations could quickly become "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."

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.

”RIEN N’EST SIMPLE ET TOUT SE COMPLIQUE” (SEMPÉ)

  

    

 

 

UN JUIF ATTAQUÉ AU COUTEAU À STRASBOURG                              

AUX CRIS D’ALLAH WAKBAR

Europe-Israel, 19 aout, 2016

 

 

Un Juif a été attaqué et blessé au couteau sur la voie publique vendredi matin à Strasbourg, aux cris de « Allah wakbar ». La victime s’est alors réfugiée dans un bar, le ventre en sang. L’agresseur a crié « Allahou Akbar » avant de s’en prendre à sa victime. Plusieurs témoins ont également confirmé aux Dernières nouvelles d’Alsace que l’agresseur a lancé ce cri.

Après l’agression, la victime s’est réfugiée dans un bar à côté et a été aidée par les personnes présentes dans le bar. « Il est choqué. C’est un faible mot. Il a conscience d’être un miraculé. Il a été touché au niveau de la ceinture abdominale. C’est passé à quelques centimètres d’un organe vital« , témoigne au JDD Mendel Samama, rabbin de Strasbourg qui l’a vu à l’hôpital entre deux examens. « C’est quelqu’un d’une gentillesse incomparable. On espère qu’il s’en remettra« , confie-t-il

La victime arborait des signes religieux distinctifs lorsqu’elle a été agressée, précise l’AFP. Toujours selon l’AFP (organe de propagande d’Etat), l’auteur des faits avait des antécédents psychiatriques. L’auteur de l’agression a été arrêté par la police et placé en garde-à-vue. L’auteur des faits était également connu pour des faits similaires, selon une source proche du dossier.

L’enquête a été confiée aux enquêteurs de la police judiciaire. Le parquet de Strasbourg, pour sa part, s’est borné à confirmer l’interpellation d’un homme, sans plus de détails. Strasbourg est une ville en pleine islamisation et dont la population d’origine maghrébine et africaine a plus que quadruplé en 10 ans.

 

 

PALESTINIENS: UN « PAYS » OU LES TERRORISTES DEVIENNENT FONCTIONNAIRES                                                                                           

Yves Mamou                                                                           

Gatestone Institute, 15 aout, 2016

 

 

Le crime ne paie dans aucun pays, mais pour les Palestiniens de Cisjordanie, le crime est un moyen de devenir fonctionnaire. Dans ce bout de territoire dirigé par Mahmoud Abbas et l'Autorité Palestinienne (AP), chaque assassin d'un Juif israélien est appelé « martyr ». Ce mot de « martyr » signifie que chaque fois qu'un Palestinien poignarde un Juif, il accomplit un acte pieux et vertueux. Le tueur ayant ainsi prouvé qu'il est un bon Palestinien musulman, sa famille devient éligible à une rémunération du « Fonds des martyrs » que gère l'AP. Un fonds utilisé pour rémunérer les prisonniers palestiniens et les familles des « martyrs ».

 

Peu après que Mohammed Tarayra, un Palestinien de 17 ans, ait poignardé à mort une jeune israélienne de 13 ans, Hallel Yaffa Ariel, dans le lit ou elle dormait dans l'implantation de Kyriat Arba, la maison du terroriste a été immédiatement décorée de drapeaux du Fatah et de l'OLP (Organisation de libération de la Palestine). Nul doute que la famille sera bientôt inscrite sur la liste des « salariés » du Fonds des martyrs palestinien.

 

Selon Eli Lake de l'agence Bloomberg : « L'origine de ces paiements est ancienne. Bien avant que les Accords d'Oslo n'instituent l'Autorité Palestinienne dans les années 1990, l'OLP finançait déjà les familles de « martyrs » et de prisonniers en Israël. Cette pratique s'est institutionnalisée pendant la seconde Intifada de 2000 à 2005. Les Israéliens ont trouvé des documents dans la dernière résidence de Yasser Arafat qui établissent des barèmes de rémunération pour les familles de kamikazes ».

 

Les rémunérations des tueurs n'ont rien de ridicule. Evelyn Gordon en cite quelques exemplesdans Commentary : « Les salaires des auteurs d'actions terroristes sont largement au-dessus des salaires du marché. Ils s'échelonnent de 2400 à 12 000 shekels par mois (565 euros à plus de 2 900 euros) et sont acquittés pendant toute la durée de la peine de prison. Les familles des personnes tuées en commettant une attaque terroriste jouissent d'autres avantages. Le plus bas salaire d'un prisonnier équivaut au salaire moyen distribué en Cisjordanie ; mais il est 40% plus élevée que le salaire moyen distribué à Gaza. Quant aux rémunérations les plus élevées, aucun Palestinien n'ose rêver toucher pareille somme un jour. En clair, l'AP a rendu la terreur plus rémunératrice que n'importe quel travail productif. »

 

Yigal Carmon, président et fondateur du Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a témoigné sur le sujet devant la commission des affaires étrangères de la chambre des représentants à Washingtons le 6 juillet 2016. Il a rendu public d'intéressants détails : Tout d'abord, ces paiements sont structurés en détail par la loi.

 

« Le soutien financier aux prisonniers est défini par une série de lois et décrets, principalement les lois n°14 et n°19 de 2004 et la loi n°1 de 2013. Ces lois obligent l'AP à allouer aux prisonniers une indemnité mensuelle pendant leur incarcération et à leur fournir un salaire et un travail au moment de leur libération. Toutes les dépenses de santé, d'éducation et de formation professionnelle sont gratuites. Les années de prison sont comptabilisées comme années d'ancienneté. Il convient de remarquer qu'une peine de prison de cinq ans permet à quiconque de postuler à un emploi dans l'une ou l'autre des institutions de l'AP. En d'autres termes, l'AP a institué une priorité à l'embauche pour les personnes impliquées dans une activité terroriste »…

[Lire la suite]

 

 

                             À QUOI SERT LA LIGUE ARABE?                                            

                                          Huffington Post, 21 aout, 2016

 

 

Depuis sa fondation en 1945, la Ligue arabe a regroupé en son sein 7 États membres, auxquels se sont ajoutés 15 autres États qui ont accédé à l'indépendance. Ces pays comptent aujourd'hui 378 millions de personnes. Officiellement, la langue arabe est le dénominateur commun des États membres. Toutefois, la langue arabe n'est pas la langue officielle de deux de ses États membres: la Somalie et Djibouti. Par ailleurs, les populations des Berbères de l'Afrique du Nord et des Kurdes au Proche-Orient ne se reconnaissent pas comme Arabes. Après plusieurs décennies d'arabisation, la langue arabe connaît un certain recul: les sciences sont enseignées en langue française au Maroc, alors que les pays du Golfe s'orientent vers l'adoption de la langue anglaise.

 

La Ligue arabe se présente comme une organisation politique. Depuis sa création, son parcours est marqué par son opposition à Israël et par des dissensions internes, depuis l'époque où le nationalisme nassérien était en conflit avec les monarchies arabes, et jusqu'à ce jour, car la tension entre sunnites et chiites divise les membres de la Ligue arabe.

 

Durant les années 1950, les pays républicains et les monarchies ont vécu à couteaux tirés. L'Égypte a envahi le Yémen pour mieux encercler l'Arabie riche en pétrole. Le Maroc et l'Algérie ont un conflit frontalier larvé. La Syrie et l'Irak se sont fait la compétition d'influence au Liban. Une force de dissuasion de la Ligue arabe a été envoyée au Liban durant les années de guerre civile, mais sans effet notable. L'Irak de Saddam Hussein a envahi le Koweït en 1990. Quant à la Libye du colonel Kadhafi, elle a contracté de multiples alliances bombastiques suivies de désunions non moins fracassantes avec plusieurs pays arabes. En ces jours, la majorité des pays sunnites s'opposent militairement au régime syrien et aux Houtis du Yémen, tous deux affidés de l'Iran chiite. À noter que la Ligue arabe a refusé de mettre en application l'arrêt du président soudanais Omar El-Béchir, accusé de génocide et de crimes de guerre par la Cour pénale internationale.

 

La rivalité entre pays arabes déborde sur l'économie: les échanges économiques entre pays arabes ne dépassent pas 10 % des échanges économiques globaux; l'Algérie préfère importer des tomates d'Italie à prix fort plutôt que d'en acheter du Maroc. En outre, les produits israéliens sont écoulés d'une façon officieuse et sont appréciés dans de nombreux pays arabes. Mais l'opposition officielle à Israël a été une constante durant les dernières décennies.

 

L'antagonisme cultivé envers l'État d'Israël vient voiler une tout autre réalité: celle des désaccords profonds entre les États arabes. Ce qui frappe l'observateur est l'ensemble des mesures négatives prises par la Ligue arabe: décision de déposséder les citoyens juifs en 1947, boycott économique et culturel d'Israël, opposition au détournement des eaux du Jourdain par Israël à des fins d'irrigation, refus systématique de considérer la paix.

 

Il ne peut y avoir de pensée libre et libérée tant et autant que l'on sera subjugué par des interdits. Lorsque l'Égypte a signé un traité de paix avec Israël, elle a été exclue de la Ligue arabe et il a fallu tous les talents diplomatiques d'Hassan II, roi du Maroc, pour la réintégrer. Bien que la Ligue arabe ait saturé les instances internationales derésolutions sur les réfugiés palestiniens, aucune considération n'a jamais été donnée aux réfugiés juifs des pays arabes, pourtant plus nombreux, ou même à l'incitation à la haine dans les médias moyen-orientaux.

 

Après le 11 septembre 2001, l'Arabie a lancé une initiative de paix entérinée par la Ligue arabe, proposant de troquer une reconnaissance d'Israël contre un retrait complet aux frontières d'avant la guerre des Six Jours. Cette proposition a été refusée par Israël, qui est prêt à la considérer seulement comme élément de négociation non définitif.

 

Les deux moteurs principaux de la Ligue arabe sont l'Arabie et l'Égypte. L'Arabie a une influence hors proportion dans la Ligue arabe en raison de sa puissance financière, et renfloue l'économie égyptienne; l'Égypte est le centre de gravité du monde arabe de par sa population, son niveau technologique et son armée.

 

Récemment, le ministre de la Défense saoudien a annoncé la création d'une coalition de 34 pays pour combattre le terrorisme en Irak, en Syrie, en Libye, en Égypte et en Afghanistan (une coalition similaire avait été formée en 1962 par l'Arabie saoudite pour contrer l'influence égyptienne au Yémen). Cette force de 40 000 soldats proviendrait des pays membres de la coalition, qui sont tous sunnites. Il est évident qu'il s'agit de combattre l'influence iranienne. Par ailleurs, Israël et ces pays considèrent l'Iran comme une menace prioritaire. Des officiels des pays du Golfe et même de l'Arabie commencent à s'afficher publiquement avec des représentants israéliens.

 

Pourtant, un dialogue face à face entre Israël et la Ligue arabe n'est pas encore en vue à l'horizon; il servirait à libérer les populations arabes des tabous psychologiques que leurs dirigeants ont érigés et à entrer dans la mouvance démocratique véritable. Il ne peut y avoir de pensée libre et libérée tant et autant que l'on sera subjugué par des interdits qui se rapproprient les ostracismes d'un autre âge. Et qui sait? Le dégel des tabous pourrait rapprocher chiites et sunnites, dont les guerres ont fait plus d'un million et quart de morts durant le dernier demi-siècle. Autrement, La Ligue arabe ne que formerait qu'un club inconséquent d'États qui ne feraient que répondre aux desiderata saoudiens et assurer un poste de président à un notable égyptien à la retraite.

 

 

ISRAËL AUX COTES DU PAKISTAN POUR L'EXERCICE MILITAIRE US "RED FLAG"

I24, Aug. 18, 2016

 

 

 

L'armée de l'air israélienne participe à l'exercice militaire "Red Flag", aux côtés du Pakistan et des Emirats arabes unis jusqu'au 26 août, a confirmé un responsable militaire américain à i24news. Des rumeurs sur la participation de ces pays, avec lesquels Israël n'entretient pas de relations diplomatiques,  avaient été rapportées dans la presse début août, sans commentaire de la part d'Israël. 

 

Les exercices militaires "Red Flag", organisés plusieurs fois par an, proposent des simulations au combat dans un environnement conçu pour reproduire les conditions de guerre. Cette année, des entraînements au combat aérien ainsi qu'un exercice de secours à bord des avions furtifs F-35 seraient au programme de la session baptisée "16-4". Israël avait déjà participé l'année dernière à l'exercice dans le Nevada aux côtés de l'armée de l'air de la Jordanie, des Etats-Unis et de Singapour.

 

Depuis 1975, plus de 30 pays ont déjà participé à ces entraînements, certains seulement en tant qu'observateurs. Par ailleurs, les pilotes des avions F-16 de l'armée de l'air israélienne ont prévu un voyage en Inde le mois prochain pour participer à ce qu'ils appellent "le premier exercice du genre", d'après le journal Haaretz. La visite fait partie d'un programme d'échange d'unités entre les forces armées des deux pays. Il y a environ trois mois, des pilotes de l'armée de l'Air indienne ont visité un escadron de combat dans une importante base militaire israélienne.

 

 

 

LE CANADA, UN PAYS IDYLLIQUE A L’ABRI DU TERRORISME ?

Europe-Israel, 20 aout, 2016

 

 

Le Canada est-il le pays de cocagne, l’Eldorado ou la perle de l’Amérique du Nord que les immigrants s’imaginent trouver? Les médias s’emploient à nous le faire croire depuis l’élection de Trudeau. Qu’en est-il réellement? D’abord, si on se fie aux dires d’Alain Rodier, directeur de recherche au Centre français de recherche sur le renseignement, le Canada « est loin d’être un pays tranquille ». Il est « le carrefour du crime organisé ». Mais pas seulement. C’est aussi un pays qui, depuis 1999, a connu un certain nombre de complots que Alain Rodier énumère et auxquels viennent s’ajouter aujourd’hui les filières djihadistes. Mais rappelons que, même avant 1999, le Canada a été le théâtre d’activités terroristes puisque nous avons tous en mémoire l’attentat contre le vol d’Air India en 1985. Ensuite, en matière de terrorisme islamiste, contrairement à ce que beaucoup de gens croient, les Canadiens ne sont pas épargnés.

 

Faut-il rappeler, par exemple, qu’en 2006, 18 Torontois, le « Toronto 18 » avaient été arrêtés alors qu’ils planifiaient de faire exploser le Toronto Stock Exchange et plusieurs autres monuments de la ville- reine ? En septembre 2013, ils étaient déjà au moins 100 combattants djihadistes d’origine canadienne à avoir rejoint la Syrie. 2014 a été marquée par l’attaque du Parlement. En 2015, l’année même des élections, on a recensé pas moins de 173 actes terroristes. Tous ces chiffres révèlent en fait que le Canada est «surreprésenté» chez les djihadistes. Le nombre officiel de djihadistes américains serait même inférieur à celui du Canada.

 

Évidemment les libéraux ont une explication : le gouvernement Harper, par son soutien inconditionnel à Israël,  porte la responsabilité de cette menace. Quant aux 173 actes terroristes recensés en 2015, il n’y a aucune raison de s’alarmer car, là encore, les libéraux ont une explication : ils sont dus essentiellement à la nouvelle définition du terrorisme qu’implique la Loi C51 du gouvernement Harper.

 

Autrement dit, aujourd’hui, grâce à notre PM Justin Trudeau, « tout va très bien,  Madame la Marquise, tout va très bien, tout va très bien » ! C’est du moins l’image que veut projeter du Canada notre premier ministre, Justin Trudeau. Et si certains s’interrogent sur les raisons de son succès que lui envient tous les chefs d’État, la réponse coule de source : il n’est pas un PM comme les autres. Et en matière de terrorisme, il sait comment ne pas être dans la mire de l’EI. Voyons quels sont les moyens auxquels il a eu recours.

 

1 – Assurer les Canadiens qu’ils sont en sécurité. En mai 2015, Trudeau accusait les Conservateurs d’instiller la peur chez les Canadiens: « Je suis convaincu que si les politiciens se servent de la peur pour prouver qu’ils ont raison, c’est parce qu’ils ne veulent pas que vous réfléchissiez. » Et voilà comment on se valorise! Il a trouvé les mots pour nous convaincre qu’il ne nous manipule pas, qu’il nous laisse exercer notre esprit critique. Il ose nous dire qu’avec lui nous réfléchissons! Bien sûr, il sait que les Canadiens sont tellement sous son charme qu’ils sont d’accord pour tout, même pour un déficit budgétaire sans précédent qui atteindra 30 milliards en deux ans seulement! Donc, à en croire notre PM, brillant manipulateur, nous n’avons rien à craindre en matière de terrorisme islamique. Depuis son élection, nous sommes en sécurité, car il veille au grain. N’a-t-il pas affirmé lors du Sommet du G20 : «La sécurité des Canadiens est une priorité pour moi et pour mon gouvernement ». D’ailleurs, le ministre de la Sécurité publique a fait savoir que «même si le niveau de menace du pays demeure le même, nous sommes extrêmement vigilants au Canada». Évidemment, personne pour nous dire que le jour où les Canadiens se réveilleront, le réveil sera brutal, et surtout douloureux, très douloureux.

 

Comment Trudeau s’y est-il pris pour créer ce sentiment de sécurité? Le Canada se vante d’appliquer une politique sécuritaire préventive et non réactionnaire. La Stratégie antiterroriste du Canada comprend quatre éléments : empêcher, déceler, priver et intervenir.

 

2 – Gagner la faveur des musulmans pour empêcher les attentats – Avant même son élection, Justin Trudeau  a œuvré pour obtenir le soutien inconditionnel de la communauté musulmane, s’assurant ainsi de son  vote. Pour cela, il s’est montré en faveur des tribunaux islamiques au Canada, il a refusé en 2006 de condamner les attentats-suicides, mais aussi de considérer le Hamas et le Hezbollah comme des groupes terroristes. Cela a porté ses fruits puisque, en décembre 2015, il a été l’invité d’honneur de l’Islamic Relief Center à Toronto, une organisation qui encourage le djihad, donc le terrorisme. Et il était accompagné pour l’occasion  par nul autre que le petit-fils du fondateur des Frères musulmans, Tariq Ramadan…Lire la Suite

 

 

 

DIX FAUSSES ALLÉGATIONS CONCERNANT ISRAËL

Alan Baker

JCPA, 21 aout, 2016

 

 

1. « Le retrait des forces israéliennes des territoires de Cisjordanie garantirait la sécurité d’Israël ». FAUX !

 

•           Avant le déclenchement de la guerre des Six Jours en 1967, les Etats arabes ont assiégé l’Etat juif et ont tenté par tous les moyens de l’attaquer et de l’affaiblir militairement et diplomatiquement.

•           Aujourd’hui, 50 ans après, des dirigeants arabes, dont le président de l’Autorité palestinienne, et avec lui les Ayatollahs d’Iran, contestent l’Histoire du peuple juif depuis les temps bibliques et son attachement fidèle et profond à sa capitale, Jérusalem. Ils contestent même la légitimité naturelle de l’Etat d’Israël en tant qu’Etat juif. Plus récemment ce lien indéfectible du peuple juif envers Jérusalem a été grossièrement bafoué par une résolution scandaleuse à l’UNESCO.

•           Les Palestiniens poursuivent à ce jour le but d’établir leur Etat sur l’ensemble de la Palestine mandataire. Cet engagement est transmis systématiquement aux nouvelles générations endoctrinées.

•           La Direction palestinienne souhaite poursuivre en justice la Grande-Bretagne car elle avait offert un Foyer national aux Juifs dans le cadre de la Déclaration Balfour de 1917. Cette nouvelle initiative insensée et absurde prouve clairement que les Palestiniens rejettent avec un profond mépris l’existence même d’Israël.

Un enfant palestinien endoctriné par le Hamas sur le Mont du Temple

•           Depuis la création d’Israël en 1948 et jusqu’à nos jours, Israël a été, et continue d’être, le seul Etat membre de l’ONU à être exclu de son droit sur « l’égalité souveraine » garantie par la Charte des Nations Unies.

•           Il est clair que le retrait des Territoires, dans le contexte régional actuel, menacerait plutôt la sécurité d’Israël.

 

2. « “L’occupation des Territoires” est illégale et une violation du Droit international ». FAUX !

 

•           Israël se trouvait en 1967 dans l’obligation de se défendre après avoir été attaqué par tous ses voisins arabes qui souhaitaient l’anéantir. L’Etat juif a donc agi en légitime défense contre une guerre offensive et agressive.

•           L’occupation d’un territoire pendant un conflit armé est acceptée et reconnue légalement par la loi et la pratique internationale.

•           Israël s’est engagé à respecter les normes humanitaires et juridiques internationales pour  pouvoir administrer ces territoires. L’administration israélienne dans les Territoires est soumise au contrôle judiciaire strict de la Haute Cour de justice d’Israël.

 

La Haute Cour de justice, cœur vibrant de la démocratie israélienne

•           Les Territoires n’ont jamais été sous une domination ou une souveraineté palestinienne et, quand ils furent sous contrôle jordanien, le Royaume hachémite n’avait nulle intention de créer un Etat palestinien dans ces territoires.

•           Le terme « Territoires palestiniens occupés », souvent utilisé dans les résolutions de l’ONU, n’a aucun fondement juridique ni aucune validité que ce soit. Il n’a jamais été validé par aucun document juridique contraignant et son utilisation préjuge du résultat d’une négociation qui est encore en suspens.

•           C’est un fait reconnu que la question de l’avenir des territoires demeure un cas en litige. Israël y a des revendications historiques et juridiques valables, largement reconnues et de longue date.

•           Des accords signés entre la direction palestinienne et Israël ont établi un cadre convenu pour le règlement du différend territorial. Seule la négociation entre les deux parties permettra d’aboutir à un statut final et permanent des Territoires.

•           En attendant un accord définitif entre Israël et les Palestiniens sur le statut permanent, aucun tiers ni une résolution politique extérieure pourra déterminer ou établir que ces territoires appartiennent aux Palestiniens.

 

3. « La Direction palestinienne est unie et elle soutenue par son peuple.” FAUX !

 

Les frères ennemis Hamas et Fatah ont maintes fois tenté de masquer leur haine réciproque

•           La Direction palestinienne est loin d’être populaire. Il existe une déconnexion totale inconciliable entre la direction de L’Autorité palestinienne en Cisjordanie et l’administration dirigée par le Hamas à Gaza. La direction à Ramallah est considérée comme profondément corrompue. Le président Mahmoud Abbas exerce plus de 11 ans son mandat sans que de nouvelles élections présidentielles sont prévues à ce jour. L’Autorité palestinienne manque de responsabilité et crédibilité  et ne bénéficie pas de soutien populaire.

•           Cette situation intenable sape toute confiance en la gouvernance et ne peut représenter convenablement tout le peuple palestinien. Cette méfiance et le manque de crédibilité  neutralise toute tentative de conclure et à mettre en œuvre un engagement ou une obligation internationale…

Lire la Suite

 

 

LE TAUX DE CHÔMAGE DIMINUE EN ISRAËL

Times of Israel, 23 aout, 2016

 

 

Selon le Bureau central des statistiques, le taux de chômage a atteint son niveau le plus faible avec 4,7 % au mois de juillet dernier, rapporte Globes.

 

Si le taux de chômage a baissé, le nombre de personne travaillant à temps plein a également diminué de 0,7 % en juillet comparativement au mois de juin.

 

Le nombre de personnes travaillant à temps partiel a, de son côté, augmenté de 2,9 % sur la même période.

 

D’autre part, le taux de personnes engagées sur le marché du travail à partir de 15 ans et plus s’élève à 64,4 % au mois de juillet 2016. Ce qui revient à une augmentation de 0,2 % par rapport au mois de juin dernier.

 

Ainsi 3 940 millions d’Israélien étaient sur le marché du travail au mois de juillet dont 3 756 millions étaient employés.

 

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Le « Communiqué Isranet » tente de transmettre une grande variété d'opinions sur Israël, le Proche-Orient et le monde juif à des fins d’enseignement et de recherche. Les articles reproduits et documents expriment les opinions de leurs auteurs et ne reflètent pas nécessairement le point de vue de l'Institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaïsme.

 

EUROPEAN UNION MAINTAINS ANTI-ISRAEL BIAS, EVEN AS ISLAMIC TERROR WAVE WASHES OVER EUROPE

Exposing The Criminal Society And The Culture of Death: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 24, 2016— We are losing the battle in the war of ideas for the simple reason that we are continuously on the defensive while those seeking our destruction actively and relentlessly demonize us. Ever since the Oslo Accords, successive Israeli governments have felt obliged to understate and even dismiss Palestinian terrorism and hatred in order to maintain domestic public support for policies that, with the benefit of hindsight, were doomed to fail.

The World We Have; The World We Want: Henry R. Nau, National Review, Aug. 15, 2016— America is walking away from the world “as it wished it to be” in 1945, a world of unprecedented peace, democracy, and prosperity. And it is embracing a world “as it is” in 2016 that is rapidly descending into violence, nationalism, and recession. In 1945, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman could only dream of the world that exists today.

Sweden: The Silence of the Jews: Ingrid Carlqvist, Gatestone Institute, Aug. 16, 2016— One of the most visible effects of Muslim mass immigration into Sweden is that anti-Semitism is very much on the rise in the country. Swedish Jews are being harassed and threatened, mainly in the Muslim-dense city of Malmö, where in January 2009, the friction deepened during a peaceful pro-Israel demonstration.

Willkommen? Maybe Not So Much: Christopher Caldwell, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 15, 2016— In the last days of July, German chancellor Angela Merkel rushed back to Berlin from her summer vacation to tell her countrymen how strong they were. She had done the same thing a year earlier, when Europe faced a wave of refugees from the war in Syria, joined by migrants from Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere in the Muslim world.

 

On Topic Links

 

Outreach Pioneer and Longtime Jewish Press Columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis Passes Away: Jason Maoz, Jewish Press, Aug. 24, 2016

What Europe Could Learn From Israel: Judith Bergman, Algemeiner, Aug. 17, 2016

Britain Moves to Separate Radicalized Inmates From Other Prisoners: Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura, New York Times, Aug. 22, 2016

The Morning After: John Psaropoulos, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 22, 2016

 

 

EXPOSING THE CRIMINAL SOCIETY AND THE CULTURE OF DEATH

Isi Leibler

The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 24, 2016

 

We are losing the battle in the war of ideas for the simple reason that we are continuously on the defensive while those seeking our destruction actively and relentlessly demonize us. Ever since the Oslo Accords, successive Israeli governments have felt obliged to understate and even dismiss Palestinian terrorism and hatred in order to maintain domestic public support for policies that, with the benefit of hindsight, were doomed to fail. In the very early stages, Palestinian Authority president Yasser Arafat told his people that the ultimate goal was the end of Jewish sovereignty – and we dismissed such outbursts as empty words designed merely to placate his radical domestic opponents.

 

But as the government falsely praised our peace partner, many Israelis deluded themselves into believing that the terrorism we faced was an extremist aberration and that the Palestinians were committed to ending the conflict on the basis of a two-state solution. Likewise, most of the world accepted at face value our repeated praise of Arafat and his successor, Mahmoud Abbas, as moderates and genuine peace partners. This suited the long-term Palestinian policy of destroying us in stages. They readily accepted concessions and withdrawals but without compromising one iota, and they continue to demonize us and challenge our legitimacy. But the worst aspect was our failure to highlight the poisonous brainwashing the PA had inflicted on its population. While Arab hostility to Jews prevailed even during the British Mandate period, it was not comparable to the culture of death and evil that today saturates every aspect of Palestinian life.

 

The Palestinians have stated explicitly that their state would be Judenrein and that Jews would never be permitted to live in their ancestral home even if they were willing to accept Palestinian jurisdiction. Indeed, Palestinians were brutally executed when they were deemed to have sold land to a Jew. The PA has become a criminal society and can be compared to prewar Germany, when the Nazis transformed their population into genocidal barbarians by depicting Jews as subhuman. The Palestinians depict Jews as “the offspring of apes and pigs” and call for their extermination. This is not even done subtly but with blatant statements to this effect emanating daily from religious and political leaders and accessible from vast documentary sources compiled by Palestinian Media Watch, MEMRI and others.

 

A society in which children from kindergarten are brainwashed into believing that the highest goal in Islam is to achieve martyrdom in the course of killing Jews can only be described as criminal. The demonization of Israel and manifestations of the culture of death are promoted without inhibition by the leadership, the mullahs in the mosques and the state-controlled media. They amount to direct incitement for individuals to strike out and kill Jews in concert or randomly. The “heroic” scenes of youngsters stabbing Jews, the praise by Abbas himself of martyrs “with holy blood” and the totally contrived religious frenzy over accusations of Israelis planning to destroy al-Aksa mosque, coalesce into a witch’s brew of primeval rage and hatred.

 

The PA provides generous state salaries to terrorists apprehended by Israelis, and if they are killed, their families are remunerated – from funds provided by Western countries. Religious and political leadership at all levels sanctifies terrorists as heroes and national martyrs. City squares, schools and even football clubs are named in their honor. The barbarism imbibed by the Palestinians is reflected in the street celebrations that erupt spontaneously with every murder of an Israeli. Even more nauseating are the repeated displays on TV of mothers expressing pride at their children becoming martyrs, and expressing hope that their other children will follow the example.

 

Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that Palestinian opinion polls reflect public support for terrorist attacks against Israel and opposition to a two-state solution. The Arafat/Abbas indoctrination process has radicalized successive generations into believing that the only solution to the conflict is the permanent termination of Jewish sovereignty in the area.

 

There is irrefutable evidence of the barbaric and genocidal nature of Palestinian society. Indeed, the reality is that, despite maintaining a “moderate” stance to the outside world, internally the Palestinians and ISIS are birds of a feather – although the Palestinians are probably more corrupt.

 

Alongside the turbulence in the region and the threat from Iran and ISIS, could one envisage any country agreeing to accept statehood for what will inevitably be a neighboring criminal state pledged to its destruction or a candidate for an ISIS or Iranian takeover? This would be utterly inconceivable. Yet most of the international community, including the United States, regards this as an issue of two nations arguing over real estate. Were that the case, the Palestinians would not have dismissed the offers by prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert, who were willing to concede up to 97 percent of the territories formerly controlled by the Jordanians.

 

Israel has been the target of repeated defamation and delegitimization yet has basically only been on the defensive, seeking to refute the lies being disseminated against it. But as Joseph Goebbels said, if one repeats a lie continuously, people begin believing it. This dictum has now been realized; many in the Western world have absorbed the distorted Palestinian narrative of Israel being an apartheid state, an occupier and a nation born in sin.

 

Ironically, the weakness of our position lies in the fact that, until recently, in order to appease our allies and “protect” Israelis from being confronted with the stark reality, we deliberately held back from telling the truth and failed to highlight the barbaric and criminal nature of our purported peace partner. Had we mounted campaigns at the outset, exposing the horrors perpetrated by our neighbors, it may not have influenced anti-Semites and the delusional Left but it would have made a significant impact on the open-minded.

 

But even now, belatedly exposing the barbarity of our neighbors should be made the top priority in our foreign relations efforts rather than the endless disputes over whether the minuscule 2% of territory comprising settlements (which are not being expanded) is justified.

 

The recent initiative by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to establish relations with independent Palestinians, aside from not having cabinet approval, is bound to fail because any Palestinian engaged in such negotiations will immediately be assassinated. Pressure must be exerted to encourage rank-and-file Palestinians that their best interests will be served when they appoint leaders who genuinely support the peace process. Alas, for the time being, that is not even on the horizon.

 

Today, we must move forward and promote a focused effort to document and expose the evil nature of Palestinian society, which will make it far more difficult and embarrassing for the Americans and Europeans to continue pressuring Israel to accept the creation of what will invariably be a criminal state – particularly in the context of the mayhem prevailing in the region and the terrorist threats now impacting the heartland of Europe.

 

 

Contents                                                                                                             

THE WORLD WE HAVE; THE WORLD WE WANT

Henry R. Nau

National Review, Aug. 15, 2016

 

America is walking away from the world “as it wished it to be” in 1945, a world of unprecedented peace, democracy, and prosperity. And it is embracing a world “as it is” in 2016 that is rapidly descending into violence, nationalism, and recession.

 

In 1945, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman could only dream of the world that exists today. They lived in a brutal and chaotic era that had descended twice in 25 years into the depravity of horrific war. They did not accept the state of affairs as it was. They helped create a better world, one that for 70 years avoided another major global war, vanquished the scourge of totalitarianism championed by the former Soviet Union, spread freedom for the first time throughout the whole of Europe and significant parts of Asia, and created a global economy that produced rapid growth and reduced inequality as defeated and developing nations steadily closed the gap in relative wealth and power with the United States.

Now, America’s leaders, including both major-party presidential candidates, dismiss the idea that we can make the world as we wish it to be. That’s utopian ideology, they say, a foreign policy that leads to military quagmires and divers us from our hard-core national interests. Obama ridiculed his predecessor for muscling freedom forward in Iraq and Afghanistan and spurned new military interventions in Ukraine and Syria. Hillary Clinton, his first secretary of state and the Democratic nominee for president, intervened in Libya but now regrets it; she has also walked back her commitments to major trade agreements. And Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, threatens to undo the pillars of the Truman/Reagan world: the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the World Trade Organization. They all claim they will defend and avoid the periphery (which for Obama and Clinton appears to include Ukraine and the disputed islands in the South and East China Seas). Stop trying to make the world as you wish it to be, they say, and take care of America first, in the world as it is.

 

The siren song is tempting. But the world doesn’t get better just because we accept it as it is. It depends on what other leaders want. And other leaders are making the world the way they wish it to be. At the core, the Truman/Reagan world might be unraveling. Britain exits the European Union; Poland, Hungary, and potentially other new democracies in Europe drift towards an authoritarian Russia; and South Korea is politically at odds with Japan and economically dependent on a more nationalist China. And at the periphery, dangers threaten to invade the core. Russia, China, and ISIS do not accept the world as it is. Vladimir Putin seeks a new Europe, in which Russia exercises a veto power in the former Soviet republics (including, if he can get away with it, the Baltic states). He is created problems in Georgia, Ukraine, and Syria to keep the West’s influence at bay …

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

 

Contents                                   

             

SWEDEN: THE SILENCE OF THE JEWS

Ingrid Carlqvist

Gatestone Institute, Aug. 5, 2016

 

One of the most visible effects of Muslim mass immigration into Sweden is that anti-Semitism is very much on the rise in the country. Swedish Jews are being harassed and threatened, mainly in the Muslim-dense city of Malmö, where in January 2009, the friction deepened during a peaceful pro-Israel demonstration. Demonstrators were attacked by pro-Palestinian counter demonstrators, who threw eggs and bottles at the supporters of Israel. The mayor of Malmö at the time, Ilmar Reepalu, failed to take a clear stance against the violence, and was accused of preferring the approval of the city's large Muslim population to protecting Jews. He remarked, among other things, that "of course the conflict in Gaza has spilled over into Malmö."

 

In January 2009, an Arab mob in Malmö pelted a peaceful Jewish demonstration with bottles, eggs and smoke bombs. The police pushed the Jews, who had a permit for their gathering, into an alley.

 

The situation in Malmö has twice been deemed so alarming that U.S. President Barack Obama sent Special Representatives to the city: Hanna Rosenthal visited in 2012, and Ira Forman came in 2015. "We are keeping an eye on Malmö," Forman told the media.

 

The harassment of Malmö's Jews was, for a long time, a mystery to the general public; Were neo-Nazis really walking the streets of Sweden's third largest city? Many believed that to be the case, until the local daily paper Skånska Dagbladet published a series of articles, in which the Jewish community finally pointed out the elephant in the room: Malmö's growing Muslim population …

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

 

Contents           

WILLKOMMEN? MAYBE NOT SO MUCH

Christopher Caldwell

Weekly Standard, Aug. 15, 2016

 

In the last days of July, German chancellor Angela Merkel rushed back to Berlin from her summer vacation to tell her countrymen how strong they were. She had done the same thing a year earlier, when Europe faced a wave of refugees from the war in Syria, joined by migrants from Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere in the Muslim world. Back in the summer of 2015, Merkel announced that Germany could handle 800,000 of them. Migrants took it as an invitation. Over a million came. The encounter between Germany and its new Muslim population has been rocky. Last New Year’s Eve in downtown Cologne saw 1,200 sexual assaults by mostly migrant men. A Moroccan girl stabbed a policeman in Hannover in March, and in April two teenagers, Yusuf T. and Mohammed B., blew up a Sikh temple in Essen.

 

At her latest appearance, Merkel professed herself proud of last summer's invitation and told Germans they were now summoned to "a great test in mastering the flipside, the shadow side, of all the positive effects of globalization." This was the chancellor's glass-half-full way of acknowledging that various newcomers to the national household had begun to attack and kill her voters at an alarming rate. On Monday, July 18, a 17-year-old Afghan, armed with an axe and hollering Allahu Akbar!, attacked a family of travelers from Hong Kong on a train. Four days later, on Friday, a German-Iranian named Ali Sonboly ran amok in Munich with a 9mm Glock and 300 rounds of ammunition in a McDonald's full of children and a shopping mall, shooting 29 people, of whom 9 died. That Sunday, in Reutlingen in Baden-Württemberg, a 21-year-old recent Syrian arrival named Mohamed hacked to death a pregnant Polish restaurant employee. At a music festival in Ansbach that same afternoon, another Syrian refugee, 27-year-old Muhammad Daleel, became Germany's first-ever suicide bomber, killing himself and wounding 15.

 

Germans have been enjoined not to leap to conclusions about the individuals involved. The train axe man and the festival bomber claimed their attacks for ISIS. The machete man knew the woman he killed, so the incident was, news reports reassured, "not terrorism." The mall shooter was a terrorist, true, but his family had arrived from Iran in the 1990s, making it possible to describe the terrorism as "homegrown." Still, all the killers were of a migrant background, and this will do nothing to make Merkel's promotion of migration more popular. Last year's invitation to refugees was the occasion of a lot of German self-congratulation. The country is still relatively optimistic. An early August poll by the Pew Research Center asked people in various European countries how they felt about the European Union's policy on refugees. They hate it. In all of them, the number of people who disapprove is a multiple of the number of those who approve. In Greece, 94 percent are upset, 5 percent content. Germans distrust EU refugee policy by "only" a 2 ½ – 1 ratio. Merkel is lucky. Migration has fallen to a tiny fraction of what it was in 2015—just 57,000 refugees since March …

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

 

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

           

On Topic Links

 

Outreach Pioneer and Longtime Jewish Press Columnist Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis Passes Away: Jason Maoz, Jewish Press, Aug. 24, 2016—Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis, pioneer in Jewish outreach, founder of the international Hineni organization, and Jewish Press columnist for more than fifty years, passed away Tuesday at the age of 80. Rebbetzin Jungreis was born in Szeged, Hungary, in 1936, where her father, HaRav Avraham HaLevi Jungreis, was chief rabbi.

What Europe Could Learn From Israel: Judith Bergman, Algemeiner, Aug. 17, 2016— If there is one thing at which Jews have traditionally excelled, it is adapting. Throughout history, Jews have managed to adapt to often overwhelmingly negative circumstances, while constantly maintaining and developing their culture. This ability to adapt occasionally gave way to an irresistible temptation among Jews to blend in with their surroundings and to stop actively practicing Judaism.

Britain Moves to Separate Radicalized Inmates From Other Prisoners: Kimiko De Freytas-Tamura, New York Times, Aug. 22, 2016— Convicts in British prisons who preach terrorism and extreme ideology to fellow inmates will be held in high-security “specialist units,” the government announced on Monday, amid efforts to crack down on Islamic radicalization in jails. The announcement reflects an emerging trend in Europe to isolate terrorism convicts and influential extremists from the rest of the prison population.

The Morning After: John Psaropoulos, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 22, 2016— George Papaconstantinou has been through hell. His reputation as the finance minister who cowrote and signed Greece’s first bailout agreement with the eurozone in the spring of 2010 cost him his cabinet post the following year and his parliament seat the year after that. He spent the next three years fighting charges that he tampered with state documents to help relatives evade taxes, which could have jailed him for life.

M.E MILITARY: RUSSIA/IRAN/SYRIA & ISRAEL’S FIGHT AGAINST GLOBAL TERRORISM

The Price of Powerlessness: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2016— This week Russian bombers flew out of Iranian air bases to attack rebel positions in Syria. The State Department pretended not to be surprised. It should be. It should be alarmed. Iran’s intensely nationalistic revolutionary regime had never permitted foreign forces to operate from its soil. Until now.

What Outcome Do We Seek in Syria?: Shoshana Bryen, Jewish Policy Center, Aug. 22, 2016— Russian warplanes took off this week from Iran to hit targets in Syria. Russia has used Iranian bases for refueling and resupply in the past, but this is its first bombing mission from the Islamic Republic — it is also the first foreign military operation to take place from Iranian soil since the 1979 revolution. Iran’s National Security chief said Iran and Russia “enjoy strategic cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria, and share their facilities and capacities to this end.”

Israel’s Virtual Security Zone: Jonathan Spyer, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 12, 2016— Cautious and prudent, Israeli policy over the last five years has largely succeeded in sealing off the Syrian civil war from Israel’s territory. This has been achieved through the careful cultivation of a working relationship with rebel militias on the other side of the Golan Heights border, along with a readiness to act on occasion decisively to neutralize emergent dangers.

Israel Values U.S. Military Aid But Does Well On Its Own Steam, Too: Moshe Arens, Haaretz, Aug. 22, 2016— A number of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s critics claim they could have obtained a better deal in the negotiations for the U.S. military aid package; it’s like in that Irving Berlin song: “Anything you can do I can do better.” There’s a lot of hype in these claims, but the subject of U.S. military aid to Israel is still worth discussing.

 

On Topic Links

 

Iranian Vessels Chases US Ship Out of International Waters [WATCH]: Abra Forman,Breaking Israel News, Aug. 25, 2016

US Moves Nuclear Weapons From Turkey to Romania: Georgi Gotev& Joel Schalit, EurActiv, Aug. 18, 2016

U.S. Concedes $400 Million Payment to Iran Was Delayed as Prisoner ‘Leverage’: David E. Sanger, New York Times, Aug. 18, 2016

Raqqa Delenda Est: Why Baghdadi’s “Caliphate” Should Be Destroyed: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, Aug. 10, 2016

Were Obama and Hillary Founders of ISIS? You Bet: Kenneth R. Timmerman, Breitbart, Aug 12, 2016

 

 

THE PRICE OF POWERLESSNESS

Charles Krauthammer

Washington Post, Aug. 18, 2016

 

This week Russian bombers flew out of Iranian air bases to attack rebel positions in Syria. The State Department pretended not to be surprised. It should be. It should be alarmed. Iran’s intensely nationalistic revolutionary regime had never permitted foreign forces to operate from its soil. Until now.

 

The reordering of the Middle East is proceeding apace. Where for 40 years the U.S.-Egypt alliance anchored the region, a Russia-Iran condominium is now dictating events. That’s what you get after eight years of U.S. retrenchment and withdrawal. That’s what results from the nuclear deal with Iran, the evacuation of Iraq and utter U.S. immobility on Syria. Consider:

 

Iran: the nuclear deal was supposed to begin a rapprochement between Washington and Tehran. Instead, it has solidified a strategic-military alliance between Moscow and Tehran. With the lifting of sanctions and the normalizing of Iran’s international relations, Russia rushed in with major deals, including the shipment of S-300 ground-to-air missiles. Russian use of Iranian bases now marks a new level of cooperation and joint power projection.

 

Iraq: these bombing runs cross Iraqi airspace. Before President Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq, that could not have happened. The resulting vacuum has not only created a corridor for Russian bombing, it has gradually allowed a hard-won post-Saddam Iraq to slip into Iran’s orbit. According to a Baghdad-based U.S. military spokesman, there are 100,000 Shiite militia fighters operating inside Iraq, 80 percent of them Iranian-backed.

 

Syria: when Russia dramatically intervened last year, establishing air bases and launching a savage bombing campaign, Obama did nothing. Indeed, he smugly predicted that Vladimir Putin had entered a quagmire. Some quagmire. Bashar al-Assad’s regime is not only saved. It encircled Aleppo and has seized the upper hand in the civil war. Meanwhile, our hapless secretary of state is running around trying to sue for peace, offering to share intelligence and legitimize Russian intervention if only Putin will promise to conquer gently.

 

Consider what Putin has achieved. Dealt a very weak hand — a rump Russian state, shorn of empire and saddled with a backward economy and a rusting military — he has restored Russia to great-power status. Reduced to irrelevance in the 1990s, it is now a force to be reckoned with. In Europe, Putin has unilaterally redrawn the map. His annexation of Crimea will not be reversed. The Europeans are eager to throw off the few sanctions they grudgingly imposed on Russia. And the rape of eastern Ukraine continues.

 

Ten thousand have already died and now Putin is threatening even more open warfare. Under the absurd pretext of Ukrainian terrorism in Crimea (reminiscent of Hitler’s claim that he invaded Poland in response to a Polish border incursion), Putin has threatened retaliation, massed troops in eight locations on the Ukrainian border, ordered Black Sea naval exercises and moved advanced anti-aircraft batteries into Crimea, giving Moscow control over much of Ukrainian airspace.

 

State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Aug. 18 that negotiators had “deliberately leveraged” Iran’s desire to get a $400 million payment from a decades-old arms deal to ensure authorities would not renege on freeing three Americans in January. (U.S. Department of State) And why shouldn’t he? He’s pushing on an open door. Obama still refuses to send Ukraine even defensive weapons. The administration’s response to these provocations? Urging “both sides” to exercise restraint. Both sides, mind you. And in a gratuitous flaunting of its newly expanded reach, Russia will be conducting joint naval exercises with China in the South China Sea, in obvious support of Beijing’s territorial claims and illegal military bases.

 

Yet the president shows little concern. He is too smart not to understand geopolitics; he simply doesn’t care. In part because his priorities are domestic. In part because he thinks we lack clean hands and thus the moral standing to continue to play international arbiter. And in part because he’s convinced that in the long run it doesn’t matter …

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

 

Contents           

             

WHAT OUTCOME DO WE SEEK IN SYRIA?

Shoshana Bryen

Jewish Policy Center, Aug. 22, 2016

 

Russian warplanes took off this week from Iran to hit targets in Syria. Russia has used Iranian bases for refueling and resupply in the past, but this is its first bombing mission from the Islamic Republic — it is also the first foreign military operation to take place from Iranian soil since the 1979 revolution. Iran’s National Security chief said Iran and Russia “enjoy strategic cooperation in the fight against terrorism in Syria, and share their facilities and capacities to this end.”

 

Whether temporary or serving longer term Russian interests, the increasing breadth and capability of the Russian military in the region — allied with the State Department’s number one designated state sponsor of terror — presents problems for the United States. The Obama administration, however, appears oddly unconcerned.

 

A State Department spokesperson said, “We have nothing to announce at this time. We speak regularly with Russian officials about ways to strengthen the Cessation of Hostilities, improve humanitarian access and bring about the conditions necessary to find a political solution to this conflict.” Another spokesperson called it, “unfortunate, but not surprising or unexpected.” From the Pentagon, “As we understand it, they hit three areas in Syria. One area had ISIS fighters in it, and we have hit there ourselves before. The other two areas do not have ISIS concentrations.”

 

The area that did not have ISIS fighters had anti-Assad rebels. Does the State Department think Russian bombing will help “find a political solution to the conflict”? What does the U.S. think a “political solution” should look like?

 

There is no easy side for America to take — if we take any. On one side is a war criminal, whose allies are Russia, Iran, and Hizb’allah (a U.S.-designated terrorist organization). On the other is the “opposition,” a collection of fighters including Jabhat al-Nusra — until last week calling itself an arm of al Qaeda — the Free Syrian Army, ISIS-affiliated rebels, and groups with acronyms previously unknown. Some will fight ISIS. Someare ISIS. Some will fight only Assad. Just about all are Sunni Islamists supported financially by America’s erstwhile allies in the Gulf plus Turkey. Among the Kurdish groups, some are Assad’s allies; some are America’s allies. All are the enemy of Turkey, a NATO member.

 

Our allies have their own agendas, as do our adversaries.

 

The Iran-Russia axis anchors the ends of the Shiite Crescent from Iran across Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, ending in the Mediterranean. The Crescent is an Iranian goal that threatens a variety of countries on its periphery, including Israel and Turkey. Russia’s goals include 1) maintaining a friendly government in Damascus that will permit Russian bases at Tartus and Latakia, 2) broader military access to the region, and 3) status as “go to” power as the United States withdraws its influence. Partnership in the Shiite Crescent ensures all three.

 

Washington has been trying to find a way to cooperate with Russia in Syria without acknowledging that Russia’s goals, and Iran’s, are inimical to the president’s insistence that Assad has to go. The Washington Post reminded its readers this week of Mr. Obama’s words in 2012. “With allies and partners, we will keep increasing the pressure, with a diplomatic effort to further isolate Assad and his regime …

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

 

Contents                                   

             

ISRAEL’S VIRTUAL SECURITY ZONE

Jonathan Spyer

Jerusalem Post, Aug. 12, 2016

 

Cautious and prudent, Israeli policy over the last five years has largely succeeded in sealing off the Syrian civil war from Israel’s territory. This has been achieved through the careful cultivation of a working relationship with rebel militias on the other side of the Golan Heights border, along with a readiness to act on occasion decisively to neutralize emergent dangers.

 

The success of such a policy is by definition fragile, as is the calm it produces. A single mishap could transform the situation. In recent weeks, there has been a notable uptick in the volume of incidents on the border, though a general deterioration still seems distant.

 

Reserve soldiers serving along the borderline describe a reality in which both regime and rebels are engaged in constantly testing the alertness of Israeli forces, looking to take advantage of any momentary lapse of attention. Israel responds to all instances of fire into Israeli territory, including when these appear to be inadvertent rather than deliberate. The intention is to keep the war away from the border.

 

One of the unplanned results of this policy is the emergence of small tent emplacements close to the line of division. Refugees have made their way to the border area, assuming that the Syrian Army will tend to avoid it. July was a busy month. On July 4, the technical fence was damaged by Syrian Army fire. Israel responded by striking at two regime targets. Then on the 18th, a drone was dispatched across the border to Israel. Israeli attempts to down it were unsuccessful – Russian officials later reportedly admitted that the UAV belonged to the Russian military. A week later, Israel responded to stray Syrian mortar rounds that came across the border. An Israeli aircraft destroyed the mortar emplacement.

 

July witnessed an unexpected visit to the Quneitra area by Gen. Muhammad Reza Naqdi, commander of the Basij paramilitary forces in Iran. There were also reports of Israeli bulldozers operating in the demilitarized zone east of the technical fence, in the area between Ein Zivan and Quneitra. This reporter witnessed evidence of this work, on a recent trip to the Golan.

 

The Assad regime and its allies control only a few points along the border. Most of it is held by rebel forces, described by IDF soldiers stationed at one of the border posts as a mix of Jabhat al-Nusra and other free army groups. The southern part of the border, however, is the area of greatest concern. This is held by the Khaled Ibn al-Walid Brigade, a franchise of Islamic State, formerly known as the Shuhada al-Yarmuk Brigades. The Israeli assumption is that, at a certain point, this organization will almost certainly turn its guns against Israel. In the meantime, the two sides watch each other closely.

 

The entry of rebel and civilian wounded via the border fence is a regular occurrence, as is the transfer of humanitarian aid. The UN is the body that facilitates this process. It all seems to be working smoothly. The sound of gunfire punctuates the days and the nights on the Golan. Sometimes it is the distant, ominous boom of heavy artillery, perhaps from the area south of Damascus. The Syrian capital is only 70 km. away. At other times the rattle of small arms fire can be heard. This is closer, perhaps evidence of a skirmish between the rebels and the jihadists of the Khalid Ibn al-Walid …

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

 

Contents                                   

             

ISRAEL VALUES U.S. MILITARY AID

BUT DOES WELL ON ITS OWN STEAM, TOO

Moshe Arens

Haaretz, Aug. 22, 2016

 

A number of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s critics claim they could have obtained a better deal in the negotiations for the U.S. military aid package; it’s like in that Irving Berlin song: “Anything you can do I can do better.” There’s a lot of hype in these claims, but the subject of U.S. military aid to Israel is still worth discussing.

 

After the Yom Kippur War, when the Israel Defense Forces had to be rebuilt and rearmed, U.S. military aid to Israel equaled 20 percent of Israel’s gross domestic product and covered about half the Israeli defense budget. Most of the equipment the IDF acquired came from the United States.

 

The quality edge, so essential to Israel, was provided by American arms that were superior to the Soviet arms in the hands of Israel’s enemies. This was assistance that Israel needed for its survival, both from an economic and a military point of view.

 

Much has changed in the past 42 years. Israel has prospered, and in most areas, with the exception of fighter aircraft, the IDF’s quality edge in weaponry is the product of Israeli research and development. At the present time, Israel’s GDP is well over $300 billion, and U.S. military assistance equals about 1.5 percent of Israel’s GDP and covers a little over 20 percent of Israel’s defense budget.

 

U.S. aid is much appreciated, but at this stage it’s not essential to Israel’s survival. If an economic crisis in the United States led to a cancellation of this aid, Israel would have to, and could, survive without it. It’s economically possible to cover the entire defense budget from Israeli resources, but this of course would require cuts in the budgets of other sectors. A change in the U.S. aid package deleting the money Israel is allowed to spend in the Israeli defense industry would hurt most in the near term.

 

Actually, the major downturn in U.S.-Israeli military relations came with the cancellation of the Lavi fighter aircraft in 1987. The Lavi project reflected U.S. consent that a substantial part of U.S. military aid could be applied to procurement in Israel, rather than being restricted to procurement in the United States.

 

But conveniently forgotten by many, the Lavi was an Israeli-American project in which American aerospace companies were major participants. This was part of a breakthrough in U.S. policy that permitted American defense contractors to participate in the project and allowed free transfer of U.S. technology.

A Lavi fighter aircraft prototype. Courtesy of IAI

 

Pratt & Whitney provided an engine developed specifically for the Lavi. Grumman built the wings and tail. Lear Siegler provided the fly-by-wire computer, and Hughes Aircraft the head-up display. All were permitted to sign license agreements with Israeli companies for subsequent production in Israel. That kind of technological cooperation between Israel and the United States, which would have been a precursor to future cooperation, ended with the cancellation of the Lavi …

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

 

Moshe Arens, Former Israeli Minister of Defense and Ambassador to the U.S, is a Member of CIJR’s International Board

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

           

On Topic Links

 

Iranian Vessels Chases US Ship Out of International Waters [WATCH]: Abra Forman, Breaking Israel News, Aug. 25, 2016— Four Iranian warships harassed a US Navy destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, speeding so close to the destroyer that the US ship had to swerve to avoid collision. The incident took place in the strait leading out of the Persian Gulf. The USS Nitze, a guided-missile destroyer, was surprised by four Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy high-speed patrol boats weaving towards it in a serpentine formation.

US Moves Nuclear Weapons From Turkey to Romania: Georgi Gotev& Joel Schalit, EurActiv, Aug. 18, 2016— EXCLUSIVE/ Two independent sources told EurActiv.com that the US has started transferring nuclear weapons stationed in Turkey to Romania, against the background of worsening relations between Washington and Ankara. According to one of the sources, the transfer has been very challenging in technical and political terms. “It’s not easy to move 20+ nukes,” said the source, on conditions of anonymity.

U.S. Concedes $400 Million Payment to Iran Was Delayed as Prisoner ‘Leverage’: David E. Sanger, New York Times, Aug. 18, 2016— The State Department conceded for the first time on Thursday that it delayed making a $400 million payment to Iran for several hours in January “to retain maximum leverage” and ensure that three American prisoners were released the same day.

Raqqa Delenda Est: Why Baghdadi’s “Caliphate” Should Be Destroyed: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, Aug. 10, 2016— While Iran remains the greatest threat to the region, the continued existence of IS fortifies rather than enervates Iran’s quest for hegemony. The destruction of IS should be the first stage in a campaign designed ultimately to isolate and contain Iran.

Were Obama and Hillary Founders of ISIS? You Bet: Kenneth R. Timmerman, Breitbart, Aug 12, 2016— Even the left-stream media is now acknowledging that Donald Trump “has a point” when he blasts Hilary and Obama for creating ISIS. “Hillary Clinton is vulnerable. ISIS did gain strength during her time as Secretary of State,” said ABC News correspondent Martha Raddatz

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “In spite of accusations of anti-Semitism and an official inquiry into the issue within the party; in spite of a successful court challenge to prevent more than 100,000 new party members from being allowed to vote in the leadership contest; and in spite of Corbyn and his supporters’ penchant for Marx and Trotsky, he and his party still enjoy mass support and even passionate enthusiasm. The anti-Semitism issue is to a large extent irrelevant. As much as that might offend Jewish people who disagree, it’s to Britain’s credit that the obscenity of Jew-hatred has little significance in the nation’s body politic and, anyway, while Corbyn and some of his comrades have at times been clumsy, lacking in empathy and sometimes aggressively anti-Zionist, Jews and the Middle East have very little to do with this. The fact is that Corbyn may well lose any forthcoming general election but that’s not the point. What matters is that under his leadership the party is being transformed into, or reverting to, an enormous socialist entity, a political machine that is most certainly capable of winning elections. Britain remains a class-divided and — important this — crisply class-conscious society. The North American concept of the “middle class” doesn’t really exist and the notion of the party of working people being reduced to a rump or worse is simply beyond comprehension.” —Michael Coren (National Post, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

On Topic Links

 

No Saudi Money for American Mosques: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Aug. 22, 2016

American Journalism Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Aug. 21, 2016

Soros’s Campaign of Global Chaos: Caroline B. Glick, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 22, 2016

Afghanistan Is Finally Standing Up to Pakistan: Adam Gallagher, The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016

 

“Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that,” —Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. The Turkish FM said this at a news conference in Ankara, using an Arabic name for the group. A senior rebel official said Turkish-backed Syrian rebels were preparing to launch an attack to seize Jarablus from the Islamic State, a move that would deny control to advancing Syrian Kurdish fighters. The rebels, groups fighting under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, are expected to attack Jarablus from inside Turkey in the next few days. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has said that Turkey would take a more active role in Syria in the next six months to prevent the country from being divided along ethnic lines. Mr. Cavusoglu said Turkey, a member of NATO and the U.S led coalition against the Islamic State, had become the “No. 1 target” for the militants because of its work to stop recruits travelling through Turkey across its more then 800-kilometers border into Syria to join the Sunni hardline group. (The Globe and Mail, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

“Last Thursday, our beloved family dog, Katie, died at the age of 12. She was a gentle giant who respectfully deferred even to any mite-size puppy with a prior claim to a bone. Katie might have won the Nobel Peace Prize if not for her weakness for squirrels. I mourned Katie’s passing on social media and received a torrent of touching condolences, easing my ache at the loss of a member of the family. Yet on the same day that Katie died, I published a column calling for greater international efforts to end Syria’s suffering and civil war, which has claimed perhaps 470,000 lives so far. That column led to a different torrent of comments, many laced with a harsh indifference: Why should we help them? These mingled on my Twitter feed: heartfelt sympathy for an American dog who expired of old age, and what felt to me like callousness toward millions of Syrian children facing starvation or bombing. If only, I thought, we valued kids in Aleppo as much as we did our terriers!” —Nicholas Kristof (New York Times, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

“A crazed gunman’s attack on an Orlando club in June, killing 49 people, resulted in blanket news coverage and national trauma. Now imagine that such a massacre unfolds more than five times a day, seven days a week, unceasingly for five years, totaling perhaps 470,000 deaths. That is Syria. Yet even as the Syrian and Russian governments commit war crimes, bombing hospitals and starving civilians…Obama and the world seem to shrug. I admire Obama for expanding health care and averting a nuclear crisis with Iran, but allowing Syria’s civil war and suffering to drag on unchallenged has been his worst mistake, casting a shadow over his legacy. It is also a stain on all of us, analogous to the indifference toward Jewish refugees in the 1930s, to the eyes averted from Bosnia and Rwanda in the 1990s, to Darfur in the 2000s. This is a crisis that cries out for American leadership, and Obama hasn’t shown enough.” — Nicholas Kristof (New York Times, Aug. 11, 2016)

 

“Oh worshippers of the cross in Canada, now now (sic) fighting came, our wolves will come to you from where you will not know so you won’t enjoy life.”  — Attempting to capitalize on the police killing of Aaron Driver, an ISIL supporter in Strathroy Ont. who was allegedly in the final stages of planning a bomb attack, the pro-ISIL al-Wa’d Foundation released two posters on its Telegram channel on Wednesday, including the one showing an apocalyptic Toronto. (National Post, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

[The New York Municipal Government recently removed language requirements for drivers seeking taxi licences –Ed.] “If you’re in New York, you must speak English,” David Hernandez, 26, a cook who lives in Queens, said on a recent afternoon, noting that he already had problems communicating with some taxi drivers. “This is an English-speaking country.” At a taxi school in Queens on Friday, even some students who were studying for the taxi exam and do not speak English as their first language conceded they thought the English test had been necessary. “You have to communicate with the customer,” Pasang Sherpa, 40, said as the students reviewed methods of finding a cross street. “You’re not working in a kitchen. You’re driving a cab; you’re dealing with the public.” Mr. Rahman, who has been driving a taxi for five years, said he was disappointed that the city was ending the test, because he thought drivers should be able to show they understand some basic English. Hector Diaz, 37, a legal secretary who lives in Queens, agreed, saying it could jeopardize passenger safety if a driver did not speak any English. “If there is an emergency, how are they going to communicate with the passenger?” Mr. Diaz said. (New York Times, Aug. 20, 2016)

 

“We want to make it a legal requirement to show your face in places where that is necessary for the cohesion of our society,” said German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière. He was flanked by the conservative leaders of two states with elections next month: Lorenz Caffier of the northeastern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Frank Henkel of the city-state of Berlin. Both men are running on strong law-and-order platforms and had called for a ban on veils. “The burqa does not belong to Germany,” Mr. Caffier said this week, and Mr. Henkel called the covering “a cloth cage.” “The operative effect of a ban is close to zero,” said Heinz Buschkowsky, a Social Democrat who gained national attention when he was mayor in the heavily immigrant Berlin district of Neukölln. “But the burqa ban would send a social signal,” he told the newspaper Bild. “The burqa says the woman is property of the man, who can be seen by no one else,” he continued. “That is darkest Middle Ages, the opposite of self-determination. A burqa ban shows what does, and does not, work in our country.” (New York Times, Aug. 20, 2016)

 

“What is the policy of the National Post in regards to Letters to the Editor? What are the criteria the Editor applies for making the decision which letter to publish and which to reject? Letter writer Jim Morrow admits to having ‘A few years back, skimmed a copy of the Qur’an’ ‘looking for anything in it that would encourage violence,’ but had to conclude that the ‘Qur’an reads much like the Christian bible.’ And such nonsense, written by an admittedly ignorant person, is published, while thoughtful, factual and well informed corrections of such drivel, written by someone with eight different, well used editions of the Qur’an on his desk has one letter after the other on the subject rejected. What does such practice say about the paper? I wish the Letters Editor would explain to the readers of the NP how he selects submissions for publication. A paper written by a student who "A few years back" has "skimmed" the textbook and consequently writes unmitigated blather would not have got a passing grade from me. Political correctness, indeed, contributes too much to the further stultification and dottiness of the populace.” — Heinz Klatt, professor emeritus of psychology, London, Ont. (Re: Contrarian view, Jim Morrow, August 18, 2016)

 

“Dear NP Letters Editor; Greetings. I am interested to know your answers to the questions that Dr. Heinz Klatt asks in his letter below. When I read the Jim Morrow letter, I wondered about the criteria that let through such a letter but prevent the appearance of other letters on the same subject from better-informed writers. If your desire was to favour the feelings of your Muslim readers by permitting a kind of moral-equivalency comparison between the Qur’an and the Bible, what about the feelings of your Jewish and Christian readers? How do those who know the Bible better than Mr. Morrow feel about having their scripture equated to the ninth sura of the Qur’an? I am not asking you to print my letter, but why would you not print Dr. Klatt’s letter and use it as an opportunity to give some insight into your discernment process? Discussion of Islam in the pages of NP surely gives no sign of waning soon. Thank you for considering this request. Best wishes,” — Gordon Nickel, PhD (Qur’anic Studies) Eagle Bay, BC (Censorship at NP, August 22, 2016)

 

The new level of Russian-Iranian cooperation raises questions about whether the United States made a larger strategic error when, in choosing not to create “safe zones” or conduct major air operations over Syria, it left a window for the Russians to enter the war. President Obama warned in October that Moscow would be sucked into a “quagmire” as it sought to prop up Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. Mr. Toner, the State Department deputy spokesman, said the Russian activity could violate a United Nations Security Council resolution that, he said, “prohibits the supply, sale and transfer of combat aircraft to Iran unless approved in advance by the U.N. Security Council.” … Now, any American-led air operation would have to be coordinated with Russia to avoid conflicts over airspace … “The Iranians have been all in on Assad, and I think the Russians have now moved in that direction,” said Cliff Kupchan, a specialist on Russia and Iran at the Eurasia Group, a political analysis firm in Washington … Russia “now views Iran as a powerful ally in the region and a stable source of income for its state industries,” said Konstantin von Eggert, a political analyst and commentator on Dozhd, a Russian independent television channel. “Tehran is a rich anti-American regime in a strategic region important to U.S. interests. What could be better for Putin?” “In military terms, the situation around Aleppo is quite difficult, so there is a need to make the strikes much stronger,” said Aleksei Arbatov, an analyst at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “This decision constitutes a sharp intensification of our operation.” (New York Times, Aug. 17, 2016)

 

A recent article by its media reporter, Jim Rutenberg, whom I know and like, began this way: “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J. Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cozies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?” Whoa, Nellie. The clear assumption is that many reporters see Trump that way, and it is note­worthy that no similar question is raised about Clinton, whose scandals are deserving only of “scrutiny.” Rutenberg approvingly cites a leftist journalist who calls one candidate “normal” and the other ­“abnormal.” Clinton is hardly “normal” to the 68 percent of Americans who find her dishonest and untrustworthy, though apparently not a single one of those people writes for the Times. Statistically, that makes the Times “abnormal.” Also, you don’t need to be a ­detective to hear echoes in that first paragraph of Clinton speeches and ads, including those featured prominently on the Times’ website. In effect, the paper has seamlessly ­adopted Clinton’s view as its own, then tries to justify its coverage. — Michael Goodwin (New York Post, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

Capt. Davis said Thursday’s event marked one of the closest calls he knew of between U.S. coalition forces in Syria and the military of President Bashar al-Assad … “We view instances that place coalition personnel at risk with the utmost seriousness, and we do have the inherent right of self-defense,” Capt. Davis said. He said the Syrian military would be “well-advised” not to interfere with U.S. forces or their coalition partners fighting Islamic State in the country … After learning of Thursday’s airstrikes, the Pentagon immediately contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense through its established “de-confliction” channel and said the U.S. would take any action necessary to protect its forces. “We did make clear that U.S. aircraft would defend troops on the ground if threatened,” Capt. Davis said. The U.S. didn’t contact the Syrian military or government directly or declare a no-fly area over the northeast Syrian city, he said. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 20-21, 2016)

 

Colin Powell, who was secretary of state for President George W. Bush, said Hillary Clinton's claims he told her to use a private email system for official use is an attempt to blame him for her problems. “Her people have been trying to pin it on me,” Powell told People magazine. “The truth is, she was using [the private email server] for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did.” When asked why he thought that was so, Powell replied, "Why do you think? It doesn't bother me. But it's okay; I'm free." It was reported last week that Clinton told the FBI that Powell had advised her to use private email except for classified communications. Powell has admitted to using private email while in office for some communications, but never had a private server. Representatives for Powell, in a separate statement to NBC news, said he had no recollection of the conversation with Clinton but did write to her about his use of a non-government email address. (Newsmax, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry caused an angry stir in the Arab world on Sunday when he said that Israel’s actions do not constitute terrorism against Palestinians. The comment, made at a Q&A session with students at the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, was in response to a question about why the Egyptian government does not condemn Israeli and American actions in the Middle East as acts of terrorism, reported Ynet. “We can look at this issue and define it as a ‘rule by force,'” replied Shoukry. “However, there is nothing to suggest that there is any connection between Israel and terrorist organizations. There is nothing that leads to this conclusion.” He continued on to defend Israel’s protective measures, suggesting that from some perspectives, Israel’s strength in terms of security is a result of “dealing with a lot of challenges” which have threatened that security ever since the state was established in 1948. Shoukry also told his students that as the international community has “yet to come to a consensus as to what constitutes terror”, Israel’s actions could not be described as terrorism. The comments come as ties warm between Israel and Egypt. The two countries have consistently worked together to fight ISIS, a rising threat in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula. (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

“Anyone can build a religious structure of whatever nature in the United States, so the Saudis fund mosque after mosque. In the kingdom, though, only mosques are allowed; it hosts not a single church – or, for that matter, synagogue, or Hindu, Sikh, Jain, or Baha'i temple. Hints going back nearly a decade that the Saudis will allow a church have not born fruit but seem to serve as delaying tactics. Pray any way you wish in America, so long as you do not break the law. Non-Muslims who pray with others in Saudi Arabia engage in an illicit activity that could get them busted, as though they had participated in a drug party.” — Prof. Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum (The Hill, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

Contents

 

ISRAELI-DESIGNED GLASS BRIDGE OPENS AS WORLD'S HIGHEST, LONGEST IN CHINA (Jerusalem) — China this week opened what is said to be the longest and highest glass-bottom bridge in the world, and it was designed by an Israeli architect. Designed by Israeli architect Haim Dotan, the bridge is suspended across Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon in Hunan Province's scenic Zhangjiajie National Park some 300 meters (984 feet) above ground. The glass-floored bridge measuring 430 meters long and six meters wide is situated between two cliffs in the picturesque Zhangjiajie mountains that  inspired the American epic science-fiction film 'Avatar.' For safety purposes, a maximum of 8,000 visitors are reportedly permitted to cross the skywalk per day. Construction of the bridge was completed last December at a cost of 22.5 million yuan. (The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

IDF PREPARING TO WELCOME ELITE ULTRA-ORTHODOX PARATROOPER PLATOON (Jerusalem) — In an historic move, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) is preparing to open a special ultra-Orthodox paratrooper unit. Paratroopers (Tzanchanim in Hebrew) make up an elite unit in the IDF. The Ministry of Defense is actively continuing its campaign to draft ultra-Orthodox people (Haredim in Hebrew) as part of their efforts to integrate this population into mainstream Israeli society. Succeeding as a paratrooper involves a strenuous selection process. Most Israeli families are proud when their sons are accepted into Tzanchanim. However, for Haredim, joining the IDF carries a negative stigma. Since the founding of the State of Israel, there has been an understanding that it stands on two legs. One leg is made up of the IDF and the other consists of those who pray for its welfare and study God’s word in yeshiva (religious seminaries). (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

FOLLOWING NEW JERSEY’S LEAD, CALIFORNIA PASSES ANTI-BDS LAW (Sacramento) — The California legislature passed a bill barring all state bodies, including universities, from maintaining ties with organizations that support anti-Israel boycott, divestment and sanctions activities, Israel Hayom learned Thursday. The move marks a significant achievement for the Israeli American Council (IAC), which seeks to counteract the BDS movement on legal, technological and public diplomacy levels. The bill prohibits the state from investing in companies “engaging in actions that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or otherwise limit commercial relations with the state of Israel, or companies based in the state of Israel or in territories controlled by the state of Israel.” (Israel Hayom, Aug. 20, 2016)

 

STAR COLUMNIST LINDA MCQUAIG DEFENDS BDS IN SMEAR ATTACK AGAINST ISRAEL (Toronto) — Writing in the Toronto Star today, columnist Linda McQuaig argued that “Elizabeth May shouldn’t run away from BDS” but should instead embrace it when saying that “It would take a leader with independence and courage to pressure Israel to end its military occupation – someone like Elizabeth May.” According to McQuaig, a self proclaimed “journalist and author”: “Whether you agree with the boycott strategy or not, it is a peaceful way to protest a serious violation of human rights: the fact that millions of Palestinians have been living under Israeli military occupation in the West Bank and Gaza for almost 50 years, with Israel effectively annexing their land.” (This is the same Linda McQuaig who in 2010 abhorrently likened Israel’s killing of 9 anti-Israel activists who initiated violence against interdicting Israeli forces on the Mavi Marmara flotilla vessel, to the brutal murder of an innocent Jewish-American on the Achile Lauro liner by Palestinian terrorists.) (Honest Reporting Canada, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

ISRAELI FORCES RAID WEST BANK WEAPONS FACTORIES AS PART OF CRACKDOWN (Jerusalem) — Israeli security forces shut down six illegal weapons manufacturing factories in the West Bank in what the army said was the biggest such operation of an ongoing crackdown. The raids conducted jointly by the Israel Defense Forces, Shin Bet security service and Israel Police took place Monday night in Bethlehem and Hebron. “Last night, after research and analysis, we decided to clamp down on several warehouses and factories that manufacture guns and arms,” a senior army officer told JTA and other journalists in a briefing. “From six of these seven warehouses we found advanced weapons technology.” Fifty-four weapons were seized, along with gun parts and 22 lathes. Two suspects were arrested, including a major arms dealer, according to the IDF. (Jewish Journal, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

'POLISH DEATH CAMPS' FIGHT SPILLS ONTO PAGES OF THE NEW YORK TIMES (New York) — Holocaust experts said earlier in August that a Polish bill to jail people who use the term “Polish death camps” was based on a correct demand, but blown out of proportion. Polish sensitivity around the extent of its complicity in the Holocaust has reached the headlines once more. Roger Cohen, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times, wrote in an article on Tuesday that "Plenty of Poles collaborated (with the Nazis), but some did not." Cohen used the Jedwabne pogrom to illustrate that in numerous incidents, Polish civilians voluntarily massacred their Jewish neighbors while the country was under Nazi occupation. The article did not stand uncontested, however. The Auschwitz Museum's official Twitter account rebuked Cohen for his assertion, tweeting that the phrase was "false and unjust." Cohen responded that "plenty means plenty," and listed more examples of Polish complicity, bringing in research from the US Holocaust Museum to back-up his claim. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

LONDON’S MUSLIM MAYOR HIT WITH ANTI-SEMITIC MESSAGES FOR NOT BACKING CORBYN TO LEAD LABOUR (London) — London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the first Muslim mayor of a European capital city, has been bombarded with anti-Semitic messages since he said he would not support Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party leadership election. Several of the messages suggested that he had been influenced by Jews, the London-based news website Jewishnews.uk reported. The mayor “spends his time writing articles to help his masters in Tel Aviv,” read one tweet. “Who owns you @sadiqkhan?” read another, which included a photo of Khan wearing a kippah while eating matzah at a Jewish community event. Last week, Khan threw his support behind Owen Smith, who has been a Parliament member since 2010 and is Corbyn’s only challenger for the party leadership. Smith previously worked as a radio and television producer for the BBC. Khan, a Labour member, wrote an op-ed published Saturday in The Guardian newspaper in support of Smith. He said in the London-based daily that if Corbyn remained party leader, Labour would be unlikely to win the next general election. Khan also said Corbyn “has already proved that he is unable to organize an effective team, and has failed to win the trust and respect of the British people.” In a June op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, Kahn pledged to root out anti-Semitism in London and in the Labour Party. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2016)

 

FRANCE EXPELS TUNISIAN FOR NATIONAL SECURITY REASONS (Paris) — France has deported a Tunisian man, the French Interior Ministry said Friday, describing him as a serious threat to national security. Mohsen M’Hadi is the fourth foreigner to be expelled this month for national security reasons, the ministry said without disclosing further details. A ministry spokesman didn’t respond to a request for comment. Mr. M’Hadi couldn’t be reached for comment. France’s Socialist government is under growing pressure to do more to fight terrorism after a series of bloody attacks left more than 200 people dead. Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the government remains “fully committed to fighting terrorism with all possible legal means.” Conservative opposition leader and former President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed expelling foreigners suspected of links to terrorism and electronically tagging or detaining people deemed as radicals. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 20-21, 2016)

 

SYRIAN GOVERNMENT AND RUSSIA ARE ACCUSED OF USING NAPALM-LIKE BOMBS (Beirut) —  Syrian government aircraft hit the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Daraya with incendiary bombs for the third straight day on Wednesday, according to local council members, who said the weapons were packed with substances akin to napalm. Incendiary bombs emit bright light that resembles fireworks and ignite persistent fires, heating to temperatures up to 10 times the boiling point of water. Usually armed with thermite or phosphorus, which can cause horrific burns like those inflicted by napalm in American bombardments during the Vietnam War, the weapons are increasingly being used in attacks on rebel-held areas, especially in the contested northern city of Aleppo, according to Syrian opposition activists and human rights groups that are calling for an end to the practice. And the Syrian government’s most powerful ally, Russia, may also be using the weapons in its own airstrikes, Human Rights Watch contends, citing footage from Russian state-run television that showed the bombs clearly labeled on an attack aircraft in Syria, and similar casings found at attack sites. Numerous videos in recent weeks — many of them cited in the Human Rights Watch report — show fires and other telltale signs of incendiary bombs. (New York Times, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

COURT ORDERS STATE DEPARTMENT TO GIVE TIMELINE FOR CLINTON E-MAIL RELEASE (Washington) — Questions surrounding Hillary Clinton’s email practices flared up again Monday, with a U.S. District Court judge ordering the State Department to provide a timetable for releasing nearly 15,000 new emails uncovered by the FBI investigation of her personal email account and server while she was secretary of state. The judge, James E. Boasberg, pressed the State Department to accelerate its review of those emails, which were on a disc that the FBI turned over to the department in late July. These are emails sent or received by Clinton that were not in the original trove of 55,000 pages handed over by her lawyers last year, and released in monthly installments until last February. James B. Comey, the FBI director, said the investigators had discovered thousands of additional work-related emails on Clinton’s server during their inquiry. While Comey said he did not believe the emails had been “intentionally deleted,” he characterized Clinton’s handling of her email at the State Department as “extremely careless.” (Globe and Mail, Aug. 18, 2016)

 

JUDGE ORDERS WRITTEN TESTIMONY FROM HILLARY CLINTON ON EMAILS (Washington) — A federal judge on Friday ordered Hillary Clinton to provide written testimony under oath about why she set up a private computer server to send and receive emails while secretary of state, ensuring that the issue will continue to dog her presidential campaign until the eve of the election. Judge Sullivan’s ruling opened another front in a fight Mrs. Clinton’s campaign certainly hoped to put behind her. Although he declined to order her to answer questions in person, his ruling underscored the legal complications that Mrs. Clinton faces even as she enters the homestretch of her campaign. (New York Times, Aug. 19, 2016)

 

TURKEY TO RELEASE TENS OF THOUSANDS OF PRISONERS TO MAKE ROOM FOR COUP SUSPECTS (Istanbul) — Turkey said on Wednesday that it would empty its prisons of tens of thousands of criminals to make room for the wave of journalists, teachers, lawyers and judges rounded up in connection with last month’s failed coup. The startling decision to put so many criminals convicted of nonviolent offenses back on the streets is a measure of the strains on the state as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expands a wide-ranging purge of those suspected of being enemies of the government. The efforts have created gaping holes in government institutions, the judiciary, schools, the news media and countless other professions. (New York Times, Aug. 17, 2016)

 

CHILD SUICIDE BOMBER AT TURKISH WEDDING LEFT AT LEAST 51 DEAD, 70 WOUNDED IN MASSACRE (Istanbul) — A child suicide bomber killed at least 51 people and wounded nearly 70 others at a Kurdish wedding party near Turkey’s border with Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday, decrying the attack as an attempt by Islamic State extremists to destabilize the nation by exploiting ethnic and religious tensions. The bombing late Saturday in Gaziantep was the deadliest attack in Turkey this year. It comes amid ongoing struggles between the government and Kurdish militants linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, known as the PKK, and as the country is still reeling from the aftermath of last month’s failed coup attempt, which the government has blamed on U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen and his followers. (National Post, Aug. 21, 2016)

 

BRITAIN MOVES TO SEPARATE RADICALIZED INMATES FROM OTHER PRISONERS (London) — Convicts in British prisons who preach terrorism and extreme ideology to fellow inmates will be held in high-security “specialist units,” the government announced on Monday, amid efforts to crack down on Islamic radicalization in jails. The announcement reflects an emerging trend in Europe to isolate terrorism convicts and influential extremists from the rest of the prison population. Prisons are often regarded as potential breeding grounds for would-be terrorists, particularly for young offenders serving sentences for crimes unrelated to terrorism but who nonetheless fall under the spell of older, charismatic inmates. (New York Times, Aug. 22, 2016)

 

 

Contents

On Topic Links

 

No Saudi Money for American Mosques: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Aug. 22, 2016— An important new bill introduced by Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) aims to take a step toward fixing a monumental imbalance. Consider those differences: Secularism is a bedrock U.S. principle, enshrined in the Constitution's First Amendment; in contrast, the Koran and Sunna are the Saudi constitution, enshrined as the Basic Law's first article. Anyone can build a religious structure of whatever nature in the United States, so the Saudis fund mosque after mosque.

American Journalism Is Collapsing Before Our Eyes: Michael Goodwin, New York Post, Aug. 21, 2016— Donald Trump may or may not fix his campaign, and Hillary Clinton may or may not become the first female president. But something else happening before our eyes is almost as important: the complete collapse of American journalism as we know it.

Soros’s Campaign of Global Chaos: Caroline B. Glick, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 22, 2016— Major media outlets in the US have ignored the leak of thousands of emails from billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation by the activist hacker group DCLeaks. The OSF is the vehicle through which Soros has funneled billions of dollars over the past two decades to non-profit organizations in the US and throughout the world.

Afghanistan Is Finally Standing Up to Pakistan: Adam Gallagher, The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016— As the first president of Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai’s legacy will always be decidedly mixed. The famously mercurial Karzai masterfully navigated the traditional tribal politics of Afghanistan, but arguably laid the groundwork for much of the corruption and weak governance that plague the Afghan government today. During his tenure, Karzai often made headlines by frequently excoriating Pakistan for harboring the Afghan Taliban and attempting to rule Kabul by proxy.

 

GEORGE SOROS FUNDS HILLARY CLINTON & THE JSTREET ANTI-ISRAEL CONNECTION

Soros’s Campaign of Global Chaos: Caroline B. Glick, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 22, 2016— The first thing that we see is the megalomaniacal nature of Soros’s philanthropic project. No corner of the globe is unaffected by his efforts. No policy area is left untouched. Major media outlets in the US have ignored the leak of thousands of emails from billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation by the activist hacker group DCLeaks.

Not Shocking: George Soros Funds Progressive War on Israel: Abraham H. Miller, New York Observer, Aug. 17, 2016— The recent hack of George Soros’ “charitable” giving revealed nothing new. The man who told journalist Steve Kroft in a televised interview that roaming the streets of Budapest with his faux godfather to confiscate the property of his fellow Jews for the Nazis was the most exhilarating time of his life has long had a problem with both his Jewish roots and the creation of a Jewish state.

Soros Empire Concealed Ties to WH-Linked Liberal Jewish Lobby, Hacked Documents Show: Jenna Lifhits, The Weekly Standard, Aug. 18, 2016—According to DC Leaks, Soros directly funds the radical New Israel Fund, Mossawa and Adalah. The New Israel Fund then in turn funds HaMoked and other groups that assist Palestinian terrorists. JerusalemOnline has recently learned that Jewish American billionaire George Soros funds groups that assist Palestinian terrorists.

J Street: Pro-Progressive, Not Pro-Israel: Paul Miller, The Hill, Oct. 31, 2014— When the state of Israel buried three teenage boys kidnapped and brutally murdered by Hamas militants last summer, Rabbi Dov Zinger spoke of the heartache of the nation and Jews throughout world. Remembering the boys, he brought home the old quip, “two Jews, get three opinions,” declaring “two Jews, three opinions, one heart.”

 

On Topic Links

 

A J Street Man On The Democratic Ticket: Michael Wilner, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 8, 2016

Clinton E-mails Show George Soros Gave Sec of State Foreign Policy Marching Orders: Raheem Kassam, Breitbart, Aug. 14, 2016

A Soros Plan, A Marginalized Israel: Eli Lake, Bloomberg, Aug. 16, 2016

George Soros Funds Radical Groups That Assist Palestinian Terrorists and Encourage Terrorism: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Aug. 18, 2016

 

                                                            SOROS’S CAMPAIGN OF GLOBAL CHAOS

                                                         Caroline B. Glick

                                                      The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 22, 2016

 

The first thing that we see is the megalomaniacal nature of Soros’s philanthropic project. No corner of the globe is unaffected by his efforts. No policy area is left untouched. Major media outlets in the US have ignored the leak of thousands of emails from billionaire George Soros’s Open Society Foundation by the activist hacker group DCLeaks. The OSF is the vehicle through which Soros has funneled billions of dollars over the past two decades to non-profit organizations in the US and throughout the world. According to the documents, Soros has given more than $30 million to groups working for Hillary Clinton’s election in November, making him her largest single donor. So it is likely the case that the media’s support for Clinton has played some role in the mainstream media’s bid to bury the story.

 

It is also likely however, that at least some news editors failed to understand why the leaked documents were worth covering. Most of the information was already public knowledge. Soros’s massive funding of far-left groups in the US and throughout the world has been documented for more than a decade. But failing to see the significance of the wider story because many of the details were already known is a case of missing the forest for the trees. The DCLeaks document dump is a major story because it exposes the forest of Soros’s funding networks.

The first thing that we see is the megalomaniacal nature of Soros’s philanthropic project. No corner of the globe is unaffected by his efforts. No policy area is left untouched. On the surface, the vast number of groups and people he supports seem unrelated. After all, what does climate change have to do with illegal African immigration to Israel? What does Occupy Wall Street have to do with Greek immigration policies? But the fact is that Soros-backed projects share basic common attributes. They all work to weaken the ability of national and local authorities in Western democracies to uphold the laws and values of their nations and communities. They all work to hinder free markets, whether those markets are financial, ideological, political or scientific. They do so in the name of democracy, human rights, economic, racial and sexual justice and other lofty terms.

In other words, their goal is to subvert Western democracies and make it impossible for governments to maintain order or for societies to retain their unique identities and values. Black Lives Matter, which has received $650,000 from Soros-controlled groups over the past year, is a classic example of these efforts. Until recently, the police were universally admired in the US as the domestic equivalent of the military. BLM emerged as a social force bent on politicizing support for police.

Its central contention is that in the US, police are not a force for good, enabling society to function by maintaining law and order. Rather, police are a tool of white repression of blacks. Law enforcement in predominantly African American communities is under assault as inherently racist. BLM agitation, which has been accused of inspiring the murders of police in several US cities, has brought about two responses from rank and file police. First, they have been demoralized, as they find themselves criminalized for trying to keep their cities safe from criminals.

Second, their willingness to use force in situations that demand the use of force has diminished. Fear of criminal charges on the one hand, and public condemnation as “racists” on the other causes police to prefer inaction even when situations require that they act. The demoralization and intimidation of police is very likely to cause a steep increase in violent crimes.

Then there are Soros’s actions on behalf of illegal immigration. From the US to Europe to Israel, Soros has implemented a worldwide push to use immigration to undermine the national identity and demographic composition of Western democracies. The leaked emails show that his groups have interfered in European elections to get politicians elected who support open border policies for immigrants from the Arab world and to financially and otherwise support journalists who report sympathetically on immigrants.

Soros’s groups are on the ground enabling illegal immigrants to enter the US and Europe. They have sought to influence US Supreme Court rulings on illegal immigration from Mexico. They have worked with Muslim and other groups to demonize Americans and Europeans who oppose open borders …

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

 

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NOT SHOCKING: GEORGE SOROS FUNDS PROGRESSIVE WAR ON ISRAEL

Abraham H. Miller

New York Observer, Aug. 17, 2016

 

The recent hack of George Soros’ “charitable” giving revealed nothing new. The man who told journalist Steve Kroft in a televised interview that roaming the streets of Budapest with his faux godfather to confiscate the property of his fellow Jews for the Nazis was the most exhilarating time of his life has long had a problem with both his Jewish roots and the creation of a Jewish state. Most revealing in the interview was Soros’ comment that he felt no guilt about what he had done during the war years—not even survivor’s guilt, common among those who live through a catastrophe, troubled him.

 

So, the emergence of documentation showing how Soros funds those whose goal is to destroy the Jewish character of Israel—if not the Jewish state itself—is in keeping with the very essence of a man who as a child so identified with the aggressor that he relished the experience of working for the Nazis. Ironically, when those who want to vilify Jews need a role model that conforms to their framing of a fictional and vile Jewish character, Soros figures prominently. Yet, Soros’ pattern of funding and political backing generally resembles that of the neo-Nazis and Islamists who so conveniently find something in Soros’ Jewishness to decry.

 

In reality Soros, with his progressive, anti-Zionist agenda, is actually one of them. He is as much a practicing Jew as the Iranian ayatollahs; and when it comes to foreign policy, finding daylight between him and them would require a microscope. It is not surprising that Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine is hobnobbing with Alexander Soros, George’s son and intellectual heir apparent. Alexander Soros is a big fan of Tim Kaine. And so he should be. Kaine is a prominent supporter of President Obama’s ill-conceived and daily-changing Iran deal with its secret memoranda that is not only an existential threat to Israel’s existence but is also changing the balance of power in the entire Middle East. This is all the more problematic as Turkey sinks into internal chaos as a result of the unsuccessful coup, which enhances Iran’s potential as a serious rival.

 

This is the very essence of Soros’ policies, which have shown greater opposition to a Jew building a bathroom in Jerusalem than the ayatollahs building a nuclear weapon in Iran. Soros has repeatedly tried to hide his support for the anti-Zionist Jewish progressive. Consequently, J Street for years denied Soros’ support, which was hidden through a Hong Kong-based cutout.

 

Both Soros’ foundation and the New Israel Fund, another Soros beneficiary, fund Adalah, a group that trains Israeli-Arabs and Jewish progressives to wage lawfare against the Jewish state and is a strong advocate of BDS. In my own experience sitting on a panel with a representative of the New Israel Fund at a synagogue in Oakland, California, the NIF panelist vehemently and with outrage denied the very suggestion that his organization funds Adalah. Yet, it does.

 

Clearly, organizations like J Street and NIF share Soros’ anti-Zionist agenda. Otherwise, they would not receive funds from him. But their sharing of that agenda needs to be hidden from their fellow Jews, who might appropriately conclude that these are not organizations seeking to liberalize the Jewish state as much as they want to destroy it. The revelations from the hack of Soros’ foundation only add support to what we already know. Soros’ agenda is to destroy Israel as a Jewish state, and those who receive money from him share that agenda. Their attempts to distance themselves from Soros simply show that they cannot afford to have the Jewish community comprehend the actual nature of their intentions.

 

 

Contents                                   

             

SOROS EMPIRE CONCEALED TIES TO WH-LINKED LIBERAL JEWISH LOBBY, HACKED DOCUMENTS SHOW

Jenna Lifhits

The Weekly Standard, Aug. 18, 2016

 

According to DC Leaks, Soros directly funds the radical New Israel Fund, Mossawa and Adalah. The New Israel Fund then in turn funds HaMoked and other groups that assist Palestinian terrorists. JerusalemOnline has recently learned that Jewish American billionaire George Soros funds groups that assist Palestinian terrorists. DC Leaks reported that the US-based New Israel Fund received 9 grants from George Soros since 2002 totaling $837,000. The New Israel Fund in turn donated $116,990 to the radical HaMoked group in 2014, whose mission is to defend terrorist families in court and to prevent the demolition of their homes.  

 

According to Im Tirtzu, HaMoked, who has received over 11 billion shekels from foreign entities including the European Union, Germany, Norway, Finland and Belgium, uses their funds in order to defend terrorists and to submit appeals on their behalf.   Among the terrorists that Hamoked assisted are the murderer of Rabbi Michael Mark in Othniel, the terrorist who murdered members of the Henkin family, the murderer of Malachi Rosenfeld, the murderers of Danny Gonen, the murderers of Aharon Bennett and Nehamia Lavi, the murderer of Baruch Mizrahi, the murderer of Shlomit Krugman, the murderers of Hadar Cohen, and the murderer of 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel.

 

Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg stated: “Over the past 2 years, HaMoked has represented nearly every terrorist who has murdered Israelis.”   According to him, foreign entities such as European governments and the New Israel Fund, which is funded by Soros, “operate in the Israeli Supreme Court by means of foreign agent organizations rather than going through the proper diplomatic channels.” Peleg called this “an attempt to alter Israeli internal policy” and stressed that it “not only harms Israeli democracy and sovereignty but bolsters terrorism.”  Unfortunately, HaMoked is not the only group encouraging Palestinian terrorism benefitting from Soros money, either directly or indirectly via the New Israel Fund.

 

According to the Zionist Organization of America, the New Israel Fund that is backed by Soros once gave the International Solidarity Movement a stipend.  The International Solidarity Movement is known for supporting “Palestinian armed struggle” and is on record justifying “the need for terrorism.” In 2002, members of the group assisted terrorists taking refuge inside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.  In 2003, ISM activist Susan Barclay stated that the group works with both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, who are both recognized as terror organizations by the US State Department. That same year, 3 British terrorists who were associated with the ISM attacked Mike’s Place Bar in Tel Aviv, murdering 3 people. Also in 2003, an Islamic Jihad terrorist was arrested inside the ISM office in Jenin while being assisted by two ISM activists.  In 2008, ISM activist Richard David Hupper was convicted of providing material aid to Hamas. ISM was also involved in the Free Gaza Flotilla, which violently clashed with the Israeli Navy. According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry website, “ISM members take an active part in illegal and violent acts directed at IDF soldiers. At time, their acts are under the auspices of Palestinian terror organizations."

 

According to Algeimener, the New Israel Fund that is backed by Soros provided Social Television with $239,480 between 2010 and 2015. Social Television claimed that a terrorist who stabbed a 15-year-old boy and was shot fleeing the scene was a “victim of terrorism.” This was not an isolated incident. The New Israel Fund that is backed by Soros also funds the 972 Magazine blog …

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

 

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J STREET: PRO-PROGRESSIVE, NOT PRO-ISRAEL

Paul Miller

The Hill, Oct. 31, 2014

 

When the state of Israel buried three teenage boys kidnapped and brutally murdered by Hamas militants last summer, Rabbi Dov Zinger spoke of the heartache of the nation and Jews throughout world. Remembering the boys, he brought home the old quip, “two Jews, get three opinions,” declaring “two Jews, three opinions, one heart.”

 

The slain children of Israel brought the Jewish people together. Until recently the same could be said for the safety and security of the Jewish state. Even though Jews tend to regard disagreement and debate as a sport, the point of contention was existential: how to secure Israel in peace. The only rule of the U.S. version of the game was that Israel would never be a partisan issue. Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals should always support Israel’s right to exist and defend herself because it’s the right thing to do.

 

However, somebody has been trying to change the rules and in the process is creating a storm of anti-Israel sentiment blowing in from the Left. Since the self-proclaimed “pro-Israel, pro-peace” political action committee J Street joined the game, the cardinal rule has been broken. Israel has been made into a partisan cause – used as cover to elect the most anti-Israel candidates that donations can buy.

 

It’s no secret that some of the most vehemently anti-Israel money is behind J Street, most notably billionaire George Soros who once referred to his teenage years confiscating the property of Jews as "the happiest time of my life." Add the wallets of donors such as Genevieve Lynch, former board member of The National Iranian American Council, also known as the voice of the mullahs in Tehran, and Mehmet Celebi, who co-produced the abhorrently anti-Semitic film Valley of the Wolves, and you have a money trail that resembles funding for Hamas, not anything that would support the safety and security of Jews.

 

But in a world that still itches to scapegoat the Jews at every opportunity possible, common sense and decency will never prevail. Former Midwest political director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Rabbi Jonathan Greenberg, noted, “J Street was never intended to be a pro-Israel organization. Its purpose was to give [founder and president] Jeremy Ben-Ami a seat at the Progressive roundtable of the Democrat Party.”

 

Greenberg continued, “Ben-Ami has achieved his goal. But I must admit I never thought J Street would move as far to the left as they have. They are in bed with some real shady characters.” Advocates for the Jewish state have failed to fully expose where J Street’s money goes. They continue to scream George Soros at every opportunity – focused on incoming dollars. But J Street’s own website reveals its anti-Israel agenda – financial output – supporting elected officials and candidates that support U.S. taxpayers funding Hamas, contravening Israel’s basic right to defend herself.

 

Over the summer when Israel was saving countless civilian lives with the Iron Dome, the candidates J Street endorsed were the minority voices saying no to Israeli security. Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) – all J Street-endorsed officials – voted against funding. Another eight J Street endorsees abstained from supporting the Jewish state. J Street supported Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) who recently defended Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and advocated continuing U.S. taxpayer funding for Hamas as part of the Palestinian Unity Government. J Street claims on its website to endorse only candidates …

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

 

Contents                                                                                                                                                           

           

On Topic Links

 

A J Street Man On The Democratic Ticket: Michael Wilner, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 8, 2016— The rise of Tim Kaine, long aligned with J Street's worldview, is a significant milestone for the young lobby of a two-state solution.​ For seven and a half years, the policy advocates of J Street have felt blessed. Lobbying for diplomatic flexibility with Iran and for a tougher US line against Israel’s settlement activity, the liberal Jewish-American group has been repeatedly bolstered by a president who, prior to taking office, had a short track record on which to base support.

Clinton E-mails Show George Soros Gave Sec of State Foreign Policy Marching Orders: Raheem Kassam, Breitbart, Aug. 14, 2016— A series of message within the September 2015 State Department dump of Hillary Clinton e-mails show the Secretary of State of the United States received direct orders over U.S. foreign policy from none other than Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros.

A Soros Plan, A Marginalized Israel: Eli Lake, Bloomberg, Aug. 16, 2016— After the election of Barack Obama in 2009, the George Soros organization saw an opportunity to weaken the pro-Israel lobby's influence in Washington. So his Open Society Foundations began an ambitious project in 2009 to persuade Europe and the U.S. to "hold Israel accountable" for violations of international law.

George Soros Funds Radical Groups That Assist Palestinian Terrorists and Encourage Terrorism: Rachel Avraham, Jerusalem Online, Aug. 18, 2016— According to DC Leaks, Soros directly funds the radical New Israel Fund, Mossawa and Adalah. The New Israel Fund then in turn funds HaMoked and other groups that assist Palestinian terrorists.

 

AFGHANISTAN VS. PAKISTAN & THE THREAT OF ISLAMIC EXTREMISM

The Dilemma of Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: Muhammad Akbar Notezai, The Diplomat, Aug. 12, 2016— Speaking earlier this year at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs on “Continuing Search for Stability: Pakistan and Afghanistan,” noted Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid was quoted as saying by Dawn that Pakistan has made two “grievous mistakes” in its foreign policy.

Pakistan: The Rebirth of Jihad: Umer Ali, The Diplomat, Aug. 18, 2016— “Bharat ka aik ailaaj, al-jihad” (“The cure to India is nothing but jihad”), the crowd chanted at the start of Jamaat-e-Islami’s anti-India rally near Nasir Bagh, Lahore. The rally, which was destined for Wahga, on Pakistan’s side of the India-Pakistan border, was filled with a mix of emotions – anger, frustration, and hatred.

Afghanistan Is Finally Standing Up to Pakistan: Adam Gallagher, The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016— As the first president of Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai’s legacy will always be decidedly mixed. The famously mercurial Karzai masterfully navigated the traditional tribal politics of Afghanistan, but arguably laid the groundwork for much of the corruption and weak governance that plague the Afghan government today.

Afghanistan Still Hasn’t Recovered from the Soviet Invasion: Shawn Snow, The National Interest, Jul. 31, 2016— In mid-July, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford relayed to the media cautious optimism regarding the war effort in Afghanistan. Afghan security forces—reeling from a bloody 2015 fighting season, which witnessed the first collapse of a major population center since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001—appear to be making slow and steady progress on the battlefield, a rare piece of positive news emanating from the war-torn region.

 

On Topic Links

 

Over A Hundred US Troops Sent to Lashkar Gah to Battle Taliban: Sune Engel Rasmussen, The Guardian, Aug. 22, 2016

State Dept. Approves $60 Million Arms Sale to Afghanistan: Geoff Ziezulewicz, United Press International, Aug. 22, 2016

Pakistan's Hindus Protest Forced Conversions of Girls to Islam: Ayesha Tanzeem, Voice of America, August 11, 2016

Israel, Pakistan, UAE Join US Air Force Exercise: Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2016

 

 

THE DILEMMA OF PAKISTAN’S FOREIGN POLICY

Muhammad Akbar Notezai             

          The Diplomat, Aug. 12, 2016

 

 

Speaking earlier this year at the Pakistan Institute of International Affairs on “Continuing Search for Stability: Pakistan and Afghanistan,” noted Pakistani author Ahmed Rashid was quoted as saying by Dawn that Pakistan has made two “grievous mistakes” in its foreign policy. The first came at the end of the Cold War, he said, when Pakistan decided to “move proxy resources to Kashmir,” radicalizing the Kashmiri nationalist movement.”

 

The second major error, according to Rashid, came in 2003 when General Pervez Musharraf decided to resurrect the Afghan Taliban. This proved a shot in the arm for the Pakistani Taliban, and within several years local militants in Pakistan were “calling for the overthrow of the Pakistani state.” Increasingly, Pakistan was being accused by neighboring countries of providing safe sanctuaries for militants on Pakistani soil.

 

In the wake of the Taliban’s assault on Peshawar’s Army Public School at the end of 2014, it was widely believed that both the civil and military leaderships of Pakistan were keen to improve bilateral relations with its neighbors. The army launched a robust crackdown on militant groups in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and elsewhere in the country. As a result, complaints from Pakistan’s neighbors eased, even if they didn’t quite disappear entirely.

 

Meanwhile, Pakistan stayed out of the Yemen conflict, instead declaring that it would remain neutral. Then, in December last year, Islamabad surprised many observers when it announced that it opposed any attempt to topple Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime. Speaking with the media, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry said, “Pakistan is also against foreign military intervention in Syria and fully supports the territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic.”

 

These major developments have increasingly irked Saudi Arabia, which has at any rate been tilting toward Pakistan’s arch-rival India. But some independent analysts argued that Pakistan’s foreign policy was now changing for the better. They claimed that the country has now realized it can no longer use militant groups as an “extension of its national security policy.”

 

Unfortunately, the turnaround proved short-lived; militancy has once again strained the country’s ties with India and Afghanistan following tragic incidents in both countries, for which Pakistan was blamed. Ironically, Saudi Arabia, which has its own links to jihad, also raised doubts about Pakistan, with the Saudi Interior Ministry identifying the Jeddah bomber as Pakistani national Abdullah Qlazar Khan.

 

For their part, Pakistani authorities vigorously deny any connection to the attacks, and insist that their soil is not being used against other countries. They cite the Pathankot attack, noting that the director general of India’s National Investigation Agency, Sharad Kumar himself said that there was no evidence to suggest that the Pakistani government was involved.

 

Still, in recent months, Pakistan’s Defense Minister Khawaja Asif has spoken on television of his regret that relations with the U.S. are deteriorating, while criticizing Pakistan’s entry into the war of Afghanistan in 1979 to oust the Soviet Union and its nurturing of terrorists after 9/11, when the U.S. invaded Afghanistan.

 

Washington, D.C.-based political analyst and author Aparna Pande told The Diplomat: “There are two underlying principles of Pakistan’s foreign policy and these principles have remained paramount right from the creation of the country till today. The first is the desire to ‘escape India’ in the sense of creating a national identity that was anti-India. Thus, Pakistan has preferred to be referred to as a Greater Middle Eastern country not a South Asian one, because South Asian would mean accepting that Pakistan was part of the greater Indian civilization. The second principle underlying Pakistan’s policy is the desire for parity with India – not sovereign equality which every country has but parity – and this is specifically with respect to military parity (both conventional and nuclear) and economic parity.”

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

 

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PAKISTAN: THE REBIRTH OF JIHAD

Umer Ali

The Diplomat, Aug. 18, 2016

 

“Bharat ka aik ailaaj, al-jihad” (“The cure to India is nothing but jihad”), the crowd chanted at the start of Jamaat-e-Islami’s anti-India rally near Nasir Bagh, Lahore. The rally, which was destined for Wahga, on Pakistan’s side of the India-Pakistan border, was filled with a mix of emotions – anger, frustration, and hatred. It was attended by Jamaat-e-Islami’s top leadership, including its chief, Siraj-ul-Haq. Accompanying him was Hizbul Mujahideen’s chief, Syed Salahuddin.

 

Earlier in the day, vehicles full of Jamaat-e-Islami and Hizbul Mujahideen volunteers, announcing the rally and singing jihadi tarana, roamed freely around Lahore. Even before the rally, which was scheduled for July 31, camps set up by Jamaat-ud-Dawa and Hizbul Mujahideen could be seen outside the Punjab Assembly building on the Mall Road in Lahore. With full Islamic zeal and zest, the people at these camps chanted pro-Kashmir slogans, encouraging the common citizens to take arms against India.

 

This was only one of the many rallies and processions organized by Islamist groups in the past few weeks.

It all started after Indian forces in Kashmir killed the young militant separatist Burhan Wani. Wani, who belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen, was known for his tech-savvy methods, through which he preached jihad to the people of the valley. He gathered a huge following on social media platforms through his videos – one of the reasons his death sparked sudden outrage across the valley. According to media reports, around 50,000 Kashmiris attended his funeral prayers.

 

Following his funeral, Kashmir saw a series of clashes between the Kashmiri population and Indian forces. Around 62 people have been killed so far, with hundreds more injured. A curfew was imposed, mobile and internet services were jammed, and for a few days, most of the Kashmiri papers were forcefully stopped from being published. This renewed anti-India movement in Kashmir is often described as an indigenous movement, not sponsored by Pakistan. Burhan Wani is said to be the product of the very same movement. However, with Pakistan declaring him a martyr and Syed Salahuddin, head of Hizbul Mujahideen, holding rallies in Pakistan, a few eyebrows have been raised.

Former Pakistani ambassador to the U.S. Husain Haqqani says, “Every time there is unrest in the Kashmir valley, hopes are raised in Pakistan that the solution of the Kashmir issue is near and the jihadists become active.” Emphasizing the attempted hijacking of the Kashmiris’ struggle, he adds, “If anything, jihadi activism delegitimizes the demands of the Kashmiri people in international eyes. Unfortunately, the jihadists and their backers in Pakistan do not see the folly or failure of their policies.”

 

As the renewed protests in Kashmir erupted, it appeared to be a rebirth of jihadi organizations’ activities in Pakistan as well.

Jamaat-ud-Dawa was the first one to take the lead with its “Azadi Caravan.” Setting out from from Lahore on July 19, the caravan was destined to arrive in Islamabad on July 20. Stretching for several kilometers, the caravan consisted of buses, trucks, and cars. As the caravan traveled on the Grand Trunk road, it was received warmly in cities on the way, as participants kept joining the ranks. Buzzing with slogans like “Bharat ki barbadi tak, jang jaari rahay gi” (“The war will continue until India is destroyed”) …

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

                                                    

Contents                                                                                                                                           AFGHANISTAN IS FINALLY STANDING UP TO PAKISTAN        

                                                Adam Gallagher

The National Interest, Aug. 4, 2016

 

As the first president of Afghanistan following the toppling of the Taliban, Hamid Karzai’s legacy will always be decidedly mixed. The famously mercurial Karzai masterfully navigated the traditional tribal politics of Afghanistan, but arguably laid the groundwork for much of the corruption and weak governance that plague the Afghan government today. During his tenure, Karzai often made headlines by frequently excoriating Pakistan for harboring the Afghan Taliban and attempting to rule Kabul by proxy. When Ashraf Ghani, a former World Bank official and development specialist, came to power in 2014, he attempted to reset relations with Islamabad—even shelving a request for military assistance from India, Pakistan’s principal rival. It did not take him long to reconsider.

 

Less than a year into his tenure, Ghani reversed course, saying he believed Pakistan was conducting “undeclared war” on Afghanistan. Following a Taliban bombing that killed more than sixty people in Kabul in April, Ghani blasted Pakistan for providing sanctuary to the group and told the Afghan parliament he would complain to the United Nations Security Council if Islamabad failed to take action. “We don’t expect Pakistan to bring the Taliban to talks, but we ask the Pakistanis to fulfill the promises they made . . . and launch operations against the people who have sanctuaries in Pakistan,” he said. Ghani’s frustration with Pakistan’s lack of action has surely been stoked by the fact that since the U.S. military drawdown at the end of 2014, the Taliban surged, now controlling more territory in the country than at any time since the 2001 invasion, and civilian casualties continue to rise at alarming rates.

 

Back in May, when the late Taliban leader Mullah Mansour was killed by a U.S. drone strike, he was driving through the Baluchistan—a western Pakistani province bordering Iran—with a Pakistani passport. It is widely known that Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan, is home to the Quetta Shura, the leadership of the Afghan Taliban. There have been other prominent examples demonstrating that Taliban leaders have been operating in Pakistan. When Afghan officials met with Taliban delegates at the Pakistani resort of Murree in July 2015, it was widely known that they were traveling from within the country. Last year, the Afghan government revealed that the Taliban’s late leader, Mullah Omar, died in a hospital in Karachi, Pakistan in 2013. And if anyone questions the ability and willingness of the Pakistani intelligence services and military to aid and abet extremists, let’s not forget that Osama bin Laden was eventually found in Abbottabad, Pakistan, close to a military compound.

 

While Islamabad has long denied that it harbors and supports insurgent groups, a 2010 report by Matthew Waldman for the London School of Economics revealed more than just furtive cooperation. Indeed, “This goes far beyond just limited, or occasional support. This is very significant levels of support being provided by the ISI [Pakistan’s intelligence agency]. We're also saying this is official policy of that agency, and we're saying that it is very extensive,” Waldman said.

 

But the reality is that this support is an open secret. In a candid admission this March, Sartaj Aziz, a foreign policy adviser to Pakistan’s prime minister, told a crowd at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, “We have some influence on them [the Afghan Taliban] because their leadership is in Pakistan and they get some medical facilities, their families are here.”

Meanwhile this year, the Quadrilateral Coordination Group (composed of Pakistan, the United States, Afghanistan and China) has failed to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table during several rounds of…

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

 

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AFGHANISTAN STILL HASN’T RECOVERED FROM THE SOVIET INVASION

Shawn Snow                                   

The National Interest, Jul. 31, 2016

 

In mid-July, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford relayed to the media cautious optimism regarding the war effort in Afghanistan. Afghan security forces—reeling from a bloody 2015 fighting season, which witnessed the first collapse of a major population center since the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001—appear to be making slow and steady progress on the battlefield, a rare piece of positive news emanating from the war-torn region.

 

A multitude of factors are showing encouraging signs for the fledgling Afghan military. Afghan security forces are applying lessons learned to last year’s harrowing fighting season by reducing static checkpoints and pushing for more offensive operations. Prioritizing strategic terrain and pulling back forces from less populated regions, such as the withdrawal from Nowzad, has ushered in new offensive capabilities and strengths for Afghan security forces.

 

New technologies, to include a fixed-wing close air support platform—the A-29 Super Tucano—and the employment of surveillance drones, has bolstered the capabilities of Afghan forces and improved morale of fighting forces on the ground. President Obama approved new rules of engagement for U.S. forces operating in Afghanistan under the train, advise and assist Resolute Support mission, to assist their fellow host-nation forces in targeting the Taliban.

 

All of these steady improvements appear to be showing signs of relative success, as the number of attacks in the country has decreased and Afghan forces continue to conduct offensive combat operations to root out the Taliban.

 

Though the tactical improvements on the ground should be praised, they underscore a major issue regarding coverage of the conflict in Afghanistan: our nearsighted focus on military operations, and not on the political developments that are necessary for lasting peace and stability in the region. After fifteen years of war, the major social, economic and political dynamics that exacerbate tensions in the mountainous country are still very much prevalent in the country, and risk a relapse into the chaotic period that preceded the Soviet withdrawal in 1989.

 

Despite rhetoric emanating from the twenty-four-hour media cycle, the basic fundamentals of Afghanistan’s conflict have changed little since the rise of the Taliban in 1994. After the Soviet Union’s withdrawal in 1989 and the ending of financial assistance in 1992, Afghanistan descended into financial oblivion. The very foundation of Afghanistan’s economic system and livelihood prior to the Soviet Union’s intervention was primarily dependent on muscle labor and rural subsistence farming. The subsequent invasion wrecked a system of living that had endured for centuries, and was replaced with a war economy dependent on foreign aid, monetization and the displacement of rural societies into urban environments—groups that would eventually become dependent on state assistance and welfare.

The destruction of Afghanistan’s social fabric during the Soviet occupation, and the displacement of rural societies, would eventually breed resentment and fundamentalist groups throughout the country. The 1992 ending of financial aid was the culminating spark that would light the fire that gave rise to the Taliban …

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

 

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On Topic Links

 

Over A Hundred US Troops Sent to Lashkar Gah to Battle Taliban: Sune Engel Rasmussen, The Guardian, Aug. 22, 2016— More than a hundred US troops have been sent to Lashkar Gah to help prevent the Taliban from overrunning the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province, in what is thought to be the first US deployment to the embattled city since foreign troops withdrew in 2014.

State Dept. Approves $60 Million Arms Sale to Afghanistan: Geoff Ziezulewicz, UPI, Aug. 22, 2016— The U.S. State Department has approved a proposed $60 million sale to Afghanistan for a variety of weapons and equipment. Required notification was delivered to Congress Wednesday, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which oversees the U.S. Foreign Military Sales program, said in a statement.

Pakistan's Hindus Protest Forced Conversions of Girls to Islam: Ayesha Tanzeem, VOA, August 11, 2016—Human rights activists joined a call by some members of Pakistan's Hindu community to protest alleged forced conversions of Hindu girls to Islam on Thursday, officially deemed National Minorities Day in Pakistan. The call for protest in various Pakistani cities — as well as abroad in Toronto, New York and Houston —singled out an individual famously known by the alias Mian Mithu as the prime culprit for the alleged conversions.

Israel, Pakistan, UAE Join US Air Force Exercise: Yonah Jeremy Bob, The Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2016— Israel, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates began joint military exercises on Monday as part of the US Air Force’s elite Red Flag drill at Nellis Air Force Base in the Nevada desert. Countries without diplomatic relations are rarely seen in joint military exercises, but few nations would be likely to allow such concerns cause them to miss an opportunity to work with the US Air Force.