Month: September 2016

Frederick Krantz: As U.S. Election Looms, Terror Bombings at Home & Marginalization in M.E. Portend a Difficult Year Ahead





As U.S. Election Looms, Terror Bombings at Home & Marginalization in M.E. Portend a Difficult Year Ahead


Frederick Krantz



As the November Presidential election approaches, several recent events underline the U.S.’s increasingly dangerous domestic and foreign situations.


A series of bombing incidents (the perpetrator, an Afghan Muslim terrorist, was quickly caught) occurred across the September 17-18 weekend. One exploded pipe-bomb caused 29 casualties in Manhatten, another exploded harmlessly in a Jersey Shore town, and one, undetonated, was found in Elizabeth, New Jersey. 


And as the East Coast bombs went off, nine people in a St. Cloud, Minnesota knife-attack were wounded by an Islamic State-claimed killer shouting “Allahu akbar”. Shot and wounded, the attacker was taken into custody.


These multiple incidents—the first explosions in New York City since 9/11–once again brought home the deepening crisis of ongoing Islamist terrorism in America.  


And also, once again, municipal and state "authorities" were quick, initially, either to discount the attacks as (Islamic) terrorism or to downplay possible "external" (i.e., Islamic State) sources.


A subdued Hillary Clinton immediately counselled caution in attributing the assaults. But Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump, reflecting the public’s  reaction to these events (and the fact that they clearly strengthen his candidacy), immediately termed them terrorist bombings. Trump called for quick action to stem the widening incidence of Islamist terror across the U.S.


Abroad, over the same weekend, America’s disastrous Syrian policy (or, better, lack of policy) worsened, as yet another fragile cease-fire, tortuously negotiated by John Kerry with Bashar Assad’s Russian enablers, collapsed.   Assad refused to honor it, blocking emergency food convoys into besieged Aleppo, this as the Americans made a dreadful air-attack targeting mistake, resulting in over sixty Syrian army deaths.  


Although the US immediately admitted and apologized for the mistake, Assad claimed the US consciously targeted the Syria troops, and Russia called an emergency Saturday night Security Council meeting at the UN.


 (U.S. UN ambassador Susan Powers, sounding a bit like Gertrude in “the lady doth protest too much” scene from Hamlet, shrilly attacked the Russians, calling their action a “stunt” and “hypocritical”: one assumes Hillary Clinton’s infamous “reset” policy with Russia’s Putin, inaugurated as she assumed the Secretary of State title, is now definitively over.)


The Syrian situation is turning into a potentially explosive tinderbox, a Hobbesian bellum omnium contra omnes or “War of all against all”, which risks setting off a wider M.E. conflagration.  


U.S.-Russian and Turkish-Kurdish tensions are growing. magnified by conflicts between the various anti-Assad militias, the Islamic State “caliphate” and other Islamist forces, and Assad’s army and airforce, backed by Iranian and Hezbollah troops, And of course tensions with Israel, on both the northern Golan and southern Lebanon borders, must also be factored in.


Behind the Syrian scene, but very much part of it, is Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, which has already funneled ca. $35 billion (cash!) into the coffers of the world’s leading terror-supporting state (and hence into the bank-account of its pro-Assad Lebanese client, Hezbollah). 


Meanwhile both Iraq and Afghanistan are falling apart, and post-coup Turkey may well follow suit.  And Libya–already rent asunder (thanks to Hillary’s knocking off of Gaddafi without making provision for a replacement)—is replacing Turkey as the jumping-off point for continuing waves of Muslim migrants.  Desperately trying to escape an imploding Middle East, they seek entry into a Europe destabilized by the rise of nationalist political parties and still reeling from Britain’s E.U. “Brexit”.  


To these disastrous M.E. Obama-Clinton foreign policy debacles must be added the unchecked and aggressive Chinese South China Sea expansion, “crazy state” North Korea’s nuclear and intercontinental missile tests, Iran’s risky Persian Gulf challenges to the U.S. Navy, and  Russia’s ongoing threat to Ukraine and the Baltic states.


And these foreign policy woes are aggravated by a continuingly sluggish American economy yet to return to pre-2008 recession levels. Real unemployment is estimated at well above the official 4.9-5.0% rate, ninety-five million people are either unemployed or have ceased looking for work, and the national debt is rapidly approaching $20 trillion.


Hence the coming American election, now two months away, is of decisive importance. A period of global and regional instability and tension may well be upon us, as–no matter who wins–the new President will surely be tested by powerful adversaries sensing any indecision or weakness.


As the ancient Chinese curse has it, May you live in interesting times.  Still, for those of us who, products of an even older civilization, have lived to see the miracle of reborn Israel, let us hope and pray that the New Year 5777, arriving this month, will bring peace and only good things for us and for Israel. And let us, as our Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible, enjoins, Choose life.


         (Prof. Frederick Krantz, Editor of the Isranet Daily Briefing, is

President & Director of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research)








AFP, 13 Nov., 2015


 Le nouveau Premier ministre du Canada Justin Trudeau s’est dit « inquiet » jeudi de la mise en oeuvre par l’UE de l’étiquetage des produits originaires des colonies israéliennes dans les Territoires palestiniens occupés. « Je me suis souvent exprimé contre le désir de sanctionner et de boycotter Israël par le mouvement BDS (Boycott, Désinvestissement, Sanctions, NDRL) et autres, je continue de m’inquiéter des initiatives qui semblent cibler Israël plutôt que d’autres pays », a déclaré M. Trudeau en conférence de presse.


« Je pense que c’est important que les consommateurs puissent avoir l’information sur la provenance de leurs produits, mais dans un contexte global et pas dans un contexte qui cible précisément un pays ou un autre », a-t-il ajouté. L’UE a approuvé mercredi cette décision, débattue depuis 2012, qui vise à informer les consommateurs européens de l’origine des produits qu’ils consomment, conformément à la législation commerciale de l’UE, selon la Commission.


Elle porte désormais l’obligation à l’industrie alimentaire et à la distribution de mentionner spécifiquement sur les étiquettes que les marchandises viennent des implantations, qui pour l’UE ne font pas partie du territoire d’Israël. Or, aujourd’hui; les produits des implantations israéliennes sont étiquetés comme fabriqués en Israël.


Les marchandises concernées, en majorité des produits agricoles (fruits, légumes, vins) et des cosmétiques, représentent « moins de 1 % » du total des échanges commerciaux entre l’UE et Israël, soit 154 millions d’euros en 2014, selon des chiffres de la Commission.  




Raphael Ahren                                                     

Times of Israel, 5 Nov., 2015



Le Canada travaillerait pour une politique plus équilibrée au Moyen-Orient, ce qui inclurait de tendre la main vers le monde arabe, a annoncé le nouveau ministre des Affaires étrangères du pays mercredi.

« Israël est un ami, il est un allié, mais pour que nous soyons un allié efficace nous devons aussi renforcer nos relations avec les autres partenaires légitimes dans la région », a déclaré Stéphane Dion pendant une entrevue accordée quelques heures après avoir prêté serment.


« Par exemple, nous avons besoin de renforcer nos relations avec le Liban et cela va aider le Liban, mais aussi Israël. Pour être utile, vous avez besoin de renforcer votre relation avec les autres partenaires légitimes et c’est ce que nous allons faire ». Ottawa cherche à être plus équilibré, « plus ouvert » et plus « efficace » dans sa politique étrangère, a-t-il déclaré sur les ondes de Radio-Canada dans une autre interview.






                                                           4 juillet, 2016



Le Premier ministre d'Israël commence une visite de quatre jours dans quatre pays africains: Ouganda, Kenya, Rouanda et Éthiopie. Question: cette visite constitue-t-elle un tournant dans les relations entre les États africains et Israël ?


Réponse: Il s'agit moins d'un tournant que de la confirmation au grand jour de changements en cours depuis des années. Après leur indépendance, les États africains du sud du Sahara ont établi d'excellentes relations avec Israël. Sous la pression des États arabes et la promesse d'une aide (qui n'est jamais venue), ces États ont rompu leurs relations diplomatiques avec Israël après la Guerre de Kippour en 1973. La plupart d'entre eux ont conservé des liens économiques. Dans les années 1990, les relations diplomatiques ont ete rétablies. En septembre 2009, Avigdor Lieberman, alors ministre des affaires étrangères, aujourd'hui ministre de la défense, a visité officiellement cinq pays africains dont plusieurs sont à nouveau les hôtes d'Israël: Éthiopie, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Ouganda. Depuis les relations n'ont cessé de s'améliorer.


– Comment expliquez-vous cette amélioration? Le continent africain, comme le reste du monde, constate le désintérêt des États-Unis sous la présidence d'Obama à leur égard. La puissance montante en Afrique est la Chine, omniprésente, faisant des investissements colossaux, envoyant, si nécessaire, sa propre main d'oeuvre en Afrique, bref colonisant l'Afrique. Du Moyen-Orient, deux États s'intéressent à l'Afrique, l'Arabie Saoudite et l'Iran. Les deux ont les fonds nécessaires, surtout l'Iran grace à l'accord avec les États-Unis, les deux interviennent dans les affaires intérieures des États, dont plusieurs sont aux prises avec des mouvements terroristes musulmans, les deux font du prosélytisme, soit pour le sunnisme, soit pour le chiisme, pour assoir leur présence dans les États africains. La présence d'Israël permet d'équilibrer le jeu diplomatique. Pour les pays africains, il y a intérêt à avoir des relations avec des États, qui par ailleurs sont en totale opposition: Arabie Saoudite, Iran, Israël.


– Pouvez-vous préciser l'aspect sécuritaire? Plusieurs États sont confrontés à des mouvements terroristes: Boko Haram, El Shabaab, Al Kaida etc. Ces mouvements ont des liens troubles avec Arabie et Iran. Par contre Israël est clairement du côté des États légitimes contre les terroristes. Israël exporte du matériel de sécurité, échange des renseignements sur les menaces terroristes, bref aide les pays africains dans leur combat pour la liberté. Il y a déjà, avant la visite, une coopération sécuritaire Israël – Nigeria, Kenya, Ouganda, Éthiopie, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Erythrée.


– Ce rapprochement dans la lutte antiterroriste a-t-il des conséquences diplomatiques? Sans aucun doute. En septembre 2015, l'Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique devait se prononcer sur une résolution anti-Israël. À la surprise générale, cette résolution a été battue 61-43. Le décompte des voix africaines a révélé un changement majeur: au lieu de l'unanimité contre Israël, seuls 7 États ont voté contre Israël, 8 étaient absents, 17 se sont abstenus et 4 ont voté pour Israël: Burundi, Kenya, Rouanda, Togo. À cette dimension diplomatique, s'ajoutent des échanges concernant la lutte contre la désertification, l'agriculture, la santé, le développement économique etc.


– Qui en sort gagnant? Les relations entre l'Afrique et Israël constituent un cas peu courant où les deux parties en sortent gagnantes. Israël a intérêt à diversifier ses relations, en particulier avec un continent qui connaît un dynamisme politique et économique, les États africains qui souhaitent la tranquillité, la stabilité et l'essor économique ont intérêt à avoir des relations cordiales avec un pays qui peut les aider mais ne peut pas les dominer comme le font les autres intervenants. Les deux ont connu un passé difficile, Juifs et Noirs ont été victimes de racisme, les deux ont une vision commune de l’avenir, raisons de plus pour envisager avec optimisme les relations entre Afrique et Israël.





Times of Israel, 20 jan., 2016




Isaac Herzog, le chef de l’opposition et le président du parti de l’Union sioniste, a déclaré mercredi que la solution à deux Etats n’est pas une option réaliste dans un avenir proche. « Je ne vois pas une possibilité pour le moment de mettre en œuvre la solution à deux Etats », a-t-il déclaré à la radio militaire. « Je veux y aspirer, je veux aller vers elle, je veux des négociations, je veux le signer et je m’y suis obligé, mais je ne vois pas la possibilité de le faire pour le moment ».


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


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


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

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


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


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




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.




Nathalie Boehler

I24, 2 juillet, 2016



Elie Wiesel, écrivain, philosophe, Prix Nobel de la paix et célèbre survivant de l'Holocauste est mort samedi à l'âge de 87 ans, a annoncé Yad Vashem, le mémorial de la Shoah à Jérusalem, sur son compte twitter. De nationalité américaine mais issu d'une famille juive orthodoxe hongroise, Elie Wiesel avait notamment écrit "La voix" en 1955, un livre autobiographique où il raconte son expérience dans les camps d'Auschwitz et Buchenwald.


Né en Roumanie, il avait été déporté à l'âge de 15 ans dans le camp d'Auschwitz-Birkenau où il a perdu ses parents et l'une de ses sœurs. Il racontera le récit de cette déportation dès l'âge de 30 ans, avec "La Nuit". Il partira ensuite aux États-Unis où il poursuivra une carrière d'universitaire avant d'obtenir la nationalité américaine en 1968.


Le Premier ministre israélien Banyamin Netanyahou a déclaré samedi soir être heureux d'avoir eu l'honneur "de connaître Wiesel personnellement". "Wiesel représente la victoire de l'esprit humain sur la cruauté et le mal, par son extraordinaire personnalité et ses livres fascinants", a déclaré le Premier ministre.


"Dans l'obscurité de la Shoah, où nos sœurs et nos frères ont été tués – six millions – Elie Wiesel a été un rayon de lumière et un exemple d'humanité qui croyait en la bonté des hommes", a-t-il ajouté. En 2013, l'ancien président israélien Shimon Peres lui avait remis une médaille présidentielle de distinction lors d'une cérémonie émouvante à New York.


L'écrivain avait reçu cette distinction pour avoir été "un survivant de la Shoah qui pendant des décennies a travaillé pour garder vivante la mémoire de la Shoah à travers le monde et en est devenu le chef de file aux États-Unis d'Amérique", selon une déclaration du bureau de Peres. Ce militant des droits de l'Homme avait reçu le Prix Nobel de la paix en 1986, essentiellement pour son soutien des populations opprimées à travers le monde.


Peu de temps après avoir reçu cet honneur, il avait fondé la Fondation Elie Wiesel pour l'humanité, avec notamment pour objectifs le dialogue entre les peuples et la mémoire de l'Holocauste. "Juif résidant aux Etats-Unis, je me suis longtemps interdit d'intervenir dans les débats intérieurs de l'Etat d'Israël. Ayant vécu ce que j'ai vécu et écrit ce que j'ai écrit, je crois que mon devoir moral est simplement et inévitablement de l'aider, dans la mesure du possible, à atteindre le bonheur et la stabilité sans entraîner le malheur autour de lui", avait déclaré l'écrivain dans un article paru dans le journal Le Monde en 2001.


"Et de l'aimer dans la joie aussi bien que dans la tristesse. Par-delà les frontières, je considère son destin comme étant mien puisque ma mémoire est liée à son histoire", avait-il ajouté.


Elie Wiesel revenait également sur l'importance qu'il portait à la ville qui inspira son roman "Le Mendiant de Jérusalem" publié en 1968, un an après la guerre des six jours qui permit à Israël de conquérir la vielle ville de Jérusalem sous occupation jordanienne.


"Plus de 600 fois mentionnée dans la Bible, Jérusalem est ancrée dans la tradition juive dont elle représente l'âme collective et le repère national. Existe-t-il une religion ou une histoire où Jérusalem joue un rôle plus continu et occupe une place plus exaltée?", se demandait-il. "C'est elle qui nous lie les uns aux autres. Aucune prière n'est plus belle, ni plus nostalgique que celle qui évoque sa splendeur passée et le souvenir accablant de sa destruction", écrivait Wiesel. Outre une quinzaine de romans, Elie Wiesel est l'auteur de quatre pièces de théâtre et de nombreux essais traitant de sujets d'actualité et de judaïsme.






Nathalie Sosna-Ofir

Actualité juive, 31 mai 2016


Une initiative qui s’inscrit dans le développement des relations économiques entre Israël et la Chine souhaité par le Premier ministre Benjamin Netanyahou et Liu Yandong, la vice-première ministre chinoise au cours de sa visite à Jérusalem le 29 mars dernier. Une visite durant laquelle les deux pays ont même décidé d’une zone de libre échange, opérationnelle d’ici à deux ans, qui devrait multiplier par deux le volume d’échanges – 8 milliards actuellement – entre Israël et la Chine, troisième partenaire économique de l’Etat hébreu.

Ces jours-ci, Netafim a donc inauguré sa première usine à Yinchuan, en présence, entre autres, de  Matal Vilnaï, l’ambassadeur israélien de Zeng Yichun, vice-gouverneur de la région du Ningxia, de Stephan Tize, PDG de Netafim Asie-Pacifique et de David Zeng, directeur général Netafim Chine. « L’ouverture de cette usine de pointe s’inscrit dans notre volonté d’investir en Chine, l’un de nos marchés les plus prometteurs » a déclaré Ran Maidan, le président directeur-général de Netafim. Y seront produites des lignes d’égouttement des plus performantes au monde et des systèmes d’irrigation qui permettront la réduction des coûts liés à l’utilisation de l’eau tout en préservant la qualité des cultures notamment viticoles très réputées de la région. « Netafim va nous assurer un soutien technologique précieux et une économie significative d’eau » a confirmé Li Jianhua, secrétaire du conseil de la province alors que l’ambassadeur israélien s’est, lui, félicité de la coopération agricole solide établie entre Israël et le Ningxia. 







Raphael Ahren

Times of Israel, 28 sept. 2016



Quelques instants après la propagation de l’annonce de la mort de Shimon Peres dans le monde entier mercredi matin, les hommages ont commencé à affluer des dirigeants internationaux.



« Il y a peu de personnes avec lesquelles nous partageons ce monde et qui changent le cours de l’histoire humaine, pas simplement à travers leurs rôles dans les évènements humains, mais parce qu’elles étendent notre imagination morale et nous forcent à attendre plus de nous-mêmes. Mon ami Shimon était une de ces personnes », a écrit le président américain Barack Obama, qui devrait assister aux obsèques de Peres vendredi à Jérusalem, dans son hommage à la mémoire du prix Nobel de la Paix.


« Shimon était l’essence d’Israël lui-même, le courage du combat d’Israël pour l’indépendance, l’optimisme qu’il partageait avec son épouse Sonya pendant qu’ils faisaient fleurir le désert, et la persévérance qui l’a mené à servir sa nation à quasiment tous les postes du gouvernement pendant toute la vie de l’Etat d’Israël », a-t-il déclaré.


Peres a travaillé avec chaque président américain depuis John F. Kennedy, a noté Obama, ajoutant que « personne n’a fait plus pendant tant d’années que Shimon Peres pour construire l’alliance entre nos deux pays. »


« Une lumière s’est éteinte, mais l’espoir qu’il nous a donné brillera toujours, a continué Obama. Shimon Peres était un soldat pour Israël, pour le peuple juif, pour la justice, pour la paix, et pour la croyance que nous pouvons être vrais pour être le meilleur de nous-mêmes, jusqu’à nos derniers jours sur Terre, et dans l’héritage que nous laissons aux autres. Pour le cadeau de son amitié et l’exemple de son leadership,toda raba Shimon. »


Le secrétaire général des Nations unies Ban Ki-moon a rendu hommage à Peres, un homme qui « a travaillé sans relâche pour une solution à deux états qui permettrait à Israël de vivre en sécurité et en harmonie avec les Palestiniens et la région, un engagement dûment reconnu quand il a partagé le Prix Nobel de la Paix 1994 avec Yitzhak Rabin et Yasser Arafat. »


Le défunt président israélien était « un bon partenaire des Nations unies, impatient de voir Israël contribuer aux travaux de la communauté internationale », a déclaré Ban dans un communiqué.


« Même dans les heures les plus difficiles, il est resté optimiste sur les perspectives de réconciliation et de paix », a-t-il déclaré.


Louant « une icône de la scène mondiale », les présidents de l’Union et de la Commission européennes, Donald Tusk et Jean-Claude Junker, ont insisté sur ses qualités humaines : « Il était un homme d’une extrême intelligence, d’humour, de charme, de force de travail et d’engagement ».


Federica Mogherini, responsable de la politique étrangère de l’Union européenne, a déclaré qu’elle avait le « cœur brisé » d’apprendre le décès de Peres, une « immense source d’inspiration ».

Sur Twitter, elle a ajouté que le « seul moyen d’honorer [sa] mémoire » est de travailler à une solution à deux états.


Le président russe Vladimir Poutine a salué mardi la mémoire de Shimon Peres, l’ancien président israélien et prix Nobel de la paix mort dans la nuit de mardi à mercredi, rendant hommage à son « courage » et à son « sens de la patrie ».

« J’ai à de nombreuses reprises eu la chance de m’entretenir avec cet homme merveilleux. A chaque fois, j’ai admiré son courage, son sens de la patrie, sa sagesse et sa vision à long terme », a déclaré M. Poutine, cité par un communiqué du Kremlin.


Justin Trudeau, le Premier ministre canadien, a déclaré sur Twitter que « Shimon Peres était, par-dessus tout, un homme de paix. Mes plus profondes condoléances à ses proches et au peuple d’Israël ».


La conférence du Labour britannique a rendu hommage à Shimon Peres avec une minute de silence, a écrit sur Twitter un porte-parole de l’ambassade israélienne à Londres.


Hillary Clinton, la candidate démocrate à la présidentielle américaine, et son époux, l’ancien président Bill Clinton, ont déploré la perte d’un dirigeant qui a défendu la « sécurité, la prospérité et les possibilités illimitées [de son pays] de sa naissance à son dernier jour sur Terre. » Ils ont déclaré avoir perdu un « ami chéri et sincère ».


« Je n’oublierai jamais combien il était heureux il y a 23 ans lorsqu’il a signé les accords d’Oslo sur la pelouse de la Maison Blanche, ouvrant une ère d’espoir dans les relations israélo-palestiniennes », ont-ils déclaré.


« C’était un génie au grand cœur qui utilisait ses dons pour imaginer un futur de réconciliation, pas de conflit, d’autonomie économique et sociale, pas de colère et de frustration, et une nation, une région, et un monde amélioré par le soin et le partage, pas déchiré en morceaux par les illusions d’une dominance permanente et une vérité parfaite. Ses critiques disaient qu’il était un rêveur. Il l’était ; un rêveur lucide, éloquent, jusqu’à la toute fin. Dieu merci. Laissons ceux d’entre nous qui l’aimaient et aime sa nation garder son rêve vivant. »


Le prédécesseur de Bill Clinton à la présidence, George H.W. Bush, a déclaré que lui et son épouse, Barbara, saluaient « la vie unique de service [de Peres], à la cause universelle de la liberté, à la cause éternelle d’Israël, à la cause la plus noble de la paix. »


Encore et encore, Peres « a aidé à guider son pays bien aimé dans l’épreuve des défis mortels. Mais c’était avec son humanité innée, sa décence, que Shimon a inspiré le monde et aidé à paver une voie vers la paix assez large pour que les futures générations y marchent un jour, côte-à-côte. »


« Shimon Peres appartient désormais à l’Histoire, qui a été la compagne de sa longue vie », a déclaré le président français François Hollande.


« Avec la mort de Shimon Peres, Israël perd un de ses hommes d’Etat les plus illustres, la paix un de ses plus ardents défenseurs, et la France un ami fidèle. »


Le président de l’Allemagne, Joachim Gauck, a lui souligné que « Shimon Peres a marqué Israël comme aucun autre politique ». « Il a servi son pays dans différentes fonctions avec des principes solides lorsqu’il s’agissait de la sécurité d’Israël, et une volonté forte lorsqu’il s’agissait de faire avancer le processus de paix avec les Palestiniens ». Pour Gauck, « sa vie au service de la paix et de la réconciliation peut être un exemple pour les jeunes ».


C’est « un homme qui avait vu la guerre et qui pour cette raison construisait la paix », a résumé le président du conseil italien, Matteo Renzi, en saluant un « grand ami de l’Italie ».


Le Premier ministre indien Narendra Modi a déclaré sur Twitter que « dans l’ancien président Shimon Peres, nous avons perdu un important dirigeant mondial et un ami de l’Inde. Peiné par sa disparition. Nos condoléances au peuple d’Israël. »


Le président colombien Juan Manuel Santos, le président mexicain, les dirigeants et ministres des Affaires étrangères et les ambassadeurs du monde entier se sont exprimés après la mort de Shimon Peres.


L’ancien Premier ministre et président du Quartette pour le Moyen Orient Tony Blair a déclaré que Peres était « un géant politique, un homme d’Etat qui se classe comme l’un des plus importants de son époque, ou de toute époque, et quelqu’un que j’aimais profondément. »


Les hommages des capitales occidentales contrastent avec l’absence de réactions officielles au Moyen-Orient, à l’image de l’Egypte, le premier pays arabe à avoir signé un accord de paix avec Israël.

Le gouvernement sud-africain a déclaré à propos de l’ancien président Shimon Peres :


« Le monde entier s’est réveillé au son de la triste nouvelle du décès de Shimon Peres, ancien président de l’État d’Israël. Bien qu’il ait été sérieusement malade ces deux dernières semaines, depuis son hospitalisation le 13 septembre dernier, nous gardions espoir qu’il se remette.


L’ancien président Peres restera dans nos mémoires pour son indéfectible engagement dans la solution à deux états avec la Palestine, solution qui n’est malheureusement pas près de se réaliser.


Le président Peres fait partie de ces rares politiciens qui ont laissé la raison transformer leurs réflexions sur la question d’un état palestinien.


Le regretté M. Peres restera dans nos mémoires pour le rôle qu’il a joué dans le développement et les résultats des accords d’Oslo, avec le regretté président Yasser Arafat et le premier ministre Yitzhak Rabin, pour lesquels ils ont mérité le Prix Nobel de la Paix en 1994.


Le peuple d’Afrique du Sud a eu la chance de le recevoir lors de sa visite l’an dernier.


Le gouvernement et le peuple sud-africain se joignent à la communauté internationale dans le deuil du regretté chef d’État, cet architecte de la paix.


Alors que nous évoquons le souvenir de M. Peres, nous appelons les Israéliens et les Palestiniens à reprendre des négociations authentiques afin de mettre en œuvre les visions des présidents Arafat, Rabin et Peres, qui ont pris naissance à Oslo il y a plus de 20 ans. C’est le plus bel hommage que l’on peut faire à la vie et à la mémoire du président Peres. »


Les condoléances ont aussi afflué des organisations juives. La Ligue anti-diffamation (ADL) a salué Peres, un homme d’Etat et dirigeant important d’Israël, qu’il a servi le plus longtemps. « Sa voix de clairon, son sens politique et sa sagesse nous manqueront profondément », a déclaré le groupe.




Agence France-Presse AFPQC, Huffington Post

Sept. 25, 2016


Une présidence Trump reconnaîtra Jérusalem comme capitale indivisible de l’Etat d’Israël, a déclaré dimanche le candidat républicain à la Maison Blanche, lors d’une rencontre avec le Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu à New York, selon sa campagne.


Cette rencontre privée de plus d’une heure s’est tenue chez M. Trump, dans la tour Trump à New York, a précisé sa campagne, et a permis d’aborder “de nombreux sujets importants pour les deux pays”.


“M. Trump a reconnu que Jérusalem est la capitale éternelle du peuple juif depuis plus de 3 000 ans, et que les Etats-Unis, sous une administration Trump, accepteront finalement le mandat de longue date du Congrès de reconnaître Jérusalem comme la capitale indivisible de l’Etat d’Israël”, a précisé la campagne du candidat républicain dans un communiqué.




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Machla Abramovitz (Mishpacha Magazine)

Prof. Frederick Krantz (Director, CIJR)

Prof. Ira Robinson (Concordia U.)

Prof. Harold Waller (McGill U.)




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Congregation Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem

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Shimon Peres — the Eternal Optimist: Rafael Barak, National Post, Sept. 29, 2016— In April 1993, I got a phone call that would change my life. I was the deputy head of mission at Israel’s embassy in Belgium.

Remembering Shimon Peres, the Israeli Patriot: Yossi Beilin, Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2016 — Shimon Peres was an optimist.

Rosh Hashana 5777: Gratitude and Optimism: Isi Leibler, Candidly Speaking, Sept. 30, 2016   — We are confronted by a multitude of security threats and diplomatic challenges but the prophets of doom and gloom are selective and masochistic.

Rosh Hashanah: Do We Dare to Blow the Shofar?: Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2016 — Something strange happens on Rosh Hashanah.


On Topic Links


5 Feel-Good Stories From Israel in 5776: Andrew Tobin, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2016

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Passing of Former President Peres (Video): Breaking Israel News, Sept. 28, 2016

World Leaders Mourn Israel’s Shimon Peres, Praise Him as a Man of Peace: Danica Kirka, Globe & Mail, Sept. 28, 2016

This Toronto Doctor’s Holocaust Saga ‘Should be Remembered Forever’ – and Others Will Be Too: Tu Thanh Ha, Globe & Mail, Sept. 28, 2016




Rafael Barak

                                                National Post, Sept. 29, 2016


In April 1993, I got a phone call that would change my life. I was the deputy head of mission at Israel’s embassy in Belgium. On the other end of the line was my deputy minister, who shared a request from foreign minister Shimon Peres, asking me to leave my post and fly to Israel as soon as possible. No other details were given, but when Peres calls, you say yes and ask questions later.


I arrived back in Jerusalem to learn that I was to serve as chief coordinator for the Oslo peace talks with the Palestinians, which at the time were being held behind closed doors. For the next three years, it was my job to follow the agendas of the negotiating teams, which were led by deputy foreign minister Uri Savir and legal adviser Joel Singer, and inform our superiors, prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Peres, on our progress.


This gave me a unique window into Peres as a leader and as a man. Although he was 70 years old, he exuded energy. I recall fondly how we ended long days of meetings by going back to his office. Everyone in the room, most of whom were 20 or 30 years younger than Peres, would fall back into the couches, exhausted and ready for bed. Peres, however, would stand up, ask us why we were so tired and then lead us through a round of jumping jacks.


My time with Peres was the formative period of my life. I am proud to call him a mentor and his vision inspires me to this day. He woke up every day of his life with one goal in mind: to serve the country he loved. In his early years, he helped lay the foundation for an independent, democratic Jewish state. His first priority was to build up Israel’s defence capabilities, so that we could live within safe, secure borders.


He was a leader who fought for Israel’s security, but he also became a champion of peace. He was a tireless advocate of peaceful coexistence with Israel’s neighbours. His Nobel Peace Prize was a testament to how his message of hope transcended Israel, affecting the hearts of Arab leaders in our region and inspiring people from around the world. In his pursuit of peace during his second term as prime minister, I had the privilege of organizing the first official visit of an Israeli leader to numerous Arab capitals and of travelling with him to Oman and Qatar. I will forever remember how our bodies shivered when Israel’s anthem, Hatikvah, was played by Arab military bands.


His vision also made him an early advocate of the important role of science and technology. He understood that innovation was more than just about improving the economy, it was about improving life for future generations. Well before the term “Startup Nation” became part of Israel’s daily lexicon, Peres inspired me to think about how new developments, such as nanotechnology and neuroscience, could improve Israel’s standing in the world.


When I was named ambassador to Canada in 2013, it was president Peres who handed me my credentials. This was only fitting, given our connection and his direct role in establishing the roots of Canada and Israel’s bilateral relationship, especially in the areas of science and innovation. It was foreign minister Peres whose initiative led to the Canada-Israel Industrial Research Foundation in the mid-1990s and president Peres who played a key role in connecting Israeli and Canadian scientists, especially in the area of brain research. Over my tenure, I am proud to have helped strengthen these ties. Today, it is hard to find a Canadian university that is not connected to Israel. And many of Canada’s top companies — including BlackBerry, MDA, Magna International and Bombardier — have some links to Israel’s innovation sector.


The pride that fills me when I reminisce about Shimon Peres’ impact on my career, the state of Israel and the Canada-Israel relationship is immediately followed by great sadness. He represented the vision, hope, courage, innovation and colourful vibrancy that is Israel. He was an eternal optimist, who was never discouraged, despite the political challenges he faced. I feel privileged to have known him and it is hard for me to think about a future without him. As we honour his life, I am heartened by the knowledge that his legacy of peace and his vision for a better future will live on forever.





REMEMBERING SHIMON PERES, THE ISRAELI PATRIOT                                                                       

Yossi Beilin                                                                                                  

Washington Post, Sept. 28, 2016


Shimon Peres was an optimist. Not somebody who believed that everything would be OK at the end of the day, but someone who trusted that if you do the right things, you can change a situation for the better. Not a daydreamer, not a detached visionary, but a shrewd politician who knew what he wanted and how to achieve it.


When I came to know him, it seemed to me obvious that he was a politician with an agenda, but it took me a while to understand that this was unusual. Today I can testify: most politicians come to office simply in order to be there. When asked why, they say vague things about making their country better. But Peres was in politics for a reason: to ensure that his Israel was safe, both by creating the best means of deterrence and by promoting peaceful relations with our neighbours.


In his youth, Peres was considered a technocrat. He was a member of a generation born in the 1920s who were sick and tired of the socialist ideology of David Ben Gurion’s generation. They were proud of being pragmatic. When he was much older, he was portrayed as a dreamer or even as naive. In the 1960s, he was not ready to use the label “social democracy” in the Israeli Labor Party platform, but in 1978, he became the vice-president of Socialist International. In the 1970s, he was a staunch supporter of settlements in the occupied territories. Later, as the leader of the Labor Party and the opposition, he became very critical of these settlements and was perceived by many as a dove, and by a few as a traitor. Yigal Amir, the murderer of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, testified that his next target was to be Peres.


In the ’90s, when I told Peres — I was his deputy in the foreign ministry at that time — about my secret efforts to negotiate an interim agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization in Oslo, he could have easily told me that it was a rogue operation without his authorization. But instead he immediately hugged the embryonic idea and went to Rabin to get the green light to continue, because he believed that the project was in the Israeli national interest.


His attitude toward the country was different from mine. I was born in Israel a few weeks after its establishment; he was there at its cradle. For me, the military and economic achievements of my country, as its success at absorbing Jewish immigrants in a number twice the size of its original population in 1948, were a given. For him, everything was a kind of miracle. If my love for Israel is the love of a son, his was the love of a father, who admires every move made by his child — including those that may not deserve this admiration objectively. We had our differences. It was difficult for me to understand why he thought that the illegal settlements in the occupied territories could contribute to our security. I was very much against the Israeli Labor Party joining the government of Ariel Sharon — the settlements’ father — and refused to serve on it. But even during that bitter collision, I knew that it was not personal for him. He believed deeply then that joining the government, after Ehud Barak’s defeat, was the only way to save Israel from the kind of ultra-rightist government that we have today.


He was wiser than most people I know. He had a wonderful sense of humour, even about himself. He had a kind of self-assurance that was never smug but enabled him to take bold decisions, such as the economic plan of 1985, which saved Israel from out-of-control inflation, or the decision to leave Lebanon once we couldn’t find a Lebanese partner for an agreement. Ben Gurion’s grandson once told me that he thought that his grandfather was the most important Israeli leader, but that Peres was the best prime minister, because he was both a visionary and an executive who knew how to achieve his goals. He was right.


Shimon Peres led a full life of achievements, despite the many difficulties he faced, and became the most famous Israeli in the world. A short time before becoming president, he visited New York. One evening, as he entered a Broadway theatre to see a show with friends, there was a standing ovation. At first, he didn’t understand what was happening, thinking the audience was applauding the actors, even though the show hadn’t started. Then he understood that the people stood for him. Shimon Peres, “Mr. Security,” the Israeli patriot who believed in peace, surely deserved it.                                         




ROSH HASHANA 5777: GRATITUDE AND OPTIMISM                                                                            

Isi Leibler                                                                                                             

Candidly Speaking, Sept. 30, 2016  


We are confronted by a multitude of security threats and diplomatic challenges but the prophets of doom and gloom are selective and masochistic. Israel is a democratic oasis in a region that has reverted to the Dark Ages and barbarism. We face ongoing terror throughout the land accompanied by direct threats from Iran and its satellite, Hezbollah, and we are aware that the only factor deterring these terrorist entities is the power of the Israel Defense Forces.


On the diplomatic front, despite the renewal of crucial long-term U.S. defence support, the Obama administration — at best — continues to treat Israel and the Palestinians with moral equivalence. There is concern that after the presidential elections, President Barack Obama may enable the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution that would undermine Israel’s central security requirements and negate her needs for defensible borders.


Many American Jewish leaders lack the will to resist and tend to be neutral. They feel that by criticising or distancing themselves from Israel, they will ingratiate themselves with their liberal friends for whom antipathy to Israel is a basic prerequisite. These trends also reflect the impact of intermarriage and confusion of Jewish values with universalistic rhetoric. Notwithstanding this disturbing trend, the overwhelming bulk of observant Jews remain committed to Israel. Unfortunately, any realistic hopes for a peace settlement are delusionary with the current Palestinian leadership. Yet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made major concessions that even Yitzhak Rabin vowed he would never permit, is being blamed for not finding a solution.


Nevertheless, as we move into the New Year 5777, we must resist pessimism and assess our situation in the context of the dramatic overall progress we have achieved in nearly every field. A review of the rest of the world reveals that today, nearly every nation is facing threats from Islamic fundamentalist terror. The situation for Jews in Europe, which only recently boasted that it had erased the alleged evils of nationalism, is appalling. Jews, more so than their neighbors, are subject to abuse, violence and terror attacks from crazed Islamic fanatics heightened by the ISIS terrorists who are imbedded among the millions of Middle East “refugees.” Even in the U.S., the “goldene medina,” Jews, especially university students, are experiencing an unprecedented intensification of overt anti-Semitism.


What would the future portend for us today were we reliant on the “sympathy” of the world and not empowered with a Jewish state that fights the battles for Jews everywhere and provides Diaspora Jews with the assurance that even if their world collapses, they will always find haven in Israel? The reality is that few of us appreciate that we live in an age of miracles no less dramatic than our Exodus from Egypt. We must be grateful that within the relatively short span of 68 years, we have not merely resurrected ourselves as a state and grown tenfold, but achieved one of the greatest national success stories in recorded history.


Holocaust survivors, persecuted Jews from Muslim countries, Jews suffering oppression in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Ethiopian Jews and others from all corners of the globe have participated in the ingathering of the exiles and have miraculously been molded into the dynamic, pulsating and resilient powerhouse that Israel represents today. We take for granted that the IDF is, by far, the most powerful military force in the region, capable of deterring and, if necessary, defeating the combined forces of all our adversaries.


We have no illusions about the flagrant bias and pogrom atmosphere generated against us at the United Nations. But our alliance with the American people, based on shared values, remains as strong as ever. Admittedly, anti-Israeli hostility from the radical wing of the Democratic Party has been heightened by Obama’s obsession to “create daylight” between Israel and the U.S. in order to appease the Muslim world. Yet this did not inhibit the extension of a 10-year military aid commitment which reinforces the premier alliance we enjoy with the U.S.


But beyond the alliance with the U.S., Israel under Netanyahu has deepened its relationship with a wide spectrum of nations over the past 12 months. Ironically, there is a hope that the remarkable and unprecedented relationship with Russia’s Putin could even be an additional factor deterring Iran and Hezbollah from renewing hostilities. The relationship with India has never been as strong as it is today and we have developed solid economic links with China, Japan and other East Asian countries. There have been remarkable diplomatic breakthroughs in Africa with the potential for major economic and political development, as well as a strengthening of relations in Latin America.


The most incredible change has been in our relationships with the moderate Sunni states. We are partnering with Egypt against Islamic fundamentalists in the Sinai Peninsula and President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has effectively praised Israel and publicly condemned Muslim extremism. There is even covert cooperation with the Saudis and the Gulf states, which recognize Israel as a critical element in the confrontation with the Iranians seeking regional hegemony. This has yet to be reflected in the foreign policies of these countries, which still tend to engage in ritual anti-Israeli condemnations. But one senses that in the not too distant future, the winds of change will also impact on their public postures. Beyond diplomacy, in the midst of global economic chaos, Israel’s economy has been outstandingly successful. Our ongoing progress in high-tech and biotech and our global contribution to cyber defense and security represent our biggest exports.


Two recent developments are amazing. The first is the discovery of gas fields, albeit ineptly handled politically, but which nevertheless presents a fantastic opportunity for us in economic and politically strategic terms which will soon be realized. The second, which we take for granted, is the remarkable success of our desalination program which provides 80 percent of our water needs and far exceeds that of any other country. It also represents yet another major contribution by Israel to global welfare.


But the greatest reason for us to rejoice is that we, from all ideological streams, are privileged to bring up our children as proud and committed Jews living in a Jewish state that provides a Jewish education, and in which the Hebrew language, culture and festivals create a unique Jewish lifestyle. This is encapsulated by a pulsating modern Hebrew language, which is the lingua franca for Jews from totally different cultures; religious studies in schools and yeshivot with more Jews familiar with the texts and teachings of Judaism than at any time in our history; and the privilege of living in a Jewish state where our youth does not experience the anti-Semitism that their Diaspora counterparts must increasingly endure.


Yes, we have a dysfunctional political system and societal squabbles. But we remain a democratic state and today there is a greater consensus than at any time since the disastrous Oslo Accords divided the nation. The vast majority recognize that a one-state solution would destroy us but also realize that we cannot make further territorial concessions until we have Palestinian leaders willing to make peace. In the meantime, despite opinions to the contrary, Israel has managed to flourish with the status quo since 1967, with surveys ranking Israelis among the happiest and most contented people in the world.


Notwithstanding a bigoted and obscurantist Chief Rabbinate and extremist haredi political parties, Israelis overall have become more observant and respectful of tradition. There is also every indication that over the next decade, economic pressures will have a profound impact on the ultra-Orthodox and will gradually bring about their integration into Israeli society. Our grandparents would not have remotely dreamed that immediately after the Holocaust, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a Jewish state would be created, and would within 70 years be the largest Jewish community in the world…                                                       

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




Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo

Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2016


Something strange happens on Rosh Hashanah. We spend hours declaring God’s majesty, using poetic and unique phrases. We refer to Him as the Ultimate King and Mover of this world. We ask Him to strengthen and reinforce His relationship with us and show us His omnipotence. But the ultimate prayer of this day is a sound that carries no words, and it is the only biblical commandment of the day: the blowing of the shofar. What is there in a sound that words cannot express? And why do we have this sound only once a year, on Rosh Hashana, when we remind ourselves of the Creation and of the radical new beginning in our lives; when we repent, turn over a new leaf, and recreate ourselves?


The blowing of the shofar proves that we can surpass ourselves. On our own, using our vocal cords, we are unable to produce this sound – a terrifying penetrating resonance. People can scream, howl, and wail, but nothing more than that. Their reach is limited. Alone, they cannot produce a sound that comes close to the piercing and penetrating heavenly voice of the shofar, which can cause human beings to break down, pick themselves up again, and transform into new individuals.


Not even a chazan’s liturgical solo, or an opera singer’s aria can touch us where the shofar’s vibrations do. The shofar carries us to places unreachable by the human word. It ignores walls and other obstacles, simply forging ahead, long after the human sound has come to an end. The shofar and the human voice are completely different from each other. The shofar, like a knife, tears our hearts open – just as when the Children of Israel encountered the original shofar sound at Sinai, before God introduced the Torah to them. An experience beyond. No voice can produce this sound or deliver such a powerful resonance. The only way a person can do it is by blowing a not-too-strong puff of breath into a small hole at one end of the shofar, which widens to a larger opening at the other end. This produces a sound of overwhelming power that pierces the heavens.


Suddenly, we are able to reach unreachable heights, when we are humble enough to admit that we cannot do it alone and we need help. But it is we who must activate this help. The shofar will not blow on its own. It needs the human’s puff – our participation and our effort – before it can move mountains. Whether or not the shofar will blow is up to us, but whether we can reach our own potential will be up to the shofar. Our humility, combined with our capacity to move beyond ourselves, is what makes us exceptional.


This is our great challenge. Will we remain complacent and stagnant, letting the shofar sit in the cupboard, and never daring to go beyond ourselves? Or, will we have the nerve to blow the shofar and produce something more that will move us and the world forward? Will we leave Judaism where it is, or will we constantly blow new life into it, impelling it to surpass itself and open new horizons? On Rosh Hashanah, when we recall the greatness of God and the Creation, the shofar challenges us to dare and go beyond, creating ourselves and Judaism anew. If we don’t respond to the challenge at this crucial hour, the sound will fall flat and die before it reaches its destination. Tizku leshanim rabot!


CIJR Wishes all our Friends & Supporters: Shana Tovah & Shabbat Shalom!

No Daily Briefing will be published on Monday or Tuesday




On Topic Links


5 Feel-Good Stories From Israel in 5776: Andrew Tobin, Times of Israel, Sept. 29, 2016 —The Jewish state has nearly made it through another Jewish year and, as always, there was plenty to kvetch about in 5776. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time to take stock and celebrate.

PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Passing of Former President Peres (Video): Breaking Israel News, Sept. 28, 2016 —“We grieve today for the passing of our dear and beloved Shimon Peres.”

World Leaders Mourn Israel’s Shimon Peres, Praise Him as a Man of Peace: Danica Kirka, Globe & Mail, Sept. 28, 2016—Current and former world leaders mourned the passing of Israeli statesman Shimon Peres on Wednesday, praising him as a visionary who committed his life to the elusive goal of lasting peace in the Middle East.

This Toronto Doctor’s Holocaust Saga ‘Should be Remembered Forever’ – and Others Will Be Too: Tu Thanh Ha, Globe & Mail, Sept. 28, 2016—At age 93, nearly seven decades after passing his medical examinations and becoming one of Canada’s most prominent specialists in treating liver diseases, Saya Victor Feinman still works three days a week at his Toronto practice.





A Short Review of Dutch Anti-Israel Incitement: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 1, 2016  — Next week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the Netherlands.

EU, Terror and the Transparency Bill: Ron Jontof-Hutter, Israel Hayom, Sept. 14, 2016 — On the December 7, 1970, German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt solemnly before the Warsaw ‎Ghetto in contrition.

France: The Great Wall of Calais: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 23, 2016  — Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain..

Let’s Keep Canada Canadian: John Robson, National Post, Sept. 19, 2016 — The other day, I read a European Union publication on Ireland, which I concede is a self-inflicted wound. But it threw an oddly bright light on the vexed question of how Canadian values ever became controversial.


On Topic Links


The Islamic Hatred of Modernity: John Mauldin, Maudlin Economics, Sept. 28, 2016

Germany: Beginning of the End of the Merkel Era?: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 10, 2016

Burkini Debate in France Exposes a Divide in its Jewish Community: Cnaan Liphshiz, Times of Israel, Sept. 24, 2016

Europeans Turn to Israel to Spur Lagging Economies: Breaking Israel News, Sept. 26, 2016




Manfred Gerstenfeld                                            

Jerusalem Post, Sept. 1, 2016


Next week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will visit the Netherlands. A succinct summary of anti-Israel incitement there may help him and his staff to better understand how the current Dutch reality differs from the distorted positive image many people still hold, namely the one based on the much publicized story of Anne Frank and her diary.


The Anne Frank story has entirely overshadowed a far more important one: the total disinterest of the Dutch government in exile in London during the Second World War in the fate of its Jewish citizens under the German occupation. Three-quarters of the 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands were murdered in the German death camps in Poland. The Netherlands is now the only Western European country which has never admitted to the wartime failure of its government’s attitude toward the Jews. Even Luxembourg and Monaco have recently done so. Furthermore, though archives contained the information for decades, it has only recently been published that Dutch SS volunteers participated in mass killings of Jews in Eastern Europe.


Around the turn of this century, the anti-Israel attitude in many Dutch circles strengthened. The ongoing incitement against the Jewish state by many Dutch politicians – mainly extreme-left and center- left – leading media, pseudo-humanitarian NGOs and so on has greatly influenced Dutch citizens. A Eurobarometer study in 2003 asked which countries are most dangerous to world peace. Israel came in second place after Iran – 59 percent of Europeans held this opinion. Of all countries polled the Netherlands had the highest percentage at 74%. This opinion can largely be explained by the widespread Dutch incitement against Israel. A 2011 study by the University of Bielefeld in Germany found that more than 38% of the Dutch population agreed with the statement that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians.


The most dangerous political party to Israel nowadays is Labor, the junior partner in the current government led by liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The Labor Party incites against Israel in many ways. During its first Middle East Conference in 2013, party leader Diederik Samsom singled out the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the only one on which patience is running out. He placed the entire responsibility for solving the conflict on Israel. Labor, the D66 Democrats and the Christian Democrats have also promoted a parliamentary motion which may lead to sanctions against Israel.


Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Bert Koenders (Labor) tried to fool his Israeli counterparts by saying that while there is freedom of opinion in the Netherlands, the Dutch government is against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. He did not mention that the Dutch government subsidized the BDS-promoting Catholic development aid organization Cordaid, to the tune of half a billion euros from 2007 to 2011 and lesser amounts since. Cordaid’s support of extreme incitement against Israel goes back at least 15 years.


A major scandal developed in 2002 when it became known that the Ford Foundation had partly funded the anti-Israel hate-mongers of the Palestinian LAW organization which had to be disbanded due to widespread corruption. No attention was given to the fact that Cordaid had donated even more money to LAW. The current Labor Party minister of foreign trade and development cooperation, Liliane Ploumen, held top positions with Cordaid from 2001 to 2007. Other Dutch pro- BDS bodies also received large amounts of government funding. Koenders has been active in the European labeling of products from the West Bank as well.


The list of Jewish guests for the 2013 dinner hosted by Dutch King Willem Alexander for the visiting president Shimon Peres has never been published. The heads of the two largest Jewish communities, the Ashkenazi Orthodox and Liberals, were not invited. The head of the tiny, extreme Jewish anti-Israel group EAJG was.


For the first time in Dutch independent history – thus leaving aside the German occupation – a number of Jewish businessmen had to hire private bodyguards in 2014 as a result of threats. The most severe anti-Semitic incident in the Netherlands was a robbery last year (by criminals who appeared to be of Moroccan-Arab descent) of a couple of elderly Holocaust survivors in Amsterdam. The woman was a survivor of Auschwitz. The robbers called them “dirty Jews” and beat them severely. The most recent scandal is a claim in the NRC daily that the Mossad is threatening a human rights activist in the Netherlands.


From time to time Prime Minister Rutte visits Israel with a delegation of Dutch businessmen. He is accompanied by two Labor Party ministers who visit the Palestinian territories. Perhaps next time Prime Minister Netanyahu can invite Rutte and his ministers for a memorial meeting at the site of the terrorist attack at the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem where a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up in 2001. Among the 15 killed were five members of the Schijveschuurder family. Two parents and three of their children were murdered, and three others were wounded. They were children and grandchildren, respectively, of Dutch Holocaust survivors. The above are a small sample of the widespread incitement against Israel in the Netherlands. This topic can easily be extended to book format.                                                                                                      




EU, TERROR AND THE TRANSPARENCY BILL                                                                             

Ron Jontof-Hutter      

Israel Hayom, Sept. 14, 2016


On the December 7, 1970, German Chancellor Willy Brandt knelt solemnly before the Warsaw ‎Ghetto in contrition. During the 1973 Yom Kippur War, when Israel faced annihilation, the same ‎Willy Brandt denied German landing rights to U.S. planes carrying emergency supplies to Israel. ‎Chancellor Angela Merkel occasionally says that Israel's "right to exist" is Germany's raison d'etre.‎


Like Brandt, Germany appears to be two-tongued when it comes to anti-Semitism. Like the ‎EU, Germany makes a distinction between anti-Semitism and objecting to Israel's policies, which on ‎paper seems to be fair. Thus, giving the Hitler salute and denying the Holocaust are illegal. On the ‎other hand, the annual Iran-sponsored Al-Quds March through downtown Berlin, calling for the ‎destruction of Israel, is legal. Berlin constantly turns a deaf ear to appeals to ban that march.‎


The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the Iran nuclear deal — was enthusiastically supported by Germany, enabling Iran to fully develop ‎its nuclear program after a decade, while currently testing missiles marked "Death to Israel." ‎However, the same Germany decided that nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes were too risky ‎for Germans. They are to be phased out by 2022.‎ Germany maintains it has a "special relationship" with Israel while the EU ambassador to Israel ‎explained that Israel is singled out because "you are one of us."‎


The EU countries support various NGOs despite their being termed "nongovernmental." Germany's Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry provides funding to NGOs as part of ‎its foreign aid programs. Recently, Professor Gerald Steinberg of NGO Monitor exposed the doublespeak ‎of Germany yet further. The German government annually pays 4 million euros ($4.5 million) to NGOs in Israel, ‎of which 42% goes to organizations that support the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement and worse, like the Popular Struggle ‎Coordination Committee, which advocates violent riots in Judea and Samaria. The German Embassy in ‎Tel Aviv does not deny the funding, but blandly states that Germany does not support boycotts of ‎Israel. They donate to "organizations supporting peace."‎


Some of the NGOs funded by the EU are Zochrot, Grassroots Jerusalem and Baladna Arab Youth ‎Association, all of which are committed to getting Palestinian refugees and their third- and fourth-‎generation descendants to "return" even though most have never been to Israel. I have met some ‎of these "refugees," who lead comfortable middle-class lives, in Australia. They certainly do not fit ‎the image of a refugee we see on TV. In my recent satire, "The Trombone Man: Tales of a Misogynist," the story depicts one such comfortable refugee who, like his parents, has never been ‎to Israel. Despite these anomalies, the EU generously funds these organizations that are dedicated to ‎Israel's disappearance as the Jewish state.‎


The EU therefore supports some organizations dedicated to Israel's demise while paying lip service ‎to its "right to exist," whatever that means. The EU, led by countries such as Germany, also ‎supports labeling people and products from beyond the Green Line or "Auschwitz lines," as the late dovish Foreign Minister Abba Eban called it. Thus, while officially declining to support ‎BDS, the same EU countries fund NGOs that do — all with a straight face.‎


The EU, ‎committed to democracy and human rights, has been "deeply concerned" about the recent ‎transparency law passed by the Knesset, even though there is no suggestion these NGOs would be ‎banned from practising their dubious activities. The State Department termed it "chilling," despite ‎its funds being surreptitiously used to influence the outcome of Israel's last election. In the ‎meantime, Europe is reeling with regular terror attacks, for which Europeans cannot find an ‎answer — except to insultingly compare Israel to Putin's Russia and be "deeply concerned" with ‎their fellow democracy that struggles to maintain civil rights while upholding its ‎citizens' right to life.‎ Israel remains a vibrant democracy despite the underhanded tactics of the EU. As Europe grapples ‎with increasing terror, its exaggerated concern with an ally threatened daily by internal and ‎external terror is misplaced and misguided.‎


NGO Monitor has shown in great detail the doublespeak of the EU countries that mouth ‎unconvincing platitudes regarding Israel's "right to exist" while simultaneously funding many NGOs that ‎promote exactly the opposite.‎ At the end of the day, it should be remembered that the hidden agendas of many of these NGOs ‎have little to do with human rights, per se, but more to do with providing conditions that would ‎end the State of Israel, by stressing the Nakba, hope, resilience and the "right of return" of ‎refugees and their descendants.‎ That is why it is always worth remembering Willy Brandt 1970 and Willy Brandt 1973. It sums up ‎Europe perfectly.‎





FRANCE: THE GREAT WALL OF CALAIS                                                                                          

Soeren Kern                                                                                                          

Gatestone Institute, Sept. 23, 2016


Building work has begun on a wall in the northern French city of Calais, a major transport hub on the edge of the English Channel, to prevent migrants from stowing away on cars, trucks, ferries and trains bound for Britain. Dubbed "The Great Wall of Calais," the concrete barrier — one kilometer (half a mile) long and four meters (13 feet) high on both sides of the two-lane highway approaching the harbor — will pass within a few hundred meters of a sprawling shanty town known as "The Jungle."


The squalid camp now houses more than 10,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East who are trying to reach Britain. The migrants at the camp are mostly from Sudan (45%), Afghanistan (30%), Pakistan (7%), Eritrea (6%) and Syria (1%), according to a recent census conducted by aid agencies. Construction of the wall — which will cost British taxpayers £2 million (€2.3 million; $2.6 million) and is due to be completed by the end of 2016 — comes amid a surge in the number of migrants from the camp trying to reach Britain. Around 200 migrants from Calais, the principal ferry crossing point between France and England, are successfully smuggled into Britain each week, according to police estimates cited by the Telegraph. This amounts to more than 10,000 so-called "lorry drops" — when illegal migrants hiding in the back of trucks jump out after reaching the UK — this year.


In 2015-16, more than 84,000 migrants were caught attempting illegally to enter Britain from the Ports of Calais and Dunkirk, according to Home Office figures cited by the Guardian. On just one day, December 17, 2015, around 1,000 migrants stormed the Channel Tunnel in a bid to reach Britain. Police, who used tear gas to disperse them, said the number seeking to cross the Channel in a single day was "unprecedented." Many of the migrants who are turned away move to "The Jungle" and try over and over again. Migrants at the camp have been using felled trees and gas canisters to create makeshift roadblocks to slow trucks heading for Britain. When the trucks come to a stop, migrants climb aboard to stow away as the vehicles head to Britain through the Channel Tunnel or on ferries.


UK-bound migrants are building up to 30 barricades a night to stop vehicles travelling through Calais, according to French officials. Teams of traffic police now spend every night trying to keep the roads around Calais clear of migrants and their debris. In recent months, masked gangs of people smugglers armed with knives, bats and tire irons have forced truck drivers to stop so that migrants can board their vehicles. The Deputy Mayor of Calais, Philippe Mignonet, has described the main route to the port as a "no-go area" between midnight and 6am.


In an interview with the French newspaper Liberation, Xavier Delebarre, who is in charge of France's northern road network, said the migrants have "tools, electric chainsaws that can be bought anywhere for fifteen euros." He added: "There is a strategy in their concerted attacks. They launch simultaneous assaults, and also diversions. Migrants build barricades by piling different materials on the road, including branches, as well as mattresses and trash. They set it on fire, and then put gas cylinders in the fire, which is very worrying. They create traffic jams to storm the trucks, so they can board them to try to get to England."


On September 5, hundreds of French truck drivers and farmers (who complain that fields around the migrant camp are full of rubbish and human excrement) blocked off the main route in and out of Calais, in an attempt to pressure the French government to close "The Jungle." The blockage brought to a standstill the route used by trucks from all over Europe to reach Calais and Britain.


Antoine Ravisse, president of the Grand Rassemblement du Calaisis, a coalition of local businesses, said the protesters wanted assurances from the French government that the roads in Calais will be made safe again. He said: "The main image of Calais today in the newspaper and on TV is very negative, all about the migrants and attacks on the highway. The first point is we want the highways safe again. It's unacceptable that today in France you can't travel without fear and without the certainty that you won't be attacked. We apologize to our British friends — our economy depends very much on the business we do with England. We apologize to all the families but some of them have experienced very bad times and dangerous times and they will agree it can't go on. We are standing here and we will wait until we hear something back from the government. We are not moving until we hear from the government."


David Sagnard, president of FNTR national truck drivers' federation, said: We have to do this. We have to escalate things, because for months now the situation has been getting worse and worse. Before, it was just attempts to get on trucks. Now there is looting and willful destruction, tarpaulins are slashed, goods stolen or destroyed. Drivers go to work with fear in their bellies and the economic consequences are severe."…      

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




John Robson

National Post, Sept. 19, 2016


The other day, I read a European Union publication on Ireland, which I concede is a self-inflicted wound. But it threw an oddly bright light on the vexed question of how Canadian values ever became controversial.

Everybody yammers on about them. An NDP email insists that health care is “a core Canadian value.” A Department of National Defence spokesman defends his department accidentally training a Bangladeshi terrorist by saying: “The Canadian Armed Forces has exchange and training programs designed to enhance our bilateral relationships and promote Canadian values.” Yet when Conservative leadership hopeful Kellie Leitch suggested screening immigrants to make sure they share those values, the smart set got a bad case of the vapours.


It seems we’re meant to know that “values” are for yokels, despite originally being Nietzsche’s subversively sophisticated substitute for moral truth. Which brings me abruptly, if unexpectedly, to that smarmy EU book. When you think of Ireland,” it concedes, “leprechauns, shamrocks, and Irish music might come to mind.” But if so, they are swiftly shoved aside: “modern-day Ireland… is no longer the homogeneous society it once was.” Formerly poor and quaint, it became a “Celtic Tiger” and “people from other parts of the world flocked to Ireland, seeking jobs and economic opportunity…. The flood of new cultures and peoples… has changed the centuries-old traditional life… there are now eight times as many people in Ireland who speak Polish as … Gaelic”. Nowadays “people from all around the world add their perspectives” in “the most globalized country in the world” where “society’s relaxed pace has disappeared” and “in a recent survey of Irish people between fifteen and twenty-four… more than a third did not know the meaning of Easter.


In short, there’s no longer any there there, just one more suburb of the galactic metropolis full of frantic, rootless, sleep-deprived materialist pseudo-sophisticates. Which is apparently good. As the introduction had already assured readers, Europe “is a continent with many different traditions and languages, but with shared values such as democracy, freedom and social justice, cherished values well known to North Americans. Indeed, the EU motto is ‘United in Diversity.’ ”


Such rhetoric certainly is familiar to Canadians. Eerily so. Our shiny prime minister, a walking, talking incarnation of post-modern vacuity, says “there is no core identity, no mainstream in Canada.” It’s odd to hear all this talk of diversity, while everything gets more and more similar. As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau claimed after denying our core identity, “There are shared values — openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice. Those qualities are what make us the first post-national state.” The words “post-national” are key. They are meant to say that anything good about Canada comes not from our traditions but from discarding them in favour of those famous globalized perspectives that always sound exactly like Michael Ignatieff, who called Canada a “civic experiment” and a “fiction,” while claiming a deep “attachment to the place on Earth that, if I needed one, I would call home.” But he doesn’t. He’s a “citizen of the world,” just like Justin Trudeau and his father.


Leitch’s proposal has proved popular with actual people, who understand, as historian Daniel Boorstin once said, that, “Planning for the future without a sense of history is like planting cut flowers.” They want immigrants to share genuine Canadian roots. But the elite is busy hacking through those very roots because, to borrow a phrase from theologian N.T. Wright, they think “trees should be entirely visible and obviously fruitful, no part of them buried in dirty soil. What’s down there in the rich soil of our home and native land? Individual liberty. Rule of law. Critical self-examination. And yes, monogamy, sprouting from a Judeo-Christian tradition now deemed in especially urgent need of uprooting and burning.


The EU’s book on Ireland smugly explains that, “You might be accustomed to seeing dates expressed with the abbreviations BC or AD.” But they’re going with BCE and CE because “many people now prefer to use abbreviations that people from all religions can be comfortable using.” It’s ludicrous, since CE still dates from the supposed birth of you-know-who. Would it mollify Muslims if we called him Gezuz? But it’s part of an aggressive, if shallow, effort to eliminate everything that forms part of our true heritage, especially everything religious.


Hence efforts in Canada to ban Trinity Western University graduates from practising law, and efforts to eliminate faith-based exemptions to non-discrimination laws at all universities. And hence Trudeau, who in odd-numbered years considers gender equality a core Canadian value, speaking cheerfully in an even-numbered year at a mosque where his female ministers are segregated, forced to cover their lascivious hair and stay silent. It’s oh so cosmopolitan. But without roots, societies, like plants, wither and die. Let’s keep Canada Canadian.




On Topic Links


The Islamic Hatred of Modernity: John Mauldin, Maudlin Economics, Sept. 28, 2016 —I have for you a very interesting and unusual piece for this week’s Outside the Box. It is not that I do not regularly send things by authors who see the world differently from me, but I rarely delve into the political and geopolitical world.

Germany: Beginning of the End of the Merkel Era?: Soeren Kern, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 10, 2016 —German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered a major blow on September 4 when the anti-immigration party Alternative for Germany (AfD) surged ahead of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in elections in her home state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.

Burkini Debate in France Exposes a Divide in its Jewish Community: Cnaan Liphshiz, Times of Israel, Sept. 24, 2016— Like their constituents, the mainstream representatives of French Jewry are not known for passing up opportunities to express their opinion on subjects of national debate.

Europeans Turn to Israel to Spur Lagging Economies: Breaking Israel News, Sept. 26, 2016—About 60 ministers of education from a range of OECD countries gathered Sunday in Jerusalem for a three-day program to explore Israel’s culture of entrepreneurship.



Israel: Heart of Western Civilization



As the November Presidential election approaches, several recent events underline the U.S.’s increasingly dangerous domestic and foreign situations.


A series of bombing incidents (the perpetrator, an Afghan Muslim terrorist, was quickly caught) occurred across the September 17-18 weekend. One exploded pipe-bomb caused 29 casualties in Manhatten, another exploded harmlessly in a Jersey Shore town, and one, undetonated, was found in Elizabeth, New Jersey. 


And as the East Coast bombs went off, nine people in a St. Cloud, Minnesota knife-attack were wounded by an Islamic State-claimed killer shouting “Allahu akbar”. Shot and wounded, the attacker was taken into custody.


These multiple incidents—the first explosions in New York City since 9/11–once again brought home the deepening crisis of ongoing Islamist terrorism in America.  


And also, once again, municipal and state "authorities" were quick, initially, either to discount the attacks as (Islamic) terrorism or to downplay possible "external" (i.e., Islamic State) sources…



















         SHIMON PERES, FORMER PRESIDENT AND VETERAN ISRAELI STATESMAN, DIES AT 93                                       

Elli Wohlgelernter

                                                         Jerusalem Post, Sept. 28, 2016


Shimon Peres, former president, former prime minister, former defense minister, former foreign minister, former minister of eight other ministries, the last surviving member of Israel’s founding fathers, and winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize died Wednesday after suffering a stroke two weeks ago. He was 93. Doctors said Peres suffered severe organ failure Tuesday, as well as irreversible brain damage caused by the massive hemorrhagic stroke he sustained on September 13.


The longest serving of all of Israel’s public servants, Peres was a person about whom it could rightly be said: The history of the State of Israel is the history of Shimon Peres. A lifetime searching for peace with Israel’s Arab neighbors was rewarded on December 10, 1994, when Peres – along with then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO chairman Yasser Arafat – received a Nobel Peace Prize. The award recognized their work as the architects of the 1993 interim peace deal known as the Oslo Accords – a pact that to Peres’s dismay never hardened into a lasting treaty.


In a career spanning nearly 70 years, Peres was considered a servant of the state who was intimately involved in every aspect of the country’s history since before its founding. In his 48 years in parliament – from the fourth Knesset in 1959 through the 17th in 2007 – Peres served in various parliamentary groups, including Mapai, Rafi, Labor, the Alignment, Labor, One Israel, Labor-Meimad, Labor-Meimad-Am Ehad and Kadima. His main affiliation was serving as chairman of the Labor Party.


Peres’s string of government roles included two stints as prime minister – from 1984 to 1986 as part of a rotational government, and for seven months in 1995 and 1996 after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin – as well as minister of immigrant absorption, transportation, information, defense, communications (or posts and telegraphs as it was known at the time), internal affairs, religious affairs, foreign affairs, finance, regional cooperation, and development of the Negev and Galilee, serving in some of those positions more than once. He also served several times as acting prime minister, deputy prime minister and vice prime minister. Ironically, though Peres ran for office five times from 1977 and 1996, he never won a national election outright.


Peres was born August 2, 1923, in Wiszniewo, Poland, as Szymon Perski, and immigrated to Palestine with his family at the age of 11. He grew up in Tel Aviv, attending the Balfour and Geula schools in Tel Aviv, and the agricultural high school in Ben Shemen. He spent several years at Kibbutz Geva and Kibbutz Alumot, of which he was one of the founders. In 1943, was elected secretary of the Labor-Zionist youth movement.


At age 24, he worked with David Ben-Gurion and Levi Eshkol in command of the Hagana, responsible for manpower and arms. During and after the War of Independence, Peres served as head of the naval services. In 1952, he joined the Defense Ministry and, a year later at the age of 29, was appointed its director-general – the youngest ever in Israel’s history – playing an important role in developing the Israeli military industry and promoting the development of Israel Aerospace Industries.


Peres was elected a member of Knesset in 1959, and served until his election as president in June 2007. Among his achievements as deputy defense minister from 1959 to 1965 were the establishment of the military and aviation industries, and the promotion of strategic ties with France, which culminated in strategic cooperation during the 1956 Sinai Campaign. Peres also was responsible for establishing Israel’s nuclear program. For three years following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Peres again played a central role in the country’s security as defense minister. In that role, he revitalized and strengthened the IDF and was involved in the disengagement negotiations that led to the 1975 Interim Agreement with Egypt. He also was instrumental in the planning of the 1976 Entebbe rescue operation.


Peres briefly served as acting prime minister following the resignation of Rabin in 1977, and later served his first tenure as prime minister in the national unity government from 1984 to 1986, based on a rotation arrangement with Likud leader Yitzhak Shamir. From November 1988 until the dissolution of the National Unity Government in 1990, Peres served as finance minister, focusing his energies on the failing economy and the complex situation resulting from the 1982 war in Lebanon. He is credited with reducing the annual inflation rate from 400% to 16% and was instrumental in the withdrawal of troops from Lebanon and the establishment of a narrow security zone in southern Lebanon.


After the return to power of the Labor party in the 1992 elections, Peres was again appointed foreign minister and he initiated and conducted the negotiations that led to the signing of the Declaration of Principles with the PLO in September 1993. Peres’s second term as prime minister came in the wake of the assassination of Rabin on November 4, 1995. The Labor Party chose Peres as Rabin’s successor, and the Knesset confirmed the decision with a vote of confidence supported by both coalition and opposition members. Despite polls showing him far ahead, Peres lost to rightist Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu in the election on May 29, 1996, by fewer than 30,000 votes.


In October, 1997, Shimon Peres created the Peres Center for Peace with the aim of advancing Arab-Israeli joint ventures. He was also the author of 12 books. When he was sworn in as Israel’s ninth president on July 15, 2007, Peres was the first former prime minister to do so. He was two weeks shy of his 91st birthday when he completed his seven-year term in 2014. Peres’s wife, Sonia, died in 2011. The couple had three children, eight grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.


Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links


On Topic Links


Eight Years Later, Obama Has Learned Nothing About the Israeli-Palestinian Dispute: Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, Sept. 27, 2016

Obama’s November Surprise: Gregg Roman, The Hill, Sept. 26, 2016

Russia’s Quest for Great-Power Status, By Way of Syria: Robert Fulford, National Post, Aug. 26, 2016

Israel’s Victory Over Drought: Barbara Kay, National Post, Sept. 20, 2016





“President Obama has previously vetoed anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations, though, and [he] said in his speech [this past week at the UN] that peace will not be achieved through statements. We can only hope that this will continue to remain the consistent approach of the Americans until the end of his presidency.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu said in an interview that he hopes U.S. President Barack Obama continues to use America’s veto power in the UN Security Council to back Israel until the end of his tenure next January. (Jewish Press, Sept. 25, 2016)


“How does increasing the number of settlers indicate an attempt to create a Palestinian state? …The status quo is not sustainable. So either we mean it and we act on it, or we should shut up…If we really want to get serious about a two-state solution, we need much more than just one-time agreements and improvements. We need to fundamentally change the dynamic by resuming the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority in Area C, which was called for in prior agreements…Either we reverse course and take serious steps on the path to a two-state solution, or the momentum of existing actions will carry us further toward an intractable one-state reality that nobody wants and nobody really thinks can work.” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Kerry reportedly took Israel to task last Monday over its policy in Judea and Samaria. Kerry’s comments came at a closed meeting of ministers representing the countries providing financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority. Kerry emphasized that Israel and the PA are moving in the direction of a binational state rather than a Palestinian state alongside Israel and are also headed toward war. (Arutz Sheva, Sept. 26, 2016)


"Present in this hall today are representatives of governments that have ignored, facilitated, funded, participated in or even planned and carried out atrocities inflicted by all sides of the Syria conflict against Syrian civilians…Many groups have killed innocent civilians — none more so than the government of Syria, which continues to barrel bomb neighborhoods and systematically torture thousands of detainees." — Ban Ki-moon. Taking the world stage for the last time as UN secretary-general, Ban unleashed years of pent-up anger at leaders who keep "feeding the war machine" in Syria, violate human rights and prevent aid deliveries to starving people. The U.N. chief said that "powerful patrons" on both sides in the Syrian conflict "have blood on their hands." (NBC, Sept. 20, 2016)


“It was four airplanes that kept attacking the position of the Syrian troops for nearly one hour, or a little bit more than one hour. You don’t commit a mistake for more than one hour. … It was definitely intentional, not unintentional as they claimed.” — Syrian President Bashar Assad, on a U.S.-led airstrike that killed over 60 Syrian troops in the country last week. Regarding the U.S.’s credibility with regards to Syria’s war, Assad said: “I would say whatever the American officials said about the conflicts in Syria in general has no credibility. Whatever they say, it’s just lies and, let’s say, bubbles, has no foundation on the ground.” On whether he has the support of the Syrian people, Assad said: “You cannot withstand for five years and more against all those countries, the West, and the Gulf states, the petrodollars, and all this propaganda, the strongest media corporations around the world, if you don’t have the support of your own people.” (Washington Post, Sept. 22, 2016)


“We are living on the last of the aid, and the last of the vegetables that came from the countryside…There is no milk, no cheese, nothing…None of us have cooking fuel. . . so we make bonfires outside.” — Om Majed Kamran, a resident of Aleppo, Syria. Hundreds of strikes have recently pounded Aleppo, leaving scores of people dead. The offensive dealt a fresh blow to efforts to revive the nationwide cease-fire, which was sponsored by Russia and the U.S.  According to the U.N., as many as 275,000 people remain in east Aleppo, which is under rebel control. The residents have been under siege for more than a month, cut off from fresh food, water, electricity, and fuel. (National Post, Sept. 23, 2016)


“The initial perception in Moscow is that we were making a complete mess of the Middle East, beginning with the invasion of Iraq, and then the invasion of Libya, and our giving (Egyptian president Hosni) Mubarak a push…In the Russian reading of all this, the end result of American action is always to exacerbate the chaos and to empower radical jihadist forces who are hostile to Russian interests as well as to American interests…We ended up tying ourselves in knots in Syria. We committed ourselves unambiguously at first to the prospect that Assad had to step down, but we didn’t provide the force that would require him to do that…So our initial policy was pretty much a failure. As the conflict has dragged on and our options have looked less and less palatable, we’ve begun accommodating ourselves to the Russian view.” —Jeffrey Mankoff, deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. (National Post, Sept. 23, 2016)


"Iran wasted no time in continuing its efforts to undermine the security of the region, through aggressive rhetoric, blatant interference, producing and arming militias, (and) developing its ballistic missile program." — Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates. Al Nahyan accused Iran of playing "the greatest role in causing tension and instability" in the region. He pointed to Iran's "expansionist regional policies, flagrant violations of the principles of sovereignty and constant interference in the internal affairs of its neighboring countries." Iran has been backing Syria’s Assad and Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen, and the minister said its interference in Iraq's internal affairs "has exacerbated … division among its people." (Ynet, Sept. 25, 2016)


“Jewish people across Europe are increasingly being targeted and killed by terrorists, who often attempt to justify their actions by demonizing Israel…It is therefore particularly sad to see a church in London demonizing and singling out Israel’s defensive actions against terrorism.” — Lord Carey of Clifton, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. Lord Carey criticized a Methodist church in London for demonizing Israel through a reconstructed Israeli border checkpoint exhibition. “I am sad to learn that Hinde Street Methodist Church are planning an exhibition that portrays Israel as oppressors of victims…The methods used by democracies to defend their civilians should not be undermined by religious leaders in places of worship and brotherhood,” he said. Coinciding with the World Council of Churches’ World Week for Peace in Palestine, the Hinde Street church created a replica of an Israeli security checkpoint called, “You cannot pass today,” to display to allegedly portray daily life for Palestinians, who cross the border between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. (Breaking Israel News, Sept. 21, 2016)


“I am pro-business, pro-NATO, pro-EU, pro-America and of course pro-Israel. Corbyn and his pals are 180 degrees opposed: they are hard left socialist – they hate business and they loathe America and Israel. His praetorian guard, the Momentum movement, is almost Stalinist in its desire to humiliate, vilify and harass non-believers. For middle of the road MPs, deselection is their weapon of choice… my choice is now clear. How can I, a Jew and a Zionist, remain in a party where the leadership is so clearly hostile to Israel (even to its very existence) and which also flirts with antisemitism?” — Lord Parry Mitchell. Mitchell has resigned from the Labour Party as he vowed to do last month, should Jeremy Corbyn win re-election as leader of the party. The veteran Labourite is a member of the House of Lords and a former frontbencher under Ed Miliband. Corbyn was re-elected as UK Labour leader on 24 September. (Jewish Press, Sept. 26, 2016)






ISRAEL CONSORTIUM SIGNS 15-YEAR, $10B GAS DEAL WITH JORDAN (Amman) — An Israeli gas consortium signed what Israel called a “historic” $10 billion deal with the Jordan Electric Power Company to supply the Hashemite Kingdom with natural gas for 15 years. The agreement will provide Jordan with a total of approximately 45 billion cubic meters of gas from the Leviathan offshore gas field, turning Israel into its largest gas supplier. Leviathan, discovered in 2010, is estimated to hold 18.9 trillion cubic feet (535 billion cubic meters) of natural gas. (Times of Israel, Sept. 26, 2016)


ISRAEL DEPLOYS DRONES ALONG SYRIAN BORDER (Jerusalem) — Israel has purchased and is now deploying drones along its northern border to assist in monitoring and addressing various threats from Syria. According to a report, the drones can serve as a crucial tool in observing and preventing spillover from warring factions on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and terrorist attacks against — or infiltrations into — the Jewish state. The Syrian side of the Golan Heights has become a region of virtual anarchy, with many different jihadist groups flooding the area. (Algemeiner, Sept. 26, 2016)


JORDANIAN WRITER SHOT DEAD AFTER BEING CHARGED WITH INSULTING ISLAM (Amman) — A prominent Jordanian writer was shot dead by a suspected Islamist gunman outside the courtroom where he was due to stand trial for offending Islam by sharing a cartoon on Facebook. Nahed Hattar, a 56-year-old intellectual from Jordan's Christian minority, was gunned down on the steps of a courthouse in Amman in what appeared to be a religiously motivated attack. The gunman was arrested at the scene and a Jordanian source identified him as Riyad Ismail Abdullah. The high-profile murder is a fresh blow to Jordan's image as a bastion of stability amid the sectarian violence that is wracking much of the Middle East. (Telegraph, Sept. 25, 2016)


HOMA HOODFAR RELEASED FROM IRANIAN PRISON: REPORTS (Tehran) — Iran’s state-run news agency is reporting that Canadian-Iranian professor Homa Hoodfar has been freed from prison and flown out of the country. IRNA said she was freed on humanitarian grounds. Hoodfar, 65, was questioned and barred from leaving Iran in March after travelling to the country. Her family said she was imprisoned in Tehran’s Evin Prison since June. Hoodfar until recently taught anthropology and sociology at Montreal’s Concordia University. (Montreal Gazette, Sept. 26, 2016)


CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR SIGNS ANTI-BDS BILL INTO LAW (Sacramento) — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a measure that prevents companies that boycott or discriminate against any sovereign state, including Israel, from doing business with the state. The State Senate approved the bill by a vote of 34 to 1 on August 24, and the State Assembly passed it by 69 to 1 on August 30. An earlier version of the legislation banned the state from making contracts worth over $100,000 with companies boycotting Israel. In order to satisfy critics, who said it violated the constitutional right to boycott, the bill was modified to include reference to other countries. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25, 2016)


POSTERS DEMONIZING JEWS CROP UP ON UC BERKELEY CAMPUS (Berkeley) — Antisemitic posters have been appearing around the University of California, Berkeley campus ever since a course exploring how Israel might be destroyed was first suspended and then reinstated early last week. The syllabus, titled “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” was decried by a campus watchdog group as “a classic example of antisemitic anti-Zionism.” One of the posters referred to the coalition of 43 Jewish, civil rights and educational organizations that had written an open letter expressing concern about the course, calling the groups “advocates for a foreign state.” who “seek to control our freedom of speech and academic expression.” UC Berkeley said it rescinded the suspension of the course last week after its syllabus was purportedly changed. However, a close examination of the new syllabus found that the same anti-Zionist literature will be studied as previously listed. (Algemeiner, Sept. 25, 2016)


FORMER ANTISEMITIC HUNGARIAN MP TO MAKE ALIYA (Budapest) — Csanad Szegedi, a one-time MP for Hungary's extremist right-wing and antisemitic Jobbik party, who quit when he discovered he was Jewish, is now making aliya to Israel. Prior to discovering his Jewish roots, Szegedi was known for his extremist positions and antisemitic statements as a member of Jobbik. He was one of the founders of the Hungarian Guard, an extreme nationalist group whose members see themselves as the descendants of the Hungary's fascist Arrow Cross Party, which collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.  After discovering his roots, he quit all of his posts in Jobbik. He has become an activist against antisemitism in Hungary. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25, 2016)


FORMER CHIEF RABBI OF FRANCE, JOSEPH SITRUK, PASSES AWAY (Paris) — Former chief rabbi of France Rabbi Joseph Haim Sitruk died Sunday at the age of 71. Born in Tunis in 1944, Sitruk moved to France, where he was ordained in 1970 and was appointed rabbi of Strasbourg. Before taking on the top rabbinical role in the country, Sitruk became chief rabbi of Marseille. Sitruk served as France’s chief rabbi from 1987 to 2008, when he was replaced by Rabbi Gilles Bernheim. He also served as the president of the Conference of European Rabbis for 12 years. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 25, 2016)


EUROPEANS TURN TO ISRAEL TO SPUR LAGGING ECONOMIES (Jerusalem) — About 60 ministers of education from a range of OECD countries gathered in Jerusalem for a three-day program to explore Israel’s culture of entrepreneurship. Participants in the Global Education Industry Summit, hosted by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said that Europe’s business culture has largely stagnated in recent years. They added that for economies looking to develop tools for a rapidly changing technology marketplace of, Israel provides a model. (Jewish Press, Sept. 25, 2016)


AHEAD OF JEWISH NEW YEAR, ISRAEL’S POPULATION STANDS AT 8.585 MILLION (Jerusalem) — As Israel prepares to ring in the Jewish New Year, the Central Bureau of Statistics released a report estimating its population on the eve of Rosh Hashana at 8.585 million. According to the report, there are 6.419 million Jewish residents – 74.8 percent of the total population – and the Arab Israeli population stands at 1.786 million, or 20.8% of the country’s inhabitants. The additional 4.4%, approximately 380,000 people, are non-Arab Christians or people of other religions. In 2015, 27,908 people made Aliya, an increase of 16% compared to 2014, and a rate of 3.3 olim for every 1,000 residents, the report found. The majority of new olim, 6,886 were from Ukraine, 6,632 from Russia, 6,628 from France and 2,451 from the United States. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 27, 2016)




On Topic Links


Eight Years Later, Obama Has Learned Nothing About the Israeli-Palestinian Dispute: Mitchell Bard, Algemeiner, Sept. 27, 2016—President Obama’s failure to learn anything in the last eight years about the Palestinian-Israeli dispute was evident in his final speech to the UN General Assembly. In the mere 31 words that he devoted to the subject, he laid bare his ignorance: “Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel,” he said. “But Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.”

Obama’s November Surprise: Gregg Roman, The Hill, Sept. 26, 2016 —With last year’s Iran nuclear deal appearing less and less likely to go down in the history books as a legacy foreign policy achievement, there is growing speculation that President Obama will spring a diplomatic surprise on Israel during the interregnum between the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8 and his departure from office in January. 

Russia’s Quest for Great-Power Status, By Way of Syria: Robert Fulford, National Post, Aug. 26, 2016—A year ago next month, when Bashar Assad’s brutal struggle against his people had already made him the most hated dictator in the world, Russia decided to enter the Syrian civil war on his side. It was one of the most unpleasant surprises of our time, and one of the hardest to understand.

Israel’s Victory Over Drought: Barbara Kay, National Post, Sept. 20, 2016 —I am grateful to have been born in Canada, and for a multitude of reasons, not least because we control most of the world’s fresh water. Water shortages can and do lead to wars. Wars create refugees. Drought creates migrants.