Month: September 2018

BARUCH COHEN z” l

Baruch Cohen z”l  passed away on September 26, 2018/17Tishrei 5779, a few weeks before his 99th birthday. His life spanned the last hundred years of Western, and world, crises, tragedy, and triumph.  Born in Romania just after the end of WWI, living through first the Depression and then the rise of Hitler and of Romanian fascism, surviving World War II and the Holocaust in and around Bucharest and the Transnistrian killing-fields, and then coming under Communist rule, Baruch escaped with his dear wife Sonia and beloved daughter Monica/Malka z”l, to Israel just as the Jewish State was, miraculously, re-born.

   Living initially in a tent, serving in the IDF, and coming to Canada years later with his family to join Sonia’s mother and sisters there, Baruch started, once again, from scratch, rising to become a Chief Financial Officer at a major corporation, and then doing a brilliant MA in Jewish studies at Concordia University after retiring.

   We met as the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research was founded in 1988, and Baruch became our Research Chairman, working with me as a full-time volunteer until forced by illness to withdraw some time ago. He was a good, even saintly, person, a tsaddik, who also served for many years as a docent at the Montreal Holocaust Center, specialized in working with students, committed to witnessing to the horrors he had lived thorough in order to help ensure that they would, never again, be repeated.  

   He had a deep love for the Jewish People, and for Israel, which he saw as positive exemplars of the potential of humanity, and he fought strongly and persistently against antisemitism and Holocaust denial in all its forms.  His autobiographical memoir, which CIJR published in the fall with RVP Press, is called “No One Witnesses for the Witness”, and includes a selection of the moving, and powerful, poetry he wrote over the years.  

   He almost single-handedly brought attention to the Romanian Holocaust, the loss of some 400,000 lives which had been largely overlooked, in the literature and by Holocaust memorial institutions, but which today is recognized across the world and in recent scholarship.  And the annual Romanian Holocaust Memorial, which he instituted in Montreal, will continue through the ongoing efforts of the young people he inspired through his persistent and enduring witness.

   Baruch lived a long and difficult, and yet also a courageous, fulfilling, and useful, life, one of  love and support to family, including his devoted son-in-law Lawrence Bergman and grandsons Mark and Stuart and their families, and of service to friends, the survivor community, Israel, the Jewish People, and his country and society generally. All who knew him respected, indeed loved, him, and he in turn responded with integrity, caring, and love, and especially to students and the young.  He had witnessed, and survived, the greatest horrors of our time, and knew what human degradation has wrought—yet somehow he retained deep respect for what is truly human, and great hope for the future of the Jewish People and of mankind. 

    CIJR’s 30th Anniversary, being celebrated at this year’s Annual Gala, is dedicated to Baruch: the memory and work of our great friend, and teacher, living on at CIJR and in all our hearts and minds, will remain a sustaining blessing for us all.

 

Prof. Frederick Krantz

Director, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

DESPITE IMPROVING EGYPT-ISRAEL RELATIONS, MANY EGYPTIANS STILL HOSTILE TO JEWISH STATE

Four Decades After Camp David, Egyptians Still Chilly Toward Israel: Mona Salem & Aziz El Massassi, Times of Israel, Sept. 16, 2018 — Forty years after signing the Camp David Accords, Egypt and Israel live in uneasy peace, as cool diplomatic ties have failed to unfreeze other relations.

Help Egypt Help Israel On Middle East Peace: Kenneth Glueck, Breaking Defense, Sept. 14, 2018— Peace in the Middle East seems elusive as ever.

Trump’s Alliance Against Iran: Tom O’Connor, Newsweek, Sept. 25, 2018— While President Donald Trump condemned Iran in his address Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly, a small but influential group of countries gathered elsewhere in New York City in an attempt to rally support for an increasingly controversial cause among the international community.

Qatar is a Poor American Ally; Trump Should Leave its Airbase Upgrades Empty: Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner, Aug. 30, 2018 — President Trump should pick up the phone — or get on Twitter — and tell Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani that the U.S. won’t use expanded base facilities in Qatar and will consider relocating the U.S. military out of Qatar entirely.

On Topic Links

Islamists Smear Egyptian Actress for Removing Hijab: Hany Ghoraba, IPT News, Sept. 4, 2018

Fighting Terrorism, a Human Right: Mike Evans, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 28, 2018

Death as Punishment “for Disbelief”: Extremist Persecution of Christians, February 2018: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 9, 2018

Qatar and Turkey: Toxic Allies in the Gulf: Richard Miniter, Gatestone Institute, Aug. 28, 2018

 

                   FOUR DECADES AFTER CAMP DAVID,

                    EGYPTIANS STILL CHILLY TOWARD ISRAEL

Mona Salem & Aziz El Massassi

Times of Israel, Sept. 16, 2018

Forty years after signing the Camp David Accords, Egypt and Israel live in uneasy peace, as cool diplomatic ties have failed to unfreeze other relations. “There is still a psychological barrier between us and the Israeli people,” said Egyptian ex-lawmaker Mohammed Anwar Sadat, nephew of former president Anwar Sadat.

Mohammed Sadat proudly keeps a photo of his late uncle in his Cairo office. Egypt’s then head of state risked everything in making peace with Israel at the US presidential retreat Camp David on September 17, 1978. The accords, cemented by a peace treaty in 1979, saw regional powerhouse Egypt temporarily shunned by the rest of the Arab World. Sadat himself was assassinated on October 6, 1981. The late president “had great courage and a vision for the future”, his nephew said. But the peace, he said, “has always been cold.”

While many Egyptians welcome the absence of war, they remain hostile to Israel. “Egypt’s acceptance of full diplomatic and political normalization” has not translated into “a cultural or popular normalization,” said Mustafa Kamal Sayed, professor of political sciences at Cairo University. This uneasy but stable status quo is reflected on Cairo’s streets, where many put their antipathy towards Israel down to their neighbor’s policies towards the Palestinians. “The normalization failed to gain popular support because of events linked to Palestinians,” said bank worker Mohammed Oussam.

He said he could not forget Israel’s bombing of “schools and refugee camps” during Lebanon’s 1975 to 1990 civil war. “The Israelis have not adhered to the principles of peace with the Palestinians or the Arabs,” said another Mohammed. It’s a sentiment also shared by Islam Emam. “We speak of peace, of normalization — then they kill our brothers and take their land,” he said, referring to the Palestinians. He blames Israel’s government, rather than its citizens. “In the end, nobody truly chooses his government,” he said.

Enmity towards Israel often crystallizes over sporting events. Egyptian and Liverpool football maestro Mohamed Salah has been criticized at home for appearing in a Champions League match in Israel in 2013, when he played for Switzerland’s FC Basel. Salah said he did not make political decisions. Three years later, Egyptian judo Olympian Islam El Shehaby refused to shake hands with Israeli rival Or Sasson at the Rio Games — a gesture that embarrassed Egyptian authorities. Writer and Hebrew translator Nael el-Toukhy said any Egyptian who reaches out to Israelis faces intense pressure.

Israel is a hot topic for Egyptian talk shows, guaranteed to stoke the kind of high feelings seen in debates on gay rights. More than 65 percent of Egyptians alive today were not yet born when the Camp David Summit took place, according to official figures. But Egyptian public rejection of Israel is a constant. National politics is also affected, despite decades of formal diplomatic ties.

In March 2016, Egyptian lawmaker Tawfiq Okasha paid a high price for inviting Israel’s ambassador to dinner at his home. Accused of discussing issues linked to national security, he was ousted from parliament in a two-thirds majority vote. Even the country’s all-important tourism industry is a victim of “cold peace” — of the 3.9 million tourists who visited Israel in 2017, only 7,200 were from neighboring Egypt.

 

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HELP EGYPT HELP ISRAEL ON MIDDLE EAST PEACE

                                       Kenneth Glueck

Breaking Defense, Sept. 14, 2018

Peace in the Middle East seems elusive as ever. Yet, even as the future of its own commitments to the region remains uncertain, the United States has a decided interest to prevent conflict from spreading to its key ally, Israel. That requires supporting Egypt’s pivotal, intertwined roles of diplomatic mediator and counterterrorism partner in the region.

Currently, Gaza poses the greatest threat of rapid escalation on any of Israel’s borders. Sporadic violence has been ongoing since Hamas exploited protests in March to attack Israeli soldiers. Since then, the terrorist organization that rules Gaza has continued exploiting protests to charge the border, while also decimating the southern Israeli countryside with incendiary kites and balloons and repeatedly lobbing rockets into Israel. This violence must be halted before it spirals into another war. Any attempt at peace will require Egypt’s involvement. Indeed, Cairo already is mediating between the two sides and has engineered several short cease-fires. It can, and must, do more, with Washington’s support.

As part of its effort to secure peace, Cairo has sought to deter Hamas aggression and curb its military power. Since Hamas seized Gaza in 2007, Egypt has acted in parallel with Israel to enforce a blockade against the terrorist group. After successfully helping end the 2014 conflict, Egypt sought to isolate Hamas and prevent its rearmament, expanding its buffer zone along the Egypt-Gaza border and destroying more than 1,000 tunnels for smuggling weapons and money. At the same time, Cairo was committed to helping the people of Gaza suffering under Hamas rule, raising $4 billion from international donors for postwar reconstruction.

Given this successful record, U.S. policymakers should vocally endorse Egypt as a peace broker between Israel and Hamas and be prepared to support negotiations under its auspices. By the same token, the United States must support Egypt as a counterterrorism partner not only in Gaza but against ISIS in neighboring Sinai.

I traveled to Egypt recently as part of a delegation sponsored by the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA). We met with Egypt’s President Abdel el-Sisi, Defense Minister General Mohamed Ahmed Zaki and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. They emphasized Egypt’s critical role in maintaining and achieving regional stability and their readiness to continue that role. They also highlighted the importance of a strong bond with the United States and their desire to strengthen that bond.

Indeed, for decades Egypt has committed to fostering a broader Israel-Palestinian peace, including brokering ceasefires in recent conflicts between Israel and Hamas. Especially after the disastrous pro-Hamas policies of President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt under President Sisi has also played a crucial role in helping to isolate and pressure Hamas.

Egyptian mediation was critical to ending the 2014 Gaza War, one of the longest in Israeli history. Very early in that conflict, an Egyptian ceasefire proposal was accepted by both sides, with hostilities even being suspended temporarily, but ultimately Hamas reneged on the ceasefire. As American policymakers spent succeeding weeks criticizing Israel’s conduct, Cairo was busy working with Israeli and Palestinian officials on a long-term solution. Essentially an identical ceasefire deal ended the conflict in August, after seven weeks of further fighting. As an anonymous Israeli government official stated at the time, “Israel has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a complete and unlimited-in-time ceasefire.” That held for nearly four years, the longest period of peace on Israel’s southern border in decades.

Already, Egypt has shown it can seek a longer-term arrangement to exchange quiet for quiet in Gaza. As violence flared up this spring, pressure from Cairo helped convince Hamas to curb its deadly “peaceful protests.” When Hamas recently launched incendiary kites and balloons, Egypt’s ultimatum helped defuse tensions. Cairo has also helped deter Hamas by communicating Israel’s intent to escalate hostilities if Hamas continued firing on the IDF and into Israel.

Now, Egypt is diligently trying for an even more ambitious goal: negotiating a 5-plus-year ceasefire – including prisoner exchanges and reconstruction programs – and having the Palestinian Authority assume control of Gaza under Egyptian auspices. The efficacy of these Egyptian efforts can only be increased if both sides know Cairo enjoys Washington’s full confidence.

Egypt needs U.S. support for its attempts to build peace at home. Since the November 2017 mosque attack by ISIS in Sinai that killed over 300 civilians, Egypt has stepped up its own counterterrorism efforts. Success is critical to the security of Egypt’s 80 million citizens and for peace in Gaza; restoring order to Sinai will help compel Hamas to distance itself further from ISIS. The recent decision to authorize the release of $1.2 billion in US military assistance (Foreign Military Financing) is a step in the right direction toward ensuring peace. Often unappreciated, Egypt’s efforts to maintain regional stability and its commitment to countering Islamist extremism should be fully recognized and reinforced by American policymakers.                                                   Contents

   

                              TRUMP’S ALLIANCE AGAINST IRAN                                     

                                                            Tom O’Connor                                

                                                  Newsweek, Sept. 25, 2018

While President Donald Trump condemned Iran in his address Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly, a small but influential group of countries gathered elsewhere in New York City in an attempt to rally support for an increasingly controversial cause among the international community.

The foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the ambassadors of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates to Washington and the director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency were among those who spoke alongside two of President Donald Trump’s most senior officials at the 2018 United Against Nuclear Iran summit. These five U.S.-backed countries have accused Iran of interfering in their respective internal affairs and were among the few world powers to welcome Trump’s decision to unilaterally abandon a 2015 multinational deal by which Iran agreed to denuclearize in exchange for a lifting of sanctions.

At a time when traditional U.S. allies France, Germany and the U.K.–all of which also signed the nuclear deal–were working alongside China and Russia to counter U.S. sanctions against Iran, this Middle Eastern quintet has formed the core of foreign support for Trump’s hardline stance against the revolutionary Shiite Muslim power. UAE ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba said Tuesday that the Iranian threat was existential. “We have paid the price more than anyone else in our part of the world,” Otaiba said, sitting on a panel beside State Department director of policy planning Brian Hook and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir. “The Gulf countries, Israel and the countries in the immediate vicinity are the ones at immediate risk.”

While the four Arabian Peninsula states do not recognize or maintain relations with Israel, their mutual enmity for the leadership in Tehran has forged an informal coalition. Otaiba himself reportedly met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a chance encounter in Washington in May, during which both men discussed their country’s positions on Iran, according to the Associated Press.

Bahrain, a majority-Shiite Muslim island state ruled by a Sunni Muslim monarchy with close ties to neighboring Saudi Arabia, went so far as to publicly back Israel’s right to defend itself via a social media statement by its top diplomat in March. Having accused Iran of funding a Shiite Muslim insurgency in his country, Bahraini envoy to the U.S. Sheikh Abdullah bin Rashed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa reaffirmed this statement on Tuesday. “Some of you might recall our foreign minister tweeted a few months ago and said that every country has the right to defend itself, including Israel,” Sheikh Abdullah said.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution that ousted a CIA-reinstalled absolute monarchy, Iran’s growing presence in the region has created major concerns for Saudi Arabia and Israel. The staunch U.S. allies have been at odds since Israel’s 1948 creation, which prompted the mass displacement of Palestinians and a series of Arab-Israeli wars, but reports have suggested that two have become increasingly close in the face of a common foe, especially as Riyadh’s regional clout has fallen in Iran’s favor in countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

“This is a regime the only way one can deal with them is by pressuring them and by forcing them to change,” Jubeir told the conference Tuesday, accusing Tehran of sponsoring terrorism, cyber attacks, ethnic cleansing projects and of supporting a group of Zaidi Shiite Muslim rebels, known as Ansar Allah or the Houthi movement, which he said have fired up to 197 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia. Jubeir left the event without taking questions and Israeli Mossad Director Yossi Cohen’s comments at the following panel were off the record.

As a Saudi-led coalition—which includes Bahrain and the UAE—bombs the Houthis in Yemen, Israeli warplanes blast alleged Iranian and pro-Iran positions fighting on behalf of resurgent government forces in Syria. Both Saudi Arabia and Israel have backed Syrian rebels attempting to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, an ally of Iran and Russia. Israeli officials have called for Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to openly work together with their country against Iran. Last month, a report surfaced suggesting Saudi Arabia acquired the Iron Dome missile defense system, which Israel uses to block rocket attacks from Palestinian and Lebanese groups sponsored by Iran. The Israeli Defense Ministry reportedly denied the report.

While the true extent of their alignment remains the source of reports and speculation, Israel and Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iran postures have been emboldened by the Trump administration. The U.S. leader followed up his fiery debut at the U.N. General Assembly last year with another verbal assault on Tehran, calling it a “corrupt dictatorship” whose leaders “sow chaos, death, and disruption.” “They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond,” he said. “The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran’s treasury, seized valuable portions of the economy, and looted the religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war.”

Iran has been keen to point out the perceived growing ties between the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia and dismissed their accusations, accusing them of conspiring to destabilize the country and the region. The Iranian position has been reinforced by its success in tackling the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) alongside Iraqi government forces backed by the U.S. and Syrian government forces opposed by Washington. In Syria, Iran-backed militias have deployed alongside Syria’s armed forces around Idlib, the final province under the control of an Islamist-led insurgency.

France, Germany and the U.K. have joined the U.S. in cautioning Syria and its Iranian and Russian allies from pursuing an all-out offensive in Idlib, but have split with the Trump administration on punishing Iran economically for its involvement in the Middle East and development of ballistic missiles. France, the EU, Germany and the U.K. have been deeply critical of the U.S. decision to leave the Iran deal, which came after the International Atomic Energy Agency affirmed Tehran’s adherence on multiple occasions and followed U.S. exits from other international agreements. A day before Trump’s U.N. address and the United Against Nuclear Iran conference, the foreign ministers of these transatlantic powers met with their Russian, Chinese and Iranian counterparts to discuss saving a nuclear deal that no longer protects the beleaguered Iranian economy from heavy U.S. sanctions…

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

Contents

   

QATAR IS A POOR AMERICAN ALLY;

TRUMP SHOULD LEAVE ITS AIRBASE UPGRADES EMPTY

Tom Rogan

Washington Examiner, Aug. 30, 2018

President Trump should pick up the phone — or get on Twitter — and tell Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani that the U.S. won’t use expanded base facilities in Qatar and will consider relocating the U.S. military out of Qatar entirely. Unless, that is, Qatar realigns its foreign policy towards greater support for regional stability and counterterrorism.

The need for Trump’s action bears consideration in light of a Qatari government official’s announcement on Sunday that it intends to expand the Al-Udeid airbase. That base hosts the forward command elements for the Pentagon’s U.S. Central Command and has played an integral role in U.S. strike operations against Bashar Assad and the Islamic State. Yet, Qatar’s intent in constructing new facilities at Al-Udeid is about locking the U.S. into a long-term formal military presence in that nation. It’s all part of Qatar’s patronage policy of buying Western military equipment and thus buying Western political acquiescence to Qatar’s broader foreign policy.

But it’s time for this waltz to end. The simple problem is that Qatar continues to act in ways that are fundamentally counter to American interests. Take Qatar’s close friendship with Iran. Qatar is happy to support Iranian foreign policy interests against regional stability. Maintaining growing commercial ties with Iran, the Qatari government has also allowed the Iranian revolutionary guard-aligned hardliners to insulate their business interests from U.S. sanctions pressure. Other recent reports suggest that Qatar may be helping Iran to manipulate the outcome of ongoing government formation talks in Iraq (which would be very bad for America).

Still, the real measure of why Trump should challenge Qatar is its ongoing and outrageous support for Salafi-Jihadist terrorists. The divorce between Qatari words and actions here is defining. While the Qatari ambassador writes Washington Post op-eds attacking Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their ( admittedly flawed) campaign in Yemen, his prime minister flirts with terrorist fundraisers in Doha. The ruling Al Thani family allows such conduct because of its own ardent ideological support for the most conservative strains of Sunni political Islam. More importantly, they do so in full awareness that the groups associated with these ideological movements are often defined by violent fanaticism and the pursuit of exclusionary societies that prejudice against other religious ( including Muslim) and social groups.

These activities run fundamentally counter to the national security interests of the United States. While Saudi Arabia and the UAE are imperfect allies, they are actively pursuing political reforms aligned with U.S. interests. Qatar absolutely is not doing this, and Trump should mark this divergence in developing policy. Fortunately, in this case at least, the Pentagon is bucking its usual penchant for filling up buildings without regard for cost or efficiency. In a statement a U.S. Navy press officer noted that “It is premature to discuss aspects of a potential base expansion at Al-Udeid air base in Qatar.” Good. If Qatar doesn’t change, the U.S. could always relocate its Al-Udeid operations to the UAE’s Al-Dhafra Air Base.

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Islamists Smear Egyptian Actress for Removing Hijab: Hany Ghoraba, IPT News, Sept. 4, 2018—She once was one of Egypt’s most popular actresses. Now, Hala Shiha has created a row by announcing she no longer will wear a hijab in public.

Fighting Terrorism, a Human Right: Mike Evans, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 28, 2018—President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi of Egypt deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, for saving Egypt from a human rights catastrophe.

Death as Punishment “for Disbelief”: Extremist Persecution of Christians, February 2018: Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 9, 2018—The jihadi assault on, and massacre of, Christians continued unabated throughout the Muslim word.

Qatar and Turkey: Toxic Allies in the Gulf: Richard Miniter, Gatestone Institute, Aug. 28, 2018—These days, America has more trouble with its allies than its enemies.

 

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

On Topic Links

No Hope for Mideast Peace if the Palestinians Won’t Renounce Terrorism: Vivian Bercovici, National Post, Sept. 25, 2018

How Hamas Teaches Kids to Kill Jews: Jerusalem Online, Sept. 23, 2018

Beating Back Iranian Aggression by Supporting Israel: Michael Makovsky & Charles Wald, NY Daily News, Sept. 25, 2018

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2018: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Sept. 23, 2018

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

“The ongoing tragedy in Syria is heartbreaking. Our shared goals must be the de-escalation of military conflict, along with a political solution that honors the will of the Syrian people. In this vein, we urge the United Nations-led peace process be reinvigorated. But, rest assured, the United States will respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime…Every solution to the humanitarian crisis in Syria must also include a strategy to address the brutal regime that has fueled and financed it: the corrupt dictatorship in Iran. Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death, and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders [use the] nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond…The Iranian people are rightly outraged that their leaders have embezzled billions of dollars from Iran’s treasure, seized valuable portions of the economy, and looted the people’s religious endowments, all to line their own pockets and send their proxies to wage war. Not good…The United States has launched a campaign of economic pressure to deny the regime the funds it needs to advance its bloody agenda. Last month, we began re-imposing hard-hitting nuclear sanctions that had been lifted under the Iran deal. Additional sanctions will resume November 5th, and more will follow. And we’re working with countries that import Iranian crude oil to cut their purchases substantially. We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. Just can’t do it.” — U.S. President Trump’s address to the UN General Assembly. (Vox, Sept. 25, 2018)

“America is acting like a bully towards the rest of the world… and thinks it can act based on brute force…But our people will resist and the government is ready to confront America. We will overcome this situation and America will regret choosing the wrong path.” — President Hassan Rouhani of Iran. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard vowed “deadly and unforgettable” vengeance for the mass shooting at a military parade as Iran’s president blamed U.S.-backed insurgents for killing 25 people in a hail of bullets. Rouhani accused the U.S. of inciting an unnamed ally in the Persian Gulf to carry out an attack Saturday in the city of Ahvaz, in which four gunmen disguised in military garb opened fire and killed 12 Revolutionary Guardsmen as well as a number of spectators. (National Post, Sept. 23, 2018)

“The thing he has to do is look in the mirror. He’s got the Iranian people protesting. Every ounce of money goes into his military. He has oppressed his people for a long time. I think the Iranian people have had enough.” — Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the UN. President Rouhani is on a collision course with Donald Trump, whose decision to quit the 2015 nuclear deal is, to Rouhani’s mind, directly to blame for Iran’s financial crisis. (National Post, Sept. 23, 2018)

“According to the mullahs in Tehran, we are the ‘Great Satan,’ lord of the underworld, master of the raging inferno, so, I might imagine they would take me seriously when I assure them today: If you cross us, our allies, or our partners; if you harm our citizens; if you continue to lie, cheat, and deceive—yes, there will indeed be hell to pay…The United States is not naive. We will not be duped, cheated, or intimidated. The days of impunity for Tehran and its enablers are over. The murderous regime and its supporters will face significant consequences if they do not change their behavior. Let my message today be clear: We are watching, and we will come after you.” — U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton. (JNS, Sept. 26, 2018)

“America grieves as one of its citizens was brutally murdered by a Palestinian terrorist. Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel & an American patriot. He represented the best of both countries & will be deeply missed. May his family be comforted & his memory be blessed.” — American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. American-born Israeli citizen Ari Fuld, who immigrated to Israel from New York in 1994, was a resident of the Israeli settlement Efrat and a well-known pro-Israel activist, prominent on online forums and in the media. He was stabbed to death Sept. 16 outside a supermarket at a busy intersection in the Israeli-occupied West Bank that in recent years has become synonymous with such deadly attacks. Fuld’s killer was identified as Halil Yousef Ali Jabarin from the nearby Palestinian village of Yatta. He was shot and wounded by a civilian guard. (National Post, Sept. 17, 2018)

“Mr. President, someone whom I recently met in Jerusalem, Ari Fuld, was …stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist. A husband and father of four children, Ari lived and died as a hero. Despite his wounds, he chased and shot at his attacker, preventing further casualties, before collapsing to the ground. Hila Peretz, who was working nearby, said, “He gave his life for me.” Now, I want to ask the United Nations and this council: Why has no official of this body condemned the murder? Why is the U.N. silent when Hamas and Islamic Jihad, supported by Iran, which just spoke here in this room, praised the murder? Why were they silent when the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade —the military wing of Fatah, which belongs to the PA, which sits here — welcomed the attack, stressing the necessity of “resistance”? Why is the U.N. silent when according to reports, the family of the terrorist, Khalil Jabarin, has already been rewarded more than $3,000, and while the family stands to be paid an additional $1.7 million over his lifetime? Why is this council, which is about to dedicate an entire day next week to condemning Israel, why have they refused to condemn the system known as “pay-to-slay,” a total budget of some $300 to $400 million dollars, 7% of the budget of the PA that is used to reward and financially incentivize the murder of Jews?” — Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, addressing the U.N. Human Rights Council. (UNWatch, Sept. 20, 2018)

“The United States Government does not believe that it is responsible for paying the hospital bills. Now, that may shock some people to hear that. The Palestinian Authority is the one that actually incurs these bills on behalf of Palestinian citizens and others who seek treatment at that hospital. The Palestinian Authority is solely responsible for paying for the treatment of Palestinians in those hospitals…Historically, they have neglected to pay the bills at their hospital of those individuals….The Palestinian Authority…has failed to prioritize paying its debts and has instead put money into funding things like payment to families of terrorists and payment to…families of those who have been imprisoned. We think that that is a wrong decision, that the Palestinians should be funding the care of their own people in the hospitals.” — State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert, in response to a question about ending U.S. funding for Palestinian hospitals in east Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Online, Sept. 23, 2018)

“A combination of war, isolation, and internal division has left Gaza in a crippling economic state and exacerbated the human distress. A situation where people struggle to make ends meet, suffer from worsening poverty, rising unemployment and deteriorating public services such as health care, water and sanitation, calls for urgent, real and sustainable solutions.” — Marina Wes, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza. Not surprisingly, the latest World Bank report to the Ad Hoc Liaison committee (AHLC), a policy-level meeting for “development assistance to the Palestinian people,” assigns no responsibility for the situation to Hamas, which has governed the Gaza Strip for a decade, encouraging an endless string of confrontations with Israel and Egypt, which have led to a deepening isolation of Gaza and its people. (Jewish Press, Sept. 25, 2018)

“(ADL officials) positioned themselves as somehow being part of the progressive movement…But what they do is, I’ll give you an example of something that they do, if you are part of a criminal justice reform movement, if you believe in the idea of ending police brutality and the misconduct of law enforcement officers across the country, then you do not support an organization that takes police officers from America, funds their trips, takes them to Israel so they can be trained by the Israeli police and military, and then they come back here and do what? Stop and frisk, killing unarmed black people across the country.” — Linda Sarsour, a co-chair of the national Women’s March and a campaign surrogate for Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. A program sponsored by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) that takes American police officials to Israel for a week-long seminar is fueling police brutality, Sarsour said earlier this month at the Islamic Society of North America annual convention. The ADL, she said in response to a question, “has been a purveyor of Islamophobia against our community” but still enjoys a positive reputation. (IPT News, Sept. 25, 2018)

“That’s so horrific…It’s not only anti-Semitic, it’s bullshit…She’s lying to a bunch of gullible, hurt people. She’s like a horrible guru that just lies because she has her own agenda.” — Nisi Jacobs, a co-founder of the Women’s March for All, a group that broke away from the national Women’s March because of antisemitism concerns about Sarsour and co-Chair Tamika Mallory. Women’s March for All has a petition calling on Sarsour and Mallory to be replaced. (IPT News, Sept. 25, 2018) 

“In an uncertain world, we have much more to do as we work together to safeguard the freedom and security of nearly 1 billion citizens on both sides of the Atlantic…Yes, we have our differences and robust debates. But two world wars and a Cold War and an ongoing fight against terrorism [have] taught us that we are far stronger together than apart. We have always been united in our core collective defense mission. That is why NATO is the most successful and the most valuable alliance in history.” — Jens Stoltenberg of Norway, NATO’s 13th secretary-general. Stoltenberg worked to shore up support in Washington, with boosters of the alliance anxious to retain the support of American conservatives amid criticism by President Trump and ahead of a possible Senate vote next year on expansion. (Heritage Foundation, Sept. 24, 2018)

“No one wants a good deal more than me…But the E.U. should be clear: I will not overturn the result of the referendum. Nor will I break up my country.” — British Prime Minister Theresa May. May told her country “we are at an impasse” in negotiations over Britain’s departure from the E.U. May has struggled to put forward a complex compromise that can win signatures in Europe and be accepted by rebellious hard-liners in her own government ahead of the March 29 Brexit deadline. May conceded the two sides remain far apart — and threatened that Britain could leave the union without a deal, a scenario that many British businesses consider a doomsday option. (Washington Post, Sept. 21, 2018)

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

RUSSIA TO SUPPLY SYRIA WITH S-300 (Moscow) — Russia said it would supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks despite strong Israeli objections, a week after Moscow accused Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet in Syria. The Russian Defence Minister said Moscow had in the past obliged Israel by refraining from providing Syria with the S-300. But last week’s crash, which killed 15 Russian service members, had forced Russia to take “adequate retaliatory measures” to keep its troops safe.  Russia has said Syrian anti-aircraft shot the IL-20 surveillance plane down by mistake shortly after Israeli jets hit a nearby target. Moscow accused Israel of creating dangerous conditions that caused the crash. A Russian official also said Moscow could easily close Syria’s airspace to Israeli jets. (Globe & Mail, Sept. 24, 2018) 

CORBYN SAYS UK WILL RECOGNIZE PALESTINIAN STATE IF HE’S ELECTED (London) — The leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, said that he would immediately recognize a Palestinian state if elected to lead the country, while also acknowledging that his party has faced a tough summer grappling with the issue of antisemitism. During his speech at the annual Labour conference, Corbyn declared Labour was “united in condemning the shooting of hundreds of unarmed demonstrators in Gaza by Israeli forces and the passing of Israel’s discriminatory nation-state law.” Palestinian flags were distributed to the audience during the conference, while attendees shouted pro-Palestinian slogans and speakers relentlessly slammed the Jewish state. (Times of Israel, Sept. 26, 2018) 

IRAN BLAMES U.S. AND ISRAEL FOR ATTACK ON PARADE (Tehran) — The Iranian government is blaming several foreign countries, including the U.S. and Israel, for an attack in which gunmen opened fire at a military parade in southwestern Iran, killing 29 and wounding over 70. The attack struck a parade that was part of celebrations in Iran to mark the 30th anniversary of the end of the war with Iraq in 1988. Three terrorists were killed in clashes with security forces and one terrorist was arrested but died from his wounds. I.S. claimed responsibility for the attack. (Breaking Israel News, Sept. 23, 2018)

US SANCTIONS THAI COMPANY, SAYING IT HELPED BLACKLISTED IRAN AIRLINE (New York) — The US has imposed sanctions on a Thailand-based company it says provides services to an Iranian airline that Washington accuses of supporting terrorist activities directed by Iran’s government. The US Treasury Department said that My Aviation Co. Ltd., headquartered in Bangkok, “provides cargo services to Mahan Air, to include freight booking,” as well as passenger booking services. Mahan has been accused by the US and Israel of transporting weapons and equipment on behalf of the al-Quds Force to terror groups such as Lebanon’s Hezbollah. (Times of Israel, Sept. 14, 2018)

HAMAS-LINKED PRC TERRORIST KILLED DURING GAZA BORDER VIOLENCE (Gaza) — A member of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist organization was killed Monday after he was allegedly shot by IDF soldiers during violence by Gazans at Israel’s southern border. 21-year-old Muhammad Abu Sadek, was allegedly shot by IDF soldiers and killed during clashes near Kibbutz Zikkim. Abu Sadek was identified as a member of the PRC terrorist group, which is linked to Hamas. IDF soldiers also reportedly shot and wounded 10 other Gaza rioters as well. (Jewish Press, Sept. 25, 2018)

YEMEN’S CRISIS COULD ESCALATE TO ‘WIDESPREAD FAMINE’: UN (New York) — The U.N. humanitarian chief warned that the fight against famine is being lost in Yemen, which is already facing a humanitarian crisis with 75 per cent of its 29 million people in need of assistance. Mark Lowcock said two recent developments threaten to overwhelm the aid operation – a “dramatic economic collapse” that has reduced the value of Yemen’s currency by some 30 per cent, and fighting around the port of Hodeida. The conflict in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, began with the 2014 takeover of the capital, Sanaa, by Houthi Shiite rebels, which toppled the internationally recognized government. A Saudi-led coalition allied with the government has been fighting the Houthis. (Global, Sept. 24, 2018)

HOUSE OF COMMONS UNANIMOUSLY VOTES TO CALL ROHINGYA KILLINGS A GENOCIDE (Ottawa) — In a rare show of unanimity, Canadian MPs agreed to call the campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya in Myanmar an act of genocide. Liberal MP Andrew Leslie presented a motion asking for unanimous consent among MPs from all parties to recognize as a genocide the killings, which began last summer, and to call for the generals and leaders responsible to be prosecuted for the crime under international law. More than 900,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar into neighbouring Bangladesh since August 2017. The Rohingya are an ethnic minority in Myanmar who have been the target of a campaign of systemic rape and murder led by the Myanmar military. (Global, Sept. 20, 2018)

I.S. VIDEO CALLS TORONTO SHOOTING ITS TOP FOREIGN OPERATION OF THE YEAR (Toronto) — A propaganda video released by pro-Islamic State media praising terrorist attacks abroad names July’s mass shooting on Toronto’s Danforth Av as its most successful foreign operation of the year. This is the third claim connecting the deadly Canadian attack to I.S., but there is still no evidence that the gunman acted on behalf of any organizations. The clip features excerpts from the most recent speech by Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of I.S., in which he praises attackers in the West, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). (National Post, Sept. 17, 2018)

IRAQI COURT SENTENCES BAGHDADI’S DEPUTY TO DEATH BY HANGING (Baghdad) — An Iraqi court has sentenced to death by hanging a deputy to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over his involvement in terrorist acts. The convict, identified as Ismail al-Eithawy, had fled the country into Syria, then he escaped into Turkey following the defeat of I.S. Iraqi courts have sentenced tens of I.S.  members to death over joining the group. Experts estimate that Iraq is holding 20,000 people in jail over suspected I.S. membership. (Iraqi News, Sept. 19, 2018)

PROF DRAWS IRE AFTER DECLINING TO HELP STUDENT STUDY IN ISRAEL (Detroit) — A University of Michigan professor refused to help a student study in Israel because of an academic boycott. John Cheney-Lippold, an associate professor in the American culture department, told Abigail Ingber he couldn’t write her a letter of recommendation to study in Israel. In an email, Cheney-Lippold writes he previously agreed to pen the letter but “for reasons of these politics, I must rescind my offer to write your letter.” Cheney-Lippold clarified he is one of many professors at the university individually taking part in the boycott — which isn’t sanctioned by the school. (New York Post, Sept. 20, 2018)

POLISH SYNAGOGUE ATTACKED DURING PRAYERS ON YOM KIPPUR (Gdansk) — As the Jewish women of Gdansk sat waiting in the New Synagogue for the final Neila prayer of Yom Kippur a rock suddenly crashed through the large window, shattering glass and flying close to the worshipers and their children. Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz immediately condemned the incident and expressed his apologies to the Jewish community. The attacker has been identified on camera and the police were reportedly dealing with the attack as “a matter of the highest urgency.” (Jewish Press, Sept. 20, 2018)

ANTISEMITIC MESSAGE DAUBED ON PARIS APARTMENT BUILDING (Paris) — The residents of an apartment building in the fashionable 18th arrondissement of Paris awoke on Thursday to find viciously antisemitic slogans daubed on their front door. “Jewish garbage lives here,” the graffiti on one side of the door declared. On the other side were the words “especially on the third,” accompanied by a Celtic cross — a symbol frequently used by neo-Nazi groups. French media outlets said the words referred specifically to a resident on the building’s third floor. In the last three months, two attempts to set the apartment building’s front door on fire have been reported. (Algemeiner, Sept. 20, 2018)

ANNE RUSS FEDERMAN DIES AT 97 (New York) — The last remaining daughter behind the iconic New York deli Russ & Daughters has died aged 97. Anne Russ Federman, who started working at her father Joel Russ’ deli at the age of 14 along with her two sisters, passed away from heart failure. She was the last survivor of the four namesakes behind the Lower East Side Manhattan eatery that her father opened more than a century ago. Russ & Daughters’ legacy has now been passed to Anne’s grandchildren Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper, the fourth generation to own and run the store famous for lox, herring and other Jewish delicacies. (Daily Mail, Sept. 23, 2018)

On Topic Links

No Hope for Mideast Peace if the Palestinians Won’t Renounce Terrorism: Vivian Bercovici, National Post, Sept. 25, 2018—On Sunday Sept. 16, a 17-year-old Palestinian, Khalil Jabarin, from a village near Hebron, plunged a knife into the back of 45-year-old Ari Fuld at the entrance to the Kefar Etzion mall in the West Bank.

How Hamas Teaches Kids to Kill Jews: Jerusalem Online, Sept. 23, 2018—he Israeli Defense Forces released footage to highlight the actions of the terrorist group Hamas in the Gaza Strip. “What does a policeman do,” two girls are asked on a Palestinian television program. A voice over answers, “He catches thieves and people who cause trouble.

Beating Back Iranian Aggression by Supporting Israel: Michael Makovsky & Charles Wald, NY Daily News, Sept. 25, 2018 —With the bloody battle for northwestern Syria underway, the media is focused again on chemical weapons. However important, the larger moral and strategic issue is the murderous Bashar Assad regime’s drive to reconquer all of Syria, backed by Russia and Iran.

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2018: Yoram Ettinger, Jewish Press, Sept. 23, 2018—US-Israel special ties are accentuated by Columbus Day (October 8, 2018), which is always celebrated around Sukkot (September 24-30, 2018). According to “Columbus Then and Now” (Miles Davidson, 1997, p. 268), Columbus landed in America on Friday afternoon, October 12, 1492, the 21st day of the Jewish month of Tishrei, in the Jewish year 5235, on the 7th day of Sukkot, Hosha’na’ Rabbah – a day of special universal deliverance and miracles. Hosha’ (הושע) is “deliverance” in Hebrew, Na’ (נא) is the Hebrew word for “please” and Rabbah (רבה) is “The Sublime.” The numerical value of Na’ in Hebrew is 51 (נ – 50, א – 1), which corresponds to the celebration of Hoshaa’na’ Rabbah on the 51st day following Moses’ ascension up to Mt. Sinai.

SUKKOT REMINDS US THAT “IMPERMANENCE CAN BE GOOD AND NECESSARY”

The Blood of Slain Israelis Stains Many Hands: Melanie Phillips, JNS, Sept. 20, 2018— It’s often claimed by Western enemies of Israel that the military actions of the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas in Gaza are disproportionate because such actions kill Arabs while Hamas attacks don’t kill Israelis.

Sukkot and Impermanence: Jeremy Rosen, Algemeiner, Sept. 21, 2018— In discussing the festival of Sukkot, the Talmud gives all the various possible explanations for the origin and purpose of a Sukkah.

The NY Times: All the Fallacies it Considers Fit to Print: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, Arutz Sheva, Sept. 16, 2018— More than two thousand years before the ancestors of any New York Times (NYT) editor — other than indigenous individuals — lived in America, the Jewish people already existed with their own sophisticated language, culture and religion.

New Eichmann Film Puts the Lie to Hannah Arendt’s ‘Banality of Evil’: Alan Dershowitz, Algemeiner, Sept. 20, 2018 — One of the most notorious lines — and lies — that grew out of the trial of Adolph Eichmann for his important role in the Holocaust was what Hannah Arendt called the “Banality of Evil.”

On Topic Links

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2017: Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, Oct. 4, 2017

Mahmoud Abbas: Fresh American Blood on His Hands: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 17, 2018

New York Times Stumbles in a Strange Front-Page Antisemitism Story: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Sept. 12, 2018

UK Jews: Unity at any Price: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Sept. 17, 2018

 

                              SUKKOT AND IMPERMANENCE

Jeremy Rosen

Algemeiner, Sept. 21, 2018

In discussing the festival of Sukkot, the Talmud gives all the various possible explanations for the origin and purpose of a Sukkah. Its final idea is that of impermanence. “Leave your permanent home, and live in a temporary home.” In many ways, impermanence is in our genes: Our wandering forebears. Our movable Tabernacle. Exile. Return. Impermanence really resonates with us.

We humans are indeed transient. We live our lives in constant tension between permanence and impermanence. We can be snuffed out in a flash. We are specks on the timeline of life. We are driven by a desire for life and the struggle to avoid death. There are wars, persecution, political change and upheaval, as well as illness, plagues, and natural disasters. Life is a struggle. We struggle to work, to live, to love. As a result, many of us feel insecure, depressed, and stressed.

We need certainties — to know where we stand, where we live and where we work, what country we are citizens of, what party, what religion, what sect within a religion. We yearn for permanence. Resolution. To know how the world works and the reason for everything. We need to feel we belong. We need to feel comfortable, secure, loved, wanted, admired, and respected. We pay fortunes to psychiatrists, therapists, gurus, coaches, and rabbis to give us the easy answers. And we take drugs, alcohol, and pills. Anything to help us cope and ease the pain. But there are very few certainties in life “except death and taxes” as Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have said.

Once upon a time, we knew what our positions were in hierarchies — in states, classes, in religions, in nations. We lived in a world where these defined most of us. A few people in each generation were able to move up and rise. Most stayed put. In a world of constant conquest and change, we have always been at the mercy of forces beyond our control. But now, we seem to want to control everything, everyone, every space, and every argument. We want to have everything: money, power, freedom to do as we please. Not to be challenged or offended.

We have indeed advanced dramatically, combating poverty and disease. The latest figure just published in The Wall Street Journal is that extreme poverty is now down to 10% (but that’s still too much). In Western countries, we have so much more than we used to. But that does not seem to bring much happiness or contentment. Look how angry and hypersensitive so many people have become, despite all the social welfare, safety nets, and preferences that never existed 70 years ago. Look how fractious identity politics has become, how aggressive the pressure groups. We have become neurotic when things don’t happen just the way we want them to. Yet, for all that, I’d rather live in a world of uncertainty and choice than have dictators or ideological fanatics tell me what to do.

No system is perfect or permanent. Each has aspects that are positive. The one common feature of our present world is Capisolism (my invented word) — the need for capital expansion and growth to fund the basic social needs of the poorest and the weakest. But that in itself is a variable. China has a command economy. It can do things better and faster, precisely because it can trample on individual wishes. America, on the other hand, values individual liberties and freedoms. But such liberties cause conflict, fragmentation, delays, and compromises. Both suffer from corruption.

To adapt Orwell, all states cause harm. Some states cause much more harm than others. Despite Fukuyama’s unfortunate title The End of History, there is no end. It cannot end, because humans are constantly changing. There is no final, no perfect state. Only constant fluidity and cycles. Rises and falls. Situations that seem desperate one moment become successful and peaceful the next. War turns to peace and peace to war. My liberalism is predicated on hearing other views, examining other ideas, and listening respectfully to other views.

I embrace impermanence because that has been my life. I know many who have had it far worse — far more tragic and unstable than I. But I have never had a permanent home, a permanent country, or a permanent job. I have always been wandering in the desert and finding my shade where I can. I have always been aware of people who hate me for who I am and what I am. Even personal life has had its impermanence, its ups and downs, good moments and bad ones. I do not expect perfection or resolution. I only know I have to try cope. I am fortunate to be a very happy fellow.

This impermanence, I suggest, is why the Torah gives us no ideal political or even social system, or a perfect example of how to run societies. Because there is no perfect solution. Different circumstances call for different responses. We cannot control the world or societies. All we can do is our best. The Torah constantly reminds us of the need to behave, to think, to bring spiritual ideas to mind, to enrich our lives, while at the same time reminding us that we have the freedom and choice to make crucial decisions. (Even if, as Moses predicted, many of us will get it wrong, and disappear from our people and merge with others.)

Sukkot is the festival of impermanence — throughout history, and now. How many will come and sit with us? How many will simply not be there? Sukkot reminds us that impermanence can be good. Perhaps not all the time. No one wants an impermanent marriage or impermanent children. But impermanence can be good and necessary too, if it helps us appreciate what we have and determine to preserve it…

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

Contents

   

THE BLOOD OF SLAIN ISRAELIS STAINS MANY HANDS

                                       Melanie Phillips  

JNS, Sept. 20, 2018

It’s often claimed by Western enemies of Israel that the military actions of the Israel Defense Forces against Hamas in Gaza are disproportionate because such actions kill Arabs while Hamas attacks don’t kill Israelis. That’s apparently why the Western media ignore the thousands of rockets and aerial firebombs launched from Gaza to kill the residents of southern Israel, reporting instead IDF military action to stop such attacks as the wanton killing of civilians.

When an Israeli actually is murdered by an Arab in cold blood, however, this isn’t reported as wanton killing of the innocent, if he happens to be the wrong sort of Israeli. Then it’s suggested his murder is his own fault. The killing of American-born Israeli Ari Fuld on Sept. 16 has caused an outpouring of grief in Israel. The impassioned eulogies to him poured out not just because his wife, four children, parents and the rest of his family have been so cruelly bereaved.

It’s because he was a brave and outstanding fighter for Israel and the Jewish people, and admired even by his political opponents on account of his warm nature. He devoted his existence to fighting a great evil to which he has now lost his own life. The Western media, however, don’t count Ari Fuld as a victim at all because, as a resident of the Judean town of Efrat, he was a “settler.”

The murder of other Israeli residents of the disputed territories is similarly shrugged off or unreported by the Western media. For them, “settlers” are dehumanized and their lives reckoned as of no account. Thus their murder is, in effect, justified and condoned. This revolting attitude is all of a piece with the moral depravity of much of the West over the Arab war against Israel. Parroting the misleading mantra of a “two-state solution,” they deny the truths of history and law and ignore the real Arab agenda of colonial conquest and the extermination of Jewish nationhood.

For the supposed “settlers” are not in these lands illegally. They are entitled to be there. In the British Mandate for Palestine in 1922, the international community gave the Jews alone the right to settle what is now Israel, the “West Bank” and Gaza in recognition of the unique right of the Jews to recreate their ancient national homeland. The real occupiers are the Arabs. Over the centuries, they were among the waves of conquerors of the land of Israel, including Romans, Greeks, Selucids, Fatimids, Crusaders, Mongol tribes, Tartars, Mamelukes and the Ottoman Turks.

Those who today have invented for themselves a fictional “Palestinian” identity may not even have descended from the original Arab imperialists. Some may be the heirs of those who flooded into Palestine, many illegally, from neighboring Arab states on the back of the returning Jews in the early years of the last century. The historian William Ziff noted that the serial occupiers of Israel themselves brought in many other cultures. Ziff described the people of the land as a “human patch-work of Jews, Arabs, Armenians, Kalmucks, Persians, Crusaders, Tartars, Indians, Ethiopians, Egyptians, Sudanese, Turks, Mongols, Romans, Kharmazians, Greeks, pilgrims, wanderers, ne’er-do-wells and adventurers, invaders, slaves.”

To add to their historical and legal illiteracy, those shrugging aside the murder of Israeli “settlers” also turn a blind eye to the complicity in these crimes by the people they champion: the Palestinian Authority headed by Mahmoud Abbas. Through its educational materials and other media, the P.A. routinely incites hatred of Jews and the murder of Israelis, teaching its children that “all Israelis deserve to be killed and that dying while committing a terror attack is ‘the path to excellence and greatness … the great victory.’ ”

The Arab writer Bassam Tawil has specifically blamed the murder of Ari Fuld by 17-year-old Khalil Jabarin on incitement by Abbas. According to Palestinian terrorist groups, Jabarin decided to murder a Jew in response to Israeli “crimes” against the Al-Aqsa mosque and other Islamic holy sites. Two days earlier, in a speech to the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah widely reported in Arab media, Abbas had repeated the lie that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa mosque.

No mention of any of this in Western media. Nor the fact that the P.A. immediately said it would pay the Jabarin family 1,400 shekels per month (nearly $400) for the next three years as a reward for Ari Fuld’s murder. According to the P.A.’s finance ministry, its total “pay-for-slay” budget amounts to 1.2 billion shekels ($335 million) this year and last. Until now, the West as a bloc has been complicit in Arab violence against Israelis. Over the years, it has thrown money at the “Palestinians” in the pious hope that it would help build their society and thus promote peace. In fact, it has been used to help promulgate hatred and incite mass murder.

Now, U.S. President Donald Trump has called time on this appalling charade. The United States has cut its funding to the “West Bank” and Gaza, closed the PLO office in Washington, and set in train moves to abolish the United Nations Relief and Works Agency’s definition of Palestinian refugees. By defining that status as uniquely inheritable, UNRWA has ludicrously multiplied the number of “Palestinian refugees” down through the decades…

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

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THE NY TIMES: ALL THE FALLACIES IT CONSIDERS FIT TO PRINT

                                        Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

                                                 Arutz Sheva, Sept. 16, 2018

More than two thousand years before the ancestors of any New York Times (NYT) editor — other than indigenous individuals — lived in America, the Jewish people already existed with their own sophisticated language, culture and religion. This is still true today. Jewish peoplehood runs deep. The NYT understanding of this is, however, superficial to non-existent. Far worse, it denies self-determination to Jews to call themselves a people.

On this Jewish New Year’s Holiday (Rosh Hashanah), the NYT published a front page article entitled “Education Department Reopens Case Charging Discrimination against Jewish Students.” This article attacked a decision by Kenneth Marcus, Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, to reopen an anti-Semitism case at Rutgers University. The NYT claimed that the US Education Department embraced Judaism as an ethnicity and adopted what it called a “hotly contested definition of anti-Semitism” that included “denying the Jewish people the right to self-determination” by, for example, “claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor” and “applying double standards by requiring of Israel a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation.”

It is clear from this article that the NYT does not consider the existence of a Palestinian people contestable. Yet there was no such nationality even sixty years ago. The Arabs, in the British mandate of Palestine and after 1948 under Jordanian and Egyptian rule on the ‘West Bank’ and in Gaza respectively, saw themselves belonging either to tribes or to an international Arab nation or both.

Self-definition according to the NYT – a so-called “progressive” daily — seems okay for the Palestinians, but not for Jews. Such double standards are a typical hallmark of anti-Semitism. What the NYT calls a “hotly contested definition of anti-Semitism” is the widely accepted International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of this hate mongering. Its approval required the agreement of the thirty one Western democratic nations represented on its board. It was also specifically adapted for internal use by a number of nations and many institutions in the Western world. Furthermore, this definition can be found on the website of the US State Department.

Ira Stoll, a former Forward editor, discovered that on two other occasions the NYT had described the same definition as “internationally accepted.” The US media watch organization, CAMERA, has been exposing the NYT’s anti-Israeli bias for a long time. In 2014, I interviewed two senior analysts from CAMERA, Ricky Hollander and Gilead Ini for INN. They co-authored a major study on the unfair NYT coverage of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Hollander and Ini said: “The New York Times is guilty of advocacy journalism. Both its editorial pages and news reporting lean heavily toward an anti-Israel perspective. This is in blunt contravention of its directive to journalists in the Ethical Journalism handbook, ‘to cover the news as impartially as possible’ and ‘tell our readers the complete, unvarnished truth as best we can learn it.’” Reacting to the article on the Rutgers case, Hollander and Ini exposed several expressions used by the NYT journalist that are largely identical to those used by virulently anti-Israeli pro-Palestinian organizations.

It would be a mistake to view the opposition of the NYT and several other media including the Los Angeles Times to the reopening of the Rutgers case as a stand-alone issue. Marcus, a lawyer, has a long record and profound knowledge concerning antisemitic discrimination. He is the founder and former president of The Louis Brandeis Center for Human Rights and the Law in Washington. This organization litigated against classic anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on US campuses. When Marcus was confirmed in his post by the Senate in June 2018, not a single Democrat voted for him…

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

   

NEW EICHMANN FILM PUTS THE LIE TO HANNAH

ARENDT’S ‘BANALITY OF EVIL’

Alan Dershowitz

Algemeiner, Sept. 20, 2018

One of the most notorious lines — and lies — that grew out of the trial of Adolph Eichmann for his important role in the Holocaust was what Hannah Arendt called the “Banality of Evil.” Arendt was assigned to report on the 1961 trial of Eichmann in Jerusalem, but according to contemporaries, she rarely attended the trial itself. She came to Jerusalem having made up her mind in advance that Eichmann in particular and others involved in the evils of the Holocaust were ordinary banal functionaries. She reported on the trial with an agenda. It was not necessary for her to actually observe and listen to Eichmann because to do so would undercut her thesis. So instead she wrote a mendacious screed in which she constructed a stick-figure caricature of one of the most significant perpetrators of the Holocaust.

I use the word mendacious deliberately, because Arendt knew better. One of Hitler’s key supporters was Professor Martin Heidegger, perhaps the most influential philosopher of his day. Arendt was his student and lover. After the war she tried desperately to rehabilitate him. He was anything but banal. Nor were Göring, Goebbels, Himmler, Hitler, and the numerous doctors and lawyers who were tried at Nuremberg. Neither were the university students who began by burning Jewish books and ended by burning Jewish children. The perpetrators of the Holocaust — from those who organized it in Berlin to those who carried it out in the death camps and killing fields — included some of the most brilliant young men and women in the country. Many left university to participate in the “final solution” and then returned to highly prestigious jobs in post-war Germany.

Adolph Eichmann was anything but banal, as a perusal of the trial transcript reveals. In the film “Operation Finale,” he is played by Ben Kingsley. Although the film takes Hollywood liberties — a romance between a beautiful doctor who in reality was a man and the film’s Israeli hero — Kingsley’s fictional portrayal of Eichmann is far more realistic than the allegedly non-fiction account by Arendt.

The late Professor Telford Taylor — who was my teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend — had been the chief prosecutor at the Second Nuremburg Trials. He was invited to report on the Eichmann trial as well. He invited me along as his assistant and translator, but I had just been elected editor in chief at the Yale Law Journal and could not accept his offer — a decision I have long regretted. When he returned, he gave me his account of the trial, which varied enormously from that of Hannah Arendt. Where she saw banality, he saw calculation, manipulation, and shrewdness. These characteristics come through far more clearly in the film than in Arendt’s deeply flawed account. In the film we see a highly manipulative, shrewd judge of character who seeks to use his psychological insights to his advantage.

Nor was Arendt’s book Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, the only effort by Germans to attribute banality and ignorance to the perpetrators of the Holocaust. In Bernhard Schlink’s award winning book The Reader, turned into a critically acclaimed film staring Kate Winslet, a woman who actively participated in the mass murder of Jews is presented as embarrassed by her illiteracy. Readers and viewers come away believing that she may have been more typical of hands-on perpetrators than the SS and Einsatzgruppen.

Deliberately distorting the history of the Holocaust — whether by denial, minimization, unfair comparisons, or false characterizations of the perpetrators — is a moral and literary sin. Arendt is a sinner who placed her ideological agenda above the truth. To be sure, there are untruths as well in “Operation Finale,” but they are different in kind rather than degree. Some of the drama and chase scenes are contrived, but what else can be expected of Hollywood. What is important is that Eichmann is presented in his multifaceted complexity, in the manner in which Shakespeare presented Iago, Lady Macbeth, and many of his other evil villains — not as banal, but as brilliantly evil.

It is essential to the memory of the victims of the Shoah, as well as to future efforts to prevent recurrences of genocide, that we not engage in ideologically driven and historically false oversimplifications such as “the banality of evil.” That mendacious and dangerous phrase should be struck from the historical vocabulary of the Holocaust and the trial of Eichmann, lest we look in the future for banality and miss the brilliance of those who would repeat Eichmann’s crimes.

CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!

No Daily Briefing Will Be Published Monday or Tuesday Because of the Sukkot Holiday

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) Guide for the Perplexed, 2017: Yoram Ettinger, Ettinger Report, Oct. 4, 2017—The holiday of Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) is dedicated to the study of the Book of Ecclesiastes, which was often quoted by the late Senator Robert Byrd, the longest serving Senator and Member of Congress in US history, who was known to quote Biblical verses.

Mahmoud Abbas: Fresh American Blood on His Hands: Bassam Tawil, Gatestone Institute, Sept. 17, 2018—In a speech before the PLO Executive Committee in Ramallah on September 15, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas repeated the old libel that Israel was planning to establish special Jewish prayer zones inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Abbas claimed that Israel was seeking to copy the example of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, where Jews and Muslims pray in different sections.

New York Times Stumbles in a Strange Front-Page Antisemitism Story: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, Sept. 12, 2018—A front-page New York Times news article appears under the headline “U.S. Revives Rutgers Bias Case In New Tack on Anti-Semitism.”

UK Jews: Unity at any Price: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Sept. 17, 2018—The list of 50 Most Influential Jews published by The Jerusalem Post included Marie van der Zyl, the recently elected president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. Van der Zyl is a feisty, committed Zionist and has followed in the path of her predecessor, Jonathan Arkush, in publicly confronting and condemning the anti-Semitism and vile behavior of Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

SOUKKOTE. LA FÊTE DES CABANES

SOUKKOTE. LA FÊTE DES CABANES

Julien Bauer

Extrait de Sept années à Jérusalem, 2012

 

À deux reprises chaque année, la multiplicité des offices faitplace à un office unique, un jour pendant la Fête de Soukkote, la Fête des Cabanes, en automne et un jour pendant la Fête de Pâque. Ces deux jours, n’essaye pas de prendre un taxi vers le Mur. Toutes les voies d’accèes à la Vieille Ville sont fermées à la circulation automobile en raison de l’affluence. Passer le contrôle à l’entrée de l’esplanade du Kotel, contrôle comme celui en place à tous les espaces publics (jardins, grands magasins, cinémas, etc ») est un exercice de patience. L’esplanade, aussi bien la zone de prière que la zone sociale est noire de monde. Après les offices réguliers du matin qui suivent le modèle de multiples groupes, arrive le grand moment, celui de l’office supplémentaire pour la fête. Dès lors, des dizaines de milliers de personnes présentes prient ensemble. L’officiant utilise un micro. La bénédiction des prêtres est imminente. La Torah nous apprend qu’Aaron, le grand-prêtre, frère de Moïse, puis ses fils et ses descendants bénissaient, au nom de Dieu, le peuple d’Israël. Même après la destruction du Temple, et l’extinction du rôle de la prêtrise, la tradition s’est maintenue que les descendants d’Aaron, dont le nom de famille est fréquemment, mais non obligatoirement Cohen, ce qui signifie prêtre, bénissent à certaines occasions les fidèles. Depuis 1967, année où le Kotel est redevenu accessible aux Juifs, l’habitude s’est instaurée de ces deux jours de bénédiction de masse. Des milliers de descendants des prêtres, alignés sur plusieurs rangées le long du Kotel, couverts d’un châle de prière blanc, se tournent vers la foule et la bénissent selon la formule consacrée. Leur voix couvrent la foule et la bénissent selon la formule consacrée. Leurs voix couvrent l’esplanade et reviennent en écho vers le Mur. C’est un de ces moments privilégiés, comme Kippour, évoqué plus haut, où distinctions religieuses et différences politiques sont oubliées au profit d’un sentiment d’unité.

 

 

LE VIRAGE “SOCIALISTE” ET PRO-PALESTINIEN

DU PARTI DÉMOCRATE AMÉRICAIN SE CONFIRME

 

 

USA : DÉRIVE ANTI ISRAÉLIENNE DE LA CONVENTION DÉMOCRATE

JForum, Jul. 31, 2016

 

Des manifestants ont mis le feu à un drapeau israélien en scandant “Vive l’Intifada» devant le bâtiment où avait lieu la Convention nationale démocrate à Philadelphie. Certains se sont affrontés avec la police.

Des drapeaux palestiniens ont été brandis par des militants en pleine Convention nationale démocrate (DNC),  alors qu’il y avaient très peu de drapeaux américains, selon de nombreux médias et messages de médias sociaux.

Selon Alex Pfeiffer journaliste au Daily Caller, “Il semblerait qu’il n’y ait pas de drapeaux américains. La scène est fade et grise, sans présence de rouge, blanc ou bleu. Un regard approfondi sur la foule présente révèle qu’il n’y a pas de drapeaux américains “.

Chris Pandolfo, qui écrit dans la Revue conservatrice, a déclaré que des délégués du congrès  ont brandi le drapeau palestinien “. Que le drapeau «Palestinien» soit brandi à Philadelphie, signifie que le Parti démocratique Américain prend un sérieux virage à gauche. En outre, les militants pro palestiniens ont été vus brandissant des pancartes, “Je soutiens les droits humains des Palestiniens.”

Des utilisateurs de Twitter ont dit avoir vu l’activiste Ali Akin Kurnaz, le délégué de Bernie Sanders, agiter le drapeau palestinien à la convention du Parti démocratique. Ce drapeau symbolise la guerre faite à la seule démocratie qui fonctionne dans la région, Israël. C’est la seule interprétation censée de ce geste.  Même si les militants très à gauche de la gauche exprime leur détestation d’Israël sous couvert de défense des «droits humains» et «de droit à l’autodétermination». Le drapeau palestinien est le symbole du nationalisme arabe qui a vu le Grand Mufti de Jérusalem rencontrer Adolf Hitler en 1941 pour discuter de comment débarrasser le monde arabe des Juifs.  Kurnaz a aussi publié plusieurs tweets le premier jour de l’événement, critiquant les démocrates pour leur prétendue position pro–Israélienne:

Ali Akin Kurnaz a tweeté : “Il n’y a rien d’irrespectueux à brandir le drapeau d’un peuple opprimé. Ne pas reconnaitre cette oppression c’est ça qui est irrespectueux.”

Mais les militants de base ont peu d’influence sur la direction du parti, me direz-vous. Et il y a beaucoup de démocrates qui sont des amis de l’Etat d’Israël. Certes, mais au vu de la situation géopolitique régionale en ce moment, il est important de savoir qu’elle est la position du parti. Nous pouvons le faire de deux façons.

Est-ce que ces drapeaux et ces tweet témoignent d’opinions anti-israéliennes de plus en plus répandues au sein du Parti démocratique Américain ? La réponse, au regard de cette convention, est oui. Lors de cet évènement, un membre du parti démocratique du House Armed Services Committee a comparé les colons juifs israéliens à des termites, selon le journal gratuit Beacon.

Rép. Hank Johnson (D., Ga) a dit: ” On constate un phénomène stable et constant, un peu comme celui des termites, qui entrent, s’installent et rongent tout sans qu’on s’en aperçoive, jusqu’à ce que tout finisse par tomber en poussière, eh bien voilà, c’est comme ça que fonctionnent les colonies, en toute impunité et en augmentant sans cesse, au point que c’est devenue vraiment alarmant  ».

Les vues anti-israéliennes sont de plus en plus répandue au sein du Parti démocratique. Dans le même temps les délégués et les manifestants ont exigé le retrait du drapeau de l’État du Mississippi qui a leur yeux est un symbole d’oppression, alors que c’est un état dont la population est au moins à 40% noire. Et cela ne semble pas leur poser de problème. En fait, c’est comme penser qu’être fier du drapeau de l’Etat est l’expression d’un nationalisme  suspect. Quand c’est celui des Palestiniens et des Arabes antisémites c’est très bien. Mais quand ça vient de fiers Américains c’est un signe d’oppression.

Et le deuxième moyen d’évaluer l’avenir des Democrates c’ est de se tourner vers mon pays d’origine, le Royaume-Uni. Jeremy Corbyn, qui s’est également rangé aux côtés de la ligne dure des nationalistes palestiniens, est aujourd’hui le leader du Parti travailliste au Royaume-Uni. Celui-ci a voué son parti à des luttes intestines sans fin ce qui a entraîné une baisse drastique du soutien populaire au parti. C’est ce qui pend au nez des démocrates américains; comme les partisans de Bernie Sanders inondent la base, les voix modérées commencent à être chassées et remplacés par une jeunesse radicalisée. Larry Haas, mon ami et ancien directeur de Al Gore Communications  m’a dit il n’y a pas si longtemps: «Je ne quitte pas les démocrates, ce sont eux qui me quittent”.

Le prochain président de la Convention démocrate DNC est Rep. Marcia Fudge (D., Oh). Bien qu’elle ait déclaré soutenir l’Etat d’Israël, elle a été l’une des rares – aux côtés de Clinton, son adjoint Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, et Bernie Sanders – à refuser une invitation du Premier ministre israélien Benjamin Netanyahu l’an dernier. Elle a qualifié cette invitation d’”inappropriée” et a dit que Netanyahou avait miné le président des Etats-Unis. Et depuis 2011, elle est devenue de moins en moins ouvertement favorable à Israël, tout en cherchant à apaiser ses électeurs juifs préférablement avec tweets sur Yom Kippour en évitant soigneusement d’évoquer Israël.

Les démocrates savent ce qui est arrivé au Parti travailliste de Grande-Bretagne – sa prise de contrôle par l’ultra gauche. Il n’est donc pas surprenant que leurs requêtes de “Mettre fin à l’occupation israélienne” aient augmenté entre 2013 et 2015, presque doublé au cours de cette période. Même si Hillary est une ami d’Israël, elle est peu susceptible d’être capable de gérer l’assaut provenant de la nouvelle base de son parti. Ils vont littéralement la mettre au pas.

Ce qui arrive aux démocrates, c’est ce qui est arrivé avec le Parti travailliste britannique ; un virage à gauche et une main mise de l’ultra gauche sur le parti. une prise de contrôle difficile à éviter. Et ce qu’il reste de modérés au sein du parti, ils ne sont pas taillés pour tenir tête à l’avancée des communistes. J’y vais fort pensez-vous? Eh bien, regardez, ça c’est vérifié à Philadelphie, cette semaine. 

 

USA: UN ANTI-ISRAÉLIEN NOMMÉ N°2 DU PARTI DÉMOCRATE

Shraga Blum

LPH Info, 26 fev, 2017

Après le KO subi lors des dernières élections, le Parti démocrate s’est redonné un nouveau chef en la personne de Tom Perez, proche de Barack Obama et ancien secrétaire au Travail.

Face à lui, il y avait Keith Ellison, représentant du Minnesota au Congrès, de religion musulmane et soutenu par Bernie Sanders et l’aile gauche du parti. Keith Ellison avait à plusieurs reprises tenu des propos anti-israéliens et antisémites ce qui lui avait valu des sévères critiques, notamment celles de Haïm Sabban, l’un des principaux donateurs au Parti démocrate. Ellison avait notamment déclaré lors d’un rapport d’enquête sur le terrorisme: “La politique étrangère des Etats-Unis au Moyen Orient est gouvernée par ce qui est bon ou mauvais pour un pays de sept millions de personnes (Israël), une région de 350 millions d’habitants tourne tout autour d’un pays de sept millions d’habitants; est-ce que cela a du sens ? Est-ce logique ? Juste ? Lorsque les Américains qui ont leurs origines parmi ces 350 millions s’impliqueront, tout changera. »

Keith Ellison était pendant longtemps le favori pour prendre la tête du parti, ce qui avait fait à dire à Haïm Sabban: “Son élection serait une catastrophe pour la relation entre la communauté juive et le parti démocrate”.

Mais c’est finalement Tom Perez qui a obtenu les faveurs des délégués du parti. Mais après sa victoire, et pour assurer l’unité du Parti démocrate afin de le mettre en ordre de bataille contre Donald Trump, Tom Perez a proposé à Keith Ellison de devenir le n°2 du parti. Détail non surprenant, Keith Ellison était également soutenu par le parti israélien Meretz!

 

USA: J STREET NE SOUTIENT PLUS UNE CANDIDATE

QUI FAVORISE LA SOLUTION À UN ÉTAT

JTA, 20 aout 2018

J Street a retiré son soutien à Rashida Tlaib, candidate démocrate au Congrès du Michigan qui a récemment appelé à une solution à un seul État au conflit israélo-palestinien.

Tlaib, fille d’immigrants palestiniens, a également appelé à une réduction de l’aide étrangère à Israël. Elle est susceptible de gagner son district dans la région de Detroit.

J Street, l’organisation politique libérale du Moyen-Orient, plaide, entre autres, en faveur d’une solution à deux États au conflit. Tlaib avait reçu précédemment l’appui du lobby JStreetPAC en raison de son soutien à deux États.

« Après avoir analysé les avis de Rashida Tlaib sur le conflit israélo-palestinien, nous en sommes arrivés à la malheureuse conclusion qu’une divergence significative exige que JStreetPAC retire son appui à sa candidature », peut-on lire dans un communiqué de J Street vendredi après-midi.

« Alors que nous défendons depuis longtemps une pluralité de voix d’opinions sur le conflit et ses questions annexes, nous ne pouvons pas appuyer les candidats qui n’ expriment pas publiquement et sans équivoque leur soutien à une solution à deux États et à d’autres principes fondamentaux auxquels notre organisation se dévoue », a déclaré le communiqué.

Dans une interview accordée mardi au magazine In These Times, Tlaib a approuvé la solution d’un seul État et a soutenu les droits à la liberté d’expression des militants du BDS, qui font pression en faveur du boycott contre Israël.

« Un seul État « , a-t-elle dit en réponse à la question de savoir si elle était en faveur d’une solution à un ou deux États. « Il faut que ce soit un seul état. Séparés mais égaux ne fonctionne pas. Je n’ai que 42 ans, mais mes professeurs faisaient partie de la génération qui a marché avec Martin Luther King. L’idée d’une solution à deux États, ça ne marche pas. »

Un jour plus tôt, Tlaib avait déclaré à Channel 4, en Grande-Bretagne, qu’elle soutenait la réduction de l’aide militaire américaine à Israël.

« Absolument. Pour moi, l’aide américaine devrait être un levier. J’utiliserai ma position au Congrès pour qu’aucun pays, pas un seul, ne soit en mesure d’obtenir de l’aide des États-Unis en continuant de promouvoir ce genre d’injustice ». a-t-elle dit.

J Street avait salué son élection présumée comme « un jalon historique pour la communauté palestino-américaine et pour l’ensemble des États-Unis ».

« Nous appuyons fortement son engagement en faveur de la justice sociale, et nous sommes inspirés par sa détermination à faire entendre la voix des communautés sous-représentées au Capitole », peut-on lire dans la déclaration. « Nous lui souhaitons bonne chance, et nous nous réjouissons à l’idée de travailler en étroite collaboration avec elle et son bureau lorsqu’elle occupera son siège au Congrès l’année prochaine.

 

Actualité 

 

CISJORDANIE: UN ISRAÉLIEN TUÉ DANS UNE ATTAQUE AU COUTEAU

I24, 16 sept., 2018

Un Israélien de 40 ans a été tué dimanche dans une attaque au couteau survenue à l’extérieur d’un centre commercial dans le Gush Etzion, une implantation israélienne en Cisjordanie, le terroriste a été neutralisé et abattu, ont rapporté les services d’urgences Magen David Adom (MDA).

La victime, identifié comme étant Ari Fuld, a reçu plusieurs coups de couteau dans le dos et à la nuque avant d’être transféré à l’hôpital de Shaare Tzedek à Jérusalem où il a succombé à ses blessures après une réanimation prolongée.

“Mon frère a vécu en héros toute sa vie et il est mort en héros” regrette Hillel Fuld, le frère d’Ari. Le terroriste, un Palestinien âgé de 17 ans, était originaire de Yatta, un village au sud de Hébron en Cisjordanie.

Le ministre israélien de la Défense Avigdor Lieberman a promis qu’Israël continuerait à combattre le terrorisme “d’une main de fer” sur twitter. Dans une vidéo des caméras de surveillance, publiée sur les réseaux sociaux, on peut apercevoir le terroriste en train de s’approcher de la victime par derrière avant de la poignarder à plusieurs reprises.

Plusieurs passants ont alors poursuivi l’agresseur avant qu’il ne soit neutralisé par un civil. Une source proche de la famille du terroriste a déclaré au journal Haaretz qu’il avait prévu de poignarder des Israéliens à Hébron, et que sa famille aurait alerté les autorités palestiniennes, mais l’adolescent n’a pas été retrouvé et interpellé à temps.

Régulièrement invité sur les plateaux des chaînes de télévision étrangères – dont i24NEWS – pour défendre la position d’Israël en anglais, sa langue maternelle, M. Fuld avait créé une page Facebook intitulée “Israel Defense Page”.

La ministre de la Justice Ayelet Shaked l’a qualifié dans un tweet de “héros qui s’est battu dans le monde pour défendre Israël” tandis que le Premier ministre israélien Benyamin Netanyahou a, sur sa page Facebook, présenté ses condoléances à la famille évoquant l’homme “qui s’est battu pour défendre la vérité sur Israël”, le qualifiant également de “héros”.

L’ambassadeur américain en Israël David Friedman a de son côté tweeté que “l’Amérique est en deuil d’un de ses citoyens brutalement assassiné par un terroriste palestinien”. “Défenseur passionné d’Israël et patriote américain, Ari Fuld représentait le meilleur de nos deux pays”, a ajouté le diplomate.

Ari Fuld sera enterré dimanche soir au cimetière de Kfar Etzion, à quelques centaines de mètres du lieu de l’attaque.

 

FRIEDMAN : « INADMISSIBLE »

QUE L’AP PAYE LA FAMILLE DE L’ASSASSIN D’ARI FULD

Times of Israel, 20 sept., 2018

L’ambassadeur des États-Unis en Israël, David Friedman, a condamné l’Autorité palestinienne (AP) pour sa politique « inadmissible » consistant à verser des allocations aux familles des agresseurs et des terroristes palestiniens qui commettent des attaques contre Israël.

Dans un tweet, Friedman a indiqué jeudi qu’un responsable de l’AP a confirmé que la famille de Khalil Jabarin, le terroriste de 17 ans qui a tué Ari Fuld la semaine dernière, a droit à un salaire mensuel alloué par le gouvernement de Ramallah. « Cette pratique est inadmissible et doit cesser si l’on veut qu’il y ait un espoir de paix », a-t-il déclaré.

 

USA: LA FAMILLE DE L’AMBASSADEUR PALESTINIEN

À WASHINGTON INVITÉE À QUITTER LE PAYS

I24, 16 sept., 2018

La famille de l’ambassadeur palestinien à Washington, Husam Zomlot, a été invitée à quitter le pays “immédiatement”, selon des informations parues dimanche dans diverses sources en langue arabe.

Les autorités américaines ont révoqué les permis de résidence des membres de la famille de Zomlot, ont fermé leurs comptes bancaires et exigé qu’ils quittent “immédiatement” les Etats-Unis, a déclaré l’ambassadeur palestinien à la chaîne de télévision libanaise Al Mayadeen et au journal palestinien Maan.

Le diplomate palestinien serait déjà de retour en Cisjordanie depuis un certain temps, tandis que sa famille est restée aux États-Unis.

Le département d’Etat américain a annoncé lundi sa décision de fermer le bureau de représentation de l’OLP, accusant les dirigeants palestiniens de refuser de parler à l’administration Trump et d’engager des négociations de paix avec Israël.

Le négociateur en chef palestinien et secrétaire général de l’Organisation de Libération de la Palestine (OLP), Saëb Erekat, avait dénoncé cette décision dans un communiqué, la qualifiant de “punition collective contre le peuple palestinien”.

L’Autorité palestinienne a gelé tout contact avec le gouvernement américain depuis que le président Trump a reconnu en décembre dernier Jérusalem comme capitale d’Israël. Washington a ensuite multiplié les mesures spectaculaires, coupant notamment l’essentiel de son aide aux Palestiniens.

Parallèlement, la Maison Blanche assure préparer un plan de paix dont Donald Trump espère, malgré tout, qu’il permettra de parvenir à “l’accord ultime” entre Israéliens et Palestiniens.

Le gendre et conseiller du président américain, Jared Kushner, a défendu jeudi la série d’actions prises contre les Palestiniens et a insisté sur le fait qu’aucune d’entre elles n’avait diminué les chances d’arriver à un accord de paix entre Israël et les Palestiniens.

S’exprimant sur la pelouse de la Maison Blanche 25 ans après la signature des accords de paix d’Oslo, M. Kushner a déclaré que le président Trump avait réellement “amélioré” les chances du rétablissement de la paix au Moyen-Orient.

 

REVIREMENT: LA BELGIQUE CESSE SON AIDE AU “MINISTÈRE DE L’EDUCATION” DE L’AUTORITÉ PALESTINIENNE

Shraga Blum

LPHInfo, Sept. 16, 2018

La Belgique, souvent en pointe de la politique pro-palestinienne de l’Union européenne, vient de prendre une décision inédite: le ministère belge de l’Education a annoncé la rupture de ses relations avec le “ministère de l’Education” au sein de l’Autorité Palestinienne. La raison invoquée: la glorification des terroristes dans les écoles sous contrôle de l’AP. Jusqu’à présent, la Belgique finançait une partie importante de la construction d’écoles dans les zones A et B de Judée-Samarie.

L’an passé, la Belgique avait déjà gelé 3,8 millions de dollars d’aide après qu’une école ait été baptisée au nom de Dalal Al-Mughrabi, héroïne chez les Arabes palestiniens pour avoir fait partie d’un commando qui avait commis le tristement célèbre attentat de la Route du Littoral, en 1978, causant la mort de trente-huit personnes dont treize enfants.

Dans la décision qui vient de tomber, le ministère belge de l’Education explique qu’il s’est adressé à de nombreuses reprises à l’AP pour obtenir la cessation de ce genre de pratiques, mais sans résultat.

Ce tournant dans la politique belge est également dû à une activité diplomatique et de “hasbara” intenses de la part d’Israël pour dénoncer l’immoralité totale de l’attitude de l’Autorité Palestinienne facilitée par l’argent européen.

 

L’UE DOIT ARRÊTER DE FINANCER LE BDS, AFFIRME UN MILITANT PALESTINIEN

Times of Israel, 16 sept. 2018

Un activiste des droits palestiniens a fustigé l’Union européenne (UE) pour avoir soutenu des programmes visant à boycotter Israël, affirmant que cela se faisait aux dépens de la dignité et de la prospérité palestiniennes.

S’adressant à une commission du Parlement européen à Bruxelles, Bassem Eid, basé à Jérusalem, a déclaré aux législateurs que la coopération économique entre Israéliens et Palestiniens était la seule manière de parvenir à la paix.

« Actuellement, la majorité des Palestiniens cherchent la dignité plutôt que l’identité. C’est l’une des questions les plus importantes, et la dignité peut seulement s’obtenir grâce à la prospérité économique, » a-t-il déclaré dans une vidéo, avec des sous-titres en anglais, postée cette semaine par MEMRI, l’Institut de Recherche des Médias du Moyen-Orient.

Eid, qui a publié les images originales de ses commentaires sur son propre site internet plus tôt ce mois, a continué en déclarant que le mouvement BDS « utilisait des Palestiniens pour obtenir du pouvoir et de l’argent ».

« Le BDS ne parviendra jamais à obtenir une sorte de paix entre les Israéliens et les Palestiniens, » a-t-il déclaré. « Le BDS veut détruire Israël, et, en tant que Palestinien, je n’ai pas le temps pour cela ».

Il a incité l’UE à couper les programmes soutenant le BDS, déclarant que « si l’Europe coupait demain les financements du BDS, comme Trump a coupé les financements destinés à l’UNRWA, il n’y aurait plus de BDS dans les six mois à venir ».

Eid a également critiqué l’Autorité palestinienne (AP), déclarant aux législateurs de l’UE que des dizaines d’hommes d’affaires palestiniens voulaient participer aux discussions sur les initiatives économiques au Parlement européen, mais que l’AP les en avait empêchés d’y participer.

Le BDS, le mouvement mondial appelant aux boycotts, cessions et sanctions contre Israël, cherche à isoler l’État juif.

Plus tôt cette année, le ministère des Affaires stratégiques a publié un rapport affirmant que l’UE avait donné des millions de dollars à des groupes à but non lucratif qui font campagne pour des boycotts d’Israël ou ont des liens avec les groupes terroristes.

Feredica Mogherini, la chef de la diplomatie de l’UE, a fustigé le ministre des Affaires stratégiques Gilad Erdan et son ministère pour son rapport, qui diffusait, selon elle, de fausses informations.

« Nous sommes sûrs que les financements de l’UE n’ont pas été utilisés pour soutenir le boycott d’Israël ou des activités du BDS et certainement pas pour financer le terrorisme », a-t-elle déclaré dans une lettre à Erdan à l’époque.

Mogherini a souligné que l’EU « rejette toutes les tentatives d’isoler Israël et ne soutient pas les appels au boycott. L’UE ne finance pas des actions qui sont liées aux activités du boycott ».

Même si l’UE ne s’oppose pas officiellement au boycott d’Israël, l’UE a recommandé à ses États-membres de mettre des étiquettes spéciales sur les exportations en provenance de implantations israéliennes en Cisjordanie. L’UE n’interdit pas les produits des implantations, mais ils ne reçoivent pas les mêmes réductions de taxes que les produits en provenance d’Israël.

Depuis sa formation, le mouvement du BDS a rencontré un succès limité parmi des publics progressistes, parvenant à convaincre quelques organisations religieuses de ne pas investir dans des activités liées à Israël et à obtenir des soutiens dans les campus des universités américaines.

Récemment, la chanteuse Lana Del Rey a rejoint la liste des artistes qui ont annulé des représentations en Israël à cause de la pression de la part d’activistes du BDS.

Nous vous souhaitons d’excellentes Fêtes de Soukkote

ISRAEL DISRUPTS TEHRAN’S ENTRENCHMENT IN SYRIA AND GROWING REGIONAL AMBITIONS

The Tehran Summit and Iran’s Regional Ambitions: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Sept. 20, 2018— On September 7, the presidents of Russia, Turkey, and Iran

met in Tehran in an attempt to reach understandings regarding Syria’s future in general, and the imminent offensive in the Idlib district – the last bastion of anti-Assad regime rebels – in particular.

Israel’s Secret War Against Iran Is Widening: Jonathan Spyer, Foreign Policy, Sept. 07, 2018— It has recently become clear that Israel is engaged in a secret war against Iran in Syria.

Iran’s Attack on Kurds Is a Message to Washington, Riyadh and Jerusalem: Seth Frantzman, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 9, 2018 — The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran claimed credit for a missile attack on Kurdish opposition groups in Koya in northern Iraq.

John Kerry’s Freelance Diplomacy is an Invitation to Disaster: Michael Rubin, New York Post, Sept. 14, 2018— Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted to meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “three or four times” since leaving office.

On Topic Links

Inside Israel’s New Iran Strategy: Maysam Behravesh, Reuters, Sept. 17, 2018

How Team Trump is Making the UN Spotlight Iran’s Evil: Benny Avni, New York Post, Sept. 6, 2018

The North Korean Foreign Minister Visits Tehran: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham, BESA, Sept. 12, 2018

IAEA Still Needs to Investigate Military Dimension of Iran’s Nuclear Program: Olli Heinonen, FDD, Sept. 6, 2018

 

THE TEHRAN SUMMIT AND IRAN’S REGIONAL AMBITIONS

Dr. Doron Itzchakov

BESA, Sept. 20, 2018

On September 7, the presidents of Russia, Turkey, and Iran met in Tehran in an attempt to reach understandings regarding Syria’s future in general, and the imminent offensive in the Idlib district – the last bastion of anti-Assad regime rebels – in particular. Despite the outward display of unity and the shared desire to exclude Washington from the decision-making process on Syria’s future so as to make the Syrian agenda their exclusive domain, the differences between the three parties were inevitable. What dictated the tone was the attempt by each party to promote its own disparate interests.

Take, for example, the three leaders’ use of the term “terrorist.” While Putin and Rouhani referred to the entire Syrian opposition as terrorists, Erdoğan confined this term to the Kurds and the Sunni jihadist organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra. Likewise, while Putin’s speech focused on the normalization of the situation and the return of refugees under a UN umbrella, Erdoğan demanded an immediate ceasefire in Idlib to prevent a bloodbath by the Assad regime. For his part, Rouhani devoted his speech to attacking the US and Israel, criticizing the former as an illegal invader of Syria and decrying Israel as an illegitimate entity that inflamed regional tensions and demanding – tongue in cheek – the removal of Israeli forces from the Syrian hemisphere. No less important, the Iranian president expressed the Islamic Republic’s strong desire to see Syria’s reconstruction after the fighting ended.

Viewed from Tehran’s vantage point, cooperation with Russia and Turkey, despite their substantial differences, is a necessary step for realizing its regional ambitions. Keenly aware of Moscow’s centrality in determining Syria’s political, economic, and military agenda, Iran invests considerable effort in persuading the Kremlin to acquiesce in its continued presence in the war-torn country. Furthermore, Russia is not only perceived as a lifeline for Iran’s future presence in Syria but also as an essential component in preserving the 2015 nuclear agreement after the US withdrawal from the treaty. In addition, Tehran puts much effort into raising foreign investment and views China and Russia as important substitutes for the European markets, which are hesitant to challenge the Trump administration’s re-imposed sanctions. It is true that economic factors often put Tehran and Moscow on opposite sides of the divide, such as competition over Syrian reconstruction contracts and in the Asian and Far Eastern energy markets. But Tehran seems well aware of Moscow’s superior position and is unlikely to rock the boat in these respects.

Cooperation with Turkey is similarly necessary for the realization of the Islamic Republic’s regional ambitions. While Ankara and Tehran are at odds over the legitimacy of the Assad regime and compete for leadership of the Muslim world, Turkey offers a vital channel for circumventing the US sanctions. Moreover, Iran places great hopes on Turkey as a natural gas supply route to European markets via the Tabriz-Ankara pipeline. The two states have collaborated in the past over the Kurdish issue, most recently in their joint campaign against the September 2017 referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan.

As noted above, in his speech at the summit Rouhani stressed Iran’s desire to take an active part in the Syrian reconstruction, something that had already been demonstrated at the late August signing of an agreement by Iranian Defense Minister Amir Khatami and his Syrian counterpart. Why is Tehran prepared to invest billions of dollars in reconstructing Syria at a time when it is undergoing a sharp economic upheaval? The answer has to do with both domestic and strategic considerations.

On the strategic level, Tehran strives to transform Syria into a protectorate, similar to the model it successfully implemented in post-Saddam Iraq and in Lebanon since late 2006. This model comprises four overlapping circles: Influence through “soft power”; The formation of proxy armed militias from among recruited volunteers both at home and abroad; Direct military intervention by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and, in the Syrian case, by the Iranian army as well; Civilian and military reconstruction that enables Tehran to position itself as a supportive factor and, in consequence, to influence the political agenda from within. Syria’s reconstruction is at the top of Tehran’s list of priorities for the simple reason that this will lead to the establishment of security and intelligence infrastructures that will enable the use of Syrian territory as a front base for Iranian operations.

On the domestic level, Tehran’s interest in the Syrian reconstruction is a corollary of the internal power struggle within the Islamic regime, notably the desire of the IRGC commanders to consolidate their influence on the various aspects of the Iranian national agenda. Dating back to the country’s recovery from the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), the organization’s penetration of the economic, energy, industry, and agricultural spheres has been deep and pervasive. This is illustrated inter alia by its control of the industrial conglomerate Khatim al-Anbiya (“Seal of the prophets”), which serves as the exclusive concessionaire for most of Iran’s engineering projects – from paving roads, to developing oil and gas fields, to constructing dams. Its survival and expansion of influence are the top priorities of the IRGC, which seems to be (justifiably) looking forward to the day when the next Supreme Leader is chosen. It is clear that the wellbeing of ordinary Iranians is not at the top of the organization’s agenda, which is also why large sums of money are diverted from Iran to regional adventures…

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

 

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          ISRAEL’S SECRET WAR AGAINST IRAN IS WIDENING

                             Jonathan Spyer            

Foreign Policy, Sept. 07, 2018

It has recently become clear that Israel is engaged in a secret war against Iran in Syria. The war is conducted mainly by means of air power, presumably combined with the intelligence work necessary to provide the country’s airmen with the relevant targets; there is also evidence that targeted killings are among Israel’s tactics in Syria. The objective of this campaign, as plainly stated by senior officials such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, is the complete withdrawal of Iranian forces and their proxies from Syria. Given the government’s strategy, this objective is unlikely to be achieved. But its lesser goal of disrupting Tehran’s efforts to consolidate and entrench itself in Syria is within reach.

Israel has carried out periodic strikes against the Syrian regime and Hezbollah targets throughout the country’s civil war. Starting this year, however, there has been a sharp increase in the frequency of such attacks and the commencement of the direct targeting of Iranian facilities and personnel. The imminent demise of the Syrian rebellion spurred this shift.

So long as the insurgency remained viable, Israel was content to observe from the sidelines. At most, the Israeli government maintained a limited relationship with rebels in the Quneitra area to ensure that the war did not reach the border with the Golan Heights while intervening sporadically to disrupt the supply of weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Beyond that, Israel was content to allow Bashar al-Assad’s regime and Iran and the mainly Sunni Islamist rebels to subject one another to a process of mutual attrition.

This year, however, it became clear that the rebellion, thanks to Iranian and Russian intervention, was going to be defeated. Israel could no longer afford the luxury of relative inaction if it wished to prevent the consolidation of an independent infrastructure of military and political power by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on Syrian soil, along the lines of its existing bases in Lebanon and Iraq. Israel’s direct targeting of this nascent infrastructure began shortly thereafter. It’s difficult to trace the precise contours of this campaign, given Israel’s reticence about taking responsibility for attacks. It is also sometimes in the interest of both Tehran and the Assad regime to avoid publicizing Israel’s strikes.

But it’s clear that the largest-scale clashes so far took place on May 10, when in response to Iranian forces firing 20 Grad and Fajr-5 rockets toward Israeli positions on the Golan Heights, Israel launched an extensive air operation, targeting Iranian infrastructure throughout Syria. This operation involved 28 aircraft and the firing of 70 missiles, according to Russian Defense Ministry figures. The targets included a variety of facilities maintained by the IRGC in Syria: a military compound and logistics complex run by the Quds Force, an elite paramilitary unit of the IRGC, in Kiswah; an Iranian military camp north of Damascus; weapons storage sites belonging to the Quds Force at Damascus International Airport; and intelligence systems and installations associated with the Quds Force.

But Netanyahu recently indicated that the campaign was not over. “The Israel Defense Forces will continue to act with full determination and strength against Iran’s attempts to station forces and advanced weapons systems in Syria,” Netanyahu told an audience in the southern Israeli town of Dimona on Aug. 29. Israel seemed to express its determination to act in a series of explosions last weekend at the Mezzeh military airport near Damascus. Both the pro-regime Al Mayadeen website and the pro-rebel Syrian Observatory for Human Rights attributed the attack to Israel, but it was silent on the matter. Syrian state television and the official SANA news agency later denied that an Israeli attack had taken place.

An aerial attack on an Iranian convoy near Tanf in southern Syria on Sept. 3 similarly passed without any official claim of responsibility. An Iranian citizen and seven Syrians were killed in the attack, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The U.S.-led anti-Islamic State coalition maintains a base at Tanf, but the coalition denied any involvement in the incident. Tanf, of course, is far to the east of the Quneitra Crossing and the Golan Heights. But Israel’s concerns are not solely, or mainly, with the border area. Israel also appears to be concerned not only with physical infrastructure but also with the passage of Iran-associated militia personnel across the border between Iraq and Syria.

In mid-June, an airstrike took place on Harra, southeast of Albu Kamal on the Syrian-Iraqi border. The target was a base of the Kataib Hezbollah militia, a leading Iran-supported irregular force. Twenty-two members of the organization were killed in the strike. No country claimed responsibility for the attack. An Iranian militia commander quoted by Reuters said the United States was probably responsible. Such an action, however, would be directly contrary to the generally observable U.S. approach regarding the Iraqi Shiite militias. Washington seeks the political defeat of the militias but also is concerned with avoiding military clashes among political elements in Iraq. Finally, the unattributed killings of Aziz Asber, the head of the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center in Masyaf, and Ahmad Issa Habib, the commander of the Palestine department of Syria’s military intelligence, on Aug. 5 and Aug. 18, respectively, have led to some speculation as to possible Israeli responsibility.

What is taking place, then, is an ongoing, rolling campaign intended to disrupt Iran’s attempt to consolidate and deepen its project in Syria. Will the Israeli campaign succeed? It is difficult to see how the country can achieve its maximal goal of complete Iranian withdrawal from Syria. The Iranian investment in Syria is very large, formally based, and long-standing. Tehran has spent upwards of $30 billion in the country over the last seven years…

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

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                    IRAN’S ATTACK ON KURDS IS A MESSAGE

                    TO WASHINGTON, RIYADH AND JERUSALEM

                                        Seth Frantzman

                                       Jerusalem Post, Sept. 09, 2018

 

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran claimed credit for a missile attack on Kurdish opposition groups in Koya in northern Iraq. The attack on Saturday killed a dozen and wounded numerous others. It was the first time Iranian forces had used this kind of precision missile attack deep inside Iraq.

The brazen daylight missile attack is a message from Tehran to the region that it can do what it wants, not only in neighboring Iraq but throughout the Middle East. In the last year, Iranian missiles and Iranian-supported groups using Tehran’s technical advisors have targeted Saudi Arabia from Yemen and Israel from Syria. As Washington seeks to pressure Iran, the missile threat is a clear indication that Tehran is flexing its muscles in the face of sanctions.

The IRGC attempted a decapitation strike against the Kurdish KDP-I, an opposition group that has a headquarters in Koya. Numerous senior leaders were present, and a missile crashed into the building where they were meeting. This was a precise and unprecedented strike. Although Iran has targeted Kurdish groups before in Iraq and has fired missiles at other opposition groups, the missiles used in this attack were precise and showcased Iranian intelligence operations and know-how.

The missile attack on Koya should not be seen as an isolated Iran regime attack on an opposition group. Iran has been fighting Kurdish opposition for years, and in Iran, there have been increasing clashes. But the missile strike was an escalation and should be seen in the context of the Iranian-backed Houthis using ballistic missiles to target Riyadh, flying some 900 km from their launch point. Iranian forces from Syria have also targeted and tested Israel’s defenses. They flew a drone into Israeli airspace in February and fired a salvo of missiles in May. Recent satellite images show missile production facilities in northern Syria. Reports also indicate that Iran has transferred missiles to the Hashd al-Shaabi, or Shia militias, in Iraq. Moreover, Iran has armed Hezbollah with missiles for years and also supplied Hamas with technical support.

The big picture then is an Iranian missile threat throughout the region. The National Defense Authorization Act signed by US President Donald Trump in August included passages about Iran’s ballistic missile threat. Congress had looked deeply into how Iran’s missile program threatens the region. During a June speech at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies US Under Secretary of the Treasury for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker said that “Iran must end its proliferation of ballistic missiles.” US allies in the region have missile defense technology to confront the Iranian threat. Israel has a layered system of missile defense included Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow program, while Saudi Arabia has used Patriot missile batteries to stop the Houthi missiles. This has proven effective. It is also why the IRGC decided to test out its missiles by targeting defenseless Kurdish groups in northern Iraq.

The IRGC’s strike on the Kurds is a message to Washington and to Israel. It shows how the IRGC operates across borders and across with the region, seeing Iran’s policy in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon as linked into one larger program. The IRGC is also the group responsible for working with various proxies and Shia militias across the region. The US administration’s response to the missile attack in Iraq will reveal whether Washington takes this new front in northern Iraq seriously and whether the discussions about stopping Iran’s activities see Iraq as a frontier to confront these missile threats, or whether Iraq will continue to be an area that Iran can operate freely in.

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JOHN KERRY’S FREELANCE DIPLOMACY IS AN INVITATION TO DISASTER

Michael Rubin

New York Post, Sept. 14, 2018

Former Secretary of State John Kerry admitted to meeting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif “three or four times” since leaving office. Seeking to preempt criticism that his talks violated US laws prohibiting private citizens from advising or negotiating with foreign states, he said he merely wanted to see “what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East.” Even if Kerry violated no laws, a more self-aware statesman would recognize that such freelance diplomacy weakens the US, emboldens enemies and has a track record of failure.

Consider North Korea: Bill Clinton’s presidency, like Trump’s, began with a North Korea crisis. Clinton had been president barely a month when North Korea refused International Atomic Energy Agency inspections and, weeks later, announced that it would withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. After Clinton declared, “North Korea cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear bomb,” former President Jimmy Carter traveled to Pyongyang on an ostensibly personal visit to try to right what he believed was Clinton’s unnecessarily inflexible policy. He met with North Korea’s absolute dictator Kim Il -sung and, without authorization, promised not only would the White House abandon its drive for UN sanctions, but also conceded North Korea the right to reprocess nuclear fuel rods — in effect giving Pyongyang enough plutonium to construct five nuclear bombs. Carter had pulled the carpet out from the international pressure campaign Clinton sought to build.

Then there was Syria: Bashar al-Assad’s government was an unrepentant terror sponsor. It facilitated Hezbollah’s rearmament in defiance of UN resolutions after, in July and August 2006, Hezbollah launched much of its missile arsenal at Israel. As insurgency raged in Iraq, evidence mounted as to Assad’s culpability. In one raid on insurgents, US forces found a laptop that contained a database showing conclusively that most foreign fighters and suicide bombers entered Iraq via Syria, with the full complicity of the Syrian government. Meanwhile, Assad covertly worked with North Korea to build a plutonium processing plant.

Like Clinton with North Korea, President George W. Bush believed the best course of action was to isolate Syria. To partisans, however, “cowboy” Bush was the real problem. Enter Nancy Pelosi. Defying Bush, the then-majority leader decided to break the diplomatic embargo. Pelosi traveled to Damascus, posed diligently for photos and declared, “We came in friendship, hope, and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace.” It wasn’t. In the wake of her visit, Assad doubled down on defiance and repression and, eventually, the pressure cooker he created exploded. Pelosi today recognizes her mistake, as she no longer brags about cultivating a man subsequently responsible for a half million civilian deaths and the use of more chemical weaponry than any leader since World War I.

Kerry seems unwilling to learn such lessons. After all, Iran isn’t his first freelance attempt: During the Vietnam War, his antics emboldened the enemy while Americans were still in harm’s way. More recently, just weeks into Barack Obama’s presidency, he became the first US lawmaker to visit Gaza in nearly a decade. Congressmembers had avoided the area for the simple reason that it was run by Hamas, an unrepentant terrorist group committed to genocide and responsible for the murder of Americans. Hamas was thrilled. “We believe Hamas’ message is reaching its destination,” Ahmed Yusuf, Hamas’ chief political adviser, said. In effect, Kerry legitimized Hamas, reinvigorated it and made himself its postman.

Back to Iran: When, in 2015, Sen. Tom Cotton and 46 other senators sent an open letter to its leaders warning them that absent Senate ratification the nuclear deal would not survive the Obama administration, Kerry quipped that the senators’ actions were an “unconstitutional, un-thought-out action.” Of course, they were neither. Kerry’s castigation of Cotton, however, simply makes Kerry’s more covert and repeated outreach to Iranian officials more hypocritical. Even assuming Kerry is well-meaning, his naiveté is astounding. Zarif arose in a system where freelancing insures imprisonment if not death and so may project officialdom onto Kerry even when there is none.

Regardless, the basis of Trump’s strategy — like that of Clinton and Bush before him — is to coerce concession through isolation. Every president has the right to craft his own strategy. For a former secretary of state to knowingly undercut that suggests antipathy toward democratic outcomes. Perhaps it is that tendency, however, that best explains Kerry’s bizarre affinity toward Tehran.

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

Inside Israel’s New Iran Strategy: Maysam Behravesh, Reuters, Sept. 17, 2018—In a rare admission, Israel has broken its “no-comment” policy on air strikes to confirm that it has carried out over 200 attacks against Iranian targets in Syria over the last two years.

How Team Trump is Making the UN Spotlight Iran’s Evil: Benny Avni, New York Post, Sept. 6, 2018—The United States has assumed the presidency of the UN Security Council — and that means the council is about to put Iran under the hot lights.

The North Korean Foreign Minister Visits Tehran: Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham, BESA, Sept. 12, 2018—Not long after the US reimposed sanctions on Iran, North Korea’s foreign minister, Ri Yong-ho, arrived in Tehran.

IAEA Still Needs to Investigate Military Dimension of Iran’s Nuclear Program: Olli Heinonen, FDD, Sept. 6, 2018—The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will meet in Vienna beginning on September 10 and will receive briefings beforehand from the IAEA secretariat.

Paul Merkley: A CHRISTIAN ZIONIST PERSPECTIVE ON THE NEW “NATION-STATE” LEGISLATION.

On July 19, the Knesset of Israel engrossed as part of “the Basic Law” of Israel language defining Israel as a “nation-state.”

From Israel’s beginnings, friends of the State have been twisting themselves into semantic knots trying to explain to the world how Israel can be, now and forever, (in the words of Israel’s Declaration of Independence of 1948) “both a Jewish and a democratic state.”

The founders of Israel never intended that demographic realities in the surrounding world should ever rob Israel of its “Jewish” character. But none of them foresaw the present world in which millions of Muslim people are fleeing every day from the incompetence of Muslim governance and demanding admission without question to the non-Muslim world – which contains post-Christian Europe, America and (closest to home) Israel.

The new “constitutional” language establishes Israel as “the national home of the Jewish people” for the first time, and says further that “the right to exercise national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.” It has sparked widespread criticism at home and abroad. Leaders of the Druze community of Israel are throwing a tizzy-fit over this new law, using epithets such as “evil and racist” — some crossing a dangerous polemical line with talk about Israel turning into an “apartheid state.” The Druze leaders are perfectly aware that this new language, no less than the existing set of legal arrangements, makes them secure as no non-Arab community is secure anywhere in the Middle East. Secure, and prosperous! But they have a well-worn and calculating habit of screaming “unfair” at every turn of Israel’s public life, so that their Arab neighbours should not turn on them as enemies of mankind.

This new constitutional language conforms even better than the language of 1948 with Christian Zionist understanding of life’s realities —namely, that hashem, the God of Israel, is the Lord of History. Implicitly, it clarifies both the political and the theological significance of the Twentieth Century Restoration of the Jews to the Land of Israel.

Sadly, there has never been room in the official publications of the historic churches in the West for affirmation of Israel along the lines described by this new declaration. In fact, since the 1970s, Christian Zionism has been explicitly defined as a “heresy” by the World Council of Churches – a body which otherwise has shown no interest in discussion of heresy or, for that matter, orthodoxy, or any other matters of theology. The WCC has its eyes on the target of commanding world opinion – not on theology.

In light of this reality, it has fallen to voluntary, para-church bodies like International Christian Embassy Jerusalem to give voice to the pro-Israel disposition of the vast majority of Christians in our part of the world.

(Paul Merkley is a retired Professor of History

from Carleton University and a CIJR Academic Fellow)

Celebrating Israel’s 70th (and CIJR’s 30th)

For a PDF of Israfax 296 click the following link

 

 

 

Editorial: Celebrating Israel’s 70th (And CIJR’s 30th):
“Good Arms“ [IDF] and “Good Laws” [Diplomacy] Ensure Survival, and Flourishing, of Jewish State
Frederick Krantz

CIJR’s two Galas, celebrating its 30th and Israel’s 70th, anniversaries, span modern Israel’s development. One, in Montreal on October 14th, celebrates the role of the Israel Defense Forces in ensuring the survival and security of the new Jewish state. The other, in Toronto on October 21st, underlines the increasing diplomatic recognition of democratic Israel, and of Jerusalem, within the world community.

The much-misunderstood 16th c. Florentine republican thinker and diplomat, Niccolò Machiavelli, said in his great Discourses on Livy that “good arms” and “good laws”, resting on and supported by il popolo, the people, guaranteed the stability and liberty of lo stato, the polity, or republic. (This why, remarkably for its time, Machiavelli made a Jew, Moses, a hero: our Moshe rabbenu was the greatest legislator of all history, beyond even the Athenians, Solon and Draco, because by giving God’s laws to the Jews, he created the first sovereign republic in the ancient world).

Remarkably, republican, democratic Jewish Israel has survived multiple Arab attempts to destroy the tiny country, and absorbed, despite initial difficulties, repeated waves of aliyah, fulfilling its destiny as a land of refuge for the Jewish People. In the process, the Israel Defense Forces have made Israel the Middle East’s regional hegemon, and one of the world’s leading military powers.

Beyond this, Israel as a modern state has become concretely what it and its capital Jerusalem have always been religiously, the center of the Jewish People. The millennial religious yearning for return from enforced exile to freedom in its own Land, which underlay and gave strength to the Zionist movement founded by Theodor Herzl, is reflected today in Israel’s vigorous, Hebrew-inflected Jewish life, religious and secular.

Modern Israel, a major economic and technological power leading the West in advanced “start-up” technologies, is about to place a space satellite on the moon. And demographically it has already displaced the U.S. as the world’s largest Jewish population center.

Diplomatically, Israel enjoys formal peace treaties with two former Arab enemies, Egypt and Jordan, and de facto recognition with a growing list of Sunni states like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and United Arab Emirates. Civil war and internal discord have paralyzed former enemies like Syria and Iraq, and forthright American support under President Donald Trump has led to the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the weakening of genocidal Iran by the U.S.’s setting aside of the JCPOA treaty.

Diplomatically and politically, Israel’s security position today is in many ways the most stable since its founding 70 years ago. The Middle East remains, of course, volatile, and history’s ability to spring surprises and unintended consequences should never be underestimated. Nevertheless,
and despite worrying signs of an up-tick in antisemitism (on the left and on campuses in the U.S., in Europe, and with Corbyn in Great Britain), we can nevertheless, and while remaining ever-watchful, celebrate the approaching New Year with guarded optimism and a real sense of accomplishment.

Militarily, the IDF has made Israel’s survival and stability possible, just as the remarkable economic and technological ingenuity and creativity of the Jewish people has enabled diplomacy to secure its regional and international legitimacy. For its part, independent CIJR—its academic Fellows, lay Board members, and wonderful students—is proud to have played a creative and steady role in defending the Jewish state and Jewish people, and in ensuring Jewish continuity, over the last thirty years.

(NB: Here, a personal note: our wonderful Research Chairman, Baruch Cohen, turning 99 this month, is not feeling well. All of us who know and love him and his wonderful wife, Sonia, and have worked with him from the beginning, join with Lenore and me in wishing Baruch as speedy a recovery as possible. CIJR would not be what it is today without his many key contributions. His superb recent autobiographical memoir, “No One Bears Witness for the Witness”, is noted on p.11.)

(Frederick Krantz, Director, CIJR, and Editor, ISRAFAX)