WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW” Posted on October 31, 2018 On Topic Links President Pays Respects (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 31, 2018 The Lives Lost in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting: Washington Post, Oct. 28, 2018 Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Exposes Sarsour’s Two-Faced Opportunism: IPT News, October 29, 2018 Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Proliferate in Labour: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, October 29, 2018 WEEKLY QUOTES “Nearly eighty years since Kristallnacht, when the Jews of Europe perished in the flames of their houses of worship, one thing is clear. Antisemitism, Jew hating, is not a distant memory. Antisemitism is a clear and present danger. But we will prevail. The Tree of Life will never be uprooted by hatred.” — Minister of Jews in the Diaspora, and Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett. Bennett addressed a memorial vigil held in the city of Pittsburgh, for the 11 members of the Jewish community murdered in the shooting attack at the Tree of Life Congregation on Saturday…”Today, we stand in the shadow of death. In the shadow of evil. In the shadow of a cowardly, terror attack on Jews who were in synagogue to pray. The deadliest anti-Semitic attack in the history of the United States…But today, I met the people, and the leaders of the community here in Pittsburgh, and I didn’t see death. I saw life, strength. I saw a warm community, of love and unity. I saw the Tree of Life, which will never be uprooted by hatred.” (Oct. 29, 2018) “We are thinking of the families of those murdered and praying for the quick recovery of those injured…I am sure that the law enforcement and legal authorities in the US will investigate this horrific event thoroughly and that justice will be served on the despicable murderer…Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We are thinking of ‘our brothers and sisters, the whole house of Israel, in time of trouble,’ as we say in the morning prayers.” — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. The killer, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, is allegedly an antisemitic white supremacist. Bowers allegedly bragged on social media about the weapons he had, and spewed his hate for Jews, who he referred to as “invaders” in a post about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS). He brought at least two handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle with him to the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday morning (Oct. 27), where a brit mila (circumcision ceremony) was in progress when he began to carry out the mass murder. (Jewish Press, Oct. 27, 2018) “The president of the United States is always welcome at our synagogue…I’m a citizen, he is my president. He is certainly welcome.” — Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, of Tree of Life synagogue. President Trump ignored loud protests from some who warned him that he was “not welcome” in Pittsburgh, arriving to offer condolences for the 11 Jewish victims who were slaughtered at the Tree of Life. Protesters held a protest against the president as his visit began, claiming he is an antisemite whose rhetoric was at least partly responsible for the attack. Local sources said the protests by Jews were driven by the local chapter of “Bend the Arc,” founded in 2012 as a national advocacy organization. Three years later, with the help of Alexander Soros, son of liberal philanthropist George Soros, the group launched its first Jewish political action committee focused on dealing solely with domestic issues. (Jewish Press, Oct. 31, 2018) “I am shocked because of the number. The carnage. The tragedy. But not surprised. Because for all my years, I’ve been saying to the Jewish community and beyond, anti-Semitism is real in this country. We have millions of anti-Semites. Their anti-Semitism is latent. They don’t get up in the morning and say, How can I get the Jews? How can I hurt the Jews? But the potential is always there. It’s not an exact science. But from everything that we know, acts directed at Jews in the US have ranged from 1,200 to 1,800 a year, depending on who measures, who reports. Anti-Semitism is still the number one hate target in America, not Muslims. God forbid, I don’t want Muslims to be targeted. To this day, [there are] more attacks, more assaults, against Jews than any other faith.” — Abraham Foxman, former Director of the Anti-Defamation League. (Times of Israel, Oct. 30, 2018) “The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research condemns the vicious murders of eleven Jews in the Etz Chaim/Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and extends its profound sympathy to the families of the victims and wounded, including the courageous police who, risking their own live, rushed to defend the congregation and disarmed the assailant. Rising antisemitism, of both the extreme left and right, nurtured by the dynamics of the ubiquitous “social media”, has been well documented recently in the U.S. and Canada, including a rising tempo of synagogue desecrations. We also observe with increasing anxiety the toleration of virulent anti-Israel sentiments among elements of the left (“progressive”) wing of the U.S.’s Democratic Party. This phenomenon, not dissimilar from the situation in Europe and Great Britain (where Jeremy Corbyn, a known and unrepentant antisemite, currently heads the British Labour Party), is deeply concerning.” — Professor Frederick Krantz, Director, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. (CIJR, Oct. 29, 2018) “We are sickened by this horrific attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s historic Jewish neighborhood. … Americans need and want leadership from both sides of the political aisle to stop the continuous slide to the brink.” — Dean and Founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Rabbi Marvin Hier and Associate Dean and Director of Global Social Action Abraham Cooper, in a statement. The statement called on President Donald Trump to “immediately convene an emergency meeting of religious leaders to help stop the slide to extremism in American Society.” (Algemeiner, Oct. 27, 2018) “Absolutely appalling and a criminal act, but does it ever occur to Bibi [Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu] and the present Israeli government that it’s [sic] actions against Palestinians may be re-igniting antisemitism? I suppose someone will say that it is antisemitic to say so?” — Baroness Jenny Tonge. Tonge, an independent peer in the UK’s House of Lords, has suggested that the Israeli government bears some responsibility for the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue. The post has since been removed from social media, and Tonge issued an apology. Tonge has twice been suspended by the UK’s Liberal Democrats over allegations of antisemitism and eventually resigned. (United With Israel, Oct. 28, 2018) “I also told the crown prince. I said, ‘You know how to make people talk. Whatever happened between these 18 people, this dodgy business is among them. If you are determined to lift suspicion, then the key point of our cooperation is these 18 people.’” — President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. Turkish prosecutors have prepared an extradition request for 18 suspects from Saudi Arabia in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, after Erdogan urged Riyadh to disclose who ordered the murder. (Globe & Mail, Oct. 26, 2018) “In a widely broadcast speech this week, Mr. Erdogan used the occasion to lecture his rivals in Riyadh about transparency and pose as a protector of journalists. Amid the horror of Mr. Khashoggi’s slaying, Turkey is presenting itself as a model of respect for the rule of law. That can’t be allowed to happen. The Erdogan regime stomps on the rights of ordinary citizens and shackles its press with legal attacks and financial coercion. It may try to launder its reputation by grandstanding through the Khashoggi affair, but Ankara is little better than Riyadh…Turkey has since become the world’s leading jailer of journalists. More than 150 members of the press have been imprisoned on bogus charges since the coup attempt, an estimated 2,500 have lost their jobs and some 180 media outlets have been shut down, according to the #FreeTurkeyMedia campaign.” — Editorial. (Globe & Mail, Oct. 25, 2018) “We will prove to the world that the two governments (Saudi and Turkish) are cooperating to punish any criminal, any culprit and at the end justice will prevail.” — Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Prince Mohammed vowed that the killers of Jamal Khashoggi would be brought to justice, in his first public comments since the journalist’s murder sparked global condemnation. Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together “to reach results” on a joint investigation and described cooperation between the two countries as “special”, despite criticism from Ankara. “The incident that happened is very painful, for all Saudis… The incident is not justifiable,” the crown prince said. “There are now those who are trying to take advantage of the painful situation to create a rift between the kingdom and Turkey,” he said. “I want to send them a message that they cannot do this as long as there a king named Salman bin Abdulaziz and a crown prince named Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia, and a president in Turkey named Erdogan.” (Globe & Mail, Oct. 24, 2018) “The time is now for the cessation of hostilities, including missile and UAV (unmanned aerial vehicles) strikes from Houthi-controlled areas into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates…Subsequently, Coalition air strikes must cease in all populated areas in Yemen.” — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo said missile and drone strikes by Iran-allied Houthi rebels against Saudi Arabia and the UAE should stop, and the Saudi-led coalition must cease air strikes in all populated areas of Yemen. Yemen is one of the poorest Arab countries and faces the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by a four-year-old war that pits the Houthis against the internationally recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the West. (Global, Oct. 31, 2018) “We always thought that if we solved the Palestinian problem it would open up the doors to peace with the broader Arab world. And that’s certainly true if you could do it. But it may mean that equally true and perhaps even truer is that if you open up to the Arab world and you normalize relations with them it will open the door for an eventual reconciliation and peace with the Palestinians…We should do both but I think you should not underestimate the openness and the thirst in the Arab world today for Israel. And the reason, the first reason before anything else, is that we’re there in innovation.” — Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu made a surprise visit to Oman, an Arab Muslim state which has no diplomatic ties with Israel. The last such Israeli visit occurred in 1996, when former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, traveled to Oman to open an Israel Trade Representation office. Netanyahu has long argued that the Arab world is open to normalized economic ties with Israel, even in advance of any resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 26, 2018) “The (Oman) visit was symbolic and extraordinary…(Netanyahu is) telling those who may have doubted, ‘Look, my approach is working. Nobody cares about the Palestinians, I’m welcomed everywhere and it’s just the beginning.’” — Yoel Guzansky, an Israeli expert on the Gulf States and Iran at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University. “Symbolism is very important in the Middle East,” he added. In another sign of warming ties with the gulf countries, Israel’s culture and sports minister, Miri Regev, traveled to the United Arab Emirates to accompany Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018. (New York Times, Oct. 26, 2018) “The Zionist regime seeks to sow discord among Muslim countries and cover up 70 years of usurpation and aggression and killing of innocent Palestinian people…History shows that submission and capitulating to the illegitimate demands of the United States and the usurper Zionist regime will further embolden them to exert more pressure, advance further into the region and ignore the inalienable and legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation.” — Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi. Qassemi said Netanyahu’s visit to Oman was an effort to cover up his regime’s policy of occupation and massacre of Palestinians. (Jerusalem Online, Oct. 28, 2018) “I hope very much that Syria will not misuse these missiles [S-300], because if Syria tries to intercept Israeli aircraft or fighter [jets], we will have to respond. It has already happened and it is not going to be different even if S-300 are involved. We are not going to initiate any attacks on these weapons but at the same time, these weapons do not have any immunity. We hope very much that the coordination between Israel and Russia will continue… We hope that Syrians will not make silly mistakes like it was done with the Ilyushin affair.” — Former Israeli deputy chief of staff Gen. Uzi Dayan. Israeli forces have no plans to target Russian-made S-300 air defense systems in Syria if the Syrian army uses them in a way that poses no threat to Israel, Dayan said. On October 2, Moscow delivered S-300 systems to Damascus in a bid to increase the safety of the Russian troops deployed in Syria. The air defense upgrade was announced after a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 military plane was downed by a missile launched by a Syrian S-200 air defense system targeting Israeli F-16 jets that were carrying out airstrikes in Latakia. Russia has blamed the crash on Israel, claiming that the Israeli jets used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems. The Il-20 crash claimed the lives of 15 Russian troops. (Jerusalem Online, Oct. 31, 2018) Contents SHORT TAKES TOP PALESTINIAN BODY CALLS FOR REVOKING RECOGNITION OF ISRAEL, NIXING AGREEMENTS (Jerusalem) — A top Palestinian body passed a motion urging PA President Abbas to suspend all agreements with Israel and revoke recognition of the Jewish state until Israel formally recognizes a Palestinian state. The body said Palestinians should end “all forms” of security coordination with Israel and nullify several financial agreements that it said were being “ignored” by Jerusalem. The vote is not binding, and a final decision rests with Abbas. Previous votes by the council in 2018 and in 2015 to suspend security coordination with Israel were not implemented. (Times of Israel, Oct. 29, 2018) DEFAMING MUHAMMAD DOES NOT FALL UNDER FREE SPEECH: EURO COURT (Vienna) — Freedom of speech does not extend to include defaming the prophet of Islam, the European Court of Human rights ruled. ECHR ruled that insulting Islamic prophet Muhammad “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate” and “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace.” The court’s decision comes after it rejected an Austrian woman’s claim that her conviction for calling Muhammad a pedophile, due to his marriage to a 6-year-old girl, violated her freedom of speech. The woman claimed in 2009 that Muhammad’s marriage to a young girl was akin to “pedophilia.” According to Islamic tradition, the marriage between Muhammad and a 6-year-old girl was consummated when she was 9 years old and he was about 50. (Fox, Oct. 28, 2018) MAN WHO PRAISED I.S. ON SOCIAL MEDIA ORDERED DEPORTED (Vancouver) — A B.C. man whose Facebook posts promoted I.S. and praised lone wolf terrorist attacks has been ordered deported from Canada. The Immigration and Refugee Board has ruled that Othman Hamdan is a “danger to the security of Canada” and is inadmissible. Hamdan, a Jordanian national, says he moved to Canada from the U.S. in 2002 because of threats he’d received. The posts included praise for Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the 2014 Parliament Hill shooter, and Martin Couture-Rouleau, who killed a soldier with his car in Quebec the same year. Hamdan also posted a lengthy entry described as a “how-to” for people carrying out lone wolf attacks against non-Muslims. (CBC, Oct. 26, 2018) FACEBOOK REMOVES IRANIAN NETWORK THAT WAS SPREADING DISINFORMATION (San Francisco) — Facebook said that it had identified and removed a new influence network that had originated in Iran. It was the second time this year that a disinformation effort targeting people in the U.S. had been tied to Iranians. The company took down more than 82 pages, groups and accounts, including 30 Facebook pages, 33 Instagram accounts and three Facebook groups, it said. About one million users in the United States and Britain followed those accounts. The Iran-linked accounts frequently posted about emotionally charged topics like race relations and President Trump. (New York Times, Oct. 26, 2018) CAQ WANTS TO EXPAND RELIGIOUS SYMBOL BAN (Montreal) — Quebec’s new government is planning to block Muslim women who work in the civil service from wearing the chador, a piece of clothing that covers the head and body, and the niqab, which also covers the face. Coalition Avenir Québec Premier Legault has already made clear his intention to prohibit those who hold positions of authority including teachers from wearing religious symbols, such as the hijab, a Muslim headscarf. The ban on the chador and niqab, however, would extend to all employees in the public sector. (CBC, Oct. 24, 2018) JIHAD JANE’S RECRUITER SENTENCED (New York) — An Algerian man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for conspiring to recruit men and women in Europe and the U.S. to a terrorist cell to wage violent jihad in the West. Ali Damache, also known as “Theblackflag,” led the terrorist cell, some of whose members intended to travel to South Asia to obtain explosives training and return to Europe to carry out terror attacks. Damache pleaded guilty in July to conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Damache enticed Pennsylvania resident Colleen R. LaRose (a/k/a “Jihad Jane”) and Jamie Paulin Ramirez, who lived in Colorado, to travel to Ireland, live with him and train for violent jihad. (IPT, Oct. 31, 2018) ASIA BIBI ACQUITTED AFTER AWAITING DEATH FOR “BLASPHEMY” (Islamabad) — After 3,422 days imprisonment, the death penalty verdict against Asia Noreen Bibi has been overturned. Pakistan’s Supreme set aside sentence against Bibi, a Roman Catholic. On June 14, 2009, Asia Bibi drank water from a communal well on a hot day, while working in a field. Two Muslim women alleged that because she, a Christian, had touched the water from the well, the entire well was now haram (forbidden by Islamic law). On November 8, 2010, after five minutes of deliberation, Asia Noreen Bibi, under Article 295 of Pakistan’s Penal Code, was sentenced to death by hanging. (Gatestone Institute, Oct. 31, 2018) DEATH TOLL IN FLOOD REACHES 21 (Amman) — Grief at the death of 21 people, mostly schoolchildren, in a flash flood near the Dead Sea in Jordan turned to anger last week as the Jordanian government said that the school that organized the trip may not have had the proper permits. The middle-school students, from a school in Amman, were visiting hot springs when rain storms unleashed floods that swept them into a valley. The IAF and its search-and-rescue unit assisted Jordanian forces in the effort to find the children following a request from Jordan, and illuminated the search area from the air. Ten Israeli teenagers were killed in similar circumstances in April when a flash flood swept them away while they were hiking in a riverbed near the Dead Sea on the Israeli side. (New York Times, Oct. 26, 2018) HAIFA ELECTS ITS FIRST WOMAN MAYOR, JERUSALEM RACE GOES TO RUNOFF (Haifa) — A woman was elected mayor of Haifa for the first time, while the mayor’s race in Jerusalem will go to a runoff following municipal elections held across Israel on Tuesday. In Tel Aviv, Ron Huldai will serve a fifth term as mayor after defeating his deputy. In Jerusalem, voters will return to the polls in two weeks to choose between Municipal Council member Moshe Lion and former deputy mayor Ofer Berkovitch, who each received about 30 percent of the vote, failing to reach the 40 percent threshold to avoid a runoff. (JTA, Oct. 31, 2018) BRAZIL’S NEW PRESIDENT SAYS HE’LL MOVE COUNTRY’S EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM (Sao Paulo) — Jair Messias Bolsonaro, Brazil’s new president-elect, said he plans to visit Israel soon and move Brazil’s embassy in the country from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, following the lead of the United States. Bolsonaro, appears to be an ardent admirer of Donald Trump. And that could usher in one of the warmest bilateral relationships in the Western Hemisphere. Trump called to congratulate Bolsonaro on Sunday night, shortly after the far-right congressman scored a resounding victory at the polls, winning 55 percent of the vote following a mud-slinging campaign with a leftist rival. (Ynet, Oct. 29, 2018) PENGUINS HOLD MOMENT OF SILENCE FOR SYNAGOGUE SHOOTING VICTIMS (Pittsburgh) — The Pittsburgh Penguins held an 11-second moment of silence prior to their game against the New York Islanders to remember the victims of Saturday’s shooting at Tree of Life—each second for the 11 who were killed. Additionally, Penguins players wore a special “Stronger than Hate” black-and-white silhouette patch that combined the team’s logo and Star of David. The Islanders featured something similar on their helmets. The Penguins’ jerseys were also autographed, and they will be auctioned to raise money in support of the victims and their families. (JNS, Oct. 31, 2018) On Topic Links President Pays Respects (Video): Jerusalem Online, Oct. 31, 2018—U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stood in the lobby of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue to light candles for the 11 dead in the worst case of antisemitic violence in the country’s history. The Lives Lost in the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting: Washington Post, Oct. 28, 2018— They were the synagogue’s most faithful. Two brothers who had attended services each week since boyhood and now, in their 50s, handed out hugs and hellos at Tree of Life’s front entrance. Pittsburgh Synagogue Massacre Exposes Sarsour’s Two-Faced Opportunism IPT News, October 29, 2018—Expressions of grief, shock and solidarity came from all corners Saturday and Sunday as a horrified nation learned about a Jew-hating gunman’s attack on a historic Pittsburgh synagogue. Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories Proliferate in Labour: Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld, BESA, October 29, 2018—Conspiracy theories can usually be found in environments where anti-Semitism is substantially present. The classic, most extreme case – a lie originating in Tsarist Russia – is the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Many extreme anti-Semitic conspiracy theories flourish in the Arab world.