Daily Briefing : Wednesday’s “News of the Week in Review (June 5th, 2019)


Tiananmen Square
From John Lennon’s “Power to the People” video (Source: Flicker)
On Topic Links
Unwired, June 3, 2019 — PM Netanyahu said something on Jerusalem Day that is so important for all world leaders to hear. Bibi clears up some confusion about the Jewish capital.
WATCH: ‘May the deal of the century – the deal of shame – go to hell,’ Abbas saysWIN, May 30, 2019 — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Trump peace effort and the upcoming conference in Bahrain in a speech that aired on Palestine TV on Tuesday. He said both can “go to hell.”
Father Raymond J. De Souza: The Defeat Of Evil Empires Can Take Different Forms:  Raymond J. De Souza, National Post, June 3, 2019 — Three anniversaries next week will get major international attention: the 75th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, and the 30th anniversaries of the Tiananmen Square massacre and the first free Polish elections, both on June 4. They have something to teach us about revolutionary change.
Never Forget Tiananmen Square:  Editorial, Washington Examiner, June 4, 2019 — China’s authoritarian regime has long lied to its entire population about what happened in the early morning of June 4, 1989.



.Should Israel still negotiate with the Palestinians even though Israel did not steal their land? Of course, it should, precisely because we are not suggesting, as our predecessor did—that Israel return to the bargaining table as a thief returning to the scene of a crime.  Precisely for that reason, there is a basis for discussion. The overwhelming majority of Palestinians are not consumed by hatred nor are unwilling to live in peace. Many are well-educated, many of them want what everyone wants—peace, security, good schools, and a better and more dignified way of life. We need to help them get there—not by perpetual handouts that create a culture of dependency and corruption.” — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman at a Yeshiva University graduation event.  (WIN, June 1, 2019)“I get why people think this is going to be a deal that only the Israelis could love. I understand the perception of that. I hope everyone will just give the space to listen and let it settle in a little bit.” — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walked back remarks made in a closed session to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that suggested that the Trump peace proposal was one-sided towards Israel.  (Times of Israel, June 4, 2019)

“If there is a war tomorrow, the navy is ready. Our readiness is high at all times.… [the sea] is an open theater where there are no borders but which every enemy wants to win. We have to be superior. We protect our borders where there are no walls, but there are multiple enemies.” – A senior navy officer said.  Israel is highly dependent on the sea, with more than 90% of Israel’s imports arriving via the water route; and while the country’s navy is relatively small compared with other IDF corps, it has a significant amount of territory to protect following the expansion years ago of the country’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) from 40 nautical miles from shore to 150 nautical miles. (Jerusalem Post, June 3, 2019)

“She knocks the country; she knocks the president. And that’s not what America is about.” — said Silvio Mazzella, a Vietnam War vet and treasurer of Community Board 11 in reference to Democratic Congresswoman Alexandra Occasio-Cortez who bashed US foreign policy during a private meeting with Bronx community leaders. Anthony Vitaliano — an Army veteran who worked in the NYPD for 38 years, and commanded the Bronx’s homicide detectives — was sitting between Ocasio-Cortez and a staffer for the freshman Dem. “I just couldn’t hear her BS anymore,” the former CB11 chairman said. “I just got up, got my umbrella in my hand and walked right out.” (New York Post, June 1, 2019)

“For years we have been warning that the Labour Party’s response to antisemitism within our ranks has been woeful at best, and institutionally racist at worst. Last year we took the unprecedented step to refer the party to the EHRC, and we welcome their decision today to launch a full statutory inquiry.” — said Mike Katz, chair of the Jewish Labour Movement, referencing The Equality and Human Rights Commission, which launched a formal investigation into the Labour Party over allegations of antisemitism. (BBC News, May 28, 2019)

“Nowadays, people don’t care about the merits or the substance. They only care about who it helps, whether my side benefits or the other side benefits. Everything is gauged by politics, and I say that is antithetical to the way the Department [of Justice] runs, and any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital. And that’s one of the reasons I decided I should take [the job] on. At my stage in my life, it wouldn’t make any difference. … One of the ironies today is that people are saying it is President Trump who is shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that. From my perspective, the idea of ‘resisting’ a Democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him, and really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president. That’s where the shredding of our norms and institutions is occurring.” — US Attorney General William Barr said during an interview with CBS This Morning. (Realclearpolitics, May 31, 2019)

 “I didn’t really believe he was coming home until we took him to the car and brought him to the house.” — Jamie Florio, 29, said regarding his son Connor Florio who was born on the 27th week of his mom’s pregnancy in July 2018, and was the smallest baby ever treated at Westchester Medical Center.  At birth, Connor weighed 8.6 ounces.  (New York Post, May 29, 2019)



ISRAEL MOURNS AS FIRST LADY NECHAMA RIVLIN DIES AT 73 (Jerusalem) — First lady Nechama Rivlin, the wife of President Reuven Rivlin, has passed away at 73, just one day before her 74th birthday, on June 5. She is survived by her three children – Rivka, Anat and Ran – and seven grandchildren. (Jerusalem Post, June 4, 2019)NETANYAHU GIVEN FALLEN SOLDIER ZACHARY BAUMEL’S PRAYER SHAWL IN EMOTIONAL CEREMONY (Jerusalem) — Participating at a Jerusalem Day celebration at Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the prayer shawl of IDF hero Zachary Baumel, which was bestowed upon him by Rosh Yeshiva (dean) Rabbi Yaakov Shapira and Rabbi Aviezer Strauss, the brother of one of the other two fallen soldiers with whom Baumel perished in the 1982 Lebanese War. Until April, Baumel’s body was not returned to Israel. (WIN, June 3, 2019)

TRUMP PEACE PLAN DELAYED DUE TO NEW ISRAELI ELECTION, REPORTS SAY (Washington) — Following initial U.S. frustration over the political crisis in Israel, which led to the scheduling of a new election for September 17, Trump administration officials have now adapted to the situation and decided to put off official presentation of President Donald Trump’s peace plan for Israelis and Palestinians, referred to as the “deal of the century. “ The focus now for the U.S. president will instead be “to throw his full weight behind Benjamin Netanyahu’s campaign to save his job as prime minister of Israel,” writes The New York Times. (WIN, June 2, 2019)

NETANYAHU FIRES BENNETT AND SHAKED (Jerusalem) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked from Israel’s interim government. The two were serving from prior government, even though their party, the New Right, didn’t muster enough votes in the most recent election to pass the threshold to enter the Knesset on April 9. It is not yet clear who will be given their portfolios, albeit temporarily. (Jewish Press, June 2, 2019)

ISRAEL ATTACKS SYRIAN MILITARY TARGETS NEAR DAMASCUS, 10 REPORTED KILLED (Syria) — Israeli Defense Forces attacked military targets in Syria in the wee hours of Sunday morning in retaliation for Syrian missile fire aimed at the Israeli Golan Heights on Saturday night. Ten soldiers were killed. (Jewish Press, June 3, 2019)

ISRAEL TO LEBANON: WE KNOW LOCATIONS OF HEZBOLLAH’S PRECISION MISSILES (Jerusalem) – Al- Hayat, the London-based Saudi paper said that Assistant Secretary of State David Satterfield showed pictures of the secret sites to the president and prime minister of Israel’s northern neighbor when he visited last week. The photos, accompanied by maps, had been provided by Israel. According to the paper’s source, he told the Lebanese leaders that the United States “can no longer ignore the Israeli claims after being presented with these proofs.” (WIN, June 2, 2019)

IDF USING NEW INTELLIGENCE SYSTEM TO DECREASE SURPRISE ATTACKS ON TROOPS (Jerusalem) — The system includes analytics and visual intelligence, which are all connected to one main system in an operations room. It was established as part of the project the military hopes will assist in foiling attacks in real time and prevent manhunts of terrorists who get away following an attack. (Jerusalem Post, June 3, 2019)

Regavim Warns Islamic Waqf Inaugurates New Mosque On Temple Mount (Jerusalem) — Despite a prior announcement by Prime Minister Netanyahu that he had instructed the authorities to prevent the opening of a new mosque at the Temple Mount’s Mercy Gate (Sha’ar HaRahamim), the Regavim NGO reports the Jordanian Islamic Waqf on the Temple Mount has continued construction work at a feverish pace, causing irreparable damage to the ancient structure. (Jewish Press, June 2, 2019)

ISRAELI CONSORTIUM BEGINS GAS STREAMING TRIAL TO EGYPT (Israel/Egypt) — The Tamar Gas Consortium, responsible for operating Tamar, one of Israel’s largest natural gas fields, began a trial to stream gas from Israel to Egypt. The test marks the final stage before commencing commercial streaming between Israel and Egypt, the people said. (Algemeiner, June 2, 2019)

JORDANIAN REFUSAL TO EXTRADITE PARIS KOSHER RESTAURANT KILLER TO FRANCE RENEWS CONCERN OVER AMMAN’S TERRORISM POLICY (Amman) — Jordan’s Court of Cassation ruled against the extradition of 57-year-old Nizar Tawfiq Mussa Hamada, one of the alleged participants in the Aug. 9, 1982 attack at Chez Jo Goldenberg, a kosher restaurant in the traditionally Jewish Marais district of Paris. After exploding a grenade inside the packed restaurant during its lunchtime service, two terrorists then opened fire on the diners with machine guns. Six people died and 22 more were wounded in the assault. The atrocity was carried out by the Abu Nidal Organization — a radical Palestinian terrorist group that was active during the 1970s and 1980s when it carried out attacks in over 20 countries. (Algemeiner, May 30, 2019)

#KEPPELOP!’ — DUTCH JEWS STAGE KIPPAH DEMONSTRATION AGAINST ANTISEMITISM IN THE HAGUE (The Hague) — Carrying signs urging an end to antisemitic hatred and waving Israeli flags, about 250 demonstrators gathered in the center of The Hague — where the government of The Netherlands has its seat — for a demonstration under the slogan, “#KeppelOp!”, Dutch for “kippah on!” Called by the Dutch Jewish organization CIDI — the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel — the rally came in response to last week’s warning from the top official combating antisemitism in neighboring Germany that it was dangerous for Jews to wear “the kippah everywhere all the time.” The official federal commissioner Felix Klein later clarified that his comments were intended as a “call to action” against rising antisemitism. (Algemeiner, May 29, 2019)

UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY SAYS NO CURRENT THREAT AFTER CONVICTED TERRORIST SAID HE PLANNED TO KILL JEWISH STUDENTS WITH MACHETE (Sydney) — The statement came after Ihsas Khan, a former pharmacy student who stabbed his neighbor with a machete in 2016, admitted that he planned to use his weapon “on Jewish students in the university to kill them. Just people wearing the Jewish headgear, the kippah.” “I was filled with hatred,” he said. “It was revenge for what was happening in Palestine.” (Algemeiner, May 29, 2019)

AUSTRALIAN MUSLIM DOCTOR SUBJECTED TO HATE CAMPAIGN BY ISLAMISTS OVER CHARITY WORK WITH JEWS (Sydney) — Dr. Jamal Rifi’s support for Project Rozana has led to him being branded an “enemy” by pro-Iranian and pro-Hezbollah activists in his local community because the charity has Jewish members.  Project Rozana was set up six years ago by the Jewish women’s group Hadassah Australia. The group’s goal as stated on its website is to “build better understanding between Israelis and Palestinians through health.” (Algemeiner, May 31, 2019)

‘HOW CAN YOU RECOGNIZE A JEW?’ LEBANESE PARLIAMENT SPEAKER NABIH BERRI IN CRUDELY ANTISEMITIC OUTBURST(Lebanon) — Nabih Berri, the powerful speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, reached for one of the ugliest antisemitic stereotypes in the book during a media interview that was ostensibly about the maritime border between his country and Israel. Asked by newspaper Al-Joumhouria about his recent discussion of the issue with visiting US Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), Berri explained Israel’s position on the maritime border as fueled by the supposedly Jewish obsession with money and wealth. Said Berri: “Someone was once asked; how can you recognize a Jew? The answer was: It’s simple. If you see a pregnant woman, get close to her and toss a piece of gold next to her, or at her feet. If the fetus jumps out of his mother’s womb and grabs the gold, you know that he is a Jew.” (Algemeiner, May 30, 2019)

EXPOSED: QATARI FUNDING OF TARIQ RAMADAN, EUROPEAN ISLAMIST NETWORKS (Qatar) – Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, Ramadan has long been accused of a pro-Brotherhood agenda by researchers and anti-Brotherhood activists. Now, new research has revealed that Ramadan was being lavishly funded by Qatar, the Brotherhood’s chief patron. Qatar’s powerful state-development organization, the Qatar Foundation, was paying Ramadan for “consulting” to the tune of 35,000 euros a month. (Middle East Forum, May 29, 2019)

TORONTO AL-QUDS ORGANIZER PROMOTES ANTISEMITIC CONTENT ONLINE (Toronto) — Siraj Sabowala, using the Facebook name “Siraj Ali,” publicly posted an image depicting ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi with a Star of David photoshopped onto his head. The image accuses the terrorist chief of “doing the job of the Jews for them” and “play[ing] into the hands of the Zionists.” Ironically, Sabowala submitted a sworn affidavit to the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee on March 20, 2019, in which he deposed that he and other members of the al-Quds Organizing Committee “oppose Zionism but not Judaism,” “reject the claim that Zionism and Judaism are one and the same,” and “oppose all forms of bigotry and racism.” (Bnai Brith Canada, May 30, 2019)

SIGN THREATENING MASSACRE OF JEWS BRANDISHED AT TORONTO AL-QUDS DAY RALLY (Toronto) — A sign alluding to a historical massacre of Jews was carried openly at the annual al-Quds Day hatefest in downtown Toronto on Saturday afternoon. The sign depicts the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem and warns that, “The last Khayber is ready,” an allusion to an ancient battle in which a Muslim army defeated and slaughtered Jews in the Arabian Peninsula. It also predicts the coming of “the last Hayder,” a nickname for Ali, the leading figure in Shi’a Islam. Shi’a clerics are among the speakers and organizers of the Toronto al-Quds rally, and many attendees are brought by buses from Shi’a mosques across the Greater Toronto Area. (Bnai Brith Canada, June 2, 2019)

UK BANK ACCOUNT DROPS FROM PRO-IRANIAN, HEZBOLLAH GROUP BEHIND AL-QUDS-DAY (London) — The United Kingdom Lawyers for Israel announced that the British bank TSB no longer appears on the donation section of the website for the radical Islamic IHRC, which has links to Iran and the UK designated terrorist organization Hezbollah. In a statement sent to The Jerusalem Post by Caroline Turner, Director of UKLFI, the organization wrote: “TSB bank details have disappeared from the ‘other ways to donate’ page of the website of International Human Rights Commission (IHRC), organizer of the annual al-Quds Day march in London which promotes the Hezbollah terrorist organization.” (Jerusalem Post, June 3, 2019)

SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY BEGINS COMPLYING WITH TERMS OF SETTLEMENT IN ANTISEMITISM SUIT (San Francisco) — Due to the settlement, which addressed two lawsuits alleging antisemitic discrimination at SFSU, “the university has an obligation and the proper mechanism to address antisemitism for the first time in its history,” said Brooke Goldstein, executive director of The Lawfare Project, which represented the plaintiffs alongside Winston & Strawn LLP. California State University has already paid a contribution toward litigation expenses, as required by the terms of the settlement. (Algemeiner, June 2, 2019)

HEBREW UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR CALLS PRO-ISRAEL STUDENT ACTIVISTS ‘NAZI DOGS’ (Jerusalem) — Professor Amiram Goldblum, a senior lecturer at Israel’s Hebrew University, called pro-Israel student activists “Nazi dogs” and threatened to prevent them from getting accepted into advanced degree programs, Israel’s Makor Rishon newspaper reported. Goldblum, an outspoken critic of Israel who serves on the public council of the far-left New Israel Fund, made the remarks in the comments section of an article about a new website launched by Israeli pro-Zionist NGO Im Tirtzu that lists Israeli professors who teach at publicly funded universities yet engage in anti-Israel activity.  (WIN, June 4, 2019)

NEW SURVEY OF AMERICAN, FRENCH, AND ISRAELI JEWS SHOWS MAJORITY AGREE ON MANY ISSUES, BUT SHARP DIVIDE OVER TRUMP (US) — A new unprecedented American Jewish Congress (AJC) survey of the world’s three largest Jewish communities — American, French, and Israeli — showed a majority of the communities agreeing on many issues, but a sharp divide on President Donald Trump’s relationship with Israel. The American Jewish Committee poll showed that 48 percent of Israelis strongly approve of Trump’s handing of the US-Israel relationship, with another 31 percent somewhat approving and only four percent strongly disapproving. Among American Jews, on the other hand, the numbers are almost precisely the opposite, with 45 percent strongly disapproving and only 22 percent strongly approving. As regards attitudes towards the State of Israel, not even three-quarters (72%) of American Jews and only a little more than half (53%) of French Jews think that a thriving State of Israel is vital for the long-term future of the Jewish people. (Algemeiner, June 2, 2019)

NYPD INVESTIGATES ANTISEMITIC INCIDENT AT BROOKLYN JEWISH CHILDREN’S MUSEUM IN CROWN HEIGHTS (Brooklyn) — New York City police are investigating an antisemitic note found outside the Brooklyn Jewish Children’s Museum as a hate crime. The post-it note, found on a billboard outside the museum, bore the message scrawled in capital letters: ‘HITLER IS COMING.’ (Jewish Press, May 31, 2019)

ISRAELI FLAG BURNED AT KKK RALLY…BY THE COUNTERPROTESTERS (Dayton, Ohio) — According to Stephanie Hausner, deputy director of the Israel Action Network of Jewish Federations of North America, Students for Justice in Palestine equates Zionists and the KKK as fascists. Native American rights activist Corine Fairbanks of Dayton took the series of photos, which have been widely circulated on social media, and posted them at her Facebook page just before the end of the rally and counterrally, with the heading: “More Allies, and Palestinian Relatives, wanting to burn flag – FREE PALESTINE!! Deport the KKK.” (Israellycool, May 30, 2019)

CALIFORNIA DEMS PROPOSE RESOLUTION LINKING ISRAELI GOVERNMENT TO ANTISEMITISM, PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE MASSACRE (Washington) — A draft resolution set to be debated this weekend at the California Democratic Party State Convention accuses the Israeli government of willfully “aligning with the virulent Islamophobia” of white supremacist groups in the U.S. — and links Israel indirectly to the Oct. 2018 massacre of 11 congregants at a Pittsburgh synagogue. (Fox News, June 1, 2019)

MCGILL AWARDS TOP HONOUR TO PROF. IRWIN COTLER(Montreal) — Professor Cotler, the former Justice Minister of Canada, one of the great human rights lawyers and defenders of political prisoners is being honored by McGill for his tireless advocacy for human rights dissidents worldwide. To watch the video of today’s McGill University convocation ceremony and Prof. Cotler’s remarks, click here.  (Act for Canada, May 31, 2019)

JEWISH JOURNEYS – STORIES OF IMMIGRATION FROM THE TREASURES OF LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA (Ottawa) — This special display presents Judaica from the holdings of the Jacob M. Lowy Collection. These books highlight important aspects of the story of Jewish immigration to Canada. (Canadian Museum of History)