Daily Briefing: Wednesday’s”News of the Week In Review” (September 11,2019)

United Airlines Flight 175 crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center complex in New York City during the September 11 attacks (Source: Wikipedia)

‘The Only Plane in the Sky’ and ‘Fall and Rise’ Review: Out of the Blue on Sept. 11:  Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, September 6, 2019

A remembrance of beauty persists alongside the horrors that mark Sept. 11, 2001. A storm had swept across the Northeast the day before, giving rise that morning to a rare meteorological phenomenon known as “severe clear.”
In “The Only Plane in the Sky,” an oral history of 9/11, Garrett Graff writes of the “cloudless skies that made an enduring impression on all who would witness what transpired in the hours ahead.” He quotes people who describe the sky high over New York and Washington. “A gorgeous blue,” says a Virginia police officer. “Deep blue,” says a Capitol Hill staffer. “Deep, deep blue,” says a chef in Manhattan. Others remember the hue overhead as “cobalt blue,” “cerulean blue” and “the bluest of blues,” and as one “that you wish you could put in a bottle.” [To read the full article, click the following LINK – Ed.]


“Since the horrific attacks of 9/11, the US government has refocused its counterterrorism efforts to constantly adapt to emerging threatsPresident Trump’s modernized counterterrorism Executive Order enhances the authorities we use to target the finances of terror groups and their leaders to ensure they are as robust as possible.” — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement. The targets include 15 leaders, individuals and entities affiliated with groups such as Hamas, al Qaeda, Islamic State and Iran’s IRGC.  (Algemeiner, Sept. 10, 2019)


“I must tell you before, not after, the elections what I intend to do. I’m asking for a clear mandate…to define at long last Israel’s permanent borders, promising that Judea and Samaria don’t turn into Gaza. If I get that clear mandate, I will start immediately after the election. The Jordan Valley and north of the Dead Sea – this is the eastern border of the State of Israel, like the Golan in the north. It is our security belt in the east.” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said vowing – if reelected – to apply sovereignty over “Judea and Samaria and other areas,” starting with the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea region.  (United With Israel, Sept. 10, 2019)


“Today, we’re revealing that yet another secret nuclear site was exposed in the archives that we brought from Tehran. In this site, Iran conducted experiments to develop nuclear weapons.” – Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said in a brief statement delivered to journalists at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. In his latest dramatic revelation on Iran’s nuclear program, the prime minister exposed the existence of a secret nuclear facility in central Iran in which he said the regime had conducted experiments in the pursuit of nuclear weapons. (The Times of Israel, Sept. 9, 2019)


“President Trump has been very clear. Iran won’t have a nuclear weapon on our watch. We’ll stop it.” — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Fox News in an interview with host Chris Wallace. “Is the threat of a nuclear Iran increasing?” Wallace asked, noting Iran’s recent announcement to develop “advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium faster,” its third breach of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear accords. Pompeo said that the ease with which Iran is currently departing from the deal is proof that it wasn’t working. “One of the central failures of the JCPOA is that whatever limits there were could be turned back on in a minute… They make an announcement; the next thing you know, they’re spinning centrifuges at higher and higher enrichment rates. This was a crazy failed deal.” (WIN, Sept. 9, 2019)


“I think President Obama’s administration had made the decision to leave Iraq despite what the intelligence community was telling us would happen: They were very clear that an al- Qaida-associated group would rise, that the Iraqi government, the Iraqi people, Iraqi nation was in a post-combat, prereconciliation phase. We needed to keep our influence there a little longer and draw down year by year, not draw everyone out at one time. The intelligence community was very clear. They forecasted the rise of a group – you and I know it as ISIS – and we should have taken their advice on board.” — former Defense Secretary James Mattis told Face the Nation.  (Newsmax, Sept. 8, 2019)


“Starting with a phone call I got when I was in Israel on a very, very noisy night from then-President Obama, he then invited me into the Oval Office to talk to him and he made me promises which he broke. And I broke my relationship with President Obama. President Obama’s decision on the way out to allow the United Nations to condemn Israel for occupying the Western Wall, the holiest place in Judaism, the Jewish Quarter, Hebrew University, the Hadassah Hospital access roads was abominable and I took a very strong position against President Obama.” — Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said during an interview with OAN News. (Realclearpolitics, Sept. 5, 2019)






JOHN BOLTON OUT AS NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER, TRUMP TWEETS SERVICES NO LONGER ‘NEEDED’ (Washington) — President Trump said Tuesday he pushed out his national security adviser, John R. Bolton, because he “disagreed” strongly with his suggestions and so did others. An NSA deputy, Charlie Kupperman, will serve as acting national security adviser, according to the White House. (Washington Times, Sept. 10, 2019)

TRUMP APPOINTS NEW US ENVOY TO MIDEAST AFTER GREENBLATT RESIGNS (Washington) — The White House stated that Avi Berkowitz would replace US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt after he announced his resignation on Thursday. The White House further stated that “Brian Hook will take on an increased role in the team.” Hook has served as US Special Representative for Iran and a Senior Policy Advisor to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He previously served as the Director of Policy Planning under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Jewish Press, Sept. 8, 2019



POMPEO ASKS LEBANON TO DISMANTLE HEZBOLLAH’S MISSILE FACTORY(Washington) — Israeli sources revealed that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent a warning letter to Lebanese President Michel Aoun, urging him to dismantle a second factory set up by Hezbollah in the Bekaa Valley to develop and modernize the missiles before Israel attacks it. The US message was not conveyed by regular diplomatic means through the US Embassy in Beirut, but was transferred directly to Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who is known for his close ties to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Asharq Al-Awsat, Sept. 6, 2019)


BERNIE SANDERS RECRUITS LINDA SARSOUR AS CAMPAIGN SURROGATE(Washington) — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) announced he had recruited anti-Israel, anti-Semitic Arab activist Linda Sarsour to campaign for him as an official surrogate, the Daily Caller reported. Sanders tweeted remarks Sarsour had made in a video that has since gone viral: “I would be so proud to win, but also to make history and elect the first Jewish American president this country has ever seen and for his name to be Bernard Sanders.” (Jewish Press, Sept. 8, 2019)



NETANYAHU SLIPS AS BENNY GANTZ TAKES LEAD IN LATEST POLL WITH ONE WEEK TO GO (Jerusalem) — A poll published by Israeli news outlet Kan Reshet Bet exactly one week before the elections, shows the Blue and White party pulling ahead by one mandate, or Knesset seat, and ahead of the Netanyahu-led Likud party. The poll shows the Likud losing one mandate for a total of 31 seats over a previous poll. Blue and White gained a seat for a total of 32. However, the poll also shows that the Likud remains closer to forming a governing coalition once smaller satellite parties from the Right are included. A right-wing, religious coalition receives 58 mandates while a center-left one receives 53, according to the poll. (WIN, Sept. 10, 2019)

ELECTIONS: PRO-3RD TEMPLE PARTY GETS DECISIVE BOOST IN POLLS (Jerusalem) — On Thursday it was announced that the Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party was polling at four mandates. Another poll, this time from the Israeli Daily Yisrael Hayom, also showed the party getting four seats for the first time since elections were called in May. In an exclusive interview with Breaking Israel News, party head Itamar Ben-Gvir came out in favor of building the Third Temple. (Breaking Israel News, Sept. 8, 2019)

GROUP OF ISRAELIS BRUTALLY ATTACKED IN WARSAW BY ARAB MEN SHOUTING ‘FREE GAZA’ (Warsaw) — A group of Israelis were accosted and one severely beaten in Warsaw by a group of Arab men, who attacked them because of their national origin, the brother of one of the victims alleged. Yotam Kashpizky was left with facial and ocular fractures by the assault, which his brother Barak described in a Facebook post together with photographs of his brother’s injuries. (Algemeiner, Sept. 8, 2019)


AFTER ROCKET ATTACK, IDF STRIKES 15 TERROR TARGETS IN GAZA (Gaza) — Two rockets were shot from Gaza on Tuesday night. The Iron Dome intercepted one rocket while another fell in an open field near Ashkelon.  (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 11, 2019)


DID ISRAELI ARCHAEOLOGISTS JUST DISCOVER A SEAL BELONGING TO KING DAVID’S SON? (Jerusalem) — A 2,600-year-old bulla, or seal, bearing the Hebrew words “Adenyahu Asher Al Habayit” which translate to “Adenyahu by Appointment of the House” was uncovered three weeks ago. It was found by a volunteer sifting through dirt excavated from 2013 under Robinson’s Arch near the Western Wall. Adenyahu was a son of King David. There are two other mentions of the name, one of a Levite in the times of King Jehoshaphat and another in the days of Nehemiah, a 5th-century figure who led the Jews back to Judea from Babylon. (WIN, Sept. 10, 2019)


ARAB DENTIST WHO SAVED ISRAELIS IN AZOUN ATTACK NOW FACING THREATS (Qalqilia) — On Saturday, two Israelis, a father and son from Ofakim entered Azoun, near the city of Qalqilia and under Palestinian Authority (PA) control, to seek dental treatment. At some point, they were approached by a man who asked them if they were Jews and then stabbed them.  Doctor Amin Mansour, an Arab doctor from the Arab town of Azoun who saved them is facing threats for his life-saving actions. (Jewish Press, Sept. 8, 2019)



LABOUR MP JOHN MANN, OUTSPOKEN OPPONENT OF ANTISEMITISM, QUITS PARLIAMENT, SAYS CORBYN HAS ‘HIJACKED’ PARTY(London) — John Mann, who has been outspoken against antisemitism in Labour, said following his resignation that party leader Jeremy Corbyn “has given the green light to the antisemites and, having done so, has sat there and done nothing to turn that round.” Mann is now set to become the Conservative government’s point man on combating antisemitism. (Algemeiner, Sept. 8, 2019)


IAEA FINDS URANIUM TRACES IN TEHRAN, WHERE NETANYAHU TOLD THEM TO LOOK (Tehran) — Samples taken by investigators from the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency at the so-called “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran – where Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told them to look – have come up glowing. Iran has yet to explain those traces of uranium, according to two diplomats who are tightly connected with the agency’s inspection work, and who spoke exclusively with the Reuters news agency. (Jewish Press, Sept. 8, 2019)


TRUMP TELLS MACRON SANCTIONS ON IRAN NOT TO BE LIFTED AT THIS TIME (Washington) — Trump made the remark during a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, Special assistant to the President of and white House deputy press secretary Judd Deere tweeted. Deere added that the two Presidents agreed it was imperative “to curb Iran’s actions threatening freedom of navigation and commerce in the Persian Gulf.” (Radio Farda, Sept. 6, 2019)


IRAN’S AIR FORCE CHIEF FIRED FOR ISRAELI JETS’ UNDETECTED VIOLATION OF AIRSPACE (Tehran) — The commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Air Force, Brigadier General Farzad Ismaili, was fired in May by the country’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, after he concealed violations of Iranian airspace by Israeli Air Force F-35 stealth fighter jets. Ismaili had been in his post since 2010. The incident came to light on Saturday when it was reported by Kuwait’s Al Jarida, which cited senior Iranian military officials. Intelligence services and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps apparently only started to investigate the case under the direct orders of Khamenei after a report in March. (MEMO, Sept. 2, 2019)

NOVA SCOTIA PRIEST FIRED FOR PRAYING FOR ISRAEL (Halifax) — A Christian Orthodox priest in Nova Scotia was forcibly retired for delivering a sermon that honoured Judaism and Israel. The head priest of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Halifax, Father Vladimir Tobin, received a letter from Orthodox Church in America Archbishop Irénée, the archbishop of Ottawa and Canada, on Aug. 12, informing him that he is being forcibly retired due to the alleged “Jewish twist in your ministry.” The phrase likely alludes to a sermon Father Tobin delivered that mentioned Israel and Judaism in favourable terms, asked for congregants to pray for Israel and reminding the congregation that Jesus was a Jew. (CJN, Sept. 5, 2019)

GLOBAL JEWISH POPULATION IN 2019:  14.6 MILLION (Jerusalem) – This is according to research by Hebrew University Professor Sergio Della Pergola. 84% of global Jewry lives either in Israel or the U.S., while there are 175 countries where the Jewish population is 100 or more. (Forward, Sept. 5, 2019)




Awakening Feelings About 9/11 David Geffen, Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2019 — I was recently at a gathering where Israeli teenagers were present and asked several of them if they know what occurred on September 11, 2001.
What Was Iran Hiding in a Warehouse in Turquz Abad?: Bret Stephens, NYT, Sept. 5, 2019 — Reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency don’t usually make for riveting reading, so you may have missed last Friday’s latest, soporifically headlined “Verification and monitoring in the Islamic Republic of Iran in light of United Nations Security Council resolution 2231 (2015).”