Daily Briefing: Wednesday’s “News of the Week In Review”

OrCam MyEye 2.0 (Source: Wikipedia)


“Helping the people of Iran, both with words and deeds, would be one of the best things we can do to promote stability in the Middle East,[and] to promote Iran into not moving into having nuclear weapons – there are lots of good things that happen if this government goes awry.” — James Woolsey, the former Director of Central Intelligence said.  He added that the United States has a “real chance” of improving the government of Iran because of the recent protests. (Newsmax, Nov. 26, 2019)

“I think the strike on Saudi Aramco in September is pretty indicative of a nation that is behaving irresponsibly. My judgment is that it is very possible they will attack again.”  — said Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of the military’s Central Command.  He spoke at a regional security conference in Manama, Bahrain, home of the Navy’s Fifth Fleet. He was referring to the Sept. 14 Iran-sponsored attack on Saudi facilities that took half of Riyadh’s oil production offline (Newsmax, Nov. 23, 2019)

“Iran will deploy an increasing number of more accurate and lethal theater ballistic missiles, improve its existing missile inventory and also field new land attack cruise missiles,” —  warns Christian Saunders, Senior Defense Intelligence Analyst for Iran at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA.) He adds that the Islamic Republic already “has the largest missile force in the Middle East, with substantial inventory of close-range ballistic missiles, short-range ballistic missiles and medium-range ballistic missiles that can strike targets throughout the region as far as 2,000 kilometers away.”  Saunders based himself on a Pentagon report entitled “Iran Military Power,” which is raising concerns at the Pentagon.  (WIN, Nov. 21, 2019)

 “The PIJ (Palestine Islamic Jihad) is developing capabilities—with Iranian funding and engineers — that to some degree surpass those of Hamas” – said veteran military correspondent Roni Daniel.  He was referring to the Palestinians’ new military acquisition – a short-range missile with range of reportedly up to five kilometers, but capable of carrying a huge explosive warhead of above 300 kg (660 lbs.). It is believed that Hamas has similar weaponry. Significantly, these deadly rockets, named “Burkan” and previously used in Syria and Iraq, are now thought to be produced locally in the Gaza Strip. (WIN, Nov. 24, 2019)

“I am disappointed the government of Canada has chosen to support an anti-Israel motion at the UN led by the dictatorship of North Korea. This, combined with the decision to re-start funding for UNWRA, is a betrayal of a democratic friend and ally.” – said former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  He commented on Canada’s UN vote. Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party sided with North Korea in a biased United Nations resolution titled “The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” that is designed to demonize and delegitimize Israel reversing Canada’s long-standing pro-Israel policy. (United With Israel, Nov. 24, 2019)

“We regret the Canadian change and we will express our regret officially to the Canadian representative in Israel. … We think the resolution is not a substantive resolution, but an attempt to delegitimize Israel and is part of the whole package that should be rejected out of hand. … It was a surprise … we had no inclination or hint that Canada would change its vote on the regular annual UN resolutions, and we trusted Canada, knowing that this is a circus of anti-Israeli resolutions.” – Nimrod Barkan, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada, in reference to Canada’s controversial UN vote.  (CJN, Nov. 27, 2019)


ATTORNEY GENERAL: NETANYAHU NOT REQUIRED TO RESIGN (Jerusalem) — Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said in a statement that Benjamin Netanyahu can remain interim prime minister, just days after serving him with charges of fraud, breach of trust and bribery. The attorney general did not weigh in on whether Netanyahu could keep his other ministerial positions while under indictment. (WIN, Nov. 25, 2019)

OUSTING NETANYAHU: FIRST PETITION FILED IN ISRAEL’S HIGH COURT TO FORCE PM OUT (Jerusalem) – The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, a well-established government watchdog filed the first petition to Israel’s High Court of Justice to force Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s resignation due to the indictments against him in three corruption cases. Netanyahu already must give up four other posts he currently holds in the caretaker government, as the petition notes that according to a Supreme Court ruling, ministers under indictment must relinquish their positions. (WIN, Nov. 24, 2019)

POLL: NETANYAHU MAINTAINS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT AS LIKUD LEADER (Jerusalem) — Even as MK Gideon Sa’ar steps up his campaign to unseat Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as leader of the Likud, party members continue to overwhelmingly prefer the incumbent prime minister as their leader, according to a public opinion poll published on Tuesday. The survey, released by Channel 12, showed that among Likud member, 88% said that they would vote for Netanyahu in the anticipated upcoming party primary. (WIN, Nov. 26, 2019)

BREAKING THE DEADLOCK: LIKUD MK PROPOSES BILL FOR DIRECT ELECTIONS OF PRIME MINISTER (Jerusalem) — Likud MK Shlomo Karai is drafting a bill that would end the political deadlock in Israel by making it possible for voters to directly elect a prime minister. Karai says he has the green light from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to proceed with the bill. According to the plan, elections would take place in the same format they are today, but with a new condition added that if a coalition government can’t be formed and the Knesset dissolves, a direct election for prime minister will be held, preventing a possible fourth election. (WIN, Nov. 25, 2019)

ISRAEL POLICE CLOSE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY INSTITUTIONS IN JERUSALEM (Jerusalem) — The order was given to close Palestinian institutions after intelligence revealed that the Palestinian Authority was operating a branch of the Palestinian Education Ministry in the Islamic al-Aytam school in Jerusalem’s Old City. The branch, which operated as the Palestinian Parents Committee, was funded and run by the P.A., and undermined Israel’s sovereignty by inciting forceful and violent actions. (Jewish Press, Nov. 24, 2019)

BDS SUPPORTER DEPORTED FROM ISRAEL UNDER ANTI-BOYCOTT LAW (Jerusalem) — Omar Shakir, who ran Human Rights Watch’s Israel office (HRW), is a proponent of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which is the reason he will be the first person deported under an Israeli law that permits removal of those who support anti-Israel boycotts. Shakir, a U.S. citizen, worked out of Ramallah, which is the capital of the Palestinian Authority and a hotbed for terrorist activities and anti-Israel propaganda. (United With Israel, Nov. 24, 2019)

IRAN’S MULLAHS KILLED 400, WOUNDED 4,000, DETAINED 10,000 IN FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES (Tehran) — The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (MEK) announced that the Iranian regime killed more than 300 protestors in different cities around the country, noting that the number of dead is “much higher and the regime is trying to conceal the scale of its horrific crimes.” (Jewish Press, Nov. 24, 2019)

ISRAELI COMPANY MAKES TIME’S 100 BEST INVENTIONS OF 2019 LIST (New York) — A product made by the Jerusalem based hi-tech company OrCam, whose mission is to improve the lives of individuals who are blind, visually impaired, and have reading difficulties, was picked as one of Time Magazine’s 100 best inventions of 2019. OrCam was jointly founded in 2010 by Prof. Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, who are also the co-founders of Mobileye, the collision avoidance system leader and autonomous driving innovator. (Jewish Press, Nov. 24, 2019)

WALMART TAKES ISRAELI AI COMPANY UNDER ITS WING (New York) — Walmart has acquired the Israeli product-review startup Aspectiva for an undisclosed sum. Aspectiva uses artificial intelligence to find out what shoppers are saying online about any product to provide potential customers with the reviews and help them with their purchasing decisions. The technology can analyze what shoppers are searching for, on their phones or in store apps, and offer them instant help. It can also suggest alternative products if the one in which the shopper is interested does not have a high-enough rating regarding specific aspects. (JOL, Nov. 24, 2019)

106 HOUSE DEMOCRATS, OMAR AND TLAIB AMONG THEM, SLAM TRUMP’S SHIFT ON SETTLEMENTS (Washington) — The letter by House Democrats was addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo announced on Nov. 18 that a 1978 State Department legal opinion that found Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria were illegal was “inconsistent with international law.” (WIN, Nov. 24, 2019)

GERMAN CHANCELLOR WILL VISIT AUSCHWITZ-BIRKENAU FOR 1ST TIME (Berlin) — Merkel will visit the site’s main death camp on Dec. 6 and participate in a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Foundation, whose purpose is to preserve the authenticity of the site. Since the end of the Holocaust in 1945, Helmut Schmidt and Helmut Kohl were the only German chancellors to have visited the infamous death camp. (JOL, Nov. 24, 2019)

STUFFY LIKE AUSCHWITZ’: JEWISH WOMAN DETAILS ANTISEMITIC BARBS FACED BY HER TEENAGE SON AT GERMAN PUBLIC SCHOOL (Offenbach) — The mother of a 16-year-old Jewish boy  told a local news outlet that a stream of antisemitic remarks from his classmates had compelled her to withdraw him from the public school he currently attends. Speaking to the Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper, the mother — who gave her name only as “Alina R.” — said that remarks her son was constantly exposed to included jokes about the school classroom being “warm and stuffy like Auschwitz,” as well as the use of the word “Jew” as an insult. (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2019)

MORE THAN 11,000 PEOPLE URGE CANADA TO REVERSE UN VOTE CALLING WESTERN WALL ‘OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORY’ (Ottawa) — More than 11,000 people have signed a petition urging the Canadian government to reverse its vote in favor of an annual United Nations resolution that deems the Western Wall and other sites of Jewish worship occupied Palestinian territories. The General Assembly motion in question, which passed on Tuesday afternoon, describes east Jerusalem — home to the Temple Mount and the Jewish Quarter of the Old City — “Occupied Palestinian Territory,” without recognizing any Israeli claims to the land. It also condemned the construction of the West Bank security barrier, which was erected following a Palestinian campaign of suicide bombings and other attacks targeting civilians. (Algemeiner, Nov. 24, 2019)

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY ADOPTS ISRAELI AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT RESOLUTION, DESPITE ABSTENTION OF ARAB LEAGUE STATES (NYC) — The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proposed by Israel meant to improve access in developing countries to agricultural technologies. The resolution will help fulfill Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ goal of promoting sustainable development, the Israeli UN Mission said. A total of 147 nations voted in favor of resolution, while Arab League member states abstained. (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2019)

ANTI-ISRAEL PROTEST AT YORK UNIVERSITY TURNS VIOLENT(Toronto) — Members of York’s Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA) arrived at the university to disrupt a school-sanctioned panel discussion with Reservists on Duty, an organization of former members of the Israeli Defence Force (IDF.) Calls to protest the arrival of the IDF members came from across the Internet, including the federal NDP candidate for York Simcoe, Jess McLean, who on Twitter denounced York for hosting the event and urged her followers to attend Wednesday’s SAIA counter-protest. At least one person was injured.  (Toronto Sun, Nov. 21, 2019)

TERROR FLAG WAVED ON US UNIVERSITY CAMPUS (Indianapolis) — In this video, Butler University students fly the flag of the PFLP terror organization on their campus. PFLP is a recognized terrorist organization by the European Union, the United States, Canada and Israel. This terror organization also happens to be well- represented in Palestinian Authority civil society, with many NGO board members, officials and employees hailing from its ranks. (Israel Unwired, Nov. 24, 2019)

OBERLIN COLLEGE STUDENTS ERECT MEMORIAL TO PALESTINIAN ISLAMIC JIHAD TERRORISTS (Ohio) — Anti-Zionist students at Oberlin College erected a memorial last week commemorating the death of multiple Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists. Oberlin Students for a Free Palestine shared in a Facebook post that it had installed a display in “commemoration of the 34 Palestinians killed by Israeli rocket fire this last week” in Wilder Bowl, a central outdoor space on campus where students often congregate. (Algemeiner, Nov. 24, 2019)

AFRICA’S TOP UNIVERSITY DECISIVELY REJECTS CALL TO BOYCOTT ISRAELI ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS (Cape Town) — At the vote on Friday, 68 percent of the 363 members of the senate opposed a resolution that would have pledged UCT — one of Africa’s most prestigious universities — “not enter any formal relationships with Israeli academic institutions operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories as well as other Israeli academic institutions enabling gross human rights violations in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.” (Algemeiner, Nov. 25, 2019)

CHURCH OF ENGLAND ACKNOWLEDGES ROLE CHRISTIANITY PLAYED IN HOLOCAUST (London) — In a newly published document, the Church of England formally acknowledged that Christian theology prompted the Holocaust and called on Christians to repent for fostering antisemitism. The 144-page report, published by the Church of England’s Faith and Order Commission under the title “God’s Unfailing World; Theological and Practical Perspectives on Christian-Jewish relations,” is the first definitive statement by the church on the matter. (Algemeiner, Nov. 22, 2019)

UK CHIEF RABBI EPHRAIM MIRVIS: CORBYN NOT FIT FOR HIGH OFFICE (London) — The UK major daily newspapers on Tuesday reported in huge, across-the front-page headlines that Chief Rabbi of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Ephraim Mirvis has lost faith in Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and said as much in an op-ed he published in The Times titled: “What will become of Jews in Britain if Labour forms the next government?” Rabbi Mirvis declared that in his opinion Corbyn’s handling of anti-Semitism allegations makes him “unfit for high office,” and warned that the “very soul of our nation is at stake.” (Jewish Press, Nov. 26, 2019)

BRAZIL’S ICONIC RABBI HENRY SOBEL, WHO CHALLENGED THE COUNTRY’S MILITARY REGIME, MOURNED BY JEWS AND NON-JEWS (Rio de Janeiro) — The death of Henry Sobel, Brazil’s iconic rabbi and human rights activist, was mourned by Jewish and non-Jewish groups across Latin America’s largest nation. The charismatic 75-year-old spiritual leader died Friday of lung cancer in a Miami hospital. Sobel made history by challenging Brazil’s military regime in 1975 by refusing to bury journalist Vladimir Herzog at the Jewish cemetery’s suicides wing for rejecting the official version that he had hanged himself. (JTA, Nov. 24, 2019)

                FOR FURTHER REFERENCE:

WATCH:  World Holocaust Forum Foundation President Dr. Moshe Kantor:  YouTube, Nov. 23, 2019

WATCH: Biblical Villain’s Fortress Discovered in Israel’s North! United With Israel, Nov. 25, 2019 — Excavations near the Israeli town of Katzir appear to have revealed a fortress belonging to a Biblical villain named Sisera.