Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAYS – NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW (August 5,2020)

Media ocrity of the Week
Logos of the 5 major U.S. broadcast networks.(Wikipedia)

Trump, Please Quit Before You’re Fired:  Timothy Egan, NYTimes, July 31, 2020Trump, playing “one of the last tricks left in the dictator’s handbook…floated the idea of breaching the Constitution by illegally delaying the national elections…He should do humanity a favor and surrender now. He can quit while he’s only behind by 10 points or so.  [The rising virus toll is] the result of a country run by a crackpot…He quit on the Constitution, obstructing Congress and abusing power [and] sending his troops into American cities seems to have backfired…If Trump were to walk away…he could join Nixon in disgrace…Quitting before an election would deprive Americans of the satisfaction of rejecting him by an overwhelming margin, a national shower to clean off the four years of grime and grit, [If he were to refuse to leave he] would be rewarded with a presidential perp walk…escorted out of the White House and into infamy by the military police”.

                                       WEEKLY QUOTES

“Netanyahu said that while demonstrators portray their campaign as an attempt to “preserve Israeli democracy, I see it as an attempt to trample democracy. These demonstrations are fuelled by a media mobilization, the likes of which I can’t remember,” he said, accusing the Israeli press of “North Korean-like” uniformity in its alleged bias against him. They do not report the demonstrations — they participate in them. They add fuel,” said Netanyahu, who returned as prime minister in 2009 after a first term from 1996-99,” – writes political columnist Jeffrey Heller.  His article notes that trust in Netanyahu concerning his handling of the pandemic has recently slipped from 57.5 to 29.5%. (National Post,  Aug. 3, 2020)

“What makes me concerned for the country is this is the first time in my memory the leaders of one of our great two political parties, the Democratic Party, are not coming out and condemning mob violence and the attack on federal courts,” – US Attorney General William Barr tells US Congressmen at the “hearing” that the House Judiciary Commission in which he was rarely allowed to answer a question.  (Townhall, July 29, 2020)

“I leave my post today with deep disappointment that during the most critical public health crisis in our lifetime, that the Health Department’s incomparable disease control expertise was not used to the degree it could have been. Our experts are world renowned for their epidemiology, surveillance, and response work. The city would be well served by having them at the strategic center of the response not in the background,” —   New York City’s health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot noted in her resignation email sent to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. She criticized the mayor’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.  (Townhall, Aug. 4, 2020)

“I use [Facebook] to spread Torah and mitzvot and try to do my part in bettering the world, which is why I was absolutely astounded to discover I’d been banned this week,” – Rabbi Uriel Vigler is the director of a Chabad-Lubavitch center on New York’s Upper East Side wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.  He had received a message telling him that one of his Torah classes “goes against [its] Community Standards.” The class, explained the rabbi, discusses how “the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed because of hatred for one another,” exploring the Talmudic concept that equates “hatred to the three cardinal sins: idolatry, adultery, murder.”  Meanwhile, Facebook has no problem keeping virulently antisemitic posts on its network.  (United With Israel, Aug. 4, 2020)

“From 1979 and to this day, Iran has been giving us a headache about Israel, the Al-Quds Army [sic], and about how they are going to liberate… Israel is going to liberate Tehran before you liberate [Palestine],” —  Iraqi Sunni opposition activist Mustafa Al-Dulaimi said during a fiery exchange with an Iranian diplomat on the Iraqi Kurdish television station Zagros TV.  Al-Dulaimi said Iran’s presence in Iraq was “evil.” He was referring to the Iranian army’s “Al-Quds” [the Arabic name for Jerusalem] Force, which Iran has said would lead the battle to destroy Israel and liberate Jerusalem. (WIN, July 31, 2020)
 

  SHORT TAKES

AT LEAST 25 KILLED AS POWERFUL EXPLOSION ROCKS BEIRUT(Beirut) — Lebanon’s health minister, Hamad Hassan, said that at least 100 people had died and 4,000 suffered injuries in the explosions and fire that shook Beirut on Tuesday. The secretary-general of the Kataeb political party, Nizar Najarian, was killed in the blast, and among those injured was Kamal Hayek, the chairman of the state-owned electricity company, who was in critical condition.  President Michel Aoun said the blast was caused by 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely in a warehouse. Ammonium nitrate is used as a fertiliser in agriculture and as an explosive. (NYTimes,  BBC News, Aug. 4 and 5, 2020)

IDF ELIMINATES TERROR CELL ON BORDER WITH SYRIA (Golan Heights) — IDF Special Forces operating on the border with Syria identified and eliminated a four-man terror cell that was planting explosives near the border’s security fence.The IDF forces and aircraft fired in parallel at the squad, some of whom were carrying weapons. All four were killed. (United With Israel, Aug. 3, 2020)

DEMOCRATS BLOCKED EFFORT TO SLASH HEZBOLLAH FUNDING DAYS BEFORE BORDER ATTACK (Washington) — Democrats in Congress blocked an effort to slash funding to Iranian terror organization Hezbollah — just days before the group launched an attack on Israel’s border. The legislation would have cut millions in funding to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Republicans accused Democrats of watering-down the bill which would have pressured the LAF to stop working with Hezbollah by conditioning any US funding to them ridding their ranks of Hezbollah forces. (NYPost, Aug. 4, 2020)

LARGEST PROTEST YET: 10,000 GATHER IN JERUSALEM AGAINST NETANYAHU (Jerusalem) — Over 10,000 gathered in Paris Square in Jerusalem on Saturday night within a 10-minute walk from the prime minister’s official residence. It was the largest protest Netanyahu in the four weeks since Israelis have started demonstrating in the area in earnest. Protesters also demonstrated in Tel Aviv, in Caesarea (where the prime minister’s private residence is located) and on bridges throughout the country. (WIN, Aug. 2, 2020)

WHITE HOUSE BLASTS TWITTER FOR APPROVING IRAN’S THREATS TO DESTROY ISRAEL (Washington) — White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany slammed Twitter saying the social media giant was showing blatant bias by targeting conservatives, especially President Trump. The comments came after Twitter company official Ylwa Pettersson told the Knesset that Iranian calls to wipe out Israel were just “foreign policy saber-rattling on military-economic issues [that] are generally not in violation of our rules.” “I thought it was very eye opening and it tells you where these social media companies stand, where they’re not willing to assess the Ayatollah Khomeini’s tweets but they are willing to assess President Trump’s tweets,” McEnany told a White House press conference. (United With Israel, Aug. 2, 2020)

AOC PRAISES ANTI-SEMITIC GROUPS FOR SUPPORTING LETTER CENSURING ISRAELI SOVEREIGNTY (Washington) — Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) praised the support by at least 10 anti-Semitic groups for a letter issued by her and signed by other Democrats.  The “supporting organizations” include several related to the anti-Israel BDS movement, including the U.S. Campaign for Palestinian Rights, American Muslims for Palestine, American Friends Service Committee, Churches for Middle East Peace and Defense for Children International-Palestine. The Defense for Children International-Palestine has been linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, designated a terror group by the United States and European Union. (United With Israel, July 21, 2020)

PELOSI FUNNELS $14,000 TO ILHAN OMAR CAMPAIGN AMID EXPENSIVE PRIMARY FIGHT (Washington) –– Federal Election Commission records show that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi transferred $10,000 from her PAC and an additional $4,000 from her campaign committee to Omar on July 22, one week after Pelosi endorsed Omar in her reelection bid. The Minnesota Democrat is facing an expensive primary battle against attorney Antone Melton-Meaux, who outraised Omar significantly in the second quarter of 2020. Melton-Meaux raked in $3.3 million between April and June to Omar’s $470,000. Included in the challenger’s donor list is Democratic Colorado governor Jared Polis, who gave $1,000 to Melton-Meaux’s campaign on July 27. (WIN, Aug. 2, 2020)

NY CONGRESSWOMAN WHO REPRESENTS CROWN HEIGHTS SUPPORTS NICK CANNON (NYC) — Diana Richardson, a Democrat who represents the 43rd district in Brooklyn, which includes the heavily Jewish neighborhood of Crown Heights, called on her Instagram followers to boycott media companies under Viacom CBS, which fired Cannon earlier this month for propagating anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and praised Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has an extensive history of making anti-Jewish remarks. (WIN, Aug. 2, 2020)

TOP SOROS OFFICIAL EMBRACES ANTI-SEMITIC BLACK NATIONALIST AND SLAMS CLINTON (Washington) –– Patrick Gaspard, a former Obama administration official and president of George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, blasted former president Bill Clinton for condemning Stokely Carmichael, a racial separatist who called Hitler the only white man he could respect. As Lewis’s successor leading the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, Carmichael pressed blacks to embrace direct confrontation rather than peaceful demonstration. He opposed most forms of coalition-building with white liberals and pressed blacks to “close ranks” and exclude whites from the organization. (WIN, Aug. 4, 2020)

ZOA ‘PLEASED’ AS BEINART RESIGNS WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS POSITION (Washington) — The Zionist Organization of America expressed its approval of U.S. journalist Peter Beinart’s decision to resign as an alternate to the World Zionist Congress. Beinart has been in the headlines for an article he wrote for Jewish Currents on July 8 titled, “Yavne: A Jewish Case for Equality in Israel-Palestine,” in which he argued for abandoning the idea of a Jewish state. (WIN, Aug. 4, 2020)

AMERICAN JEWISH COMMITTEE APPOINTS CHRISTIAN TO TACKLE ANTI-SEMITISM IN US (Washington) — Holly Huffnagle, a Christian was named US Director for Combatting Antisemitism. Huffnagle previously served as the policy adviser to the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism at the U.S. Department of State, and as a researcher in the Mandel Center of Advanced Holocaust Studies at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. (WIN, July 21, 2020)

HATEFUL IMAGERY’: TWITTER LOCKS OUT JEWISH USERS FOR POSTING STAR OF DAVID (UK) – According to the Campaign Against Anti-Semitism (CAA), several Twitter users contacted the UK-based watchdog organization in the past several days to complain that their accounts were locked for the following explanation: “We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically, for: Violating our rules against posting hateful imagery. You may not use hateful images or symbols in your profile image or profile header. As a result, we have locked your account.” The CAA added that Twitter told users that deleting the “hateful imagery,” in this case the Star of David, would lead to reinstatement of their accounts. (WIN, July 21, 2020)

UN NAMES FIRST-EVER ANTI-SEMITISM MONITOR (NYC) — U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres has named Miguel Morantinos, the High Representative for the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), as the first-ever U.N. Focal Point to monitor anti-Semitism. In his new position, Morantinos—a former Spanish Foreign Affairs minister—will be responsible for enhancing a system-wide response at the United Nations to longtime anti-Semitism. (WIN, July 30, 2020)

HOLOCAUST VICTIM SUES GERMAN RAIL COMPANY OVER TRANSPORTATION OF JEWS TO DEATH CAMPS (Holland) – Salo Muller, a man who previously successfully secured €50 million from a Dutch railway company for Holocaust survivors is now pursuing legal action against a German railway company over its alleged role in the decimation of the Dutch Jewish population. Muller’s parents who ended up in Auschwitz, were taken there by train from Amsterdam when he was a boy. Now 84 years old, he wants an apology and financial compensation for nearly 500 Dutch survivors and about 5,500 next of kin.  (National Post, July 30, 2020)

HOLLAND ADMITS IT FUNDED PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS(Amsterdam) — It took the Dutch government seven years to acknowledge they had been funding a Palestinian group that paid salaries to two terrorists convicted of murdering an Israeli teenager last year. NGO Monitor had been ringing the alarm bell about the connections between a Palestinian group called the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC) and the Palestinian terror group, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP.) (WIN, July 22, 2020)

KINGSTON TEEN ARRESTED ON FBI TIP PLEADS GUILTY TO TERRORISM-RELATED CHARGES (Ontario) — A teenager arrested in an RCMP raid in Kingston last year has pleaded guilty to a series of terrorism-related charges for trying to encourage and facilitate a bomb attack. The 17-year-old, who cannot be identified under the terms of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, admitted to the four charges – plus another for violating his bail conditions. The youth sent the RCMP agent instructions on how to build a pressure-cooker bomb. He also encouraged him to build it and plant it in a public place, such as a bar, to kill “infidels,” according to the statement of facts, saying such an attack would help the Islamic State. (Globe and Mail, July 29, 2020)

BROCK UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR HITS BACK OVER DIVERSITY ESSAY, SAYS SOCIAL MEDIA ‘RAGE’ TO BLAME (St. Catherines) — A Canadian professor who sparked a backlash by using a prestigious international scientific journal to question the impact of diversity hiring on the quality of scientific research has hit back at his detractors, saying he was the victim of a social media tempest. In a lengthy statement, Tomas Hudlicky, 69, of Brock University, says he stands by his views, which he argues were misinterpreted. Hudlicky’s seven-page opinion essay published in June in Germany-based chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie, surveyed recent trends in organic synthesis. In it, he decried “preferential” treatment given to women and minorities. (National Post, Aug. 3, 2020)

SYRIA SAYS THERE’S NO LEGAL BASIS FOR OIL FIELD DEAL BETWEEN U.S. FIRM AND KURDISH-LED REBELS (Damascus) — Syria’s Foreign Ministry said that a U.S. oil company had signed an agreement with Kurdish-led rebels who control northeastern oil fields in what it described as an illegal deal aimed at “stealing” Syria’s crude. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had referred to an oil fields deal between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and a U.S. firm during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to “modernize the oil fields in northeastern Syria.” Damascus strongly condemned the agreement. (Globe and Mail, Aug. 3, 2020)

FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

Remembering Ze’ev Jabotinsky 80 Years After His Death:  Ronn Torossian, Algemeiner, Aug. 4, 2020 Ze’ev Jabotinsky died on August 4, 1940 — yet so much of what this great Zionist visionary said is still relevant today.

An Effective COVID Treatment the Media Continues to Besmirch:  Steven Hatfill, RealClearPolitics, Aug. 4, 2020 — On Friday, July 31, in a column ostensibly dealing with health care “misinformation,” Washington Post media critic Margaret Sullivan opened by lambasting “fringe doctors spouting dangerous falsehoods about hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 wonder cure.”

Why Did a Canadian School Promote Anti-Israel Lies?:  United With Israel, July 29, 2020 The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) has reached out to the Ontario Minister of Education in search of answers after an anti-Israel video was found to be part of the curriculum of a Grade 10 online civics course, announced the organization in a mass email on Monday.