Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAYS NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW (July 8,2020)
The CIJR mourns the passing of International Board member and musical prodigy Ida Haendel. Our condolences to her family. May her memory be a blessing to the people of Israel.
Obituary: Violinist Ida Haendel had a Yone as Large as Life: Arthur Kaptainis, Montreal Gazette, July 3, 2020 — Ida Haendel, the Polish-born violinist who lived in Montreal from 1952 to 1989, died early Wednesday at her home in Florida. Her nephew Richard Grunberg described her passing as peaceful on social media.WEEKLY QUOTES
Notable & Quotable: Douglass on Grant: WSJ, June 23, 2020 — From “U.S. Grant and the Colored People,” an 1872 campaign pamphlet by Frederick Douglass. Last Friday a mob tore down a statue of President Grant in San Francisco:
“There are many dissemblers and falsifiers of the Greeley party in the South who are seeking the control of the colored voters, by declaring to them that President Grant is not, and never has been, a faithful and sincere friend of my race. . . . President Grant’s course, from the time he drew the sword in defense of the old Union in the Valley of the Mississippi till he sheathed it at Appomattox, and thence to this day in his reconstruction policy and his war upon the Ku-Klux, is without a deed or word to justify such an accusation. . . . ______________________________________________________ “Even Oslo did not contemplate a two-state solution, as it is bandied about today. Israel was very clear at the time that any resolution to the conflict would ensure a permanent Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley. Jewish settlers would not be uprooted, nor would Arabs living in Israel be forced to leave. In exchange for sovereignty, a Palestinian state would recognize the legitimacy of Israel and renounce the highly contentious right of return,” – writes former Canadian Ambassador to Israel Vivian Bercovici. She’s commenting on the pressures placed on Israel not to apply sovereignty on parts of the West Bank and Jordan Valley, and on the Trump peace plan that she writes “has been slammed as being one-sided and heavily favouring Israel. But it is really Oslo redux.” (National Post, July 3, 2020)
“As for Canada, well, I’m sure there’s a statement somewhere from somebody in this government, but I’ll be damned if I can find it. The Prime Minister’s website lists a statement on “Canadian Multiculturalism Day” and another on “the formation of a new government in Ireland.” But on the subjugation of 7.5 million free people – 300,000 of them Canadian citizens – to the butchers of Tiananmen Square: as of Thursday, not a murmur. Hong Kongers are literally begging for our support, but it seems we can’t be bothered,” – writes columnist A. Coyne on China’s takeover of Hong Kong. (National Post, July 2, 2020)
“The more serious problem today comes from the left: from liberal elites who, when tested, lack the courage of their liberal convictions; from so-called progressives whose core convictions were never liberal to begin with; from administrative types at nonprofits and corporations who, with only vague convictions of their own, don’t want to be on the wrong side of a P.R. headache. This has been the great cultural story of the last few years. It is typified by incidents such as The New Yorker’s David Remnick thinking it would be a good idea to interview Steve Bannon for the magazine’s annual festival — until a Twitter mob and some members of his own staff decided otherwise. Or by The Washington Post devoting 3,000 words to destroying the life of a private person of no particular note because in 2018 she wore blackface, with ironic intent, at a Halloween party. Or by big corporations pulling ads from Facebookwhile demanding the company do more to censor forms of speech they deem impermissible.
“These stories matter because an idea is at risk. That’s the idea that people who cannot speak freely will not be able to think clearly, and that no society can long flourish when contrarians are treated as heretics. That idea, old as Socrates, formerly had powerful institutional defenders, especially in the form of universities, news media, book publishers, free-speech groups and major philanthropies.
“But those defenders are, on account of one excuse or another, capitulating to people who claim free speech for themselves (but not for others), who believe all the old patriarchal hierarchies must go (so that new “intersectional” hierarchies may arise), who are in a perpetual fervor to rewrite the past (all the better to control the future), and who demand cringing public apologies from those who have sinned against an ever-more radical ideological standard (while those apologies won’t save them from being fired).
“… “What is sinister,” he [George Orwell] wrote, “is that the conscious enemies of liberty are those to whom liberty ought to mean most.” He was particularly calling out Western scientists who admired the Soviet Union for its technical prowess and were utterly indifferent to Stalin’s persecution of writers and artists. “They do not see that any attack on intellectual liberty, and on the concept of objective truth, threatens in the long run every department of thought.”
“Every department of thought. Right now, all the Twitter furors, the angry rows over publication decisions, the canceled speeches and books, the semantic battles about which words take an uppercase and which don’t, may seem remote to those who care about more tangible issues: depression, disease, police abuse, urban decline. Yet the issue that counts the most is whether the institutions that are supposed to champion liberal ideals will muster the moral confidence to survive. On this July 4, it’s very much in doubt.” —writes columnist Bret Stephens on “the state of freedom — and of our attitudes toward it — at home and around the world.” (NYT, July 3, 2020)
“I’m pro-heritage. I’m pro-history, and I’m in favour of people understanding our past with all its imperfections. I want to build people up, not tear people down. If we go around trying to Bowdlerise or edit our history in this way, it’s like some politician sneakily trying to change his Wikipedia entry,” says UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson commenting on Oriel College’s vote in favour of removing the statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oriel College. (Evening Standard, July 3, 2020)
“And finally, I’d end with this: You know, I was asked probably 12 questions about the Confederate flag. This President is focused on action, and I’m a little dismayed that I didn’t receive one question on the deaths that we got in this country this weekend. I didn’t receive one question about New York City shootings doubling for the third straight week. And over the last seven days, shootings skyrocketed by 142 percent. Not one question. I didn’t receive one question about five children who were killed. And I’ll leave you with this remark by a dad — it broke my heart — a dad of an eight-year-old lost in Atlanta this weekend: “They say black lives matter…you killed a child. She didn’t do nothing to nobody,” was his quote. We need to be focused on securing our streets, making sure no lives are lost because all black lives matter — that of David Dorn and that of this eight-year-old girl,” — White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called out the media for asking numerous questions about the Confederate flag but none about the young children gunned down across the country over the Fourth of July holiday weekend. (RealClearPolitics, July 6, 2020)
FIRE BREAKS OUT AT IRANIAN POWER PLANT, LATEST IN SERIES OF INCIDENTS(Tehran) — The blaze, which affected a transformer in the power station in the city of Ahvaz, was put out by fire fighters and electricity was restored after partial outages/ There have been several other incidents at facilities across the country recently. An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident – even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to “security reasons.” (Globe and Mail, July 3, 2020)
CANADIAN JAILED FOR EXPORTING GOODS TO IRAN (Toronto) — A Toronto export manager for a Mississauga company has been sentenced to prison in the United States for illegally exporting gas- turbine engine parts to Iran, in violation of long- standing U.S. embargo and trade sanctions. Angelica O. Preti, 45, of Toronto, was sentenced to 18 months in prison in Columbus, Ohio, according to the U. S. Attorney’s office in the Southern District of Ohio. Few details, however, are available — including details of the allegations against her or the date she was arrested — as the case is sealed by the court and remains “sensitive,” according to a Justice Department official. (National Post, July 2, 2020)
ISRAEL SUCCESSFULLY LAUNCHES NEW SPY SATELLITE INTO ORBIT(Jerusalem) — According to the Defense Ministry, “Ofek 16” is an “optoelectronic reconnaissance satellite with advanced capabilities.” Engineers will now run a series of tests before the satellite enters full operation. (Breaking Israel News, July 6, 2020)
‘DAY OF RAGE’ PROTESTERS IN BOSTON CHANT ANTI-ISRAEL, PRO-HAMAS SLOGANS, CALL FOR INTIFADA (Boston) — Approximately 300 people associated with BDS Boston—a coalition of far-left anti-Israel organizations—chanted Hamas slogans in front of the offices of the Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Community Relations Council in light of Israel’s plans to apply sovereignty to parts of Judea and Samaria,. The BDS organizers said that they were protesting police brutality in the aftermath of the killing of African-American George Floyd, 46, on May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police. (JNS, July 2, 2020)
GERMAN LAWMAKERS DENOUNCE ISRAEL’S SOVEREIGNTY PLAN, SAY ‘SILENCE IS NOT AN OPTION’(Berlin) — The “grand coalition” consisting of the Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union (CDU/CSU) and the Social Democrats (SDP), along with the Free Democrats (FdP) from the opposition, voted on a non-binding resolution to condemn Israel over plans to extend sovereignty over Israeli-controlled areas in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, a moved often dubbed “annexation.” The debate was symbolically timed on the day from which Israel could execute the move (but hasn’t yet) and in which Germany assumed the presidency of the Council of the European Union. (JNS, July 7, 2020)
WHO CONCESSION: CHINA NEVER WARNED IT ABOUT CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK(Geneva) — The World Health Organization walked back its claim it had received a warning about coronavirus from the Chinese government, giving support to accusations from President Donald Trump that the organization is China’s puppet. The WHO recently revised its “Timeline of WHO’s response to COVID-19” after Republicans in the House Foreign Affairs Committee released its Interim Report on Origins of COVID-19 Pandemic. It concluded “despite public reporting to the contrary … China never notified the WHO about the outbreak in Wuhan.” (Newsmax, July 2, 2020)
A STATUE OF FREDERICK DOUGLASS WAS TOPPLED OVER THE FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND, THE ANNIVERSARY OF HIS FAMOUS SPEECH(Rochester) — There’s only a stump where a statue of famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass once stood. The monument to Douglass, one of several in Rochester, New York, was found ripped from its base and disposed in a gorge over the weekend. Countless statues have fallen in recent weeks, but unlike Douglass’s, they were all of men on the opposite side of history. The incident occurred either late July 4 or early July 5, according to Rochester’s Communications Director Justin Roj. Police haven’t identified who took down the statue, and Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary declined to speculate on a motive. (CNN, July 6, 2020)
COLUMBUS STATUE IN BALTIMORE TORN DOWN AND THROWN IN HARBOR (Baltimore) — A statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore’s Little Italy was torn down amid protests Saturday night and then thrown into the Inner Harbor. Videos posted to social media showed the statue was pulled down using rope, and then dragged down a flight of stairs before being tossed into the harbor, while bystanders cheered. (CBSNews, July 5, 2020)
RIOTERS TEAR DOWN MORE STATUES INCLUDING ULYSSES S. GRANT, WHO DEFEATED THE CONFEDERACY AND ‘DESTROYED THE KKK‘ (Portland) — A day after Portland rioters tore down a nearly 100-year-old statue of George Washington, vandals toppled more historic statues. On Friday night, saboteurs ripped down monuments that were dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant, Francis Scott Key, and an 18th-century Spanish priest who was canonized as a saint. Rioters leveled a statue dedicated to Ulysses S. Grant, the Republican who was the 18th president of the United States and the four-star Union general who defeated the Confederacy in the American Civil War. (The Blaze, June 20, 2020)
STATUES SHOULD STAY PUT, INSISTS MANDELA’S WIDOW (South Africa) — Tearing down statues will not “resolve the ills of the past,” Nelson Mandela’s widow has warned. Graca Machel, 74, said it would be better to keep monuments in place so that future generations can learn about history. Her remarks come as statues across South Africa face being removed over links with Britain’s colonial era. (Montreal Gazette, June 27, 2020)
DAVID STARKEY FORCED TO RESIGN FROM CAMBRIDGE COLLEGE OVER ‘DAMN BLACKS’ SLAVERY COMMENTS(Cambridge) — The celebrity historian Dr David Starkey’s career lies in ruins, with him set to lose all his academic titles and book deals, after he made comments about slavery in which he referred to “damn blacks”. Dr Starkey, who rose to prominence in the early 2000s for his writing and documentaries on Tudor politics, argued in an interview that slavery cannot be considered genocide because “otherwise there wouldn’t be so many damn blacks in Africa or in Britain”. On Friday he lost his academic positions at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge and Canterbury Christ Church University, while his role as a visiting fellow at the University of Buckingham has been placed under review. (Telegraph, July 3, 2020)
ISIL SUPPORTER JAILED IN ST. PAUL’S BOMB PLOT(London) — A female supporter of Islamic State gave the one-fingered salute used by the terror group as she was jailed for life for plotting to plant a bomb under the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Safiyya Amira Shaikh, 36, who is thought to be Britain’s first lone female ISIL plotter, was caught last October after unknowingly asking undercover officers to supply her with explosives so that she could blow up the cathedral, a hotel and a train station. (Ottawa Citizen, July 4, 2020)
LEVY: BLOOR ST. SHOP DISHES OUT VITRIOLIC ANTI-ZIONIST TROPES(Toronto) — The owner of a Bloor St. W catering company who is under fire for posting vitriolic Instagram comments indicating “Zionists (are) not welcome” in her shop and that they are “Nazis,” “greedy and entitled” refused to comment or back down. In fact, it would seem the firestorm Kimberly Hawkins has created – most of it on social media — for her claims that Israel is a “terrorist state that kills little babies,” Zionists control the media and that Israel should be defunded (by whom I don’t know) has turned her into a both a victim and a hero amongst the radical Israel-hating left. Interspersed among reactions from members of the Jewish community to posts they contend are anti-Semitic, there are several commenters calling her brave and courageous for “standing up for the oppressed.” (The Toronto Sun, July 4, 2020)
New Report on Hydroxychloroquine Adds to List of Media Malpractice Regarding Covid-19: Brad Slager, Townhall, July 6, 2020 — Notice how we have heard very little in recent weeks regarding the possible remedy for some patients who contract the coronavirus? The press had completely walked away from that subject, after successfully dismissing the possible benefits that had been touted by President Trump. A new report has come out in the past week that shows there is now a possible life-saving aspect to administering the drug in the early stages of contracting the virus, and it becomes just another item on the ledger of media malpractice.
WATCH: The Silence of American Jewry: Caroline B. Glick, July 7, 2020 — Last week I spoke with Pulse of Israel’s Avi Abelow about the refusal of American Jews to stand up to the anti-Semitism inherent in the Black Lives Matter movement.