Daily Briefing: Wednesday’s “News Of The Week In Review” (May 15,2019)

Drip irrigation in Israel (Source: Wikipedia)

On Topic Links
 

Ontario’s Islamophobia Bill Set to Go:  Doris Strub Epstein, CIJR Daily Briefing, May 15, 2019 — Bill 83, a private members bill, is designated to proclaim an annual “Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia” every January 29. 
Doris Strub Epstein
Watch: Israel Is a Water Conservation Superpower: Jerusalemonline, May 14, 2019 — A NY based author has argued in his book Let There Be Water that Israel was one of the first nations in the world to recognize the importance of water conservation.
Poway Rabbi Leads Jewish Youths in ‘Am Yisrael Chai’ Chant in Speech at Auschwitz, Shiryn Ghermezian, Algemeiner, May 14, 2019 — The rabbi wounded in last month’s deadly shooting attack at a synagogue near San Diego gave an inspiring speech to 800 young Jewish youths on Sunday at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.
Transcript: Robert Gates on “Face the Nation”: CBS News, May 12, 2019. Includes video. –The following is a transcript of the interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates airing Sunday, May 12, 2019, on “Face the Nation.”

ONTARIO’S ISLAMOPHOBIA BILL SET TO GO
Doris Strub Epstein
CIJR Daily Briefing, May 15, 2019
 
Bill 83, a private members bill, is designated to proclaim an annual “Day of Remembrance and Action on Islamophobia” every January 29.  It has already passed two readings in the Ontario Legislature and is before the Standing Committee on Social Policy right now.
 
The Bill is the brainchild of NDP MPP Rime Berns-McGown and calls on each and every citizen of Ontario to “eliminate Islamophobia.”
 
This bill is only concerned with special recognition for only one group in Ontario: Muslims. It ignores other groups targeted by hate, persecution and malice, such as people of colour, the Yazidis, the Jewish community, LGBTQs and the indigenous peoples. 
 
In fact. Statistics Canada has recorded decreasing levels of hate crimes against Muslims, while over the past several years, the Jewish community in Canada has been, and is today,  the most targeted group for hate crimes.
 
“Islamophobia” is not sufficiently defined.  It attempts to protect Islam and Sharia from criticism, and it means fear of Islam. not hatred for Muslims.  It is not at all like anti-Semitism, which means hatred of Jews.
 
There is already criminal legislation against hate that protects all Canadians. 
 
At the Federal level, the government refrained from passing a similar bill because they saw that Canadians were strongly against it. Many have suggested that, instead of singling out only the Muslims for “special recognition”, the Bill be re-worded to call for  “A Day of Remembrance and Action Against Racism and Religious Discrimination”.
 
— Doris Strub Epstein is co-Chair, Toronto, CIJR

 
WEEKLY QUOTES

“Democrat Rep. Tlaib is being slammed for her horrible and highly insensitive statement on the Holocaust. She obviously has tremendous hatred of Israel and the Jewish people. Can you imagine what would happen if I ever said what she said and says?” – tweeted President Donald Trump.  He responded to Tlaib’s comments regarding the Palestinians’ relationship with the Jews as regards the Holocaust in an interview on a Yahoo News’ Skullduggery podcast, “There’s always kind of a calming feeling I tell folks when I think of the Holocaust and the tragedy of the Holocaust, and the fact that it was my ancestors—Palestinians—who lost their land and some lost their lives, their livelihood, their human dignity, their existence in many ways, have been wiped out, and some people’s passports. [A]ll of it was in the name of trying to create a safe haven for Jews, post-the Holocaust, post-the tragedy and the horrific persecution of Jews across the world at that time. And I love the fact that it was my ancestors that provided that, right, in many ways. But they did it in a way that took their human dignity away, and it was forced on them.” (WIN, May 13, 2019)
 
“You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead. That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in 2020!” — Hesamoddin Ashena, Rouhani’s key advisor, took to Twitter after U.S. military experts suggested: “Iran or its proxies” damaged four commercial ships off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sunday. (Fox News, May 14, 2019)
 
“There won’t be any war. The Iranian nation has chosen the path of resistance. We don’t seek war, and they don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.” – Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on state television.  (Reuters, May 14, 2019)
 
Iran’s threat to pull out of the nuclear deal in phases rather than in a fell swoop won’t, as Iran hopes, drive a wedge between the US and Europe. Rather, predicts Bobby Ghosh at Bloomberg, it’ll “force them together. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani describes Tehran’s move as “diplomacy with a new language and a new logic.” But, says Ghosh, it will have the same old consequences: “more isolation and sanctions for Iran.” As hope fades for Tehran’s compliance on the nuclear issue, and Europeans see that it again poses a nuclear threat, they “will have little option but to punish” Tehran. Their leaders “may resent Donald Trump’s reckless torching of the deal,” but “they are not about to abandon an alliance for a brutal regime.” (NY Post, May 10, 2019)
 
“If there’s some sort of conflagration between Iran and the United States, between Iran and its neighbors, I’m not ruling out that they will activate Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad from Gaza, or even that they will try to fire missiles from Iran at the State of Israel.” — Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, told Israel’s YNet TV. (Algemeiner, May 12, 2019)
 
“For a member of Congress who, frankly, one who sits on an important national committee, making a statement blaming America first in this way, it’s not only ignorant, it’s disgusting.” – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashing back at Rep. Ilhan Omar for blaming the US for the violence in Venezuela. “The nicest thing I can say is it is unbelievable ignorance.  It’s just factually wrong.” (NY Post, May 3, 2019)
 
“This is not an ‘even-handed’ situation, but Palestinian terrorism and violence across an international border that every candidate and elected official should be able to condemn unequivocally.” — Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, stated. Mr. Hoenlein continued. “It is disappointing and troubling that only a few of the candidates spoke out in response to [the nearly] 700 rockets launched by terrorists against the civilian population of our close ally. It is difficult to understand why the facts are so clear as reflected by the comments of many members of Congress from both sides of the aisle.” Jewish and pro-Israel leaders decried the lack of support for Israel across the board by Democratic candidates running for president in 2020 after the barrage of rocket fire launched last weekend on civilians by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. (JNS, May 10, 2019)
 
“How many meals for breaking the [current Ramadan] fast could be purchased with what the hundreds of rockets fired from Gaza cost?” — Lebanese Shi’ite journalist Nadim Koteich tweeted.  Koteich is a columnist for the Saudi Al-Sharq Al-Awsat daily who is also known to be anti-Hizbullah and anti-Iran, criticized Hamas and how much it was spending on firing rockets while the Gaza Strip population was in dire economic straits. (MEMRI, May 5, 2019)
 
“What did 100 rockets launched by the Hamas militia from Gaza into Israel achieve? Israel has killed 24 Gaza residents; 50 are wounded; buildings are destroyed; a cruel war against Gaza [is underway]. On the other hand, what did the Gaza rockets do to Israel? Nothing – not even [inducing] fear…” — Ahmad Al-Jarallah, editor of the Kuwaiti daily Al-Siyassa, (MEMRI, May 5, 2019)
 
“In truth, when it comes to antisemitism, the right and the left often find common ground. The far right talks about the federal government as ZOG, the Zionist Occupation Government; the left sees AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, as a behemoth of unbelievable proportions, driving American policy in ways that are antithetical to America’s best interests. This absence of a dividing line between left and right when it comes to anti-Semitism was evident when the former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke clicked “like” on Representative Ilhan Omar’s tweet claiming that American support of Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby.” — Deborah Lipstadt writes in an article “Anti-Semitism Is Thriving in America” (Atlantic, May 3, 2019)

“We had a highly respected and decorated vice-admiral go through the ringer for the sole crime of speaking the truth and trying to do what is right for the Canadian navy, so far we haven’t been able to get any of those answers in [the House].” – Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer said on CTV’s Question Period regarding the case of Vice-Admiral Mark Norman who was suspended as the military’s second-in-command in early 2017 after being charged with breach of trust. The charge was stayed last week.  Scheer called for those with knowledge of the case to appear before a parliamentary committee.  (Globe and Mail, May 13, 2019)

 

SHORT TAKES

 

WIFE OF SWEDISH JEWISH LEADER STABBED, SERIOUSLY WOUNDED (Helsingborg, Sweden) — The wife of the secretary of the Jewish community in Helsingborg, Sweden, was stabbed several times and is reported to be in serious condition.   The identity of the assailant was not clear. Security has been increased around Jewish institutions in the city.  (WIN, May 14, 2019)
 
AARON DAVID MILLER: RASHIDA TLAIB SHOULD STOP USING THE HOLOCAUST FOR POLITICAL GAIN (New York) — CNN Inside Politics host John King questioned the claim made by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) that her ancestors provided a “safe haven” for Jews after the Holocaust. His guest, Aaron David Miller, who served six secretaries of state as an advisor on Arab-Israeli negotiations between 1988 and 2003, calmly called out the congresswoman’s lies and suggested she and others in Washington leave the Holocaust alone and stop using it to advance their own political agendas. (Jewish Press, May 14, 2019)
 
AS ISRAELIS HID IN BOMB SHELTERS, A DC SYNAGOGUE HONORED DEAD TERRORISTS (Washington) — On the evening of May 7, when Jews around the world commemorated Yom Hazikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day), which honors the memory of the thousands of heroes who have died defending the Jewish state, one of the oldest synagogues in Washington, D.C.—the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue— a “non-denominational, non-membership, non-traditional Jewish synagogue” in downtown Washington—sponsored the “Israeli-Palestinian Memorial Day Ceremony” for Israeli and Palestinian “victims” of the Israeli/Arab conflict. (Jewish Press, May 14, 2019)
 
STANDWITHUS COUNTERS ‘BREAKING THE SILENCE’ ANTI-ISRAEL BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN (Tel Aviv) — The pro-Israeli organization ‘StandWithUs’ is placing a billboard intended to counter a vicious anti-Israel campaign being carried out by the ‘Breaking The Silence’ NGO, beginning May 15 and running for a week. The SWU billboard will tower over the Ayalon highway in Tel Aviv. The billboard placed by ‘Breaking the Silence’ is using the incoming influx of tourists arriving for this week’s 2019 Eurovision Song Contest to promote their tours aimed at persuading participants to support the international Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel. (Jewish Press, May 14, 2019)
 
REPORT CITES WIDE PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS (London) – Jeremy Hunt, Britain’s foreign secretary warned that governments in many parts of the world failed to take action to slow the persecution of Christians. Interim findings of a report commissioned by Hunt suggest that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world with violence against them spreading.  (National Post, May 4, 2019)
 
CHRISTIAN ACQUITTED OF BLASPHEMY NOW IN CANADA (Ottawa) – Aasia Bibi was convicted of blasphemy in 2009 after a quarrel with a fellow farm work.  Pakistan’s Supreme Court overturned her conviction last year and she had been in protective custody since. She is now reunited with her daughters in Ottawa.  (National Post, May 9, 2019)
 
CANADIANS’ $50- MILLION ART COLLECTION TO BE AUCTIONED INTERNATIONALLY (Montreal) – Art from the estate of Arnold and Blema Steinberg, including two works by US abstractionist Mark Rothko that are valued in the tens of millions will be sold at a series of sales in NY starting May 14th.  Sotheby’s auction house is billing the art as the most important collection of colour-field painting ever to come to auction.  (Globe and Mail, May 6, 2019)
 
NEW WEBSITE OUTS 85 ISRAELI ANTI-ISRAEL PROFESSORS (Israel) – A new website launched by the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu enables students to access information about Israeli academics who promote anti-Israel activities. The website, “Know Your Professor,” lists 85 Israeli professors who are involved in anti-Israel activity such as promoting BDS, encouraging international pressure on Israel, accusing the IDF of war crimes, and urging young Israelis to dodge the IDF draft. Among the professors included in the list are Hebrew University’s Daphna Golan, who supports refusing to serve in the IDF and has accused Israel of being an apartheid state; Tel-Aviv University’s Yehouda Shenhav, who accused Israel of “slaughter[ing] large numbers of wholly innocent people” in Gaza; Ben-Gurion University’s Niv Gordon, who promotes the BDS movement; and Haifa University’s Vered Kraus, who called to boycott Ariel University. (Jewish Press, May 14, 2019)
 
OVER 150 TERRORISTS RELEASED IN SHALIT DEAL HAVE RETURNED TO TERRORISM, RESPONSIBLE FOR 10 ISRAELI DEATHS (Israel) – Btsalmo, an Israeli human rights organization, petitioned the IDF for data on the released terrorists, and the IDF has confirmed that 100 have been rearrested for security and terrorism offenses, were re-sentenced and sent back to prison. The IDF collected evidence against another 56 terrorists who were brought before a special committee which rescinded the agreement with them and sent them back to prison. Another two terrorists are still on trial. Some who have not been rearrested are active in generating terrorists against Israelis. (Jewish Press, May 14, 2019)
 
DUTCH STRUGGLE TO REIN IN STATE-FUNDED SALAFIST SCHOOL (Netherlands) — There are two Islamic middle schools in the Netherlands. One of them has terror ties. This was the conclusion of the Dutch intelligence and counterterrorism agencies as described in a confidential letter to Amsterdam Mayor Femka Halsema. Based on an anonymous tip from a moderate Muslim group, the agencies warned that the city’s Cornelius Haga Lyceum had “anti-democratic,” Salafist leanings. Moreover, the agencies alleged, the school’s directors had connections with the Caucasus Emirate, a Chechen jihadist group with ties to the Islamic State. (IPT News, May 14, 2019)
 
HAMAS’S CASH COW ARRIVES IN GAZA (Gaza Strip) — Qatar’s envoy, Muhammad al Emadi, together with a large delegation is in Gaza to coordinate distribution of 30 million dollars to Hamas to be used for rehabilitating the area.  Gazans are already lining up at local post offices in anticipation of receiving their shares. It is not clear if he brought with him the cash in hand, as he did in the past, or if he wired it through an Israeli approved bank transfer. The funds are expected to be divvied out in $100 increments. (JOL, May 14, 2019)
 
POLAND CANCELS ISRAELI DELEGATION’S VISIT TO DISCUSS HOLOCAUST REPARATIONS (Warsaw) – Poland’s Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that it was canceling the visit of a senior Israeli delegation to Warsaw to discuss Holocaust reparations. The ministry said that it had made the decision after “Israel made last-minute changes in the composition of the delegation, indicating that the talks will focus mainly on issues related to the return of Jewish property during the Holocaust.” (WIN, May 13, 2019)
 
UNDER FIRE: TENNESSEE JUDGE WHO TOLD JEWS TO ‘GET THE F*** OVER THE HOLOCAUST(Tennessee) — Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) Founder and President Laurie Cardoza-Moore has filed a formal letter to the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct demanding the removal of James Lammey, a Tennessee criminal court judge who posted on his Facebook page a link to an article that states that Jews should “get the f*** over the Holocaust.” PJTN is a Christian pro-Israel advocacy organization that also fights antisemitism. (WIN, May 13, 2019)
 
TURKEY SAYS S-400 PROCUREMENT ‘DONE DEAL’ (Ankara) — Turkey on May 10 denied a German newspaper report claiming that Turkey will no longer buy the S-400 air defense systems from Russia. Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said the S-400 procurement was a “done deal.” (Hurriyet Daily News, May 11, 2019)
 
ANTISEMITISM, ISRAEL-HATRED RIFE AT PRO-PALESTINIAN DEMONSTRATION ENDORSED BY UK LABOUR PARTY LEADER JEREMY CORBYN (London) – The marchers assembled for the “National Demonstration for Palestine: Exist! Resist! Return!” at the offices of the BBC, which is only a short distance from London’s Central Synagogue. They then proceeded down Regent Street to Whitehall. British newspaper. The Guardian reported that “thousands” attended the rally. (Algemeiner, May 12, 2019)
 
NEW STUDY FINDS THERE MAY BE ‘COORDINATED VILIFICATION’ CAMPAIGN AGAINST JEWISH AMERICANS DURING 2020 ELECTIONS (U.S.) – The study by the Institute for the Future, titled, “The Human Consequences of Computational Propaganda,” examined online propaganda, disinformation, and harassment directed against various groups during the 2018 midterm elections and attempted to extrapolate these trends for the 2020 campaign. The authors concluded that there may well be “coordinated vilification campaigns aimed at Jewish Americans, women’s reproductive rights groups, and immigration activists (Algemeiner, May 12, 2019)
 
ISRAEL-HATERS AT BRANDEIS (Waltham, Mass.) — – It’s no surprise to read about college students calling for the destruction of Israel. But there’s something particularly painful when they are students at a university named after one of the foremost advocates of the Jewish state. Brandeis University was established in 1948 because young American Jews were being excluded from many American universities. Hostility towards Jews was what brought Brandeis into existence. And now, hostility towards Jews has reared its ugly head at Brandeis itself. In recent weeks, Israel-haters twice attacked a pro-Israel art exhibit on the Brandeis campus called “Art Over Hate,” created by the group “Artists 4 Israel.”