Daily Briefing -Wednesday’s “News of the Week in Review” (October 23, 2019)

Official portrait of Mrs. Louise Ellman. (Source: Wikipedia)


           WEEKLY QUOTES

“Jordan harbors Ahlam Tamimi, the confessed Jordanian bomber of the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem whose 2013 indictment by the US Department of Justice was unveiled more than two and a half years ago … In addition, Ms Pelosi has had several other meetings with the Jordanian king this year including in March and in April. Plenty of opportunity for a senior US political figure to express concern about justice thwarted, no? We’re going to make efforts to see what Ms Pelosi said to Jordan’s absolute ruler today about why he demeans the extradition treaty his father King Hussein signed with the Clinton administration in 1995. We realize our track record in getting members of Congress to respond to questions like this is not very good. But we’re certainly not giving up.” – Frimet and Arnold Roth whose 15-year-old daughter Malki was murdered by Tamimi in the Aug. 9, 2001 Sbarro pizzeria terrorist attack.  (Jewish Press, Oct. 20, 2019)

“Because of the flawed Iran deal, the U.N. arms embargo on Iran will expire in one year. Countries like Russia and China will be able to sell Iran sophisticated weapons.  The Iranian regime will be free to sell weapons to anyone. This will trigger a new arms race in the Middle East.” — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem  in a stop-over from Ankara, where Pompeo discussed with Erdogan stopping Turkish military strikes against Kurds in Syria.  Pompeo tried to assuage Israeli concerns that a U.S. pullout from Syria will mean a further Iranian entrenchment near Israel’s northern border.  (WIN, Oct. 18, 2019)

 “The Human Rights Council continues to abandon human rights and is now in the business of protecting dictators and war crimes. In Venezuela, a dictator starves his people, and in Libya there are camps that torture African migrants. … These countries are added to the Council’s ‘moral leadership,’ as the body no longer hides its obsessive hostility to Israel, and legitimizes those who blatantly violate and act against its original mandate.”  – Israel UN envoy Danny Danon declared in a statement.   Venezuela and Libya were elected to two of the 14 available seats on the UNHRC during a vote on Thursday in Geneva, where the council holds its sessions. (Algemeiner, Oct. 17, 2019)

“I’m urging the American government to get involved, and if I can reach someone in the White House, then that will definitely help. My sister’s fate should not be tied to the fate of this hacker.  My sister is an American citizen with no previous criminal record, who made a mistake, and received seven-and-a-half years in prison. Burkov is an accused criminal, and it’s completely unjust and wrong for them to compare the two.” — Liad Goldberg said. The sister of Naama Issachar — the Israeli-American woman sentenced last week by a Russian court to seven-and-a-half years in prison for smuggling cannabis into Russia on her way back to Israel — called on the US government to take a more proactive role in securing her release. Russian officials have suggested a prisoner exchange whereby Aleksey Burkov would return to Russia and Issachar to Israel. Bukov, an IT specialist is wanted in the United States on charges of hacking and credit card fraud. Burkov was arrested at Ben-Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv in 2015 and is currently awaiting extradition to the US, after the measure was approved by Israel’s Supreme Court in August. (Algemeiner, Oct. 18, 2019)

“Rather than chase unrealistic ambitions, the U.S. should remain focused on what its core interest in Syria has been since 2011: countering the threat from ISIS. That will be harder now with the end of the U.S. partnership with the SDF but it is certainly not impossible. Coping effectively with this challenge requires accepting several propositions.” – Political analyst Aaron David Miller writes.  He argues in his op-ed that President Trump was correct in pulling his troops out of Kurdish held Syria.  (Politico, Oct. 18, 2019)


ISRAELI PRESIDENT REUVEN RIVLIN HONORS LATE QUEEN MOTHER OF ROMANIA, WHO SAVED JEWS DURING THE HOLOCAUST (Jerusalem) — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin officially marked the reburial of Queen Mother Helen of Romania, also known as Helen of Greece and Denmark, with a letter praising the late monarch for her work to aid and rescue Romanian Jews during the Holocaust. During World War II, despite Romania’s alliance with and domination by Nazi Germany, Helen fought to bring food, medical supplies, and other aid to the country’s Jews, and in 1942 personally intervened to stop a mass deportation of Jews to the death camps. (Algemeiner, Oct. 20, 2019)

TRUMP SAYS ISRAEL, JORDAN ASKED HIM TO KEEP US TROOPS IN SYRIA (Washington) — American President Donald Trump says he still wants to get all U.S. troops out of Syria, but Israel and Jordan have asked him to keep some there. Last week, Trump said the roughly 1,000 American troops in northeastern Syria will go home, leaving about 200 at a base in the southeast of the country. Then officials said the bulk of the troops would shift to Iraq. Pentagon chief Mark Esper said he’s considering leaving an additional contingent in eastern Syria to work with Syrian Kurdish fighters to combat ISIS. (WIN, Oct. 21, 2019)

IRAN BANNED FROM WORLD JUDO UNTIL IT AGREES TO FACE ISRAEL (Lausanne) — Iran was banned from international judo competitions for refusing to let its athletes fight Israeli opponents. The International Judo Federation’s disciplinary commission said the ban will stand “until the Iran Judo Federation gives strong guarantees and prove that they will respect the IJF Statutes and accept that their athletes fight against Israeli athletes.” (Washington Post, Oct. 22, 2019)

RIOTERS IN LEBANON DEMAND RESIGNATION OF GOVERNMENT (Lebanon) — Tens of thousands of Muslim and Christian demonstrators took to the streets in Beirut and elsewhere around Lebanon demanding the resignation of the government after a plan was announced to tax use of the Whatsapp messaging app. Protests were seen in the northern city of Tripoli, the southern city of Sidon, and in the Bekaa Valley as well as in Beirut, according to the state-run National News Agency. The rioters complained about poor national infrastructure as well as ongoing austerity measures. They burned tires, yelled epithets and chanted slogans as they demanded an end to the government they say has destroyed Lebanon’s economy. (Jewish Press, Oct. 20, 2019)

PETE BUTTIGIEG JOINS WARREN IN SUPPORT OF CUTTING MILITARY AID TO ISRAEL (Washington) — Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said that he would use America’s $3.8 billion military aid to Israel as leverage in political discussions. Buttigieg has been very critical towards Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intentions of annexing Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. Buttigieg’s remarks echoed comments made by Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren at a town hall meeting on Sunday. (WIN, Oct. 22, 2019)

5,000 ATTEND CONCERT COMMEMORATING HALLE YOM KIPPUR  VICTIMS (Germany) — An estimated 5,000 people attended a memorial concert in Halle, 10 days after a German terrorist shot and killed two people and injured two more in a shooting rampage on Yom Kippur, Deutsche Welle reported. (Jewish Press, Oct. 20, 2019)

UK JEWISH LABOUR PARTY LAWMAKER QUITS AFTER 55 YEARS, CITES ANTI-SEMITISM (London) — After 55 years as a member of the UK Labour Party, Liverpool Riverside MP Dame Louise Ellman has resigned from the party. Ellman, 73, tendered her resignation in a letter, writing that she was “deeply troubled” by the increase in anti-Semitism she has seen and declaring that she believes party leader “Jeremy Corbyn is not fit to serve as our prime minister.” (Jewish Press, Oct. 19, 2019)

‘UNPRECEDENTED ACHIEVEMENT’ FOR ISRAEL JOINING EUROPEAN SOCIAL SURVEY (EU) — The European Social Survey (ESS) voted to add Israel to its ranks, making it the first non-European country to join the organization. Israel has until now retained the status of an ancillary state but became the 25th member state of the ESS. The ESS is an academic cross-national survey that has been conducted through Europe since its establishment in 2001. Every two years, face-to-face interviews are conducted with newly selected, cross-sectional samples. The survey measures the attitudes, beliefs, and behavior patterns of diverse populations in more than 30 nations. (WIN, Oct. 15, 2019)

ISRAELI HOSPITAL LAUNCHES COLLABORATION WITH LARGEST REHABILITATION FACILITY IN CHINA (Beijing) — The Reut Rehabilitation Hospital in Tel Aviv signed an agreement on collaboration with the China Rehabilitation Research Center (CRRC), the largest such facility in China. The signing ceremony recently took place as part of the visit of the hospital’s director, Dr. Dov Albukerk, at an international conference in Beijing initiated by the Chinese hospital. (Jewish Press, Oct. 17, 2019)

JUSTICE MEIR SHAMGAR WHO INVESTIGATED BARUCH GOLDSTEIN KILLINGS, RABIN’S MURDER, DEAD AT 94 (Jerusalem) — Retired Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar, who chaired, among other things, the state commission of inquiry into PM Yitzchak Rabin’s murder, and an investigation into the slaughter at the Cave of Patriarchs by Dr. Baruch Goldstein, passed away on Friday morning at the age of 94. (Jewish Press, Oct. 18, 2019)

1ST FEMALE SPACEWALKING TEAM, INCLUDING JEWISH ASTRONAUT, MAKES HISTORY (Space) — NASA astronauts Christina Koch and Jessica Meir, whose father is Israeli, exited the International Space Station on Friday, the first time in a half-century of spacewalking that a woman floated out without a male crewmate. Their job was to fix a broken part of the station’s solar power network.  (Times of Israel, Oct. 18, 2019)

HATE CRIMES TARGETING JEWS MORE THAN DOUBLE IN YEAR IN ENGLAND AND WALES, NEW DATA SHOWS (UK, Wales) — The number of hate crimes targeting Jews in England and Wales more than doubled in a year, according to new data published by the UK Home Office this week. A total of 1,326 such offenses were recorded in 2018/19, up from 672. (Algemeiner, Oct. 18, 2019)

US ARMY CHOOSES ISRAELI SYSTEM TO PROTECT TANK CREWS’ LIVES (Washington) — The Trophy Active Protection System, a system that was first deployed by the Israel Defense Forces in 2011 and which has intercepted many threats fired at Israeli armored vehicles, will be eventually be installed on-board four American M1 main battle tank brigades, for both the US Army and Marine Corps. (Jewish Press, Oct. 19, 2019)

                                     FOR FURTHER REFERENCE:

Pro-Israel, Jewish Communities Mourn the Passing of Rep. Elijah Cummings, 68 Jackson Richman, WIN, Oct. 18, 2019 — Pro-Israel and Jewish communities expressed condolences over the passing of longtime Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) on Thursday after a long bout with illness.

Incredible Sukkot Photos From Inside the Lodz Ghetto Ilana Sichel, JTA, Oct. 16, 2016 — During the Holocaust, Jews found innovative ways to maintain religious observance. From whispering Sabbath prayers at Auschwitz to carving potato menorahs at Bergen-Belsen, stories of risk and resistance have long been told. But rarely have they been seen.


The CIJR mourns the death of Sonia Cohen z’l who passed away Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019.  She was the wife of CIJR’s beloved former Research Chairman Baruch Cohen z’l.  Our heartfelt sympathies to son-in-law Lawrence Bergman, grandsons Stuart and Mark Bergman, and sister Marga Zummer.

May her family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem