Daily Briefing: Wednesday’s News of the Week in Review (September 23,2020)

Official portrait of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States.(Wikipedia)

From Camp ‘Rabbi’ To Pursuing Justice: How Judaism Animated Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life:  Ben Sales, JTA, Sept. 21, 2020 — In its obituary of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, The Guardian wrote that the late Jewish Supreme Court justice “abandoned her religion.” That couldn’t be more wrong.

Opinion: Ginsburg’s Friendship With Scalia Holds Lesson For Our Current Corrosive Political Culture Jonathan S. Tobin, WIN, Sept. 22, 2020 — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Sept. 18 — the eve of Rosh Hashanah — at the age of 87 was a symbol of female empowerment, as well as a renowned scholar and jurist.


“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was in her own words ‘a judge, born, raised and proud of being a Jew. Justice Ginsburg, the first Jewish woman to serve on the high court, sought to apply the values of her faith in seeking equal justice under law and had a lifelong love for Israel.  She is recognized as among the great jurists in modern history. She never ceased to advocate for gender equality while leading the way for women in the legal profession. She was an inspiration to millions. Her passing is being mourned across America, and she leaves an historic legacy that will be studied with reverence for generations to come,” – the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations stated.  World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder commented, “As Jews across the United States and the world welcomed the hope that comes with the first night of Rosh Hashanah, we learned of the devastating loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. [She was] “a trailblazer on behalf of gender equality, and she paved the way for women in the law and on the courts. She fought fiercely and unflinchingly to advance and defend the rights of women and minorities, and, in the tradition of Justices Louis D. Brandeis and Benjamin Cardozo, embodied the principle of equal justice for all under the law, as well as the Jewish value of ‘tzedek, tzedek, tirdof’ — ‘justice, justice shall you pursue,’”(Algemeiner, Sept. 21, 2020)“My Administration will never allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon, nor will we allow Iran to endanger the rest of the world with a fresh supply of ballistic missiles and conventional arms.  I am issuing an Executive Order, restoring United Nations (UN) sanctions on Iran, and imposing new sanctions and export controls on more than two dozen entities and individuals that support Iran’s nuclear, missile, and conventional arms-related activities,” – said President Donald Trump.  The order blocks those trying to sell, supply or transfer conventional arms to Iran or provide financial support, training or other services connected with arms sales. (WIN, Sept. 22, 2020)

“He said these exact words: ‘We will not be able to succeed without Israel.’ So for the Saudis, it’s not a question of ‘if,’ it’s a question of ‘when.’ And there’s no doubt that they will establish relations with Israel,” — said New York-based Rabbi Marc Schneier, who serves as an adviser to Bahrain’s king and has held talks in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to promote stronger ties with Jews and Israel.  He was referring to former Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Khalid bin Salman who told him that the top priority of his brother, the crown prince, is reforming the Saudi economy.  (United With Israel, Sept. 22, 2020)

“Most of the mainstream media. They’re a collection of liars and they know exactly what they’re doing. A perfect example of that were the riots. Right on the street it was clear as day what was going on, anyone observing it, reporters observing it, it could not have escaped their attention that this was orchestrated violence by a hardened group of street fighting radicals and they kept on excluding from their coverage all the video of this and reporting otherwise and they were doing that for partisan reasons, and they were lying to the American people,” – US Attorney General Bill Barr said during an interview with Townhall referencing the urban violence that erupted in blue states that the media depicted as “peaceful demonstrations.” (Townhall,Sept. 11, 2020)

“We’re going to have to blow up the entire system. And you know what we’re going to have to do? You’re going to have to get rid of the electoral college because the minority in this country decides who the judges are and they decide who the president is.  If Joe Biden wins, Democrats can stack the courts and they can do that amendment and get it passed,”CNN host Don Lemon told CNN colleague Chris Cuomo in reaction to President Trump’s decision to nominate a replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the Supreme Court. (Real Clear Politics, Sept. 21, 2020)

“ … So my argument: The Democratic left has turned certifiably insane, if one definition of irrational behavior is the refusal to recognize the damage being done, primarily to black and Hispanic neighborhoods, by catastrophic violence. Voters, it appears, have begun to notice,” – writes WSJ columnist Daniel Henninger.  He referred to the Democratic Party’s refusal to acknowledge the impact of the urban violence on the “Harris-Biden” electoral prospects.  (WSJ, Sept. 16, 2020)

“In recent years, the Justice Department has sometimes acted more like a trade association for federal prosecutors than the administrator of a fair system of justice based on clear and sensible legal rules.  In case after case, we have advanced and defended hyper-aggressive extensions of the criminal law.  This is wrong and we must stop doing it. The rule of law requires that the law be clear, that it be communicated to the public, and that we respect its limits.  We are the Department of Justice, not the Department of Prosecution,” – US Attorney General Bill Barr said in a speech delivered to Hillsdale College commemorating Constitution Day.  (U.S. Dept of Justice, Sept. 16, 2020)

“And on a personal level, and I for a second want to talk to my Jewish friends who are voting for Donald Trump. How dare you? How dare you, with what our people have gone through in history, and you see a man who is a dictator? And once you give a man absolute power, he is possible of anything. And if you are a Jew in this country and you are supporting Donald Trump, you are not looking back at our history. And you are blind and you are walking like a lemming off a cliff. It is time to wake up. I’m sorry. This is where we are. There is no difference from what Donald Trump is preaching, from what Adolf Hitler preached in the early ’30s. Let’s just say it once and for all,” — Advertising executive Donny Deutsch tells MSNBC‘s “Morning Joe.” (Real Clear Politics, Sept. 23, 2020)


HONDURAS WILL OPEN ITS EMBASSY IN JERUSALEM BY END OF 2020 (Tegucigalpax) — Honduras will relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the end of 2020, President Juan Orlando Hernandez announced, joining the US and Guatemala. (United With Israel, Sept. 21, 2020)

POLL: PALESTINIANS HATE ABBAS, WOULD VOTE IN HAMAS PRESIDENT (Ramallah) — In a searing rejection of the Palestinian leadership, the poll conducted by the respected Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research showed that if elections for the Palestinian leadership were held now, the head of the Hamas terror group, Ismail Haniyeh, would win a majority of the public vote. The results show a significant decrease in the percentage of support for the two-state solution compared to the situation three months ago, and broad support for protesting President Donald Trump’s peace plan. The poll conducted face-to-face interviews of 1,270 respondents in Judea, Samaria and Gaza to gauge their opinion on a variety of topics with a margin of error of three percent. (WIN, Sept. 22, 2020)

PA SHOCKED QATAR ACCEPTS TRUMP’S PLAN FOR ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN CONFLICT (Ramallah) — The level of concern is rising in Ramallah after Qatar accepted the American Deal of the Century as a basis for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A joint statement by the US and Qatar on the strategic dialogue raised tensions in the Palestinian Authority and there is a growing understanding that Qatar is becoming an important link in the implementation of American policy, says a source in Ramallah. (United With Israel, Sept. 21, 2020)

EXCLUSIVE: U.S. EYES DECEMBER AGREEMENT ON F-35 JETS WITH UAE – SOURCES (Washington) — The United States and the United Arab Emirates hope to have an initial agreement on the sale of F-35 stealth fighter jets to the Gulf state in place by December, as the Trump administration studies how to structure a deal without running afoul of Israel. (Reuters, Sept. 22, 2020)

TWO IRANIAN NATIONALS CHARGED IN CYBER THEFT CAMPAIGN TARGETING COMPUTER SYSTEMS IN UNITED STATES, EUROPE, AND THE MIDDLE EAST (Washington) — Two Iranian nationals were charged in connection with a coordinated cyber intrusion campaign – sometimes at the behest of the Iranian government – targeting computers in New Jersey, elsewhere in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.  According to a 10-count indictment, Hooman Heidarian  and “Mohammad Mehdi Farhadi Ramin,” 34  stole hundreds of terabytes of data, which typically included confidential communications pertaining to national security, and foreign policy intelligence.  (US Dept of Justice, Sept. 16, 2020)

NEARLY 20 PERCENT OF MILLENNIALS, GEN Z IN NY BELIEVE JEWS CAUSED THE HOLOCAUST: SURVEY (NY) — Nearly 20% of millennials and Gen Z in New York believe Jews caused the Holocaust. The findings come from the first-ever 50-state survey on the Holocaust knowledge of American millennials and Gen Z, which was commissioned by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. (NY Post, Sept. 16, 2020)

2 MEN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR BUS BOMBING IN BULGARIA THAT LEFT 5 ISRAELIS DEAD (Bulgaria) — A court in Bulgaria sentenced two men to life in prison for a 2012 bus bombing at an airport there that left five Israelis dead. Meliad Farah, 39, an Australian of Lebanese origin, and Hassan El Hajj Hassan, 32, a Canadian of Lebanese origin, were convicted in absentia and remain at large for the attack in Burgas, which also wounded 35 people. They are believed to be part of Hezbollah and are on Interpol’s wanted list. (JTA, Sept. 22, 2020)

OUR GUEST SPEAKER TODAY, CLASS, IS A JEW-HATING TERRORIST (San Francisco) — In an online program next week, the College of Ethnic Studies at San Francisco State University will cohost “A Conversation with Leila Khaled,” that it promotes as a “historic” encounter with a prominent “Palestinian feminist, militant, and leader.” In an enthusiastic Facebook post, Professor Rabab Abdulhadi of the college’s Race and Resistance Studies Department describes Khaled as “a huge inspiration” and a “feminist icon,” and declares that she “wanted to grow up to become another Leila Khaled.” Leila Khaled is a terrorist. For decades, Khaled has been a leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, or PFLP, which is designated as a terror organization by the United States, Canada, and the European Union. (The Boston Globe, Sept. 16, 2020)

ROMNEY SUPPORTS HOLDING A VOTE ON TRUMP’S SCOTUS NOMINEE (Washington) — Senator Mitt Romney (R., Utah) said he would support holding a vote to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ahead of the November election, saying he intends to “follow the Constitution and precedent in considering the President’s nominee.” With 53 Republican Senators, the GOP can only afford to lose three votes to advance the nomination if Vice President Mike Pence were to step in and cast a tie-breaking vote. Only Senators Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) and Susan Collins (R., Maine) have signaled an unwillingness to support a Trump nominee for the Court ahead of the election, so far all but clearing the way for the nomination to go forward. (National Review, Sept. 22, 2020)

OPINION: ELECTION REPORT SIGNALS TO ANTI-TRUMPERS TO TAKE TO STREETS IN FACE OF LOSS (Washington) — In one of the greatest public disinformation campaigns in American history — the Left and their NeverTrumper allies (under the nom de guerre: “Transition Integrity Project”) released a 22-page report in August 2020 “war gaming” (their term) four election crisis scenarios. TIP organizers and leaders include Georgetown law professor Rosa Brooks, Nils Gilman of the “independent” Berggruen Institute in California, and John Podesta, the longtime fixer and handler of the Clinton political dynasty. The nominally Republican members of group include former Republican National Chair Michael Steele, journalist David Frum, and former magazine editor Bill Kristol. (WIN, Sept. 13, 2020)

ONLY STAUNCH LIBERALS FEEL THEY CAN EXPRESS THEMSELVES FREELY, U.S. SURVEY FINDS (Washington) — A recent survey of 2,000 Americans by Cato Institute/YouGov found that 62 percent of Americans say “the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive.” This is up from 2017, when 58 percent agreed with this statement. “Majorities of Democrats (52%), independents (59%) and Republicans (77%) all agree they have political opinions they are afraid to share.” (WIN, Sept. 16, 2020)

RIAL AT RECORD LOWS AGAINST THE DOLLAR AS U.S ANNOUNCES SANCTIONS (Tehran) — Immediately after the United States announced the return of international sanctions on Iran on Sunday, the dollar exchange rate set a new record high with a 2.5 percent increase to the rate of 273,000 rials per dollar. The U.S. dollar exchange rate was 160,000 rials at the beginning of the current Iranian calendar year starting March 20, but previously reached 250,000 rials in late July. (Radio Farda, Sept. 21, 2020)

‘SCHITT’S CREEK’ SWEEPS THE 2020 EMMYS AND MAKES HISTORY (LA) — Schitt’s Creek,” the show co-created by the father-and-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, swept the Emmy Awards. The series won every comedy category for its sixth and final season, and the younger Levy alone won four awards. This year’s Emmys ceremony was broadcast live, but from nearly 100 streams in different locations across the country. Yet in the first hour of the show, the stream returned again and again to the “Schitt’s Creek” Emmys party in Toronto, where the Levys and the cast and crew of the show had gathered to watch together safely. (JTA, Sept. 21, 2020)


Meet the 3 Jewish Candidates on Trump’s Supreme Court Justice Shortlists:  Ron Kampeas, JTA, Sept. 21, 2020 — For the past decade, Jews have made up a third of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. And while that streak appears likely to end when President Donald Trump nominates someone to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died Friday, there are Jews on the shortlist.

Hatred in Plain Sight:  Carol Schaeffer, Smithsonian Magazine, October 2020 — It takes less than ten minutes to walk the length of the cobblestone street of Judenstasse (“Jew street”) in the sleepy East German town of Lutherstadt Wittenberg. On the street’s western end stands the Wittenberg Schlosskirche, or Castle Church, where, according to legend, Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door on October 31, 1517.