DAILY BRIEFING #4506: WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

Contents: | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes   | On Topic Links

On Topic Links

Stop Treating Ilhan Omar Like A Child. Her Antisemitism Isn’t ‘Sad.’ It’s Consistent, Vicious, And Vile.  Ben Shapiro, Jewish Press, Mar. 3, 2019

READ: House Resolution Condemning Antisemitism: CNN Politics, Mar. 5,2019

Do Netanyahu And Putin See Eye To Eye On Iran?: Israel Kasnet, JNS, Mar. 5, 2019

GOP Chairman Eyes Move to Lock in Trump’s Iran Deal Withdrawal:  Rebecca Kheel, The Hill, Mar. 5, 2019

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

“Israel utterly rejects the report published by the Commission of Inquiry of the UN Human Rights Council. This report was born in sin, in a politically biased, one-sided resolution that determined the outcome before the investigation even started.” – Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson responding to the report issued by the Commission of Inquiry of the UNHRC.  (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 28, 2019.)

 

“The Gaza violence is not the result of civilians who are sick of their situation and go out to demonstrate, but rather, they are incidents organized by a terrorist organization that has been locked in an armed conflict with us for many years. Hamas takes full responsibility for it. It pays bus drivers to bring the people, it pays the wounded and the families of the casualties.” — IDF Deputy Military Advocate General Col. Eli Baron highlights the complexities of Israel’s ongoing battle against terrorist organizations. (JNS, Feb. 28, 2019)

 

“Until a final indictment is filed, there is nothing to discuss. We will tell the president we recommend Netanyahu to form the government.” — New Right party leader Naftali Bennett acknowledges his faction’s support for Benjamin Netanyahu as the next prime minister despite Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s announcement that the premier faces an indictment on corruption charges in three different cases pending a hearing. (WIN, Mar. 3, 2019)

 

“The Iranian regime openly advocates another holocaust and seeks the means to achieve it… I can assure you, under President Donald Trump’s leadership…We will continue to oppose Iran, its malign influence. And I promise you: Under this President, America will never allow Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon.” — Vice President Mike Pence at CPAC.  (Radio Farda, Mar. 2, 2019)

“We unequivocally reject and oppose the BDS movement and are disappointed by the decision. There are over 20,000 Airbnb hosts in Israel who open their doors and showcase the best of Israeli hospitality to guest from around the world, which boosts local families, businesses and communities.” Airnbn spokesperson responding to the State of Texas adding Airnbn to its “List of Companies that Boycott Israel.”  (United With Israel, Mar. 3, 2019)

 

“What has happened with the British Labour Party is that a strain of the far-left has taken over in circumstances where, when I was leader, these people were very much on the fringes of the Labour Party. Now, the new leadership has really brought them in…We’re supposed to be a progressive political party. Yes, there are parts of the left, not the whole of the left, that have a problem with antisemitism, and you see this in their attitudes to the State of Israel.” — Previous UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in a radio interview with NPR. (The Tower, Feb. 26, 2019)

“The roots of the Arab Section lie with the British….In the early years of the Second World War, when it looked like the German army was about to enter Mandatory Palestine through North Africa, the British and Jewish community in Palestine have a shared sense of panic. They realize they face real danger and plans are drawn up for a last defense of Haifa….Alongside those efforts, the British began using Jews as intelligence agents.” — Journalist and author Matti Friedman in an interview with Fathom Deputy Editor Calev Ben-Dor about his recent book, Spies of No Country which tells the little-known story of the origins of Israeli intelligence by following four of Israel’s first spies through the 1948 War of Independence. (Fathom, Feb. 2019)

“It is a gross injustice that, on one hand, that there are tax-free payments made to former members of the SS, and yet people like Albert de Leeuw are receiving peanuts.” (Holland) – Dutch European Parliament member Paul Tang said on Dutch television responding to the fact that 82-year-old Albert de Leeuw was receiving “peanuts,” from Germany while former members of the Nazi SS in various European countries continued to get generous pensions. Tang, who represents The Netherlands’ left-wing PvdA party in the European Parliament, pledged to raise de Leeuw’s case directly with Jean-Claude Juncker, the current president of the Brussels-based European Commission, and other leading European politicians. (Algemeiner, Mar. 4, 2019)

“This coalition is a powerful statement against hate and hateful movements such as BDS and will be an important tool for mayors around the world to share ideas and resources in fighting hate of all forms, antisemitism included.”  — Gabriel Groisman, Mayor of Bal Harbour, Florida at the launch of a new initiative that includes an international coalition of prominent mayors uniting to combat racism and counter efforts by the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.  The mayors are from Argentina, Spain, Israel, and the United States.  The initiative was introduced by the chair of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, Haim Bibas, together with Groisman, and Uwe Becker, Mayor of Frankfurt-am-Main. (Jewish Press, March 3, 2019)

“Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel. Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!” – President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter. Trump was responding to Omar’s tweet, in which she wrote: “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.” Her comments were seen as suggesting that encouraging support for Israel amounts to advocating allegiance to a foreign country. (WIN, Mar. 5, 2019)

 “My whole life, all through my childhood in Syrian schools, I was taught that the Israelis are the enemy, and then the first thing I see when I approach the Greek coast is the Star of David on the shirts of Israelis who reach out and place me on the ground.” – H, aged 20, from Aleppo in northwestern Syria who lives in a refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. He is one of 60,000 Syrian refugees in Greece, 14,000 of whom benefit from the efforts of IsraAID, which since 2011 has been providing humanitarian aid at crisis points around the world, including Lesbos. (Ynet, Mar. 4, 2019)

 

SHORT TAKES

UNHRC LAUNCHES UNPRECEDENTED ATTACK ON ISRAEL (Geneva) – The United Nations Human Rights Council is planning to launch an unprecedented assault against Israel on March 18th, when the Jewish state will be singled out for an entire day—a pariah treatment meted out to no other nation—as the council presents seven separate reports alleging Israeli war crimes.  Meanwhile, the office of UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet launched a social media blitzkrieg against Israel to support the inquiry’s war crimes allegations, calling into question the commissioners’ independence from the notoriously anti-Israeli Geneva-based staffers, who in 2009 orchestrated the infamous Goldstone Report. ((UNWatch, Mar. 5, 2019)

US DEPLOYS ADVANCED ANTI-BALLISTIC MISSILE SYSTEM IN ISRAEL AS PART OF JOINT EXERCISE WITH IDF (Jerusalem)The exercise employed the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system, which is intended to intercept ballistic missiles in flight. It has a rapid deployment capability, meaning it can be put into operation quickly anywhere in the world. Capable of intercepting missiles both inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere, THAAD uses kinetic energy — meaning it does not carry a warhead but relies on force of impact to destroy its target. The purpose of the exercise was to test the speed of deployment and coordinate with Israel’s own air defense systems. This was the first time the THAAD was launched in Israel.  (Algemeiner, Mar. 4, 2019)

TOP DEMOCRATS PRESSING CASE AGAINST ‘VILE ANTI-SEMITIC’ CONGRESSWOMAN ILHAM OMAR (Washington) — Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joined more than 20 House Democrats in demanding a second apology from Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) over comments she had made a few weeks after she was forced to apologize for saying (essentially) that rich Jews controlled Washington. In a town hall meeting in Washington, Omar referenced the classic “dual loyalties” accusation used by Jew haters. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and bipartisan leaders issued a joint statement insisting on an apology for her “use of antisemitic tropes and prejudicial accusations about Israel’s supporters.” (Jewish Press, March 3, 2019)

11 PRO-ISRAEL GROUPS CALL ON PELOSI TO YANK REP. OMAR FROM FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (Washington) — Eleven pro-Israel organizations on Monday delivered a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel calling for the immediate removal of Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Committee in light of her recent keynote address seeking to raise funds for Islamic Relief USA, an organization that has documented ties to terrorist organizations, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) reported. EMET is one of the signatories. (Jewish Press, Mar. 4, 2019)

KHAMENEI HONORS CHESS PRODIGY WHO SHUNNED ISRAEL (Tehran) — Iranian TV aired a report about chess prodigy Aryan Gholami’s meeting with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who praised him for refusing to play against an Israeli chess player at the Rilton Cup chess tournament that took place in Sweden. In an interview, Gholami said that he gave up on the $10,000 prize rather than face an Israeli opponent. (United with Israel, Feb. 24, 2019)

PALESTINIAN TERRORISM IN FEBRUARY: 1 MURDER, 146 STONING ATTACKS, 65 FIREBOMBS:  REPORT (Jerusalem)According to data issued by Hatzalah Without Borders of Judea and Samaria, February was a very violent month as regards Palestinian attacks on Israelis. As an example, Ori Ansbacher, a 19-year-old girl from Tekoa, was raped and murdered by Hebron resident Arafat Arafaiya, whose family has been linked to the Hamas terrorist organization. Arafaiya, who has since been captured by Israeli Special Forces had twice been previously arrested for threatening to kill Jews.  Besides the violent attacks on humans, acts of agricultural terrorism and vandalism occurred on an almost daily basis. (Jewish Press, March 3, 2019)

US AMBASSADOR SLAMS PA’S ‘UTTER DISREGARD FOR VALUE OF EVERY HUMAN LIFE’ (Jerusalem) – US Ambassador David M. Friedman was responding to an op ed from Omar Hilmi Al-Ghoul, a regular columnist for the official PA Daily, and once the adviser to former PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on national affairs who claimed that Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and the entire Trump administration were affected by Downs Syndrome. (Jewish Press, Mar. 3, 2019)

NETANYAHU CALLS ON ALL EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TO FOLLOW UK IN LABELING HEZBOLLAH A TERROR GROUP (Jerusalem) –Speaking at the start of the weekly government Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu referenced Britain’s decision to completely ban Hezbollah and to define both its political and military wings as a terrorist organization.  He called on European countries to join ranks with the UK. (Jewish Press, Mar. 3, 2019)

ERDAN TO SECURITY OFFICIALS IN 10 COUNTRIES: HALT FUNDING FOR TERROR-LINKED BOYCOTT NGOS (Jerusalem) — Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan appealed to Interior, Internal Security and Justice ministers in ten countries to reexamine their ties with and to halt funding for terror-linked, boycott promoting NGOs, in light of the new report, “Terrorists in Suits – the Ties between NGOs Promoting BDS and Terrorist Organizations.”  The report revealed more than 100 links between the internationally designated terrorist groups Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) with at least 13 anti-Israel BDS promoting NGOs. (Jewish Press, Mar. 4, 2019)

MANDELBLIT APPROVES JEWISH AND ARAB PARTIES TO RUN IN ISRAEL’S APRIL ELECTIONS (Jerusalem) — The Jewish Otzma Yehudit party, the far-left/anti-Zionist Ra’am-Balad, and Hadash-Ta’al parties, will be allowed to run in Israel’s upcoming April 9 national elections, thanks to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who rejected two petitions to disqualify the parties on Monday and a third to disqualify the Union of Right Wing Parties.  Mandelblit also dismissed a petition against the Union of Right-Wing Parties, which had claimed their inclusion “harms equality,” and rejected a petition against a new Otzma Yehudit political ad showing a fictional Israeli soldier hesitating to neutralize an Arab attacker approaching him with a knife. (JNS, Mar. 5, 2019)

ISRAEL RANKED EIGHTH MOST POWERFUL COUNTRY IN WORLD (Jerusalem) — The US News & World Report annual international survey found Israel to be the eighth most powerful nation in the world for the third year in a row, based on responses from 21,000 people in four regions across the globe. A ranking of 80 countries found Israel to be the 29th best country, up one from the last two years, but the eighth most powerful. Switzerland and Japan took first and second place in the ranking for best countries. The world’s most powerful country is the United States, followed by Russia, China, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Japan. Israel came in just ahead of Saudi Arabia, South Korea and the United Arab Emirates. (Jewish Press, Mar. 5, 2019)

2 ISRAELI FAMILIES ATTACKED AFTER ENTERING NEW HOME IN OLD CITY OF JERUSALEM (Jerusalem) — Shortly after the families moved in, dozens of Arabs surrounded the house and attempted to break in hurling rocks at the home and rioting. Palestinian Authority sources claimed the house was sold to the Israelis by land dealer Issam Aqel, a Jerusalem resident who was kidnapped in October by the Palestinian Authority Security Service, and subsequently arrested and charged with selling land to Jews — a capital crime in the Palestinian Authority. (Jewish Press, Mar. 5, 2019)

TORONTO MAN GUILTY OF RARE CHARGE OF ADVOCATING GENOCIDE THROUGH TWITTER AND EMAILS (Toronto) — Rupen Balaram-Sivaram was found guilty of the rare Criminal Code charge of advocating genocide against Jewish people and homosexuals by Superior Court Justice Michael Brown.  In his indictment, he convicted the former paralegal on all 10 counts including promoting hatred, criminal harassment, uttering death threats and impersonation on Twitter and Facebook.  (The Star, Feb. 25, 2019)

YORK UNIVERSITY INVESTIGATES ‘JEWS RUN THIS UNI’ TWEET, THOUGH CONCERNS OVER ‘VIOLENT’ CAMPUS MURAL ERASING ISRAEL REMAIN (Toronto) — According to a screenshot captured by B’nai Brith Canada, a user identified as Abdul Rafay Iqbal wrote in a Tweet on Wednesday, “Jews run this uni…. they here for the money not the students.” He responded to a statement from the school’s official Twitter account, notifying the campus community that classes will resume following an inclement weather watch. (Algemeiner, Mar. 3, 2019)

SHABBAT ACROSS WINNIPEG DINNER KEYNOTE SPEAKER DISMISSED BEFORE EVENT (Winnipeg) — Limmud Winnipeg teacher Lex Rofeberg was dismissed as a keynote speaker because of his connection to the anti-Zionist IfNotNow movement. An example an open confrontation took place the Shabbat before, at the Chabad Jewish Center at the University of Texas-Austin, when “a small group of students and young adults affiliated with IfNotNow” protested a guest speaker (he served in the IDF). They also support congresswomen Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) despite their blatantly antisemitic remarks. (Jewish Press, Mar. 3, 2019)

$6.3 MILLION RAISED AFTER PITTSBURGH SYNAGOGUE MASSACRE SET TO BE GIVEN TO SURVIVORS, FAMILIES OF VICTIMS (Pittsburgh) – Most of the money raised – around $5.4 million – will be given directly as “compassion payments” to people determined to have been most impacted by the shooting, in which 11 Jewish worshipers were murdered by a white supremacist gunman. These include families of the eleven deceased individuals, and those injured during the attack. The remaining funds will be used to “support victims and promote communal healing,” including the reconstruction of the Tree of Life Synagogue building. (Algemeiner, Mar. 5, 2019)

FIRST INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TOUCHES DOWN AT NEW EILAT AIRPORT (Eilat) — On Monday, Irish low-cost carrier RyanAir has operated three flights, to Poznan, Poland and round-trip from Prague, Czech Republic to the new Ramon Airport located 18 kilometers north of Eilat, an Israeli Red Sea resort town and the country’s most southern city. The new airport will serve as an international gateway to southern Israel and the Red Sea to increase tourism from Europeans flocking south for winter and provide an alternative to Israel’s main international airport in Tel Aviv during times of conflict. Airlines expected to operate at the new international airport include Israeli domestic operators currently serving the existing Eilat Airport, which will be shutting its doors later this month, as well as European airlines serving nearby Ovda Airport. (Algemeiner, Mar. 5, 2019)

GENETIC RESEARCH: ALMOST 25% OF LATINOS, HISPANICS HAVE JEWISH DNA (London) — Unprecedented genetic research undertaken by dozens of professors from around the world provided evidence that almost a quarter of Latinos and Hispanics have significant Jewish DNA. The study, published in Nature Communications in December 2018, revealed that the number of descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities is far higher than even the largest estimates previously suggested. There could be as many as 200 million descendants of the Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities around the world today. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 1, 2019)

PIUS XII: VATICAN TO OPEN SECRET HOLOCAUST-ERA ARCHIVES (Vatican City) — Pope Francis has said the Roman Catholic Church will open its archives on Pius XII, who was Pope during World War Two. Pius, who was Pope from 1939 to 1958, has been accused of tolerating the rise of Nazi Germany and of not doing enough to protect Jews during the Holocaust. The Vatican says he worked behind the scenes to try to protect Jews. Jewish groups, which have been calling for full access to the archives for years, welcomed the move. (BBC News, Mar. 4, 2019)

ISRAELI SPACECRAFT BERESHEET TAKES FIRST SELFIE (Outer Space) — SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) on Tuesday reported that Israeli spacecraft Beresheet’s camera took a selfie photo for the first time, from a distance of 23,363.5 miles from Earth. The spacecraft transmitted the photo to the control room in Yehud, Israel, which is staffed 24/7 by SpaceIL and IAI engineers. Australia is clearly visible in the photo of Earth, taken during a slow spin of the spacecraft. Also seen is the plaque installed on the spacecraft, with the Israeli flag and the inscriptions “Am Yisrael Chai” and “Small Country, Big Dreams.” (Jewish Press, Mar. 5, 2019)

On Topic Links

Stop Treating Ilhan Omar Like A Child. Her Antisemitism Isn’t ‘Sad.’ It’s Consistent, Vicious, And Vile.  Ben Shapiro, Jewish Press, Mar. 3, 2019 — On Thursday, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) was caught on tape once again indulging in her favorite off-hour’s pastime – some cozy anti-Semitism with cheering fans.

READ: House Resolution Condemning Antisemitism: CNN Politics, Mar. 5,2019 — House Democratic leaders will bring to the floor a resolution condemning anti-Semitism following outrage over comments made by Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar last week that insinuated pro-Israel groups are pushing “allegiance to a foreign country.” The four-page resolution does not mention Omar by name.

Do Netanyahu And Putin See Eye To Eye On Iran?: Israel Kasnet, JNS, Mar. 5, 2019 — At this week’s government cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reported on his meeting last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

GOP Chairman Eyes Move to Lock in Trump’s Iran Deal Withdrawal:  Rebecca Kheel, The Hill, Mar. 5, 2019 — Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Tuesday he’d like to include language in the annual defense policy bill that codifies President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal.