Daily Briefing Vol # 4516- 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

US Presidential Hopeful Gillibrand has ‘Mixed Record’ on Israel: David Jablinowitz, World Israel News, Mar. 18, 2019) — U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) officially joined the 2020 presidential race on Sunday, issuing an announcement video stating that “we need to remember what it feels like to be brave.”
Iran Inches Closer Toward its Goal of ‘Wiping Israel Off the Map’: Majid Rafizadeh, United with Israel, Mar. 17, 2019 — Iran’s military activities and clear public threats to annihilate Israel continue to grow in frequency and intensity.
Experts Reveal Major Fallacies in UN Inquiry on Gaza Report: Eliana Rudee, JNS, Mar. 18, 2019 — In a testimony delivered on Monday morning at the United Nations, top American general Lt. Col. Geoffrey S. Corn (ret.) and renowned British commander Col. Richard Kemp refuted a U.N. Human Rights Council report released that accuses Israeli soldiers of “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity” on the Gaza border.
WATCH: Israel Nabs 6 Medals in Abu Dhabi at 2019 Special Olympics: United With Israel, Mar. 18, 2019 — Israeli athletes continue to perform at peak levels at international competitions across the globe.

WEEKLY QUOTES

“Israel mourns the wanton murder of innocent worshipers in Christchurch and condemns the brazen act of terror in New Zealand. Israel sends its condolences to the bereaved families and its heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.” — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter in response to the murder of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 17, 2019)

“New Zealand may be halfway around the globe, but it’s the same story of hate and violence against people peacefully praying to their Creator… I can’t stop crying for those left behind, especially the children — children who are old enough to understand that there is loss, but don’t understand the meaningless and utterly insane hatred that spawned it. Remembering the look on your children’s faces when you told them that their grandmother is dead from hatred haunts you every day. No one — no matter one’s religion, age, color, anything — should be harmed in any way while peacefully praying in a house of worship. To the families that are reeling, I want to say that we in the Jewish community are your siblings; we are all children of Abraham. We are appalled at this attack and mourn your loss deeply.” — Marnie Fienberg — whose mother-in-law was one of the 11 Jews murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October, also by a white supremacist assailant — wrote in NOW Magazine. (WIN, Mar. 18, 2019)

“Hamas, as usual, is celebrating and Abu Mazen, who properly joined with all civilized people in condemning the terrorist attack in Christchurch, is now deafening in his silence. Israelis attacking Palestinians are condemned, prosecuted and incarcerated by the Israeli government. Palestinians attacking Israelis are celebrated, compensated and venerated by the PA leadership and/or Hamas. And there lies the problem.” — US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman tweeted criticizing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for not condemning a deadly West Bank attack that killed two Israelis. He said that the Palestinian celebration of terror is “the problem.” (The Times of Israel, Mar. 18, 2019)

“I strongly condemn the campaign of arrests and violence used by Hamas security forces against protesters, including women and children, in Gaza over the past three days. I am particularly alarmed by the brutal beating of journalists and staff from the Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) and the raiding of homes. The long-suffering people of Gaza were protesting the dire economic situation and demanded an improvement in the quality of life in the Gaza Strip. It is their right to protest without fear of reprisal. I call on all Palestinian factions to engage in earnest with Egypt in order to implement the Cairo Agreement (2017) in full. The United Nations will continue its efforts to avoid escalation, relieve the suffering of people in Gaza, lift the closures, and support reconciliation.” — Statement by United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, on Gaza protests. (Reliefweb, Mar. 17, 2019)

“If Israel decides to start a wide-scale operation in Gaza, [Egypt] won’t stop the Israeli attacks. Even if Israel ends your rule in Gaza by assassinating every single one of you and reconquer[ing] Gaza, Egypt and its allies won’t lift a finger to stop the Israeli response. You’re endangering our lives. Gazans’ blood is on your hands.” — said a senior Egyptian negotiator at the meeting, according to Israel Hayom. (World Israel News, Mar. 17, 2019)

“To pass resolution after resolution against Israel while ignoring China, Russia or Cuba is a horrendous hypocrisy. It speaks to the integrity of the Human Rights Council that we already know what the decision will be even before the vote. It speaks to the sincerity of the Human Rights Council that its agenda is determined by those who respect its mandate the least… [The UNHRC] not only singles out Israel, but it does so on a permanent basis … that a single country and a single people merit such attention … This is not just a sign of bigotry, this is a sign of intellectual and moral decay. [It is] an institution whose entire worldview is dominated by the fear and fantasy of Jewish criminality. It has lost the ability to be rational, to understand cause and effect, and to make positive change.” — US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell said at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 19, 2019)

“One thing the viewers should know, this president [Donald Trump] and this administration is often castigated as Islamophobic, but I move in the Muslim word, in Egypt, in Oman, in Jordan, in Iraqi Kurdistan, where this president is beloved. This president and the Republican Party going back to George Bush is very dearly held. Today is the anniversary of Halabja, the massacre of 180,000 Kurds at the hands of Saddam Hussein. That only change would [be] because of a Republican president. So, it is very important not to lose so much perspective that we start believing our entire government is Islamophobic. That is not the case… In this country in the United States, we have Islamists Muslim brotherhood front groups that are claiming Muslims are victims. We just saw a few weeks ago the exploitation of this narrative in the trivialization of antisemitism. Antisemitism occurred in Congress and the reaction was when there was outrage that this was somehow hate directed at a Muslim who is spewing Islamist ideology. So, we have to be extremely clear about the language, clear about the narrative.” — Dr. Qanta Ahmed, a Muslim doctor being interviewed on CNN.(Daily Wire, Mar. 18, 2019)

“If Robert Mueller had any evidence of that and hasn’t shown it to us, he would almost be guilty of treason. If Nancy Pelosi really believes that Donald Trump is serving the interest of Russia and decides, oh, we’re going to take our time in removing him from control over the nuclear arsenal and the executive branch and the military, until we feel like we are ready to do it, you would wonder, does Putin have something on Pelosi too. Why would you leave in place somebody controlled by the Kremlin for two years if you really believed it, if you really have that evidence for it?” — Glenn Greenwald, editor of The Intercept, during an interview with Laura Ingraham of FOX News. (Realclearpolitcs, Mar. 19, 2019)

“In looking for the sources of the antisemitic and anti-Israel bigotry in the Newton curriculum, we discovered a few bad apple teachers who view their teaching positions as giving them license to promote their personal political agendas. We are also looking closely at a common pattern with these politicized teachers — most, if not all, have taken professional development courses developed with foreign funding by the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.” – Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) Executive Director Ilya Feoktistov after filing a lawsuit on behalf of Newton, Massachusetts taxpayers in Middlesex Superior Court against the Newton School Committee, Superintendent of Schools David Fleishman, the principals of the Newton high schools, and certain high school history teachers. Plaintiffs are asking for a court order that would compel Newton school officials to stop indoctrinating students with antisemitism, and bigotry against Israel, and Islamist religious dogma as part of the high school history curriculum. (Jihad Watch, Mar. 19, 2019)

SHORT TAKES

GERMANY’S PARLIAMENT FAVORS MERKEL’S ANTI-ISRAEL U.N. VOTING PATTERNS (Berlin) — Political representatives in Germany’s Bundestag overwhelmingly rejected a resolution by the Free Democratic Party to urge Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to reverse its anti-Israel voting record at the United Nations. The Free Democratic Party (FDP) MPS Bijan Djir-Sarai and Frank Müller-Rosentritt introduced the pro-Israel resolution calling on the federal government “in the bodies and specialized agencies of the United Nations (such as the UN General Assembly, the UN Human Rights Council or UNESCO) to dissociate from unilateral, primarily politically motivated initiatives and alliances of anti-Israeli Member States, and protect Israel and legitimate Israeli interests from unilateral condemnation.” (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 16, 2019)

GERMANY REVOKES VISA, ASKS CONVICTED ARAB TERRORIST RASMEA ODEH TO LEAVE (Berlin) — German officials banned Convicted Arab terrorist Rasmea Yousef Odeh from engaging in political activities and asked her to leave the country over fears of causing incitement against Israel, according to a report posted by DW News. Odeh, 72, is a Jordanian who was a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terrorist organization and who has called for a worldwide boycott of the State of Israel. She was scheduled to speak at a cultural community center in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. (Jewish Press, Mar. 16, 2019)

IRANIANS ARRESTED IN BUENOS AIRES WITH POORLY FORGED ISRAELI PASSPORTS (Buenos Aires) – Authorities in Buenos Aires have arrested two Iranians suspected of traveling on fake Israeli passports, according to local Argentinean media. Police are treating the two, a man and woman, as possible terror suspects, and have raised the alertness level. (Times of Israel, Mar. 17, 2019)

A GRENADE ATTACHED TO A TOY PLANE FOUND IN ESHKOL (Eshkol near Gaza) — A Styrofoam model airplane with an attached hand grenade was found on Highway 234 in the Eshkol Region near Gaza. Police sappers are handling the device. (Ynet, Mar. 17, 2019)

HAMAS ORDERS GENERAL MOBILIZATION TO CONFRONT GAZA STRIP DEMONSTRATIONS (Gaza) — Hamas has carried out a general mobilization of all its security forces, including the military wing of the organization, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in order to confront the demonstrators in the Gaza Strip. The official PA news agency WAFA reported that Hamas militias raided the homes of PLO activists in the Gaza Strip and detained dozens of people involved in the popular movement against high prices and tax hikes, according to witnesses. According to the same sources, Hamas perceives for the first time a threat to its rule and has decided to suppress the demonstrations and end them at any cost. (Jewish Press, Mar. 17, 2019)

MULTIPLE TERROR ATTACKS NEAR ARIEL, KILLED TWO (Ariel) — A shooting occurred at Tzomet Ariel (Ariel Junction) and then shortly after, at the Gitai Avisar junction near Ariel in the Shomron (Samaria). The terrorist approached a soldier at the Ariel Junction, stabbed him and grabbed the wounded soldier’s weapon. The soldier, who was killed in the attack, is identified as 1st Sergeant Gal Keidan (19) from Be’er Sheva. The terrorist opened fire on three vehicles. A second person, Rabbi Achiad Ettinger (47) was shot and wounded. He later succumbed to his injuries. He was the father of 12 (ages 1 to 20), and from the town of Eli. (Jewish Press, Mar. 17, 2019)

PITZER COLLEGE PRESIDENT VETOES MOVE BY UNIVERSITY’S COUNCIL TO SUSPEND STUDY ABROAD IN ISRAEL (Claremont, California) — By a margin of 67-28, with eight abstentions, the College Council at Pitzer College voted on Thursday to suspend the school’s study-abroad program at the University of Haifa in Israel. However, college president Melvin L. Oliver, said he would not implement the recommendation. Introduced by anthropology and history Professor Daniel Segal, who had a pro-BDS record and who accused Israel in 2016 of “state-sponsored and university-supported abuse of the human rights of our Palestinian sisters and brothers,” the motion said that “Pitzer would suspend the study-abroad program in Haifa until (a) the Israeli state ends its restrictions on entry to Israel based on ancestry and/or political speech; and (b) the Israeli state adopts policies granting visas for exchanges to Palestinian universities on a fully equal basis as it does to Israeli universities.” The measure was supported by Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), an advocate of BDS. (Jewish Press, Mar. 16, 2019)
TWO SUSPECTS ARRESTED IN ATTACK ON ARGENTINE CHIEF RABBI (Buenos Aires) — Argentine police on Saturday arrested two individuals suspected of assaulting Chief Rabbi Gabriel Davidovich, who was attacked in his home on February 26. The suspects are leaders of a gang that robs homes in that part of Buenos Aires. Two weeks ago, upon his discharge from hospital, Rabbi Davidovich said that he did not know what the cause of the attack on him was. (Jewish Press, Mar. 17, 2019)

NYU STUDENT BLAMES CHELSEA CLINTON FOR NEW ZEALAND MASSACRE, DONALD TRUMP JR. COMES TO HER DEFENSE (New York) — In the immediate aftermath of the New Zealand mosque massacres on Friday, the younger Clinton was confronted by a student while attending a New York University (NYU) interfaith vigil for the victims of the terror attacks on the two mosques. A Twitter user by the name of “@Esor_Fasa” uploaded a video of a confrontation between NYU senior Leen Dweik and Clinton at the vigil on Friday night. “This, right here, is a result of a massacre stoked by people like you and the words that you have put out into the world,” Dweik told Clinton in the video. “And I want you to know that and I want you to feel that deep down inside. Forty-nine people died because of the rhetoric you put out there.” The student was referring to Clinton’s comments last month about the antisemitic rhetoric used by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), a Muslim who criticized the support many members of Congress maintain with Israel. Clinton joined the condemnations against Omar saying that “we should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in antisemitism.” In response, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted that “it’s sickening to see people blame Chelsea Clinton for the New Zealand attacks because she spoke out against antisemitism. We should all be condemning antisemitism and all forms of hate. Chelsea should be praised for speaking up. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is part of the problem.” (WIN, Mar. 18, 2019)

US BARS ENTRY TO INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT INVESTIGATORS (Washington) — The United States will revoke or deny visas to International Criminal Court personnel seeking to investigate alleged war crimes and other abuses committed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan or elsewhere and may do the same with those who seek action against Israel, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. Pompeo, acting on a threat delivered in September by U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, framed the action as necessary to prevent the international body from infringing on U.S. sovereignty by prosecuting American forces or allies for torture or other war crimes. (AP, Mar. 15, 2019)

POLL: EVANGELICAL SUPPORT FOR TRUMP REMAINS HIGH (U.S.) — A Pew Research Center poll taken in January indicates that two years into his presidency, U.S. President Donald Trump’s biggest fans are still by far white evangelical Protestants. Although support has dropped nine points since his inauguration, 69 percent of this religious demographic still approves of the way Trump is handling his job as president. This compares quite favorably to other white Protestants, who have held steady at some 48%. It marks a huge difference with black co-religionists, whose confidence in the president has not budged in two years, remaining at a measly 12%. Other non-whites are also less-favorably disposed to the president, with only 26% of non-white Catholics approving of Trump’s performance. (WIN, Mar. 19, 2019)
DRIP IRRIGATION COMPANY NETAFIM WINS $100 MILLION IRRIGATION CONTRACT IN INDIA (Israel) — Israel-based drip-irrigation company Netafim announced it has secured a $100 million irrigation contract in India. Considered a pioneer in smart irrigation, Netafim will install precision irrigation systems in 100 villages across India as part of four large community irrigation projects. Netafim was founded in southern Israeli Kibbutz Hatzerim in 1965. The company has made a name for itself developing water-efficient irrigation systems that deliver water directly to the plant instead of the soil. Today, Netafim employs over 4,500 people in 17 manufacturing plants and operates in over 110 markets through 29 subsidiaries. Netafim itself is a subsidiary of Mexico-based pipes and chemicals company Mexichem SAB de CV, which bought an 80 percent stake in the company in February 2018 at a $1.9 billion company valuation. (Algemeiner, Mar. 12, 2019)

ISRAELI MINISTER ‘OPTIMISTIC’ ABOUT FUTURE OF TIES WITH CHINA (Jerusalem) — Speaking with the official Chinese state-run press agency Xinhua, Israeli Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegi — a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party — said he was “optimistic” about the future of the relationship between the two nations. According to Xinhua, bilateral trade between Israel and China totaled around $14 billion in 2018. (Algemeiner, Mar. 17, 2019)

ZIONIST STUDENT GROUP ACCUSES UC BERKELEY MIDDLE EAST CENTER OF ANTI-ISRAEL ‘INDOCTRINATION’ (California) — In an online statement on Tuesday, Tikvah: Students for Israel maintained that the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) — a National Resource Center under the US Department of Education’s Title VI program — has held more than two dozen Israel-related events since 2016, each one of which “has maliciously attempted to portray the democracy of Israel in a negative light.” The group pointed to a series of recent discussions, including one earlier this month on “The Israel Lobby and Antisemitism,” where participants “publicly defended Ilhan Omar’s antisemitic comments and accusations of global Jewish conspiracies,” according to Tikvah. Despite this alleged focus on Israel, CMES refused to co-sponsor an upcoming campus talk with former Israeli Knesset member and Ambassador Danny Ayalon, Tikvah charged. “CMES is engaging in an anti-academic policy of indoctrination, and there is no room to view their one-sided hateful narrative as anything but an abuse of their platform.” (Algemeiner, Mar. 18, 2019)

HOLOCAUST DENIER DAVID IRVING PROMOTING NEW GUIDED TOUR OF NAZI DEATH CAMP SITES, HITLER’S HQ (Poland) — The notorious British Holocaust denier David Irving has announced that he will lead a tour of Nazi death and concentration camp sites in Poland later this year. Since his reputation as a historian was destroyed by his failed libel action in the British High Court against the American scholar Deborah Lipstadt in 2000, Irving has supplemented his income with World War II-related historical tours in Europe, as well as sales of his reissued books and occasional speaking tours of the US. According to his website, Irving’s next American tour is scheduled for the spring. (Algemeiner, Mar. 18, 2019)

LEBANON ARRESTS CANADIAN CITIZEN FOR ‘SPYING FOR ISRAEL'(Lebanon) — Lebanese intelligence said Tuesday a Lebanese-Canadian dual national had been arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel. There were no details on exactly when or where he was detained. The statement said the 40-year-old man confessed to being recruited in 2013 by a Lebanese fugitive it said belongs to an Israeli spying network described as “unit 504”. He was ordered to recruit Lebanese agents to spy on the Hezbollah movement and collect information on missing Israeli airman Ron Arad, a navigator whose plane was shot down over Lebanon in 1986 and was thought to have been handed over to the Shiite group. Lebanon and Israel remain technically in a state of war, with occasional skirmishes along their shared ceasefire line. (Arutz Sheva, Mar. 19, 2019)

IRAN ASKING CANADA FOR EXTRADITION IN A FINANCIAL CASE (Tehran) — Iran’s General Prosecutor says that Tehran has referred to Interpol the case of a woman in Canada accused in his country’s petrochemicals scandal and expects extradition. The news website of Iran’s Judiciary quotes Mohammad Jaafar Montazeri as saying that an arrest warrant for Marjan Sheikholeslami has been issued and sent to Interpol, and he hopes “they will cooperate”. The trial of several defendants in Tehran is underway, accused of exporting government owned petrochemicals through front companies and using the funds to make personal profits before returning it to the government. Such trades were arranged with the knowledge of the authorities through private companies to circumvent international sanctions in the past. (Radio Farda, Mar. 13, 2019)
KEY CONCEPTS: Reclaiming The Language of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Israel Studies; Vol. 24, No. 2, Summer 2019; Word Crimes

The CIJR Wishes all its friends and supporters a happy upcoming Purim