WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”
Contents: On Topic Links | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes |
On Topic Links
WATCH: Bolsonaro Becomes First Foreign Leader To Visit Western Wall With Israeli PM: WIN, Apr. 1, 2019 – Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrived at the Western Wall in Jerusalem on Monday for a groundbreaking visit, becoming the first foreign head of state to make an official state visit to the Jewish holy site with an Israeli prime minister.
WATCH: NYC Councilman Kicked Off Committee for Saying ‘Palestine Does Not Exist’: WIN, Apr. 1, 2019 — New York City Councilman Kalman Yeger was booted from the City Council’s Immigration Committee for tweeting “Palestine does not exist.” Yeger represents the orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park in Brooklyn.
The Golan Heights and the Depths of Hypocrisy: Shany Mor, Tablet, Apr. 3, 2019 — The perennial issue of Israel’s borders flared up once again last week when President Trump announced that the U.S. will recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, the volcanic plateau that Israel conquered from Syria in 1967.
The Primordial Ooze of the Collusion Conspiracy: Peter Van Buren, The American Conservative, Apr. 1, 2019 — The end of the Special Counsel’s investigation into the non-existent conspiracy between President Donald Trump and the Russians has created an army of “Mueller Truthers,” demanding additional investigations.
MEDIA – OCRITY OF THE WEEK
“The wrongs, that is, of journalists, judges, and Hollywood directors – anyone who thinks the president might be just be a dangerous white nationalist charlatan. Why think that? Because Trump, from Day 1, has maligned brown people and Muslims; and, as president, he saw “very fine people on both sides” at the 2017 Charlottesville rally where while nationalists chanted “Jews will not replace us” and a woman who protested, Heather Heyer, was killed.
I am not suggesting Trump resembles Hitler. That should be obvious – but not so obvious that I will refrain from writing this column. The white nationalist mass murderer of Muslims in New Zealand was not out of his mind in seeing Trump as a symbol of the “renewed white identity and common purpose.” Trump’s love affair is with revanchist white people who don’t like the demographic look of the 21st century.
Throughout the world today, from Saudi Arabia to the Philippines, from Guatemala to North Korea, bad things happen because the Trump administration winks at them. The United States as moral guardian, however flawed, has vanished.
It’s not that Trump could be dangerous. He is dangerous. People die because the worst leaders know they enjoy the American president’s connivance. The debate on whether Trump is harmless, whether we should laugh away his grotesqueries, is misplaced. I have no doubt that the worst is yet to come. In his own mind, whatever the Mueller report contains, Trump cannot lose.” – columnist Roger Cohen. (NYT, Mar. 25, 2019)
“A regime that gasses its own people and drops barrel bombs on women and children is in no position to try to convince the [international] community of their right to the Golan. Anyone who says Syria should control the Golan is taking a position not based in reality.” — U.S. Middle East peace envoy Jason Greenblatt tweeted. (Washington Free Beacon, Apr. 1, 2019)
“We are witnessing the Iranian attempt to use the Golan Heights and the area around the Golan Heights together with Hezbollah … in order to prepare for potential terrorist attacks against Israel. The Americans have bolstered our ability to meet the Iranian challenge.” – Ambassador Nimrod Barkan responded to the second part of a statement from Global Affairs Canada during a diplomatic visit in Ottawa that said that annexing territory by force is prohibited under international law, and that “any declaration of a unilateral border change goes against the foundation of the rules-based international order. Canada is a steadfast friend of Israel. We stand with Israel and support Israel’s right to live in peace and security with its neighbours.” (National Post, Mar. 28, 2019)
“The people of Gaza are not our enemy. We have no war with Islam. For years, our citizens in the south have lived with missiles from Gaza. Sleeping in bomb shelters, night after night for years, is a reality that is hard to grasp. Just last week a rocket fired from Gaza hit a house in the center of Israel and wounded seven people, including a six-month-old baby. These rockets are fired by Hamas, a ruthless and cruel terrorist organization. I want to thank you not only for your friendship, but for your moral leadership… Unfortunately, we live in a time where moral leadership is not always valued. The UN Human Rights Council has been taken over by human rights violators, and many countries prioritize their economic ties with radical regimes like Iran, instead of speaking up against tyranny and terror…Israel and Canada can work together with other like-minded countries to build a new global alliance based on moral leadership and responsibility.” – Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during a diplomatic visit to Canada. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2019)
“With all of the challenges over the past decade, we’ve experienced the quietest decade since the establishment of the state. Economically, there have been improvements by every measure and index. That’s the reality. The question now facing Israeli citizens is whether to continue forward, on the path that strengthens Israel or to go backward to the bankrupt approaches of the past. We are now facing a period of major challenges – and also opportunities. The opportunities are related to our strengthening political position and our relationship with Washington. The question is who knows how to face our challenges and solve them. A right-wing government led by Netanyahu, or a left-wing one led by Lapid and Gantz? A team of our best and most experienced, or a hodge-podge group [of candidates] with no connection to each other? ” — Former Education Minister Gideon Saar (Likud) speaking at a Maariv conference ahead of the April 9th election. While polls show the Likud rising relative to the Blue and White party, cutting the Blue and White’s average lead from five seats in early March to a single seat, Saar warned that the Likud could be denied the premiership if its base fails to turnout in full. (Arutz Sheva, Apr. 3, 2019)
“The imputation of base motives to Trump is not surprising, but the supreme defamation of treason is the most disgraceful character assassination in American political history.” — Columnist Conrad Black writing on the Mueller report. (National Post, Mar. 30, 2019)
“It’s something we should be worried about that some authoritarian governments are not just trying to suppress freedom of thought and freedom of speech and academic inquiry in their own countries, but they’re now doing it in Western countries, which I think is a dangerous sign.” – Kyle Matthews, executive director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia responding to an email he received from China’s consulate in Montreal demanding that an exiled Uyghur Muslim leader – Dolkan Isa – not appear in front of Canadian students, marking China’s third recent attempt to influence activities on Canadian campuses. (National Post, Mar. 29, 2019)
“I’ve never considered myself a religious person. It was more political than religious. Back then, it wasn’t about bombing Canada. It was about stopping the war … I believed at the time that Canada’s involvement in the war would be withdrawn (if the attacks happened.) Thank God the police interfered, and nobody did die… Trying to change Middle East politics by bombing isn’t just wrong, it’s stupid.” — Shareef Abdelhaleem, one of the “Toronto 18,” indicted in 2006 for plotting to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto and wage a bloody siege on Parliament Hill. He now says he’s reformed and is hoping to be temporarily released to attend an antiradicalization meeting. (National Post, Mar. 20, 2019)
“You see the results of this horrible war and of a genocide. History speaks for itself here.” — Major Pavel Galetsky, the commander of the search battalion, who together with 50 soldiers combed through the soil of what proved to be a Nazi-era grave containing the remains of nearly 2,000 Jews discovered in Belarus two months ago. This discovery hasn’t stopped officials from forging on with plans to turn the site into a luxury apartment complex. (New York Post, Apr. 1, 2019)
“Solidarity means standing up with those who are under attack, and that is why I am joining, as an affiliated member, the Jewish Labour Movement, and I urge all my colleagues to do the same.” — Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced that he joined the Jewish Labour Movement in solidarity and lamented that the Labour Party has ‘let down’ British Jews over antisemitism. In a video, he recalled the legacy of his friend Sir Nicolas Winton, called the “British Schindler,” who organized the rescue of hundreds of Jewish children from the Nazis. Winton was a member of the Labour Party. (JTA, Apr. 2, 2019)
It “sets us on a path away from the free exchange of ideas, a direction which ultimately destroys the academy’s ability to fulfill our educational mission. I categorically oppose any form of academic boycott of any country.” — Pitzer College President Melvin L. Oliver rejecting the idea of suspending its study abroad at the University of Haifa the same day the resolution was passed. (IPT, Apr. 2, 2019)
“It’s not antisemitic to hate the Jews of Israel. You can’t have a proper functioning democracy in a world in which the media, whether it’s the press or internet, can just spread lie after lie after lie.” — Former London mayor Ken Livingstone, already notorious for his past anti-Zionist statements, said at a meeting, and reported in the United Kingdom’s Daily Mail newspaper. Livingstone, who quit Labour last year following a two-year suspension for his comment that Hitler supported Zionism was speaking at a meeting of “Labour Against The Witchhunt,” that claims that criticism of antisemitism within Labour is a “witchhunt” designed to push Corbyn out of power. Livingstone served as London’s mayor from 2002 until 2008 and prior to that was a Member of Parliament (MP) for Brent East from 1987 to 2001. (Arutz Sheva, Mar. 31, 2019)
POLL: LIKUD LEADS, LIBERMAN OUT (Jerusalem) — A survey conducted by Prof. Camil Fuchs and published on News 13 reveals that if the elections were held today, the Likud would win 29 seats, the most of any political party. The Blue and White party would finish a close second with 28 seats while the Labor party would be a distant third with 14 seats. The United Right would win seven seats. Hadal-Talash, United Torah Judaism, and Zehut would receive six seats each. The New Right, Shas, Joint Arab List-Balad, and Meretz parties would win five seats each, while Kulanu would just pass the electoral threshold with four seats. According to the poll, the Yisrael Beiteinu party led by Avigdor Liberman would not receive enough votes to clear the electoral threshold and would not have any representatives in the next Knesset. In addition, 46% of respondents said that Binyamin Netanyahu is most suited to be prime minister, while only 38% said that Benny Gantz is most suited for the position. (Arutz Sheva, Apr. 3, 2019)
Stockholm-based IRAQI NEWSPAPER REPORTER ARRESTED FOR ‘OPERATING AS AN IRANIAN SPY‘ (Sweden) — Raghdan al-Khazali, a journalist based in Stockholm, is suspected of spying on members of an Ahwazi opposition group, which has been repeatedly targeted by Iranian assassins in Europe. The Ahwazi are an Arab minority from western Iran and one of their main dissident groups, the Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahvaz (ASMLA), was the subject of a coordinated Iranian killing campaign. (The Telegraph, Mar. 29,2019)
ISRAEL REINFORCES FORCES AS GAZA CALM HOLDS (Gaza) — The Israeli army said it was bolstering its forces along the Gaza frontier, even as a fragile truce with Hamas rulers appeared to hold following an overnight exchange of heavy fire. Following a meeting with President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu was forced to cancel a planned address to AIPAC and return to Israel. Addressing the group by satellite, he said that over the past 24 hours Israel had pounded militant sites in Gaza on a scale on seen since a 2014 war with Hamas. (National Post, Mar. 27, 2019)
HEZBOLLAH ESTABLISHED NEW MISSILE FACTORY IN BEIRUT- REPORT (Beirut) — Israeli intelligence reportedly shared this new information with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who warned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri of the secret facility on his state visit to Lebanon in March and expressed his concern about the threat the terrorist organization poses to the country. The missile factory could include the capability of manufacturing precision-guided missiles, according to an anonymous American source quoted by the report. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2019)
JEWISH GROUPS CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF NIKKI HALEY, ‘NIKKI FOR PRESIDENT!‘ (Jerusalem) — The Sanhedrin, a Jewish group devoted to building a third Jewish temple on the Temple Mount, praised Haley by minting a coin in her honor for her defense of the Israeli state, along with two other religious groups according the Associated Press. Similarly, the group made a coin in honor of US President Donald Trump after he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved the embassy. Haley’s coin depicts her in front of the UN with a Jewish Menorah on top. It is being sold for USD $65 for silver and USD $90 for gold, plus shipping, according to its website. According to the report, the proceeds will go towards the building of the third temple. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 3, 2019)
CONTROVERSIAL UK LABOUR ACTIVIST JACKIE WALKER EXPELLED FROM PARTY FOR ANTISEMITIC STATEMENTS (London) — Walker was involved in several Labour Party scandals. As former vice-chair of Momentum, the party faction that forms the base of support for Corbyn, she was first caught claiming that Jews were the “chief financiers of the sugar and slave trade,” and saying, “The Jewish Holocaust does not allow Zionists to do what they want.” After her comments became public, Walker was suspended from the party, but later readmitted. Two years ago, Walker was suspended again after attacking Holocaust Memorial Day for not honoring victims of other genocides, which it does do. (Algemeiner, Mar. 27, 2019)
‘ANNA’S WAR’ ABOUT JEWISH ORPHAN IN 1941 WINS RUSSIAN BEST PICTURE (Russia) — Anna’s War, a film directed by Alexey Fedorchenko, received the prestigious Russian film award Nika for Best Picture, TASS reported. Earlier, the film received the Russian Golden Eagle award. Anna’s War tells the story of a six-year-old girl (Marta Kozlova) who miraculously survived the execution of the Jews of her Ukrainian village, including her entire family, after her mother covered her with her body. (Jewish Press, Apr. 1, 2019)
CBC’S BIASED COVERAGE OF “MARCH OF RETURN” RIOTS AT GAZA-ISRAEL BORDER (Toronto) – On Mar. 30, CBC Radio aired a report from Lauren Izo about the “March of Return” protests. Izo mentioned that two young Palestinians were killed and more than 100 injured according to the “Gaza Health Ministry” and that in the past year, 250 Palestinians were killed. Importantly, Izo failed to mention that Hamas runs the Gaza Health Ministry and that an Israeli soldier was killed in a sniper attack and that over a dozen soldiers were injured in the past year. Izo also failed to mention attacks IDF soldiers faced over the past year at these riots, nor was there any mention of the hundreds of recent rockets fired at Israeli cities, several of which wounded Israelis, including infants. (Honest Reporting Canada, Apr. 1, 2019)
JOINT ISRAELI-US EXERCISE TO DEPLOY THAAD DEFENSE SYSTEM CROWNED A SUCCESS (Israel) — During THAAD’s deployment, US troops worked in various locations throughout Israel and practiced operational procedures for augmenting Israel’s existing air and missile defense architecture. “The IDF is working in cooperation with the American forces to enhance mutual coordination and operational capabilities to protect Israel’s skies,” the military stated after the drill concluded, noting that the drill is “another step in strengthening the long-term relations and close cooperation between the two countries.” (Jewish Press, Apr. 1, 2019)
ISRAELI ‘APRIL FOOLS’ PRANK INFURIATES BDS ACTIVIST ROGER WATERS (Israel) — British musician Roger Waters, a co-founder of the Pink Floyd band, has stood out in recent years for his anti-Israel activism, forcing Pink Floyd to cancel performances in Israel, urging other musicians to do the same, and speaking out against Israel’s hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest in May. With that backdrop, Israel’s Strategic Affairs Ministry decided to play an April Fool’s Day prank, posting on its 4IL Twitter account: “Pink Floyd legend @rogerwaters is coming to Tel Aviv! Mark your calendars!” It gave the date as July 16, 2019. Waters was not amused by the prank. (WIN, Apr. 2, 2019)
ANTISEMITIC DOCTOR FIRED AGAIN (Cleveland) — Antisemitic Cleveland doctor, Lara Kollab, who threatened to give Jews “the wrong meds” has resurfaced. The Cleveland Clinic fired Dr. Kollab back in September 2018 after discovering her dangerous and antisemitic tweets. As it turns out, she attempted to recoup her losses and applied for a residency in another hospital across the country. She was initially accepted as a “Post-Graduate-Year 1 resident in the Internal Medicine Residency Program” at Kern Medical, in Bakersfield, California in early 2019. However, it appears she hid her now infamous antisemitism during her application and ended up getting caught. (Canary Mission, Apr. 2, 2019)
UNITED NATIONS CONDEMNS ISLAMOPHOBIA AND ANTISEMITISM (Washington) — The UN General Assembly adopted, by a consensus a resolution that condemns Islamophobia and antisemitism – in the wake of the latest attacks on the New Zealand mosques, in which 50 people were murdered and 50 others were injured. Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon led a diplomatic effort to change the wording of the resolution, which initially included a condemnation to Islamophobia but had no mention of antisemitism. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2019)
PLAYERS AND COACHES FROM LA YOUTH HOCKEY TEAM SUSPENDED FOR CURSING JEWS AND FOR HITLER SALUTE (Los Angeles) — Three coaches and 15 players from a youth hockey team in Los Angeles were suspended over a video posted on social media showing a player making a Nazi salute as other players make antisemitic remarks. The Los Angeles Jr. Kings announced the suspensions of coaches and players from the 14U Bantam AAA team. (JTA, Apr. 2, 2019)
JEWISH STUDENTS AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY VOICE CONCERNS OVER CAMPUS ‘ISRAELI APARTHEID WEEK’ (Cambridge) — Multiple Jewish students at Harvard University have raised concerns over the divisive nature of ongoing “Israeli Apartheid Week” (IAW) programming on campus, which the school’s Undergraduate Council voted to support with $2,050 in funding. PSC (Palestine Solidarity Committee) programming, which started on Saturday and will last until Friday, included a performance by BDS activist and poet Remi Kanazi on Monday, and will continue on Tuesday evening. Concerns were expressed about the event’s impact on the Jewish community. (Algemeiner, Apr. 2, 2019)
BERESHEET LUNAR LANDING SITE REVEALED (Rehovot) — The main scientific instrument on board the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft, the SpaceIL Magnetometer (SILMAG), has now been successfully turned on in space and data returned to Earth. After its successful launch, Beresheet is circling Earth on its journey to the Moon. Prof. Oded Aharonson of the Weizmann Institute of Science is heading the team that is currently analyzing the SILMAG information to evaluate the health and accuracy of the instrument in space, as well as recording the magnetic signature of the spacecraft itself, which will then be subtracted from the measurements made on the Moon. (Weizmann Institute of Science, Mar. 17, 2019)