WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: KERRY SAYS REFRIGERATORS, AIR CONDITIONERS AS BIG A THREAT AS I.S. “Air conditioners, refrigerators and other devices which use cooling agents harmful to the environment pose as great a threat to the world as terrorism and the I.S.” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Speaking to a group of negotiators gathered to work out a global climate deal, Kerry compared their work to the international fight against terrorism, saying that eliminating the threat currently posed by materials inside household appliances had the potential to “literally save life…Yesterday, I met in Washington with 45 nations – defense ministers and foreign ministers – as we were working together on the challenge of [the Islamic State], and terrorism,” Kerry, a long-time advocate of fighting climate change, told the group. “It’s hard for some people to grasp it, but what we – you – are doing here right now is of equal importance because it has the ability to literally save life on the planet itself.” (Breaking Israel News, July 25, 2016)

 

On Topic Links

 

I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy: Fethullah Gulen, New York Times, July 25, 2016

Is Europe Helpless?: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2016

Germany is in a Dangerous State of Denial About Immigration, Islam and Terrorism: Telegraph, July 25, 2016

Why Should We Be ‘Balanced’ in Our Opinion of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority?: Robert Fulford, National Post, July 22, 2016

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“We have witnessed firsthand that a failed coup attempt is as bad as a successful one…Erdogan has a narrow window of opportunity to crack down once and for all against all of his enemies – real or imagined – because his popularity runs historic high these days.” — Mahir Zeynalov, a Turkish journalist who lives in exile in the U.S. Erdogan declared the start of a three-month state of emergency last week, deepening a crackdown on political opponents in the wake of a failed military coup. Among other powers, the decree allows the government to declare curfews, restrict media broadcasts and conduct on-the-spot searches. Residents and visitors will be required to carry identification at all times. Erdogan, as President, also gains the ability to pass new laws by decree, without consulting parliament. (Globe & Mail, July 20, 2016)

 

“Mao and the Iranian Revolution are the ones that come to mind…But these were revolutions. You expect this…So the interesting question is, Is Erdogan having his own revolution? He is going to completely restructure the Turkish state.” — Henri J. Barkey, an expert on Turkey and director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Trying to grasp for historical parallels to the upheaval in Turkey, historians and analysts have compared this purge to Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China in the 1960s and 1970s, and the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. More than a sudden attack on the government, the attempted coup this month has emerged as a turning point in a years-long struggle for control of the Turkish state.  (New York Times, July 22, 2016)

 

“Does (Sanders) believe in a God? He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps.” — Email to DNC officials, by an official identified only as “Marshall”. A cache of more than 19,000 emails from Democratic Party officials, leaked in advance of Hillary Clinton’s nomination at the party’s convention, details the acrimonious split between the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Several emails posted by Wikileaks on its document disclosure website show DNC officials scoffing at Sanders and his supporters and in one instance, questioning his commitment to his Jewish religion. Although Wikileaks’ posting of the emails Friday did not disclose the identity of who provided the private material, those knowledgeable about the breach said last month that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC computer system. (National Post, July 23, 2016)

 

“What’s disturbing to us is that experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these e-mails and other experts are now saying that Russians are releasing these e-mails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump.” — Clinton campaign chairman Robby Mook. The Clinton camp questioned whether Russians may have had a hand in the hack attack on the party’s e-mails and were interested in helping Trump, who has exchanged words of praise with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump’s campaign manager Paul Manafort said the Clinton camp was trying to distract from its party discord ahead of the convention. (Globe & Mail, July 24, 2016)

 

“What’s in those e-mails show that it was a clearly rigged system, that Bernie Sanders … never had a chance.” — Paul Manafort. (Globe & Mail, July 24, 2016)

 

“We must abandon the failed policy of nation building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria…My opponent has called for a radical 550-percent increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people….Anyone who endorses violence, hatred, or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.” — Donald Trump, accepting the GOP nomination for president at the Republican National Convention. Trump also said that the U.S. “must work” with all of its allies to destroy I.S. and radical Islamic terrorism. “This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel,” he said. (Algemeiner, July 22, 2016)

 

“The one thing that I think is important to recognize, is this idea that America is somehow on the verge of collapse; this vision of violence and chaos everywhere, doesn't really jibe with the experience of most people. I hope people, the next morning, walked outside and birds were chirping and the sun was out and this afternoon, people will be, you know, watching their kids play in sports teams and go to the swimming pool, and folks are going to work and getting ready for the weekend. And in particular, I think it is important, just to be absolutely clear here, that some of the fears that were expressed throughout the week [at the Republican convention] just don't jibe with the facts.” — U.S. President Barack Obama, disputing the vision of America presented at the Republican National Convention. (Real Clear Politics, July 22, 2016)

 

“I like Donald Trump because he speaks from the heart…Make America Great Again is a great slogan. I would like to meet him.” — Malik Obama, Obama’s Kenyan half-brother. Obama, 58, a longtime Democrat, said his “deep disappointment” in his brother Barack’s administration has led him to recently switch allegiance to “the party of Lincoln.” The last straw, he said, came earlier this month when FBI Director James Comey recommended not prosecuting Hillary Clinton over her use of a private e-mail servers while secretary of state. “She should have known better as the custodian of classified information,” said Obama. (New York Post, July 24, 2016)

 

“The NY Times is alienating its independent and open-minded readers, and in doing so, limiting the reach of their message and its possible influence.” One reader from California who asked not to be named believes Times reporters and editors are trying to sway public opinion toward their own beliefs. “I never thought I’d see the day when I, as a liberal, would start getting so frustrated with the one-sided reporting that I would start hopping over to the Fox News webpage to read an article and get the rest of the story that the NYT refused to publish,” she says. Here’s frustration as it crests, from James, an Arizona reader: “You’ve lost a subscriber because of your relentless bias against Trump — and I’m not even a Republican.” You can imagine what the letters from actual conservatives sound like…Like the tiresome bore at a party, I went around asking several journalists in the newsroom about these claims that The Times sways to the left. Mostly I was met with a roll of the eyes. All sides hate us, they said. We’re tough on everyone. That’s nothing new here.” — Liz Spayd, Public Editor of the New York Times. (New York Times, July 23, 2016)

 

“I want to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the statements in the Al-Saraha article that deny the Holocaust and express anti-Semitic and homophobic views. Statements like these, filled with hatred, prejudice and lies, have no place in our society…The Ontario Liberal caucus was completely unaware of Al-Saraha’s intent to publish this article when it purchased advertising space to convey Ramadan greetings to the community. I assure you that our caucus will no longer purchase advertising space in this publication.” — Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. An article titled “The Question Which Everyone Ignores: Why Did Hitler Kill the Jews?” ran in the June-July issue of the Al-Saraha newspaper, which, according to B’nai Brith, can be found “in every Middle Eastern restaurant and every Middle Eastern grocery in Southwestern Ontario.” The article by Egyptian writer Salah Montasser originally published in Al-Masry Al-Youm, an Egyptian daily newspaper, asserts that the figure of six million Jewish Holocaust victims is based on “Jewish propaganda” that “managed to spread [this number] and establish it.” It accuses Jews of causing “most of the economic collapses that occurred in the banks in the period between 1870 and 1920.” After contacting Wynne’s office to inform them about the antisemitic content in the newspaper – in which it had placed a full-page “best wishes” ad on the occasion of Ramadan – Wynne sent an email to B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn condemning the publication. (CJN, July 22, 2016)

 

“The attack on Jewish students is a concerning national trend that cannot be ignored any longer. University officials cannot have a type of wishful thinking when something bad happens on their campus and will the situation to not happen again…What’s happening on college campuses today is not students just being students. The activities of these anti-Israel groups have serious repercussions and cannot be excused. Jewish students are being seriously threatened, their civil rights suppressed and routinely violated across the country…University administrations cannot say there is no problem…The problem is there. It is national and it cannot be ignored.” — Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, co-founder of the AMCHA Initiative, following the release of a new report revealing the rise of antisemitic activity across more than 100 US college campuses. According to the report, anti-Israel and anti-Zionist groups on campus “have become significantly more brazen in both their strategy and tactics,” which has contributed greatly to an increase in antisemitic activity. The calls and acts opposing Israel’s right to exist were found to be highly correlated with behavior that targeted Jewish students for harm. The presence of three factors — anti-Zionist student groups; faculty who support boycotts of Israel; and pro-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activity — are “each strong predictors of anti-Jewish hostility.” (Algemeiner, July 26, 2016)

 

“We need to make the basic distinction between Daesh (I.S.) and the problem we have with terrorism inspired by radical and false interpretation of Islamism…Daesh pretends to be a state. They try to conquer villages, towns, cities, and they do it in Iraq, in Syria, in Libya. We are confident that we’ll get rid of that. It will be difficult, but we are making progress…Once it’s done, terrorism is still there. Daesh as an organization is likely to survive that, and you have al-Qaeda, Boko Haram. So we’ll need to continue to work very hard, all together, with our police, intelligence services and deradicalization efforts, and we’ll continue to fight.” — Canada’s Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion. Last week, Canada co-hosted a multinational conference aimed at raising $2-billion to rebuild Iraqi cities devastated by the military campaign. But aid and humanitarian groups warned the ongoing military offensive could add another 1.8 million Iraqis to the more than 3.5 million already driven from their homes by the conflict. Many of them will need assistance for years. (Globe & Mail, July 20, 2016)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

GERMAN REFUGEE POLICY UNDER FIRE AFTER A WEEK OF BLOODSHED (Berlin) — Four attacks in a week — three of them carried out by asylum seekers — have left Germany on edge and Chancellor Angela Merkel's policies of welcoming refugees under renewed criticism. Anxiety over Germany's ability to cope with last year's flood of more than 1 million registered asylum seekers first surged following a series of sexual assaults and robberies in Cologne during New Year celebrations. But in the last seven days, the violence has become even more deadly. The bloodshed began July 18, when a 17-year-old from Afghanistan wielding an ax attacked people on a train near Wuerzburg, wounding five people before he was shot to death by police. I.S. claimed responsibility. On Sunday, a 21-year-old Syrian used a machete to kill a 45-year-old Polish woman in the southern city of Reutlingen. Authorities said the incident was not related to terrorism. Also Sunday, a 27-year-old Syrian who was denied asylum detonated a backpack of explosives and shrapnel at the entrance to an outdoor music festival in Ansbach, killing himself and wounding 15 people. I.S. claimed responsibility. The deadliest attack came Friday night in Munich. The German-born, 18-year-old son of Iranian asylum seekers went on a shooting spree and killed nine people. (MSN, July 27, 2016)

 

ATTACK ON CHURCH IN FRANCE KILLS PRIEST, AND I.S. IS BLAMED (Paris) — Two men stormed a parish church in northern France on Tuesday morning and took several hostages, fatally stabbing Rev. Jacques Hamel, an 85-year-old priest, and critically injuring another person, before the attackers were shot dead by the police. President Hollande said that I.S. was behind the attack, the latest in a series of assaults that have left Europe stunned. St.-Étienne-du-Rouvray, the town in Normandy where the attack occurred, is about 65 miles northwest of Paris and has about 29,000 inhabitants. Townspeople said it was a peaceful community with a number of residents of immigrant ancestry. (New York Times, July 26, 2016)

 

NICE ATTACKER PLOTTED FOR MONTHS AND HAD ACCOMPLICES (Nice) — The man who plowed a truck into a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations in Nice, France — killing at least 84 and injuring more than 300 — plotted his attack for months and had accomplices, the Paris prosecutor announced. Speaking to reporters, François Molins said an analysis of the attacker’s cellphone revealed photographs and search histories suggesting that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the 31-year-old Tunisian-born driver of the truck, had contemplated an attack as early as 2015. Molins also confirmed that five suspects have been identified and taken into custody. They will face preliminary terrorism charges over their alleged roles in the July 14 attack. (Washington Post, July 21, 2016)

 

DEADLY I.S. ATTACK IN AFGHANISTAN (Kabul) — Afghanistan marked a national day of mourning on Sunday, a day after at least 80 people were killed by a suicide bomber attack on a peaceful demonstration. The attack was claimed by I.S. Authorities say another 231 people were wounded, some seriously, in the attack Saturday afternoon on a march by members of the ethnic Hazara community, who are predominantly Shia Muslim. Most Afghans are Sunni, and I.S. regards Shia as apostates. It was the first I.S. attack on Kabul — and the city's worst since a vicious Taliban insurgency began 15 years ago — raising concerns about the group's reach and capability in Afghanistan. (CBC, July 24, 2016)

 

BRAZIL ARRESTS TEN SUSPECTED OF PLOTTING ATTACKS TIMED FOR OLYMPICS (Rio de Janeiro) — Brazil’s federal police arrested 10 Brazilians they said were linked to I.S. and planning terrorist acts during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. The arrests come just two weeks ahead of the opening ceremonies amid questions over Brazil’s security preparations for the Games. The suspects were members of a terrorist cell called “Defenders of Shariah,” which had communicated via the encrypted messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram. The suspects reportedly used those platforms to exchange comments about I.S. and cheer the attacks in France and Orlando. (Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2016)

 

ISRAELI-TRAINED BRAZILIAN FORCES TO SECURE RIO OLYMPICS (Rio de Janeiro) — The Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will take place under watchful eyes of 10,000 Brazilian soldiers and police officers trained by Israelis. According to a report, the International Security & Defense Systems (ISDS) Israel defense company took on the $2.5 billion project, assisted by the Israeli Ministry of Defense. Argus Corporation, Kaylor, Kela and others are all involved in helping to secure the 10,000 athletes who will compete from 26 nations in 1,000 competitions. 26,000 journalists must also be protected at the 50 different stadiums and facilities. (Jewish Press, July 26, 2016)

 

CLINTON’S VP PICK TIM KAINE HAS ANTI-ISRAEL TRACK RECORD (Philadelphia) — While Republicans Donald Trump and Mike Pence are seen as supporters of Israel, Kaine does not take pro-Israel positions, and has shown support for organizations connected to the Muslim Brotherhood. To supporters of Israel among the most damaging things about Tim Kaine is that he is the darling of the anti-Israel organization J-Street. J-Street endorsed Kaine’s 2012 run for Senate, and JStreet was the second largest donor to Tim Kaine’s campaign committee between 2011-2014. Tim Kaine was one of the first Democrats to announce he was boycotting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint session of Congress, and Kaine was an effusive supporter of the P5+1 Iran deal. (Jewish Press, July 26, 2016)

 

PROTESTERS BURN ISRAELI FLAG OUTSIDE DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION (Philadelphia) — Protesters set an Israeli flag on fire and chanted “Long live the intifada” outside of the Democratic National Convention site in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, as others clashed with police. A woman wearing a black bandana on her face lit the flag on fire, as protests continued outside of the secure zone around the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Someone stood nearby waving a Palestinian flag. Meanwhile, die-hard Sanders loyalists demonstrated inside and outside the convention and clashed with police after Clinton won the party’s presidential nomination Tuesday. (Times of Israel, July 27, 2016)

 

PA UNVEILS STATUE OF 'REFRIGERATOR BOMBER' (Jerusalem) — On July 4, 1975, in Zion Square in Jerusalem, a booby-trapped refrigerator exploded, killing 15 people and wounding 77. The perpetrators were two Palestinians from the West Bank, one of whom escaped to Jordan. The other, Ahmad Jabara — nom de guerre of Abu Sukkar — was eventually apprehended, tried by an Israeli military court, and sentenced to life in prison. In 2003, under pressure from the Bush administration to make a “gesture” to the PA, Israel freed Sukkar, then 70, along with 99 other security prisoners. A few days ago, at a ceremony attended by top PA officials, the PA unveiled a statue of him. (PJ Media, July 22, 2016)

 

PA WANTS TO SUE BRITAIN FOR BALFOUR DECLARATION (Jerusalem) — PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Maliki has said that the PA intends to sue Great Britain for the Balfour declaration. Al-Maliki, speaking at an Arab League conference, said that the declaration by the British Empire in 1917 "gave that which wasn't theirs to give to those to whom it did not belong." The Balfour declaration was a letter from UK Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour declaring that the British government "views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." This was the first recognition of the Zionist endeavor by a major world leader. (Arutz Sheva, July 26, 2016)

 

GERMAN GOVERNMENT DONATING MILLIONS TO BDS GROUPS: REPORT (Berlin) — A new report claims that the German government has been donating millions of euros to groups promoting the BDS movement. The NGO Monitor watchdog has found that between 2012 and 2015, Germany funneled at least $4.4 million to some 15 Israeli organizations, and 42 percent of the donations went to groups supporting an international boycott against Israel. The report found that the German Economic Cooperation and Development Ministry operates a Civil Peace Service project in Israel, but in fact, on the ground the project is headed by a different German group which has partnered with two local organizations that support the BDS movement (JNS, July 25, 2016)

 

ISRAEL SECRETLY SEEKING RESTITUTION FOR JEWISH PROPERTY FROM ARAB STATES, IRAN (Jerusalem) — Israel is working secretly to obtain the return of Jewish property in Arab countries, and millions of shekels have been allocated to the process. It is believed that nearly a million Jews resided in Arab countries and in Iran on the eve of the War of Independence in 1948. After Israel was established, around 600,000 of them immigrated to Israel over the next three decades in waves that continued in 1956 and 1967 and after the Iranian revolution in 1979. A report published in 2014 blasted the state for neglecting the issue, and put the combined value of the lost assets at “a few billion dollars.” Despite repeated promises by successive governments, the state has made almost no effort to gather data on this lost property. The covert activity is presumably not unrelated to another law passed in 2014, which established an annual memorial day, November 30, for the expulsion of the Jews from Muslim countries. (Ha’aretz, July 13, 2016)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

 

I Condemn All Threats to Turkey’s Democracy: Fethullah Gulen, New York Times, July 25, 2016— During the attempted military coup in Turkey this month, I condemned it in the strongest terms. “Government should be won through a process of free and fair elections, not force,” I said. “I pray to God for Turkey, for Turkish citizens, and for all those currently in Turkey that this situation is resolved peacefully and quickly.”

Is Europe Helpless?: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2016—At last count, members of the European Union spent more than $200 billion a year on defense, fielded more than 2,000 jet fighters and 500 naval ships, and employed some 1.4 million military personnel. More than a million police officers also walk Europe’s streets. Yet in the face of an Islamist menace the Continent seems helpless. Is it?

Germany is in a Dangerous State of Denial About Immigration, Islam and Terrorism: Telegraph, July 25, 2016—In the past seven days, German civilians have come under attack from four men of Middle Eastern or Asian origin. Three have been linked to Isil. The latest incident saw a Syrian blow himself up outside a Bavarian festival after pledging allegiance to Isil.

Why Should We Be ‘Balanced’ in Our Opinion of the Israeli Government and the Palestinian Authority?: Robert Fulford, National Post, July 22, 2016 —When Ottawa announced that Vivian Bercovici will no longer be ambassador to Israel, The Globe and Mail elicited a few happy remarks from Ferry de Kerckhove, a former diplomat who has served as Canadian ambassador to Egypt and Pakistan.