WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

On Topic Links

What We Know and Don’t About Friday’s Gaza Protests: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Apr. 2, 2018

The World Goes for Israel’s Throat: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 3, 2018

Erdogan’s Hypocrisy: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2018

As We Celebrate Passover, Let Us Not Forget the Kurds: Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, Mar. 30, 2018

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

“I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation…I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land, but we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.” — Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In a historic move, Salman acknowledged Israel’s right to exist in an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg. Although it is unprecedented for a Saudi leader to recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish State, his remarks were not unexpected. Israel has much to offer Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries in the region according to Prince Salman. “Israel is a big economy compared to their size and it’s a growing economy, and of course there are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan.” (Breaking Israel News, Apr. 3, 2018)

“As far as Syria is concerned, our primary mission in terms of that was getting rid of ISIS…We’ve completed that task and we’ll be making a decision very quickly, in co-ordination with others in the area, as to what we will do…I want to get out. I want to bring our troops back home. I want to start rebuilding our nation.” — President Donald Trump. Trump said Tuesday that he expects to decide “very quickly” whether to remove U.S. troops from war-torn Syria, saying their primary mission was to defeat the Islamic State and “we’ve almost completed that task.” The mission is “very costly for our country and it helps other countries a helluva lot more than it helps us,” Trump said. A decision by Trump to withdraw from Syria would conflict with the views of his top advisers. (National Post, Apr. 3, 2018)

“When it comes to Russia, read the Ronald Reagan playbook. When it comes to Syria, do not read the Obama playbook. This is the Obama playbook, one foot in, one foot out. This is a disaster in the making. All of his military advisers have said, we need to leave troops in Syria to work with the Kurds, calm down the conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish fighters who have helped, make sure that Raqqa does not fall back into the hands of (ISIS)…If we withdrew our troops anytime soon, ISIS would come back, the war between Turkey and the Kurds would get out of hand, and you’d be giving Damascus to the Iranians without an American presence, and Russia and Iran would dominate Syria. It’d be the single worst decision the president could make. I’ve seen this movie before when Obama did the same thing in Iraq and quite frankly gave Assad a pass in Syria when he had them on the ropes. We got ISIL on the ropes. If you want to let them off the ropes, remove American soldiers.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R), criticizing President Trump for suggesting that we’ll be pulling U.S. troops (about 2,000) out of Syria “very soon.” (Washington Post, Apr. 2, 2018)

“The border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization. It separates a state that protects its citizens from murderers who send their countrymen into danger. The fence separates an army that uses force in self-defense and in a focused and proportionate manner, and Hamas, an organization that sanctifies murder and death, that for years – yesterday included – has been intent on harming millions of Israelis. Anyone who mistakenly views in this murderous spectacle even an iota of freedom of expression is blind to the threats the State of Israel faces.” — Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement. On March 30, an attempt by tens of thousands of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to infiltrate the border with Israel launched a six-week campaign of mass protests — called the “March of Return” — organized by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other radical Palestinian groups. (MFA, Mar. 31, 2018)

“I strongly condemn the Israeli government over its inhumane attack…Have you heard any noteworthy objections to the massacre by Israel that happened yesterday in Gaza from those who criticize the Afrin operation? This is the biggest proof of insincerity of those who fixate on us but say nothing about Israel using heavy weapons to attack people who are protesting on their own lands.” — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. On January 20, Turkey began a cross-border military operation against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin, an operation for which Turkey has come under widespread international criticism. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that 289 civilians have been killed since Ankara began this military operation. Erdogan said, “I do not need to tell the world how cruel the Israeli army is. We can see what this terror state is doing by looking at the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem.” Israel, he said, “has carried out a massacre in Gaza and Netanyahu is a terrorist.” Erdogan said that Turkey is “dealing with terrorists. But you are not concerned about terrorists because you are a terror state.” (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 1, 2018)

“Erdogan is not used to people responding to him, but he should start getting used to it…Anyone who occupies northern Cyprus, invades the Kurdish strip and slaughters citizens in Afrin, should not lecture us about values and ethics…The most moral army in the world…will not be lectured to by someone who for years has indiscriminately bombed civilian populations. Apparently, this is the way they mark April Fools’ Day in Ankara.” — Prime Minister Netanyahu, responding to Erdogan’s criticism of Israel’s reaction to Friday’s march in Gaza. Although for the most part Netanyahu has in the past ignored these types of statements from Erdogan, this time he opted to respond, saying on Sunday morning that Erdogan’s remarks were apparently an April Fools’ joke. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 1, 2018)

“The antisemite Erdogan continues to support Hamas [to] act in Jerusalem…it’s possible Israel should have acted against Turkey in the international arena and recognized the Armenian genocide committed by the Ottoman Empire.” — Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. Erdan also expressed regret about voting in favor of the 2016 rapprochement agreement between Israel and Turkey, which normalized relations between the two countries. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2018)

“The March of Return will continue… until we remove this transient border… (The protests) mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation and ‘return’… Our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine.” — Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar, in an address to Gazans at the border on Friday. (Times of Israel, Mar. 31, 2018)

“Hamas is organizing a march and calling on the people of Gaza to head toward the border with Israel, to deflect their attention from the water, unemployment, filth, sewage, electricity. Would it not be better to take care of all these problems before calling on the people to risk their lives?…Don’t you understand that terrorist elements are using you in a cynical manner? These events and activities do not and will not help, and they are pointless…Demand your rights from those who continue to oppress you rather than care about your problems, and who take what you deserve and your money for the purpose of digging useless tunnels. The choice is in your hands.” — IDF Spokesman in Arabic Maj. Avichay Adraee. The IDF posted videos on Facebook in Arabic in an effort to dissuade the residents of the Gaza Strip from participating in the mass march on the Israel-Gaza border. Under the headline “Not a Return – Anarchy,” the IDF urged Gazans to open their eyes to the fact that Hamas is using the march to divert their attention from internal problems. (Israel Hayom, Mar. 28, 2018)

“I don’t know why people call this a protest. It’s …hundreds of terrorists used the demonstration as cover to perpetrate violent acts…we won’t let this turn into a pingpong zone where they perpetrate a terrorist act, and we respond with pinpoint action. If this continues, we will have no choice but to respond inside the Gaza Strip against terrorist targets…People coming toward the fence, attempting to penetrate and break into the fence, damaging the infrastructure or using that area as a staging ground, could potentially be shot.” — IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis. Manelis said that the protest — billed as a nonviolent action — was “not a nonviolent protest. It was an organized, Hamas act of terror using civilians as a cover.” (Los Angeles Times, Mar. 31, 2018)

“I did try to be helpful to (Shimon Peres) because I thought he was more supportive of the peace process. And I tried to do it in a way that was consistent with what I believed to be in Israel’s interest, without saying anything about the difference in domestic polices, without anything else.” — Former U.S. President Bill Clinton. In an interview, Clinton admitted that he tried to help then-Israeli P.M. Shimon Peres defeat Benjamin Netanyahu during Israel’s elections in 1996, just a year after the assassination of Israeli P.M. Yitzhak Rabin. Clinton stated on Israel’s Channel 10 News Program that it “would be fair to say” that he assisted in the process to elect Peres, adding that “I tried to do it in a way that didn’t overtly involve me.” Despite Clinton’s under the radar efforts, Netanyahu defeated Peres in a narrow upset, in what was seen by many as a rejection of the Oslo peace process. (JNS, Apr. 4, 2018)

“In a week when we are celebrating Passover, it’s all the more important to remember that it was Martin Luther King who made Moses and the Exodus from Egypt the central motif of the civil rights movement…I call upon every Jew to hearken to his voice, to share his vision, to follow his way.” — Prof. Susannah Heschel, the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel — the rabbi who famously marched against the segregationist “Jim Crow” laws alongside Dr. King in Alabama. As Americans prepared for the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, the daughter of his closest Jewish colleague paid tribute to the civil rights leader’s embrace of the Jewish Bible as his source of inspiration. King depicted the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt as both a model and an inspiration for the civil rights movement in the US. Prof. Heschel emphasized that King’s invocation of biblical themes resonated with American Jews. “Twenty years after the Shoah (Holocaust), Dr. King gave Jews a sense of pride in being Jewish…He quoted Amos and Isaiah more than he quoted Jesus. For a Christian preacher, that’s worth noting.” (Algemeiner, Apr. 3, 2018)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

ISRAEL SUSPENDS DEAL THAT COULD SEE CANADA TAKE IN MORE AFRICAN MIGRANTS (Jerusalem) — Canada is set to take in a number of African migrants from Israel, but a declaration from Israel’s prime minister has put the fate of the deal in question. The agreement between the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and Israel was to have around 16,000 Sudanese and Eritrean migrants relocated to “receiving countries.” In addition to the resettlement, other African migrants in Tel-Aviv were to be relocated to other parts of Israel and given legal status. However, Netanyahu hours later said that he is suspending the agreement pending further consideration. (CTV News, Apr. 2, 2018)

TRUMP ADMIN BACKS PLO IN VICTIMS’ HIGH COURT APPEAL (Washington) — The Trump administration is siding with the PLO in urging the Supreme Court to reject an appeal from U.S. victims of terrorist attacks more than a decade ago. The victims are asking the high court to reinstate a $654 million verdict against the PLO and PA in connection with attacks in Israel in 2002 and 2004 that killed 33 people. The federal appeals court tossed out the verdict in 2016 saying U.S. courts can’t consider lawsuits against foreign-based groups over attacks not aimed at the U.S. (New York Times, Apr. 1, 2018)

PA STILL PAYING TERRORISTS WITH U.S. TAXPAYER FUNDS, DEFYING U.S. LAW (Jerusalem) — The Palestinian Authority is continuing to pay out salaries to convicted terrorists using funds provided by the American taxpayer, a policy that defies a recent U.S. law mandating the PA stop these subsidies or face a cutoff in U.S. aid dollars. Palestinian officials in recent days have rejected a new U.S. law, known as the Taylor Force Act that bans the PA from providing salaries to terrorists and their families, a longstanding policy that had become the center of controversy after it was found U.S. taxpayer aid dollars to the Palestinians had been used to subsidize this practice. (Free Beacon, Mar. 30, 2018)

IAF REPORTEDLY FLEW OVER IRANIAN SITES UNDETECTED (Jerusalem) — Kuwaiti media reported that over the past month, Israeli Air Force Adir F-35 stealth fighters penetrated Iranian airspace twice without being detected. Al-Jarida reported that the two IAF warplanes passed undetected over Syria and Iraq. If true, this would mean the F-35 was not picked up by the S-400 anti-aircraft system at the Russian air base in Latakia, Syria. The F-35’s circled at high-altitude, targeting the cities Bandar Abbas, Esfahan, and Shiraz, all associated with Iran’s nuclear program. (Breaking Israel News, Mar. 30, 2018)

SANCTIONS-BUSTING SCHEME AIDED IRAN (Tehran) — Investigators have uncovered evidence of a multibillion-dollar corruption scheme by a Persian Gulf bank that secretly helped Iran evade sanctions for more than a decade, according to documents. Records from a Bahraini government audit reveal that the now-closed Future Bank — a joint venture partly owned by two of Iran’s largest lenders — routinely altered financial documents to mask illicit trade between Iran and dozens of foreign partners. The bank allegedly concealed at least $7 billion of transactions between 2004 and 2015, a time when many Iranian banks were barred by sanctions from accessing international markets. (Washington Post, Apr. 3, 2018)

AL QAEDA LEADER KILLED BY DRONE STRIKE IN LIBYA (Benghazi) — A U.S. drone strike killed a “high ranking” official in the Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb terror cell in Libya. It marked the first U.S. drone strike against Al Qaeda in Libya. Musa Abu Dawud was one of two terrorists killed in the airstrike near the city of Ubari. The State Department placed Dawud on its terrorist list in 2016 for his role in carrying out terrorist attacks in Algeria and Tunisia that killed roughly a dozen soldiers. The American drone strike in Libya on Saturday was the second of 2018, after seven late last year. Until this past weekend, drone strikes had only targeted I.S.-affiliated fighters in Libya. (Fox News, Mar. 29, 2018)

THOUSANDS MARCH IN PARIS FOLLOWING MURDER OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR (Paris) — Thousands of people took part in a “white march” in Paris last week in memory of Mireille Knoll, a 85-year-old French Jewish woman whose horrific murder revived worries about antisemitism in France. Knoll, a Holocaust survivor who narrowly escaped being deported to Auschwitz during World War II, when 13,000 Jews were rounded up in July 1942 at the Vel d’Hiv stadium in Paris, was found in her apartment with 11 stab wounds. The apartment itself was set ablaze after the attack and her body badly burnt. She was targeted because she was Jewish, the prosecutor confirmed. (JNS, Mar. 28, 2018)

CORBYN ATTENDS SEDER OF ANTI-ISRAEL GROUP (London) — Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the UK Labour party, faced criticism for attending a Passover event hosted by a Jewish far-left group that has called for Israel to be “disposed of.” Corbyn said he had “learned a lot” at the event. The Seder — the traditional Passover meal —was organized by Jewdas, a group that describes itself as “radical voices for the alternative diaspora.” Corbyn has been accused of not doing enough to deal with antisemitism in his party. Last week, after a rally of outside Parliament organized by British Jews in protest at antisemitism in the party, he promised to be “a militant opponent of antisemitism.” (Times of Israel, Apr. 2, 2018)

RIVERA REGRETS NOT BACKING PALESTINIANS DURING SECOND INTIFADA (New York) — Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera said last week that one of the biggest regrets of his journalistic career was not “backing the Palestinians” during the Second Intifada. Appearing on the channel to promote his new autobiography, Rivera was asked if he ever regretted one of his stories. “I regret in 2002 backing down from backing the Palestinians in their conflict with Israel, the Second Intifada,” Rivera said, adding, “I saw what an awful life they live under constant occupation and oppression.” Rivera, who is Jewish, has spoken out previously about his more dovish views on Israel. (Forward, Apr. 4, 2018)

ANC RENEWS CALLS FOR ISRAEL BOYCOTT AFTER ‘BLACK COFFEE’ SHOW (Johannesburg) — Several days after his show in Tel Aviv, DJ Black Coffee continues to face backlash and censure from his fellow South Africans. The African National Congress, South Africa’s ruling party, criticized the musician and reiterated its call for a cultural boycott of Israel. Black Coffee performed in Tel Aviv on Saturday night for thousands of fans – his third show in the country. When he posted a video from the concert on Twitter, he immediately faced outrange and anger. On Monday, the DJ tweeted that he is working as an entertainer and not making political statements. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 4, 2018)

ISRAEL’S EL AL SUES OVER AIR INDIA FLIGHTS IN SAUDI SKIES (Tel Aviv) — Israel’s national carrier is suing the government for allowing Air India to fly over Saudi airspace on its New Delhi-Tel Aviv flights. Saudi Arabia and Israel have no diplomatic relations. The kingdom’s decision to allow the Indian carrier to fly through its airspace en route to Tel Aviv reflects an apparent behind-the-scenes warming of ties between the two countries. But El Al says it has been harmed, since it currently has the only flights connecting Mumbai and Tel Aviv. Air India’s new route significantly shortens travel time and airfare costs. (Washington Post, Mar. 28, 2018)

ISRAELI SITES HACKED TO DISPLAY: ‘JERUSALEM IS THE CAPITAL OF PALESTINE’ (Jerusalem) — A number of Israeli websites were hacked to display pro-Palestinian messages in what experts said was the start of the annual cyberattack by the hacker collective known as “Anonymous.” Homepages for the municipality websites for Kfar Saba, Eilat, Herzliya and Acre were changed to display the message: “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine” alongside an image of the deadly clashes between Palestinian protesters and the IDF along the Gaza border. A cyber defense expert said the hacked websites bore the hallmarks of Anonymous’s annual OpIsrael cyber campaign, targeting websites of the Israeli government and other organizations in solidarity with the Palestinians. (Times of Israel, Apr. 4, 2018)

ISRAELI APP CAN SAVE YOU FROM ANAPHYLACTIC SHOCK (Tel Aviv) — Israeli researchers have developed a smartphone app that could help save the lives of people with severe allergic reactions, like anaphylactic shock, and those suffering from opioid overdoses. “EPIMADA” is a smartphone app said to be the first social network for chronic patients – in this case, suffering from allergic reactions – who can facilitate the sharing and delivery of emergency medication like EpiPens. Allergic reactions to food, medications, flora, and fauna can be severe: sufferers can go into anaphylactic shock, a state brought on by allergen which in extreme cases can lead to death. (No Camels, Mar. 28, 2018)

100,000 PEOPLE TAKE PART IN PRIESTLY BLESSING AT THE WESTERN WALL (Jerusalem) — Around 100,000 people took part in the Passover priestly blessing of the kohanim (members of the priestly line) at the Western Wall on Monday. The blessing is recited by Jewish people who are said to be descendants of Aaron, the brother of Moses. The ceremony was attended by US Amb. to Israel David Friedman. The blessing is recited by kohanim throughout the Jewish calendar in the diaspora but is recited daily during prayers in Jerusalem. The idea to bring kohanim to the Western Wall for special blessings during Passover and Sukkot started in 1970. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2018)

 

On Topic Links

What We Know and Don’t About Friday’s Gaza Protests: Judah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Apr. 2, 2018—Three days after the deadliest day in the Gaza Strip since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, significant questions — factual, legal, and moral — abound regarding what happened on both sides of the security fence.

The World Goes for Israel’s Throat: Giulio Meotti, Arutz Sheva, Apr. 3, 2018—All the hypocrites of the world are now at Israel’s throat. The satrap Erdogan, who slaughters the Kurds, who invades Afrin, who persecutes Christians and who occupies Cyprus, has the nerve to accuse Israel of “terrorism” in Gaza.  At least 289 and more likely 500 people have been killed since Turkey launched its jihad against Afrin and Erdogan allows himself to give ethical lessons to Israel.

Erdogan’s Hypocrisy: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2018 —Double standards and hypocrisy are nothing new for Turkish President and neo-Ottoman strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

As We Celebrate Passover, Let Us Not Forget the Kurds: Liel Leibovitz, Tablet, Mar. 30, 2018 —“We are so cynical, and we live in a particularly cynical age,” Tom Kaplan said in a phone conversation the other day. “I find myself rebelling against that every day in one form or another.”