WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

On Topic Links

Khashoggi Rejiggers Middle East at a Horrible Cost: Dr. James M. Dorsey, BESA, October 23, 2018

UK: Anjem Choudary Released from Prison: Soeren Kern, Gatesotne Institute, October 20, 2018

Dismantling ‘Isle of Peace,’ Jordan Chooses Hardliners Over Israel Ties: Raoul Wootliff & Adam Rasgon, Times of Israel, Oct. 21, 2018

Israeli and Jordanian Experts Downplay Significance of Peace-Treaty Changes: Israel Kasnett, JNS, Oct. 23, 2018

 

WEEKLY QUOTES 

“My opinion is very clear…We must land a strong blow against Hamas. That’s the only way to lower the level of violence to zero, or close to zero…We have exhausted all other options in Gaza…I’ve held a series of meetings with the head of the Southern Command, the head of the [Gaza] Division, the brigade commanders, the battalion commanders, also with soldiers. My impression is that they all have reached the understanding that the situation as it is today cannot continue.” — Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. Hamas and Israel came a step closer to all-out war last week after two upgraded GRAD missiles were launched at major Israeli population centers from the Gaza Strip. A house in the southern Israel city Beersheva was hit causing damages, while a mother and three children were treated for shock. The IDF pounded several Hamas targets in Gaza after the missile launches, killing at least seven Palestinians, according to Palestinian media. (Jerusalem Online, Oct. 18, 2018) 

“Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse the Jews, Victory to Islam.” — Houthis slogan. The Houthis are a Yemeni rebel group that conquered Sana’a and almost took control of Aden in 2015, threatening the country’s most important cities. A Saudi Arabia-led alliance has been fighting the rebels since then. The Houthis are backed by Iran and have fired missiles at Riyadh. They have increasingly incorporated anti-Israel rhetoric into their speeches, as part of the growing network of Iranian-backed groups in the region, such as Hezbollah, that is obsessed with fighting Israel. The Houthis have incorporated the antisemitic “curse the Jews” slogan into their chants. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 10, 2018)

“In the past, mainstream Jewish organizations strove to be nonpartisan. But alas, no longer, with the majority of the non-Orthodox strongly opposed to their president. This would not be so bad if they did so as Americans, but to do so as an expression of their supposed Jewish identity, or in their capacity as Jewish leaders, is incomprehensible. But what is utterly outrageous is the attitude displayed by Jews toward Trump’s Israel policies. Trump is your president and as Americans you can hate him or love him. But as Jews you should appreciate what he has done for us by being the first American president to openly ally himself with Israel and avoid moral equivalency by telling the truth about Palestinian duplicity and terror.” — Isi Leibler (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 22, 2018)

“(Anti Defamation League Director Jonathan) Greenblatt’s defenders like to point to the occasional times he’s managed to criticize a non-Republican for anti-Semitism, but such criticism usually comes after indefensible silence. The larger point is that under Greenblatt, the ADL paints a picture of the political right’s extremists as connected. But instances of left-wing extremism aren’t given the same treatment; they are depicted as isolated incidents, not dots to be connected. Meanwhile, Ellison is the DNC’s No. 2; Sarsour helped the campaign of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and then ran the Women’s March; and a slew of prominent Democrats have been kicking the Jewish community in the teeth. The party’s newest rising star is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America who parroted Hamas talking points to accuse Israelis of being butchers and occupiers of “Palestine.”” — Seth Mandel. (Commentary, Oct. 2018)

“To the members of the Jewish community that don’t like me, thank you very much for putting my name all over the planet because of your fear of what we represent…So when they talk about Farrakhan, call me a hater, you [know] what they do, call me an antisemite. Stop it, I’m anti-termite…I don’t know nothing about hating somebody because of their religious preference.” — Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. Farrakhan has once again provoked controversy by comparing Jews to termites and calling Jewish people stupid at an event marking the 23rd anniversary of the so-called “Million Man March” in Washington, DC in 1995. Farrakhan was referring to the strong reaction to antisemitic comments he made in a speech in May this year when he talked of “Satanic Jews who have infected the whole world with poison and deceit.” (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 17, 2018)

“The idea that there’s a question about the Jewish historical presence in the Holy Land and specifically at these sites is unacceptable and diminishes the religious rights of the Jewish people.” — Gary Bauer, head of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. UNESCO, the cultural and educational agency of the UN, was attacked by Bauer for undermining the historic connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. Bauer was referring to two resolutions adopted by UNESCO on October 10, which refer to Jewish holy sites in Hebron and Bethlehem solely as “Palestinian sites.” “UNESCO has no business pronouncing on territorial sovereignty or arbitrating territorial disputes,” Bauer said. Consistent anti-Israel bias at UNESCO led both the United States and Israel to announce their respective withdrawals from the agency in October 2017. (Algemeiner, Oct. 23, 2018)

“The State of Israel has been founded, and it has been founded only thus: with blood and fire, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, with suffering and sacrifice…The Hebrew army can and must be one of the best-trained and excellent armies in the world… This was shown by all of the Hebrew youth, the youth of the Haganah, of Lehi and of the Irgun… the likes of which no generation in the generations of Israel, from Bar-Kokhba to the Bilu’im, had ever seen.” — Former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. A recording of a speech by Begin has recently been found in Jerusalem, 70 years after it was made. The recording, made in 1948, a day after the establishment of the State of Israel, will be up for sale in Jerusalem. The speech was broadcast live on the Irgun radio station. The item will go up for auction on November 13, and bidding is to begin at $300,000. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 19, 2018)

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES 

SAUDI JOURNALIST KHASHOGGI’S REMAINS FOUND (Istanbul) — The remains of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been found, with one source saying remains were found in the garden of the Saudi consul general’s home. The report comes after remarks by Turkish President Erdogan, who said that Khashoggi’s body hasn’t been found. Intelligence sources said Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, ran Khashoggi’s killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by giving orders over Skype. A source relayed that at one point Qahtani told his men to dispose of Khashoggi. “Bring me the head of the dog,” Qahtani instructed. (Ha’aretz, Oct. 23, 2018) 

US GENERAL WOUNDED IN AFGHANISTAN (Kabul) — The U.S. general who oversees the NATO mission in southern Afghanistan was wounded in an attack last week. Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Smiley was shot during a meeting of military and intelligence leaders in the Kandahar Province. Smiley is being treated for his wound. The attack happened during a meeting involving U.S. Gen. Scott Miller, regional police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq and intelligence chief Gen. Abdul Momin. Raziq and Momin were killed in the attack. The Taliban later said the attack, which caused the delay of elections in Kandahar, was directed at Raziq and Miller. (The Hill, Oct. 22, 2018)

JORDAN CANCELS PART OF PEACE DEAL (Amman) — Jordan’s King Abdullah II said he has decided not to renew parts of his country’s landmark peace treaty with Israel. Abdullah intends to pull out of two annexes from the 1994 peace agreement that allowed Israel to lease two small areas, Baqura and Ghamr, from the Jordanians for 25 years. The lands were leased to Jewish farmers early last century, but then became part of Jordan after the kingdom gained independence in 1946. Baqura was captured by Israel in 1950. Ghamr was seized in the 1967 Mideast War. Under their peace agreement, Jordan agreed to grant Israeli farmers and military officers free access to the enclave. (National Post, Oct. 21, 2018)

ABBAS & HAMAS USE TORTURE TO CRUSH DISSENT: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH (London) — Human Rights Watch accused both the PA and Hamas of routinely engaging in “systematic” unwarranted arrests and torture of critics, suspected dissidents and political opponents, and of developing “parallel police states” in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In a report based on interviews with 147 witnesses, HRW detailed a common method of abuse and torture known as shabeh in which detainees are placed in painful physical positions for lengthy periods of time. Such practices cause distress and traumad, while often leaving “little or no trace on the body,” the report said. (Times of Israel, Oct. 23, 2018)

IDF TROOPS ARREST SUSPECTED ACCOMPLICE OF BARKAN TERRORIST — REPORT (Jerusalem) — IDF troops operating in the West Bank village of Shuweika arrested a man suspected of aiding the escaped terrorist who killed two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Zone earlier this month. The move comes after officials delivered a demolition order to Ashraf Na’alowa’s family home. Na’alowa has been on the run since killing Kim Levengrond Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi on October 7 at the factory where he was employed. A third Israeli was wounded in the attack. (Times of Israel, Oct. 2, 2018)

IDF UNCOVERS ANOTHER HEZBOLLAH OBSERVATION POST (Beirut) — The IDF recently uncovered another Hezbollah observation post, the sixth in number in the past couple of years. The organization uses these posts for military purposes. According to the IDF, Hezbollah members move along the fence, patrol Israel and form military infrastructure. Similar to the five observation posts IDF uncovered last year, this post is apparently used for intelligence gathering through observing IDF activity. Hezbollah has set up this network under the guise of Green Without Borders, a Hezbollah-funded organization that promotes agriculture and environmental protection. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 22, 2018)

ANJEM CHOUDARY RELEASED FROM U.K. PRISON (London) — A radical Islamic preacher was released from a British prison after serving less than half of a 5-1/2-year prison sentence for encouraging support for I.S. Anjem Choudary, 51, will be subject to strict supervision. Choudary has been one of the most high-profile faces of radical Islam in Britain for years, leading groups under names including al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK and Muslims Against Crusades. Several people who attended Choudary’s rallies and events have been convicted of violent attacks, including the two al Qaeda-inspired killers who ran over British soldier Lee Rigby and stabbed him to death in 2013. (CTV, Oct. 19, 2018)

ALGERIA BANS WEARING OF FULL-FACE VEILS IN ADMINISTRATION (Algeiers) — Algeria Prime minister Ahmed Ouayhia has banned female public sector employees from wearing veils that cover their faces. In a letter sent to ministers and regional governors, Ouayhia cited reasons of identification for the move. Civil servants, he wrote, need to “observe the rules and requirements of security and communication within their department, which impose their systematic and permanent physical identification.” Not so many women wear the niqab in Algeria, where the hijab — a scarf that covers the head and neck, but leaves the face clear — is the most popular. (National Post, Oct. 19, 2018)

MISS EARTH LEBANON STRIPPED OF TITLE AFTER PHOTO WITH ISRAELI (Beirut) —  Miss Earth Lebanon has reportedly been stripped of her title after posing for a photo with Miss Earth Israel. Salwa Akar took for a photo with Israeli-Arab contestant Dana Zreik, and the image has circulated on social media. Akar claimed that Zreik spoke to her in Arabic, and she didn’t know she was Israeli. But the Lebanese pageant organizer said Zreik was wearing a sash reading Israel, and it did not accept the excuse. The Miss Earth competition is set to take place for the 18th year running on November 3 in the Philippines. The pageant seeks to promote environmental awareness. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 17, 2018)

AUSTRALIA’S EMBASSY MOVE TO JERUSALEM IN DOUBT FOLLOWING LIBERAL PARTY’S DEFEAT (Sydney) — Australia’s potential move of its embassy to Jerusalem was left in doubt after the Liberal government lost its one-seat majority following a defeat in a special election for Parliament. Dave Sharma, the former ambassador to Israel, was beaten Saturday in the vote to fill a vacant House of Representatives seat near Sydney. Independent Party candidate Kerry Phelps, a convert to Judaism, won the Wentworth seat, which has gone traditionally to the Liberal Party. Wentworth is home to a Jewish community of 20,000, or 12.5 percent of its population. (JTA, Oct. 21, 2018)

BOLIVIA PROMOTES ANOTHER CONTROVERSIAL EVENT AT UN SECURITY COUNCIL (New York) — The Bolivian mission to the United Nations, which ‎holds the Security Council presidency this ‎month‎, ‎announced it plans to host another anti-‎Israel event at the forum.‎ The Bolivian Ambassador to the UN has invited Randa Siniora, director ‎of the Ramallah-based Women’s Center for Legal Aid ‎and Counselling and former director of Al-Haq—both ‎groups that promote anti-Israel lawfare and support ‎the BDS movement—to ‎address the Security Council.‎ Bolivia has a long track record of human-rights violations. The South American country is believed to be the epicenter ‎massive human-trafficking rings, including ‎trafficking in women and children for forced labor ‎and prostitution. (JNS, Oct. 24, 2018)

MPS APPROVE MOTION CALLING FOR STRATEGY ON RETURNING I.S. MEMBERS (Ottawa) — An opposition motion tabled in the House of Commons called on the Canadian government to put forward a plan within 45 days for bringing to justice those who fought with I.S. The Liberals said they would support the motion. MPs approved the motion by a 280 to 1 vote. MP Michelle Rempel introduced the motion, arguing the government should acknowledge that anyone who travelled abroad to take part in terrorism or genocide should face legal consequences. (Global, Oct. 22, 2018)

GERMANY SEES RISE IN CITIZENSHIP APPLICATIONS BY BRITISH JEWS (London) — The number of Britons who have requested to regain German citizenship that was robbed from their families by the Nazis has risen from 43 in 2015 to almost 1,700 last year, with most of those eligible being British Jews. Last year, following the 2016 referendum in the UK to leave the EU, the number leapt to 1,667 requests. Under article 116-2 of the German constitution, former Germans who lost their citizenship on “political, racial or religious grounds” between the day Adolf Hitler became chancellor on January 30, 1933 and Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945, can ask to have their citizenship reinstated. The report also comes following a poll last month that showed 40 percent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister. (Times of Israel, Oct. 19, 2018)

BIBLE MUSEUM PULLS FAKE DEAD SEA SCROLLS (Washington) — The Museum of the Bible in Washington DC announced it was pulling five of its 16 Dead Sea Scroll fragments from display. The museum, which opened in November, said it was removing the fragments after an analysis showed that the artifacts are not in fact authentic Dead Sea Scrolls. The eight-story, 430,000-square-foot Museum of the Bible – that cost more than $500 million – was created and funded by Steve Green, the conservative Evangelical heir to the Hobby Lobby retail chain. The vast majority of the Dead Sea Scrolls – ancient manuscripts dated to the 2nd century BCE – belong to the Israeli government, and are housed in the Israel Museum. Various fragments are believed to be in private hands. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 23, 2018)

ISRAEL AND US POSTAL SERVICES ISSUE JOINT HANUKKAH STAMP (Washington) — Israel Post and the U.S. Postal Service have issued a joint stamp for Hanukkah. The stamp is meant to celebrate 70 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the U.S. The new stamp design was launched simultaneously in the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, the oldest synagogue in the U.S., and at the American Center in Jerusalem. The stamp art features a Hanukkah menorah created using papercutting, a Jewish folk art, by artist Tamar Fishman. (JTA, Oct. 17, 2018) 

On Topic Links

Khashoggi Rejiggers Middle East at a Horrible Cost: Dr. James M. Dorsey, BESA, October 23, 2018—The killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul threatens to severely disrupt the US-Saudi alliance that holds together many of the Middle East’s fault lines.

UK: Anjem Choudary Released from Prison: Soeren Kern, Gatesotne Institute, October 20, 2018—The Islamist firebrand preacher Anjem Choudary, described as Britain’s “most dangerous extremist,” has been released from prison after serving only half of the five-and-a-half-year sentence he received in 2016 for pledging allegiance to the Islamic State.

Dismantling ‘Isle of Peace,’ Jordan Chooses Hardliners Over Israel Ties: Raoul Wootliff & Adam Rasgon, Times of Israel, Oct. 21, 2018—When Israel and Jordan signed a peace treaty in 1994, special arrangements were made for parcels of land near Naharayim in the north and Tzofar in the southern Arava desert. Although the land had belonged to Israel for decades and had been farmed by Israeli settlers, under the treaty, it was transferred to Jordan.

Israeli and Jordanian Experts Downplay Significance of Peace-Treaty Changes: Israel Kasnett, JNS, Oct. 23, 2018 —Jordan’s King Abdullah just announced that he informed Israel “of an end to the application of the peace-treaty annexes regarding al-Baqura and al-Ghumar.” The king was referring to a small area in Naharayim in Israel’s north and the Tzofar enclave in the Arava in Israel’s south, both of which were leased from Jordan in the 1994 peace agreement between Jordan and Israel.