Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
L'institut Canadien de Recherches sur le Judaisme
Strength of Israel will not lie

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

On Topic Links

Airbnb Must be Taught a Hard Lesson: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2018

Will Anyone Stand up to Airbnb’s Anti-Semitic Boycott?: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 27, 2018

The Implications of Sanctions for the Iranian Oil Market: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Nov. 25, 2018

Russia’s Latest Attack on the Ukrainians is a Warning to the West: Anne Applebaum, Washington Post, Nov. 26, 2018

 

WEEKLY QUOTES 

“In the last two years, I was in Africa three times — East and West Africa…I will drop a big hint: I hope to get to Central Africa. Israel is coming back to Africa. Africa is coming back to Israel.”— Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In an unprecedented visit to Israel, Chadian President Idriss Déby said he wishes to restore diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, 46 years after ties between the two countries were severed. Netanyahu, meanwhile, hinted that he intends to travel to additional Arab countries in the near future, following his surprise visit to Oman in October for the first trip to the country by an Israeli prime minister in over 20 years. (Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2018)

“The world is changing before our eyes. Crises and wars we knew are changing as well…There’s a time for war and a time for peace. Our message is global to all leaders: Chad doesn’t presume to speak for black Africa. Chad comes to renew bilateral diplomatic relations. But if Chad can be a facilitator, Chad will not hesitate.” — Chad President Idriss Déby. Benjamin Netanyahu will soon visit Chad to formally re-establish diplomatic relations between the two countries. Israel and Chad have not had formal relations since the 1970’s, when the Arab-Israeli conflict drove a wedge between Israel and African countries. Déby’s historic visit was reportedly meant to lay the groundwork for establishing normalized relations with other Muslim-majority African nations including Mali, Niger, and controversially, Sudan. (I24, Nov. 27, 2018)

“The Zionist regime is clearly weaker than 10, 20 years ago. A few years ago they fought Hezbollah for 33 days and were defeated. They were defeated 2 years later in the 22-day war on Palestinian resistance; in 8-day war on oppressed people of Gaza and recently in the 2-day war.” — Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei of Iran. Khamenei tweeted insults against Israel after President Hassan Rouhani called Israel a “cancerous tumor” during his address to an annual Islamic Unity Conference. “One of the ominous results of World War II was the formation of a cancerous tumor in the region,” Rouhani said, referring to Israel.  He also said that Israel is a “fake regime” set up by Western countries. Rouhani said in his address that the U.S. cultivates close ties with “regional Muslim nations” to protect Israel, referring to Saudi Arabia. He said succumbing to American pressure is “treason.” (JTA, Nov. 25, 2018)

“Iran’s regime calling Israel a ‘cancerous tumor’ is like the pot calling the kettle black. All the people of that region will be better off once both murderous regimes are terminated.” — Hussam Ayloush, a senior Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) official. Based on this tweet, one might assume Ayloush has an equal disdain for the Islamic Republic of Iran and Israel. However, whereas Ayloush would like to see regime change in Iran, he has a history of describing Israel in ways that echo Iranian rhetoric calling for its destruction. He has referred to Israelis as “zionazis” and repeatedly equated the IDF with I.S. terrorists. (IPT News, Nov. 26, 2018)

“I always say that life without dreams is empty. As I see it, we the Palestinians have a great dream before us: To liberate Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea. This dream will remain before us and requires of us willpower. Our people’s willpower is strong. The proof of this is the thousands of prisoners and the thousands of martyrs who have fallen to realize the dream of liberating Palestine.” — The Rector of Al’Istiqlal University in Jericho Saleh Abu Osba. Palestinian children are still being taught that “Palestine” includes all of Israel. Decades after the Oslo Accords, the PA, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, still doesn’t recognize Israel’s existence. One of the PA’s popular slogans, a way of saying all of Israel is “Palestine,” is to describe it as stretching “from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.” (Jewish Press, Nov. 27, 2018)

“Airbnb is not welcome in Beverly Hills as long as its policies are based on anti-Jewish double standards. We can try to inoculate others against this malady but we also must protect ourselves against its effects.” — Beverly Hills Vice Mayor John A. Mirisch. The city council of Beverly Hills, CA voted unanimously to withdraw apartment listings for the city from Airbnb after the home rental giant decided to remove some 200 ads for accommodation units located in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Mirisch said Beverly Hills is determined to fight “the disease” called “Jew hatred.” The statement emphasized that Airbnb’s decision stems from antisemitism and therefore will not be tolerated. “Airbnb’s decision to remove all listings in Jewish settlements in the West Bank demonstrates hatred, prejudice, ignorance and hypocrisy…Airbnb’s actions are antithetical to the values that we hold dear in Beverly Hills … prejudice and discrimination based on religion have no place in our community, country and world,” the statement read. (Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2018)

“(Airbnb) adopts the anti-Semitic practices and narratives of the BDS movement…BDS is not a movement that is interested in promoting peace or a better future for the Palestinians, but rather in demonizing and discriminating against the State of Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East and the strongest US ally in the region…The policy of Airbnb is particularly worrisome when it is understood that it is directed only at Israel. Such a policy is not applied to any other area of ​​the conflict. This is an anti-Semitic (hopefully unintentionally) practice of applying a double standard to Israel which are not applied to any other country.” — Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan. Erdan addressed US state governors, asking them to impose economic sanctions on the rental giant Airbnb and to speak against it publicly. (Jewish Press, Nov. 28, 2018)

“The Pal Authority has been holding US citizen Isaam Akel in prison for ~2 months…His suspected ‘crime’? Selling land to a Jew. Akel’s incarceration is antithetical to the values of the US & to all who advocate the cause of peaceful coexistence. We demand his immediate release.” — US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Friedman called on the PA to release from custody a U.S. citizen who is suspected of selling property in East Jerusalem to Jewish Israelis. The arrest of the Palestinian-American, whom Friedman named as Issam Akel, is said to have prompted Israel to arrest the Palestinian governor of East Jerusalem, in an attempt to pressure the PA to release him. PA courts have previously sentenced Palestinians to death for selling land to Jews. Since 2005 the PA has not carried out any executions. (Times of Israel, Nov. 28, 2018)

“The United States is committed to seeing that those responsible for this attack face justice…We call upon all countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UN Security Council obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this atrocity, including Lashkar-e-Taiba and its affiliates.” — US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. During four days of terror in Mumbai in 2008, Islamists belonging to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group carried out 12 coordinated attacks, murdering 166 people and wounding more than 300. Among their targets was Nariman House — the Jewish community center operated by the Chabad movement in Mumbai. Other targets included a Catholic college as well as hotels and a cinema. Six people were killed during the siege at Nariman House, including Rabbi Gavriel Holzberg and his wife Rivka, who was six months pregnant at the time. Pompeo said it was “an affront to the families of the victims that, after ten years, those who planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement.” (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2018)

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES 

ISRAEL REPORTEDLY EYEING TIES WITH SUDAN (Tel Aviv) — Israel is working to establish diplomatic ties with a number of central African nations, including Sudan, as Chadian leader Idriss Déby made a historic visit to the Jewish state and Prime Minister Netanyahu signaled he would soon travel to unspecified Arab states. According to a report, Israel’s diplomatic push in Africa is driven in part by a desire to ease air travel to Latin America. Flying in the airspace of traditionally hostile African countries — namely Chad and Sudan — would allow airlines to offer faster, more direct flights between Israel and the continent. (Times of Israel, Nov. 25, 2018)

ISRAEL ON BRINK OF DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH BAHRAIN (Jerusalem) — Israel is reportedly in the late stages of forging diplomatic relations with the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain. Netanyahu and his ministers have visited a number of Persian Gulf states in recent weeks. Local media said Israel was already talking to Bahrain about establishing official ties. Meanwhile, Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen said he had been invited to attend a conference next year in Bahrain. Bahrain shares Israel’s animosity toward Iran, and is an active member of the Sunni coalition against Iran in the Arab world. Its forces are currently fighting alongside the Saudis in the civil war in Yemen. (Breaking Israel News, Nov. 26, 2018)

CZECH PRESIDENT IN ISRAEL, TO BEGIN MOVING EMBASSY (Jerusalem) — Miloš Zeman, the president of the Czech Republic – one of the friendliest countries to Israel in Europe – arrived for a four-day state visit. Zeman will inaugurate an office in Jerusalem he said will be the precursor to moving the country’s embassy to the city. Zeman, ardently pro-Israel, said at a gala celebration in April in Prague in honor of Israel’s 70th anniversary that the appointment of an honorary consul that month, followed by the establishment of the Czech cultural center in the city, were the first two steps of a three-step process that he hoped would culminate in the opening of the embassy. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 25, 2018)

SON OF BRAZIL’S PRESIDENT-ELECT TELLS KUSHNER EMBASSY WILL MOVE (Brasilia) — The question is not whether Brazil will move its embassy to Jerusalem, but when, Eduardo Bolsonaro – the son of Brazil’s president-elect Jair Bolsonaro – said in Washington. Bolsonaro made this comment during a meeting in the White House with Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Jair Bolsonaro has said that he intended to transfer the Brazilian embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, as he promised in his campaign. So far Guatemala is the only country that followed the US move in May. Paraguay also did so, but has since moved it back to Tel Aviv. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2018)

THREE SOLDIERS WOUNDED IN CAR-RAMMING ATTACK IN WEST BANK (Jerusalem) — Three Israeli soldiers were wounded, one moderately and two lightly, in a car-ramming attack in the West Bank. The assailant was shot dead by one of the soldiers. Palestinian media named the driver as Ramzi Abu Yabbes, a former prisoner from the Deheisheh refugee camp. (Ha’aretz, Nov. 26, 2018)

IS IN SINAI SEIZES IRANIAN WEAPONS BOUND FOR HAMAS — REPORT (Cairo) — The I.S. affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai has seized a weapons shipment that included Kornet missiles, the Russian-made advanced anti-tank laser-guided weapon system. The shipment was making its way from Iran to Palestinian terror group Hamas, according to a report. A source said the shipment is the largest seized by IS and included other GPS-guided weaponry. The source said a local IS commander was refusing to cooperate with Hamas and transfer the weapons. Earlier this month, terrorists in Gaza fired a Kornet missile at an Israeli bus near the border, seriously injuring an IDF soldier. (Times of Israel, Nov. 24, 2018)

HAMAS ON HUNT FOR ‘COLLABORATORS’ AFTER ISRAELI OPERATION IN GAZA (Gaza) — Palestinian terror group Hamas is reportedly on the hunt for suspects it believes may have aided the Israeli special forces in a raid, and is specifically looking for a small van spotted in surveillance footage. The van is alleged to have been used by the Israeli forces or those who are suspected of helping them, dubbed “collaborators,” according to the report. On November 11, a group of Israeli soldiers was discovered deep in southern Gaza during an operation that went awry, resulting in a deadly clash that left one senior IDF officer and seven Palestinian fighters dead. (Times of Israel, Nov. 24, 2018)

UKRAINE IMPOSES MARTIAL LAW IN BORDER REGIONS AFTER CLASH WITH RUSSIA (Kiev) — Ukraine imposed martial law for 30 days after a naval confrontation off the Crimean Peninsula in which Russia fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels. The U.S. blamed Russia for what it called “unlawful conduct” over Sunday’s incident in the Black Sea. The two neighbours have been locked in a tense tug-of-war since Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, but the incident Sunday in which Russian coast guard ships fired on Ukrainian navy vessels directly pitted the two militaries, placing them on the verge of an open conflict. (CBC, Nov. 26, 2018)

ENTITIES MAY BE SANCTIONED FOR BUSTING IRAN SANCTIONS, U.S. ENVOY SAYS (Washington) — The American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said the US government will contemplate sanctions against French and German entities that seek to evade sanctions on Iran’s clerical regime. Grenell was responding to an article reporting “France and Germany have joined forces to rescue a European effort to create a payments channel to keep trade flowing with Iran, defying US attempts to take the air out of the plan.” The WSJ article cited senior diplomats as the sources for the French and German strategy to circumvent US sanctions. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2018)

MAN ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY ATTEMPTING TO RUN OVER JEWS NEAR L.A. SYNAGOGUE (Los Angeles) — A man has been arrested in Los Angeles after allegedly attempting to run over two Jews near a synagogue in the city on Friday night in what police are investigating as a potential hate crime. Mohamed Mohamed, 32, is being held on $55,000 bail and has been charged with assault with a deadly weapon with a vehicle. Earlier this month, 33-year-old Steven Szwet was arrested over a string of incidents in the North Hollywood-Valley Glen area in which three Orthodox Jewish women had their wigs ripped from their heads in public. (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2018)

COLLEGE FACULTY VOTES TO END STUDY ABROAD IN ISRAEL (Los Angeles) — The faculty of Pitzer College in Southern California voted to suspend the school’s study abroad program at Haifa University in Israel. The faculty also voted to condemn the school’s trustees for opposing a student government resolution to divest from Israel, according to a student newspaper at the private liberal arts school in Claremont. The student senate voted last year to divest from five companies as part of the movement to boycott Israel. Recent months have seen college instructors oppose their students’ intentions to study in Israel. Two instructors at the University of Michigan refused to write letters of recommendation for students to study there. (Times of Israel, Nov. 28, 2018)

KENTUCKY BECOMES 26TH STATE TO ENACT ANTI-BDS MEASURE (Louisville) — Kentucky became the 26th state to enact an anti-BDS measure, prohibiting awarding state contractors who partake in the anti-Israel movement. “The State of Israel is an important friend and trading partner to the Commonwealth,” said Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. “We will not allow state resources to benefit entities that intentionally engage in discriminatory practices to harm the sovereignty and economic prosperity of any ally nation. Today’s executive order makes it clear that Kentucky condemns the BDS movement and that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our friend, Israel.” (JNS, Nov. 16, 2018)

WOMEN’S MARCH FOUNDER CALLS ON CURRENT LEADERSHIP TO STEP DOWN (Los Angeles) — The woman who first called for a women’s march after the election of President Trump is now calling for the group’s current leadership to step aside — slamming them as antisemitic and anti-gay rights. Teresa Shook called out Women’s March board members Mari Lynn “Bob” Bland, Tamika Mallory, Linda Sarsour and Carmen Perez in a Facebook post. Accusations of antisemitism were lodged against Shook’s co-organizers when Mallory was captured on video attending a Nation of Islam event in which Louis Farrakhan said “the powerful Jew is my enemy.” Board members of Women’s March Inc. — including Sarsour, Perez and Bland — initially defended Mallory. (New York Post, Nov. 20, 2018)

SAUDIS PLEDGE $50 MILLION FOR UNRWA (Riyadh) — Saudi Arabia pledged $50 million in aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which has been hit by the withdrawal of all US funding, an official said. In August, the US State Department announced that it was ending its funding of UNRWA. The US cited both the ‘disproportionate’ burden it shouldered in funding UNRWA, as well as the UN agency’s practices. (Arutz Sheva, Nov. 28, 2018)

SAUDI WOMEN ACTIVISTS ARE BEING TORTURED AND SEXUALLY HARASSED IN PRISON: REPORTS (Riyadh) — Several imprisoned Saudi human rights activists, including women, have been subjected to sexual assault and torture by electrocution, flogging and sleep-deprivation, Amnesty International said. Most of the women activists detained in Saudi prisons are mothers or grandmothers, and have been detained without charges or access to legal representation for around six months now. Some of them were at the forefront of calls to undo laws that give men the final say on whether female relatives can marry, obtain a passport or travel. (Global, Nov. 20, 2018)

FIRECRACKER THROWN TOWARD ISRAELI JOURNALIST SPEAKING HEBREW IN BERLIN (Berlin) — A firecracker exploded near an Israeli TV journalist reporting in Hebrew in Berlin after she was harassed by several young men. The incident, which police are investigating as a possible case of antisemitism, is the latest of several antisemitic, anti-Israel attacks in the German capital in the past year. Antonia Yamin, 30, was reporting when four young men walked up to her and blocked the camera. Yamin said she and her cameraman had been speaking Hebrew, and the name of their TV program was on the microphone in Hebrew letters. Yamin told reporters that she seldom visits districts where she feels “it is not particularly safe to be recognized as an Israeli or Jew.” (Ha’aretz, Nov. 27, 2018)

PALESTINIAN ARRESTED IN ITALY FOR PLAN TO POISON PUBLIC WATER (Rome) — Italian police arrested a 38-year-old Palestinian in Macomer, Sardinia who was reportedly planning to poison the island’s drinking water. The suspect, who has a Palestinian passport and an Italian residency permit, was arrested in Macomer. Italian police were monitoring the suspect for an extended period before his arrest. Security forces requested urgent precautionary measures due to the high risk of the suspected case, and a judge authorized an operation within a few hours. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 28, 2018)

95-YEAR-OLD CHARGED AS ACCESSORY TO 36,000 DEATHS AT NAZI CAMP (Berlin) — Prosecutors in Germany reportedly charged a 95-year-old alleged former guard at a Nazi death camp with more than 36,000 counts of accessory to murder. Hans Werner H., whose last name was not publicly released, was accused of serving as a guard at the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria. More than 95,000 people, including 14,000 Jews, are believed to have been executed at Mauthausen. The suspect was not charged with any specific killings related to the camp’s operation. The suspect is alleged to have served as a guard, as well as having run prisoner details at a nearby quarry. (The Hill, Nov. 24, 2018)

WORLD’S LARGEST YOUTH ORGANIZATION ADOPTS OFFICIAL IHRA DEFINITION OF ANTISEMITISM (Geneva) — The European Youth Forum (YFG) has passed a motion condemning antisemitism and adopting the official International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of it. At a meeting of its General Assembly on November 24, YFJ delegates voted in favor of the motion, “Combating Antisemitism: Young people’s responsibility,” by an overwhelming margin. The YFJ is the largest youth organization in the world, representing 104 smaller groups, including tens of millions of young Europeans. (Algemeiner, Nov. 26, 2018)

ISRAEL, CYPRUS, GREECE AND ITALY AGREE ON GAS PIPELINE (Athens) — Israel has inked an agreement with Greece, Italy and Cyprus to lay an underwater pipeline that would provide a conduit for Eastern Mediterranean gas to reach the European market. The initiative, which is expected to cost over $7 billion, comes as Europe is seeking to diversify its energy needs beyond its largest suppliers: Russia, Gulf States and Iran. Work on the pipeline will reportedly begin in a few months’ time and take five years to complete. The estimated 1,350-mile-long channel will transport 706 billion cubic feet of gas per year, making it the longest and deepest underwater pipeline in the world. (Media Line, Nov. 25, 2018) 

CELINE DION COLLABORATES WITH ISRAELI BRAND (Montreal) — Singer Céline Dion has launched a gender-neutral line of apparel for children. Dubbed Celinununu, the line is a result of a partnership with children’s boutique Nununu, a Tel Aviv-based company that sells their clothing in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue. Founders Iris Adler and Tali Milchberg set out to create clothes for kids that didn’t follow traditional colors and patterns for boys and girls. Both big box and independent retailers have started stocking some gender-neutral clothing options for kids. (Magic Valley, Nov. 20, 2018) 

On Topic Links

Airbnb Must be Taught a Hard Lesson: Manfred Gerstenfeld, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 26, 2018—The Israeli government and many of its supporters abroad understand that Airbnb has to be taught a hard lesson. Under pressure from heavily funded anti-Israel boycotters, the company eliminated rentals in the West Bank from its portfolio.

Will Anyone Stand up to Airbnb’s Anti-Semitic Boycott?: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov. 27, 2018 —Planning a group holiday in Kashmir? Airbnb is there to serve you. Likewise in Tibet, northern Cyprus and Georgia’s separatist republic of Abkhazia, all occupied or disputed territories.

The Implications of Sanctions for the Iranian Oil Market: Dr. Doron Itzchakov, BESA, Nov. 25, 2018—On November 5, the Trump government imposed wide-ranging sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to bring about a change in the revolutionary regime’s radical orientation.

Russia’s Latest Attack on the Ukrainians is a Warning to the West: Anne Applebaum, Washington Post, Nov. 26, 2018—On Saturday evening, three small Ukrainian naval vessels left the Ukrainian port of Odessa and headed for the Ukrainian port of Mariupol.