On Topic Links

The True Arab Spring is the Dawning of Genuine Peace with Israel: Mike Fegelman, National Post, Nov. 30, 2018

George H. W. Bush Always Saw Us As Real People: Natan Sharansky, Times of Israel, Dec. 3, 2018

Hanukkah: A ‘Stiff Necked’ People — the Fight for Sovereignty and Against Assimilation: Micha Danzig, Algemeiner, Dec. 4, 2018

Hanukkah Is the Perfect Answer to BDS: Jeremy Rosen, Algemeiner, Dec. 3, 2018



“These cross-border terror tunnels were built by Hezbollah with direct support and funding from Iran. They were built with one purpose in mind—to attack and murder innocent Israeli men, women and children…This is a grave violation of Israel’s sovereignty and a gross violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution #1701. It is an unacceptable act of wanton aggression.” — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The IDF launched “Operation Northern Shield” to eliminate tunnels constructed by Hezbollah from Lebanon to Israel. “I have a message for the people of Lebanon: Hezbollah is putting your lives in danger…They are sacrificing your well-being to serve the aggressive purposes of Iran. Israel holds the Lebanese government accountable for all terror activity emanating from Lebanon against Israel. Like any other nation, Israel maintains the right to defend itself. We will continue to do all that is necessary to defend ourselves against Iran’s efforts to use Lebanon, Syria and Gaza as forward terror bases to attack Israel.” he added. (Breaking Israel News, Dec. 5, 2018)

“We’ve been preparing for this morning for a very long time…I don’t want to talk about the number [of tunnels], those details will stay classified…It suffices to say that it is a small number. Work has started near Metullah, and in the coming days the operation will expand to other sections of the homefront.” — IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis. “The fact that Hezbollah has tunnels crossing the border into Israeli territory is proof of a flagrant violation of Israeli sovreignty,” Manelis said. “We see this as a very serious situation that hurts Lebanon and the citizens of Lebanon, and we hold the Lebanese government accountable. We have indisputable proof that the Lebanese government is not in control of their border. Iranian money is behind these tunnels.” (Ha’aretz, Dec. 5, 2018)

 “We strongly support Israel’s efforts to defend itself, and we call on Hizballah to halt all provocative behavior immediately and refrain from escalation and violence…We also call upon Iran and its proxies to stop their provocative and dangerous actions. We stand with Israel.” — U.S. Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt. The United States has expressed its support for Israel’s efforts to defend itself against Iranian attempts to annihilate the Jewish State through its proxies — in particular, through Hezbollah’s cross-border attack tunnels, which Netanyahu said were part of a broader operation to launch the conquest of the Galilee region. (Jewish Press, Dec. 4, 2018)

“The US strongly supports Israel’s efforts to defend its sovereignty, and we call on Hezbollah to stop its tunneling into Israel and to refrain from escalation and violence…More broadly, we call on Iran and all of its agents to stop their regional aggression and provocation, which pose an unacceptable threat to Israeli and regional security.” — US national security adviser John Bolton. The Israeli military says “Northern Shield” is part of a bigger defense effort intended to secure Israel’s border. In the past few years, Israel has built a defense wall along sensitive portions of the border, created cliffs, and cleared vegetation. (CNN, Dec. 4, 2018)

“The United States has repeatedly warned the world about Iran’s deliberate efforts to destabilize the Middle East and defy international norms…The international community cannot keep turning a blind eye every time Iran blatantly ignores Security Council resolutions.” — Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, in a statement published ahead of a Security Council debate on Iran’s latest ballistic missile test last Saturday. Paying tribute to the UK and France for raising the ballistic missile test at the UN’s highest body, Haley noted that the test was “dangerous and concerning, but not surprising…If the Security Council is serious about holding Iran accountable and enforcing our resolutions, then at a minimum we should be able to deliver a unanimous condemnation of this provocative missile test,” Haley emphasized. (Algemeiner, Dec. 4, 2018)

 “In the wake of Airbnb’s decision to ban Jewish homes in Jerusalem and the West Bank, we made it clear the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement is wrong, and it has no place in the free enterprise of the United States of America…We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, good over evil, liberty over tyranny…Because support for Israel is not a partisan issue, it is an American issue.” — Vice President Mike Pence, at the fifth annual Israeli-American Council conference. Pence remarked on the administrative accomplishments under U.S. President Trump, whom he said is “the most pro-Israel president in the history of the United States of America.” Pence denounced the online marketplace Airbnb for delisting some 200 rental properties this month in Judea and Samaria, which the company alleged as “Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank that are at the core of the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians.” (Breaking Israel News, Dec. 3, 2018)

“Over the past several years, the New Israel Fund has provided tens of millions of dollars to anti-Israel organizations that defend terrorists in court, defame IDF soldiers, and delegitimize Israel…Despite the NIF’s claims to be working on behalf of Israel…the reality is that the NIF is the largest umbrella organization of radical Israeli propaganda organizations operating against Israel and IDF soldiers.” — Matan Peleg, CEO of the Zionist organization Im Tirtzu. A new series of videos addressed to the CEO of the New Israel Fund, Daniel Sokatch call on him to stop funding organizations that delegitimize Israel and the IDF in the upcoming year. The videos include personal testimonies from bereaved parents, Druze and Muslim minorities, a wounded IDF veteran and a resident of the Gaza periphery, each stating how the New Israel Fund has “harmed” them. (Jewish Press, Dec. 3, 2018)

“(George H.W. Bush) was always a true friend to Israel and the Jewish people, taking a stand against PLO terrorism and proving instrumental in helping saving tens of thousands of Jews.” — Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon. Tributes to Bush, the 41st president of the United States who died on Friday, continued to pour in as Jewish groups and leaders issued statements. The Republican Jewish Coalition described Bush as an “American hero” and “a great friend of Israel, the Jewish people, and the RJC.” The group joined many others in noting the work Bush did to help bring Jews from the former Soviet Union and Ethiopia to Israel, as well as his actions to help ensure the safety of Israel. (Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2018)

“More than 2000 years ago, Jewish patriots (Maccabees) captured Jerusalem, purified the Holy Temple and rededicated it as a house of Jewish worship. The U.N. can’t vote away the facts: Jerusalem is the ancient and modern capital of Israel. Happy Chanukah from this blessed city!” — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Prime Minister Netanyahu issued his own message, saying the holiday “celebrates the great victory of the Maccabees against the Seleucid Greeks over 2,000 years ago…By this war of heroism, the few against the many, Judah Maccabee and his brothers secured the future of Judaism — the survival of the Jewish people…So we in Israel, and around the world, celebrate this great victory, this great war of liberation.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 3, 2018)




RUSSIA COMPLETES SYRIAN AIR DEFENSES, TROUBLES ISRAEL, U.S. (Damascus) — Russia has completed a comprehensive air defense system in Syria that constrains the United States’ ability to operate in the country and in the eastern Mediterranean, according to a new report. The Russian moves include the deployment of S-300 and S-400 missiles and other weapons systems as well as electronic warfare capabilities in Syria. Underlying the Kremlin’s efforts, the report claims, is a wider push to force American troops to withdraw from Syria. The Syrian deployments will also severely limit Israel’s ability to launch strikes against Iranian forces in the country. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 1, 2018)

CANADIAN JEWS EXPERIENCED A SPIKE IN HATE CRIMES IN 2017 (Ottawa) — The number of hate crimes in Canada soared to a new high in 2017, with Jews being the most targeted victim group, according to Statistics Canada. While hate crimes overall rose by 47 per cent over 2016, the number of incidents involving Jews climbed by nearly 63 per cent. Jews made up the largest victim group in 2017 even though Canada’s Jewish population of around 375,000 makes up just over one per cent of the country’s inhabitants. The vast majority of all hate incidents were non-violent. (CJN, Nov. 30, 2018)

JEWISH MAN ATTACKED IN WILLIAMSBURG (New York) — An ultra-Orthodox man was beaten Friday in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg, New York. The man was wearing religious garb, including a fur streimel hat typically worn by Orthodox men on the Sabbath and holidays, but police said they weren’t treating the incident as an antisemitic attack. The attack, which was captured on camera, came days after two Orthodox Jewish boys were attacked in Brooklyn. Earlier this month, the NYPD circulated a video of a group of teens that it says has carried out a series of antisemitic attacks in Brooklyn, including throwing a metal pipe through the window of a synagogue. (Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2018)

MPS RECOGNIZE JEWISH REFUGEES FROM ARAB COUNTRIES (Ottawa) — Two Canadian lawmakers made statements in the House of Commons to commemorate “Jewish Refugee Day.” “Jewish Refugee Day” recognizes the 850,000 Jews who were forced to flee their homes in Arab countries across the Middle East in the days leading up to and following the creation of the State of Israel. Jewish property was confiscated, severe restrictions were placed on the Jews, and some were executed. Conservative lawmaker David Sweet referred to the attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue and recent antisemitic events are a “painful reminder that the fight against anti-Semitism endures.” (JTA, Dec. 2, 2018)

CNN CONTRIBUTOR FIRED FOR ENDORSING ‘PALESTINE FROM THE RIVER TO THE SEA’ (New York) — CNN terminated its relationship with commentator Marc Lamont Hill because of a speech in which he called for a “free Palestine, from the river to the sea.” This decision came after growing criticism over Hill’s speech at a United Nations event devoted to solidarity with the Palestinians. In his speech, Hill expressed support for boycotting Israel, and stated that a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be “a free Palestine from the river to the sea.”  (Ha’aretz, Nov. 30, 2018)

JEWS NOW HAVE AN ‘AIRBNB’ OF THEIR OWN (Tel Aviv) — Days after Airbnb singled out Jewish owned homes in Judea and Samaria as the only homes in the world it refuses to list, Hershy Landau of Brooklyn and Tzvi Arnstein of Ramat Beit Shemesh changed the landscape for kosher travelers for good. – a portal of kosher-friendly guest rentals around the globe – is now up and running. “Today its Airbnb, tomorrow it can be HomeAway or, it’s untenable that we allow these large business moguls to dictate where Jews should or shouldn’t live,” Arnstein said. Landau stressed the importance of Jews uniting behind this endeavor. “We need to all boycott the boycott and together show the world that the BDS movement will not succeed,” he stated. (United With Israel, Nov. 30, 2018)

TLAIB TO HEAD CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION TO WEST BANK (Washington) — Democratic Representative-elect Rashida Tlaib plans to lead a delegation of lawmakers to the West Bank. Tlaib said the delegation will focus on “Israel’s detention of Palestinian children, education, access to clean water, and poverty.” The Palestinian-American congresswoman-to-be she personally supports the movement to boycott Israel, confirming speculation that emerged when she called on the U.S. to cut military aid to the country. Before Tlaib won her primary, her campaign represented her as supporting a two-state solution and aid to Israel. Since her primary victory, she has explicitly endorsed a one-state solution and called for an end to aid to Israel. (Ha’aretz, Dec. 4, 2018)

148 NATIONS DISAVOW JEWISH TIES TO JERUSALEM, TEMPLE MOUNT (New York) — The UN General Assembly approved six anti-Israel resolutions including two that ignored Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. The primary resolution on Jerusalem, that passed 148-11 with 14 abstentions, also disavowed Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. Both that text and a second more global one on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which passed 156-8, with 12 abstentions, spoke of Judaism’s most holy site – The Temple Mount – solely by its Muslim name of al-Haram al-Sharif. A third text called on Israel to withdraw from the Golan Heights. The U.S., Canada and Australia voted against all six resolutions, which are the first batch of some 20 resolutions annually passed against Israel. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 2, 2018)

U.S. DRONE STRIKE TAKES OUT TALIBAN LEADER (Kabul) — The top Taliban shadow governor in one of Afghanistan’s largest provinces was killed in a U.S. drone strike. Mullah Abdul Manan and four other Taliban commanders were killed when their convoy traveling through the Nawzad district of Helmand Province was struck by U.S. drones on Saturday. The drone strike comes amid claims a U.S. airstrike targeting insurgent forces in Helmand ended with the deaths of over 20 civilians, including 15 children. It also comes a week after three U.S. service members were killed and three wounded when an improvised explosive device detonated November 27 near Ghazni city. (Washington Times, Dec. 2, 2018)

QATAR TO LEAVE OPEC AND SET OWN OIL AND GAS OUTPUT (Doha) — The tiny, energy-rich Arab nation of Qatar said it will withdraw from OPEC in January, meeting its aspirations to increase production outside of the cartel’s constraints and slighting the Saudis who are currently boycotting Doha. The surprise announcement throws into question the role of the cartel which had to turn to non-members to push through a production cut in 2016 after prices crashed below $30 US a barrel. It also marks the first time a Mideast nation has left the cartel since its founding in 1960. (CBC, Dec. 3, 2018)

CHESS FEDERATION DISQUALIFIES SAUDIS FOR BANNING ISRAELI PLAYERS (Riyadh) — Fédération Internationale des Échecs (FIDE), the international chess governing body announced that the World Rapid and Blitz Championships that was going to take place in Saudi Arabia would be held in Russia instead. The Israelis, supported by The Lawfare Project, were prevented by the Saudi organizers from taking part in the same tournament in Saudi Arabia last year because of their nationality. Israeli chess grandmaster Ilya Smirin and the pro-Israeli activist, chess organizer, and former spokesperson for the Israeli Chess Federation, Lior Aizenberg, wrote the FIDE seeking assurances that it will not allow host countries to perpetrate such discrimination against Israelis again. (Jewish Press, Dec. 4, 2018)

JEWISH COMMUNITY IN DUBAI FOUNDS FIRST SYNAGOGUE IN CITY (Dubai) — The small Jewish community in Dubai founded the first synagogue in the city, Bloomberg reported. The community includes Jewish citizens of other countries who deal in finance, law, energy, and diamonds. Three years ago they rented a villa in a residential area where they would pray. The building has a kosher kitchen and bedrooms for members. Despite the improved situation, synagogue members ask not to reveal the synagogue’s location. The synagogue’s establishment and publication of its existence may be related to warming relations reported between Israel and Saudi Arabia. (Arutz Sheva, Dec. 5, 2018)

DUTCH RAIL TO PAY REPARATIONS FOR TRANSPORTING JEWS TO DEATH CAMPS (Amsterdam) — The Dutch national railway company is investigating how it can pay individual reparations for its role in mass deportations of Jews by Nazi occupiers during World War II. A spokesman said the commission will look at making payments to Dutch Holocaust survivors and direct family members of Jews who died at the hands of the Nazis. It is not yet clear how many people could be eligible. More than 100,000 Jews — 70 per cent of the Dutch Jewish community — did not survive the war. Most were deported and killed in Nazi concentration camps. (National Post, Nov. 28, 2018)

CACHE OF RARE GOLD COINS DISCOVERED AT CAESAREA PORT (Tel Aviv) — A small bronze pot holding 24 gold coins and a gold earring, was uncovered a few days ago at the Caesarea National Park. The gold cache was found hidden between two stones on the side of a well, in a house in a neighborhood dating to the Abbasid and Fatimid periods, some 900 years ago. According to the directors of the excavation “the coins in the cache dating to the end of the eleventh century, make it possible to link the treasure to the Crusader conquest of the city in the year 1101, one of the most dramatic events in the medieval history of the city.” (Jewish Press, Dec. 3, 2018)

EXHIBIT AT THE JEWISH MUSEUM EXPLORES HANUKKAH LAMPS (New York) — The Jewish Museum in New York is presenting Accumulations: Hanukkah Lamps through February 9, 2020, featuring over 80 Hanukkah lamps representing six centuries of artistic production. The Jewish Museum’s collection of Hanukkah lamps is the largest in the world at nearly 1,050 pieces, and was amassed over the 114 years of the Museum’s existence. The selection of lamps on view range in date from the Renaissance to Thanksgiving 2013 when Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincided. Hanukkah commemorates the liberation of the ancient Jewish Temple in Jerusalem from repressive Greek rule in 164 BCE. The holiday is observed through the kindling of lights for eight nights. (Art Daily, Oct. 12, 2018) 

On Topic Links

The True Arab Spring is the Dawning of Genuine Peace with Israel: Mike Fegelman, National Post, Nov. 30, 2018 —The sands have certainly shifted in the broader Middle East. Though peace and the normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab and Muslim world have proceeded at a glacial and sometimes raucous pace, new relationships have been forged, and old, dormant ties, rekindled.

George H. W. Bush Always Saw Us As Real People: Natan Sharansky, Times of Israel, Dec. 3, 2018—Avital first met George H. W. Bush when he visited Israel in 1979 as head of the CIA, back when I was still imprisoned in the Soviet gulag. Avital described my situation and that of other Prisoners of Zion, and George Bush vowed to help our cause.

Hanukkah: A ‘Stiff Necked’ People — the Fight for Sovereignty and Against Assimilation: Micha Danzig, Algemeiner, Dec. 4, 2018 —Hanukkah is not just about gifts, latkes, jelly-filled donuts (sufganyot), and dreidels — though they are certainly nice (and fun). At its core, Hanukkah is the story of a battle for the heart and soul of a conquered and colonized people — of the clash between the dominant Greek/Hellenist culture of the time on the one hand, and the culture and essential identity of the Jewish people on the other.

Hanukkah Is the Perfect Answer to BDS: Jeremy Rosen, Algemeiner, Dec. 3, 2018—Boycotts rarely have the desired effects. At most, they can make the person who applies a boycott feel self-righteous. I have boycotted. In the ’50s, I boycotted Germany and its products because I believed that most Nazis were rehabilitated into the infrastructure and senior political positions after the war.