WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

On Topic Links

Rashida Tlaib Casually Dives Into Anti-Semitism: Editorial, New York Post, Jan. 7, 2018

Unkosher Ban: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 6, 2019

2018 Was Horrible, and this Year Isn’t Looking Great, Either: Terry Glavin, National Post, Jan. 2, 2019

BESA’s Top Ten of 2018: BESA, Jan. 4, 2019

 

WEEKLY QUOTES 

“I think this is the reality setting in that you got to plan this out…the bottom line here is we want to make sure we get this right, that ISIS doesn’t come back. And I applaud the president for re-evaluating what he’s doing…He has a goal in mind of reducing our presence. I share that goal. Let’s just do it smartly.” — U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham. U.S. troops will not leave Syria until I.S. is defeated and fighters are protected, a top White House aide said. The President did not offer a timetable in the announcement last month about the approximately 2,000 U.S. forces. But officials said at the time they expected U.S. forces to be out by mid-January. (Globe & Mail, Jan. 7, 2018) 

“We don’t think the Turks ought to undertake military action that’s not fully coordinated with and agreed to by the United States at a minimum so they don’t endanger our troops — but also so that they meet the President’s requirement that the Syrian opposition forces that have fought with us are not endangered.” — National Security Adviser John Bolton. The U.S. will pull out of Syria only with assurances Turkey will not attack Kurdish allies there, Bolton said. Bolton described the pullout as a “cause-and-effect mission,” demanding assurances from players in the region. Trump said that the US effort to withdraw troops is continuing, and “I never said we’re doing it quickly, but we’re decimating ISIS.” (CNN, Jan. 7, 2019)

“(Austrians) understand that Israel is an occupying force and Palestine is occupied and enslaved…One thing I am concerned about is Austria’s voting record at the United Nations. I hope that Austria won’t vote with Israel there. For us, Israel is in many respects a rogue state. It continues to violate international humanitarian law. Whoever votes for Israel votes for violations of global humanitarian right(s).” — Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi. In an interview with an Austrian radio station, Ashrawi said that she believes the Austrian people still support the Palestinian cause, citing former chancellor Bruno Kreisky, who was born Jewish but was criticized by Israel and Austria’s Jewish community due to his close ties with the Arab world, including the PLO. (Times of Israel, Jan. 2, 2019) 

“Why does one have to give such a platform to a hater of Israel? Hanan Ashrawi used her invitation to Vienna to once again demonize Israel…Both Israelis and Palestinians suffer from this Palestinian leadership. What Mrs. Ashrawi calls a pro-Israel position is certainly more pro-Palestinian than the terror-promoting policy of Fatah and Hamas…In Israel, every person enjoys equal rights. Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists and others have the right to elect parliamentarians, judges, and so on…Standing for European values would mean not to invite Israel haters such as Hanan Ashrawi to the New Year’s concert.”— Oskar Deutsch, head of Austria’s Jewish community. The Austrian Jewish community criticized the country’s foreign minister for inviting Hanan Ashrawi to Vienna’s prestigious New Year’s concert. (Times of Israel, Jan. 2, 2019)

“Opinions of French Jews about the Jewish situation in their country were, on many issues, the most negative in Europe. In France, almost all respondents saw anti-Semitism as a “very big” or “fairly big” problem. A somewhat smaller percentage saw racism in France similarly. Almost all French respondents said that anti-Semitism had increased during the past five years. The survey specifically asked about anti-Semitic graffiti, desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions, expressions of hostility toward Jews as well as in the media and political life, and on the internet (including social media). In France, the majority of respondents rate almost all these manifestations of anti-Semitism as a big problem. Virtually all French respondents considered the expressions of hostility toward Jews in the street and other public places a big problem. The majority of French respondents — a higher percentage than elsewhere — worried about being confronted with anti-Semitic verbal insults and physical attacks in the coming twelve months. An even higher percentage of those polled were concerned that family members or close friends might become victims of anti-Semitic insults and harassments in the next twelve months. Again this percentage was higher than in any other country surveyed.” — Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld. (Arutz Sheva, Jan. 6, 2019)

“This ‘dual loyalty’ canard is a typical anti-Semitic line…#BDS isn’t about freedom & equality, it’s about destroying #Israel.” — Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio is pushing a bill that would protect states that penalize Israel boycotters, spurring a freshman congresswoman to question his loyalties. On Monday, Rubio decried the statement from Rep. Rashia Tlaib, D-Mich., as antisemitic. Tlaib in the earlier tweet had attacked a Senate bill initiated by Rubio and Sen. James Risch. One of the measures protects states that pass anti-BDS bills, including those that ban work with contractors who boycott Israel, from lawsuits. “They forgot what country they represent,” Tlaib said in her tweet. “This is the U.S. where boycotting is a right & part of our historical fight for freedom & equality.” (JTA, Jan. 7, 2019)

“Another of the (Women’s) March leaders, Linda Sarsour, is a controversial figure in her own right as an Islamist sympathizer and a BDS supporter who has accused American Jews of dual loyalties (an old anti-Semitic canard) and called Israelis “white supremacists.” All three — Mallory (black), Perez (Latina) and Sarsour (Palestinian) — were accorded visibility and power to de-whiten the March’s original brand and provide an “intersectional” lamination to the movement, without any thought given to the personal biases they might be bringing to the table.” — Barbara Kay, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research Academic Fellow. (National Post, Jan. 2, 2018)

“Once again columnist Barbara Kay demonstrates courage and great insight by exposing the blatant, outrageous anti-Semitism of Women’s March leaders, Tanika Mallory, Carmen Perez and Linda Sarsour. The fact that they were given “visibility and power,” ignoring their public personal biases, is becoming more and more commonplace in the U.S. and Canada. The number of antiSemitic and hate crimes perpetrated against Jews has risen precipitously over the past couple of years. These people go unchecked, despite the rule of law that is supposed to protect vulnerable groups from people like them. This dangerous trend of events is bad for everyone. It may start with the Jews but as we know it never ends with just the Jews.” — Doris Epstein, Co-Chair Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, Toronto. (National Post, Jan. 4, 20118) 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES 

DEMS BLOCK SENATE BILL ON ISRAEL BOYCOTTS (Washington) — Democrats are split over Sen. Marco Rubio’s “Combating BDS Act,” which seeks to counter the BDS movement against Israel. For now, the package has stalled on a vote of 56-44, not enough to clear the 60-vote hurdle needed to advance. Coming amid the partial government shutdown, Democrats said they will block the bill until government is reopened. Senate Minority Leader Schumer opposed proceeding to the legislation. Rubio’s bills would affirm the legal authority of state and local governments to restrict contracts and take other actions against those “engaged in BDS conduct.” Several states are facing lawsuits after taking action against workers supporting boycotts of Israel. Opponents say Rubio’s measure infringes on free speech. (Ynet, Jan. 9, 2019)

MAN FACING HATE CHARGE TOLD TO STAY AWAY FROM JEWISH SCHOOLS, SYNAGOGUES (Montreal) — A Montreal man charged with inciting hatred online against Jews had his bail conditions tightened to ensure he stays away from Jewish schools and synagogues. 55-year-old Robert Gosselin was charged with two counts of uttering threats and one count of inciting hatred in relation to posts on the Facebook page of the Journal de Montreal. Among the messages was one that threatened to “eliminate Jews by killing an entire school of Jewish girls.” (CTV, Jan. 7, 2018) 

BELGIUM BANS KOSHER AND HALAL SLAUGHTERING (Brussels) — Belgium has banned kosher and halal animal slaughtering methods. Jewish and Muslim traditions require animals to be in perfect health when slaughtered, a requirement that clashes with some EU laws that require animals to be incapable of feeling pain when they are killed. Most countries offer exemptions that allow for the production of halal and kosher meat. But Belgium instituted a ban on ritual slaughter, which was promoted both by animal advocates and nationalists. Jewish and Muslim communities will now likely have to import meat. There are around 30,000 Jews and 500,000 Muslims in Belgium. (The Hill, Jan. 6, 2019)

KOSHER MISREPRESENTATION COULD CAUSE ‘SPIRITUAL TRAUMA’: COURT (Toronto) — A Mississauga company has been ordered to pay $25,000 for misrepresenting a cake mix as kosher, after an Ontario court said the move could cause “spiritual trauma” to consumers who bought the product for religious reasons. A court found that Adee Flour Mills breached its contract with the Kashruth Council of Canada, one of the country’s biggest kosher certification agencies, by misusing its logo on a devil’s food cake mix that was not, in fact, certified as kosher. The judge ordered the company to pay the council $20,000 for the breach and the harm it caused to the council’s reputation, as well as $5,000 in punitive damages for the potential harm to consumers. (Toronto Sun, Jan. 3, 2018)

‘PEACE DEAL OF THE CENTURY’ ONLY AFTER APRIL ELECTIONS (Washington) — The U.S. peace plan will probably be publicized only after the Israeli elections, April 9, 2019, according to ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Friedman indicated that the challenge before the plan’s authors is to deal more soberly with realities in the Middle East. He reminded the reporters that the last time a significant agreement was signed between Israel and the PLO was in 1993. (Jewish Press, Jan. 7, 2019)

TLAIB ON TRUMP: WE’RE GOING TO IMPEACH THAT MOTHERF**KER (Washington) — Hours after being sworn in as the first-ever Palestinian-American to serve in Congress, Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib used an expletive to describe President Trump and vowed to push for his impeachment. Speaking at an event, Tlaib recounted a conversation she had with her son. “‘Momma look you won. Bullies don’t win,’” she said he told her. “And I said, ‘Baby they don’t, because we’re going to go in there and impeach the mother**ker,” Tlaib continued. Tlaib is one of the first-ever lawmakers to support the BDS movement. A reporter in Tlaib’s office noted the world map hanging on her wall with a minor change. On top of Israel was a post-it note that said “Palestine.” (Times of Israel, Jan. 4, 2018)

US WARNS IRAN ON BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT (Washington) — The U.S. issued a warning to Iran on its violations of UN Security Council Resolution 2231 after Iran announced plans to launch three space launch vehicles (SLV) in the coming months. The Iranian regime has launched ballistic missiles numerous times since UNSCR 2231 was adopted and continues to do so. On December 1, the Iranian regime test-fired a medium range ballistic missile capable of carrying multiple warheads, both routine and nuclear-armed warheads, according to Israeli sources. The commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force later said Iran tests 40 to 50 ballistic missiles every year. (Jewish Press, Jan. 4, 2018)

EU SANCTIONS IRANIAN INTELLIGENCE UNIT (Tehran) — The EU froze the assets of an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its staff, as the Netherlands accused Iran of two killings on its soil and joined France and Denmark in alleging Teheran plotted other attacks in Europe. The move marks the first time the EU has enacted sanctions on Iran since lifting a host of sanctions three years ago following the 2015 nuclear deal. The decision, which includes designating the unit and the two Iranians as terrorists, follows last year’s disclosure by Denmark and France that they suspected an Iranian government intelligence service of pursuing assassination plots on their soil. (Arutz Sheva, Jan. 9, 2018)

USS COLE BOMBING SUSPECT JAMAL AL-BADAWI KILLED IN U.S. AIRSTRIKE (Sanaa) — Jamal al-Badawi, the Yemeni al-Qaida operative accused of organizing the 2000 attack on the USS Cole, has been killed in a U.S. airstrike, President Trump said. 17 U.S. sailors were killed and more than 40 were injured in the attack, in which al-Qaeda suicide bombers pulled up to the refueling destroyer in an explosives-laden boat and blasted a hole in its hull. Badawi was sentenced to death by a Yemeni court in 2004, then had his sentence reduced to 15 years in prison. He made two successful jailbreaks in 2003 and 2006; after he surrendered in 2007, authorities in Yemen secretly made a deal to allow him to remain free in exchange for aiding in the capture of other al-Qaida operatives. (National Post, Jan. 7, 2018)

EGYPT TRIED TO BLOCK BROADCAST OF CBS INTERVIEW WITH SISI (Cairo) — Egypt tried to block the broadcast of an interview by CBS with President Sisi about his covert military cooperation with Israel. The network refused and broadcast the interview on Sunday. Sisi’s interview, with the program “60 Minutes,” appears to be the first time that he has publicly acknowledged or even addressed the Israeli military cooperation with Egypt. In its statement, CBS said that an interviewer had asked Sisi if the military cooperation between Egypt and Israel was closer than ever, and he had replied, “That is correct…We have a wide range of cooperation with the Israelis.” (New York Times, Jan. 4, 2018)

ISRAEL SAYS IT STOPPED PALESTINIAN BID FOR FULL UN MEMBERSHIP (Tel Aviv) — Israel announced it had blocked an upcoming bid by the Palestinians to gain full membership at the UN. It was just last month that Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said he would seek full membership this month to the world body. However, Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon started lobbying U.N. member states and several Security Council members in recent weeks to prevent such a push. Danon had made it clear to those with whom he spoke that the Palestinians did not meet the conditions of full U.N. membership, in part due to its payments to terrorists. (Fox News, Dec. 7, 2018)

EISENKOT: WE THWARTED THE SMUGGLING OF SOME 20,000 ROCKETS INTO GAZA (Jerusalem) — The IDF thwarted the smuggling of thousands of rockets into the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, outgoing Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. Despite this, 2018 has seen the most serious peak of violence between Israel and terrorist groups in the Strip since the end of Operation Protective Edge in 2014, with over 1,000 rockets fired. Israel struck targets belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza 865 times over the past year in response to rockets fired towards southern Israel. The targets struck by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) included headquarters, tunnels, military positions, technological facilities, training camps, weapons caches and the growing naval arm of Hamas. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 8, 2018)

GIVAT ASAF SHOOTER ARRESTED (Jerusalem) — Israeli security captured a terrorist responsible for a deadly shooting attack outside of Givat Assaf, north of Jerusalem. Israeli forces apprehended Asam Barghouti, who had opened fire on a group of Israelis on December 13th, killing two IDF soldiers, and wounding two more Israelis. Asam Barghouti carried out the attack just days after his brother, Saleh Omar Barghouti, shot seven Israelis just north of Givat Assaf. One newborn child, who was delivered prematurely as a result of the attack, died three days after the shooting. (Arutz Sheva, Jan. 8, 2018)

POLICE RAID SETTLEMENT YESHIVA (Jerusalem) — Police raided the West Bank yeshiva attended by the five high school students suspected of a fatal stone-throwing attack in October that killed a Palestinian woman. Earlier this week, Shin Bet announced that three students from Pri Haaretz had been arrested in late December in connection to the killing of 47-year-old Aisha Rabi, and another two students were arrested last weekend. Rabi, a mother of eight, was struck on the head by a rock on the evening of October 12 as she traveled to her West Bank home with her husband and daughter. She died of her injuries at a Nablus hospital a short time later. (New York Times, Jan. 6, 2018)

ADL CONDEMNS HUMAN SWASTIKA FORMED BY MIDDLE SCHOOLERS (Los Angeles) — Several middle school students in California were photographed while forming a human swastika, prompting a Jewish civil rights group to express concern over the “chilling” act. In a letter sent to parents at Matilija Junior High School in Ojai, administrators said a dozen pupils were found to have participated in a group chat that included “racist, sexually inappropriate and threatening commentary including a comment by a student to bring knives to school.” Photos shared in the chat showed nine students laying positioned in the shape of a swastika. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called the incident “chilling,” but applauded the school for addressing the issue. (Algemeiner, Jan. 4, 2018)  

NAZI MURDER RATE FAR HIGHER THAN PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT (Tel Aviv) — Nearly 1.5 million Jews were murdered in just three months in 1942, a new study found. The expedited murder rate was part of Nazi Germany’s Operation Reinhard for annihilating the Jews of Poland, according to the study by biomathematician Lewi Stone of Tel Aviv University. In August and September, around half a million victims were killed each month. The majority of the murders were done in three large death camps in western Poland, either by gassing victims or shooting them. According to Yad Vashem, Israel’s main state museum for the genocide, at least 6 million people died in the Holocaust. (JTA, Jan. 4, 2018)

ISRAEL TO DEMAND COMPENSATION FOR JEWISH REFUGEES (Tel Aviv) — The Israeli government is seeking $250 billion from seven Arab countries and Iran as compensation for property left behind by the estimated 850,000 Jews who were forced to flee those countries following the establishment of the State of Israel. Included in the demand will be $35 billion dollars from Tunisia and $15 billion dollars from Libya. Also included will be Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Iran. The Israeli claim counters a demand by the PA for over $100 billion in compensation from Israel for assets left behind by Arabs who fled at the time of the establishment of Israel. (Breaking Israel News, Jan. 6, 2018)

MOSHE ARENS DIES AT 93 (Tel Aviv) — Moshe Arens, 93, who was minister of defense and minister of foreign affairs in Likud governments between 1983 and his retirement in 2003, died Monday. Since his retirement, Arens wrote op-eds in Ha’aretz. For many years he was the political patron of Netanyahu, whom Arens brought into the public eye after hearing him speak in the US. Arens was born in Lithuania in 1925 and grew up in the US. He was the Beitar representative in the US, and immigrated to Israel in 1949. Arens was first elected to the Knesset in 1973. He chaired the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, was one of the opponents of the peace agreement with Egypt, and later also opposed the Oslo Accords. (Globes, Jan. 7, 2018)

On Topic Links 

Rashida Tlaib Casually Dives Into Anti-Semitism: Editorial, New York Post, Jan. 7, 2018 —Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib may take great pains to deny she is anti-Semitic, but she’s just launched her congressional career by resorting to one of the oldest and most blatantly anti-Jewish canards.

2018 Was Horrible, and this Year Isn’t Looking Great, Either: Terry Glavin, National Post, Jan. 2, 2019— The brave young activists of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, hounded in the courts, ruthlessly bullied but not yet broken in spirit, ushered in the new year this week in diminished ranks.

BESA’s Top Ten of 2018: BESA, Jan. 4, 2019 —What Might an Israel-Iran War Look Like? — Prof. Hillel Frisch argues that in the not unlikely event of an Iranian-Israeli war triggered by Tehran’s military entrenchment in Syria, Israel has one advantage Iran doesn’t: a public that is firmly behind its democratically elected government.

Unkosher Ban: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Jan. 6, 2019—Last week, a new law went into effect in Flanders, the northern region of Belgium, banning shechita, kosher slaughter.