WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

On Topic Links

Reviewing a Month of Hypocrisy and Moral Decadence: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, May 28, 2018

New Analysis Confirms Hamas Organized Violent Gaza Border Riots: IPT News, May 29, 2018

Netanyahu: ‘Israel is a Global Technological Power!’ (Video): Breaking Israel News, May 30, 2018

The Unknown Richard Pipes: Dr. Jiri Valenta, BESA, May 29, 2018

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“One thing is clear. When they test us, they pay an immediate price…It they continue to try us, they will pay an even harsher price…The IDF has reacted strongly, since yesterday, to the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip by attacking dozens of terrorist targets. It’s the harshest blow we have dealt them in years…Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and other terrorist organizations are responsible for the escalation…I don’t intend to provide details of our plans, because I do not want the enemy to know what is in store for him…I offer strength the IDF fighters and all the security forces as well as praise for the resilience of the residents of the south.” — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What appeared to be a cease-fire brought a sudden halt to Hamas rocket fire against Israel and IDF retaliatory strikes against Gaza. It was the worst exchange of fire since 2014. This week, Hamas fired some 180 Iranian-made mortar shells from Gaza into southern Israel. In response, Israel struck 65 Hamas targets in Gaza, including a dual-purpose tunnel dug one kilometer into Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and then 900 meters into Israeli territory. (Jerusalem Post, May 30, 2018)

“The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they’re allowing to happen in Gaza.” — U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley. The UN Security Council is to meet for an emergency session Wednesday in response to a request by the U.S., which called on the world body to convene to discuss the rocket and mortar attacks by Gaza terrorists fired at Israel. Haley, blamed “Palestinian militants” for the barrages, which reportedly struck the yard of an empty kindergarten, among other areas, and wounded at least five.  (Politico & Jewish Press, May 30, 2018) 

“I am deeply disappointed that Senator Dianne Feinstein is calling for an ‘international investigation’ into Israel’s actions, and that Senator Bernie Sanders has now gone so far as to call for the Palestinian ‘right of return’ to Israel…Calling for the ‘right of return’ is essentially calling for the destruction of Israel…The problem is that Senator Sanders, in many ways, is setting the tone for the policies of the entire Democratic Party” — Israeli Deputy Cabinet Minister Michael Oren. Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders’ office last week circulated a video highlighting the “right of return.” When pressed by reporters, he declined to say whether he endorses or opposes it. In a May 15 tweet, Sanders also declared: “It’s important to understand the desperate situation out of which these protests have arisen.” (Algemeiner, May 25, 2018)

“It’s painfully shocking that (ADL) head Jonathan Greenblatt recently wrote…“It is a horrific tragedy that so many people have been killed and wounded at the Gaza border.” This broad statement was not limited to the tiny minority who were not members of a terrorist group. (And even that minority joined violent riots whose goal was to breach Israel’s border fence and descend upon nearby Jewish communities, schools and day-care centers—and all of Israel—to murder innocent Jews.)…How is the death of mostly Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorists a “horrific tragedy?” In fact, the deaths of these terrorists prevented a real “horrific tragedy”—the murder of thousands of innocent Jews who would have been slain if Hamas’s violent rioters had succeeded.” — Morton A. Klein, Elizabeth A. Berney. (Jewish Press, May 27, 2018)

“I do not think that there is a causal link between the transfer of the U.S. Embassy, ​​or at this very moment just its embryo, to Jerusalem and the events in Gaza. The Middle East conflict has been at varying levels for many years. The relocation of the U.S. Embassy was thus only used by the terrorist organization Hamas, which has full control the Gaza Strip, to exacerbate even more intense events that had been organized long before…The fact is that Hamas, which is also recognized by the European Union as a terrorist organization and which still does not recognize Israel, is the only real ruler of the Gaza Strip, and as such is fully responsible for the form and objectives of the violent actions that have taken place on the border between Israel and Gaza for weeks.” — Foreign Affairs Minister Martin Stropnicky of the Czech Republic. (Jewish Press, May 24, 2018)

“The weapons Hezbollah had before the Israeli withdrawal were few and incomparable with the amount it currently has…When I get asked about a war with Israel, I say that, if it happens – I’m certain of our victory.” — Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah. In a televised speech aired as part of Lebanon’s commemoration of 18 years since the Israeli withdrawal from its territory, Nasrallah said Hezbollah does not seek a military conflict but is not afraid of one. Addressing the new sanctions placed on him by the US, Nasrallah said they will not have any effect on Hezbollah. “They’re meant to isolate us, but we don’t want to visit Europe as tourists anyway,” he said. (Jerusalem Online, May 25, 2018)

“As members of the Labor movement, we have a responsibility to formulate and present a political approach that would fit a reality that has changed beyond recognition, and therefore we must become disillusioned with the Oslo idea…The current imperative is to adopt a new strategy, based on the understanding and internalization of the fact that at this juncture there is no leadership on the Palestinian side that truly wants or is able to be a partner to a peace agreement with us.” — Labor MK Eitan Cabel, who has been serving in the Knesset since 1996. Cabel published an op-ed in Ha’aretz titled: “My Fellow Labor Members, It’s Time to Sober Up,” comparing his party’s dedication to the Oslo agreement’s 2-state solution to Israel’s conceptual failure that had led to the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Cabel’s new political program begins with the item he calls “Giving up on the vision of signing peace agreements on the White House lawn.” Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay rejected Cabel’s missive, published in Haaretz, with Gabbay saying that “Cabel’s views are not acceptable to the party.” (Jewish Press, May 25, 2018 & Jewish Press, May 28, 2018)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

RUSSIA AND ISRAEL ‘AGREE DEAL’ TO HOLD BACK IRANIAN MILITIAS (Moscow) — Russia and Israel have reportedly reached a deal which would allow Bashar al-Assad’s forces to take remaining rebel territory in southern Syria – so long as Iranian fighters do not participate. Moscow appears to have capitulated to Israeli demands to hold back Tehran-backed militias 15 miles from the occupied Golan Heights. In return, Israel will not stand in the way of any Syrian regime offensive on the city of Deraa and territory along the Israeli and Jordanian border. Russia said only Syrian army troops should be on the country’s southern frontiers, which appeared to be directed at Iran. (Telegraph, May 29, 2018) 

IDF SOLDIER WHO WAS ATTACKED DURING WEST BANK RAID DIES OF INJURIES (Jerusalem) — An Israeli soldier from the elite unit Duvdevan died from critical injuries he sustained during a military raid on a West Bank refugee camp near Ramallah.  Ronen Lubarsky, 20, from Rehovot, was critically injured when a heavy stone slab was thrown from a building during arrests at the refugee camp. The army unit was unable to pursue the attacker as they could not identify who had thrown the slab. The raid targeted members of a cell involved in recent shooting attacks against Israelis. Three Palestinian suspects were taken to the Shin Bet security service for questioning.  (Ha’aretz, May 26, 2018)

MUCH OF GAZA BLACKED OUT AFTER MORTAR HITS POWER LINES (Gaza) — A rocket fired by terrorists in the Gaza Strip has damaged three power lines leading into the coastal territory, knocking out power for tens of thousands of Palestinians, according to Israel’s Electric Company. The damage is the latest example of terrorists in Gaza sabotaging critical infrastructure for its residents. Earlier this month, Palestinian mobs acting under instructions by Hamas attacked the Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel, which provided vital humanitarian goods to those in the coastal territory. Israel provides up to 120 megawatts of electricity to the Gaza Strip. (JNS, May 29, 2018)

ISRAELI NAVY ENFORCES GAZA MARITIME BLOCKADE, STOPS FLOTILLA (Gaza) — The Israel Navy enforced its maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip, stopping a boat of 17 Gazan protesters seeking to breach Israel’s naval barrier nine nautical miles off the Gaza coast. Organizers of the protest, affiliated with the “Great March of Return,” said a large Gazan fishing boat would carry a group of Gazans hoping to receive medical treatment or study abroad. The boat’s intended destination was said to be Cyprus, and it set off from a Gaza port surrounded by dozens of smaller boats manned by supporters of the effort. Activists from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PLFP attended a ceremony for the “flotilla.” Images of the boat prior to departure showed Hamas officials on board. (Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2018)

ISRAEL DESTROYS ‘UNIQUE’ HAMAS TUNNEL EXTENDING INTO ISRAEL VIA EGYPT (Gaza) — The Israeli army struck what it said was a Hamas tunnel in the Gaza Strip that extended hundreds of meters into Egypt and Israel. The IDF said the U-shaped attack tunnel destroyed near the Kerem Shalom border crossing was still under construction and not yet usable. The military said the “unique” tunnel crossed from Gaza into Egypt and from there into southern Israel, and was intended both for smuggling weapons and for attacks against Israel. Its full length was around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), the army said, and the segment inside Israeli territory was 900 meters (half a mile) long. (Times of Israel, May 29, 2018)

ISRAEL TO ISSUE ITS OWN REPORT ON GAZA RIOTS (Jerusalem) — Israel will not collaborate with the UN Human Rights Council on an investigation into the riots on the Gaza border. Instead, it will issue its own report on the events. Around a hundred Palestinians were killed in the riots, most of them terrorists. The events were marked by attempts to breach the border fence and the use of kites equipped with incendiary devices. The UNHRC recently voted to establish a committee to investigate the riots, with only the US and Australia opposing the idea. (Algemeiner, May 27, 2018)

ISRAELI FARMERS PLAN TO SUE HAMAS OVER FIREBOMB KITE TERROR TACTICS (Jerusalem) — Israeli farmers who own land near the Gaza border plan to sue Hamas in the International Criminal Court. Among the terrorists who will be mentioned in the suit are the group’s leader, Yahya Sinwar, and Hamas Political Bureau Chairman Ismail Haniyeh. The farmers claim that the flaming kites that were flown into Israel from Gaza constitute clear violations of the ICC. In the past month, some 300 firebomb kites have been flown into Israel, resulting in about a hundred fires. It is estimated that the fires have caused property damage of tens of millions of shekels. (Jerusalem Online, May 27, 2018)

U.S. WEIGHS CUTTING FUNDS TO UN AGENCIES (Washington) — The U.S. is considering whether to cut funding to two UN agencies and the chemical weapons watchdog after the Palestinians joined the organizations. In a move aimed at boosting their international profile, the Palestinians have joined the UN trade development organization UNCTAD, industrial development agency UNIDO and the Chemical Weapons Convention which is upheld by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). US legislation bars funding for UN agencies or affiliates that grant membership to Palestine, which has the status of a non-member observer state at the UN. (Times of Israel, May 24, 2018)

REPORT: IRANIAN FORCES, SHIITE MILITIAS BANNED FROM USING AIRBASES IN SYRIA (Damascus) — The Syrian Air Force has reportedly banned Iranians and Shiite militias from using its military airbases. Citing a “well-informed” source, a Syrian opposition newspaper said that the decision was made in light of the “series of Israeli strikes in the last few weeks amid rising tensions between Iran and Israel.” On Thursday, an airstrike was carried out on Iranian bases near Homs that are manned by the Hezbollah terrorist group, according to Syrian media. While Syria and Iran are claiming that the IDF was behind the attack, Israel has refused to comment on the reports, and a spokesperson for the Pentagon stressed neither the US nor its allies had attacked Syria. (Jerusalem Online, May 28, 2018)

SYRIA TAKES OVER AS CHAIR OF DISARMAMENT BODY (Geneva) — The U.S. led protests as Syria took over the rotating presidency of the Conference on Disarmament at a time when Damascus is accused of using chemical weapons. The US ambassador to the UN said it was “a travesty” that Syria would head the Conference on Disarmament, leaving when the Syrian representative took the floor. The CD chair rotates every four weeks and Syria’s turn came round this week. The CD is a multilateral disarmament forum that meets in three sessions a year in Geneva. It negotiates arms control and disarmament accords and focuses on the cessation of the nuclear arms race. (Telegraph, May 29, 2018)

MH17 SHOT DOWN WITH RUSSIAN MISSILE LAUNCHER:  INVESTIGATORS (Moscow) —An international investigation has said the Russian military brought the missile that downed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 into eastern Ukraine, leading to the tragedy that killed 298 people. The Dutch-led Team said last year the Buk 9M38 surface-to-air missile in question arrived from Russia and was fired from territory held by Russia-backed separatists. But Thursday’s press conference in the Netherlands for the first time implicated the Russian military, of which president Vladimir Putin is the commander in chief, in the catastrophe that shocked the world in July 2014. (Telegraph, May 24, 2018)

BELGIUM ATTACK LEAVES TWO COPS DEAD (Liege) — A man shouting “Allahu Akbar!” launched a terror attack in Belgium on Tuesday, killing two policewomen and a civilian. The extremist, identified as 36-year-old Benjamin Herman, was shot dead by police. He had been temporarily released from a prison, where he’d been serving time for drug offenses, and was classified as “marginal and violent,” Belgian media reported. Herman followed two police into a cafe, stabbing them in the back with a blade. The man then grabbed one of their handguns and shot both women dead. Herman then walked down the street and fatally fired at a 22-year-old man. (New York Post, May 29, 2018)

TERROR ATTACK IN MALI: MORE THAN 20 DEAD (Bamako) — At least 20 people have been killed in a militia attack on an ethnic Tuareg organization in Mali’s Gao region, which has witnessed a surge of violence between armed groups even as French and West African troops are carrying out anti-jihadist operations in the area. Violence in Mali’s Gao and Menaka regions has escalated in recent weeks, killing scores of civilians from Tuareg and Fulani communities. The clashes occurred as a French military operation targeting I.S. in the Greater Sahara is underway. The al-Qaeda affiliated organization Group of Support for Muslims and Islam, known as JNIM, is also active in the region. There have been at least 94 extrajudicial killings in the Menaka region since the beginning of the year. (Bloomberg, May 28, 2018)

CBC BROADCASTS JEWISH CONSPIRACY THEORY (Toronto) — CBC’s “The Weekly” news program aired a news report and interview that was nothing short of a Jewish conspiracy theory. The CBC program centres on how wealthy Jews (specifically casino magnate Sheldon Adelson) effectively control President Trump and his inner circle which was “instrumental in persuading Trump” to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal. The CBC report also implies that Adelson tacitly controlled Stephen Harper and impacted his views on Israel and the Middle East when he was a sitting Canadian prime minister. Watch the CBC program here: (Honest Reporting, May 24, 2018)

B’NAI BRITH CONDEMNS ANTISEMITIC POSTERS (Toronto) — On Monday, a local resident alerted B’nai Brith to neo-Nazi propaganda posted on public property in Toronto’s Forest Hill neighbourhood. The stickers claim that “The Nazi youth are here” and present the Jewish Star of David as a symbol of “degeneracy.” Some of the stickers also contain links to neo-Nazi websites. A similar poster was placed in a restaurant bathroom. Last week, B’nai Brith received complaints from the Davisville area about posters urging residents to boycott the Aroma coffee chain, which is based in Israel. The posters call for a boycott of other Israeli products. (B’nai Brith, May 28, 2018)

UC PROGRAM CANCELS ISRAEL EVENT DUE TO GAZA VIOLENCE (Los Angeles) — An event celebrating 50 years of study in Israel through the University of California Education Abroad Program was canceled after alumni questioned holding the event as violence raged on the Gaza border. A new event celebrating 50 years of educational partnership with Hebrew University was scheduled in its place on the same date, June 2. The cancellation on May 16 of the original event was linked to the deaths of Palestinian protesters at the border fence between Israel and Gaza, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported. The event was set to take place at UCLA’s Hillel. (Times of Israel, May 23, 2018)

HOLOCAUST-DENYING VIDEO-MAKER CONVICTED FOR HATE CRIMES (London) — A 53-year-old British woman was convicted in court on hate crimes charges related to three antisemitic music videos she posted on Facebook in 2016. Alison Chabloz — a self-described “Holocaust revisionist” — was found guilty of three counts of “improper use of a public electronic communications network” by publishing “grossly offensive, indecent or obscene” content. In her songs, Chabloz called the Holocaust the “Holohoax,” referred to Auschwitz as a “theme park,” mocked Holocaust survivors Irene Zisblatt and the late Elie Wiesel, and challenged the validity of Anne Frank’s diary. (Algemeiner, May 25, 2018)

WWII-ERA CARDINAL CLOSER TO SAINTHOOD DESPITE ANTI-JEWISH ACTS (Warsaw) — A World War II-era Polish cardinal who was hostile to Jews was recognized by Pope Francis as having “heroic virtues,” the first step to sainthood. In a 1936 letter, Hlond condemned Judaism and called for a boycott of Jewish businesses. Hlond refused to meet with Polish Jewish leaders 10 years later over concerns about the accusations of ritual murder ahead of Passover and the danger of pogroms. Hlond was the highest ranking church official in Poland from 1926 to 1948, and is credited with protecting church autonomy during the Nazi occupation and postwar communism. (Jerusalem Post, May 25, 2018)

DUTCH CHRISTIANS PRESENT ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ISRAEL’ CAKE AT PARLIAMENT (Hague) — A group of Christians in the Netherlands celebrated Israel’s 70th birthday by passing out 2,000 pieces of cake in front of the Hague. Parliamentarians entering the Binnenhoff were greeted with two enormous cakes decorated with Israeli flags. The Binnenhoff is located in the Hague, the seat of the Holland’s government. The city is also home to the UN’s International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace and the International Criminal Court. The ceremony was accompanied by Israeli songs and blowing of a shofar (ram’s horn). (Breaking Israel News, May 17, 2018)

CHELSEA OWNER ABRAMOVICH IMMIGRATES TO ISRAEL (Tel Aviv) — Russian-Jewish billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of London’s Chelsea soccer club, has immigrated to Israel. Abramovich, 51, landed in Tel Aviv and received an Israeli identity card under the Law of Return, which allows Jews to become citizens of Israel. The move to Israel comes after Abramovich was unable to extend his visa in the UK amid a diplomatic spat between London and Moscow. Abramovich, worth $12.5 billion according to the British press, instantly became the richest person in Israel Monday. He will live in a mansion in Tel Aviv’s neighborhood of Neve Tzedek, a former hotel he purchased from Israeli Hollywood actress Gal Gadot, Ynet reported. (Times of Israel, May 28, 2018)

RICHARD PIPES, HISTORIAN WHO HELPED SHAPE SOVIET POLICY, DIES AT 94 (Boston) — Richard Pipes, a pre-eminent Harvard scholar of Russian and Soviet history, whose forceful opposition to accommodation with the Soviets was a cornerstone of President Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy, died May 17 at a nursing home in Belmont, Mass. He was 94. A son, historian and writer Daniel Pipes, confirmed the death and said there was no specific cause. Dr. Pipes was perhaps best known for his magisterial studies of Russia before and after the 1917 revolution, which he called “arguably the most important event” of the 20th century. (Washington Post, May 19, 2018)

On Topic Links

Reviewing a Month of Hypocrisy and Moral Decadence: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, May 28, 2018—Never have we witnessed such morally decadent political behavior as what has transpired these past weeks. Paradoxically, this occurred in the wake of a series of incredible Israeli achievements.

New Analysis Confirms Hamas Organized Violent Gaza Border Riots: IPT News, May 29, 2018—The vast majority of Palestinian fatalities during violent demonstrations on the Israel-Gaza border were members or affiliates of terrorist organizations – primarily Hamas. Of the 112 reported deaths from March 30 to May 14, 93 people (83 percent) belonged to or were associated with terrorist groups…

Netanyahu: ‘Israel is a Global Technological Power!’ (Video): Breaking Israel News, May 30, 2018 —Quoting his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi during an address at the International Ministerial Scientific Conference, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has been a “global technological power” despite its small size.

The Unknown Richard Pipes: Dr. Jiri Valenta, BESA, May 29, 2018—Pipes’s scholarship provides a key to understanding Russia’s expansion not only in Christian Europe but also in the Muslim border areas in the direction of the Middle East.