Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

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Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links

 

Israeli Rocket Attack Victims Win Bank of China Terror Suit : Jewish Press, Sept. 18, 2013
America, Syria and Israel – Martin Kramer, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 18, 2013
Say Goodbye To Surgical Stitches and Staples :Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, June 13, 2013
 
 

“Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger muscled the Soviet Union out of Middle East diplomacy back in 1973. In the 40 years since, American presidents have kept the Russians out. Now they’re back in. A nation with a declining population, a weakened military and an economy propped up only by oil and gas exports has suddenly made itself the key interlocutor in the region. Obama has allowed this even though it’s obvious that effective disarmament is impossible in a nation riven by civil war and ruled by a regime with every incentive and inclination to lie and conceal. The negotiations and any fig-leaf inspection process can be dragged out for weeks, months and years, as Saddam Hussein demonstrated. Obama said he hoped to degrade Syria’s chemical weapons program. Instead he has degraded his own — and America’s — credibility.” — Michael Barone, in an op-ed article in The New York Post. (The New York Post, Sept. 13, 2013)

“Europe’s forcing us to cede land, in order to achieve the type of agreement it sees fit for the Middle East, will only mean that these missiles will continue to rain down on Israel not only from Gaza, but from Kalkilya and Ramallah as well,” Shaked said.“If Europe thinks Jews will return to the days where we were forced to mark our products – you can forget it. De-legitimization of parts of Israel by Europe is the new anti-Semitism. The old anti-Semitism led to the destruction of our people in gas chambers. We will not allow the new anti-Semitism to hurt us. Such conduct creates a sense among Israelis that Europe is lost, [that] it is occupied by the forces of radical Islam. If that’s the message you’ve been trying to send, you’re doing a good job in getting it across. I want you to understand that you are important to us. We hold your support in high regard, but you cannot push us to commit suicide.” — MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) to the European politicians at a conference, held in the European parliament, titled “EU-Israel Relations: Impact of the New EU Guidelines on Israel and Their Effects on the EU, Israeli and Palestinian Economies.”  Shaked said that she feared the evacuation of West Bank settlements and the creation of a Palestinian state would only lead to increased missile attacks against Israel. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 18, 2013)

"I think what the Iranians understand is that the nuclear issue is a far larger issue for us than the chemical weapons issue, that the threat against Israel that a nuclear Iran poses is much closer to our core interests, that a nuclear arms race in the region is something that would be profoundly destabilizing. And so my suspicion is that the Iranians recognize they shouldn't draw a lesson that we haven't struck [Syria] to think we won't strike Iran." — U.S. President Barack Obama, after announcing that he would seek the support of the Congress before launching strikes against Bashar Assad’s chemical weapons stockpiles. (Washington Post, Sept. 15, 2013)
 
"We would get Israeli television channels in my village. I knew that medicine here [Israel] is advanced. In Jordan I would have to pay for it and we do not have enough money. Here it is free." — a Syrian mother whose 16-year-old daughter was shot by a sniper in her village in Syria, leaving her paralyzed in both legs. She has been at the Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya for the past month. "There was one man, where I am from, who was treated in Israel. The regime forces killed his three brothers. They will kill my sons and my husband if they ever find out we were here.," the mother said.  (Yahoo News, Sept. 13, 2013)
 
"I think this is the Syrians playing for time. I do not believe that they would seriously consider giving up their chemical weapons. Be a skeptic that [Assad] is at all serious about this. Chemical weapons are easy to hide and easy to move around.” — Michael Morell, recently-retired deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency, to Foreign Policy. (Foreign Policy, Sept. 17, 2013)
 
"Countries in the Middle East…have failed to follow suit [to ratify the Convention on Chemical Weapons] and have indicated that their position would remain unchanged even if Israel ratifies the Convention. Some of these states don't recognize Israel's right to exist and blatantly call to annihilate it….These threats cannot be ignored by Israel, in the assessment of possible ratification of the convention."  Jonathan Peled, an Israeli government spokesman, who stressed that the country [Israel] couldn't take steps to ratify it, or reduce its military capabilities, at a time when security threats from Iran, Syria and Lebanon are mounting. (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 14, 2013)

"The main danger of WMD is the Israel nuclear arsenal. Israel has chemical weapons and nobody is speaking about it." — Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's ambassador to the U.N., to reporters on Thursday [Sept. 12]. Mr. Ja'afari said Israel needed to place its suspected atomic weapons under international supervision and sign the nuclear nonproliferation treaty.
   "We won't accept attempts by the Syrian regime…to compare itself to Israel, a thriving democracy which doesn't brutally slaughter and gas its own people." — U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki. (Wall Street Journal, Sept. 14, 2013)

“All of this initiative does not interest us. Russia is a partner with the regime in killing the Syrian people. A crime against humanity has been committed, and there is not any mention of accountability.” — Gen. Salim Idris, the head of the Western-backed [Syrian] rebels’ nominal military command, the Supreme Military Council, to reporters in Istanbul. (New York Times, Sept. 15, 2013)

“We should bleed America economically by provoking it to continue in its massive expenditure on its security, for the weak point of America is its economy, which has already begun to stagger due to the military and security expenditure. And keeping America in tension and anticipation only costs a few disparate attacks here and there, meaning as we defeated it in the gang warfare in Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan, so we should follow it with that war on its own land….The Boston incident confirms to the Americans the extent of their lying and tricking of themselves and their arrogance from accepting the truth that is as bright as the sun, which is that they are not facing individuals, organizations or groups, but they are facing an uprising” by a Muslim world “that rose in jihad to defend its soul, dignity and capabilities.”  — Ayman al-Zawahri, the leader of Al Qaeda, in an audio speech a day after the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. (New York Times, Sept. 13, 2013)

“I demand [the release of] prisoners because they are human beings, who did what we, we, ordered them to do. We – the [Palestinian] Authority. They should not be punished while we sit at one table negotiating. Besides, they spent many years in prison. How much longer? Do they have to spend all their life in prison and even die there?” – Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, in an interview on Arab TV translated by Palestinian Media Watch. When asked about those Palestinian prisoners whom Israel considers to have “bloodstained hands?” Abbas responds, “Such talk is illogical talk and I do not accept it. What does a bloodstained hand mean? We were fighting each other. They kill and kill. They hunt down people with planes and tanks and killed. The soldier who kills 50 or 20 persons here and there – are his hands stained with talc powder? They are stained with blood. This is war. [Israel] ordered a soldier to kill, and I ordered my son, brother, or others, to carry out the duty of resistance [euphemism for terror]. This person killed and the other person killed. So why say this person’s hands are stained with blood, and [he] must be kept in prison? He is a fighter just like any other fighter. We were in a state of fighting.” (Jewish Press, Sept. 18, 2013)
 
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ISRAELI ROCKET ATTACK VICTIMS WIN BANK OF CHINA TERROR SUIT— (New York) The families of twenty Israeli terror victims have won a monumental decision in the New York State Appellate Division (1st Dept.) in their case against the Bank of China (BOC). The Appellate Court affirmed that the civil action brought in 2008 by the Israeli victims of Palestinian rocket attacks and suicide bombings can proceed against the BOC in the United States. Importantly, the Appellate Division also held that the trial court will apply Israeli law in hearing the case. The defendant had argued that Chinese law should apply as the BOC is headquartered in Beijing. This ruling will allow the non-American plaintiffs in the case to maintain their claims that the BOC was liable for providing financial services to Hamas and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terror organizations. Applying Israeli law, which differs from the Chinese law, would make it easier for the plaintiffs to prove that BOC officials had illegally violated banking regulations and US criminal statutes by carrying out money transfers for the terror organizations. (Jewish Press, Sept. 18, 2013)
 
KERRY JUST TOOK THE TEETH OUT OF THE SYRIA DEAL — (Paris) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday [Sept, 16] that the United Nations, not the United States, would be enforcing the terms of the Syria chemical weapons deal agreed to [with Russia]. Kerry said that the United States, France and Great Britain “will not tolerate avoidance or anything less than full compliance." Kerry, while visiting Israel this past weekend, also said that the “the threat of force is real” if Syria does not comply with the terms of the deal. But by giving enforcement power to the United Nations, Kerry has essentially invalidated any threats of force by the United States. This is for a very simple reason: any use of force authorized by the United Nations [under Art. 7 of the UN Charter] needs Russia’s approval [and] Vladimir Putin is not likely to budge from his position that military forced should not be used. This is precisely why the terms of the Syrian deal were met with skepticism in Israel. Lawmakers there said they were excited by the prospect that a long-time regional ally would be stripped of its chemical weapons. But they were not optimistic that Assad could be trusted. (The Fiscal Times, September 16, 2013)
 
SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS SITES BEING DISPERSED TO AVOID DETECTION, REPORT SAYS — (Washington) An elite Syrian unit that runs the government's chemical arms program has been scattering the weapons to dozens of sites across the country, potentially complicating US plans for air strikes, the Wall Street Journal reported. The newspaper, citing unnamed US officials and lawmakers briefed on the intelligence, said on its website on Thursday that a secretive military group known as Unit 450 had been moving the stocks around for months to help avoid detection of the weapons. US and Israeli intelligence agencies and Middle Eastern officials still believe they know the location of most of the government's chemical weapons supply, the Journal said. But "we know a lot less than we did six months ago about where the chemical weapons are," one official was quoted as saying. (Reuters, Sept. 13, 2013)
 
BASHAR BOMBS HOSPITALS — (Geneva) Syrian strongman Bashar al­Assad’s forces committed clear­cut war crimes by bombing wounded people seeking urgent treatment in rebel­held regions, UN investigators said Friday [Sept. 13]. The UN found Assad loyalists also tortured victims in their own medical centers, including a government military hospital in Damascus. In another military hospital in the city of Homs, “Doctors were ordered to keep victims alive so that they could be interrogated further,” the UN report by a team of 20 human­rights experts said. The regime used the denial of medical care as a “weapon of war,” the report concluded. The bombing and shelling of hospitals began in early 2012 and is continuing, according to the report. The Syrian army has also occupied hospitals, using them as bases for snipers, tanks and soldiers, according to the report. Ambulance drivers, nurses and doctors have been attacked, arrested, tortured or just disappeared when they tried to help the wounded, the report said. “As such attacks continue, field hospitals have literally been driven underground, forced to operate in the basements of houses,” it added. (New York Post, Sept. 14, 2013)
 
SYRIAN ARMY DEFECTOR TELLS OF DOZENS OF CHEMICAL ATTACKS — (Amman) A senior army officer and chemical-weapons specialist who defected from Bashar Al Assad’s forces says he was ordered by top regime officials to use poison gas in attacks on rebel-held areas. “I am a witness and received orders three times to use chemical gas last year,” said Brigadier General Zaher Saket, a former commander of chemical warfare in the Syrian army’s 5th division in Sheikh Maskeen, Herak and Busr Al Harir. “But I did not implement the orders.” Gen Saket, who defected in March this year, said there had been an escalation in the use of chemical warfare against rebels, with poison gases used on fourteen separate occasions while he was serving in the armed forces. He had been informed of twenty other times after his defection, he said. (The National (UAE, Sept. 16, 2013)
 
NEW FGM STATISTICS SHOCK ENGLAND — (London) More than 2,000 victims of female genital mutilation have sought treatment at London hospitals in the past three years. The figures, revealed by the Evening Standard, are the most dramatic illustration so far of the impact of this illegal and horrific practice by Muslims on girls and women in the UK. The report also revealed that 298 operations were performed to try to help women recover from the procedure. A total of 2,115 FGM patients were seen between 2010 and summer this year. Doctors said the findings were "horrifying" and called for a renewed drive by police, prosecutors and others to bring perpetrators of these crimes to justice. But they warned that the reluctance of some women to seek treatment and flaws in hospital record-keeping, including the lack of a specific code to identify FGM cases, mean that the true number of victims was certain to be even higher. (Clarion Project, Sept. 10, 2013)

WEST LOBBIES UN NUCLEAR MEETING TO REJECT ARAB PUSH ON ISRAEL — (New York) The U.S. said on Tuesday an Arab push to single out Israel for criticism over its assumed nuclear arsenal would hurt diplomatic efforts to ban weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Arab states have proposed a resolution at a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear agency, expressing concern about "Israeli nuclear capabilities." U.S. and Israeli officials have said a nuclear arms-free zone in the Middle East could not be a reality until there was broad Arab-Israeli peace and Iran curbed its nuclear program. The Arab resolution "does not advance our shared goal of progress toward a WMD-free zone in the Middle East," U.S. Ambassador Joseph Macmanus said. "Instead, it undermines efforts at constructive dialogue toward that common objective."  (Reuters, Sept,17, 2013)

REPORT: SYRIA'S REBELS ARE KILLING ASSAD'S SOLDIERS BY A FACTOR OF TWO TO ONE — (Geneva)  The most widely quoted source for civil war deaths has been produced by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), which consists of a handful of Syrian activists compiling information in a war zone and presenting the best estimates possible. Despite their potential for bias and the methodological challenges of tracking the Syria war, SOHR estimates are consistent with the latest United Nations numbers. In the past 10 days, both the U.N. under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Valerie Amos, and the high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, estimated that "more than 100,000" Syrians have lost their lives in the ongoing civil war. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) breaks down the Syrian deaths in the civil war as follows: Civilians 40,146, rebels 21,850, pro-regime soldiers and militia 45,469, Hizbullah 171, unidentified 2,726, total 110,371. (Foreign Policy, Sept. 17, 2013)
 
PHILIPPINE HELICOPTERS FIRE ROCKETS AT MUSLIM REBELS IN ZAMBOANGA SIEGE — (Mindanao, Philippines) Philippine military helicopters on Monday fired rockets at Muslim rebels who were holed up in areas of a major city on the southern island of Mindanao. The rebels have been holding scores of people hostage in Zamboanga City, a mainly Christian city, for the past week in a crisis that authorities estimate has left as many as 61 people dead and more than 150 wounded. Two MG-520 attack helicopters from the Philippine Air Force fired rockets at rebel positions over a roughly 20 minute period in the early afternoon. The recent violence has largely paralyzed Zamboanga, a usually bustling trading hub on the southwestern tip of Mindanao, and displaced more than 60,000 people. The rebels now hold one third of the territory they had last week. Military officials say they believe that slightly more than 100 rebels remain active in Zamboanga and that they are still holding more than 100 people as a human shield. (CNN, Sept. 16, 2013)
 
2012 TERRITORIES POPULATION GREW ALMOST THREE TIMES AS FAST AS NATIONAL RATE — (Jerusalem) The growth rate of the population in 2012 was five percent, which means that the number of Israelis in the Judea & Samaria increased at a pace almost three times as fast the nation’s 1.9 percent growth rate last year, according to numbers released Monday by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Put in real numbers, the number residents in Judea & Samaria in 2012 was 341,400, up by 16,200 from the 2011 population of 325,200, according to the CBS. The 11,100 babies born to settler families in 2012 contributed to 68.5 percent of the population growth, while the remaining 31.5 percent increase came from the 5,100 people who moved into Judea & Samaria communities last year. Despite the rapid rate of growth, the population in the territories represents only 4.2 percent of the country’s overall population of 7.9 million in 2012. (Jerusalem Post. Sept. 18, 2013)
 
‘DREAM ROAD’ FROM GUSH ETZION TO DEAD SEA MAY EXPLODE PEACE TALKS — (Gush Etzion) Palestinian Authority-Israeli “peace talks” might be short-lived following the unveiling on Tuesday of a new Gush Etzion-Dead Sea highway Tuesday that would destroy Palestinian Authority ambitions to include all of the Jordan Valley and the Judean Desert in its planned future state…. The highway would cut through “Area C,” determined by the Oslo Accords to be under Israeli control, and would carve through some of Israel’s most awesome natural areas. The new west-east road would revolutionize travel and the tourist industry, reducing travel time to the Dead Sea from 90 to 30 minutes. Gush Etzion Regional Council chairman Davidi Perl called the highway an “historic event” and added, “Today there are only two roads to the Dead Sea. The significance of this new highway is that it will bring the center of the country to the Dead Sea and encourage tourism there and in Gush Etzion and the Judean Desert. (Jewish Press, Sept. 17, 2013)
 
 
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On Topic

Israeli Rocket Attack Victims Win Bank of China Terror Suit : Jewish Press, Sept. 18, 2013 —The families of twenty Israeli terror victims have won a monumental decision in the New York State Appellate Division (1st Dept.) in their case against the Bank of China (BOC). The Appellate Court affirmed that the civil action brought in 2008 by the Israeli victims of Palestinian rocket attacks and suicide bombings can proceed against the BOC in the United States.

Say Goodbye to Surgical Stitches and Staples :Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, June 13, 2013—Women giving birth by Caesarean section could be the first to benefit from a revolutionary Israeli invention for closing surgical incisions without stitches or staples. The technique also promises to leave patients less prone to infection and scarring. BioWeld1, a unique trademarked product from Israeli startup IonMed, welds surgical incisions using cold plasma.
 
America, Syria and Israel – Martin Kramer, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 18, 2013— Israelis got a preview this past week of what the Middle East would look like during a possible Iran crisis, and they didn't like what they saw. What Israelis found alarming was the way Mr. Obama shifted the burden of decision. Every one of his Syrian maneuvers was viewed as a dry run for

 

 

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 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme   www.isranet.org  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843

 

 

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WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Weekly Quotes

 

I’m sending [U.S. Middle East envoys] David Hale and Dennis Ross back to the region in the next days to meet with both Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Abbas.… We all know that no matter what happens or doesn’t happen at the UN is not going to result [in] the kind of changes the United States wishes to see that will move us toward the two state solution.… The only way of getting a lasting solution is through direct negotiations through the parties and the route to that lies in Jerusalem and Ramallah not in New York.”—U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, confirming that the U.S. [see first Short Take below—Ed.] is attempting to avert the Palestinians’ upcoming bid to obtain a unilateral declaration of statehood at the General Assembly by “redoubling [its] efforts…to create a sustainable platform for negotiations.”(Ynet News, September 13.)

 

Among the very first foreign leaders [U.S.] President Obama called after entering the Oval Office on Jan. 21, 2009, was the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. The last time the two men spoke was in February, when Mr. Obama failed, in an awkward, 55-minute phone conversation, to persuade Mr. Abbas not to go to the United Nations to condemn Israel for building Jewish settlements. The 25 months between those calls demonstrate how Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Abbas has withered—and along with it, Mr. Obama’s hopes to make Middle East peacemaking one of his signature achievements. Later this month, the Palestinians seem determined to go to the United Nations again…but Mr. Obama has no plans to call Mr. Abbas…because it is clear that the president can say little to stop him.”—NY Times columnist, Mark Landler, in “Obama and Abbas: From Speed Dial to Not Talking,” describing the deterioration of U.S. president Obama and PA president Abbas’ relationship. (NY Times, September 9.)

 

The subject is not settlements, or Palestinian independence or the rights of the Palestinian people, or halting the criminal violations perpetrated by the settlers against the Palestinian people. All this is being ignored and the only issue has become the issue of us not going to the United Nations. This shows not only disdain for the Palestinian position, but also scorn for what is happening in the Arab region.”—Senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official, Yasser Abed Rabbo, condemning the United States for trying to avert the Palestinians’ UN gambit. (Jerusalem Post, September 7.)

 

I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated.”—Palestine Liberation Organization’s ambassador to the United States, Maen Areikat, affirming that a future Palestinian state should be Judenrein (Jew-free). Elliott Abrams, a former U.S. National Security Council official, referred to this Palestinian demand as “a despicable form of anti-Semitism,” saying that “no civilized country would act this way,” and that the creation of such a state would evoke memories of Nazi Germany. (USA Today, September 14.)

 

We will, of course, be voting for any of the Palestinians’ proposals.”—Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, confirming for the first time that Moscow will vote in favor of declaring a Palestinian State at the United Nations. (Jerusalem Post, September 12.)

 

Did President Obama’s positions on Israel cost him a seat in the House? The Republicans have scored an upset victory in a House race that started as a contest to replace…Anthony Weiner…but became a referendum on US President Barack Obama’s policies. Retired media executive and political novice Bob Turner defeated Democratic state Assemblyman David Weprin…in the special election to fill the seat vacated by Weiner.… According to the New York Times, Turner took advantage of the discontent among the Jewish community with Obama’s policy toward Israel and his handling of the Middle East peace process.… The heavily Democratic district, which spans parts of Queens and Brooklyn and is 40% Jewish, had never sent a Republican to the House. The race was supposed to be an easy win for Democrats, who have a 3-1 ratio registration advantage in the district. Several voters who spoke to the New York Times said that the Israel issue was a major factor in their decision to support Turner, who repeatedly criticized Obama on Israel.”—Excerpts from an article, entitled “Obama’s Israel Policy Seen as Factor That Cost Him House Seat,” describing Republican Bob Turner’s upset victory in a New York congressional race, a result widely attributed to U.S. President Barack Obama’s dubious support for Israel. (Ynet News, September 14.)

 

There are other threats out there, but that is the one that I can tell you occupies the security apparatus most regularly in terms of actual terrorist threats.… When people think of Islamic terrorism, they think of Afghanistan, or maybe they think of some place in the Middle East, but the truth is that threat exists all over the world.”—Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, in a Canadian Broadcast Corporation interview about how 9/11 changed Canada, affirming that “the major threat [to world security] is still Islamicism.” (CBC News, September 6.)

 

Today, we mark exactly one decade since that monumental terrorist attack in which almost 3,000 innocent civilians of various nationalities were murdered in New York and Washington. That Al-Qaeda attack on the US [initiated] a wave of terrorist attacks, which continued in Madrid, London, Bali and Mumbai.… This is not a conventional war. This is a war of terrorism—by the forces and regimes of radical Islam. Radical Islam…threatens the very existence of the State of Israel and in its linking up with radical regimes, it brings the tools of terrorism—rockets and missiles—to Israeli civilians.… The struggle against radical Islamic terrorism, which is, in effect, a description of the past decade, is at its peak; it is not yet over.”—Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, describing radical Islam’s continued assault on Israel, and calling on democratic countries to “unite…and act in concert against this blight.” (Independent Media Review and Analysis, September 11.)

 

Early this morning, at about 5:00a.m., a complex rescue operation was safely completed to free the staff  of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.… Immediately at the beginning of the incident, I ordered that all the Embassy staff and their families in Cairo be put on a plane and returned to Israel. At the same time we worked together with Egypt and the American government to assure that our remaining staff at the Embassy would be rescued without harm. I would like to express my gratitude to the President of the United States, Barack Obama. I asked for his help. This was a decisive and fateful moment. He said, ‘I will do everything I can.’ And so he did.… This attests to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.”—Statement released by the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, describing the successful evacuation of personnel from the Israeli Embassy in Cairo following an attack perpetrated by Egyptian protestors, and praising U.S. president Barack Obama for “us[ing] every considerable means and influence of the United States to help.” (Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, September 10.)

 

Iran is not providing the necessary cooperation to enable the agency to provide credible assurance about the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in Iran.”—UN atomic agency chief, Yukiya Amano, saying he is “increasingly concerned” about possible military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program, and announcing plans to publish “extensive and comprehensive” information backing up his belief that Iran is working to develop a nuclear warhead. (Jerusalem Post & wall Street Journal, September 12.)

 

I think Iran represents an existential threat, and they’ll do whatever they have to do to guarantee their survival and their security.”—Former US vice president Dick Cheney, in an interview with US news outlet Newsmax, reiterating his belief that Israel will launch a military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in order to prevent the Islamic Republic from creating a nuclear weapon. (Jerusalem Post, September 12.)

 

With regard to Syria, let me note that, according to reliable sources on the ground, the number of those killed since the onset of the unrest in mid-March 2011 in that country, has now reached at least 2,600.”—UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to the 47-member UN Human Rights Council, confirming that at least 2,600 civilians, including children, have been killed by Syrian president Bashar Assad’s forces since pro-democracy protests broke out in March. (Jerusalem Post, September 12.)

 

According to Shariah (Islamic law), non-Muslims…are discriminated and treated as second-class citizens, or dhimmis. As the Quran clearly states, non-Muslims must ‘feel themselves subdued’ (Sura 9:20).… Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has taken it upon himself to show Israel as being a “dhimmi state.…” As soon as he was elected to office in 2003, Erdogan adopted a hostile policy toward Israel as exemplified by the following: In March 2004, Erdogan called Israel a ‘terrorist state’ following the elimination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin. In February 2006, he received Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Ankara. In January 2009, he publicly humiliated Shimon Peres at the Davos conference. In October 2009, the Turkish state television started airing fiction series showing Israeli soldiers intentionally murdering Palestinian children. In November 2009, Erdogan declared that he’d rather meet Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir than Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In March 2010, Erdogan claimed that the Temple Mount, Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem were never Jewish sites.

While Erdogan’s hatred of Israel is authentic, his public outbursts…are the easiest way for him to be acclaimed as a hero by Islamists both in Turkey and around the world. The Israeli government made the right decision by refusing to behave as a dhimmi state[by apologizing to Turkey].… While Erdogan must be made to understand that Jews are no longer dhimmis, we Israelis have to realize that the end of ‘dhimmitude’ does not only mean the end of humiliation. It also provides the ability—and perhaps even the duty—to make our enemies get a taste of their own medicine.”—Tel Aviv University professor, Emmanuel Navon, in “Erdogan’s Dhimmi Problem,” attributing Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hostility towards Israel to his Islamic faith. (Jerusalem Magazine, September 11.)

 

Short Takes

 

U.S. TO VETO PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD BID—(Washington) The Obama administration has for the first time unequivocally stated it will veto any U.N. Security Council resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood. “If any such resolution were put in front of the Security Council, then we would veto it,” Wendy Sherman told the U.S. Senate in confirmation hearings for her nomination to become undersecretary of state for policy. Until now the Obama administration has said it strongly opposes Palestinian efforts to secure statehood recognition at the United Nations, but Sherman’s was the first indication it would definitively use its veto to quash it. (JTA, September 8.)

 

QUARTET TO SUBMIT PEACE PROPOSAL, SAYS OFFICIAL—(Jerusalem) According to Fatah Central Committee member Mohammad Shtayeh, the Quartet is planning to submit a peace proposal that would allow resumption of negotiations with Israel and avert conflict over the Palestinian UN bid. However, Shtayeh, who is also member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said that such a statement would not stop the Palestinians from going to the UN. Instead, Shtayeh confirmed that PA president Mahmoud Abbas will submit the Palestinian application for statehood to Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, two days before Abbas’ September 23 speech at the UN General Assembly in New York. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, September 13.)

 

FRANCE MIDEAST ENVOY: OPPOSITION TO PALESTINE BID COST MY JOB—(New York) France’s special envoy to the Middle East is claiming she was fired because of her opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s plan to obtain a unilateral declaration of statehood at the United Nations. Valerie Hoffenberg learned of her dismissal via a French Foreign Ministry announcement, after telling an Israeli official that she was against the Palestinian statehood declaration, believing a Palestinian state should arise through bilateral negotiations. Hoffenberg, who is Jewish, had been in the position since 2008. (JTA, September 7.)

 

HAMAS CALLS FOR OVERTHROW OF ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN OSLO PEACE ACCORDS—(Jerusalem) The Hamas terrorist organization has officially called for the overthrow of the Israeli-Palestinian Oslo interim peace accords, referring to the 1993 deal as a “dangerous event.” In a statement released on the 18th anniversary of the signature of the accords, Hamas said it “was the most dangerous agreement on the Palestinian cause and the rights of our people.” Hamas, which has administered the Gaza Strip since 2007, consistently refuses to recognize Israel, and calls for it to be destroyed and replaced by an Islamic state covering all of historic Palestine (Haaretz, September 13.)

 

SHIN BET: HAMAS OPERATING IN TURKEY, CHINA—(Jerusalem) The Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) has revealed that Hamas has established a command post in Turkey that is being used to recruit new operatives and oversee various operations in the Middle East. The agency also confirmed that Hamas is active in China, its activities there mainly comprising financial transactions, including money laundering and procurement of equipment. The extent of Hamas’s presence in Turkey became known during the Shin Bet’s recent investigation into 13 terrorist cells operating in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Israel’s Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon accused Ankara of cooperating with both Hamas and Iran. (Jerusalem Post, September 8.)

 

FATAH CALLS FOR MASS MARCHES AHEAD OF UN VOTE—(Jerusalem) The Fatah “revolutionary council” has called for a state of “general alarm” in the Palestinian territories, calling for mass marches in West Bank cities in solidarity with the upcoming statehood bid. In its statement, the Fatah council called for turning September 21 into a day of “national struggle,” and called on Palestinians to stage “political” marches at 12 p.m. in all city centers. Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh urged all Palestinians to support the UN initiative, saying “[PA] president [Abbas] is going to the UN carrying with him the trusteeship of the refugees, Jerusalem, martyrs, [and] prisoners.…” (Jerusalem Post, September 13.)

 

TALIBAN TIME BLAST TO 9/11—(Kabul) The Taliban has marked the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by detonating a powerful truck bomb outside a major military base in eastern Afghanistan, killing five Afghan civilians and wounding 77 American troops. The Taliban, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said in a statement, “each year, 9/11 reminds the Afghans of an event in which they had no role whatsoever” and that prompted “the American colonialism to shed blood of tens of thousands of miserable and innocent Afghans.” The insurgents pledged to consign the American invaders “to the dustbin of the history.” (Wall Street Journal, September 12.)

 

AL QAEDA ACQUIRES STOCKPILE OF WEAPONS IN LIBYA—(Jerusalem) According to the EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, Al-Qaeda’s north African branch has acquired a stockpile of weapons in Libya, including surface-to-air missiles that are threatening air travel.Due to the turmoil in Libya, members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have “gained access to weapons…which are extremely dangerous because they pose a risk to flights over the territory,” de Kerchove was quoted as saying at a news conference marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, September 6.)

 

ASSAD DECLARES STATE OF WAR—(Jerusalem) Syrian President Bashar Assad has declared a state of war and issued a general mobilization of troops. According to Al-Quds newspaper, Operation “Bayrak al-Assad” has been implemented secretly, and is a “major military operation” comprising concentrated offensives on cities across the country. The stated goal of the campaign is “the elimination of armed rebellion, proclaimed by terrorist organizations against the civilian population and elements of the army and security forces for several months.”(Jerusalem Post, September 9.)

 

SOURCE: SYRIA’S ARAB LEAGUE MEMBERSHIP UNDER THREAT—(Cairo) A well-informed source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, has revealed that the Arab League is considering freezing Syria’s membership due to President Bashar al-Assad’s continued use of violence to suppress Syrian protesters. The source stressed that the Arab League will take “severe resolutions against the Syrian regime, including freezing its membership…if it continues to delay and refuse to deal with the Arab initiative.” Last week, Syria asked Secretary General Nabil Elaraby to postpone his visit to Damascus, a move that “shocked” the Arab League. (Asharq Al-Awsat, September 8.)

 

NEW TYPE OF ROCKET LAUNCHED FROM GAZA IN RECENT FIGHTING—(Jerusalem) Maj.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg has revealed that Palestinian terror groups used a new and advanced rocket in their attacks against Israel during the recent round of fighting in the Gaza Strip. “We discovered a new weapon and as a result we instructed the public to take extra precautions and to seek cover under two roofs and not just one,” Eisenberg said. The home front commander refrained from revealing the identity of the new weapon but defense officials confirmed that it was an advanced rocket that carried a significantly larger warhead packed with a larger quantity of explosives. (Jerusalem Post, September 6.)

 

NEW NIF FUNDING DETAILS: DELEGITIMIZATION CONTINUING—(Jerusalem) According to the New Israel Fund (NIF) 2010 financial report, approximately 26% of the NIF’s $16.4 million in authorized grants went to highly politicized groups involved in Israel delegitimation campaigns. In September 2010, NIF published new funding guidelines, declaring, in part, that groups working “to deny the right of the Jewish people to sovereign self-determination within Israel…[will] no longer be eligible [for funding]”. However, the 2010 grants do not reflect any apparent changes or implementation of the guidelines. (NGO Monitor, September 7.)

 

NEW YORK PROCLAIMS GILAD SHALIT DAY—(New York) On the 1,900th day of Gilad Shalit’s captivity, September 7, New York proclaimed Gilad Shalit Day in the city. City Council Speaker Christine Quinn along with Jewish leaders and Israel’s general consul in New York read and presented the framed proclamation to Shalit’s father, Noam. New York joins San Francisco (August 28.) in proclaiming Gilad Shalit Day. (JTA, September 7.)

 

US COLLEGES RECEIVE WARNING LETTERS ON ANTI-SEMITISM—(Jerusalem) Hundreds of US college and university presidents have received warning letters, instructing them of their legal obligations to prevent anti-Semitism on campus and to ensure that university funds are not diverted to unlawful activities directed against the State of Israel. Civil rights group Israel Law Center (Shurat HaDin) is carrying out the campaign in response to “an alarming number of incidents of harassment and hate crimes against Jewish and Israeli students on US college campuses.” Lawyer Kenneth Leitner, Israel Law Center’s director of American affairs, said “perpetrators of hate” are exploiting academic ideals, and “by condoning it, college administrators have allowed an environment of intimidation and hostility against Jewish students and faculty to fester on campus.” (Jerusalem Post, September 8.)

 

N.Y. SYNAGOGUE BOMB PLOTTER SENTENCED TO 25 YEARS—(New York) The last of four men convicted in a plot to bomb two New York synagogues has received the minimum mandatory prison sentence, 25 years. Laguerre Payen and three other co-conspirators were convicted last October of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction for planning to blow up the Riverdale Jewish Center and the Riverdale Temple in the Bronx. The men, all from Newburgh, N.Y., were arrested in 2009 as part of an FBI sting operation. (JTA, September 8.)

 

S&P RAISES ISRAEL’S CREDIT RATING FROM A TO A+—(Jerusalem)International credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has raised Israel’s credit rating from A to A+, a decision reflecting the government’s responsible economic policy. Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the increased credit rating is a “badge of honor” for the country and a reward for steps taken during the global financial crisis. Bank of Israel Governor Professor Stanley Fischer praised the decision, saying “This is particularly important given the complex global economic reality.” Despite the global economic crisis, the Israeli economy remained relatively stable while economies across the world crumbled over the past couple years. (Jerusalem Post, September 9.)

 

OBAMA’S APPROVAL RATING HITS NEW LOW—(Toronto) According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News study, U.S. president Barack Obama’s poll numbers have crashed to new lows. The poll found that Obama’s overall approval rating has sunk to just 44%, with only 37% of those asked satisfied with his management of the economy and 54% believing that Obama is facing a long-term setback from which he is unlikely to recover. Peter Hart, who conducted the poll, warned that if the president’s political fortunes do not turn around soon, “Obama is no longer favorite to win re-election.” (National Post, September 7.)