We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to: Ber Lazarus, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: email@example.com
Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing
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)
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)
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
Ber Lazarus , Publications Editor Canadian Institute for Jewish Research /L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme www.isranet.org Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843
Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine (current issue: “Israel’s Levy Report”: ISRAZINE.
CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by fax and e-mail. Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series. To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, contact us at http://www.isranet.org/.
The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible membership contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address or “Donate” button on Website)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.
CIJR’s Briefing series attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.