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On Topic Links


How to Beat Islamic State: Maajid Nawaz, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 2015

All Across the Middle East, Journalists are Blaming Everyone but Arabs for Recent Terror Attacks: Robert Fulford, National Post, Dec. 11, 2015

The Threat from ‘Minnesota Men’: Scott W. Johnson, Weekly Standard, Dec. 7, 2015

Donald Trump ‘Will. Never. Leave. This. Race.’: Steven Ginsberg & Robert Costa, Washington Post, Dec. 10, 2015




“This is not surprising because Abu Mazen [Abbas] continues to incite with lying propaganda about Al-Aksa, lying propaganda about [Israeli] executions, and by rejecting all true efforts to come to negotiations.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research released a poll on Monday showing that two-thirds of the Palestinians support the current violence, and another two-thirds said that a two-state solution is no longer viable. Netanyahu said it was time for the international community to understand that “the reason there are no negotiations and no progress toward peace is not to be found on the Israeli side, but on the Palestinian one.” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 15, 2015)


“Reviewing the status of Anglo-Jewry can lead to diametrically opposing conclusions. Residing in a northwest London Jewish suburb, one can easily be deluded that life for Jews in the U.K. is rosy. Jewish cultural and religious life is thriving, as exemplified by the mushrooming of synagogues and kosher facilities, not to mention the highly successful educational initiatives like Limmud… But this picture is delusionary and a far cry from reality…Even though British Jews have not yet suffered from the bloody jihadi violence and murders of their French counterparts, as European Jews they will ultimately face the same threat, and if they believe they are in a different category, they are in denial…The regular mass support for anti-Israel demonstrations headed by leftist and human rights groups … confirm that hatred of Jews has become a central feature of the British political system.” — Isi Leibler (Candidly Speaking, Dec. 9, 2015)


“I am more than ready to assert the superiority of a culture that is decent and humane, and welcoming, over a culture that thinks it’s right to kill in the name of God… [Once you embrace the principle of killing in the name of God,] “we have the war of all against all, until there is only one man, or one particular faith or version of faith left standing. Now, that is a recipe for catastrophe, absolute catastrophe.” — Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. In an opinion piece published last week, Abbott, a staunch Catholic and former student priest, wrote of a need to “modernize” Islam, saying it propagates a culture that is inferior to that of the West. “Islamic State has a simple but deadly message — submit or die. To most, a medieval fantasy, but rational enough to many Muslims based on their scriptures,” Abbott said. (Washington Post, Dec. 9, 2015)


“Islam, unlike any other existing major religion, is a politico-religious ideology, not a faith, per se, as Westerners, or non-Muslims in general, understand. This becomes—or should become—pellucid when one considers the largest voting block in the United Nations—the Organization of Islamic Cooperation—56 Muslim, Muslim majority or large Muslim plurality, nations, plus the Palestinian Authority. The OIC’s unrelenting goal is to replace modern human rights constructs such as our Bill of Rights, or the UN’s own Universal Declaration of Human Rights, with the 1990 Sharia-based Cairo Declaration, or so-called Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam. Thus Islam, via its integrally-related, Sharia supremacist global political organization—unparalleled in our era relative to any other religion—seeks to abrogate basic freedoms of conscience and expression that define free, non-totalitarian non-Muslim societies. This is not a matter of conjecture, or inference, or “Islamophobia”, unless one is impenetrable by the facts…” — Andrew Bostom (, Dec. 8, 2015)


“We're at war folks, they're not trying to steal your car, they're trying to kill us all” — Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham, during Tuesday’s candidate debate. Graham also defended the last Republican president, saying he blamed Obama, not George W. Bush, for the current I.S. “mess.” “I miss George W. Bush,” Graham said. “I wish he were president right now. We wouldn't be in this mess. I'm tired of dictators walking all over us.” (Daily Mail, Dec. 16, 2015)


“Let’s take off the blinders. It’s time to say that these attacks are not isolated incidents. These wolves are not lone, they are instead operating as an ideological pack.” — Republican Presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz also hit the Obama administration for ignoring the threat of Islamic terrorism, charging that Obama has acted as an “apologist” who is focused more on advancing politically correct rhetoric than on destroying I.S. “The problem has been festering unattended for the entire Obama administration,” he said. (Daily Signal, Dec. 10, 2015)


“Obama's Chanukah parties have had issues in the past. But this time it teetered over into full-blown violently offensive territory…The White House chose Susan Talve to light the Menorah. Talve is a member of the anti-Israel group T'ruah which is currently promoting assorted "soft BDS" programs. She's also a Ferguson activist. Her behavior was deeply insulting to the religious Jewish community and made it clear that the White House was determined to hijack even a Chanukah party to promote an anti-Jewish agenda…Instead of talking about Chanukah, Talve blathered on about getting, "guns off our streets" and to "clean up the fires of toxic nuclear waste". Talve screeched, "I stand here with my fierce family of clergy and black lives matter activists who took to the streets of Ferguson"… Chanukah is a celebration of the Maccabees defeating a Syrian occupation, but Talve may not even know that. Radical clergy tend to be light on the religion and heavy on the social justice.” — Daniel Greenfield (Frontpage, Dec. 10, 2015)


“During a public gathering to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Million Man March that was held on Capitol Hill in October, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the outspoken and controversial pastor whose church President Obama once attended, declared that “The youth in Ferguson and the youth in Palestine have united together to remind us that the dots need to be connected.” He went on to blame “racism, militarism and capitalism” for their historical agonies and implied that Israel was reproducing the European colonial scheme: “Apartheid is going on in Palestine. … As we sit here, there is an apartheid wall being built twice the size of the Berlin Wall in height, keeping Palestinians off of illegally occupied territories…” Such rhetoric, which has become widespread among Israel’s critics (especially on the academic left), aims to reduce the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to a formulaic anti-colonial David vs. Goliath standoff. In doing so, it threatens to transform the conflict from a historically complicated political, geographic and religious struggle to the one thing it has never actually been about: racially motivated imperialism.” — Yoav Fromer (Tablet, Dec. 3, 2015)


“Obama is choosing the worst possible time to close Guantanamo — just as the war against the Islamic State promises to deliver a new stream of captured terrorists into US custody…There is little evidence that the existence of the facility is inspiring new recruits to terrorism — in contrast to the existence of the Islamic State, which is a big magnet for extremists. Obama has already shown some welcome flexibility by rethinking his pledge to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by the time he leaves office. He would perform a real public service if he were to similarly rethink his pledge to close the Guantanamo prison.” — Max Boot. Obama has vowed to push ahead with plans to close the Guantanamo Bay prison for terror suspects, despite evidence that a substantial number of former detainees have returned to the battlefield. The White House itself admits that around 10 percent of those released from Guantanamo have resumed fighting for Islamic extremist organizations, but says it is more important to shutter a facility that has become a recruiting tool for terrorists. (New York Post, Dec. 12, 2015 & Yahoo, Dec. 14, 2015)


“Christians today are the most persecuted religious group in the world, and not a day goes by without a Christian somewhere in the world killed precisely for professing that faith. More than three-quarters of all acts of religious discrimination in the world disadvantage Christians. The martyrdom of Christians in the last hundred years has been utterly unseen in history. The last century brought more Christian martyrs than in all the 19 centuries which preceded it. The majority of those martyrdoms came at the hands of the communists, history’s great specialists in mass killing and religious persecution. Today, the killers of Christians are varied, but in largest number and barbarity, the spillers of blood are the self-proclaimed Islamic jihadists.” — Father Raymond J. de Souza (National Post, Dec. 15, 2015)


“The Palestinians have reached the realization that negotiations with the (Israelis) are useless …The so-called peace process is futile. There is no peace. Only the path of Jihad, sacrifice, and blood (will bear fruit)…Our rights will not be restored through the UN Security Council but by means of recruitment… Two thousand verbal ‘rockets’ do not compare to a single rocket made of iron. The children and youth of the West Bank have absorbed the message. Weapons like Kalashnikovs or missiles are not at hand, but there are knives and cars with which to run over the enemies…By God, after the knives used by the people of the West Bank and Jerusalem, can anyone possibly have an excuse to abandon the path of jihad? Nobody can have such an excuse.” — Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, during a visit to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Some 20 Israelis have been killed in three months of near-daily stabbing, shooting, and car-ramming terror attacks by Palestinians targeting civilians and security forces. More than 100 Palestinians have also been killed, a large proportion of them assailants shot as they carried out attacks. (Times of Israel, Dec. 15, 2015)






HAMAS: JERUSALEM CAR-RAMMING TERRORIST WAS A MEMBER (Jerusalem) — The terrorist who carried out a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem on Monday was a member of Hamas, the Palestinian terror group announced. Abed el-Muhsen Hassuna, who held an Israeli identity card that granted him access to the entire country, drove from Hebron to the capital to carry out the attack. Fourteen people were injured in the attack, including 18-month-old Yotam Sitbon. Hassuna drove his car onto the sidewalk, smashing into pedestrians at a bus stop near the capital’s central bus station. A member of the security forces, a security guard and an armed civilian shot him before he was able to get out of his car. Jerusalem has been one of the two focal points of terror attacks since the latest wave of violence began in October, with Hebron being the other. (Times of Israel, Dec. 15, 2015)


ISRAEL HOLDS FIVE ARAB ISRAELIS SUSPECTED OF SUPPORTING I.S. (Jerusalem) — Five Palestinian citizens of Israel have been arrested in recent weeks on suspicion of supporting I.S., acquiring rifles and practicing shooting in a forest. A joint effort by the Israeli security agency, Shin Bet, and the police led to the arrests in October and November of several residents of Nazareth. Five of those arrested have since been charged with weapons violations and support for I.S. The group is outlawed in Israel. About 34 Arab citizens of Israel have been arrested over the last year on suspicion of activities related to I.S., and 32 more are believed to have gone to Syria or Iraq. (New York Times, Dec. 9, 2015)


ISRAEL'S ARROW 3 SUCCESSFULLY PASSES INTERCEPTION TEST (Jerusalem) — Israel's upgraded Arrow 3 ballistic missile shield passed a full interception test, hitting a target in space meant to simulate the trajectory of the long-range weapons held by Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Arrow 3 is equipped with a revolutionary interceptor system that will enable Israel to effectively counter future security threats. Arrow 3 is a pivotal part of the country's multilayered missile defense outline, alongside the already operational Iron Dome and Arrow 2 systems, and the David's Sling missile defense system currently being developed. Israel's strategic outlook has shifted in recent months, given the international deal in July curbing Iran's nuclear program, the depletion of the Syrian army's arsenal in that country's civil war and Hezbollah's reinforcement of Damascus against the rebels. (Israel Hayom, Dec. 10, 2015)


IRAN CALLS CLOSURE OF UN NUCLEAR ARMS PROBE A 'BIG SUCCESS' (Tehran) — Iranian President Rouhani said Wednesday that the U.N. nuclear agency's decision to close a decade-long probe of allegations that Tehran worked on nuclear weapons is a "big success." He said the decision paved the way for Iran to fulfill its remaining obligations under a nuclear deal with world powers. The probe had to be formally ended as part of the agreement, which will lift sanctions in return for Iran curbing its nuclear activities. A resolution to close the probe was approved by consensus of the board of the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency. IAEA chief Yukiya Amano has said his investigation couldn't reconstruct all the details of Iran's past activities. He said Iran worked on studies relevant to making nuclear weapons, with coordinated efforts up to 2003 tapering off into scattered activities up to 2009. Tehran denies ever seeking nuclear arms. (New York Times, Dec. 16, 2015)


50 KILLED IN ATTACK AT AFGHANISTAN'S KANDAHAR AIRPORT (Kandahar) — Fifty people have died in an attack at a market bazaar and a school near Kandahar airport last week. The number included 38 civilians, ten Afghan National Army soldiers and two policemen. Another 35 people were wounded. Nine terrorists were also killed. The Taliban took responsibility for the attack. The assault occurred after a "Message to Obama" was posted to a video site, purportedly of Taliban suicide attackers warning that U.S. troops would not be safe in Afghanistan. (CNN, Dec. 10, 2015)    


TRUMP’S POLL NUMBERS SURGE AFTER MUSLIM BAN COMMENTS (New York) — Donald Trump has reached his highest mark yet in a national poll, pulling away from the GOP presidential field with 41 percent of the vote on the eve of Tuesday’s debate. The real estate mogul’s support was nearly triple that of his nearest rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who scored 14 percent in the Monmouth University poll released Monday. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was at 10 percent while Ben Carson had 9 percent. None of the other candidates topped 3 percent. National polls last week showed Trump in the mid-30 percent range. His runaway showing comes amid a furor over his recent inflammatory comments, with the survey conducted after he suggested that Muslims should be barred from the country. (New York Post, Dec. 14, 2015)


SAUDIS LAUNCH ‘ISLAMIC MILITARY ALLIANCE’ TO COMBAT TERRORISM (Riyadh) —  Saudi Arabia has announced the formation of an “Islamic military alliance” to combat global terrorism, an effort to respond to Western assertions that it could do more in the fight against I.S. and to solidify its claim to leadership of the Sunni world. The 34-member group will coordinate mutual anti-terrorism assistance for members “all over the Islamic world,” Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said. In addition to a military component, he said it would include “stopping the flow of funds” to terrorists and “confronting the ideology of extremism that promotes killing of the innocent, which is contrary to every religion, particularly the Islamic faith.” (Washington Post, Dec. 15, 2015)  


SAUDI VOTERS ELECT 20 WOMEN CANDIDATES FOR THE FIRST TIME (Riyadh) — Saudi voters elected 20 women for local government seats, a day after women voted and ran in elections for the first time in the country’s history. The 20 female candidates represent just one percent of the roughly 2,100 municipal council seats up for grabs, but even limited gains are seen as a step forward for women who had previously been completely shut out of elections. Women are still not allowed to drive and are governed by guardianship laws that give men final say over aspects of their lives like marriage, travel and higher education. (Washington Post, Dec. 13, 2015) 


US 'SHOCKED' AT HUNGARIAN PLANS TO HONOR WW2 ANTI-SEMITE (Budapest) — A US envoy said Washington was shocked by plans to erect a statue of Balint Homan, who contributed to murderous antisemitism in Hungary in the 1930s and 40s. Homan was a proponent of anti-Jewish laws and a Nazi supporter to the end of the war. He was later jailed and died in prison in 1951. The central European nation still grapples with its past, including its active role in deporting half a million Jews. The Balint Homan Foundation wants to honor Homan, who they say was an eminent historian and minister of religion and education before and during World War Two. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 13, 2015)


AMAZON UNDER FIRE FOR ALLOWING SALE OF NAZI PARAPHERNALIA (Toronto) — Nazi flags, Hitler Youth knives, and running shoes with swastikas on them are just some of the items for sale on Amazon's U.S. and Canadian websites that have a customer calling for a boycott of North America's largest online retailer. Mark Schwartz said he was disgusted to discover Amazon is making money off what he calls "hate items" by allowing vendors to sell the merchandise on its website. Schwartz's father is a Holocaust survivor. He was caught in the Nazi's roundup of Hungarian Jews and taken to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. According to B'nai Brith, the organization raised the issue in a letter to Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos in 2013, but nothing changed. (CBC, Dec. 14, 2015)


ERDOGAN: NORMALIZED TIES WITH ISRAEL WOULD BENEFIT REGION (Ankara) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signaled a possible warming of relations with Israel, saying the entire region would have much to gain from normalized ties. Relations between former allies Turkey and Israel broke down in 2010 after an Israeli naval raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla killed 10 Turkish citizens. Turkey has become the strongest critic of Israeli actions in Gaza, and reconciliation efforts between the two have repeatedly failed. Erdogan told journalists that “normalization with Israel” was possible if the sides can reach a compensation deal for the raid’s victims and if Israel lifts a blockade against Palestinians. (Times of Israel, Dec. 14, 2015)


CLOISTERED TURKISH JEWS HOLD THEIR FIRST PUBLIC MENORAH LIGHTING (Istanbul) — Turkey’s usually closed Jewish community held its first public Hanukkah lighting on Sunday since the founding of the republic nearly a century ago, marking a possible shift in how the community interacts with the larger society. Community representatives, alongside local dignitaries and foreign diplomats, lit the final Hanukkah candle in the Istanbul neighborhood of Ortaköy. “I wish peace, happiness and welfare to all Jews, primarily Turkey’s Jewish citizens who are an inseparable part of our society, on the occasion of Hanukkah,” Erdogan said in a statement. Sixty-nine percent of Turks harbor antisemitic attitudes, according to the ADL. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 14, 2015)


ANTI-ISRAEL PROTEST DISRUPTS YORK U. HANUKKAH PARTY (Toronto) — A pre-Hanukkah celebration sponsored by the Hillel chapter at York University in Toronto was interrupted by an anti-Israel student demonstration. On Dec. 3, supporters of Students Against Israeli Apartheid were holding a “silent protest” for a “YU Divest” campaign, when they noticed Jewish and other students enjoying a holiday event featuring an inflatable Hanukkah menorah. The anti-Israel protesters then began to chant slogans and hand out leaflets right near the Hillel event. Avi Benlolo, CEO of Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said that the disruption shows the “true antisemitic nature of the anti-Israel boycott crowd at York.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 13, 2015)


AMERICAN FEMINIST ASSOCIATION JOINS BDS (New York) — The members of the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) have voted in favor of a proposal to join the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement. The non-binding resolution was approved by an 88.4 percent margin, with 653 members voting for it and 86 members against, at the association's annual assembly. The NWSA resolution will be voted on by the association's 12,000 members in the next two months. If it passes, it will make the NWSA the largest organization yet to propose an academic boycott of Israel. The NWSA resolution comes at the heels of last month's American Anthropological Association (AAA) resolution to boycott Israeli universities. (Ynet, Dec. 2, 2015)


VATICAN DECLARATION ‘REPUDIATES’ REPLACEMENT THEOLOGY (Rome) —The Vatican issued an unprecedented declaration that the Jewish people are part of God’s salvation without explicitly confessing Christ as their savior, in a document that includes other changes in Catholic Church teachings related to Christian-Jewish relations. The Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews presented the document during a press conference at the Vatican to mark the 50th anniversary of the “Nostra Aetate” declaration, which was another watershed moment in Jewish-Christian ties. Even though Catholics believe that there is only one path to salvation, the new document states that “it does not in any way follow that the Jews are excluded from God’s salvation because they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God.” According to the document, Jews are Catholics’ “elder brothers” and “fathers in faith.” Catholics, it states, should reject institutional activities that try to convert Jews, but can “in a humble and sensitive manner” bear witness “to their faith in Jesus Christ also to Jews.” (JNS, Dec. 10, 2015)




On Topic Links 



How to Beat Islamic State: Maajid Nawaz, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 11, 2015 — Islam is a religion, and like any other faith, it is internally diverse. Islamism, by contrast, is the desire to impose a single version of Islam on an entire society. Islamism is not Islam, but it is an offshoot of Islam. It is Muslim theocracy.

All Across the Middle East, Journalists are Blaming Everyone but Arabs for Recent Terror Attacks: Robert Fulford, National Post, Dec. 11, 2015 —In the wake of great catastrophes, fantasies float to the surface and fill the minds of the credulous and the guileful. The assassination of John Kennedy led to widespread theorizing about a secret plot to kill him. The destruction of the Twin Towers inspired many to conclude that the U.S. government was behind it.

The Threat from ‘Minnesota Men’: Scott W. Johnson, Weekly Standard, Dec. 7, 2015 — If you get your news from the headlines, you can be excused for thinking that “Minnesota men” pose a special risk of taking up the terrorist jihad at home and abroad.

Donald Trump ‘Will. Never. Leave. This. Race.’: Steven Ginsberg & Robert Costa, Washington Post, Dec. 10, 2015 — Donald Trump came down the stairs, stopped in the middle of the clubhouse restaurant, thrust his arms out and proclaimed: “How great is this?” It was his way of saying hello and also a declaration of how America’s boss planned to try to own the room – through charm, not intimidation.



Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes


Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf


On Topic Links



Mahmoud Abbas not Ideal Peace Partner, Tzipi Livni Admits: Robert Tait, The Telegraph, May 28, 2013
Two rockets hit Hezbollah-controlled district in Lebanon: Ha’aretz, May 29, 2013

Explaining Obama’s Fixation with Israel: Daniel Pipes, The National Review, March 19, 2013



Weekly Quotes


[D]ear neighbors, we – citizens of Israel – want very much to live in Peace, in a region of peace where you and we enjoy it together. But we do not think that there is any point in signing an agreement with someone who today is here and tomorrow is in a grave, and his successors won’t honor his signature. When the Middle East becomes a region of peace, give us a call, perhaps we will join the peace that you will begin in the Middle East. until then please leave us alone. Mordechai Kedar, lecturer in Arabic at Bar Ilan University and former IDF Military Intelligence officer, in an open letter to the Arab League following it’s announcement that it had endorsed a two-state solution based on the 1949 armistice lines.  (Jewish Press, May 23, 2013)


“Many in the international community doubt UNRWA’s impartiality and motives. Israel supports UNRWA’s important humanitarian work; however, actions that encourage incitement, conflict and, ultimately, violence undermine this work….It’s quite something for UNRWA to insist that the map predates the creation of Israel, given that the PLO only adopted this flag in 1964. UNRWA’s grasp of history and geography is nothing short of appalling.” — Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, in a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon protesting the fact that Ann Dismorr, director of the UN Relief and Works Agency in Lebanon, stood in front of cameras holding a map of Israel labelled “Arab Palestine” with Israel non-existent. (Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2013)


“To see the Assad regime point the finger at Israel out of professed concern for the health of Syrians is, frankly, a sick joke. They've slaughtered 80,000 of their own people, and are now busy destroying the lives of millions more. The real question is this: Why is the UN allowing mass murderers to deflect attention from their crimes by scape-goating democracies? A world health assembly should be about Hippocrates, not hypocrisy.” — Hillel Neuer, executive director of the Geneva-based UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group accredited to the UN, condemning the annual assembly of the UN’s World Health Organization’s for adopting its only country-specific  resolution  condemning Israel, (UN Watch, May 22, 2013)


“I think there is an opportunity [for peace], but for many reasons it’s not on the tips of everyone’s tongue. People in Israel aren’t waking up every day and wondering if tomorrow there will be peace because there is a sense of security and a sense of accomplishment and of prosperity.” —  John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, to reporters before entering a meeting with President Shimon Peres, during a recent trip to Israel in an attempt to re-start peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. (Times of Israel, May 23, 2013)


“I value our president [Shimon Peres], but the concept of withdrawals failed and brought thousands of victims. Every time we give up land, people are killed.” — Naftali Bennet, leader of the Bayit Yehudi party, responding to President Peres’ speech in Jordan at the World Economic Forum where he promoted a two-state solution.  Bennett called for the government to declare that “this is our land, and it is not for sale.” (Jerusalem Post, May27, 2013)


"A legitimate question is with whom we are going to sign an agreement. The Gaza Strip is being controlled by Hamas. They are not part of the peace. They are not willing…to accept Israel's right to exist, to renounce terrorism and to accept all the agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. And on the other side, we have Abu Mazen [Abbas], for many years without elections on the Palestinian side, without any possibility to change anything in Gaza, even if he wants to. So what's the use of signing an agreement?" Tzipi Livni, Israel’s Minister of Justice and specially designated peace negotiator said in an address to foreign diplomats in Jerusalem. (The Telegraph, May 29, 2013)


“Representatives of the Arab League are amending the ‘Saudi initiative’ and turning it into a ‘peace’ treaty with Israel. Really? Who does the Arab League represent? Only the regimes of the Sunni countries, or what's left of them. The Shiite countries – Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon – no longer cooperate with this league. So Israel makes peace with the Sunnis; but what about the others? We must keep in mind that the territory the IDF will withdraw from will be seized immediately by armed Salafis from all across the Arab world – as was the case in Sinai and Syria. Who will come to Israel's aid when it is attacked?” — Guy Bechor, head of the Middle East Division at the Lauder School of Government at the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya. (Ynet News, May 28, 2013)


“She’s an accomplished scholar, but her views on Israel would be quite disturbing to many students. She doesn’t believe in a Jewish state and we want other schools to think twice before giving her awards because it offends students.” — Ilana Donohue, McGill Students for Israel co-president in a statement to the Montreal Gazette concerning Mcgill University’s intention of awarding an honorary doctorate to Judith Butler, an American academic and promoter of the boycott of Israel. Jeff Bicher, executive director of Hillel Montreal, on the other hand, said that,  while he supports the students’ position, “we do not believe that the honorary degree for her academic work condones in any way her anti-Israel activism.” (The Algemeiner, May 24, 2013)

“Do you want us to abduct other Shalits? This is not part of our culture. We cannot do this.” —Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority President, lamenting Israel’s failure to release pre-Oslo Palestinian security prisoners. Israel had only agreed to a mass prisoner release to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit from Gaza, he recalled. (Times of Israel, May 28, 2013)


“Those who refuse to abduct Zionist soldiers renounce the pain and suffering of thousands of prisoners yearning for freedom. Operations to capture enemy soldiers and trade them for our heroic prisoners are at the heart of our people’s culture, and are a source of pride for them and their resistance.” — Abu-Ubaida, spokesman for the Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, on his Facebook page. (Times of Israel, May 28, 2013)

"[It’s] like putting Jack the Ripper in charge of a women's shelter." Hillel Neuer,  head of UN Watch, a Geneva-based advocacy group that monitors the work of the United Nations, commenting on the selection of  Iran as chair of the UN Disarmament Conference. (UN Watch, May 13, 2013) 


“Clearly this move is a threat to us. At this stage I can’t say there is an escalation. The shipments have not been sent on their way yet. And I hope that they will not be sent.” But “if God forbid they do reach Syria, we will know what to do.” Moshe Ya’alon, Israel’s Defence Minister, responding to Russia’s declared intention to ship sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Syria despite Israel’s protest that it would be an escalating factor in the war in Syria. (Globe and Mail, May 28, 2013)


'If the attacks of Hezbollah against Syrian territory do not stop within 24 hours, we will take all measures to hunt Hezbollah, even in hell.' General Salim Idriss, chief of staff of the Syrian rebels' Supreme Military Council, said in an interview with Dubai-based al-Arabiya television. (Sky News, May 29, 2013)


“We are very disappointed. We don’t have any patience [any] more” General Salim Idriss, military chief of the Free Syrian Army, responding to the apparent decision of the European Union not to send arms to Syrian rebels until after a planned peace conference in Geneva.  At the same time, British Foreign Secretary said peace talks were a priority and that “as we work for a Geneva conference, we are not taking any decision to send arms to anyone.” Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department’s Patrick Ventrell, said that Washington had not made a decision to arm the rebels and condemned “all support of arms to the regime,” referring to Russia’s declared intention of selling highly sophisticated S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to the Assad regime in Syria. (National Post, May 29, 2013)


Over the past few days, there have been additional mind-boggling exposures of further scandals, lack of transparency, cover-ups and ethical failures at the highest possible levels of the Claims Conference leadership and management. Unless these latest reports appearing in the Jerusalem Post and JTA are refuted, we must demand the immediate resignations of all those engaged in the subterfuges. It was in April 2007 that I wrote the first of 21 articles calling for a reform of the Claims Conference and appealing to the Board to ensure that wherever possible, all funds being directed to general projects be frozen and instead steered towards ameliorating the plight of the desperate elderly and ailing survivors unable to afford food, medicine and basic necessities of life. I repeatedly stated that it was our obligation as Jews, and in particular the duty of the Claims Conference, to ensure that these survivors would live out their remaining years with a modicum of dignity.” Isi Liebler, in an op-ed article in the Jerusalem Post. (Jerusalem Post, May 22, 2013)


“To me, when I look at Israel, I see not only a Jewish state rebuilt on the ancient Jewish homeland, I see an outpost of the civilization in which I believe. Because I do not believe that all civilizations are equivalent. I don't believe in a civilization that torments women and children, that's woefully corrupt, that in the 21st century, not only cannot build a competitive automobile, but cannot even build a competitive bicycle! And while I wish the Arabs well—I wish no man harm, with the exception of a few terrorists here or there—nonetheless, to me, Israel is a beacon of justice, for rule of law, humanity, decency, culture… in short, Israel belongs to the Jews; it belongs to my civilization.” Ralph Peters, Lt. Col. U.S. Army (ret.), in an interview with Arutz 7 prior to delivering a speech at the American Friends of Ateret Cohanim's 34th Anniversary Gala. (Arutz 7, May 23, 2013)


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LIVNI: ABBAS NOT IDEAL PEACE PARTNER (Jerusalem) Tzipi Livni, Israel's chief peace negotiator, has expressed doubts over the ability of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, to deliver an agreement. Addressing foreign diplomats and journalists, Livni – who also serves as justice minister in Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet – likened any agreement with Abbas to a signed check on an empty bank account because he does not control Gaza, which is run by the Islamist Hamas movement. She also acknowledged doubts over Abbas' legitimacy in the West Bank – which his Fatah movement controls – because he has not held elections for several years.(The Telegraph, May 29, 2013)

TERROR OVERWHELMING WESTERN INTELLIGENCE (Herzliya) The gruesome murder of a British soldier in London by two British Muslims, the first Islamist killing in Britain since suicide bombers killed 52 people in London in 2005, has revived the fear of the "lone wolf" jihadist threat in the Western world. The Boston Marathon bombing a month ago also comes to mind. Western democratic governments have not yet realized that the complete freedom of speech, propaganda and organization offered to radical Islamist religious and political leaders who actively support violence is the single greatest danger to their security. The security and law enforcement agencies seem to be overwhelmed by the large numbers of potential suspect terrorists they have to monitor and too cautious in their preventive operations. There is a salient pattern of plots or attacks against Jewish targets acting as the precursor for major terrorist plots against Western, Christian, and moderate Muslim targets. (Ha'aretz, May 29, 2013)


ROCKET ON HEZBOLLAH A TURNING POINT (Beirut) A rocket attack on the Hezbollah stronghold in south Beirut marks a turning point in the Syrian war and the clearest signal yet that the conflict is likely to escalate and spread to Lebanon, already on a knife’s edge due to sectarian divisions. Shi’ite- Sunni strife in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere is manifesting itself in the Syrian civil war, dragging neighboring countries into the conflict. The rocket attack seems to be the opening salvo in Lebanon by Sunnis against the Iran/Hezbollah/Syria axis. Further examples of this came on Sunday as Egyptian jihadist movements called on Mujahedeen from around the world to go to Lebanon and fight Hezbollah, according to a report on Now Lebanon’s website. And Bahrain’s foreign minister called Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah a “terrorist” a day after his speech on Saturday, which called for strongly supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to a report on Al-Arabiya. (Jerusalem Post, May 27, 2013)


FORMER ITALIAN LEGISLATOR MAKES ALIYAH (Rome) The Rome Jewish community leadership gave a rousing send-off to journalist and former Italian parliament member Fiamma Nirenstein ahead of her departure for Israel on aliyah Sunday. Born in Florence, Nirenstein was elected to Parliament in April 2008 as a member of the center-right People of Freedom ticket headed by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. During her tenure in Parliament, she was outspoken in support of Israel and in combating anti-Semitism. The Rome Jewish Community board, along with representatives of other Jewish organizations and the Israeli ambassador to Italy, toasted her at a ceremony ahead of Shabbat on Friday. “Her contribution in the last legislature was decisive, and not to be able to see her sitting in Parliament anymore is, for us, an insurmountable loss,” Rome Jewish community president Riccardo Pacifici said. (Jewish Press/JTA, May 26th, 2013)


RUSSIA TO ARM SYRIA REGIME WITH ANTI-AIRCRAFT MISSILES TO PREVENT FOREIGN INTERVENTION(Moscow) A top Russian diplomat confirmed that Moscow will provide Syria with state-of-the-art air defense missiles to prevent foreign intervention in the country. Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov wouldn't say whether Russia has shipped any of the long-range S-300 air defense missile systems, but added that Moscow isn't going to abandon the deal despite strong Western and Israeli criticism. Ryabkov said the deal helps restrain some "hot heads" considering a military intervention in Syria. Russia has been the key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, protecting it from the United Nations sanctions and providing it with weapons despite the civil war there that has claimed over 70,000 lives. Ryabkov's statement comes a day after European Union's decision to lift an arms embargo to Syrian opposition. (Ha’aretz, May 28, 2013)


SYRIAN REBELS NEAR ISRAEL BORDER STOLE UN’S ARMORED TRUCKS (Golan Heights) A Syrian rebel group that twice abducted United Nations peacekeepers near the Israeli border in the past three months stole several UN vehicles, a UN Peacekeeping spokesperson acknowledged to The Times of Israel — including at least two sophisticated armored personnel carriers. An Israeli expert warned that the sophisticated UN-marked vehicles could be used in surprise border attacks on IDF targets. UNDOF reported in its quarterly report to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that on March 6, a supply convoy carrying 21 UN personnel was waylaid by Syrian rebels near the village of Jamlah, near the Israeli border. After several days in captivity the Filipino peacekeepers were released unharmed, but, as of the writing of the March report, their four vehicles were “yet to be recovered.”  Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade now has two ‘virtually indestructible’ vehicles, which Israeli expert warns could be used in surprise attacks. (Times of Israel, May 28, 2013)


HUNGARIAN MP: AUSCHWITZ ‘MAY NOT REFLECT REAL FACTS’(Budapest) An MP for the ultra-far right Jobbik party in Hungary has said that the Auschwitz concentration camp museum “may not reflect real facts,” the International Business Times reports. During a discussion in parliament of a bill funding visits of Hungarian teenagers in the Nazi death camp in Poland, Tamas Gaudi-Nagy said the country’s schools should not be “forced to take up such an expensive venture” to visit site whose historical accuracy is, he believes, doubtful. Gaudi-Nagy’s statements were attacked by the country’s ruling Fidesz party. Its leader, Antal Rogan, said: “Nobody has the right to question the Holocaust, the suffering and death of millions of people.” (Jewish Press, May 28th, 2013)


70-80% OF PALESTINIANS DISPLACED IN SYRIA (Homs Province, Syria) Conflict in Syria has displaced more than two-thirds of the Palestinian refugees in the country, AFP quoted the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNWRA) said on Wednesday. "We have registered approximately 530,000 Palestinian refugees. We believe that almost all of them, certainly maybe 70-80 percent, are displaced from their normal homes," UNRWA Commissioner General Filippo Grandi told AFP during a visit to Syria. Speaking after meeting Palestinian refugees at a camp in central Homs province, Grandi  told AFP that "12-15 percent of the refugee population in Syria is now [made] refugee again in another country." (Jerusalem Post, May 23, 2013)


PERI COMMITEE APPROVES SANCTIONS ON DRAFT DODGERS (Jerusalem) The ministerial committee for equalizing the burden [of military service] approved Wednesday imposing criminal sanctions on draft dodgers, including haredim. The clause in the proposed bill, that would mandate how to draft yeshiva students and punish those who evade service, also makes room for the exemption of 1,800 yeshiva students from serving in the IDF. Finance Minister Yair Lapid lauded the decision in a press conference following the vote, describing the measure as the first significant step toward equality in the burden. This government proved it can make a change, even in the most explosive topics," he said. "This issue ended coalitions," he added. "In three years, 70% of haredim will be drafted. This is a badge of pride for this government and our party. We promised our voters we would not give in and we are keeping our promise." (Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2013)


ITALY PROF. SAYS HAS FOUND WORLD'S OLDEST TORAH   (Rome) An Italian professor said on Wednesday he has identified what he believes is the world's oldest complete scroll of the Torah, containing the full text of the first five books of Hebrew scripture. Mauro Perani, professor of Hebrew at the University of Bologna, said experts and carbon dating tests done in Italy and the United States dated the scroll as having been made between 1155 and 1225. The scroll, which has been in possession of the Bologna University Library for more than 100 years, had been previously thought to be from the 17th century. The scroll is made up of 58 sections of soft sheep leather each sewn together, most of them with three columns of script. (Jerusalem Post, May 29, 2013)


CIJR NOTES PASSING OF LONG-TIME SUPPORTERS (Montreal) Noted Montreal entrepreneur and philanthropist Morton Brownstein z"l, at 85.  Heir to the Brown's Shoes business, founded in 1940, he built it into today's 40 cross-Canada outlets. Known for leading the Supreme Court challenge to Quebec's language laws, a supporter of many community causes, including the Jewish General Hospital, he was a strong and eloquent supporter of the State of Israel and of Jewish institutions in Montreal and Canada.


Colonel Bernard J. Finestone, z"l, at age 93.  Joining the fight against the Nazis  at age 17, he was a tank officer with the B.C. Dragoons, seriously wounded in the Italian campaign. A member of the Royal Canadian Legion, Col. Feinstone was a strong Zionist who supported the Jewish state, Israel, from the War of Independence onwards. He loved speaking to students, and was an avid reader of CIJR's Daily Isranet Briefing.


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Mahmoud Abbas not Ideal Peace Partner, Tzipi Livni Admits: Robert Tait, The Telegraph, May 28, 2013—Tzipi Livni, Israel's chief peace negotiator, has expressed doubts over the ability of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, to deliver an agreement even while insisting on the need for a historic deal to end the Middle East conflict.


Two rockets hit Hezbollah-controlled district in Lebanon: Ha’aretz, May 29, 2013—Two rockets hit a Shi'ite Muslim district of southern Beirut on Sunday, residents said, wounding several people, a day after the leader of Lebanese Shi'ite militant movement Hezbollah said his group would continue fighting in Syria until victory.


Explaining Obama’s Fixation with Israel: Daniel Pipes, The National Review, March 19, 2013—It’s not just that he’s spending days in Israel this week, but that he has spent a disproportionate amount of time over the last four years searching for a solution to the Arab–Israeli conflict. The Left thinks the Arab-Israeli conflict is key to world problems.


Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843



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