WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

 We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, 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: rob@isranet.org

 

Contents: | Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links

 

On Topic Links

 

Argentina and the Nisman Probe: Jerusalem Post, Feb. 28, 2016

Israel’s Options in a Chaotic Middle East: Yossi Klein Halevi, Wall Street Journal,,Feb. 26, 2016

BDS and the New Anti-Semitism: Robert Horenstein, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 24, 2015

Top 10 Jewish Moments of Oscar History: Seth Rogovoy, Ha’aretz, Feb. 29, 2016

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“I know this: If it doesn’t work, the potential is there that Syria will be utterly destroyed…The fact is that we need to make certain that we are exploring and exhausting every option of diplomatic resolution.” — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Violence significantly decreased in northern and western Syria on Saturday, the first day of a truce brokered by the U.S. and Russia, even amid reports of scattered violations, including incidents of bombing, shelling and at least one aerial attack. The U.S. and Russia have invested considerable political capital in the truce, although it has not been formally signed by either the Syrian government or its opponents. It is the first such attempt since a UN-brokered truce in April 2012 that broke down within hours. (New York Times, Feb. 26, 2016 & New York Times, Feb. 27)

 

“There is a low prospect that this will work, because there are spoilers on both sides, there are opposition groups that won’t respect the cease-fire, and we can’t trust the Russians will limit their military action to specific terrorist groups.” — Philip H. Gordon, one of President Obama’s top Middle East advisers until last year. Gordon noted that the cessation of hostilities agreement may “effectively start to develop into a de facto partition of the country, whereby different ethnic groups control the regions they are currently holding.” That is what worries the Israelis, who see a Syrian-Russian-Iranian axis developing on their border. (New York Times, Feb. 26, 2016)

 

"The Syrians used military grade chemical weapons and lately have been using materials, chlorine, against civilians, including in these very days, after the supposed ceasefire, dropping barrels of chlorine on civilians." — Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon. Israel said on Tuesday that Syrian government forces have used chemical weapons against civilians since the start of a ceasefire aimed at preparing the way for an end to the five-year civil war. The truce has been dogged by opposition charges of non-compliance by Damascus – something President Bashar Assad has denied. It does not apply to missions against jihadist rebels. A fact-finding mission of the global chemical weapons watchdog (OPCW) concluded in 2014 that the use of chlorine gas has been "systematic" in the Syrian civil war, even after the country surrendered its stockpile of toxic weapons. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 1, 2016)

 

“It is incomprehensible for the UN on one day to lament the regime’s killing and wounding of hundreds of thousands of Syrians…and to then hand this gift of false legitimacy to the mass murderer Bashar al-Assad.” — UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer. The United Nations last week re-elected Syria’s ambassador to a top spot on its Special Committee on Decolonization. The panel — set up in 1960 to to oppose “subjugation, domination and exploitation” re-elected Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari of Syria as rapporteur. The decolonization panel also made Venezuela its chairman and Cuba a vice-chair, despite the horrific human-rights records of both regimes. Neuer says the move will let Assad portray itself as a “human-rights arbiter.” (New York Post, Feb. 26, 2016)

 

“Today I am among you to say to you, frankly and bravely, that the government has left its people struggling against death, fear, hunger, unemployment, occupation, a struggling economy, a security crisis, bad services and a big political crisis.” — Moktada al-Sadr, Iraqi cleric and political provocateur, addressing a crowd in Baghdad. The time is ripe for demagogues again in Iraq, where the public is seething with anger over corruption, a grinding war and a collapse in oil prices that has shaken the economy. Sadr and his fearsome militia were once a primary enemy of the United States. In seizing a chance on Friday to return to the political spotlight, he positioned himself as a nationalist in the face of Iran’s growing role in Iraqi affairs, and as a source of aid for a weak prime minister. (New York Times, Feb. 26, 2016)

 

“I have been very impressed with what (Microsoft Israel) have done in the past 25 years, and I can’t wait to see what they come up with in the next 25.” — Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft. Gates virtually joined over 2,000 people at the Microsoft Israel R&D Center’s annual Think Next event in Tel Aviv. In a rare public comment on the value of Microsoft Israel’s work in helping make the company what it is, Gates said that Israeli developments tech areas like analytics and security were “improving the world.” The center, he said, “started in 1991, when some of the Israeli engineers at Microsoft wanted to return home but continue working at Microsoft. We decided to open the center – it was our first one outside the US – and I think the technology they have produced over the years more than justifies our decision.” (Times of Israel, Feb. 25, 2016)

 

“In Gaza, we received a base for Hamas terrorism adjacent to our territory…Unfortunately, transferring control over and responsibility for Gaza to the Palestinians not only did not set us on the path to peace, it enhanced the arming of terrorist organizations. Our obligation is to at least learn the necessary lessons from this episode.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu attacked former prime minister Ariel Sharon’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip at a memorial ceremony marking two years since Sharon’s death. Netanyahu, who quit Sharon’s government to protest the withdrawal, said leaving the Gaza Strip did not achieve Sharon’s goals of bringing about security and peace. Netanyahu said one of the lessons was that any land Israel leaves in the future must be demilitarized. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 29, 2016)

 

“The State of Israel was established against all odds when it was surrounded by enemies and wilderness. We transformed it into a strong, morally just, progressive and democratic state with human rights, justice and the pursuit of peace. We evolved into a start-up nation. Today, Israel contributes to the world and has the most advanced agriculture, the most advanced medicine and incomparable technology.” — Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president, addressing the South African-Jewish community’s gala Salute to Israel Sunday. Supporters of the BDS movement, which is very active in South Africa, staged a protest demonstration outside the Intercontinental Hotel where Peres was staying and where the gala was held. Thanks to the heavy police presence, efforts to disrupt the Salute to Israel were thwarted. Peres, who was the keynote speaker at the event, declared in his opening remarks: “No threat or attempt to harm us or the State of Israel will prevent me from standing on this stage, here in South Africa and to fight the just war of the State of Israel.” Peres also addressed the claims by protesters outside the hotel that Israel is an “apartheid state” because of the way it treats Palestinians. Peres insisted that there is not a single word in Israeli law that discriminates against people for reasons of creed, color, ethnicity or nationality. “Apartheid was racism,” he said, “and in Israel, racism is a crime.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 29, 2016)

 

(If Israel was attacked), “100% I’d come to their defense. 100%. Now, you know that under the Iran deal… if Israel ends up attacks Iran because they’re — they see they’re doing the nuclear, or if it’s the other way around, we have to fight with Iran. By the way, that’s not happening, folks. I don’t care. Deals are meant to be broken in some cases, all right?” — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump was asked about his comments that he would be “neutral” in the conflict between Israel and Palestine, and whether he sees “that Israel is the victim in this?” Trump said that he does and that he’s “a great friend of Israel.” (Breitbart, Feb. 23, 2016)

 

Contents

SHORT TAKES

 

CLINTON, TRUMP SCORE BIG WINS ON SUPER TUESDAY (Washington) — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took a big leap toward clinching their parties’ nomination for the US presidential election, soundly defeating rivals in a slew of Super Tuesday primaries. Trump weathered a barrage of attacks from fellow Republicans to win in seven of 11 states.  Clinton also racked up seven wins. She trounced rival Sen. Bernie Sanders across a host of southern US states — Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee and Texas — winning big among African-American voters and reversing a 2008 primary loss in Virginia. Clinton also claimed Massachusetts, in a close race. Sanders notched wins in his home state of Vermont, Oklahoma, Colorado and in Minnesota. But he now trails heavily. (Breitbart, Mar. 2, 2016)

 

LOST ISRAELI TROOPS STRAY INTO CAMP, SPARKING BLOODY CLASHES (Qalandiya) — Two Israeli soldiers said to be using a traffic app mistakenly entered a refugee camp in the West Bank Monday night, sparking clashes that killed one Palestinian and wounded 15 people. The two soldiers travelling in a jeep entered the Qalandiya refugee camp and were targeted with rocks and Molotov cocktails, Israeli officials said. Israeli reinforcements were then deployed to the camp between Jerusalem and Ramallah to rescue them, provoking further clashes that lasted hours. The two soldiers were later rescued unharmed. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said the soldiers "apparently used Waze," the Israeli-developed navigation app now owned by Google. (Yahoo, Mar. 1, 2016)

 

ALBERTO NISMAN'S MURDER OFFICIALLY CONFIRMED (Buenos Aires) — Argentinean special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was investigating the 1994 AMIA bombing in Buenos Aires when he died, was the victim of a homicide, that country’s attorney general for criminal appeals Ricardo Sáenz declared last week. Media outlets in Argentina reported that this was the first time an official source had confirmed that the Jewish attorney, who was found shot in the head in his apartment in January 2015, was indeed murdered. According to Sáenz’s, no gunpowder residue was found on Nisman’s hands, proving that he did not fire the weapon in his hand and thus ruling out the previous verdict of suicide. Sáenz also presented evidence that Nisman’s body was moved after his death. (Ynet, Feb. 25, 2016)

 

I.S. CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIRD IRAQ BOMBING IN TWO DAYS (Baghdad) — Islamic State continued its bombing rampage in Iraq Monday claiming responsibility for an attack at a funeral that killed at least 38 people, in a new sign the terror group is resorting to mass attacks on civilians as it suffers battlefield setbacks. The suicide bombing unfolded one day after a double bombing in Baghdad killed 73 people. I.S. claimed responsibility for that attack as well. Monday's bombing struck a funeral in Muqdadiyah, about 60 miles north of Baghdad. I.S. still controls much of northern and western Iraq, but has been driven back in recent months. The government recently declared the western city of Ramadi "fully liberated." I.S. had captured the city last year. (Fox News, Feb. 29, 2016)  

 

IRANIAN MODERATES WIN MAJORITY IN PARLIAMENT, CLERICAL BODY (Tehran) — Iranian reformists who support last year's nuclear deal won the most seats in parliament and a clerical body charged with selecting the next supreme leader. Final results show that reformists, who favor expanded social freedoms and engagement with the West, and other backers of President Rouhani, won at least 85 seats. Moderate conservatives — who split with the hard-line camp and support the nuclear deal — won 73, giving the two camps together a majority over hard-liners in the 290-seat assembly. The parliament vote isn't expected to herald large-scale change in Iran, and it's unlikely that the winners will propose changes to reduce the role of Islam in government or law. The condition for them to run in the election was to remain loyal to the principles of the Islamic Republic. (New York Times, Feb. 29, 2016)

 

IRAN ORDERS COMPLETE WITHDRAWAL OF ITS MILITARY FORCES FROM SYRIA (Tehran) — Iran is set to withdraw its entire 2,500 member fighting force from Syria, according to Israel's Channel 2 news. According to a report, the majority of the forces have already been evacuated from Syria. Iran's forces were deployed to Syria to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime forces over the past two years. Iran's forces have sustained around 160 fatalities including six senior officers, generals, and colonels, and over 300 injuries. Tehran, it added, will continue to support Hezbollah, which has been fighting alongside Syrian regime forces against local rebel groups. (I24, Feb. 28, 2016)

 

US APPEALS COURT: TERROR VICTIMS CAN SEIZE $9.4 MILLION OF IRAN FUNDS (Tehran) — Victims of a 1997 triple suicide bombing in Jerusalem have won a major US appeals court judgment involving an award of $9.4 million in damages. The Ninth Circuit Appellate Court, which handles appeals from California court decisions, handed down the judgment on Friday in favor of victims represented by Shurat Hadin’s Nitsana Darshan-Leitner in Israel, and by David Strachman of Rhode Island. The attack took place on Sept. 4, 1997, when terrorists set off explosives attached to their bodies as they wandered into a pedestrian mall, killing five Israelis and wounding scores more. In 2001, Shurat Hadin helped the American families of those wounded in the attacks to begin legal proceedings against Iran due to its sponsorship of Hamas, which claimed credit for the attack. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 28, 2016)

 

CANADA HAS WELCOMED 25,000 SYRIAN REFUGEES (Ottawa) — On Saturday night the 25,000th Syrian refugee landed in Canada, completing the first phase of the federal government’s resettlement plan. Canadians have largely supported the federal government’s resettlement plans, despite security concerns around the tight timeline and resource-strained municipalities asking for a halt to arrivals. But a poll of 1,507 Canadians last month found 42 per cent wanted Canada to halt its intake immediately, 29 per cent wanted refugee numbers capped at 25,000 and just 29 per cent wanted to accept even more than 25,000. Next month, immigration minister John McCallum will publish an intake target of somewhere between 35,000 to 50,000 Syrians by the end of 2016. (National Post, Feb. 28, 2016)

 

CANADA TO RETURN CITIZENSHIP TO WOULD-BE BEHEADER (Ottawa) — The Canadian government has submitted an amendment to the citizenship law which determines that citizenship will not be stripped from terrorists. In the previous Harper government, the law was modified granting the federal government the authority to negate the citizenship of those holding dual citizenship who were convicted of serious crimes, such as terrorism. According to the planned change in the law terrorist Zakaria Amara, a Jordanian who was raised in Saudi Arabia and Cyprus before immigrating to Canada, will receive his Canadian citizenship back. Amara is currently serving a life sentence for planning to detonate truck bombs in downtown Toronto and to behead the prime minister. The Al Qaeda inspired terror cell he founded was nabbed just before blowing up truck bombs in downtown Toronto in 2006. (Arutz Sheva, Feb. 28, 2016)

 

MCGILL STUDENTS REJECT CONTROVERSIAL BDS MOTION (Montreal) — In an online vote, 57 per cent (2,819) overturned the BDS motion adopted last Monday by the general assembly of the Students’ Society of McGill University (SSMU), while 43 per cent (2,119) supported it. Of the 5,286 votes cast, 6.6 per cent were abstentions. At the SSMU’s general assembly last Monday, students voted 512 to 347 in support of BDS. The motion called on McGill to divest itself of all investments linked to Israeli military operations or illegal settlements. It was the third time in 18 months that McGill students had introduced a vote on BDS. The same day the McGill student assembly approved the BDS motion, the Liberal government overwhelmingly condemned the BDS movement. (Montreal Gazette, Feb. 28, 2016)

 

SODASTREAM LAYS OFF LAST PALESTINIAN WORKERS AFTER PERMIT ROW (Jerusalem) — Israeli firm SodaStream laid off its last Palestinian workers and lashed out at the government for refusing to grant them work permits after it relocated from the West Bank to Israel. The company, which manufactures a device for making fizzy drinks at home, announced in late 2014 it was closing the West Bank plant following a boycott campaign. The plant, located in a West Bank settlement, closed in October, laying off more than 500 Palestinains, and then relocated inside Israel. The Israeli government refused to grant the 74 Palestinians work permits beyond the end of February, according to the company. (Ynet, Feb. 29, 2016)

 

LIKUD MK DEMANDING EXPULSION OF BDS FOUNDER (Jerusalem) — In advance of a pro-BDS conference that was held on Friday in Nazareth, MK Nava Boker (Likud) called on the Interior Minister to revoke the permanent residence of Omar Barghouti, the founding member of the BDS movement who was the keynote speaker at the conference. According to author and journalist Naomi Ragen, Barghouti is not “Palestinian”, having been born in Qatar and grown up in Egypt. He says he’s “Palestinian” because of his parents who supposedly fled their village in Judea and Samaria and today live in Jordan. He arrived in “Palestine” for the first time in 1993, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. He claims to be a Ph.D candidate in philosophy at Tel Aviv University. Barghouti has an Israeli residency by virtue of being married to an Israeli. (Jewish Press, Feb. 27, 2016)

 

LEAKED PLAN SHOWS GERMANY READY TO SHUT BORDER ON REFUGEES (Berlin) — Germany is threatening to close its borders to asylum-seekers in an attempt to persuade other governments to do more to solve the migrant crisis. While Chancellor Angela Merkel insists she wants to keep Europe’s borders open, plans leaked to a German newspaper Sunday suggest her government is drawing up measures to reinstate its own national controls. In what Welt am Sonntag called a “clear threat to the EU,” sources said Germany was considering turning away asylum-seekers at the border.  Merkel has been leading negotiations for EU states to take in a fixed quota of Syrian refugees from Turkey in exchange for Turkish help reducing the flow of migrants into Europe. But she has faced growing opposition from a number of European countries that say they will not accept quotas. (National Post, Feb. 28, 2016)

 

PALESTINIAN FUGITIVE IN MYSTERY DEATH AT EMBASSY IN BULGARIA (Sofia) — A Palestinian wanted for a 1986 killing in Israel plunged to his death Friday from the Palestinian Embassy in Bulgaria, officials said. Palestinians immediately accused Israel of killing Omar Nayef Zayed, 52. Israel denied involvement and Bulgarian authorities said they had yet to determine whether he fell, jumped or was pushed from the building. Adding to the mystery, the death came hours after Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov returned from a visit to Israel and the PA, where he discussed a 2015 Israeli extradition request for Zayed with both the Israeli prime minister and Palestinian officials. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) said Zayed was a member who stabbed a Jewish student to death in Jerusalem’s Old City 1986. He received a life sentence. (Washington Post, Feb. 26, 2016)

 

ANCIENT ALEPPO SYNAGOGUE IN DANGER OF DESTRUCTION (Aleppo) — One of the oldest synagogues in the world is likely to become another fatality in the Syrian civil war, due to its proximity to the latest strikes on the city of Aleppo, where the ancient Jewish house of worship is situated. The heavy bombardment of the city by Russian- and Hezbollah-backed Assad regime forces puts any structure in the vicinity at risk. This is not the first time the synagogue has been in danger. In 2012 the building suffered from a number of direct hits during battles with the opposition. This caused the belief that the structure had been completely destroyed. But in 2014, reports emerged that the synagogue had survived the shelling. When the last Jewish family in Aleppo was smuggled out of Syria during 2105, the synagogue was all that remained of the Jewish presence in the city. (Algemeiner, Feb. 11, 2016)

 

LITHUANIAN TOWN PLANS TO NAME STREET AFTER PRIEST WHO ORGANIZED GANG THAT MURDERED JEWS (Vilnius) — The small town of Moletai, Lithuania, has come under fire for its announcement that it intends to name a street after Jonas Zvinys, a local priest accused of organizing a gang that murdered the city’s Jews in 1941. Lithuanian writer Ruta Vanagaite launched an investigation into Zvinys. Vanagaite said that after searching through KGB archives she discovered that the priest indeed set up the gang in question, one of whose leaders was his own brother, who would later confess to his role in the massacre. The failure to properly investigate the activities during the Holocaust of numerous postwar heroes of the anti-Soviet resistance in Lithuania has enabled the glorification of individuals who played a direct role in the mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry, and whose crimes during the Shoah should have automatically disqualified them from receiving state honors, he said. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 28, 2016)

 

‘SON OF SAUL’ WINS OSCAR FOR BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM (Los Angeles) — “Son of Saul,” the Hungarian Holocaust drama from director Laszlo Nemes, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film on Sunday’s 88th Academy Awards. The win is the second straight for a Holocaust film in the category. In 2015, the Polish film “Ida,” about a young soon-to-be nun who learns her parents were Jews killed during the war, took home the best foreign film Oscar. Set in Auschwitz in 1944, “Son of Saul” tells the story of Saul Auslander, a Jewish inmate forced to escort his fellow prisoners to the gas chambers and help to dispose of their remains. The film already claimed the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Globe for best foreign film. (Times of Israel, Feb. 29, 2016)

 

IWO JIMA VETERANS HONOUR ANNIVERSARY OF FLAG RAISING (New York) — On February 23rd, 1945, five days into the battle for Iwo Jima, U.S. Marines raised the American flag over Mount Suribachi. 27 Medals of Honor were awarded for actions on Iwo Jima, the most of any battle in Marine Corps history. About 70,000 Marines fought on the island and nearly 7,000 were killed, according to the National WWII Museum. Angelo Ciotta, 90, a retired private first class, was present that day at Mount Suribachi, where the flag was raised during one of the bloodiest battles of the Pacific theater. Ciotta, who was awarded the Purple Heart, was assigned to crawling up to the pillboxes and blowing them up. “People call us the living history of World War II,” he said, “but we did nothing more than what we were asked to do for our country.” (New York Times, Feb. 26, 2016)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Argentina and the Nisman Probe: Jerusalem Post, Feb. 28, 2016—A high-ranking legal official in Argentina has rekindled hope for justice regarding the mysterious death of Alberto Nisman, a Jewish prosecutor who had been investigating the 1994 bombing of the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

Israel’s Options in a Chaotic Middle East: Yossi Klein Halevi, Wall Street Journal,,Feb. 26, 2016—One recent morning, a Palestinian teenager stabbed a security guard at the light rail station minutes from my home in Jerusalem. About an hour later, I drove past the station and was astonished to see—nothing.

BDS and the New Anti-Semitism: Robert Horenstein, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 24, 2015—This past October, anti-Semitism reared its ugly head in my hometown. First, the Portland Human Rights Commission, an independent body appointed by the city council, endorsed a petition from the local Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) coalition calling on the city government to divest from four US companies “due to their serious human rights violations in the ongoing illegal and brutal Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.” A week later, a swastika was spray-painted on the side of our lone Sephardi synagogue.

Top 10 Jewish Moments of Oscar History: Seth Rogovoy, Ha’aretz, Feb. 29, 2016—As we all know, Jews control Hollywood, yeah, yeah, yeah, yadda, yadda, yadda. But that hasn’t stopped plenty of hosts and presenters at the Academy Awards over the years from poking fun at the notion, or from making the crowd and viewers uncomfortable with remarks bordering on the anti-Semitic.

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

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:  ber@isranet.org

 

 

 Download a pdf version of today's Daily Briefing

 

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links

 

Advantix Air-Conditioning Empire Built on Ice and Salt: Karin Kloosterman, Israel 21c, July 31, 2013

Israeli Bionic Contact Lens Will Help Blind People ‘See’: ISRAEL21c,  July 31, 2013

The Israeli Company that Wants to Put a 3D Printer in Every Home: Avner Meyrav, NoCamels, July 16, 2013

 

“The very notion of Palestinian preconditions before even reaching the negotiating table, to enter a process in which they would be the potential beneficiaries – is utterly absurd. But when it involves the release of some of the most vicious terrorists of our time, it becomes obscene. And that obscenity has been made possible by none other then the U.S. Secretary of State.” Dani Dayan, a businessman and chief foreign envoy of the pro-settler Yesha Council, commenting in a blog for the Times of Israel. (Times of Israel, July 28, 2013)

“This is an indescribably difficult decision to make – it is painful for the bereaved families, it is painful for the entire nation and it is also painful for me, “I believe it is of the utmost importance for the state of Israel to enter a diplomatic process. This is important both to exhaust the possibilities of ending the conflict with the Palestinians and to establish Israel’s position in the complex international reality around us.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an open letter to the Israeli public justifying the Israeli government’s decision to release 104 Palestinian Arab prisoners with “blood on their hands”. This is being done as a gesture to the Palestinian Authority in an effort to restart peace talks, despite opinion polls showing that over 84% of Israelis oppose releasing terrorists as a precondition to talks. (National Post, July 29, 2013)

"If there is no majority for the proposal [in the cabinet], it doesn't only mean that we refuse to release the prisoners. It means that we refuse to renew negotiations and that Israel will be blamed…. Not only does it let the Palestinians get to work at the UN immediately, it could also absolve our relatively few friends in the international community who are still standing alongside us and casting a veto at the UN or blocking boycotts. That doesn't mean I think there's a great chance to achieve a final-status agreement with the Palestinians…but we want to preserve Israeli's international status and prevent it from suffering a diplomatic and economic blow.” — Gideon Sa'ar, Israel’s Interior Minister, commenting on the decision by the Israeli government to release 104 Palestinian Arab terrorists with “blood on their hands” as a gesture to the Palestinian authority in an effort to restart peace talks. (Ha'aretz, July 31, 2013)

"In a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands." — Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, in a briefing to mostly Egyptian journalists, upon the announcement of the resumption of peace talks with Israel. (Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2013)

"The President of the Palestinian Authority said he doesn't want to see any Israelis on his land. Bad things happen when good people are silent. Good people need to act." — Naftali Bennett, Jerusalem and Diaspora Minister, who is responsible for the government's efforts to battle anti-Semitism, attending a conference of a Knesset caucus on anti-Semitism.

   "To this day, people ask me if I think anti-Semitism is a good thing, because it brings people to Israel. What ignorance and lies! For every one person who makes aliya because of anti-Semitism, 10 assimilate. Anti-Semitism and delegitimation of Israel lead Jews to distance themselves from Judaism and Israel. Anti-Semitism is enemy number one of Zionism.” — Natan Sharansky, director of the Jewish Agency for Israel, while  attending a conference of a Knesset caucus on anti-Semitism. (Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2013)

“Releasing prisoners came as a result of choosing a bad option over a worse option… We reached the decision to avoid the worse [option]. Many strategic considerations, which may be revealed in the future, stood behind this, and hence we must go forward with a release of pre-Oslo prisoners. These are murderers. This is a challenge to justice, to law and to bereaved families, and I hear their voices. We are embarking on this maneuver responsibly, with good judgment, and we’ll be able to provide an answer to security aspects… I know who these prisoners are, how many they are, what they did, [and] when they did it.” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, speaking at the IDF’s absorption base for new draftees at Tel Hashomer. (Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2013)

"We were always ready to enter into negotiations with the Palestinians without pre-conditions….We support a solution based on two states for two peoples, a Jewish state of Israel living side-by-side in peace and security and mutual recognition with the Palestinian state. It was not the Palestinian position. The Palestinians had a number of pre-conditions. They were not willing to live in a situation of mutual recognition. We recognize the Palestinians as a people endowed with the right of self-determination. They don't recognize the Jews as a people yet with the right of self-determination. When we say 'Jewish state,' what does it mean? It means that the Jewish state is permanent and legitimate. We're not interlopers. We're not trespassers. We're not a transient state. And it also means there'll be an end of claims and end of conflict.  There are about 193 states in the world. Most of them are nation states; the Bulgarians, the Hungarians, the Germans….It's very common, certainly in Europe. And there's nothing anomalous, nothing unusual about the arrangement which we're seeking."  Michael Oren, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., in an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria on Sunday. (CNN, July 28, 2013)

"The parties have agreed to remain engaged in sustained, continuous, and substantive negotiations on the core issues, and they will meet within the next two weeks in either Israel or the Palestinian territories in order to begin the process of formal negotiation….Our objective will be to achieve a final status agreement over the course of the next nine months." — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after two meetings between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Washington on Tuesday [July 30] (State Department, July 30, 2013)

 

''We did not agree to that [basing negotiations on the 1949 armistice lines]. Israel rejected the Palestinian demand for this as a precondition for talks." a senior Israeli official.
   "Endless negotiation is good for the Americans. They can point to success in bringing the sides to the table and keeping them there. Netanyahu can avoid U.S. pressure and shows he's engaged in the peace process. Abbas can continue to be fed with money, prisoner releases and other things and maintain the survival of the PA.'' Ghassan Khatib, a former PA minister, saying that the negotiations will in practice continue for some time, albeit without a peace deal.
    "They have zero chances of reaching an end of conflict, end of claims agreement. 'The positions are too far apart on narrative issues like the future of holy places and the right of return'."  Yossi Alpher, former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies. for Palestinians. (Christian Science Monitor, July 29, 2013)

 

"The Palestinians throughout the course of this year have been making clear that if they couldn't see progress on the peace front, that their intention would be to seek other elevations of their status, whether at the UN or other international organizations. So it's no secret that one of the motivating factors, I think for everybody, was to avoid that sort of train wreck….With this process moving forward, the risk of a clash at the UN or elsewhere is reduced or eliminated….It would be fair to say that you are likely to see Israeli settlement continue." a senior White House official said Wednesday [July 30]. (Ha'aretz, July 30, 2013)

 

"I'm not particularly optimistic because I think that the heart of the matter is that the maximum concessions that this government of Israel would be prepared to make fall far short of the minimum requirements that Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] will insist on….So it may be possible to keep the talks going, which is a good thing, but I find it very hard to believe that they will reach an agreement."  Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and the new special U.S, envoy to the negotiations recently announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in an interview with Israel Radio last year. (Weekly Standard, July 31, 2013)

 

“The law does not require us to make a formal determination as to whether a coup took place, and it is not in our national interest to make such a determination. We will not say it was a coup, we will not say it was not a coup, we will just not say." — a "senior official" from the White House to The New York Times, clarifying the U.S. response to the military takeover in Egypt. (Israel Hayom, July 29, 2013)

“Yes, we do indeed want to break the [Muslim] Brotherhood’s neck because that is good for Egypt, the region, and (not least) ourselves. Islamists can do more damage within the political process than outside it….Islamists have a history of using the political process for their own ends, and not of being tamed by it. No tolerance for the intolerant. Just as fascists and Communists are not legitimate players in a democracy, neither are Islamists. No matter how smooth-talking, they remain autocrats who disregard the popular will. Better that they be excluded entirely from participatory politics.” — Daniel Pipes, Director of the Mid East Forum.  (Mid East Forum, July 29, 2013)

“Jordan is like a soft mould, it’s not like Egypt where Islamists had influence before Mubarak fell. Jordan is easy to direct anywhere its next leader will take it – if he is secular, Jordan will turn secular, if he is an Islamist, Jordan will turn into another Afghanistan, so it’s basically what the outside world wants to make out of it, and its future will depend on which country will invest more money or send its media reporters to cover the events to come.” — Samer Libdeh, an Amman based Palestinian-Jordanian writer and former Washington Institute Fellow, in conversation with Mudar Zaharan, a Palestinian-Jordanian columnist residing in the UK. (Jerusalem Post, July 24, 2013)

“It’s bleak. The military is only willing to talk about the future, not about yesterday or the day before. They turned the page on Morsi.” an Egyptian mediator involved in talks between the military and the Muslim Brotherhood aimed at resolving the political crisis crippling Egypt. (International Herald Tribune, July 21, 2013)

 

“The way they interpret it, everyone in the Wehrmacht was just like in the American Army or the Canadian Army or the British Army. They forget the most important point. People in this army were thugs and murderers who almost brought down Western civilization.” Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Wiesenthal Center, commenting on the a recent issue of Der Landser, a weekly German pulp magazine, that recently portrayed the feared Waffen-SS as just a bunch of good natured soldiers doing their jobs. (International Herald Tribune, July 29, 2013)

Contents

 

 

POLL: MAJORITY OF ISRAELI JEWS OPPOSE PRISONER RELEASE AS GESTURE TO PALESTINIANS(Jerusalem) The majority of Israeli Jews are against releasing Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands as a gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the resumption of peace talks, according to a Smith Research poll conducted on Wednesday for terror victims organization Almagor. The poll of 500 Israelis representing a sample of the adult population found that 80 percent of secular Jews said they were against releasing these Palestinian prisoners, while over 95% of conservative and orthodox Jews objected to such a gesture. (Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2013)

 

'YA'ALON ORDERS FREEZE IN PERMITS FOR EU PROJECTS IN WEST BANK' (Jerusalem) Israel has severed cooperation with the European Union in Area C of the West Bank in response to new measures the EU has taken against settlements. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon ordered the IDF’s civil administration to cease cooperation in joint projects with the EU, The Jerusalem Post has learned. This means that the IDF will refuse to grant new permits or renew existing permits for EU construction projects in Area C, which is territory under Israeli civil and military control. It also will not issue or renew any documents that EU personnel might need for travel in the West Bank or into Gaza from Israel. In addition, IDF offices in the West Bank, such as the civil administration and the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, will no longer hold working meetings with EU officials or personnel. Some of the EU-led projects in the West Bank include a program to train Palestinian Authority police officers in basic and advanced policing skills, and a waste removal program. Neither will receive Israel’s cooperation any longer. (Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2013)

 

ISRAEL RELEASES IMPROVED DEFENCE EXPORT FIGURE OF USD7.5 BILLION FOR 2012 — (Jerusalem) Israel exported military materiel and services valued at USD7.5 billion in 2012, a sharp increase over 2011's output of USD5.8 billion, according to figures from the Israeli Ministry of Defense's (MoD's) Defense Export and Defense Co-operation Agency (SIBAT). The figures confirm Israel's position as a top-10 global exporter based on output over the last five years. National military exports have more than doubled over the last decade from USD3.5 billion in 2005. The fall in 2011 was something of an anomaly, given that the 2012 total was broadly comparable with exports of USD7.4 billion in 2010. The Asia-Pacific region accounted for the bulk of output in 2012 (USD4.5 billion). (IHS Jane's Defence Weekly, July 23,  2013)

 

TURNOUT LOW FOR ISLAMISTS' MARCH IN EGYPT (Cairo) The Muslim Brotherhood had called for a million people to rally on Tuesday to restore Mohamed Morsi as president, but the turnout in Cairo was perhaps tens of thousands and no large demonstrations were reported elsewhere. (The National-UAE, July 31, 2013)

 

AL QAEDA IN IRAQ SCORES BIG (Bagdad) Jailbreaks are common in Iraq, but the brazen assaults on the prisons at Abu Ghraib and Taji last week are in a class by themselves. The attacks freed perhaps as many as 800 militants, who are now sought by Interpol as a “major threat” to global security. The attacks showed the fearsome and growing strength of Al Qaeda in Iraq, seemingly on the decline only a few years ago. Al Qaeda in Iraq, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, waged a virulent insurgency that brought the country to the brink of civil war in 2006 and 2007, then suffered major defeats at the hands of Iraqi tribal groups and American troops. It has since rebounded and is believed largely responsible for a surge in daily bombings that have killed an estimated 700 people this month alone. (New York Times, July 29, 2013)

 

TALIBAN MILITANTS ATTACK PAK PRISON; FREE 250 ULTRAS (Peshawar, Pakistan)

Heavily-armed Taliban militants disguised as policemen attacked a high-security prison in northwest Pakistan, freeing nearly 250 militants and killing 14 people after a fierce gunfight with security forces. During the attack on Central Prison in Dera Ismail Khan of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering the restive South Waziristan area, the militants killed six policemen, six Shia prisoners and two private security guards, he said. "Five more policemen and two civilian were injured in the attack," said deputy commissioner Amir Khattak. Officials said that at least 247 prisoners were missing after the attack and a search for the fugitives continued who were suspected to be taken away by the militants. Tehrik e Taliban Pakistan has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that over 100 militants, including several suicide bombers, participated in the massive jail break. (MSN News, July 30, 2013)

 

IN SYRIA, SIGNS OF CIVILIAN MASSACRE (Bayda, Syria)  The chain of events that led to one of the Syrian war's worst mass killings started when government forces came to this village and arrested Hassan Othman on charges of instigating rebellion. Mr. Othman, a 31-year-old with a wife and two children, was severely tortured, according to a cousin's account. He confessed to Syrian authorities that rebels secretly operating in Bayda had hidden arms there, say residents, local security officials and opposition activists. Within days, Syrian forces had shelled and swept this village and a nearby area in an offensive that left some 300 people dead, most of them civilians, according to residents, activists and rights groups. The campaign, many of these people said, exemplified the scorched-earth counterinsurgency strategy employed by the embattled Damascus government. (The Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2013)

 

LIBERAL WEBSITE FOUNDER GIVEN 7 YEARS AND 600 LASHES IN SAUDI ARABIA (Jedda) Raif Badawi, founder of the Free Saudi Liberals website in Saudi Arabia, has been sentenced to seven years in prison and 600 lashes after angering Islamic authorities by urging Saudis to share opinions about the role of religion in the country. According to Saudi newspaper Al Wattan, a judge in the Red Sea port of Jedda imposed the sentences but dropped charges of apostasy, which would have brought the death penalty. (AP-The Age-Australia, July 31, 2013)

 

KENYAN LAWYER TAKES STATE OF ISRAEL, JEWS TO HAGUE OVER JESUS' DEATH  — (Nairobi) A Kenyan lawyer has filed a petition with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, suggesting that the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ was unlawful, and The State of Israel among others should be held responsible, Kenyan News outlet the Nairobian reported on Friday. Dola Indidis, a lawyer and former spokesman of the Kenyan Judiciary is reportedly attempting to sue Tiberius (Emperor of Rome 42 BC-37AD), Pontius Pilate, a selection of Jewish elders, King Herod, the Republic of Italy and the State of Israel. "Evidence today is on record in the bible, and you cannot discredit the bible," Indidis told Kenyan Citizen News. (Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2013)

 

REPORT: HIZBULLAH BURYING HUNDREDS OF ITS FIGHTERS IN SYRIA(Beirut) Moayyed Ghazlan, a member of the Syrian National Council general secretariat, told CNN Arabic on Wednesday [July 24] that his organization has discovered a number of mass graves in which Hizbullah buried its fighters following each battle with the rebels in order not to return the bodies for official burial in Lebanon.  Their purpose "is to hide the true extent of casualties from the fighters and rebels in Syria." An EU decision this week to include Hizbullah's military wing in the European list of terror organizations is widely viewed as a direct consequence of the group's decision to to send troops to Syria. (Times of Israel, July 25, 2013)

 

BULGARIA NAMES TWO SUSPECTS IN BURGAS BUS BOMBING(Sofia) The Bulgarian authorities have released the names of two people believed to be involved in the Burgas bus bomb terrorist attack last year that killed five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver, according to the Bulgarian news agency Focus. The two were identified as 32-year-old Australian citizen Meliad Farah, also known as Hussein Hussein, and 25-year old Canadian Citizen Hassan El Hajj Hassan. In the days around the attack, the suspects had been noticed in Ruse, Varna and Nesebar, the Sunny Beach resort, and in the village of Ravda, according to the report. (Jerusalem Post, July 25, 2013)

 

MK REGEV: PLASTIC GUNS THREATEN PUBLIC SECURITY— (Jerusalem) Plastic guns made a comeback in the Knesset, with Knesset Interior Committee chairwoman Miri Regev (Likud Beytenu) saying Wednesday that they threaten public security. Earlier this month, Uri Even, a Channel 10 reporter, snuck a plastic gun made with a 3D printer into the Knesset earlier this month and sat a short distance from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the gun in his hands. Experts on 3D printing brought a printer to the Knesset to show Regev how it works, and explained that there is very little supervision of how the technology works, because the materials used can easily be found online. It takes about 20 hours to print the pieces of a plastic gun. (Jerusalem Post, July 31, 2013)

 

IDF LEADS THE WAY IN GENDER INTEGRATION (Tel Aviv) Representatives of foreign militaries are increasingly seeking guidance from the IDF in facilitating gender equality and preventing sexual harassment, as Israel's military is recognized as one of the world's most advanced in this regard. The office of the IDF Women's Affairs Advisor explained: "Service for women is required, and therefore we strive to expand equal opportunities for recruitment and placement, and to empower women's [military] service through a variety of roles." The IDF stands out among the world's militaries for the high representation of women in its ranks. 34% of those serving are women, including 23% of all officers and non-commissioned officers. 92% of the IDF's jobs are open to women. (Israel Defense Forces, July 25, 2013)

Top of Page
 

 

On Topic

Advantix Air-Conditioning Empire Built on Ice and Salt: Karin Kloosterman, Israel 21c, July 31, 2013—The Israeli inventors took their ice-skating rink technology and put it into efficient air-conditioning systems used by businesses across the world. The Advantix approach is new. Instead of drip coolers that create wastewater, a salt solution absorbs water from the air. When the solution gets too dilute, heat from the machine’s engine gets pumped back in to evaporate the excess water. Therefore, the process is constantly renewed inside the system.

 

Israeli Bionic Contact Lens Will Help Blind People ‘See’: ISRAEL21c,  July 31, 2013—Much in the way Braille allows people who are blind to “see” the written word, a bionic contact lens invented by Israeli researcher Prof. Zeev Zalevsky “presses” images onto the surface of the eye to help the brain decipher through touch what the wearer is looking at.

 

The Israeli Company that Wants to Put a 3D Printer in Every Home: Avner Meyrav, NoCamels, July 16, 2013—Dotan Koskas and Yariv Nachshon’s tiny factory is located in a shed of a backyard in Giv’at Shmuel, Israel. Next to the cluttered assembly station, the owners relentlessly operate two 3D printers, which are also the factory’s only “workers.” It is more a workshop than an actual factory, an old-school garage startup, but from this little shed Koskas and Nachshon hope to deliver Israel with a new prophecy: a 3D printer in every home.

 

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

 

 

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