WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

 

 

 

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “A CASE FOR JEREMY CORBYN” — “Elections take place in the real world; they often involve unpleasant choices. I dislike Corbyn’s anti-Americanism, his long flirtation with Hamas, his coterie’s clueless leftover Marxism and anti-Zionism, his NATO bashing, his unworkable tax-and-spend promises. He’s of that awful Cold War left that actually believed Soviet Moscow was probably not as bad as Washington. Still, Corbyn would not do May’s shameful Trump-love thing. He would not succumb to the jingoistic anti-immigration talk of the Tories. After the terrorist attacks, he said “difficult conversations” were needed with Saudi Arabia: Hallelujah! He would tackle rising inequality. He would seek a soft departure from the European Union keeping Britain as close to Europe as possible…Seldom would a political comeuppance be so merited. That’s enough for me, just.” — Roger Cohen. In the snap U.K. 2017 general election, Corbyn’s Labour Party finished second to Theresa May’s Conservatives, but increased Labour’s share of the popular vote to 40%, resulting in a gain of 32 seats and a hung parliament. (New York Times, June 5, 2017)

 

On Topic Links

 

Why Israel is Saving Syrian Rebels: Terry Glavin, Maclean’s, June 20, 2017

The Stakes in Syria Now Include US-Russia War: Ralph Peters, New York Post, June 19, 2017

New York Times Column Overlooks Jewish Aid to Syrian Refugees: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, June 20, 2017

This Summer's Most Maddening Pests are on the Climate-Crusading, Trump-Hating, Culture-Censoring Left: Conrad Black, National Post, June 16, 2017

 

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

“Hamas has exercised control over Gaza since 2007. After 10 years of Hamas rule, life for the people of Gaza is worse than ever before. Rather than govern, Hamas chooses to devote its resources to building a terrorist arsenal. Rather than pursuing peace, Hamas chooses to provoke destructive wars. Rather than allowing help to reach the Palestinian people, Hamas chooses to divert untold amounts of aid to feed its military enterprise…The Security Council must stand up to condemn Hamas’ terror…While UN agencies and Member States dissect Israel’s actions, few speak out against the terror that Hamas continues to plot. Some Member States of this organization even maintain ties to Hamas and other terrorist groups that flourish in Gaza. The Security Council must unite to say that enough is enough… And while we must do whatever we can to ease the suffering of the people in Gaza, we must also recognize that the suffering will not be fully addressed until the terrorists lose their grip on power.” — Amb. to the UN Nikki Haley. (United Nations, June 20, 2017)

 

“The Hamas leadership in Gaza has threatened Israel with “an explosion” if it does not supply electricity to Gaza at the expense of Israeli taxpayers. Blackmail is, of course, part of the Hamas repertoire. One of the main reasons why Hamas launched thousands of rockets and sent terrorists into Israel via tunnel in the summer of 2014 was to solve its dire economic problem. Hamas needs electricity to build terror tunnels and produce weapons…While Israel naturally prefers quiet along its borders, giving in to Hamas demands and granting it a victory will only lead to further demands. Supplying electricity to Gaza in exchange for a promise that Gazans refrain from shooting at Israeli civilians is no different from paying protection money to the Mafia…Israel has no choice but to reject Hamas demands, even if that refusal brings about another round of violence that will add to the suffering in Gaza.” — Efraim Inbar. (BESA, June 18, 2017)

 

“The democracies are absent to protest prejudice — because this is the only agenda item that singles out one specific state, the Jewish state, for differential and discriminatory treatment. Not Syria, Sudan or North Korea is treated this way.” — Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. The world’s democracies collectively snubbed the UN Human Rights Council’s annual condemnation of Israel, when none of their representatives attended the council’s presentation and debate on “Item 7” — a permanent agenda item focused on the “Human rights situation in Palestine.” As was the case last year, the seats of all the democratic nations represented on the council were empty for the duration of the discussion. Neuer added that he had taken part in the debate to point out why the democratic countries were absent. “Hopefully, one day Item 7 will be removed,” he said. (Algemeiner, June 19, 2017)

 

“The smell of blood will continue to surround the holy and occupied city [of Jerusalem] until dawn. There are young people that wanted to say a clear ‘No!’ to the occupation in their way.” — Editorial in the official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily Al-Hayat-Al-Jadida. Despite Palestinian assurances to US President Donald Trump’s administration not to incite support for terror, newspapers associated with the ruling Fatah faction in the PA have joined with official spokespersons from several Palestinian ministries in praising the three terrorists who murdered Hadas Malka, a 23-year-old Israeli policewoman, in the Old City of Jerusalem on Friday. (Algemeiner, June 18, 2017)

 

“Such terrorist acts must be clearly condemned by all…I am appalled that once again some find it appropriate to justify such attacks as “heroic.” They are unacceptable and seek to drag everyone into a new cycle of violence.” — United Nations Special Coordinator for Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov. Hadas Malka was stabbed to death by a terrorist with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), a faction belonging to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), headed by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas. (Jewish Press, June 18, 2017)

 

“This week we will put forward the bill to prevent the division of Jerusalem without a majority of 80 Members of Knesset…Timing is crucial, since it is important to make clear, before the start of a diplomatic process, that Jerusalem will never be divided under any circumstance…The ideas put forward by Ehud Barak in the year 2000 and Ehud Olmert in 2007, to hand the Old City, Temple Mount and the Mount of Olives to the Palestinians are obsolete…I am certain the bill will pass easily.” — Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett says his Jewish Home faction intends to table a motion this week to require a supermajority of 80 Knesset members to approve any measure calling for the division of Jerusalem. (Jewish Press, June 18, 2017)

 

“(The Western Wall) is an Islamic endowment that absolutely cannot belong to non-Muslims…It is our property and endowment. It is impossible to concede one millimeter of it.” — Mahmoud Habash, a PA official and President Abbas’s religious affairs advisor. In another step towards claiming the whole of Jerusalem for the Muslim world, two Arab leaders said that the Western Wall, or Kotel, belongs exclusively to the Muslims. Sheikh Ikarma Sabri, imam of the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, echoed Habash’s words, claiming the Western Wall as part of the Islamic Waqf that controls the Mount. Sabri said that Israel was attempting to “convince the world” to “create” its right to sovereignty in Jerusalem. Both statements were likely a desperate attempt to walk back the damaging assertion of senior Fatah official Jabril Rajoub, who said last week on Israeli television that in terms of a peace deal splitting Jerusalem, the Western Wall “must be under Jewish sovereignty…We have no argument about that. This is a Jewish holy place,” he said. (Breaking Israel News, June 11, 2017)

 

“The Iranian regime continues to provide support to its proxies in the region, conduct ballistic missile tests, flagrantly abuse the human rights of its own people, and unjustly imprison foreigners.” — Democratic Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York. Jewish leaders are warmly welcoming the overwhelming bipartisan consensus on Iran, following the passage in the Senate of a new bill meant to counter Iranian and Russian aggression that imposes tough new sanctions upon the Tehran regime. Schumer — a key backer of the legislation — said the sanctions “will specifically target problematic areas that were not part of the 2015 Iran Nuclear Agreement.” These areas include sanctions on persons involved with Iran’s ballistic missile program, terrorism sanctions on the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and “officials, agents, or affiliates of the IRGC,” and tougher enforcement of the arms embargo on Iran. (Algemeiner, June 16, 2017)

 

“For 65 years, Japan and Israel have cooperated in trade and science, culture and technology, education and aviation. We hold dear this cooperation, and we look forward to making it grow even stronger…We were created thousands of years ago, we preserve and respect our traditions, our past…We also share a strong belief in our future but we don’t take it for granted. That is why we invest so much in education. We know that a nation is only as good as its education.” — Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin, at a reception in Jerusalem hosted by Japan’s Ambassador to Israel. The event was held at the King David Hotel to celebrate 65 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and Japan. (Jewish Press, June 15, 2017) 

 

“The Resistance is a Second World War term.  It speaks to the fight against the most — may I borrow a term — deplorable force, Nazism, the world has perhaps ever seen. The implications of the term are not healthy. It pictures the democratic victor as a Nazi. It summons up the darkest imagery. It is mean and weird at the same time. Presumably on the other side of the mirror it has equally ludicrous flatteries to offer Trump opponents, though the idea of Mrs. Clinton as Winston Churchill will take more than time to accommodate…Most of all it is strongly suggestive (and that’s a delicate phrasing of the matter) that the “other side” is evil, a threat to all, fascism rearing to leap out on American soil. Which is a polluted form of absolute hysteria. But in a week in which Republican congressmen at a baseball game came under rifle fire, leaving Representative Steve Scalise in critical condition and a lobbyist with serious wounds…perhaps the liberal side of the aisle will give some thought to their rhetoric. They do not, at all, represent a resistance: they represent poor losers.” — Rex Murphy. (National Post, June 18, 2017)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

ATTACK ON WORSHIPPERS NEAR LONDON MOSQUE (London) — A van ploughed into worshippers leaving a London mosque on Monday, killing at least one person and injuring several. The vehicle hit people as they were leaving the Finsbury Park Mosque, one of the biggest in the country. The attack comes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when people attend prayers at night. Police said one man was pronounced dead at the scene and that the van driver, 48, had been arrested. The incident comes just over two weeks after three Islamists drove into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people at nearby restaurants and bars, killing eight. (Globe & Mail, June 18, 2017)

 

BRUSSELS BOMBING SUSPECT WAS A MOROCCAN CITIZEN (Brussels) — A man who triggered a suitcase bomb in a failed attack at a busy Brussels train station was a 36-year-old Moroccan citizen who was known to the police. The bomber entered Brussels Central Station on Tuesday and began shouting near a group of passengers, according to a police spokesman. He was carrying a suitcase bomb that contained nails and gas bottles. The man set off a partial and relatively harmless explosion. He then left the bag behind while he went in pursuit of a station master, and it “exploded a second time, more violently,” according to the spokesman. After the second explosion, the man approached a soldier and screamed “Allahu akbar.” The soldier opened fire, killing him. (New York Times, June 21, 2017)

 

U.S. AIRCRAFT SHOOTS DOWN A SYRIAN GOVERNMENT JET (Damascus) — A U.S. strike aircraft shot down a Syrian government fighter jet Sunday shortly after the Syrians bombed U.S.-backed fighters in northern Syria. The Pentagon said the downing of the aircraft came hours after Syrian loyalist forces attacked U.S.-backed fighters in the village of Ja’Din, southwest of Raqqa. The rare attack was the first time a U.S. jet has shot down a manned hostile aircraft in more than a decade, and it signaled the United States’ sharply intensifying role in Syria’s war. The incident is the fourth time within a month that the U.S. military has attacked pro-Syrian government forces. (Washington Post, June 18, 2017)

 

RUSSIA CLAIMS TO HAVE KILLED I.S. LEADER (Damascus) — Russia claimed it killed the leader of I.S. in Iraq and Syria in an airstrike targeting a meeting of I.S. leaders just outside the group's de facto capital in Syria. Russia said Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a Russian strike in May along with other senior group commanders. There had been previous reports of al-Baghdadi being killed but they did not turn out to be true. The I.S. leader last released an audio message on Nov. 3, urging his followers to keep up the fight for Mosul as they defend the city against a major offensive that began weeks earlier. The report of al-Baghdadi's death comes as I.S. suffers major setbacks in which they have lost wide areas of territory and both of their strongholds — Mosul in Iraq and Syria's Raqqa. (CBC, June 16, 2017)

 

REPORT: ISRAEL ACTIVELY SUPPORTING SYRIAN REBELS (Damascus) — Israel has reportedly been supplying Syrian rebels for years with money, food, fuel and medical equipment, according to the New York Times. According to the report, the goal of the covert involvement is to create a buffer zone between the two countries populated by friendly forces. The report relies on interviews with five Syrian rebels who say the IDF maintains contact with opposition organizations and the aid it supplies includes payments to rebel commanders, which they in turn use to pay the salaries of fighters and purchase weapons and ammunition. According to the report, Israel's goal is to keep fighters allied with the regime of President Assad and supported by Iran, such as Hezbollah, far away from the Israel-Syria border. Israel has denied such accusations, saying it is not involved in Syria's civil war. (Ynet, June 19, 2017)

 

US SHOOTS DOWN SECOND IRAN-MADE ARMED DRONE OVER SYRIA (Damascus) — US forces in southern Syria have shot down an Iranian-made armed drone in the second such incident in 12 days, in a further sign that Washington and Tehran’s agendas are colliding along the Syrian-Iraqi desert frontier. A US F-15 fighter jet opened fire on the drone in the early afternoon because it was approaching a US outpost near al-Tanf where US advisors were training an anti-Isis local militia, according to the Pentagon. Al-Tanf is a strategic point near the Syrian, Iraq and Jordanian borders. In a similar incident on 8 June, an Iranian-made drone of the same kind dropped a bomb near US troops at the same training outpost before it was shot down by a US plane. (Guardian, June 20, 2017)

 

MONTREAL MAN FOUND GUILTY OF ATTEMPTING TO LEAVE CANADA TO JOIN I.S. (Montreal) — A 29-year-old Quebec man has been found guilty of trying to join I.S., in a case that experts say is a major test of Canada's anti-terrorism laws. Ismael Habib is the first adult to proceed to trial on charges of attempting to leave Canada to participate in the activities of a terrorist group — a section of the Anti-terrorism Act enacted by the Stephen Harper government in 2013. During the ​trial, it was revealed that Habib told an undercover RCMP officer posing as a crime boss peddling fake passports that it was his "duty" to fight jihad in Syria. Habib now faces a maximum 10-year sentence. (CBC, June 19, 2017)

 

HEZBOLLAH FLAGS WAVED AS HUNDREDS GATHER FOR AL QUDS DAY MARCH (London) — Hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators took to the streets of London to mark the annual Al Quds Day. As in previous years, many participants waved flags of terrorist group Hezbollah and called for the destruction of Israel. The march was organized by the Islamic Human Rights Commission. A smaller crowd of pro-Israelis held a counter-demonstration, waving Israeli flags. Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has been under fire from the Jewish community for allowing the event to take place. Last week his spokesperson said Khan did not have the authority to cancel it. (Jerusalem Online, June 18, 2017)

 

GUNMEN KILL TWO IN ATTACK ON MALI RESORT (Dakar) — Four gunmen stormed a camping resort outside Mali’s capital, killing two people before escaping in a shootout with soldiers from an antiterrorism unit. The resort, known as Le Campement Kangaba, is about seven miles from the capital, Bamako. One of the attackers was wounded and managed to escape with his comrades. Several terrorist attacks have targeted foreigners in Mali in recent years, including an assault in November 2015 when gunmen stormed the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako, mowing down guests and workers. At least 19 people were killed in a melee that lasted several hours. Mali has served as a base for rebel and Islamist groups in recent years. (New York Times, June 18, 2017)

 

PALESTINIANS TO CLAIM TOMB OF PATRIARCHS ON UN WORLD HERITAGE LIST (Paris) — The World Heritage Committee is set to debate inscribing the Old City of Hebron – including its Tomb of the Patriarchs – to the “State of Palestine” when it meets in July. The World Heritage Committee operates under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization. For the last three years Israel has waged a stiff battle at UNESCO to prevent the Palestinians from linguistically reclassifying Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, solely as the Muslim religious site known as al-Haram al-Sharif. (Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2017)  

 

MLA VOTES TO REJECT BDS (New York) — The Modern Language Association has voted to reject academic boycotts of Israel. The MLA announced that the resolution passed by a vote of 1,954 to 885. A vote of ten percent of the organization’s more than 18,000 voting members was needed to pass the resolution and make it policy, a threshold that few resolutions have been able to pass. Resolutions calling for an academic boycott of Israeli universities routinely come before the MLA executive and membership and have been voted down. Last June, the membership of the American Anthropological Association narrowly defeated a resolution to boycott Israeli academic institutions. (Arutz Sheva, June 15, 2017)

 

SFSU HIT BY LAWSUIT ALLEGING ‘ANTI-JEWISH ANIMUS’ (San Francisco) — San Francisco State University was hit by a lawsuit brought by students and community members accusing the school of “an extremely disturbing and consistent pattern of anti-Jewish animus.” Claiming the school has allowed a “hostile environment” toward Jews since at least 1968, when the social justice-focused College of Ethnic Studies was established, the plaintiffs said that the situation “has only gotten worse over time” and that “SFSU and its administrators have knowingly fostered this.” The plaintiffs include two current students, one recent graduate and three members of the local Jewish community. All of the plaintiffs attended the 2016 lecture by Jerusalem Mayor Barkat, which was disrupted by students, including members of the student group General Union of Palestine Students. (Algemeiner, June 19, 2017)

 

US AIRCRAFT CARRIER TO DOCK IN HAIFA (Haifa) — The USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier will dock in Haifa Bay for the first time in 17 years as it heads back to the Syrian coast to take part in the air campaign against I.S.. The Pentagon said the Nimitz-class carrier was moved from the Persian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean last month. The nuclear-powered ship, carrying a crew of 5,700 and 80 fighter planes, deployed from Norfolk, Va., on January 21. Haifa served as a base for the US Sixth Fleet during the 1980s and 90s, but the Pentagon discontinued use of the coastal city in 2000 when the second intifada erupted. Next month’s visit, which will include shore leave for most of the crew, is expected to inject millions of shekels into the local economy. (Ynet, June 19, 2017)

 

TEL AVIV-SHANGHAI ROUTE TO OPEN (Shanghai) — The fourth largest airline in China, Hainan Airlines, has signed an agreement this week to open a new direct route from Shanghai to Tel Aviv. The development makes the airline the first to operate regular flights between the economic capital of China and Israel. In the last year, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of tourists and business people visiting Israel from China. Israel’s former ambassador to China, Matan Vilnai said that it was important to make Israel accessible to the East. “For many years, it was difficult to get here, but we have worked very hard to make Israel open to China…There is a great interest in China in the technological innovation that Israel is known for, in addition to the history of the state. The bottom line is that want Israel to be as accessible as possible to this important market,” he said. (Jewish Voice, June 21, 2017)

 

Contents

 

On Topic Links

 

Why Israel is Saving Syrian Rebels: Terry Glavin, Maclean’s, June 20, 2017 —On a hospital bed at the Ziv Medical Center, high in the Upper Galilee Mountains, a Syrian rebel who goes by the name Ramadan was still wincing in pain from a bullet that had torn through his right shoulder only 10 days before. But he said there was something important he wanted to tell me.

The Stakes in Syria Now Include US-Russia War: Ralph Peters, New York Post, June 19, 2017— The stakes in Syria just jumped mighty high. Syrian troops attacked the anti-ISIS fighters we back. We warned them to knock it off. In reply, a Syrian aircraft struck our allies. An American jet shot it down.

New York Times Column Overlooks Jewish Aid to Syrian Refugees: Ira Stoll, Algemeiner, June 20, 2017—“Why Don’t You Donate for Syrian Refugees? Blame Bad Marketing,” is the headline over a New York Times column by Charles Duhigg. It reports, “It is statistically unlikely, however, that you’ll write a check to help Syrian refugees. Though the Syrian crisis is a huge and heartbreaking story, it has translated into relatively little charitable giving.”

This Summer's Most Maddening Pests are on the Climate-Crusading, Trump-Hating, Culture-Censoring Left: Conrad Black, National Post, June 16, 2017—It being the verge of summer, it is time to be ready to repel insects and philistines. One current infestation of philistines has raised the fatuous roar of lamentation over the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change.