A Systematic Blunder: Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom, June 26, 2017
A Sad Decision That Might Haunt Us All: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, June 28, 2017
Why Iran and Israel May be on the Verge of Conflict — in Syria: Benny Avni, New York Post, June 27, 2017
Iranians Love Israelis; A Message of Hope on ‘International Quds Day’: Kitty Herweijer, Times of Israel, June 23, 2017
“It is truly shocking that this group is permitted to hold Anti-Israel rallies at Queen’s Park despite the repeated appeals by so many members of the Jewish community. It is disgraceful that a rally with speakers supporting the destruction of Israel, denying the Holocaust and making racial slurs is permitted to take place at the site of Ontario’s democratic legislature…How many more anti-Semitic speeches spreading hatred and inciting violence will members of the Jewish community have to endure before the Province finally does something. It is time for this rally to be told it is not welcome at Queen’s Park or any place in Toronto.”— Toronto City Councillor James Pasternak. A petition aiming to prevent an American Holocaust denier from speaking in Toronto garnered nearly 2,000 signatures. Kevin Barrett, who has called the 9/11 attacks an “inside job,” was due to address the city’s annual Al-Quds Day rally on Saturday. Al-Quds is the Muslim name for Jerusalem, and the annual march is generally a call for the destruction of Israel. (James Pasternak, June 20, 2017)
“There is no doubt that we will witness the demise of the Zionist entity [Israel]… Today, fighting against the Zionist regime [of Israel] is fighting the hegemonic, arrogant system.” — Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ahead of the Iranian-initiated 'Al Quds day.' Khamenei stated that defending the Palestinians was tantamount to "defending the truth." Al Quds day is held every year on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In a statement, the regime in Tehran accused Israel of "tyranny, oppression and persecution" and blamed Israel for being "the main cause" behind the current crises in the Middle East. Iran also charged Israel as being an "anti-human, child-killing and criminal Zionist regime, which, during the nearly 70 years of its disgraceful life has committed a large number of crimes against humanity." (Jerusalem Post, June 22, 2017)
"Last week in Tehran, they put a clock counting down to Israel's destruction- but we will be here long after their theocratic tyranny is just a part of history." — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu was referring to last week's erection of a digital clock that was unveiled in the Iranian capital during Al-Quds Day festivities. The clock does not tell time but instead is counting down to the destruction of Israel, set for 2040. The date is inspired by a speech Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei gave in 2015 in which he threatened that the "Zionist regime will cease to exist in the next 25 years." (Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2017)
“We want peace with Israel, and today, among the opposition in Syria, most people understand that the enemy is Iran and not Israel, so there is a good chance that there will be peace in the future…Israel needs to do more and help the rebels. People here are disappointed [with Israel]. There are also quite a few who think that [the Israelis] are helping [Syrian President Bashar] Assad, because they see that the Israeli-Syrian border is quiet…“I think [Israel] can be more proactive and help us…Regarding the treatment of the wounded in your hospitals, it certainly improved Israel’s image in the eyes of Syrians, but only in a limited way. The reason is that the Arab media does not report it.” — Salim Hudaifa, a former Syrian officer who serves as a representative of the Free Syrian Army. Israel is secretly supporting Syrian rebel groups along its border with Syria in the Golan Heights, providing rebels with funds, food, fuel and medical supplies, The Wall Street Journal reported. While Israel has largely refrained from getting involved in the six-year-long civil war, it has periodically carried out airstrikes in Syria when its interests are threatened. These strikes have mainly been against the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which is supporting Assad’s regime in the conflict. (JNS, June 28, 2017)
“It is immoral to ignore the ‘pay-for-slay’ phenomenon. It is immoral to ignore the promotion of terror by the PLO. It is immoral to ignore the encouragement by the PA of the murder of Israelis…Rejecting the Taylor Force Act means being blackmailed by the PA, surrendering to terror and legitimizing the phenomenon.” — Moshe Ya’alon, a retired IDF lieutenant general. The Taylor Force Act — named after the US military veteran who was killed by a Palestinian terrorist in 2016 — was introduced in February by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Congressman Doug Lamborn of Colorado but has made no legislative progress since. The legislation proposes to stop U.S. economic aid to the PA until it changes its laws to cease paying stipends to individuals who commit acts of terrorism and to the families of deceased terrorists. (Algemeiner, June 27, 2017)
“As the son of a Holocaust survivor, I was deeply disturbed that in the same week that a group of Jews are targeted, antisemites are given the freedom of the city. We have stood in solidarity with Germany when you were hit by brutal terror attacks. We did that because we identified deeply with the pain caused by terrorism and we wanted to express our support for the people of your city.” — Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, in a letter questioning Berlin Mayor Michael Müller for permitting Hezbollah to march in the city over the weekend. Lapid wrote: “This past week a lecture by a Knesset member from Yesh Atid [Aliza Lavie] was violently disrupted by radical anti-Israel activists at a university in Berlin. A few days later, demonstrators marched through your city proudly displaying photographs of the leader of an antisemitic terrorist organization…your decision to remain silent in the face of this incitement and hatred is a grave mistake. Allowing the glorification of terrorism in your city won’t appease extremists, it will embolden them.” According to Berlin’s intelligence agency, there are 250 active Hezbollah members and supporters in Berlin and some 950 Hezbollah operatives in Germany. (Jerusalem Post, June 25, 2017)
"As President, I cannot allow people into our country who want to do us harm. I want people who can love the United States and all of its citizens, and who will be hardworking and productive…Today's ruling allows me to use an important tool for protecting our Nation's homeland. I am also particularly gratified that the Supreme Court's decision was 9-0." — U.S. President Donald Trump. The Supreme Court is allowing Trump to forge ahead with a limited version of his ban on travel from six mostly Muslim countries to the U.S. Trump's ban on visitors from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen can be enforced if those visitors lack a "credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States." A State Department spokeswoman said the ban would be implemented starting 72 hours after being cleared by courts. That means it will take effect Thursday. The president has denied that the ban targets Muslims but says it is needed "to protect the nation from terrorist activities" committed by citizens of the six countries. (CTV, Newsweek, June 26, 2017)
"I haven’t seen any good enough evidence to show that the President committed a crime…I just feel like they don’t really have it but they want to keep digging. And so I think the President is probably right to say, like, look you are witch hunting me. You have no smoking gun, you have no real proof." — CNN producer John Bonifield. Bonifield was caught on film admitting that CNN's constant coverage of the Trump-Russia narrative is "mostly bulls–t" and "the president is probably right to say [CNN] is witch-hunting [him]." He also noted the story is "good for business." (Project Veritas, June 27, 2017)
"Russia has evolved to what amounts to a definition of absolute security (and) absolute insecurity for some of its neighbors…Russia wants to be accepted by Europe and transcend it simultaneously…If the West withdraws providing stability, China and India will step in, as will Russia…World politics will be revolutionized. If the West engages in conflict without strategic concept, chaos will ensue.” — Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. At a conference on security in London, Kissinger predicted Russia will be in clashes over Ukraine and Syria. He also chillingly warned that with political chaos enveloping Britain and the United States, Russia, India and China could gain a foothold in creating a new world order. And the nation state and old world order all is collapsing in the Middle East, where it once was possible to form alliances, he added. "The maxim no longer applies in the Middle East that your enemy's enemy is your friend. Now, they're probably your enemy too," the 1973 Pulitzer Peace Prize winner said. (Newsmax, June 27, 2017)
PENTAGON ALLEGES EVIDENCE OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA (Washington) — The Pentagon says the U.S. has seen chemical weapons activity at the Syrian air base that was used for a sarin gas attack in April. The U.S. has accused Syrian forces of launching a chemical attack from the base in April that killed dozens of civilians. In response, President Trump ordered the military to fire about 60 cruise missiles at the base. The White House warned that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his military would pay a "heavy price" for another chemical weapons attack. Assad's government and his allies deny the allegation. The White House offered no details on what prompted the warning. (CBC, June 26, 2017)
ISRAEL STRIKES GAZA HOURS AFTER ROCKET ATTACK (Gaza) — Israel’s Air Force struck two targets in Gaza hours after a rocket launched from the coastal strip landed in southern Israel. A rocket fired from Gaza landed in an open area at the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council on Monday. The rocket caused no injuries or damage. Israel responded with attacks on two Hamas military targets in Gaza early Tuesday morning, the IDF said. No injuries were reported in the retaliatory strikes. The last time rockets were fired from Gaza on southern Israel was in March. (JTA, June 27, 2017)
DECISION TO NIX WESTERN WALL COMPROMISE RILES DIASPORA (Jerusalem) — Israel shelved a plan to open a mixed-gender prayer area at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, a major policy reversal that infuriated the liberal streams of Judaism in the U.S. The egalitarian prayer plan was approved in 2016 as a compromise reached after years of negotiations between liberal Jewish groups and the Israeli authorities. It was seen as a significant breakthrough in promoting religious pluralism in Israel. But the program was never implemented as powerful ultra-Orthodox parties threatened a coalition crisis if any progress on the plan was made on the ground. The decision to suspend the plan prompted warnings that it may spark a crisis with Diaspora Jews, especially in the U.S. (Israel Hayom, June 26, 2017)
BBC APOLOGIZES FOR HEADLINE (London) — Following complaints by Prime Minister Netanyahu over a BBC headline on the recent Palestinian terror attacks in Jerusalem, the news organization recanted and apologized. I.S. and Hamas both claimed responsibility for an attack in Jerusalem’s Old City, carried out by three Palestinians, which killed Israeli Police Staff Sgt. Major Hadas Malka, 23, at Damascus Gate. The terrorists were killed by security services. Malka was stabbed to death. The BBC’s original headline read, “Three Palestinians killed after deadly stabbing in Jerusalem.” Following the complaint, the BBC removed the offending tweet and changed the article headline to, “Israeli policewoman stabbed to death in Jerusalem.” (Breaking Israel News, June 19, 2017)
CHICAGO 'DYKE MARCH' BANS JEWISH PRIDE FLAGS (Chicago) — Three people carrying Jewish Pride flags were asked to leave the annual Chicago Dyke March. The Chicago-based LGBTQ newspaper Windy City Times quoted a Dyke March collective member as saying the rainbow flag with the Star of David in the middle "made people feel unsafe," and that the march was "pro-Palestinian" and "anti-Zionist." The Chicago Dyke March is billed as an "anti-racist, anti-violent, volunteer-led, grassroots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience," according to its Twitter account. (Ha’aretz, June 26, 2017)
AMAZON REMOVES PRO-ISRAEL BOOK, CONTINUES SELLING PRO-PALESTINIAN APPAREL (Chicago) — Amazon has removed a book proving that the myth of Palestinian peoplehood, history and culture was false, while continuing to sell pro-Palestinian shirts calling for Israel’s destruction. The recently published book, titled A History of the Palestinian People: From Ancient Times to the Modern Era, was removed by Amazon, apparently the result of an anti-Israel campaign. The author, Assaf Voll, said that he has no doubt that the removal of his book is the result of a consorted campaign. Amazon’s online store is still selling sweatshirts and t-shirts emblazoned with the slogan “Free Palestine, End Israeli occupation.” The clothes feature a fist in Palestinian flag colors. (United With Israel, June 25, 2017)
MASSIVE IRANIAN FUNDING FOR ANTI-ISRAEL TERROR GROUPS REVEALED (Jerusalem) — Iran’s massive funding of terrorist groups that endanger Israel was exposed in shocking detail by IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Hertzi Halevi. Halevi revealed that Iran is funding Hezbollah to the tune of $75 million a year, while paying $50m. of Hamas’s budget and approximately $70m. to Islamic Jihad. Halevi noted that Tehran is regularly “acting to get exact and advanced weapons into Lebanon and Yemen.” Hinting at Israeli air strikes in Syria on these transfers of advanced weapons, he said, “Israel cannot ignore this development and we have not.” (Jerusalem Post, June 23, 2017)
I.S. DESTROYS ICONIC AL-NURI MOSQUE IN MOSUL (Baghdad) — I.S. blew up Mosul’s famed 12th century al-Nuri mosque with its iconic leaning minaret known as al-Hadba. Iraq's Ministry of Defence said I.S. detonated explosives planted inside the structures on Wednesday. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi tweeted that the destruction was an admission by the militants that they are losing the fight for Iraq's second-largest city. The al-Nuri mosque, which is also known as Mosul's Great Mosque, is where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made a rare public appearance, declaring a so-called Islamic caliphate in the summer of 2014, shortly after Mosul was overrun by the militants. The minaret that leaned like Italy's Tower of Pisa had stood for more than 840 years. (CTV, June 21, 2017)
CANADIAN SNIPER MAKES RECORD-BREAKING KILL SHOT IN IRAQ (Ottawa) — A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces in Iraq has shattered the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot in military history at a staggering distance of 3,540 metres. The Canadian Armed Forces confirmed that a member of Joint Task Force 2 made the record-breaking shot, killing an I.S. insurgent during an operation in Iraq within the last month. The world record was previously held by British sniper Craig Harrison, who shot a Taliban gunner from 2,475 metres away in 2009. (Globe & Mail, June 21, 2017)
U.S. AND ISRAEL TEAM UP TO FIGHT 'BAD ACTORS' IN CYBERSPACE (Washington) — Israel and the U.S. are starting a high-level partnership to create a bulwark against increasingly sophisticated cyber attackers who target critical national infrastructure. The bilateral working group will be led by White House cyber security coordinator Rob Joyce and the head of Israel’s Cyber Bureau, Eviatar Matania. The stronger cyber ties follow meetings between Trump and Netanyahu, and after the U.S. passed legislation expanding joint cyber research with Israel. State security in cyberspace is becoming a growing concern amid a flurry of attacks on government targets and a ransomware attack last month that crippled computer systems around the world. (Bloomberg, June 26, 2017)
SHIN BET HEAD SAYS OVER 2,000 TERROR ATTACKS THWARTED WITH CYBERTECH (Jerusalem) — The Shin Bet has used cybertechnology to prevent more than 2,000 terror attacks since the beginning of 2016, Nadav Argaman, the internal security agency’s head, said. Using unspecified technological means, the Shin Bet, along with other Israeli intelligence agencies, have prevented terror attacks in Israel and also passed on information to stop terrorists elsewhere in the world. Argaman said that groundbreaking cybertechnology has also helped to protect against lone-wolf attacks — not directed by terrorist groups but sometimes inspired by social media incitement — that would have been unpreventable using traditional intelligence-gathering means. (Times of Israel, June 27, 2017)
ARROW-3 AND AN UNNAMED PROJECT RECEIVE AWARDS (Jerusalem) — The prestigious 2017 Israeli Defense Prize was awarded to two groundbreaking security projects: the Arrow-3 Missile Defense System and an unnamed clandestine project. The Arrow-3 interceptor capabilities enable longer range, higher altitude (exo-atmospheric) and more precise ballistic missile engagements. The second prize will be awarded to a project that successfully tackles a wide variety of threats. Past prizes have been awarded for the Merkava Mark III Tank; the Iron Dome and Arrow missile defense systems; the Trophy active protection system of tanks and armored personnel carriers; Rafael’s family of Air-to-Air Missiles; the Uzi; the Galilee; the Kfir; the Gabriel Missile; and the Popeye Missile. (Jewish Press, June 27, 2017)
POLISH OFFICIAL UNDER FIRE FOR HOLOCAUST REMARK (Poland) — Adam Bodnar, a leading Polish human rights official has come under fire for saying the "Polish nation" took part in the implementation of the Holocaust—a controversial statement in a country whose official view is that Poland never collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II. "There is no doubt that the Germans were responsible for the Holocaust, but many nations took part in its implementation. Among them—and I say this with regret—the Polish nation," said Bodnar during his interview. Bodnar quickly apologized for his choice of words and clarified that he did not mean to say that the entire nation took part in the Holocaust, only that some Poles had committed crimes against Jews. (Ynet, June 24, 2017)
ISRAELI PROF. GIVES WORLD BIGGER FISH (Jerusalem) — Wild fishing has been on the decline, while aquaculture, or fish farming, has become the fastest growing food-producing sector in the world. One of the challenges facing fish farming is that reproduction, an energy intensive endeavor, makes fish grow more slowly. Prof. Berta Levavi-Sivan at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem identified tiny molecules called Neurokinin B (NKB) and Neurokinin F (NKF) that are secreted by the brains of fish and play a crucial role in their reproduction. Levavi-Sivan then developed molecules that neutralize the effect of NKB and NKF. The molecules inhibit fish reproduction, leading to increased growth rates. These inhibitors can now be included in fish feed to ensure better growth rates. (Jewish Press, June 27, 2017)
MARIAH CAREY PROMOTES DEAD SEA COSMETICS (Jerusalem) —Award winning pop diva Mariah Carey arrived in Israel to promote her line of beauty products, launched in collaboration with Dead Sea-based Premier Cosmetics. “We can call [my relationship with Israel] a love affair,” she said. “I’m just so happy to be back in the Holy Land. It’s beautiful here.” Carey — who reportedly received $1.4 million to appear as the face of the Israeli cosmetics brand — downplayed how the anti-Israel BDS movement might target her for collaborating with an Israeli company and visiting the Jewish state. “I don’t think it’s my place to act like a political figure. That’s not who I am,” she said. (Algemeiner, June 27, 2017)
EXHIBIT ILLUSTRATES CANADIAN JEWISH EXPERIENCE (Ottawa) — The Canadian Jewish Experience covers 250 years of Jewish history in Canada, from pedlars to politicians to stars of stage and screen. Tucked away at 30 Metcalfe St. in downtown Ottawa, this free exhibit treats visitors to nine panels illustrated by archival photographs. In a panel entitled “War and Peace,” visitors are reminded that Jews have fought for Canada in every war, and that 38 per cent of male Jews volunteered to fight in the Second World War, amounting to 16,880 men. Nearly 2,000 of these soldiers won military awards; 420 died and were buried with both the Maple Leaf and the Star of David on their graves. (CJN, May 30, 2017)
A Systematic Blunder: Yoram Ettinger, Israel Hayom, June 26, 2017 —Can Israel afford to defy U.S. presidential pressure to concede land, which is historically and militarily critical to the future of the Jewish state?
A Sad Decision That Might Haunt Us All: Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, BESA, June 28, 2017 —The government’s decision on June 26 to snub, in practice, the non-Orthodox denominations of the Jewish faith, to bar the implementation of the compromise on prayer arrangements in the southern segment of the Western Wall, and to advance legislation on conversions that enshrines the monopoly of the Orthodox (indeed, ultra-Orthodox) establishment has serious and potentially tragic consequences.
Why Iran and Israel May be on the Verge of Conflict — in Syria: Benny Avni, New York Post, June 27, 2017 —Some Israelis like to go to the Golan, where from the safety of a ramp overlooking the valley below, they can watch — no binoculars needed — the most consequential regional event of the age: the Syrian civil war.
Iranians Love Israelis; A Message of Hope on ‘International Quds Day’: Kitty Herweijer, Times of Israel, June 23, 2017—Today marks Quds day, a day initiated by the founder of Islamic republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, after the Islamic revolution in 1979 to unite Muslims by opposing the state of Israel. Every year on this day masses of people, led by all political fractions from reformists and moderates to the hardliners, gather in the streets of Tehran to call for the annihilation of the Jewish state.