WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP Posted on August 9, 2017 Printer Friendly On Topic Links North Korea’s ICBM Test is a Win for Iran: Ted Poe, National Interest, July 31, 2017 The New York Times Provides More Trump Coverage than their Own Readers Want: Robert Fulford, National Post, Aug. 4, 2017 Trump's Worst Week Was a Fine Hour for American Democracy: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Aug. 4, 2017 Who Are the Palestinians?: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, August 7, 2017 WEEKLY QUOTES “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States…(Kim Jong-un) has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with fire and fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before.”— U.S. President Trump. US intelligence has concluded North Korea has produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside an intercontinental ballistic missile. North Korean also has up to 60 nuclear warheads, significantly more than previously thought. North Korea warned that it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike the US territory of Guam, the western Pacific island where the U.S. operates an Air Force base, with missiles that would create “an enveloping fire”. In recent months, American bombers from Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base have flown over the Korean Peninsula in a show of force. (New York Times, Aug. 8, 2017) “Will only the U.S. have option called ‘preventive war’ as is claimed by it?…It is a daydream for the U.S. to think that its mainland is an invulnerable Heavenly kingdom…The U.S. should clearly face up to the fact that the ballistic rockets of the Strategic Force of the K.P.A. are now on constant standby, facing the Pacific Ocean and pay deep attention to their azimuth angle for launch.” — Strategic Force of the North’s Korean People’s Army, or K.P.A. (New York Times, Aug. 8, 2017) “If Tehran's long collusion with Pyongyang on ballistic missiles is even partly mirrored in the nuclear field, the Iranian threat is nearly as imminent as North Korea's. Whatever the extent of their collaboration thus far, Iran could undoubtedly use its now-unfrozen assets and cash from oil-investment deals to buy nuclear hardware from North Korea, one of the world's poorest nations. One lesson from Pyongyang's steady nuclear ascent is to avoid making the same mistake with other proliferators, who are carefully studying its successes. Statecraft should mean grasping the implications of incipient threats and resolving them before they become manifest. With North Korea and Iran, the U.S. has effectively done the opposite. Proliferators happily exploit America's weakness and its short attention span. They exploit negotiations to gain the most precious asset: time to resolve the complex scientific and technological hurdles to making deliverable nuclear weapons…The Pentagon's military planners already should be poring through the operational aspects of a potential military strike. But politicians and policy makers also ought to begin debating the military options—for North Korea and beyond, since similar issues will arise regarding Iran and other nuclear proliferators.” — John R. Bolton. (Wall Street Journal, August 3, 2017) “Most non-Isis powers — including Shia Iran and the leading Sunni states — agree on the need to destroy it. But which entity is supposed to inherit its territory? A coalition of Sunnis? Or a sphere of influence dominated by Iran? The answer is elusive because Russia and the NATO countries support opposing factions. If the Isis territory is occupied by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards or Shia forces trained and directed by it, the result could be a territorial belt reaching from Tehran to Beirut, which could mark the emergence of an Iranian radical empire.” — Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Last November, Kissinger said the biggest challenge facing the Middle East was the “potential domination of the region by an Iran that is both imperial and jihadist.” (Algemeiner, Aug. 4, 2017) “Believe me, the terrible crimes committed in Syria I neither saw in Rwanda nor ex-Yugoslavia…We thought the international community had learned from Rwanda. But no, it learned nothing…I give up. The states in the Security Council don’t want justice…I can’t any longer be part of this commission which simply doesn’t do anything.” — War crimes prosecutor Carla del Ponte. Del Ponte is quitting the UN's Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria in frustration over the Security Council’s inaction to hold criminals accountable in war-battered Syria where she said “everyone is bad.” Del Ponte, who gained fame as the prosecutor for the international tribunals that investigated atrocities in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, has repeatedly decried the Security Council’s refusal to appoint a similar court for the Syrian conflict. Permanent members Russia, a key backer of Assad’s government, and China vetoed a U.N. resolution in 2014 to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court, the world’s permanent war-crimes tribunal. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 8, 2017) "The Muslim Brotherhood was established for a general overall purpose, namely, the return of the comprehensive entity of the Umma (Muslim community)…the Islamic Caliphate, which is based on many Sharia proofs." — Magdy Shalash, a Muslim Brotherhood leader. While many Islamist apologists attempt to defend the use of terms like "caliphate" or "jihad" as purely religious and peaceful concepts, Shalash does not try to hide the Brotherhood's true colors. He calls for "the return of all states Islam ruled, such as Andalusia and others, to the quarters of the coming Caliphate." Andalusia is part of today's Spain. Shalash praised the "Ottoman Caliphate" since it "eliminated a state of pluralism and fragmentation in name of a plurality of Islamic countries…" The Brotherhood called for an "Islamic Intifada" – a violent uprising – against Israel July 14 following a deadly Palestinian terrorist attack in Jerusalem. (IPT, Aug. 3, 2017) “The danger of a pop-culture presidency is that real events, including political land mines, don’t get noticed. This week, the Trump presidency had a near-death experience. It wasn’t the health-care failure. That left the Republican Party, not Donald Trump, with one foot in the grave. The noteworthy event for Mr. Trump was the vote in the House and Senate to impose sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea. The sanctions themselves are notable, but the big story was the extraordinary vote totals. In the House, the sanctions bill passed 419-3 and 98-2 in the Senate. No other issue in the political firmament would produce such lopsided votes, and the reason for it wasn’t Russia. This was a no-confidence vote in a sitting American president. One Republican senator told us privately, “We just don’t trust him on Russia.” A second senator independently confirmed the vote was a hedge against Mr. Trump’s chameleon-like behavior on Vladimir Putin.” — Daniel Henninger. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 3, 2017) With Trump, after six months, the talk is about the end: frustration, defeat, paralysis. Will he last four years? Will he resign, be impeached and convicted or forced out for mental incompetence under the 25th amendment? Will the Republicans abandon him?…How does it end? Impeachment and conviction remain unlikely unless Mueller can prove Trump colluded with the Russians, which may, finally, stir Republicans. Or, the Democrats retake Congress next year. Trump’s cabinet, filled with loyalists, will not invoke the 25th amendment. Resign? He is too proud. At six months, Donald Trump is the youngest lame duck in the history of the office. Hounded by investigations, frustrated by his party, estranged from most Americans and some (though not all) of his base, he is reviled but never ignored. Donald Trump will survive in office as a tin-horn strongman who can cause real damage in the world. At home, though, his effectiveness is over. He is a paralyzed president. — Andrew Cohen. (Montreal Gazette, Aug. 4, 2017) Contents SHORT TAKES DRIVER HITS FRENCH SOLDIERS, INJURING SIX (Paris) — French police arrested a man in the search for a driver who slammed his BMW into soldiers in a Paris suburb Wednesday, injuring six of them in what appeared to be a carefully timed ambush before speeding away. Officials said he deliberately aimed at the soldiers, and counterterrorism authorities opened an investigation. None of the soldiers had life-threatening injuries, authorities said. It was the latest of several attacks targeting security forces guarding France over the past year. While others have targeted prominent sites like the Eiffel Tower, Wednesday’s attack hit a relatively affluent suburb. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 9, 2017) IDF STRIKES HAMAS TARGETS FOLLOWING ROCKET ATTACK (Gaza) — The Israeli Air Force targeted two Hamas posts on the northern Gaza Strip Tuesday following a rocket attack from the Hamas-controlled territory, according to the IDF. Recently acquired F-35 stealth fighter jets were reportedly used in the strike. Alarms were sounded in the villages of Zikim and Carmia. This summer marks three years since Operation Protective Edge, in which thousands of rockets, mortars and other projectiles were launched from Gaza towards Israel. Since then Israel has held Hamas responsible for all fire from Gaza and carries out air strikes on the group's infrastructure. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 9, 2017) JORDAN’S KING MAKES RARE VISIT TO RAMALLAH (Ramallah) — Jordan’s King Abdullah visited PA President Abbas in Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian Authority, for the first time in nearly five years. The two leaders reportedly discussed President Trump and the peace process, as well as the recent crisis over the Temple Mount. Abdullah reportedly told Abbas that Trump is committed to brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Both the king and Abbas emphasized “the need to preserve the historical and legal status quo” of the Temple Mount. Abdullah reiterated that the Hashemite Kingdom would continue to take seriously its guardianship of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem and involve the international community. (JTA, Aug. 7, 2017) IRAN’S ROLE IN TEMPLE MOUNT CLASHES REVEALED (Tehran) — The recent clashes around the Temple Mount were fueled in part by the Iranian government. The clashes erupted after Israeli authorities installed metal detectors at entry points to the site in response to a deadly terrorist attack there July 14. According to Palestinian sources, protesters received prepackaged meals along with notes in each one citing a quote attributed to 1979 Iranian Revolution leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini: “With the help of Allah, Palestine will be liberated! Jerusalem is ours.” The note also depicted the Dome of the Rock and the Palestinian flag. According to Palestinian media, a non-governmental organization run by Iranian youth movements was in charge of distributing the meals. (Algemeiner, Aug. 2, 2017) IRAN REACHES DEAL WITH RENAULT DESPITE NEW U.S. SANCTIONS (Tehran) — The French carmaker Renault signed a multimillion-dollar deal in Tehran on Monday, agreeing to raise vehicle production in Iran just days after President Trump signed into law new sanctions against the country. The roughly $780 million agreement to produce as many as 150,000 additional cars a year is the largest foreign auto deal in Iran’s history, state-run PressTV said. On Wednesday, President Trump signed into law new sanctions against Iran, Russia and North Korea. It is unclear if the Renault deal violates any unilateral United States trade barriers still in place against business with Iran. (New York Times, Aug. 7, 2017) IRAN AND RUSSIA TO ENHANCE MILITARY TIES (Moscow) — In light of new US sanctions on Iran and Russia, the two countries have vowed to enhance their military cooperation. In July, U.S. lawmakers passed a bill placing sanctions on Russia for the country's alleged interference in the presidential election, while also extending those placed on the country for its 2014 invasion of Crimea. Sanctions on Iran are meant to punish the country for its continued testing of ballistic missiles. Sanctions were also extended to North Korea, which continues to launch ballistic missiles that may now be capable to reaching the U.S. Russia's Deputy Prime Minister reportedly held talks with Iran’s Defense Minister. The officials reportedly discussed new supplies of Russian arms to Iran. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 6, 2017) IRAN DRONE BUZZES U.S. NAVY F/A-18 JET IN PERSIAN GULF (Tehran) — An Iranian drone flew within 100 feet of a U.S. Navy F/A-18, forcing the jet to take evasive action as it attempted to land on the USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said the drone came within a 100-foot perimeter below the aircraft and within 200 feet to either side. At the time, the U.S. Navy jet was in a holding pattern waiting to land several thousand feet off the Nimitz. The encounter between the U.S. Navy and Iranian aircraft follows a series of close calls in the Persian Gulf between naval vessels. The frequency of incidents has increased under President Trump, as Tehran reacts to the administration’s more hard-line stance on Iran’s ballistic missile program. (Newsweek, Aug. 8, 2017) I.S. CALLS MEN TO ARMS IN EASTERN SYRIA (Damascus) — I.S. called on men to take up arms in eastern Syria. In a statement distributed in a province that borders Iraq, IS called on all men between 20 and 30 who are able to fight to head to mobilization offices. The call comes as the extremists have lost large parts of areas they once controlled in Iraq and Syria, where they declared a caliphate in 2014. U.S.-backed fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces are marching inside the group's de facto capital of Raqqa. I.S. recently lost the Iraqi city of Mosul, the largest urban area they ever held. Iraqi forces now control large parts of northern Iraq where the extremists once held sway. (New York Times, Aug. 3, 2017) ISRAEL SAYS IT WILL SHUT DOWN AL JAZEERA (Jerusalem) — Israel plans to shut down Al Jazeera’s Jerusalem office, stop transmitting its broadcasts, and strip the Qatar-based channel’s journalists of their credentials, the country’s communications minister said. Ayoub Kara accused the broadcaster of “incitement” as he announced the plans for shuttering the station’s operations. Al Jazeera denounced the decision. Al Jazeera has accused Israel of siding with four Arab states that are imposing an economic blockade on Qatar and have severed diplomatic relations with the country. Saudi Arabia and Jordan have closed Al Jazeera offices in recent months. (Washington Post, Aug. 6, 2017) FATAH OPERATING CAMP NAMED AFTER INFAMOUS TERRORIST (Ramallah) — Fatah — the political faction that controls the PA — is running a summer camp for children that is named after Dalal Mughrabi, a terrorist who took part in the 1978 Coastal Road massacre, in which 39 people — including 13 children — were killed. Mughrabi died in a shootout with Israeli police at the culmination of the incident. Until today, the attack is the deadliest terrorist event ever suffered by Israel. In May the UN and the Norwegian government distanced themselves from a Palestinian youth center named after Mughrabi, after it emerged that the building where the center was located carried the logos of UN Women and the Norwegian Representative Office to PA. (Algemeiner, Aug. 2, 2017) ISRAEL EXPOSES HAMAS-TURKEY FUNDS TRANSFER AXIS (Istanbul) — The Israel Security Agency (ISA), Israel Police, and the IDF have uncovered a mechanism for the transfer of money by couriers between the Hamas headquarters in Turkey, the Gaza Strip and Hebron. The axis began operations in 2016 at the initiation of Muhammad Maher Bader, a Hebron-based senior Hamas terrorist and member of the PA. Bader recruited two Hebron residents to transfer illegal funds, who were sent to Turkey under the guise of business trips. The two men transferred funds from Turkey to Hebron, where they were used to underwrite the local Hamas headquarters. The money was also used to pay the salaries of Hamas terrorists after their release from Israeli security prisons. The ISA investigation revealed that as much as $200,000 were transferred via this money-transfer axis. (Jewish Press, Aug. 3, 2017) ISRAEL ALLOWS ENTRY TO IRANIAN JOURNALIST FLEEING PERSECUTION (Jerusalem) — Israel will allow entry to an Iranian journalist fleeing persecution in her home country. The journalist, Neda Amin, who writes for the Times of Israel, has been living in Turkey for the past three years after fleeing Iran. Amin was recently informed that she is to be deported to the Islamic Republic in the coming days. Israeli activists say that she could be facing the death penalty in Iran for her journalistic work. (Ha’aretz, Aug. 6, 2017) IRAN CONDEMNS SOCCER PLAYERS WHO PLAYED AGAINST ISRAEL (Tehran) — Iran’s soccer federation condemned two Iranians who play for a Greek team for participating in a match against an Israeli team. The federation said it “strongly condemns” the participation of Masoud Shojaei and Ehsan Hajsafi in a match for Greece’s Panionios against Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv a day earlier in Greece. On its Farsi-language Twitter account, Israel’s foreign ministry praised the players for ignoring what is considered a taboo in Iran by playing against the Israelis. (Arutz Sheva, Aug. 5, 2017) DSA VOTES TO ENDORSE BDS (Chicago) — The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) voted to endorse a BDS motion at their biannual convention on Saturday. The vote, which took place during Shabbat, when many Jews would not be in attendance, passed in a landslide, with a 90% approval. Following the motion's passing, the crowd enthusiastically chanted ''from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,'' a refrain popular among pro-Palestinian activists. The chant suggests a future Palestinian state that would knock Israel off the map entirely. The Democratic Socialists of America, whose membership has more than tripled in recent years, currently counts some 25,000 dues-paying members, and has long championed the Palestinian cause. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 6, 2017) AUSTRALIAN POLICE SAY TWO MEN CHARGED OVER AIRPLANE BOMB PLOT (Sydney) — Two men facing terrorism charges in Australia were involved in an aborted attempt to place an improvised explosive device on a flight out of Sydney last month in a plot directed by I. S. One of the men brought the device to Sydney airport in a piece of luggage that he had asked his brother to take with him on the flight — without telling the brother that the bag contained explosives. But for reasons still unclear, the bag never got past the check-in counter. Instead the 49-year-old man left the airport with the bag, and his brother continued onto the flight without it. The components for the device were sent by a senior I.S. member via air cargo from Turkey. (Time, Aug. 3, 2017) SYNAGOGUE BAN LEAVES JEWISH COMMUNITY FURIOUS (Sydney) — A local council in Australia has banned the construction of a synagogue because it could be a terrorist target. The decision, which has rocked the longstanding Jewish community in the Sydney suburb, was upheld in court. The Land and Environment Court backed the decision to prohibit the construction of the synagogue in Bondi — just a few hundred meters from Australia’s most famous beach — because it was too much of a security risk for users and local residents. The head of the local Jewish community said the council and the court had effectively stifled freedom of religion and rewarded terrorism. (News.au, Aug. 3, 2017) KALYANI GROUP, RAFAEL OPEN MISSILE-MANUFACTURING FACILITY (Delhi) — India’s $2.5 billion Kalyani Group launched the country’s first-ever private missile subsystems manufacturing facility in partnership with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems of Israel. The new entity will undertake the production and assembly of Spike anti-tank guided missiles and its related technologies such as missile electronics, command, control and guidance, electro-optics, remote weapon systems, precision-guided munitions, and system engineering in the new 24,000-square-foot facility in Hyderabad. This is India’s largest-ever foreign direct investment joint venture firm. (Defense News, Aug. 4, 2017) HOLOCAUST DENIER ZUNDEL DEAD AT 78 (Berlin) — A Holocaust denier who lived in Canada for decades before being deported to Germany has died. Zundel was born in Germany, but later moved to Canada, where he published Nazi propaganda before being convicted of "spreading false news" in 1985. That conviction was overturned when the Supreme Court of Canada argued the charge violated Zundel's Charter right to freedom of expression. Zundel would go on to live in Toronto before a Federal Court ruled in 2005 that he was national security threat, citing his connection with neo-Nazi groups. The move paved the way to his extradition. In 2007, he was convicted in Germany of 14 counts of incitement of racial hatred and received a five-year sentence. Zundel was freed in 2010. (CBC, Aug. 6, 2017) CIJR’S BARUCH COHEN HONOURED FOR COMMUNITY SERVICE (Montreal) — At 97, Baruch Cohen still comes in most days to the office of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research (CIJR). He’s had the same routine for 30 years, ever since CIJR was founded, in the volunteer post of research director. Cohen’s “outstanding achievement in community involvement” was recognized with a D’Arcy-McGee National Assembly Citizenship Medal, a citation instituted by the riding’s MNA, David Birnbaum, at a ceremony June 19th. Cohen, a Romanian survivor of the Holocaust, was one of three medal recipients this year. In addition to his work at CIJR, Cohen spearheaded the first annual commemoration of the Jews killed in Romania and Transnistria during the Holocaust. Cohen is an accomplished writer, and a book of his essays and poetry will be published this year, edited by Prof. Joyce Rappaport. (CJN, Aug. 3, 2017) Contents On Topic Links North Korea’s ICBM Test is a Win for Iran: Ted Poe, National Interest, July 31, 2017—North Korea’s recent test of an intercontinental ballistic missile is a game changer. Only last month, Secretary of Defense James Mattis told Congress that the despotic nation was the “most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security.” The New York Times Provides More Trump Coverage than their Own Readers Want: Robert Fulford, National Post, Aug. 4, 2017—As president and tweeter-in-chief of the United States, Donald Trump has changed many American and international institutions. One of them, perhaps not sufficiently noticed, is his strange effect on the greatest American newspaper, The New York Times. Trump's Worst Week Was a Fine Hour for American Democracy: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Aug. 4, 2017—A future trivia question and historical footnote, the spectacular 10-day flameout of Anthony Scaramucci qualifies as the most entertaining episode yet of the ongoing reality show that is the Trump presidency. (Working title: “The Pompadours of 1600 Pennsylvania.”) Who Are the Palestinians?: Pinhas Inbari, JCPA, August 7, 2017—Yet again, Palestinian leaders are claiming that the Palestinians are descended from the Canaanite people who lived in the land of Canaan before the Israelite tribes settled in it. No less than the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, made that claim in Germany; no one was taken aback by his remarks or questioned him.