Contents: | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes   | On Topic Links


On Topic Links


MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: WHEN JOURNALISM DEEPENS AMERICA’S GREAT AND SICKLY DIVIDE“There is in the tumultuous media landscape at least one constant. Even more so than in times past, the progressive journals, The New York Times and The Washington Post, do stellar work. Their teams of reporters get beyond the dross to reveal what is real. Their reporting is erudite, often groundbreaking and more thorough than I can ever remember it. In the clickbait era, the depth is so necessary…imagine what Mr. Trump could get away with without the Times and the Post?” — Lawrence Martin. (Globe & Mail, Nov. 2, 2017)


Contents: | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes   | On Topic Links


On Topic Links



Arabs and Turks Welcomed the Balfour Declaration: Prof. Efraim Karsh, BESA, November 8, 2017

The Iran-Hamas-Hezbollah Connection: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 8, 2017

'The United States Betrayed Israel at the UN': Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 5, 2017

Why Campus Free Speech Matters: Jonathan Marks, Weekly Standard, Nov. 6, 2017





“I believe (the Balfour Declaration) to be one of the most significant letters in history, a letter which gave birth to a most extraordinary country…So when some people suggest that we should apologize for this letter, I say ‘absolutely not.’ …We are proud to stand here today…and declare our support for Israel.” — British Prime Minister Theresa May. Prime Minister Netanyahu attended a dinner Thursday in London celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. May openly acknowledged the constant dangers Israel faces, saying that Britain is “absolutely committed to Israel’s security….and will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.” She also strongly condemned anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism. “Today a new and pernicious form of anti-Semitism which uses criticism of the actions of the Israeli government as a despicable justification for questioning the very right of Israel to exist,” May said. “Criticizing the actions of Israel is never – and can never be – an excuse for questioning Israel’s right to exist, any more than criticizing the actions of Britain could be an excuse for questioning our right to exist.” The Balfour declaration is generally seen as the first international recognition of the need for a homeland for the Jews. (World Israel News, Nov. 3, 2017)


“You just heard the resigning prime minister of Lebanon, Hariri, say Hezbollah took over, which means that Iran took over…This is a wake up call for everyone. It says what the Middle East is really experiencing, it is experiencing the attempt of Iran to conquer the Middle East, to dominate and subjugate it…When Israelis and the Arabs, all the Arabs and the Israelis, agree on one thing, people should pay attention. We should stop this Iranian take over.” — Prime Minister Netanyahu. Netanyahu was in Britain for the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, but made use of the trip to persuade the British government to take steps to halt Iranian aggression. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri's resignation — during which he said he fears an assassination attempt — and his warning about Iran’s inference in his country appeared to underscore the message Netanyahu delivered in meetings he held with Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2017)


“Hariri’s resignation proves that the claim heard abroad that Hezbollah’s inclusion in [Lebanon’s] government is a recipe for stability is fundamentally mistaken…This artificial unity creates paralysis and prevents domestic political forces from making decisions that serve their national interests. In practice it makes them hostages subject to physical threats who are forced against their will to advance the interests of a foreign power — Iran — even if the matter is likely to endanger the security of their country.” — Israeli Foreign Ministry memo. The memo came the day after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri shocked Lebanon and the region by announcing his resignation while on a visit to Saudi Arabia, saying he feared an assassination plot against him. He used the opportunity to lash out at the influence of Hezbollah and Iran on his country. Israel has long criticized Hezbollah’s involvement in Lebanese politics, where the terror group holds some 10% of the seats in parliament and two out of the tens seats in the cabinet. Funded and equipped by Iran, Hezbollah has fought two wars against Israel since the IDF pulled out of southern Lebanon in 2000. (Times of Israel, Nov. 8, 2017)


“Anyone who wants to strike America, Iran is ready to support him and help him with their frank and clear rhetoric.” — Documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden. The report appears to bolster U.S. claims that Iran supported al-Qaida leading up to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. U.S. intelligence officials and prosecutors have long said Iran formed loose ties to the terror organization from 1991 on, something noted in a 19-page al-Qaida report in Arabic that was included in the release of some 47,000 other documents by the CIA. For its part, Iran has long denied any involvement with al-Qaida. (National Post, Nov. 2 2017)


"No dictator, no regime, no nation should ever underestimate American resolve…Every once in a while, in the past, they underestimated us. It was not pleasant for them, was it?…We will never yield, never waver and never falter in defence of our freedom." — President Donald Trump. Trump ramped up his tough rhetoric against North Korea in Japan on Sunday. North Korea's recent actions, including several missiles that flew over Japan and Pyongyang's sixth and largest nuclear test, have raised the stakes in the most critical international challenge of Trump's presidency. Recent drills over South Korea by two U.S. strategic bombers have further heightened tensions. “I really believe that it makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and to make a deal that’s good for the people of North Korea and the people of the world,” Trump said in Seoul on Tuesday. (CBC, Nov. 5 & National Post, Nov. 7, 2017)


“UNESCO is the Titanic of international organizations, which was hijacked and led by the Arab Group into crashing the iceberg of politicization, and which has been sinking ever since…Sadly, UNESCO has been hijacked and abused as a tool for the persecution of Israel and the Jewish people, while concocting fake facts and fake history, meant to erase our history in Jerusalem and rewrite global history.” — Israeli Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Hacohen Shama. In a scathing speech Friday to UNESCO’s 39th General Conference, Shama-Hacohen also slammed the United Arab Emirates for having given a gift to all member states but Israel, urging delegates to give it back in protest. At the opening of the General Conference in Paris, the Emirati delegation had placed a box containing a silver medal on the desk of each foreign delegation in honor of the UAE having sponsored the renovation of the conference hall. No box, however, was placed on Shama-Hacohen’s desk. (Times of Israel, Nov. 5, 2017)


“…Excellence is not the point of universities these days. Diversity is the point – not diversity of thought or intellect, but diversity of race, gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. To achieve this goal, our universities have announced a major new initiative to collect and publish detailed demographic data on faculty, staff and students. The idea is to ensure that women, Indigenous people, academics with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups achieve equality of numbers. This is a new goal. The old goal was academic excellence. And the old goal of equity programs was to make sure that everybody got an equal opportunity. Now the goal has switched to equal outcomes. Success has been redefined from hiring the best person for the job to making sure your demographics mirror the demographics of the general population.” — Margaret Wente. (Globe & Mail, Nov. 4, 2017)







U.S. BOMBS I.S. IN SOMALIA FOR THE FIRST TIME (Mogadishu) — The U.S. military bombed I.S. fighters in Somalia for the first time on Friday, a sign that the air campaign against the group was expanding after recent battlefield successes against I.S. in Iraq and Syria. Several militants were killed in a pair of strikes hours apart in the country’s northeast. I.S. has suffered numerous defeats in the past several months, including the loss of their stronghold in the Iraqi city of Mosul and in their de facto capital, Raqqa, Syria. I.S. has a small presence in Somalia and consists of dozens of fighters led by a militant that had defected from Shabab. (New York Times, Nov. 3, 2017)


SYRIAN ARMY DECLARES VICTORY IN DEIR AL-ZOUR (Damascus) — The Syrian government declared that it had recaptured one of I.S.’s last remaining strongholds in the country, as the group mounted a final stand in Iraq. A military spokesman described victory in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour as the “last phase” in the army’s campaign to defeat I.S. in Syria, three years after the group declared a “caliphate” stretching from the country’s northeast to deep inside Iraq. It is the largest city in eastern Syria and the largest to be recaptured by forces loyal to President Assad. (Washington Post, Nov. 3, 2017)


SAUDIS INTERCEPT MISSILE FIRED FROM YEMEN (Riyadh) — A ballistic missile fired from Yemen came close to the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on Saturday and was intercepted by the Saudi military over the city’s airport. It was the first time such an attack had come so close to Riyadh in the two years since Saudi Arabia started a war against the Houthi rebel group that toppled Yemen’s government. Yemen’s Houthi-controlled defense ministry said its forces had targeted the airport with a missile in response to an attack by the Saudi-led coalition that killed 26 people. But the Saudi-led coalition suggested the attack had been ordered by Iran, which it said backs the Houthis. (New York Times, Nov. 4, 2017)


SAUDI-LED COALITION CLOSES YEMEN PORTS (Riyadh) — The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen closed off the land, sea and air ports to the Arab world’s poorest country Monday after a rebel-fired ballistic missile targeted Riyadh, blaming the launch on Iran and warning it could be “considered as an act of war.” The coalition’s statement ramps up tensions between the Sunni kingdom and its Shiite rival Iran, both of which have interests in Yemen’s conflict. Meanwhile in Aden, masked militants claimed by an Islamic State affiliate set off a large car bomb outside a security headquarters in Yemen’s southern port city early Sunday, killing at least 17 people before storming the compound. (National Post, Nov. 5, 2017)


BILLIONAIRE PRINCE AMONG DOZENS ARRESTED IN SAUDI SWEEP (Riyadh) — Saudi Arabia's heir to the throne is overseeing an wave of arrests of the country's most powerful princes, military officers, influential businessmen and ministers — many of them rivals or critics of the crown prince, whose purported anti-corruption sweep sent shockwaves across the kingdom as he further consolidated power. Among those taken into custody were billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men with extensive holdings in Western companies, as well as two of the late King Abdullah's sons. A Saudi official said 11 princes and 38 others were being questioned. (CBC, Nov. 5, 2017)


ICC SEEKS INVESTIGATION INTO WAR CRIMES IN AFGHANISTAN (Hague) — The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court requested judicial authorization to begin a formal investigation into possible war crimes committed in Afghanistan, a probe that could implicate U.S. forces. Fatou Bensouda, the ICC’s chief prosecutor, clarified that any resulting investigation would consider only alleged war crimes committed on Afghan soil after May 1, 2003. However, alleged crimes committed since July 1, 2002, in other states but that were “closely linked to the situation in Afghanistan” also would be considered. The best-documented case of prisoner abuse by U.S. service in Afghanistan took place in 2002, when an Afghan taxi driver known as Dilawar was imprisoned and killed at Bagram, a U.S. military compound that was used as a detention and interrogation center. (New York Times, Nov. 3, 2017)


EGYPTIAN LAWYER SAYS IT’S A ‘DUTY TO RAPE’ WOMEN WEARING RIPPED JEANS (Cairo) — An Egyptian lawyer has sparked outrage after saying women who wear ripped jeans deserve to be sexually harassed and raped. Nabih al-Wahsh, a prominent conservative in Egypt, said raping women who wear ripped jeans is a man’s “national duty”, adding that girls who show parts of their body by wearing such clothes are inviting men to harass them. His comments were made during a TV talk show. His remarks prompted fury across the country and Egypt’s National Council for Women announced it plans to file a complaint against Wahsh and the TV channel. (New York Post, Oct. 31, 2017)


IRAQI PARLIAMENT VOTES TO CRIMINALIZE PUBLIC DISPLAY OF ISRAELI FLAG (Baghdad) — Iraq’s parliament in Baghdad voted to criminalize flying the Israeli flag in the country, after accusing Israel of orchestrating the Kurdish independence referendum on Sept. 25 to establish, in the words of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, a “second Israel” in the Middle East. Iraq’s central government, Turkey, Iran, and its Lebanese terror proxy Hezbollah all accused Israel of orchestrating the vote, which triggered a deep crisis with Baghdad. Israel, meanwhile, denied any involvement in the referendum. The accusations surfaced, after Israeli flags were raised during a number of pro-independence rallies in the Kurdistan region, the U.S. and across Europe. (The Tower, Nov. 2, 2017)


10 ARRESTED ACROSS FRANCE, SWITZERLAND IN TERROR CRACKDOWN (Paris) —Security officials in France and neighboring Switzerland arrested 10 terror suspects Tuesday, as part of an ongoing counterterror operation. French officials say the suspects were plotting attacks across France, including terror plots aimed at Paris suburbs and the southern coastal towns of Aix-en-Provence and Menton. The arrests are the culmination of counterterror efforts by French antiterrorism teams and their Swiss counterparts since July to break up cells suspected of using the Telegram Messenger system, an advanced online messenger service for sending and receiving heavily encrypted messages which can be set to automatically delete or “self-destruct”. (Arutz Sheva, Nov. 7, 2017)


CANADIAN IMAM URGES SENDING WEAPONS TO PALESTINIANS TO FIGHT 'ZIONISTS' (Vancouver) — The imam of a Vancouver mosque is under fire for calling on Muslims to send “money, weapons and expertise” to Palestinians to fight “Zionists.” B’nai B’rith Canada released videos in which an imam, Tarek Ramadan, is seen referring to Israelis as “an impure gang” and Zionists as the “worst of mankind.” The video shows Ramadan calling to “fight, by any means necessary” against Zionists in a jihad, or holy struggle. In his sermon, Ramadan says that the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem “should only be in the custody of the Muslims. It should not be in the custody of the Christians, the Jews or anybody else.” Zionists, Ramadan said, have “no holiness, no respect for anybody.” (Vancouver Sun, Nov. 3, 2017)


TOP ISLAMIC SCHOLAR TAKES LEAVE FROM OXFORD OVER SEX ABUSE PROBES (London) — Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan took a leave of absence from the University of Oxford following multiple rape and sexual misconduct allegations. The Swiss-born professor has denied two allegations of rape made by French women, as well as allegations of sexual misconduct against teenage girls. Ramadan has denied the allegations. The father of four, married to a Muslim convert, has repeatedly been accused of antisemitism over the years. However, he has rejected those allegations as well, defending his right to criticize Israel. His conservative brand of Islam has garnered legions of fans, many of whom have flocked to his defense decrying a “Zionist plot” to ruin him. (Times of Israel, Nov. 7, 2017)


SYRIAN WHO ACCUSED ISRAELIS OF TRAFFICKING CHILDREN’S ORGANS NOW PROF. AT RUTGERS (New York) — A former Syrian diplomat who accused Israelis of trafficking children’s organs is now working as a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Mazen Adi, an professor in Rutgers’ Political Science Department, worked for Syria’s foreign ministry. Among his comments were allegations that Israel systematically targeted civilians, destroyed the environment and buried alive enemy soldiers; and that Assad was committed to seeking a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict. While representing Syria at the Security Council, Adi claimed that “international gangs led by some Israeli officials are now trafficking children’s organs.” (Algemeiner, Nov. 5, 2017)


PRINCETON HILLEL CANCELS ISRAELI DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER'S SPEECH (Princeton) — Princeton University's Hillel House was forced to cancel a speech from Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, after a progressive Jewish group on campus complained Hotovely was "pro-Israel," and accused the official of "racism." The event was moved to a Chabad located on campus, but that only barely satiated the angry progressives who campaigned ahead of Hotovely's appearance, stemming from the bare fact that Hotovely is a member of the Israeli government. The "Alliance of Jewish Progressives" was reportedly responsible for Hotovely's last-minute move. (Daily Wire, Nov. 7, 2017)


ISRAEL BOYCOTT FAILS AT UOTTAWA (Ottawa) — Jewish groups say they succeeded in persuading the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa to vote down a “destructive and divisive” initiative to advance BDS against Israel at a board meeting. Student activists and Jewish student groups  spoke out against the BDS resolution at the meeting. Attempts by Canadian student unions to pass BDS resolutions in support of the Palestinian cause have failed at universities including Winnipeg, Waterloo and British Columbia, but succeeded at York and Concordia. (Ottawa Citizen, Nov. 5, 2017)


ARGENTINA PROBE FINDS NISMAN MURDERED (Buenos Aires) — A new report summarizing the findings of an Argentina police probe into the death of Alberto Nisman, who accused Argentina's government of covering up Iranian involvement in the bombing of a Jewish community center, has determined that the prosecutor was murdered. The report bases its conclusions on new evidence and directly contradicts the findings of a federal police investigation which determined that Nisman had committed suicide. The report says that Nisman was beaten and drugged by two attackers who then staged his suicide. The 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Charities Federation, or AMIA, left 85 people dead and 300 others injured in the worst attack of its kind in the country. (I24, Nov. 6, 2017)


LARRY DAVID CRITICIZED FOR ‘SNL’ HOLOCAUST JOKES (New York) — Larry David is facing criticism from the ADL and others for joking about dating in concentration camps during his monologue while hosting “Saturday Night Live” over the weekend. David, who is Jewish, noted that disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who is at the center of the sexual harassment firestorm gripping Hollywood, is also Jewish before going into jokes about pickup lines in concentration camps. The jokes were met with groans and awkward chuckles from the audience. (Times of Israel, Nov. 6, 2017)


79TH ANNIVERSARY OF KRISTALLNACHT (Berlin) — November 9 marks the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht, “The Night of Broken Glass,” a major milestone in the persecution of Jews under the Third Reich and an unusually important event which took place in full public view, but whose significance was unfortunately not fully understood at the time…The results were horrific. 1,600 Jews were murdered, approximately 1,500 synagogues were destroyed, 30,000 Jewish men were arrested…more than 7,000 Jewish shops and department stores were vandalized or destroyed. In short, a horrific blow to German Jewry, who, adding insult and economic ruin to injury, were forced to pay a fine of one billion marks (about $400 million at 1938 rates) as a punishment. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2017)


ISRAELI HOSPITAL EMPLOYS MRI DESIGNED FOR INFANTS (Jerusalem) — The world’s first magnetic resonance instrument (MRI) built specially for examining premature and older infants has been installed and tested on six patients at Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center. The babies sleep comfortably while held in a soft brace during the scan and do not need to be anesthetized. The device, called the Embrace system, was recently installed in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. The Embrace device makes it possible to perform high-quality MRI tests without endangering the babies. This improves the service that babies will receive – accurate information about brain structure, identification of infants at risk and early treatment of these infants. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 8, 2017)


ISRAEL WELCOMES THIS YEAR'S 3 MILLIONTH TOURIST (Tel Aviv) — A woman from Romania is Israel’s three millionth overnight visitor for 2017, breaking all previous records. When Ioana Isac, 31, arrived with her partner, Mihai Georgescu, the two walked down a red carpet at Ben Gurion airport, flanked by balloons and flowers. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin greeted them, while a limousine awaited to whisk them to a luxury suite on the Dead Sea. Even Prime Minister Netanyahu planned a surprise for the couple, granting them a personal tour of the Tower of David museum in Jerusalem's Old City. The number breaks the previous record of overnight visitors set in 2013, when a record 2.96 million tourists stayed overnight in Israel. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 7, 2017)


On Topic Links


Arabs and Turks Welcomed the Balfour Declaration: Prof. Efraim Karsh, BESA, November 8, 2017—“100 years have passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration, by which Britain gave, without any right, authority or consent from anyone, the land of Palestine to another people. This paved the road for the Nakba of Palestinian people and their dispossession and displacement from their land.”

The Iran-Hamas-Hezbollah Connection: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Nov. 8, 2017 —The Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, has had enough. Last week, Iran finalized its takeover of Lebanon when Hariri resigned, and reportedly fled to Saudi Arabia. Hariri, denouncing Hezbollah and its Iranian backers, said he feared for his life. Hariri has good reason to be afraid of Hezbollah, the powerful Shia terror group and Iranian proxy that effectively controls Lebanon.

'The United States Betrayed Israel at the UN': Yoni Kempinski, Arutz Sheva, Nov. 5, 2017—Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, on Saturday night spoke at the opening plenary session of the Israeli American Council (IAC) National Conference in Washington, DC and vowed to continue to work to stop the Israel bashing at the international organization.

Why Campus Free Speech Matters: Jonathan Marks, Weekly Standard, Nov. 6, 2017—There is nothing natural about tolerating the views of others. If someone stands, as today’s righteous say, on “the wrong side of history,” why refrain from shutting him up?