WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP Posted on December 6, 2017 Printer Friendly Contents: | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes | On Topic Links On Topic Links President Donald J. Trump's Proclamation on Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel: White House, Dec. 6, 2017 Ten Reasons for Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Dec. 5, 2017 A Credible Peace Plan, at Last: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 4, 2017 Skeptical of the Saudis: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Dec. 1, 2017 WEEKLY QUOTES “It is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering. I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians. This is a long overdue step to advance the peace process. And to work towards a lasting agreement.” — U.S. President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and directed the State Department to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel there from Tel Aviv. (New York Times, Dec. 6, 2017) “This is a historic day…We’re profoundly grateful for the president for his courageous and just decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to prepare for the opening of the US embassy here.” — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Netanyahu said the move reflects Trump’s “commitment to an ancient but enduring truth, to fulfilling his promises and to advancing peace.” (Times of Israel, Dec. 6, 2017) "Israel's strategic patience has paid off…We've been told again and again that if we want more acceptance, we need to cut up parts of Israel and hand them over to our enemies…But what we're learning is the contrary. The world respects strong countries." — Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett. Bennett says recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital is a "natural" move and called on other countries to follow suit. When asked if Trump's move could jeopardize the peace process with the Palestinians, Bennett said the move is, in fact, "a step toward peace." "We will never achieve peace that is predicated on dividing Jerusalem," he said. (Jerusalem Online, Dec. 6, 2017) “Whoever does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel does not recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state…A recognition by the United States and by other countries of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will make it clear to the Palestinians that they must accept the existence of Israel and that it is time to conduct real negotiations for peace with Israel.” — Israeli Minister of Transport Yisrael Katz. He said he expects the international community to support Trump’s decision. “Next year in Jerusalem,” said Katz, referring to the messianic vision of the Temple being rebuilt in our time in Jerusalem. (Breaking Israel News, Dec. 6, 2017) “Moving the Embassy is an overdue and common-sense decision…Jerusalem is Israel’s undivided and eternal capital, and all branches of its government have been based there since 1950. Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital will advance the peace process, not obstruct it. True peace is only possible when all sides acknowledge the indelible bond between the Jewish People and their holiest city.” — Michael Mostyn of B’nai Brith Canada. Mostyn is calling on Ottawa to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv. (B’nai Brith, Dec. 6, 2017) “I am saddened by the reports that the U.S. is getting ready to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital…Mr. Trump, Jerusalem is the red line of Muslims. It is a violation of international law to take a decision supporting Israel while Palestinian society’s wounds are still bleeding…this can go as far as severing Turkey’s ties with Israel. I am warning the United States not to take such a step which will deepen the problems in the region.” — President Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey. (New York Post, Dec. 5, 2017) “I’m very happy, but in the back of my mind, I’m also a little concerned about the upcoming announcement by President Trump…I’m not worried about the threats by the radical Islamists and the Palestinian Authority…I’m worried about tanstaafl – There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. What is the price that President Trump might potentially demand from Israel in return? I sincerely hope that Trump is making this declaration and taking this action because he fully recognizes and understands that it is the right thing to do and he is doing Tikun Olam, fixing the ongoing injustice being done to Israel by the US not recognizing Jerusalem as our capital. In which case, we’re all on the same page…But, we should still be prepared for tanstaafl.” — Editorial. (Jewish Press, Dec. 6, 2017) “This is also the time for the entire world to recognize united Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Policies should not be dictated by threats and intimidation. If violence is the only argument against moving the embassy to Jerusalem, then it only proves it is the right thing to do. Now is the time to do what is right.” — Yesh Atid leader MK Yair Lapid. Lapid also called on the international community to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. “The new reality in Syria is that Iran is going from boots on the ground to roots in the ground. This is why there is no scenario in which Israel can, or should ever, be expected to return the Golan Heights,” Lapid said. “Had we returned them to Syria, as the world demanded, we would have had Iranian soldiers staring down at the Galilee, and Iranian artillery aimed directly at our cities,” he said. (Times of Israel, Dec. 6, 2017) “If Iran is not rolled back in Syria, then the chances of military confrontation are growing. I don’t want to tell you by the year or by the month. I’d say even by the week.” — Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. Tehran was responsible for stoking the tensions in Syria, he said. “Because the more they push, we have to enforce our red lines, and you always have the prospects of an escalation, even when parties don’t want an escalation, because we will not allow Iran to establish that presence and establish another terror front against Israel in Syria,” he added. Asked exactly how likely war was, Dermer replied, “I wouldn’t put a percentage on that, but I think it is higher than people think.” However, he said, Israel had no issue with Russia maintaining a long-term presence in Syria. (Times of Israel, Dec. 5, 2017) “Too much blood has flowed into the area. I fear that Hezbollah’s interference abroad will end up costing Lebanon dearly. I will not accept that a Lebanese political party participates in maneuvers that serve the interests of Iran…I wanted the world to understand that Lebanon can no longer tolerate the interference of a party like Hezbollah in the affairs of the Gulf countries, where 300,000 Lebanese live. We must not pay for the actions of Hezbollah.”— Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Responding to the question if Hariri recognizes that Bashar El-Assad won the civil war in Syria, Hariri pithily responded, “He did not win. Presidents Putin and Rouhani won.” Hariri also said that Lebanon won’t respond to Israeli attacks against Iranian or Hezbollah forces located in Syria. Last month, Saad Hariri fled to Saudi Arabia claiming there was an attempt to assassinate him. While in Saudi Arabia he tendered his resignation as Prime Minister. He later returned to Lebanon and retracted his resignation. (Jewish Press, Nov. 29, 2017) "All means should be tackled for the Yemeni people to get rid of this black nightmare." — Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit. Heavy airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition rocked Yemen's capital Tuesday, striking Sanaa's densely populated neighborhoods in apparent retaliation for the killing of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels who control the city. The Saudi-led coalition battling the rebels had thrown its support behind Saleh just hours before his death, as the longtime strongman's alliance with the rebels unraveled. Aboul-Gheit denounced Saleh's "assassination" at the hands of "criminal militias," and warned of a further escalation of the war and Yemen's humanitarian crisis. Saleh's son Salah said that he won't receive condolences for his father's death until "after avenging the blood" of the former leader. (National Post, Dec. 5, 2017) “We’ve seen (Saudi Arabia) work with the Israelis to push back against terrorism throughout the Middle East, to the extent we can continue to develop those relationships and work alongside them—the Gulf states and broader Middle East will likely be more secure.” — CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Israel is collaborating directly with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states to combat terrorism, according to Pompeo. In November, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed that Israel has maintained covert contact with Saudi Arabia regarding Iran and other areas of common interest, marking the first official disclosure Israel’s developing ties with Riyadh. (United With Israel, Dec. 5, 2017) “The US can’t do it on our own, obviously the Saudis can’t do it on their own, these other countries can’t do it on their own…But together in some kind of coalition of countries—of Arab countries working with the US, working with Israel, working with Turkey, to build a strong coalition that can operate—frankly I think with a joint military headquarters that can…target the terrorists in that region, that can basically work together to try to provide stability where it is necessary in these countries.” — Former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Panetta also urged Sunni Arab states to form a military coalition with Israel, the US and Turkey. (United With Israel, Dec. 5, 2017) “I am sure this was an act of revenge…It’s not just about Sufism. They were clearly trying to send people a message.” — Gazy Saad, a member of Parliament from Sinai, on the November 24 mosque attack in the town of Bir al-Abed, Egypt, that claimed 311 people during Friday Prayer. The attack was payback, residents said, for the town’s cooperation with the Egyptian military, and a bloody warning of the consequences of further cooperation. Bir al-Abed has long been one of the most pro-military towns in Sinai, going back as far as the uprising that toppled President Mubarak in 2011, local leaders say. “They love the military and the state,” Saad said. “The terrorists wanted to punish them for this.” (New York Times, Dec. 1, 2017) “The Human Rights Council will either adopt these reforms or the United States will leave.” — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. Haley said U.S. proposed reforms include removing “Item 7,” which requires a report on Israeli actions in the West Bank each time the panel convenes. She said the United States also wanted structural changes that would keep major human rights abusers from joining the council. She described one of the Obama administration’s last acts — allowing through a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning settlements — as a “betrayal” of Israel. “As long as I was U.S. ambassador, such an act of betrayal would never happen again,” she said. (JTA, Nov. 4, 2017) “Zionism has taught me that, even in the face of millennia of persecution, oppression, exile and genocide, civil and human rights can prevail. It has taught me that all human beings are entitled to the protection of their inalienable rights. It is, in many ways, because of my progressivism that I am a proud Zionist. It is also, in many ways, because of my Zionism that I am a proud progressive. The inherent, irrefutable bond between Zionism and progressivism drives my activism and is also the driving force behind Zioness. The relationship between these identities is organic and effortless, and there is natural strength, for our community and for others, when we declare our commitment to both.” — Amanda Berman, co-founder of the Zioness Movement. Members of the Zioness initiative promote the idea that Zionism and liberal, progressive values are compatible. (Forward, Nov. 27, 2017) Contents SHORT TAKES PALESTINIANS: THREE DAYS OF RAGE OVER TRUMP'S DECISION ON JERUSALEM (Jerusalem) — The Palestinian factions announced three days of rage from Wednesday to Friday in protest of Trump's announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv. The Palestinian factions called Trump's policy "political blackmail, which would destroy his ability to achieve regional or colonialist achievements in the region," in a statement. "We call on all our people in Israel and around the world to gather in city centers and Israeli embassies and consulates, with the aim of bringing about general popular anger," the statement said. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 6, 2017) ISRAELI MISSILES SAID TO HIT IRANIAN BASE BEING BUILT NEAR DAMASCUS (Damascus) — Israel fired missiles at a military base Iran has been building near the Syrian city of al-Qiswa, southwest of Damascus, reportedly destroying an arms depot. Hebrew media on Saturday reported that the target was a military base that Iran is building in the area, about 50 kilometers from the Israeli border, and that loud explosions were heard after the attack. The alleged Israeli attack came three weeks after the BBC reported that Iran was building a permanent military base in Syria just south of Damascus. On Monday, the IAF also allegedly conducted an airstrike on a “military scientific research center” in the Jamraya area on the outskirts of Damascus, according to Syrian reports. (Times of Israel, Dec. 2, 2017) PA FACES MASSIVE CUT IN US AID AS TAYLOR FORCE ACT PASSES HOUSE VOTE (Washington) — The Taylor Force Act passed the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, confronting the PA with the prospect of a massive cut in US aid for as long as it maintains its policy of paying monthly salaries and other benefits to the families of slain or convicted Palestinian terrorists. Named in memory of Taylor Force — the former American army officer stabbed to death during a knifing spree by a Palestinian assailant in Tel Aviv in 2016 — the legislation prevents the transfer of funds “that directly benefit the Palestinian Authority” for a six-year period beginning in 2018 unless the PA verifiably ends its so-called “martyr payments” policy. (Algemeiner, Dec. 5, 2017) SUPREME COURT ALLOWS FULL ENFORCEMENT OF TRAVEL BAN (Washington) — The Supreme Court allowed the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries. This is not a final ruling on the travel ban: Challenges to the policy are winding through the federal courts, and the justices themselves ultimately are expected to rule on its legality. Just two justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor, noted their disagreement with court orders allowing the latest policy to take full effect. The ban applies to Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a "bona fide" relationship with someone in the U.S. could not be kept out of the country. (Globe & Mail, Dec. 4, 2017) U.S., SOUTH KOREA LAUNCH AIR DRILLS (Seoul) — The U.S. and South Korea went ahead with large-scale aerial drills, a move North Korea had said would push the peninsula to "the brink of nuclear war," ignoring calls from Russia and China to call them off. The drills come a week after North Korea said it had tested its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. as part of a weapons program that it has conducted in defiance of international sanctions and condemnation. The annual U.S.-South Korean drill will run until Friday, with six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to be deployed among the more than 230 aircraft taking part. F-35 fighters will also join the drills, which will include the largest number of fifth-generation fighters ever to have taken part. (CBC, Dec. 4, 2017) RUSSIA AND EGYPT MOVE TOWARD DEAL ON AIR BASES (Cairo) — Egypt, in what appeared to be a snub to the U.S., has reached a preliminary agreement to allow Russian military jets to use its airspace and bases. If finalized, the agreement would give Russia its deepest presence in Egypt since 1973, when Cairo expelled the military of the Soviet Union and instead became Washington’s closest Arab ally. The U.S. has provided Egypt more than $70 billion in aid in the four decades since, at a rate of more than $1.3 billion a year in recent years. The cost is often justified in part by the argument that it secures the use of Egypt’s airspace and bases for the U.S. military. (New York Times, Nov. 30, 2017) CANADA SCRAPS PLAN TO BUY BOEING FIGHTERS AND WILL GO WITH USED F-18S (Ottawa) — Canada is scrapping a plan to buy 18 Boeing Super Hornet fighter jets amid a dispute with the U.S. company. The Liberals will announce next week it intends to acquire a used fleet of older Australia F-18 jets, the same kind of plane Canada currently operates. The move underlines Ottawa’s anger at a decision by Boeing to launch a trade challenge against Bombardier Inc., which the U.S. giant accuses of dumping airliners on the domestic U.S. market. Canada is due to announce the requirements for its new fighter fleet in early 2019. One potential contender is Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter, which Trudeau initially said he would not buy because it was too expensive. (National Post, Dec. 5, 2017) MI5 FOILS ISLAMIST TERROR PLOT TO KILL BRITISH PRIME MINISTER (London) — Naa'imur Zakariyah Rahman, 20, has been charged with planning to use an improvised explosive device to blow up the gates of Downing Street before making an attempt on Theresa May’s life. Rahman has been charged with preparing acts of terrorism and will appear in court alongside Mohammed Aqib Imran, 21, who is accused of trying to join I.S. Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, revealed on Tuesday that British intelligence had foiled nine terror plots in the past 12 months. (Telegraph, Dec. 6, 2017) GERMAN WOMAN JAILED FOR 14 MONTHS FOR HOLOCAUST DENIAL (Berlin) — A German court has upheld two convictions of a well-known neo-Nazi for Holocaust denial and sentenced her to 14 months in prison. Ursula Haverbeck, 89, was sentenced by a district appeals court in Detmold for repeatedly denying the Holocaust, which is a crime in Germany. Haverbeck had appealed her 2016 conviction for writing to the Detmold mayor during the trial of an Auschwitz guard claiming the death camp was only a labor camp. In closing arguments at that trial she again denied the Holocaust, prompting another conviction. Several courts have sentenced Haverbeck to prison sentences in the past, but Haverbeck has remained free pending appeals. (Times of Israel, Nov. 28, 2017) PROBE OF CZAR’S DEATH RILES RUSSIAN JEWS (Moscow) — The head of a Russian Orthodox Church panel looking into the 1918 killing of Russia’s last czar and his family said it is investigating whether it was a ritual murder — a statement that has angered Jewish groups. Father Tikhon Shevkunov, the Orthodox bishop heading the panel, said that “a large share of the church commission members have no doubts that the murder was ritual.” Boruch Gorin, a spokesman for the Federation of Jewish Communities, expressed a strong concern about the claims that he described as a “throwback to the darkest ages.” Nicholas II, his wife and their five children were executed by a Bolshevik firing squad on July 17, 1918. The speculation that the czar and his family were killed by the Jews for ritual purposes long has been promoted by fringe antisemitic groups. (National Post, Nov. 28, 2017) KOREAN CHRISTIAN SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL AT ALL-TIME HIGH (Seoul) — Christian support for Israel in South Korea is stronger than ever, according to the president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein. During Eckstein’s latest “bridge-building trip” to Korea, he met with Christian leaders and church members in the capital Seoul. Eckstein met with Christians congregations that are all strong advocates for Israel. Around 20 percent of South Korea’s 50 million people are Protestants, and these figures include thousands of Christians who are strong supporters of the Jewish state. South Korea has maintained relations with Israel since the Jewish state’s founding in 1948, with formal relations established in 1962. (Breaking Israel News, Dec. 1, 2017) 47 OUT OF 54 COUNTRIES SAY THEY BENEFIT FROM TIES WITH ISRAEL (Jerusalem) — Israel’s Foreign Ministry carried out a survey of the citizens of 54 countries about their country’s relations with Israel. In a majority of those countries, 47 of 54 of them, most of the people surveyed believe that their country would benefit from links with Israel. Netanyahu made a visit to Kenya last week, during which he met presidents of Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Rwanda, Togo, Botswana and Namibia, as well as the Ethiopian prime minister. Over the past year, Netanyahu has visited Kazakhstan, Singapore, Australia, Azerbaijan and several countries in Latin America. (United With Israel, Dec. 4, 2017) On Topic Links President Donald J. Trump's Proclamation on Jerusalem as the Capital of the State of Israel: White House, Dec. 6, 2017— President Donald J. Trump is following through on his promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and has instructed the State Department to begin to relocate the U.S. Embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Ten Reasons for Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel: Amb. Alan Baker, JCPA, Dec. 5, 2017 —Jerusalem has been the official capital of the State of Israel and the center of its government since 1950. Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s President, Knesset, and Supreme Court, and the site of most government ministries and social and cultural institutions. A Credible Peace Plan, at Last: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 4, 2017 —Monday, The New York Times published the Palestinian response to an alleged Saudi peace plan. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly presented it to PLO chief and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas last month. Skeptical of the Saudis: David M. Weinberg, Israel Hayom, Dec. 1, 2017—In recent months, we've been bombarded with tantalizing tales of Arabia reborn, of Riyadh's "Arab spring," of a newly energized Saudi leadership that is on a (welcome) warpath against Iran, and of a new strategic regional alliance for Israel with the House of Saud.