WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

 

 

 

 

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

 

On Topic Links

                     

Nikki Haley’s 2 Speeches at UNSC Meetings on Jerusalem & Resolution 2334: UN Watch, Dec. 18, 2017

Nikki Haley: A Diplomat Who Delivers: Daniella J. Greenbaum, Commentary, Dec. 18, 2017

Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital – What Does It Mean?: Daniel Pipes, BESA, Dec. 11, 2017

WATCH: India’s ‘Lost’ Jewish Tribe Lights Candles on First Night of Hanukkah: Breaking Israel News, Dec. 13, 2017

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region. Today, the threats from radical jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region's problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats." — U.S. President Donald Trump. On Monday, Trump unveiled a national security strategy that enshrines his “America First” approach into U.S. policy, stressing American strength and economic security and putting rivals like China and Russia on notice. The document said: “We will work with partners to deny the Iranian regime all paths to a nuclear weapon and neutralize Iranian malign influence. We remain committed to helping facilitate a comprehensive peace agreement that is acceptable to both Israelis and Palestinians.” (Fox News, Dec. 19, 2017)

 

“The fact that this veto is being done in defense of American sovereignty and in defense of America’s role in the Middle East peace process is not a source of embarrassment for us; it should be an embarrassment to the remainder of the Security Council.” — US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Casting America’s first veto in the UN in six years, Haley voted against a draft resolution calling on Trump to withdraw recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The U.S., Haley said, “will not be told by any country where we can put our embassy.” Haley said that a peace process that is damaged by “the simple recognition” that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital is “not a peace process, it is a justification for an endless stalemate.” Haley said that what is troublesome for some people is that the US had the “courage and honesty to recognize a fundamental reality: Jerusalem has been the political, cultural and spiritual homeland of the Jewish people for thousands of years; they have had no other capital city.” (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 18, 2017)

 

“Thank you, Ambassador Haley…On Hanukka you spoke like a Maccabi. You lit a candle of truth. You dispel the darkness. One defeated the many, truth defeated lies.” — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 18, 2017)

 

“The United States has chosen to lose its qualification as a mediator … We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process from now…We call that the (peace) process in its entirety be transferred to the United Nations.” — PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas said Trump’s decision was a “crime” which came at a time when the Palestinians were engaged with Washington in a new push to reach what he said was anticipated to be the “deal of our times…Instead we got the slap of our times,” Abbas said. Abbas also urged Muslim nations and countries with relations with Israel to take necessary political and economic measures against Israel “to force it to abide by international consensus” to end its occupation of Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem. (National Post, Dec. 13, 2017)

 

“There is no such thing as the State of Israel, so it cannot have a capital called Jerusalem…We salute the beginning of rage, intifada and revolution…We will work on forcing the American administration to reverse its unjust decision…Our goal is to break the American position. We will bring down the Trump decision once and for all.” — Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Haniyeh, at a massive rally celebrating the 30th anniversary of the terror group’s inception, swore to force the United States to reverse its decision to recognize Jerusalem as its capital. Masked Hamas terrorists marched behind the group’s political officials on a raised stage. A giant poster showing Jerusalem’s Dome of the Rock mosque and a Hamas gunman with a Palestinian flag and a rifle formed the backdrop. “Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine” read the caption, in Arabic and English. (Times of Israel, Dec. 14, 2017)

 

“The 'ummah,' the Muslim religious community, is tired of the Jerusalem issue…Perhaps because for many years angry groups have been chanting 'Down with Israel' and nothing happens to Israel. The angry slogans and burned flags have been no use for many decades. Most leaders of Muslim-majority countries are wary of the issue, and the Palestinian cause is used in many other countries simply as an outlet to reinforce the ruler. The Middle East is already full of bloodshed that nobody can do anything about" — Turkish columnist Ahmet Hakan. (Gatestone Institute, Dec. 19, 2017)

 

“Just how bad is the media bias against Israel? In a week filled with extensive coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — much of it poor — the leader of the…PA can give an antisemitic speech and most of the press will ignore it. Or worse still, they will selectively edit his remarks…PA President Mahmoud Abbas said that Jews “are really excellent in faking and counterfeiting history.” Abbas told the emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation…that Jews had no historical connection to Jerusalem, a city whose historical and religious ties to Judaism predate the creation of Islam by thousands of years…Abbas claimed that Palestinian Arabs are descended from the ancient Canaanite people, a common lie, exhorting: “If they [Jews] would like to fake this history, they are really masters in this and it is mentioned in the holy Quran they fabricate truth and they try to do that, and they believe in that — but we have been there in this location for thousands of years.” — Sean Durns, research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. (CAMERA) (Algemeiner, Dec. 17, 2017)

 

“So long as the Al-Aqsa Mosque remains a humiliated prisoner under the oppression of the Jews, this nation will never prevail…Allah, wreak vengeance upon the plundering oppressors! Count them one by one, and kill them down to the very last one. Do not leave a single one on the face of the Earth.” — Aymen Elkasaby, a Jersey City imam. A video of Elkasaby’s sermons remained posted on the Islamic Center’s website as of Friday. As well as the December 8 sermon, video remained available of a November 24 sermon in which Elkasaby accused Israel of having planned the gruesome I.S. assault on the Al-Rawda mosque in Sinai, in which more than 300 Muslim worshippers were killed. Ahmed Shedeed — the president of the Islamic Center of Jersey City — said Elkasaby would not be fired by the Islamic Center, and that the imam would receive “retraining.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 15, 2017)

 

"The Holy Koran spoke of Al-Aqsa Mosque when it was not a 'mosque' in the Islamic sense. It was a holy place because of the prophets of Israel, from Moses to Jesus. It was the holy spot of worship for Jews and Christians…Christians were masters of Jerusalem before Muslims conquered it. It is still a holy place for Christians. But Christians have no dispute over ownership of the city. It is their religious right to visit the holy city; and the Jews do not stop them. Muslims, too, should have the same religious rights, and in fact they have those rights; Jews do not stop them. Muslims of the world, therefore, have no religious basis to rule Jerusalem.” — Pakistani Historian Mobarak Haidar. (MEMRI, Dec. 7, 2017)

 

“It is extremely concerning to see a student leader denigrate an entire community — a community which in fact includes thousands of the very students she claims to represent.” — Avi Benlolo, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center head. A Canadian student leader is facing criticism after making inflammatory comments against Israel and Zionism. Nour Alideeb, chairperson of the Ontario branch of the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS), spoke at a demonstration held on December 9th in front of the US Consulate in Toronto, in protest of Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Alideeb reportedly claimed that university students’ tuition money was “going to pay for military resources in Israel to kill children just like me,” and said the conflict “is about Zionism, and Zionism is rooted in white supremacy, it is rooted in racism, it is rooted in anti-blackness … this is colonialism and we cannot allow them to divide us.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 15, 2017)

 

“This bill is not only important to U.S. financial institutions, but crucial to our national security…The United States of America should not be in the business of selling aircraft to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.” — U.S. Rep. Roger Williams, R-Austin. The U.S. House of Representatives passed key legislation which will prevent Iran from having access to aircraft and other military equipment. Williams introduced the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act, H.R. 4324. The bill passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 252-167. Williams said while members of the U.S. military have been battling terrorists in the Middle East, “Iran uses American made aircraft to work against our own national security interests.” (KDH News, Dec. 15, 2017)

 

“The media is not adequately reporting an important success because it does not fit into the narrative of Trumpian disaster in which our journalistic entities are all invested…Foreign policy is the place where the risks of electing Trump seemed to me particularly unacceptable, and I’ve tended to focus on narratives that fit that fear, from the risk of regional war in Middle East to the perils in our North Korean brinksmanship. Those fears are still reasonable. But all punditry is provisional, and for now, the Trump administration’s approach to the Middle East has been moderately successful, and indeed close to what I would have hoped for from a normal Republican president following a realist-internationalist course…But if you had told me in late 2016 that almost a year into the Trump era the caliphate would be all-but-beaten without something far worse happening in the Middle East, I would have been surprised and gratified. So very provisionally, credit belongs where it’s due — to our soldiers and diplomats, yes, but to our president as well.” — Ross Douthat. (New York Times, Dec. 16, 2017)

 

“There is a strong sense in Europe that something has to change and Germany will have to be at the center of that…But whether the issue is the economy or defense, I’m not sure Germans feel that they can get it done, given Merkel’s declining political capital. The problems are huge, but Germans are not sure we’re up to it.” — Jan Techau, a German political analyst. Germany, long Europe’s steadying force, has been without a government since an inconclusive election in September, and there is anxiety in Berlin that the country will be seen as unstable. (New York Times, Dec. 15, 2017)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

IDF STRIKES HAMAS TARGETS AFTER GAZA ROCKET HITS TOWN (Gaza) — Israel carried out a series of airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza Sunday, in retaliation for a volley of rockets fired at Israel from the Palestinian enclave. An IDF spokesperson said Israeli planes targeted a training camp in the Gaza Strip, destroying six separate facilities belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization including buildings and “terror infrastructure.” Police said that one rocket hit inside an Israeli community, and the other struck an open field nearby, causing neither damage nor injury. (Times of Israel, Dec. 18, 2017)

 

SAUDIS INTERCEPT HOUTHI MISSILE HEADED FOR RIYADH (Riyadh) — The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi Shiite rebels said it intercepted a missile fired over southern Riyadh, while the rebels said they targeted the royal palace in the kingdom’s capital. It was the second time in as many months that a rebel projectile had reached as far inside the kingdom as Riyadh. The Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthis since March 2015. The Houthis, who are allied with Iran, have forced into exile the Saudi-backed and internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. (Times of Israel, Dec. 19, 2017)

 

SUICIDE BOMBERS STRIKE CHRISTIANS PRAYING AT CHURCH (Quetta) — Two suicide bombers attacked a church in the Pakistani city of Quetta on Sunday, killing eight people and wounding 42 others, officials said. The home minister for the Baluchistan province said hundreds of worshippers were attending services at the church ahead of Christmas. A search is underway for two suspected accomplices who escaped. No one immediately claimed the attack. Muslim extremists have targeted Pakistan’s small Christian minority in the past. (New York Post, Dec. 17, 2017)

 

SYNAGOGUES ACROSS CANADA RECEIVE ANTISEMITIC MAIL (Montreal) — At least eight synagogues in four cities across Canada have received antisemitic letters calling for the death of Jews. Four synagogues in Toronto, two in Montreal, one in Hamilton and one in Edmonton have reported being sent the hate mail. B'nai Brith Canada's website shows the letter containing the words "Jewry must perish," and a swastika scrawled onto a blood-soaked Star of David. Police in all four cities confirmed they were investigating the letters. There were 1,728 antisemitic incidents reported throughout the country in 2016, according to B'nai Brith's. That's a 26 per cent increase from 2015. (CTV, Dec. 18, 2017)

 

NAZI/ISLAMIST GUILTY IN I.S. MATERIAL SUPPORT CASE (Washington) — A former D.C. police officer who embraced both neo-Nazi and radical Islamism was found guilty of attempting to provide material support to I.S. and two counts of obstruction of justice. Nicholas Young could face up to 60 years in prison. Young's home and computer were littered with Nazi paraphernalia and radical Islamist material. That includes several pictures of Young and his associates in SS uniforms in front of a Nazi flag, a framed photo of Adolf Hitler, electronic copies of The Book of Jihad and issues of al-Qaida's Inspire. A photo showed Young seated in traditional Islamic garb holding a gun across his lap. (IPT News, Dec. 18, 2017)

 

AUSTRIA WELCOMES FAR-RIGHT FREEDOM PARTY TO COALITION GOVERNMENT (Vienna) — Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPO), led by Heinz-Christian Stratche, has joined the government coalition, with its leader Heinz-Christian Strache appointed as vice-chancellor, to the dismay of Jewish leaders across Europe. The party has secured the Interior, Foreign and Defense Ministries after the deal was approved by Austria’s president. OVP People’s Party leader Sebastian Kurz becomes Austria’s new chancellor under the deal. The FPO was founded by Nazis 60 years ago, but has since attempted to change its image, with its current leader having visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem. (Jewish Press, Dec. 17, 2017)

 

9 NEW NAZI WAR CRIMES CASES SENT TO GERMAN PROSECUTORS (Berlin) — The agency that investigates Nazi war crimes in Germany has turned over nine new cases to state authorities for possible prosecution. German media reported that the cases involve guards from the Auschwitz death camp, and the Mauthausen, Buchenwald and Ravensbrueck concentration camps. Most of the suspects are in their early to mid-90s. Prosecutors will now have to decide whether there’s enough evidence to file charges. Under German law, camp guards have been prosecuted for accessory to murder by proving they were present and helped camps function while killings took place. (Times of Israel, Dec. 19, 2017)

 

TWO KOSOVO MEN GUILTY OF PLOTTING TO ATTACK ISRAELI SOCCER TEAM (Pristina) — Two Kosovo men pleaded guilty of planning attacks at a World Cup soccer match in Albania against the visiting Israel team last year. Kosovo police arrested 19 people in November 2016 on suspicion that they had links with I.S. and were planning attacks in Kosovo and neighboring Albania. Nine of them were charged. The state prosecutor said some of them were in contact with Lavdrim Muhaxheri, Islamic State's self-declared "commander of Albanians in Syria and Iraq," who ordered them to attack. Police said Muhaxheri was killed in June this year. Sentences were not announced. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 20, 2017)

 

MISS IRAQ’S PHOTO WITH MISS ISRAEL FORCES FAMILY OUT OF IRAQ (Baghdad) — Relatives of Iraq’s Miss Universe have gone into hiding after a picture of the beauty queen with Miss Israel led to death threats. During an event in November, Sarah Idan, representing Iraq, snapped a photo with her friend Adar Gandelsman, who was competing as Miss Israel. The photo was later posted to Instagram. In response, Iraqis began issuing threats against the beauty queen and her family. Gandelsman says that she and Idan have remained in touch since the pageant. (Newsweek, Dec. 15, 2017)

 

WLU ADMITS IT MISHANDLED ACADEMIC FREEDOM CASE (Toronto) — Wilfrid Laurier University has found there was no wrongdoing by one of their T.A.s who played a controversial YouTube clip during a class tutorial. The clip in question featured Jordan Peterson, a U. of Toronto professor who refuses to use gender pronouns other than “he” or “she.” Lindsay Shepherd, a master’s student at the university, played the clip in her tutorial for students in a communications class. She was pulled into a meeting with three other people where they told her students had complained about the clip and it had created a toxic environment for transgender students. On Monday, president and vice chancellor Deborah MacLatchy issued a statement saying the University mishandled the case. (Global, Dec. 18, 2017)

 

ELBIT SYSTEMS DEVELOPS NEW ANDROID-BASED RIFLE SMART-SCOPE (Tel Aviv) —Elsec, a division of the Israeli-based Elbit Systems, is releasing a new and improved rifle scope that enhances accuracy. The "XACT" is a new rifle scope for sharpshooters and snipers. It broadcasts a live feed of what the soldier sees through his sights to his commander and comrades. The system interface is similar to that of a Smartphone and is considered especially efficient, as a senior commander sitting in a war-room or command post can observe and decide which fighter will carry out which task in accordance with tactical and situational conditions. (Ynet, Dec. 16, 2017)

 

LIAN NAJAMI MAKES HISTORY AS FIRST FEMALE ISRAELI ARAB RHODES SCHOLAR (Haifa) — Twenty-three-year-old Lian Najami, a resident of Haifa, last month became the first-ever Israeli Arab Muslim woman to win a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University. The young Rhodes scholar — fluent in five languages – Hebrew, Arabic, English, German and Spanish – graduated the University of Haifa in 2016 with a major in political science and international affairs. And as an Israeli Arab, Najami advocates against BDS, warning that it hurts Israeli Arabs as much as Jews. (Jewish Press, Dec. 16, 2017)

 

TECHNION OPENS ISRAEL’S FIRST CAMPUS IN CHINA (Beijing) — On Monday, the Guangdong Technion Israel Institute of Technology opened in Shantou, in the Guangdong province of China. The university is a partnership between the Haifa-based university, the Li Ka Shing Foundation and the Guangdong provincial and Shantou municipal governments. The school will offer undergraduate and graduate programs in engineering and science. Some 3,000 students are expected to attend the school in its first decade. In 2013, the Li Ka Shing Foundation donated $130 million to the Israeli university, with some of the money to be used to fund the Guangdong campus. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 20, 2017)

 

ISRAEL PLANS TO REFILL THE KINNERET (Tel Aviv) — As water levels in the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) continues to drop after years of over-pumping and a series of bad droughts, Israel’s Water Authority is working on implementing a new solution. Historically, the Kinneret supplied 10% of Israel’s drinking water, though now, at least 40% of Israel’s drinking water comes from seawater desalination. The solution to the Kinneret’s water problem will be implemented by Mekorot, Israel’s national water company. They will be pumping desalinated water back into the Kinneret from the Eshkol water filtration plant and reservoirs in the Bet Netofa valley. (Jewish Press, Dec. 19, 2017)

 

TRUMP THANKS MAYOR FOR NAMING NEW PARK AFTER HIM (Kiryat Yam) — President Trump thanked the mayor of an Israeli city who named a new park after him. Trump expressed gratitude for the gesture and satisfaction that Israelis welcomed his recognition of Jerusalem as the capital. David Even Tzur, the mayor of the Haifa suburb Kiryat Yam, said he would establish Donald Trump Park in appreciation of the president’s announcement. “Jerusalem is a dream that is present in every Jew’s heart,” the mayor said, “and Trump’s decision gives this dream clear international recognition.” Tzur added that he is inviting Trump to the opening of the facility, which is slated for April. (JTA, Dec. 19, 2017)

 

On Topic Links

 

Nikki Haley’s 2 Speeches at UNSC Meetings on Jerusalem & Resolution 2334: UN Watch, Dec. 18, 2017

Nikki Haley: A Diplomat Who Delivers: Daniella J. Greenbaum, Commentary, Dec. 18, 2017—Nikki Haley’s diplomatic career is no longer nascent, but her support for the Jewish state, while no longer surprising, is still one of the most reassuring features of the Trump administration.

Trump's Recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's Capital – What Does It Mean?: Daniel Pipes, BESA, Dec. 11, 2017—The move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem brings on a flood of thoughts.

WATCH: India’s ‘Lost’ Jewish Tribe Lights Candles on First Night of Hanukkah: Breaking Israel News, Dec. 13, 2017—Thousands of members of the Bnei Menashe community from across northeastern India gathered on Tuesday night to light candles for the first night of Hanukkah.