WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP Posted on February 7, 2018 Printer Friendly Contents: | Weekly Quotes | Short Takes | On Topic Links On Topic Links Netanyahu: ‘Here’s What Makes the Righteous So Exceptional’ (Video): Jewish Press, Feb. 5, 2018 In the West Bank, a Violent Storm is Brewing: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Feb. 7, 2018 Why the U.S.-Israel Honeymoon May Not Last Much Longer: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Feb. 5, 2018 Russia's Retaliation for Downed Jet Has Just Begun: Maxim A. Suchkov, Al-Monitor, Feb. 5, 2018 WEEKLY QUOTES "US President Donald Trump has brought a fresh set of eyes, and energy, to the task of peacemaking. It is clear that President Trump's actions and language have changed expectations about what is possible. He has revitalized the discussion and language of peace in the region…Our approach is rooted in the belief that instead of working to impose a solution from the outside, we must give the parties space to make their own decisions about their future. Our approach is also guided by the belief that instead of laying the blame for the conflict at the feet of one party or the other, we must focus on unlocking new areas of cooperation that benefit both Israelis and Palestinians…To this end, the President has made clear that he will support whatever the two sides can agree to. We will not impose a deal on either party. But we know that the desire for peace is real, it is powerful, and it must be harnessed.” — US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt. (Arutz Sheva, Jan. 31, 2018) “We will not see pictures like those from the Second Lebanon War in which the residents of Beirut were at the beach and in Tel Aviv [they were] in bomb shelters. If in Israel they sit in shelters, then in the next fighting all of Beirut will be in shelters.” — Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Lieberman commented on the possibility of conflict with Lebanon breaking out, saying that Israeli soldiers may have to operate deep in Lebanese territory and maneuver on the ground on the battlefield if war breaks out. Lieberman's comments are the latest in a series of warnings from senior Israeli officials about Hezbollah's attempts to arm itself with precision missiles produced in Lebanon. “No one is looking for adventures, but if we have no choice the goal is to end [the fighting] as quickly and as unequivocally as possible,” he added. “Regrettably, what we have in all the conflicts in the Middle East is that without soldiers on the ground it does not come to an end.” (Ha’aretz, Feb. 1, 2018) “Saeb Erekat, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), said that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) rejected and denounced the decision of the United States Treasury Department to include the Hamas chief … and called for the removal of the causes of division and the achievement of national unity in order to preserve the Palestinian National Project and to address the schemes aimed at liquidating the project.”— PLO statement on the Facebook page of the PA’s Fatah faction. The PLO slammed an announcement by the U.S. State Department that Hamas Political Bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh had been added to its list of global terrorists. As a result, all of Haniyeh’s property and interests subject to U.S. jurisdiction have been blocked, and U.S. citizens are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with him. (Jewish Press, Feb. 1, 2018) “Our message to Iran: The era of your immunity while you send others and use your national resources to hurt Israel is over…A rocket from Lebanon will be treated like an Iranian rocket. We will not waste our resources and energy fighting in Lebanese towns while you recline your chair and watch…We will also not sit idly and watch the accumulation of accurate missiles in Lebanon. Between 2006 and 2012, Hezbollah made a massive leap in the quantities of its rockets, and now has over 130,000. We will not allow it to make a qualitative leap. This strategy means Iran, the Quds Force and the host countries will pay a price…I believe adopting the ‘octopus doctrine,’ the core of which is acting against the Quds Forces and Iran while weakening Iran’s hold on Lebanon, Syria and Gaza, has the highest chances of preventing war, or shortening it if it breaks out.” — Israeli Security Cabinet Member Naftali Bennett. Bennett said that for 30 years Israel made a mistake of targeting what he called “tentacles” but not “the octopus.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 31, 2018) “On the day that the U.N. is marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the UNHRC has chosen to publicize this information about the number of companies operating in Israel…This is a shameful act which will serve as a stain on the UNHRC forever. We will continue to act with our allies and use all the means at our disposal to stop the publication of this disgraceful blacklist.” — Danny Danon, Israel’s Representative to the UN. A report released by the U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHRC), which seeks to make a database of companies doing business in Israeli settlements, was roundly condemned. Speaking later at the U.N. General Assembly Holocaust Remembrance event, Danon said the blacklist goes back to centuries-old, antisemitic boycotts: “The information published today by the Human Right’s Council is more of the same. The Human Rights Council will now join history’s infamous list of anti-Semites and bigots, who ultimately failed in their attempts to devastate the Jewish people.” (Fox News, Feb. 1, 2018) "The main point of the law is the public discourse…It is trying to prevent education, investigative journalism, interviews, radio discussions about parts of the Polish nation, parts of the Polish people who did terrible things. Certainly it was not the whole Polish nation by any means, but there were people who did terrible things and all that needs to be discussed." — David Silberklang, historian at the International Institute for Holocaust Research and editor of Yad Vashem Studies. Polish President Andrzej Duda signed into a law a controversial Holocaust bill that criminalizes ascribing blame for crimes committed by Nazi Germany to Poland, including use of the term "Polish death camp." Penalties range from a fine to three years in jail. Silberklang said that most scholars support the idea not to use the term "Polish death camps." But he warned the legislation is aimed at promoting a specific narrative of Polish history during the Holocaust — something he called "very problematic." (USA Today, Feb. 6, 2018) "It is important that the Poles, and others who may follow their lead, know that the Jewish people's historical truth is not for sale…Many Poles and others heard, knew, and assisted the Nazi killing machine. The Polish attempt to rewrite history and silence the Holocaust survivors is an affront. It is despicable and it is shocking…We won't allow the accomplices hide behind the Nazis and evade their historical culpability." — Zionist Union MK Itzik Shmuli. MKs from both the coalition and the opposition backed a proposed amendment to Israel's Denial of Holocaust (Prohibition) Law, in a bid to outlaw denying or downplaying the involvement of Nazi helpers and collaborators in the crimes of the Holocaust. 61 MKs signed the proposal, authored by Shmuli. (Israel Hayom, Feb. 1, 2018) "I don't think that the Polish are trying to clear themselves of their responsibilities, but they don't want people to stick the blame of the camps on them, because it happened on their land…It's a dilemma. There is no one who is not guilty, everyone is guilty…Fear is responsible for many things…Some gave information on their neighbors away. But there were also Polish people who were with the partisans and fought the Nazis. It is difficult to generalize, it's individual guilt. My neighbor, for example — as soon as the Nazis arrived, he had a flag with a swastika in his hand." —Stella Testa, 90, a Holocaust survivor. Testa was born in Macedonia and had to flee the Nazis, hiding with the partisans in Eastern Europe. Her future husband survived Auschwitz. (USA Today, Feb. 6, 2018) Contents SHORT TAKES RABBI SLAIN IN TERROR ATTACK BURIED IN SETTLEMENT WHERE HE LIVED (Jerusalem) — Hundreds of people participated in the funeral Tuesday for a rabbi killed in a West Bank terror attack a day earlier, escorting the victim as he was laid to rest in the Har Bracha settlement where he lived. Itamar Ben-Gal, 29, was stabbed to death while waiting at a hitchhiking post near the settlement of Ariel, as he headed to a circumcision ceremony for his nephew. He was survived by his wife, Miriam, and four children. His suspected killer, Abed al-Karim Assi, 19, managed to evade capture following the attack, even after an IDF officer hit him with his car while in pursuit. (Times of Israel, Feb. 6, 2018) ISRAEL SECURITY FORCES KILL MURDERER OF WEST BANK RABBI (Jerusalem) — Ahmed Nasser Jarrer, head operative responsible for the January murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, was killed by Israeli security forces early in a raid in the West Bank village of Yamun near Jenin. Shin Bet said Jarrer was the head operative in the January attack that killed Shevach in a drive-by shooting near the West Bank city of Nablus. Meanwhile, the IDF says a manhunt for the 19-year-old who stabbed an Israeli man to death Monday outside the Israeli West Bank city of Ariel is still ongoing. (Ha’aretz, Feb. 6, 2018) ISRAEL APPROVES HAVAT GILAD (Jerusalem) — Havat Gilad, a small farming community built on private land purchased by Moshe Zar, received approval to be recognized as a legal settlement. The decision came a month after the murder of Rabbi Raziel Shevach, a Havat Gilad resident, by Arab terrorists. Havat Gilad is an Israeli community in Samaria which is outside the jurisdiction of Shomron Regional Council. Established in 2002 in memory of Moshe Zar’s son Gilad Zar, the security coordinator of the Shomron Regional Council who was murdered in 2001, it has been considered an unauthorized outpost and was on a list of outposts that Israel promised to dismantle. (Jewish Press, Feb. 4, 2018) PALESTINIAN RECEIVES LIFE SENTENCE FOR MURDERING JEWISH LOVER (Jerusalem) — Mohammed Harouf, an Arab resident of Shechem in Samaria, was convicted of murdering Michal Halimi, an Israeli woman with whom he was having an affair, for nationalistic reasons. Harouf will serve a life sentence for the murder, which is now considered an act of terror. When asked by reporters as to why he murdered 29-year-old Halimi, who was eight-months pregnant at the time of her death, Harouf replied, “I’ll kill all the Jews!” As the perpetrator of a nationalistic crime against Israelis, Harouf’s family now becomes eligible to receive stipends paid to terrorists by the PA. (Algemeiner, Feb. 5, 2018) DOJ SETTLES LAWSUIT WITH PRO-ISRAEL GROUP TARGETED BY IRS (Washington) — The Department of Justice announced that it has settled its final lawsuit with a pro-Israel group that was targeted by the Internal Revenue Service during the Obama administration. The settlement was with non-profit called Z Street. Z Street contended that it had been unfairly targeted by the IRS due to its support for Israel and its alleged support for Jewish activity over the pre-1967 “Green Line.” Z Street, a non-profit whose mission is to educate the public on Israel, was among several non-profits the IRS under the Obama admin had unfairly targeted. Most of them were linked to the Tea Party movement. (JNS, Feb. 4, 2018) ISRAEL BEGINS TO ISSUE OFFICIAL DEPORTATION ORDERS TO ILLEGAL AFRICAN INFILTRATORS (Jerusalem) — Israel has begun to deliver official deportation orders to tens of thousands illegal African infiltrators residing within Israel. At the moment, those facing deportation are mostly single males with no children. Women, children and families are exempt from the deportation order. On January 1st, the government announced that the large scale deportation of the migrants would begin within 60 days. Deportees will receive airfare as well as a $3500 cash grant upon leaving the country. (Jewish Press, Feb. 4, 2018) 6 AFRICAN MIGRANTS INJURED IN DRIVE-BY SHOOTING SPREE IN ITALY (Milan) — A man opened fire on passersby in the central Italian city of Macerata on Saturday, injuring six African migrants in an attack that officials say appear to be racially motivated. The shootings happened just days after the dismembered body of Pamela Mastropietro, 18, was discovered hidden in two suitcases near Macerata. Nigerian migrant Innocent Oseghale, 29, has been arrested in connection with her death. Italy's interior minister says the suspected gunman, Luca Traini, was immersed in "racial hatred" and had an extreme-right background with both neo-Nazi and neo-fascist ties. (CBC, Feb. 3, 2018) POLAND CANCELS VISIT BY BENNETT (Warsaw) — Poland canceled a visit by Education Minister Naftali Bennett after the latter said he would use the trip to tell Poles “the truth” about their complicity in the Holocaust. “The government of Poland canceled my visit, because I mentioned the crimes of its people. I am honored…The blood of Polish Jews cries from the ground, and no law will silence it,” he said. Hours earlier, Bennett’s office had announced that he would be making an official visit amid strained ties between Jerusalem and Warsaw over a bill that criminalizes blaming the Polish nation for Holocaust atrocities committed in the country. (Times of Israel, Feb. 5, 2018) POLISH POLITICIANS STEP UP ANTI-JEWISH RHETORIC (Warsaw) — Accusations that U.S. Jews are conspiring to squeeze billions of dollars out of Poland in Holocaust reparations, along with claims that Polish Jews were behind the Soviet deportations of Polish citizens during World War II, have spread across the Polish media after the Senate approved legislation prohibiting discussion of Polish collusion with the Nazi genocide of the Jews. Ryszard Czarnecki — the Polish vice president of the European Parliament — denounced “the circles of American Jews,” and claimed that Jews in the US “have often been even more aggressive” toward Poland “than the Jewish circles in Israel.” (Algemeiner, Feb. 5, 2018) GERMANY TO COMPENSATE ALGERIAN HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS (Berlin) — Germany announced earlier this week that it will compensate Algerian Jews persecuted by France’s Vichy regime. The decision, a first, entitles approximately 25,000 to a payment of $3,184. Under the Nazi-collaborating French regime, Algerian Jews were barred from holding jobs in finance, education, and other sectors, were prohibited from owning their own businesses, and were ejected from public schools. To distribute the funds, registration centers will be set up all over France, where approximately 20,000 Algerians Jews currently reside. The first payment is anticipated to be made in the summer. (Tablet, Feb. 5, 2018) EGYPT, ISRAEL ARE SECRETLY FIGHTING AGAINST I.S. TOGETHER (Cairo) — Israeli and Egyptian forces are secret allies in a battle with I.S., according to a report. The New York Times said that unmarked Israeli drones, helicopters and planes conducted more than 100 strikes against the jihadis in Sinai over a period of more than two years. The clandestine missions, the report says, have the blessing of Egyptian President el-Sisi, who realized he desperately needed help. Some of the aircraft reportedly fly circuitous routes to their targets so they don’t appear to come from Israel. (New York Post, Feb. 4, 2018) RUSSIA BOMBS SYRIA REBELS AFTER JET IS SHOT DOWN (Damascus) — Russia has stepped up its bombardment of rebel-held towns in Syria after a Russian warplane was shot down and its pilot died after ejecting and trading fire with militants. Moscow confirmed that an Su-25 went down in a region of Syria that has seen some of the fiercest fighting between anti-government rebels and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is backed by Moscow. Rebels once affiliated with extremist group al-Qaeda claimed the attack. (Newsweek, Feb. 5, 2018) IRAN URGES TURKEY TO STOP OFFENSIVE IN SYRIA (Damascus) — Iran urged Turkey to stop its military offensive in Syria, saying the operation in the Afrin region breached Syrian sovereignty and would increase tension in the country. Turkey recently launched an air and ground campaign, dubbed Operation Olive Branch, against the Kurdish YPG militia in Afrin. Ankara considers the US-backed YPG, which controls Afrin, to be a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency in Turkey's southeast since 1984. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2018) NORWEGIAN MP NOMINATES BDS FOR NOBEL PEACE PRIZE (Oslo) — The leader of the Red Party in the Norwegian Parliament, Bjornar Moxnes, nominated the international BDS movement for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. Moxnes is a member of the Oslo city council and the sole representative of the Red Party in parliament. Moxnes is against Norway’s membership in the EU, and wants to terminate the EEA agreement. He is in favor of withdrawing from NATO, arguing that its NATO membership makes Norway more vulnerable to attacks. Moxnes claims that Norway’s asylum policy is far too strict, and argues for removing all obstacles facing asylum seekers coming to Norway. (Jewish Press, Feb. 4, 2018) IRAN ARRESTS 29 WOMEN AS HEADSCARF PROTESTS INTENSIFY (Tehran) — Tehran police have arrested 29 women for appearing in public without a headscarf as protests against the dress code in force since the Islamic revolution of 1979 intensify. Those arrested were accused of public order offenses and referred to the state prosecutor’s office, Iranian news agencies reported. Unprecedented images of at least 11 women protesting the same way had been widely shared on social media. The protests appear to mirror that of a woman who stood in a busy Tehran Street in December without a headscarf and waving a white scarf on a stick. (Times of Israel, Feb. 2, 2018) HAMAS CO-FOUNDER DIES AFTER ‘ACCIDENTALLY’ SHOOTING HIMSELF IN HEAD (Gaza) — One of the founders of Hamas died — weeks after “accidentally” shooting himself in the head, according to reports. Imad al-Alami, 62, was “examining his personal weapon in his home” when it inadvertently went off in his face on Jan. 9. He was rushed to Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital in critical condition. Al-Alami remained there — on life support — until his death last week. While rumors swirled about whether the senior Hamas official committed suicide or was murdered, a group spokesperson insisted that the shooting was an accident. (New York Post, Jan. 30, 2018) US IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON HEZBOLLAH (Washington) — The US Treasury Department announced on Friday that it has imposed sanctions on six people and seven entities affiliated with Hezbollah. The move aims to crack down on the terror group’s finances and diminish Iran’s influence in the region. According to a statement, the sanctioned individuals included five Lebanese and one Iraqi. The entities include companies based in Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Liberia. White House officials said Iran provides Hezbollah with about $700 million annually. According to the officials, the sanctions attempt to target those finances and limit Iranian presence in the region. (Jerusalem Online, Feb. 2, 2018) US TROOPS ARRIVE FOR DRILL SIMULATING MASSIVE ATTACK ON ISRAEL (Jerusalem) — US forces are deploying in Israel ahead of a large-scale joint Israel-US military exercise which will simulate a major conflict in which Israel is attacked with thousands of missiles. The biennial Juniper Cobra military exercise, which is being held for the ninth time, will take place amid an escalation of rhetoric between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist group in southern Lebanon, which is believed to have an arsenal of between 100,000 and 150,000 missiles and some 50,000 soldiers, including reservists. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has reportedly been threatening to open fire at IDF soldiers if Israel does not halt the construction of a barrier it is building along the Israel-Lebanon border. (Times of Israel, Jan. 31, 2018) SAUDIS REPORTEDLY OKAY AIRSPACE FOR DIRECT INDIA-ISRAEL FLIGHTS (Washington) — Saudi Arabia reportedly okayed the use of its airspace for flights between Israel and India. However, a Saudi official quickly denied the claim. The approval, which would cut hours off the flight route, would be a first and mark a major milestone in Israel’s attempts to deepen ties with Gulf Sunni states. In a deal struck with Riyadh, Air India will begin offering direct flights from Tel Aviv to New Delhi on March 20, ahead of the Passover holiday. The direct flight proposal was a main topic on the agenda during Netanyahu’s visit to India last month. (Times of Israel, Feb. 7, 2018) On Topic Links Netanyahu: ‘Here’s What Makes the Righteous So Exceptional’ (Video): Jewish Press, Feb. 5, 2018—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told attendees on Monday at a ceremony in Jerusalem, that “what makes the people who are honored here so exceptional” is that they “lit a candle of righteousness” during the worst darkness that beset the Earth — the Nazi Holocaust. In the West Bank, a Violent Storm is Brewing: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, Feb. 7, 2018—The fatal stabbing attack Wednesday morning near Karmei Tzur, as well as the rioting in recent days in Jenin, Burkin and, mainly, Tuesday night in Nablus, reveal a great deal about the prevailing winds in the West Bank. These are reminiscent of the fateful days of December 1987 and October 2000, when the first and second intifadas broke out. Why the U.S.-Israel Honeymoon May Not Last Much Longer: Daniel Pipes, Washington Times, Feb. 5, 2018—President Trump has taken two unprecedented steps highly favorable to Israel: recognizing Jerusalem as its capital and cutting funds to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), an organization ultimately devoted to eliminating the Jewish state. Russia's Retaliation for Downed Jet Has Just Begun: Maxim A. Suchkov, Al-Monitor, Feb. 5, 2018—Russia responded quickly and fiercely to the Feb. 3 downing of an Su-25 jet over Syria's Idlib province and the subsequent shooting death of its pilot. Shortly after the incident, the Russian Defense Ministry ordered precision missile strikes on the area and claimed to have killed at least 30 militants.