Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail:



Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links



Download a pdf version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf

On Topic Links


Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014

Palestinians and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Alan Baker, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014

How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014

Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War: Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, June 15, 2014

The Pace of Obama's Disasters: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014




"The operation overnight in which Hamas terrorists were arrested, including those released in the prisoner swap for Gilad Schalit, is an element that carries with it an important message," —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, praising the Israeli security services on Wednesday for their overnight roundup of dozens of Palestinians, including 50 Hamas operatives, in the West Bank search for three kidnapped Jewish teens. He added that "this is all part of a series of many operations that will continue, and their goal is to retrieve the kidnapped youngsters and strike a blow to Hamas in Judea and Samaria." (Jerusalem Post, June 18, 2014)


“We have a goal and it is to find the three boys and to bring them home, as well as to harm as much as possible Hamas. And that is what we will do,” — IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz. Gantz also praised Israeli security forces operations in the framework of the “Return Our Boys” operation. According to Gantz, “We are on the way to an important battle. The cabinet will talk today about punitive actions against Hamas.” (Jerusalem Online, June 17, 2014)


"Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable," — Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah. The PA has threatened to end its unity deal with Hamas over the kidnapping according to unconfirmed reports, even as it celebrates the kidnapping. Abbas also defended the cooperation between PA security forces and the IDF in the operation, saying "the kidnapped are human beings like us…it is in our interest to have security coordination with Israel because that would help protect us," Abbas said, claiming "I say it frankly, we will never have another Intifada – that would destroy us." Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza on Monday condemned Abbas over the cooperation, saying instead he should declare “jihad” against the “Zionists.”

(Arutz Sheva, June 18, 2014)


“It has been five days since our boys went missing. I ask the international community – where are you?” —Israel’s ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor, who gave a short statement to the press on Tuesday morning, publicly addressing the kidnapping of the three Israeli teenagers for the first time since their disappearance on Thursday evening. Prosor continued: “The kidnapping took place just 10 days after Fatah and Hamas formed a unity government. All those in the international community who rushed to bless this marriage, should look into the eyes of the heartbroken parents and have the courage to take responsibility by condemning the kidnapping.” Israel is now paying for the “bad deal” that the international community bought when it supported the newly formed Palestinian unity government, Prosor said. “It’s worth recalling that the Palestinians recently signed the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They obviously signed without reading it.” (Jerusalem Post,  June 18, 2014)


“[Saudi Arabia is] responsible for supporting these groups financially and morally, and for the outcome of that which includes crimes that may qualify as genocide: the spilling of Iraqi blood, the destruction of Iraqi state institutions and historic and religious sites,” —Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in an angry outburst certain to inflame passions in the region, accusing Saudi ruling royals of backing genocidal war criminals. Fierce fighting raged less than 50 kilometres away from Baghdad, and advancing Sunni militants forced Iraq’s biggest oil refinery to shut down. To the west, Sunni forces were at the outskirts of the sprawling capital and car bombs exploded in Baghdad’s densely populated Sadr City slum. (Globe & Mail, June 17, 2014)


“It is Baathists from Tal Afar who enabled Isis to take over the town. They have a strong presence and are very well organised,” — a senior Iraqi intelligence officer from the Tal Afar area of Iraq. “This is the return of Saddam’s men,” he added. Tal Afar was once the emblem of US military success in Iraq – the city where American forces defeated their adversaries twice. First they drove out the army of Saddam Hussein, and later the Islamist militants who rose up against the occupation. Less than a decade later, the two US foes have joined forces to seize back Tal Afar, and the machine guns and armoured vehicles that American troops left behind to defend its new-found freedom are being used by the very insurgents they sought to defeat. (Telegraph, June 17, 2014)


“It’s really serious,” —Ala Talabani, a Kurdish representative from Kirkuk in the Iraqi parliament. “We have to consider this unlike any other issue in Iraq. There were always terrorist attacks here and there since the collapse of the regime in 2003. But this is different. It is really threatening all the Iraqi communities, the political process, the democratic process and what we have achieved so far in creating government and democratic elections. It is threatening all Iraqi people,” he said. (National Post, June 16, 2014) 


“We believe in God now in a real Islamic way, not like them,” —Aso Mamand, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Kirkuk, by far the most powerful political party in the city, which has a Kurdish majority. “They are Islamic extremists, so wherever they are, they will hurt that area. What they are planning to do is turn back Iraq to a very distant past, to go to the time of the caliphate. They are very bad. They are rejected by everyone,” said Mamand. (National Post, June 16, 2014) 


"I don't know exactly if the air strikes right now are the answer. I'm not sure because I don't claim to be that smart, but I know there are people like Jack Keane and Gen. (David) Petraeus and others who are that smart, and I know that this team that (Obama's) got around him now ought to be fired." —U.S. Senator John McCain, in a contentious interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday. McCain said he was talking about "everyone on the National Security team. They have been a total failure." McCain said that "there are no good options" in Iraq right now, as city after city falls to Islamic jihadists who plan to establish their own Islamic state stretching from Syria to Iraq. (CNS News, June 13, 2014)


“He said, ‘I’ll see you guys in New York,’” —Army Col. Kenneth King, then the commanding officer of Camp Bucca, recalling Abu Bakar al-Baghdadi’s words as he was freed from the U.S. detention camp in 2009. Al-Baghdadi, the Islamist extremist who is now the leader of ISIS, has been called the most dangerous man in the world. “We spent how many missions and how many soldiers were put at risk when we caught this guy and we just released him,” King said. Al-Baghdadi knew that many of his captors were from New York, reservists with the 306 Military Police Battalion, a unit based on Long Island that includes numerous members of the NYPD and the FDNY. King had not imagined that in less that five years he would be seeing news reports that al-Baghdadi would become leader of the ultra-extremist terrorist army sweeping through Iraq toward Baghdad. (Frontpage, June 14, 2014) 


“I have come to tell you and every Egyptian woman that I am sorry…I apologize to all of you.” —Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, apologizing to a woman who was brutally assaulted during a celebration of his inauguration last week in Tahrir Square, Cairo. His visit came as outrage spread over the attack, part of which was captured in a shaky video posted on YouTube. It showed a crowd of men surrounding the woman – she is bloodied, bruised and stripped naked – as a police officer struggles to get her into an ambulance. “We as a state,” el-Sisi added, “will not let this happen again.” El-Sisi’s appearance was the first time a high-level Egyptian leader even acknowledged that sexual assault and harassment are a constant threat, and the state has done little or nothing to punish men who perpetrate these acts. (Globe & Mail, June 14, 2014)


“I felt it was important for us Palestinians to learn about this event first because it is historically wrong to deny it and also because it is morally wrong to ignore it," —Mohammed Dajani, who resigned from his post at Jerusalem's Al-Quds University last week. Dajani, who took a group of students to visit the site of the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland in March, faced abuse, intimidation and death threats over the visit. Al-Quds dissociated itself from the project but defended his right to be involved. "I felt I should not be a bystander but take a stand. I lived in a culture where the Holocaust was not viewed in depth and was used artificially, linking it to the Nakba. We never learned about its impact, its lessons, why it happened, to whom it happened. It was always in the background as if it was a taboo topic," explained Dajani. (Guardian, June 13, 2014)





OVER 30,000 PRAY FOR KIDNAPPED TEENS AT WESTERN WALL (Jerusalem) —Thousands of Israelis gathered at the Western Wall plaza on Sunday to join in supplication for the safe release of three yeshiva students who were kidnapped in the West Bank. Police estimated that over 30,000 people, among them family members of the abducted teens, attended the prayer session. Eyal Yifrach, 19, from Elad near Petah Tikva, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, from the settlement of Talmon, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, a dual Israeli-American citizen from Nof Ayalon near Modi’in, were abducted while hitchhiking south of Jerusalem Thursday night, sparking a wide-ranging manhunt in the West Bank. (Times of Israel, June 15, 2014)


ISRAEL RE-ARRESTS 51 PALESTINIANS FREED IN GILAD SHALIT SWAP (Jerusalem) —Fifty-one prisoners, released in the 2011 deal that secured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s freedom, were re-arrested Wednesday among a group of more than 65 Palestinians detained by the IDF as part of the search for three Jewish teens believed to have been abducted by Hamas. Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in the exchange for Shalit. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that a total of 240 Palestinians have been arrested in Judea and Samaria amid a crackdown on Hamas since the June 12 kidnapping near Hebron. Israel’s Civil Administration also raided nine Hamas-linked institutions in Hebron, Ramallah, Bethlehem, Tulkarem,‎ and Nablus. (Algemeiner, June 18, 2014)


IRON DOME INTERCEPTS 2 ROCKETS FIRED AT ASHKELON (Tel Aviv) —Gaza Strip terrorists fired two Grad rockets at Ashkelon on Sunday night, which were successfully intercepted by an Iron Dome battery deployed in the area. Some debris from the intercepted rockets landed on several homes in the city, but caused no damage or injuries. The rocket fire took place against the backdrop of the security escalation in Judea and Samaria over the past few days since the abduction of three Israeli teenagers and the subsequent military operation underway to try to find them. (Israel Hayom, June 16, 2014)


IRAQI SHIITE CLERIC ISSUES CALL TO ARMS (Baghdad) — The specter of sectarian war and partition of Iraq grew on Friday as the country’s top Shiite cleric implored his followers to take up arms against an insurgent army of Sunni terrorists who have captured broad stretches of northern territory this week in a sweep toward Baghdad. The statement by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani came as President Obama told the Iraqis they need to resolve the crisis themselves and vowed not to redeploy United States forces in Iraq. Heeding the call to arms, Shiite volunteers rushed to the front lines, reinforcing defenses of the holy city of Samarra 70 miles north of Baghdad, and helping thwart attacks by Sunni fighters in some smaller cities to the east. The confrontations suggested that Shiites and Sunnis would once again engage in open conflict for control of Iraq, as they did during the height of the American-led occupation that ousted Saddam Hussein. (New York Times, June 13, 2014)


U.K. AND THE US TO HOLD DIRECT TALKS WITH IRAN (London) — Britain and the US are to enter direct talks with Iran over how to stabilise the situation in Iraq as the country heads towards a de facto partition between Sunnis, Shia and Kurds. William Hague, the U.K. foreign secretary, spoke by phone to his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on the weekend, on subjects that included Iraq. A senior US state department official confirmed that the Iraq situation had been discussed on the sidelines at Vienna. “We are open to engaging the Iranians, just as we are engaging other regional players on the threat posed by ISIS in Iraq,’ the official said after a brief meeting. Yesterday, William Hague announced that the U.K. will reopen its embassy in Tehran, which had been closed since a pro-regime mob looted the premises almost three years ago. (Telegraph, June 16, 2014)


IRAN OFFERS IRAQ ‘EVERYTHING IT NEEDS’ TO FIGHT ISIS (Tehran) —As President Obama weighs whether to re-enter the Iraq war, the country’s neighbor, Iran, is looking to step into the void. U.S. and senior Iraqi officials claim that Iran is now offering the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki its army, its spies and highly trained irregular units from its revolutionary guard corps to root out the Sunni insurgency that now threatens Baghdad. Gen. Qassem Solaimani, the commander of Iran’s elite Quds Force, arrived in Baghdad last week with an entourage of military advisers to begin preparations for such a counter-offensive. (Daily Beast, June 16, 2014)


CANADIAN OFFICIALS EYEING IRAN OVER POSSIBLE TERROR ATTACKS ON OTTAWA (Ottawa) —Noting Iran’s rising “anti-Canada rhetoric,” intelligence officials have been monitoring the Islamic republic as a potential terrorist threat to the Ottawa area, newly declassified documents show. While the diplomatic falling out between Ottawa and Tehran is well-known, the intelligence reports are the first indication the Canadian government is tracking the possibility it could lead to terrorism in the capital. The reports, written by the Integrated Terrorist Assessment Centre, do not specify the exact nature of the threat Tehran may pose to the Ottawa region but in the past Iran has used its proxy force, Hezbollah, to attempt attacks internationally. The documents also note the Iran connection to last year’s alleged plot to derail a Toronto-bound passenger train. The RCMP says the conspiracy was directed by al-Qaida figures operating out of Iran. (National Post, June 17, 2014)


U.S. CAPTURES SUSPECTED LEADER IN 2012 BENGHAZI ATTACK (Washington) — One of the suspected ringleaders of the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya — who taunted the United States for months while hiding in plain sight — was captured in a weekend raid by US special forces. Elite troops working with the FBI nabbed Ahmed Abu Khattalah on Sunday on the outskirts of Benghazi following months of planning. His whereabouts, however, were hardly a secret. As recently as six months ago, Abu Khattalah was granting interviews — and daring the United States to come and get him. Abu Khattalah’s the first person to be charged in the fiery attack on a US consulate in Libya in which US Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed. The building was torched by a mob armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. Three other Americans were slain in that attack and a second assault on a CIA facility in the city. (New York Post, June 17, 2014)


PAKISTAN OPERATION TARGETS WAZIRISTAN MILITANTS (Islamabad) —Pakistan said it launched a major ground offensive on Sunday to clear out the Pakistani Taliban and other local and foreign militants from the North Waziristan tribal area. The news followed predawn airstrikes by Pakistan that the military said killed 105 militants in the northwestern tribal areas. Washington has pressed Islamabad for years to clear out North Waziristan, a sanctuary for Pakistani militants, Afghan insurgents and al Qaeda operatives. Militants based there claimed responsibility for the June 8 attack on Karachi's Jinnah International Airport that left at least 35 dead. North Waziristan, along the border with Afghanistan, is the only one of Pakistan's seven tribal areas that is still largely under militant control. (Wall Street Journal, June 15, 2014)


AL-SHABAAB CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR KENYA ATTACK THAT KILLED 48 (Mombasa) —The Islamist terror group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a brutal, religiously-motivated attack in Kenya that killed 48 people Sunday night. A Kenyan police official said Monday that gunmen targeted two hotels, a bank and a police station in Mpeketoni, a coastal resort town 60 miles from the Somali border and  popular with Western tourists.  Al-Shabaab — Somali terrorists linked to Al Qaeda — admitted to carrying out the coordinated assault, with little resistance from Kenya's security forces. Like the gunmen who attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall last year, the Mpeketoni attackers gave life-or-death religious assessment, a witness said, killing those who were not Muslim. "They came to our house at around 8 p.m. and asked us in Swahili whether we were Muslims. My husband told them we were Christians and they shot him in the head and chest," said Anne Gathigi. (Fox News, June 16, 2014)


BOKO HARAM BOMB WORLD CUP VIEWING VENUE IN NIGERIA (Damaturu) —A suicide bomber detonated a tricycle taxi packed with explosives at an outdoor World Cup viewing center in a northeast Nigerian city Tuesday night, leaving at least 13 people killed. Hospital workers said the death likely will rise with 15 people critically wounded and casualties still coming in to the main hospital at Damaturu, capital of Yobe state. There was no immediate claim for the blast, however, witnesses were blaming Islamist fighters from Boko Haram who have targeted football viewing centers and sports bars in the past. Two explosions in recent weeks killed at least 40 people in two northern cities. (Ha’aretz, June 18, 2014)


ANTWERP MUSLIMS THROW ROCKS AT JEWISH SCHOOL BUS (Antwerp) —A Jewish school bus in Antwerp, Belgium had rocks thrown at it by Muslim teens on Sunday, reported Orthodox Jewish media. The teens surrounded the bus, which was carrying kindergarten students from the Antwerp Hayder school and proceeded to throw stones. Nobody was injured in the attack. Police are investigating the incident but no arrests have been made so far. (Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2014)


HOLOCAUST DENIER KEEGSTRA DEAD AT 80 (Red Deer) — Jim Keegstra, who has died aged 80, was a Holocaust denying high school teacher, mechanic, and mayor of Eckville, Alta., whose prosecution for the wilful promotion of hatred went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, where the controversial law was upheld as a fair limit on free speech. Fixated on the anti-Semitic forgery the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion, Mr. Keegstra denigrated Jews to his students in the 1980s. His case was part of a landmark trio of hate crime cases the Supreme Court of Canada decided in 1990, in each case upholding the law being challenged. Mr. Keegstra’s case, along with the Ontario case of Don Andrews and Robert Smith, ended with a split 4-3 ruling against him. (National Post, June 13, 2014)


MET CANCELS SIMULCAST OF ANTI-ISRAEL OPERA, PROCEEDS WITH LIVE SHOWINGS (New York)—New York’s Metropolitan Opera canceled an HD transmission of the anti-Israel opera “The Death of Klinghoffer” following widespread outreach efforts, but eight live performances of the opera will proceed as scheduled this fall. The opera, about the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship and Palestinian terrorists’ murder of one of its Jewish passengers, has been heavily criticized for its sanitization of Palestinian terrorism and invoking of anti-Semitic canards. Myron Kaplan, an opera expert and a senior research analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), was the first commentator to publicly criticize the Met’s planned Nov. 15 simulcast of the anti-Israel opera. In an open letter to Met General Manager Peter Gelb, Kaplan wrote that the HD transmission would give “wide international distribution to what is, at its heart, an anti-Jewish slander.” (JNS, June 18, 2014)


FORMER LAVAL UNIVERSITY IMAM CONDEMNS WORLD CUP AS PART OF JEWISH PLAN OF WORLD DOMINATION (Montreal) —On June 10, the Islamist preacher Hamza Chaoui published a text on his Facebook page condemning the World Cup. The Journal de Montréal reported that Chaoui described soccer as a “scourge” because of “the display of body parts that should be covered and the presence of almost naked players at the end of the game.” Chaoui also presented the soccer championship as a stratagem conceived to distract non-Jews from a Jewish plan of world domination. He quoted from a French version of the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion to justify his position: [Translated] “In order to prevent non-Jewish people from finding out about our new plans and strategies, we will entertain them with many types of games, we will advertise them in newspapers and will invite them to attend the matches. This way, these new pleasures will divert their attention away from the areas of conflicts.” (Point de Bascule, June 13, 2014)




On Topic Links


Mohammad Zoabi’s Strong Message About The Kidnappings (Video): Israeli Cool, June 14, 2014 —In response to the recent kidnapping of 3 Jewish Israeli teens by a terrorist group, Mohammad Zoabi gives his strong message to the terrorists and to Bibi Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel…his message is in English, Hebrew and Arabic.

Palestinians and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child: Alan Baker, Jerusalem Post, June 16, 2014 —This tragic situation should serve as a wake-up call to us to stop burying our heads in the sand.

How the West Facilitates Hamas's Mission: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, June 17, 2014—The reconciliation agreement that was signed between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas in April, and the subsequent formation of a unity government, was supposed to put an end to their dispute, which erupted after Hamas won the January 2006 parliamentary election.

Second Front Opens in the Sunni-Shia War: Jonathan Spyer, Middle East Forum, June 15, 2014 —The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) organization swept into the city of Mosul in western Iraq last week. No one has any right to be surprised.

The Pace of Obama's Disasters: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2014—Was it only 10 months ago that President Obama capitulated on Syria?




Rob Coles, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284.






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Media-ocrities of the Week


“[US President Barack Obama] has a very close working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu.… Our record speaks very clearly about the president’s commitment to Israel, and he, again, I think, has maintained a very close working relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu.…”—US Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, in a “damage control” White House briefing after US President Obama and French President Sarkozy were overheard ridiculing Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the G20 in Cannes. (Ynet News, November 10.)

It had all my details, my identification number, my address—Ma’ale Adumim—but the State of Israel was omitted.… I knew that the French were anti-Semitic, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if they wrote ‘Ma’ale Adumim, Palestine,’ but they chose the harsh wording of ‘Occupied Palestine.’”—French citizen and current inhabitant of Ma’ale Adumim, “Eddy,” after the French consulate in Jerusalem issued him a temporary passport listing his country of residence as “Occupied Palestinian Territory.” (Ynet News, November 9.)

The following is a letter sent by Marian Pinsky, past editor of CIJR’s student-run Magazine, Dateline: Middle East, to the Concordian [a Concordia University (Montreal) publication]:

I have been following with interest your coverage of student protests regarding accessible education and the threat of tuition increases. I do take issue, however, with the photo used in the Nov 3rd article on “Student Unions Protest In Front Of The Premier’s Office And Home.” (p. 3,

I was extremely shocked and disgusted that, of all the photo-op-worthy pictures I’m sure your staff must have taken at the various events, the one you use is of students in what appears to be a ‘Heil Hitler’ salute as they ceremoniously leave a ‘coffin’ on [Quebec Premier Jean] Charest’s lawn. As I’m sure you are aware, this salute has historical context and ramifications, and paints an ugly and misrepresentative picture of what the student tuition protests are all about. I would really expect your staff to be guided by more discretion and adhere to principles of accuracy and journalistic integrity in selecting photos, rather than using pictures that are perhaps media worthy, but worthless and misrepresentative in context.

I look forward to reading future editions with pictures that are more judiciously chosen for their content, and not sensationalized appeal.”—Marian Pinsky, November 11.


Weekly Quotes


“This is appalling. Israel should be shutting off all shipments to Gaza immediately, cutting off its electricity and gas, and destroying the Hamas infrastructure until the rockets stop. Each spot from which rockets are launched should be instantly bombed to destruction, and Israel should be letting the Gazans and the world know ahead of time that this will be done automatically, by computer, with no decision-making process and no discretion involved. After two days’ notice, and after blanketing the media with the consistent and repeated message that this will definitely happen, Israel should follow through with such response and stick to it. Then the cause of any destruction in Gaza can be pinpointed directly at those who are launching the rockets.”David M. Sherman, following the publication of CIJR’s November 15 Isranet Briefing, entitled “In The Rockets’ Red Glare, Over Ashkelon: The Road To Peace Is Through Strength, & Victory,” outlining a strong policy of deterrence to protect Israel’s civilian population from indiscriminate rocket fire emanating from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. (November 16.)


“The Palestinian bid to become the 194th member state of the United Nations has come one step closer to collapse.… There has been no formal Security Council vote as of yet [and] the United Nations Security Council’s Committee on the Admission of New Members, consisting of representatives from all fifteen Security Council member states, adopted a report on November 11th indicating that they were unable to reach a consensus concerning what recommendation to make [regarding] the Palestinian application.… It appears that the Palestinians have been unable to round up the nine supporters in the Security Council that would…force the United States to use its veto to block their application from moving forward.”—Joseph Klein, in “Palestinian Statehood Bid Deadlocked,” describing the failing Palestinian bid to obtain a unilateral declaration of independence at the UN. (FrontPage, November 14.)


This is a comprehensive document that strengthens the claims by leading countries in the world and Israel that Iran is systematically developing nuclear weapons. Any responsible government in the world needs to draw the obvious conclusions from the IAEA report.… The efforts thus far did not prevent Iran from progressing towards a bomb, and it is closer to acquiring it, sooner than what people think.”—Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, following last week’s release by the International Atomic Energy Agency of a report showing that Iran is developing nuclear weapons, calling on the international community to “stop Iran’s race to arm itself,…a race that endangers the peace of the entire world.” (Independent Media Review and Analysis, November 13 & Ynet News, November 14.)


Our enemies, particularly the Zionist regime, America and its allies, should know that any kind of threat and attack will be firmly responded to.… Our nation, the Revolutionary Guards and army…will answer attacks with strong slaps and iron fists.”—Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warning the United States and Israel not to launch any military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad later asserted that Tehran will not pull back “even a needle’s width” from its nuclear path, despite last week’s publication of an incriminating UN report on Iran’s nuclear intentions. (Reuters, November 10.)


Iran [has] developed a very sophisticated nuclear science and technological capability, which we are quite ready to share with…friendly countries in the region. Turkey is for years trying to have a nuclear power plant but no country in the West is willing to build that for them. This is [also] true for our Arab (neighbors). We are ready to cooperate with them in this regard.… This is an avenue that we are going to open.”—Senior Iranian official, Mohammad Javad Larijani, announcing Tehran’s intent to proliferate its nuclear technology throughout the Middle East. (Jerusalem Post, November 16.)


The Anti-Defamation League’s latest national poll finds broad support for military action to prevent [a] nuclear-armed Iran. Regarding Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon, Americans support Israeli military action to prevent it by 57%-31%.… Additionally, the poll finds overwhelming opposition among Americans for the creation of a Palestinian state at the United Nations.… By 52%-28%, Americans believe that direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians ‘are the only appropriate way to create a Palestinian state’ rather than going through the U.N.… By 58%-22%, Americans believe that a Palestinian state must be preceded by a Palestinian commitment to end violence and accept Israel’s legitimacy.”—Results of the Anti-Defamation League’s latest poll, describing overwhelming American support for Israeli military intervention to curb Iran’s nuclear program, as well as widespread opposition to the Palestinians’ pursuit of a unilateral declaration of independence at the UN. (Weekly Standard, November 11.)


The Knesset House Committee should disqualify the United Arab List from the Knesset immediately, in order to prevent them from causing further harm in the future. UAL’s behavior shows how they cynically, provocatively and intentionally take advantage of Israeli democracy.”—Member of Israel’s Knesset, Ronit Tirosh (Kadima), calling for a parliamentary ban on the United Arab List (UAL), after a state comptroller report revealed that the party used NIS 5,000 in government funds to give plaques to six Gaza flotilla activists. According to Tirosh, “Arab MKs used their [parliamentary] immunity to take state funds and support our enemies. Giving trophies and plaques for terrorist activity against Israel on the flotilla is a slap in the face. This shameful phenomenon must be put to an end once and forever.” (Jerusalem Post, November 3.)


This group of protesters has a poisonous message which needs to be loudly refuted. Israel is a friend and ally to the United States. It was shocking to hear the protestors chanting anti-Israel slogans in support of the terrorist-backed intifada uprising, which has created so much misery and death in Israel.”—Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, condemning a sit-in protest at Boston’s Israeli consulate following Israel’s non-violent interception of two small boats attempting to breach the Gaza blockade. Brown’s statement included a link to a YouTube video that showed about 20 demonstrators sitting in the lobby of the consulate, shouting chants including: “Hey hey, ho ho, Israeli apartheid’s got to go”; and “Occupy the consulate, not Palestine.” (Boston Globe, November 7.)


I told the French foreign minister when he visited that I can remove every restriction on entering Gaza, as long as the French send us their Foreign Legion and not just girls with olive branches. Of course, he said no.”—Israel’s Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, following French foreign minister Alain Juppe’s request that Israel ease the blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. (Jerusalem Post, November 14.)


“[The November 6] Islamic holiday…offer[ed] the Muslim Brotherhood a golden opportunity. For the first time, Egypt’s Islamist powerhouse is able to campaign openly under a new party banner [Freedom and Justice Party—Ed.], and it is using its long-standing charity networks to gain an edge over more liberal and secular candidates ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin in two weeks. Across the country, the movement’s political and charitable machine [sold] discounted meat and vegetables to families who otherwise couldn’t afford the traditional rituals for Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice. Critics call it vote buying, but the Brotherhood says social services are its historic conduit to the people.… The Brotherhood’s…campaign posters read ‘Together we’ll fight inflation.…’”—Leila Fadel, in “Muslim Brotherhood Sells Cheap Food Ahead Of Holiday And Egypt Parliament Vote,” describing the Muslim Brotherhood’s campaign strategy ahead of Egypt’s upcoming election. (Washington Post, November 5.)


Although the leaders of Iran regard Israel as a Satan to be destroyed by nuclear weapons, Israeli medicine is regarded as excellent by some Iranian doctors, including one who consulted a senior physician at Kaplan Medical Center and prevented complications that would have risked a pregnant woman’s life. Dr. Adi Weissbuch of the unit for at-risk pregnancies at the Rehovot hospital was recently contacted with urgency via e-mail by a female doctor who identified herself as “NN” from an Iranian-university hospital. She had read a comprehensive article published in an international medical journal in which Weissbuch wrote about a rare genetic complication of pregnancy and supplied his e-mail address at the bottom. Consultation was urgent, the Iranian doctor wrote, because according to Islamic law, abortion is forbidden after the 18th week of pregnancy, and her patient was already in her 16th week.… Weissbuch wrote back that on the basis of the data, there was very little chance that the woman would have a healthy baby and that delivering the baby would endanger her life.… After receiving the information, the Iranian doctor advised the woman to undergo an abortion immediately, and she did so.…”—Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, in “Iranian Woman’s Life Saved Via E-Mail Advice From Israel”, describing the saving of a pregnant Iranian woman’s life by an Israeli doctor. When asked about the Iranian regime’s genocidal anti-Israel rhetoric, Dr. Weissbuch asserted, “We are morally bound to give proper treatment and advice to whoever needs it.” (Jerusalem Post, November 7.)


Short Takes


FACING BUDGET CRUNCH, UNESCO SUSPENDS ALL SPENDING—(Jerusalem) UNESCO has announced a suspension of all spending programs until the end of the year, after the US halted payments to the cultural body for granting full membership to “Palestine.” “This deficit corresponds to the sum due from the United States for the year 2011,” UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said, adding “We will therefore have to take radical measures…[and] suspend the entirety of [UNESCO] undertakings.” The transfer of US funds to the organization was automatically frozen in accordance with a US law that bans funding to any UN body that recognizes a Palestinian state outside the context of a peace deal. Israel has also frozen its $2 million annual contribution to the organization. (Jerusalem Post, November 10.)


ABBAS TO CALL FOR FORMATION OF PALESTINIAN UNITY GOV’T—(Jerusalem) According to Palestinian Authority officials, President Mahmoud Abbas will this week formally call for the formation of a Palestinian unity government, thereby implementing a reconciliation agreement between his Fatah faction and rival Hamas. Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official in the West Bank, revealed that Abbas’ decision was taken following a series of secret meetings in Cairo with Musa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’ “political bureau.” Al-Ahmed also confirmed that both Abbas and exiled Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal will shortly convene a summit, at which time Abbas is expected to propose to Mashaal holding new elections at the beginning of next year. (Jerusalem Post, November 15.)


FAYYAD TO QUIT TO FACILITATE PALESTINIAN UNITY DEAL—(Jerusalem) Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has signaled his intention to step down, in order to facilitate the actualization of a Hamas-Fatah unity agreement. According to reports, the departure of the US-educated former World Bank economist, would constitute a concession by PA President Mahmoud Abbas to his Islamist rival Hamas, which has conditioned reconciliation on “Abbas abandon[ing] his commitment to Fayyad”. Fayyad, appointed by Abbas in 2007, is largely credited with revitalizing the Palestinian economy; however, Hamas has accused him of colluding with Israel to blockade the Gaza Strip, and never recognized him. (Reuters, November 14.)


BLOODY DAY PROMPTS SLAMMING OF ASSAD—(Jerusalem) The Arab League has met with opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, after government forces killed 69 protestors in the bloodiest day yet in the regime’s brutal eight-month crackdown. The rising violence also prompted calls for tougher measures against Damascus, with US, UN, Turkish and Saudi officials chiding the Syrian regime for openly flouting international norms. The Arab League, which voted to suspend Syria’s membership as of Wednesday, asked opposition groups to draw up their plans for a transition of power, as a prelude to an planned meeting on Syria’s future. The League has stopped short of calling for Assad’s departure or proposing any Libya-style foreign military intervention in Syria. (Jerusalem Post, November 16.)


EGYPTIANS BRISTLE AT MILITARY’S PLAN—(Cairo) A broad cross-section of Egyptian political parties have lodged strong objections to attempts by the country’s ruling military council to expand its authority over the process of drafting the country’s first post-revolutionary constitution. The complaints came after Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmi asked some 500 politicians from among Egypt’s newly emerging parties to sign a proposed set of constitutional “guidelines” that Egypt’s interim military leadership would like to see included in the founding document. The proposed guidelines would grant the interim military leadership veto power over drafts of the constitution and the right to dismiss and reappoint the constituent assembly that will be charged with drafting the document. Also included are clauses keeping the military’s budget secret and giving the military’s senior leadership sole authority over the budget’s details. (Wall Street Journal, November 3.)


IRAQ FACTIONS SPAR OVER SECURITY FORCE—(Baghdad) A struggle between Iraq’s political factions is sowing divisions in the country’s security forces just weeks before the last U.S. troops depart. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a member of the majority Shiite sect, has in recent weeks accelerated measures to purge the Iraqi forces of anyone who served in the intelligence and security services of the former Sunni-led regime of Saddam Hussein. Dozens of Sunni officers have been expelled, some accused of serving in Hussein’s “repressive apparatuses” and others simply being called on for “early retirement.” At the same time, Maliki is delaying appointments to top posts that oversee the security forces, citing fears of a coup attempt. With the U.S. departure imminent, the internal division in the security services will make it harder for Iraq’s army and police to keep the peace and defend the country’s borders against a growing Iranian threat. (Wall Street Journal, November 7.)


ISLAMIC EDUCATOR IN CANADA IN HOT WATER OVER SLURS—(New York) Jewish groups have joined Christian and gay advocacy groups in condemning an Islamic teacher in Canada for making anti-Jewish and anti-gay statements. According to the Canadian Jewish News, Abdullah Hakim Quick said that Islam’s “third-holiest shrine [should be purified] from the filth of Christians and Jews,” and in a lecture said homosexuality should be punishable by death. Quick, an American who converted to Islam and received his doctorate in history from the University of Toronto, is teaching an 18-week history seminar at the school on the Islamic prophet Muhammad. (JTA, November 2.)


TUNISIA ISSUES WARRANT FOR ARAFAT’S WIDOW—(Jerusalem) Tunisian Justice Ministry spokesman Kadhem Zine al Abidine has confirmed that a warrant has been issued for Suha Arafat, widow of late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat. According to officials, the 48-year old Arafat, who had her Tunisian citizenship stripped in 2007, is wanted for questioning over a corruption scandal. The allegations go back to a 2006 business deal, involving former Tunisian dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, his family and other high government officials,over the establishment of The International School of Carthagein Tunis. (Jerusalem Post & Wall Street Journal, October 31.)


PALESTINIAN STUDENT ARRESTED OVER JERUSALEM STABBING—(Jerusalem) Abed al-Rahman, a 20-year-old Palestinian from Beit Iksa, has been arrested for stabbing Israeli teenager Yehuda Ne’emad in Jerusalem’s Ramot neighborhood two weeks ago. According to Israeli officials, the suspect has admitted to perpetrating the terrorist act, and eyewitnesses have confirmed that al-Rahman perpetrated the attack without any provocation. A local resident said that many Palestinians from Beit Iksa frequent the Ramot neighborhood and “often taunt [residents] and the young women who pass by.” Ne’emad, who was rushed to the hospital in serious condition, is now stable after undergoing successful surgery. (Ynet News, November 6.)


KATSAV RAPE CONVICTION UPHELD BY ISRAEL’S SUPREME COURT—(Jerusalem) Israel’s Supreme Court has upheld the Tel Aviv District Court’s decision to convict former Israeli President Moshe Katsav on two counts of rape and other sexual offenses, along with its sentence of seven years in prison. Katsav, 65, has been given one month to put his affairs in order and is set to enter prison on Dec. 7. Katsav immigrated to Israel from Iran in 1951 and was elected president by the Knesset in 2000. He is the first Israeli president ever sentenced to prison. (JTA, November 10.)


NEWSPAPER FIREBOMBED AFTER MUHAMMAD SATIRE—(Toronto) The offices of a French satirical newspaper that published a special Arab Spring edition with the Prophet Muhammad on the cover as “guest editor” have been destroyed in a suspected firebomb attack. The attack came after the weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo was renamed Charia (Sharia) Hebdo for the occasion and featured a front-page cartoon of the Prophet saying, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!” The newspaper’s website also appeared to have been hacked, with its home page replaced with a photo of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and a message reading “No god but Allah.” Islam prohibits any depiction of the Prophet’s face. (National Post, November 3.)


FILM EQUATES ABORTION TO THE HOLOCAUST—(New York) The Anti-Defamation League has condemned a film that compares abortion to the Holocaust, calling the movie “cynical and perverse” and “one of the most offensive and outrageous abuses of the memory of the Holocaust we have seen in years.” The film, “180,” which shows graphic images of dead bodies piled up at concentration camps and Jews being shot in mass graves, states that American support for abortion is tantamount to Hitler’s sanctioning of the Holocaust. The film was produced by the Living Waters organization. (JTA, November 10.)


STAR TREK’S ‘NAZI EPISODE’ AIRED IN GERMANY—(Jerusalem) An episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek, portraying characters dressed as Nazis, has aired for the first time ever on German public television. The episode was made in 1968, but due to its content, which is riddled with Nazi insignia, slogans and ideology, it was deemed inappropriate for public viewing. In the “Patterns of Force” episode, the “Enterprise” crew visit planet Ekos which is dominated by a regime modeled on the German Nazi Party. The Ekosians, who are at war with neighboring planet Zeon—whose name triggered comparisons to Zion—are obsessed with “a final solution” involving the extinction of all Zeons. (Jerusalem Post, November 7.)


ANCIENT RITUAL BATH FOUND NEAR BEIT SHEMESH—(Jerusalem) Israeli archaeologists have uncovered an ancient ritual bath near Beit Shemesh, which experts say was used during the Second Temple period approximately 2000 years ago. Pablo Betzer, the Judea district inspector for the Israel Antiquities Authority, also confirmed the discovery of underground tunnels that are believed to have been used during the Bar-Kochba revolt of 132–136 CE. (Jerusalem Post, November 2.)