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: rob@isranet.org

 

 

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes On Topic Links

 

 

 

On Topic Links 

 

Pro Israel American Student Speaks Against BDS: Youtube, Feb. 17, 2014

The Failed Palestinian Effort at the UN: Dore Gold, JCPA, Dec. 31, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas is Again Insisting on Failure: Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2014

Is CAIR a Terror Group?: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Nov. 28, 2014

Top 10 Worst U.N. Decisions Of 2014: Buzzfeed, Dec. 21, 2014

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

 

"[W]hen I came into office, the world was divided and Iran was in the driver's seat. Now the world's united because of the actions we've taken, and Iran's the one that's isolated," —U.S. President Barack Obama. Obama explained in an NPR interview that "They have a path to break through that isolation and they should seize it. Because if they do, there's incredible talent and resources and sophistication inside of — inside of Iran, and it would be a very successful regional power that was also abiding by international norms and international rules, and that would be good for everybody. That would be good for the United States, that would be good for the region, and most of all, it would be good for the Iranian people." In the same interview, President Obama acknowledged that Iran sponsors terrorism and wants a nuclear bomb. "Tehran is a large, sophisticated country that has a track record of state-sponsored terrorism, that we know was attempting to develop a nuclear weapon — or at least the component parts that would be required to develop a nuclear weapon — that has engaged in disruptions to our allies, whose rhetoric is not only explicitly anti-American but also has been incendiary when it comes to its attitude towards the state of Israel," he said, mistaking Tehran for Iran. (Weekly Standard, Dec. 29, 2014)

 

“The ambassador said he is happy with orders from the ruler of Iran, [Ali Hosseini] Khamenei, to send weapons to the West Bank. He added, and I quote, ‘The Zionist regime is an aggressive cancerous regime that sooner or later will be eliminated,” —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The Prime Minister was quoting the Palestinian Authority ambassador to Iran at a cabinet meeting Sunday morning. The PA ambassador also said, “We have seen increased Iranian efforts for terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria.” The PA ambassador’s remarks, quoted by Netanyahu, are a carbon copy of those of Hamas. Netanyahu emphasized that the ambassador is not a Hamas official but one from the Palestinian Authority headed by “peace partner” Mahmoud Abbas. (Jewish Press, Dec. 28, 2014)

 

“I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months,” —Danny Cohen, the director of television at the BBC. “And it’s made me think about, you know, is it our long-term home, actually? Because you feel it. I’ve felt it in a way I’ve never felt before,” Cohen explained at a conference in Jerusalem. Cohen is a native Londoner who has lived in the UK his entire life. His position near the top of the BBC, which was criticized for its biased coverage of this summer’s Gaza war, has helped draw attention to his comments. (Jewish Press, Dec. 28, 2014)

 

“Many presidents tend to be smitten with the instruments of the intelligence community. I think Obama was more smitten than most,” —a former senior Obama administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “This has been an intelligence presidency in a way we haven’t seen maybe since Eisenhower,” he added. During the presidential campaign in 2008, Obama railed against the CIA’s use of torture and secret prisons during the Bush administration, and shuttered the detention program during his first week in office. But he has empowered the agency in other ways — including allowing its director, not the White House, to make the final decisions about drone strikes in Pakistan. (New York Times, Dec. 26, 2014)

 

“I think relations between the American people and Israel have never been stronger,” —Indiana Governor, and possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Mike Pence, in Jerusalem on Tuesday. “I really believe that after a year where Israel saw 51 days of war, with Iranian nuclear ambitions unimpeded, with the rise of a terrorist army in Syria, now more than ever the American people feel a great bond of support with the people of Israel. I think that will be reflected consistently when the congress convenes in January,” he added. Pence, who spent 12 years in Congress – a decade of that on the House Foreign Affairs Committee – won the Indiana gubernatorial election in 2012. His name is consistently mentioned among possible 2016 Republican candidates, something he does not deny. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 31, 2014)

 

“This was a suspicious visit that aimed to normalize our children with the Zionist occupation,” —Eyad al-Buzom, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza. Thirty-seven young war orphans from Gaza set out on Sunday for a rare visit to Israel. They got as far as the Erez border crossing at the northern end of the Palestinian coastal enclave. There the Hamas authorities turned them back, barring the visit at the last minute. Israeli officials and organizers of the highly unusual weeklong peace-building visit said that it had been fully coordinated with the Israeli liaison authorities and that Israeli approval had been given. But Hamas apparently went back on an initial agreement to allow the youths to enter Israel. “In order to protect our sons, we prevented them from visiting the occupation,” al-Buzom said. (New York Times, Dec. 28, 2014)

 

“We expect him to be treated the way the Prophet Muhammad treated his captives, with mercy and generosity,” —Fahed al-Kasasbeh, the uncle of the Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State members after his F-16 crashed in northern Syria. Jordan threatened Islamic State with “grave consequences” if they harmed the pilot, and members his family appealed to his captors to welcome him as a “guest” and to show him mercy as a fellow Muslim. But no new information on the fate of the pilot, First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh, has emerged since his jet went down last week and supporters of the Islamic State distributed photos online that showed him in his underwear and with a bloody mouth as bearded gunmen led him away. (New York Times, Dec. 25, 2014)

 

“This is the place of eternal rest of Martyrs (Shahids) Ghassan and Uday Abu Jamal of Jabel Mukaber [neighborhood] in occupied Jerusalem, who ascended [to heaven] a month and a half ago during an operation at an occupation synagogue in occupied Jerusalem. Early morning today, they were escorted to their graves at Al-Sawahreh Al- Sharqiyeh,” —message on the Facebook page belonging to the Fatah movement, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. The message is accompanied by a photo of Palestinian flags draping the graves of the terrorists who committed the Har Nof Synagogue attack. Earlier this month, Palestinian Media Watch reported that the PA Mufti likewise called them Shahids when he demanded that Israel return the bodies of the killers because “it is the Shahids’ right for us to pray for them, and this is a right according to Shari’ah. Their relatives, friends and loved ones also have the right to see them one last time.” Two Arab terrorists from eastern Jerusalem entered a synagogue in the Har Nof neighborhood of western Jerusalem on November 18 and massacred worshippers with guns, knives and axes, killing four Jews and a Druze police officer. The terrorists were killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli police that arrived on the scene. (Jewish Press, Dec. 30, 2014)

 

“We celebrate the birth of Jesus, a Palestinian messenger of love, justice and peace, which has guided millions from the moment that his message came out from a small grotto in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago,” —PA President Mahmoud Abbas, in his annual holiday message. Just as he does every December, Abbas, along with other PA officials, made the claim that Jesus Christ was a Palestinian, rather than a Judean. The theme of the Christmas Eve celebration in the West Bank this year was “All I Want for Christmas in Justice.” “Jesus' message resonates in our prayers for our people in our capital Jerusalem, who continue to resist the Israeli attempts to turn the city into an exclusive Jewish place," Abbas stressed. "The mosques and the churches of Jerusalem will continue to remind the world of the Palestinian, Arab, and Christian and Muslim identity of the city. Justice means ending the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, an integral part of the State of Palestine on the basis of the 1967 border." In the new testament, text defines Jesus as  a Jewish resident of Judea. The Roman Empire changed the name of “Judea” to “Palestine” one hundred years after Jesus’s death. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 29, 2014)

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD RESOLUTION FAILS AT UN SECURITY COUNCIL (Geneva) —The UN Security Council on Tuesday rejected a resolution on Palestinian statehood, with the Palestinians failing to get the minimum nine “yes” votes required for adoption by the 15-member council: Eight voted for the resolution and two voted against, with five abstentions. France, China and Russia were among the countries that supported the text setting a 12-month deadline for negotiations on a final peace deal with Israel and an imposed full Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem by the end of 2017. Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan and Luxembourg also voted for the resolution. Australia and the United States voted against. (Times of Israel, Dec. 31, 2014)

 

ON EVE OF 2015, ISRAEL'S POPULATION HITS 8.3 MILLION (Jerusalem) —Israel’s population has reached 8,296,000, representing a 2 percent increase over 2014, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. Of new citizens, 176,600 were newborns, while another 23,000 were new immigrants, representing around 11% of the population increase. Three-fourths of the population, some 6.218 million people, were Jewish. The next largest group, 1.719 million Arabs, accounted for 20.7% of the population. The remaining 4.3%, some 359,000 people, were non-Arab Christians and others whose religion isn’t classified in the population registry. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 30, 2014)

 

YOUNG GIRL SERIOUSLY WOUNDED BY FIREBOMB IN WEST BANK ATTACK (El Matan) — A young Israeli girl and her father were wounded Thursday after the car in which they were traveling in the West Bank was hit by a firebomb. The girl is in serious condition after suffering massive third degree burns after flames engulfed the car, which was traveling near the settlement of El Matan in the Shomron. The father, 40, was also wounded, suffering from light burn injuries. The girl and father have been named as Ayala and Avner Shapira. Ayala's mother's car was hit by a firebomb last month, but managed to escape unscathed. (Ynet, Dec. 25, 2014)

 

TWO POLICE OFFICERS STABBED IN JERUSALEM (Jerusalem) — Two Border Police officers were lightly wounded Friday morning when an unidentified Arab man stabbed them in Jerusalem’s Old City. The unprovoked attack came as thousands of Muslims exited the area upon concluding prayers at al-Aksa Mosque. The assault follows months of ongoing tensions between Muslims and Jews throughout the capital, which has necessitated emergency police measures, including 1,000 extra police officers, aerial reconnaissance balloons and a municipal patrol. Despite Friday’s attack, rioting and violence in the city has largely leveled off over the past several weeks. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 26, 2014)

 

HAMAS RELEASES ‘HOW TO STAB JEWS’ VIDEO (Jerusalem) — After the failed stabbing attack against two border policemen in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, Palestinians have published a training video entitled “How to stab right.” During the attack one officer was stabbed in the neck, and the other in the hand. Both were treated for their wounds in a Jerusalem hospital and are recovering. In the video the assailant demonstrates how to stab in order to cause maximum injury to the victim, displaying several knife attack techniques, including twisting the knife to inflict maximum harm, and how an attacker can quickly stab and flee the scene. The clip became an immediate hit among Palestinian social media groups in Jerusalem, and the West Bank. The video ends by urging viewers to carry out similar attacks: “What are you waiting for? Go out and stab.” (Algemeiner, Dec. 28, 2014)

 

QATAR STOPS PROVIDING SUPPORT TO HAMAS (Doha) — An Egyptian governmental source told the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida that the princes are attempting to cut their support for Hamas due to their activities in the Sinai. According to the newspaper, the move is designed to persuade Hamas to stop transferring arms to Sinai based jihadist terror organizations. An anonymous Egyptian source stated that “Hamas wants Qatar to play a significant role in repairing relations with Cairo.” Hamas leaders deny involvement in Sinai terrorism, alleging that the terror organization “does not have an armed presence outside the Palestinian Authority.” However, Hamas’ ties with the Muslim Brotherhood, who was toppled from power in 2013, are well-known and hinder Hamas’ relations with Sisi’s regime. (Jerusalem Online, Dec. 26, 2014)

 

CAIR, MAS JOIN WITH STATE DEPARTMENT TO PROTEST UAE TERROR DESIGNATION (Washington) — State Department officials met with leaders of the Hamas-linked Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) to discuss the group's inclusion on list of terror groups issued by the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE listed CAIR and the Muslim American Society (MAS) among eighty Islamist groups worldwide it linked to terror last month. The State Department questioned the designation, saying it wanted "more information from the Emirati authorities" justifying the designation, with a spokesman adding that "the U.S. does not consider them to be terrorist organizations." (IPT, Dec. 23, 2014)

 

SUICIDE BOMBER STRIKES YEMENI SHIITE REBELS (San’a) —A suicide bomber targeted a large gathering of Shiite rebels in the central Yemeni city of Ibb today, killing at least 24 people and wounding 48. A local spokesman for the Houthi rebels, said a suicide bomber blew himself up inside a culture center. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but Yemen’s powerful local al Qaeda affiliate has targeted the rebels in the past. The Houthis seized large areas of Yemen, including the capital, San'a, earlier this year as part of a protracted power struggle with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Their critics view them as a proxy for Shiite Iran that wants to dominate the country, charges the rebels deny. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 31, 2014)

 

JEWISH SITES IN FRANCE HIT BY GUNSHOTS (Paris) — For the third time in one week a Jewish site in Paris was attacked. Last Monday it was a synagogue, on Wednesday it was a kosher restaurant and Friday, Dec. 26, it was a Jewish printing company. The HM (HaShem) printing company is located at 24 Rue de Rochechouart, not far from where the other attacks took place, and the holes left by the bullets were similar. The owner of the shop says the attack was antisemitic because the shop has a mezuzah on the door, and people know it is owned by Jews. Thus far there has only been property damage in these attacks. (Jewish Press, Dec. 26, 2014)

 

PARIS SUBURB HONORS JAILED PALESTINIAN TERRORIST BARGHOUTI (Paris) — The Paris suburb of Aubervilliers has honored jailed Palestinian terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving several life sentences in an Israeli prison for murder, as an honorary citizen of the city. Barghouti “symbolizes the Palestinian cause” and is a “man of peace and dialogue,” the Aubervilliers city council said in a statement. Barghouti was sentenced in 2004 to five life imprisonment sentences for five murders and forty years for attempted murder by a suicide bomber. Aubervilliers is home to a large immigrant population, comprising more than 41 percent of the city’s population, mainly from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. (Jewish Press, Dec. 30, 2014)

 

SECOND SWEDISH MOSQUE TARGETED IN SUSPECTED ARSON ATTACK (Stockholm) — A Swedish mosque was set alight on Monday, in the second suspected arson attack on a mosque in the country in the last four days. No one was hurt in the attack, which occurred in the southern Swedish town of Eslov. On Christmas Day, five people were injured following a blaze at a mosque in Eskilstuna. Despite Sweden’s liberal attitude towards immigration and asylum seekers, the country is not immune to the rise of right-wing sentiment across many European countries. Recent polls in Sweden have indicated a rise in popularity of the anti-immigration Sweden Democrats, the country’s third biggest party. The party received 12.9% of the vote in September elections. (Newsweek, Dec. 29, 2014)  

 

HUNDREDS ATTEND MASS IN HONOR OF ‘ONE OF EUROPE'S BIGGEST MASS MURDERERS’ (Zagreb) — Hundreds of Croatians attended a memorial mass in Zagreb for World War II-era dictator Ante Pavelić. Pavelić’s fascist regime was allied with Nazi Germany and was responsible for the murder of tens of thousands of Jews and ethnic Serbs. The founder of the extreme nationalist Ustaše movement, Pavelić advocated armed rebellion against the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. After the Germans conquered in 1941, he was installed as head of the new puppet state, described as a “fiercely cruel regime” in which “hundreds of thousands of Serbs and tens of thousands of Jews were murdered in death camps and in other awful ways” Following the war, Pavelić made his way to Argentina, where he was wounded in an assassination attempt. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 29, 2014)

 

ISRAEL ORDERS ANOTHER FOUR MISSILE SHIPS FROM GERMANY (Haifa) —Israel has acquired four new Saar Missile ships from Germany a few months after the fourth Dolphin submarines reached home base. Nir Dvory, Military Correspondent to the PM, said the ships’ role would be to secure Israel’s naval gas fields. PM Netanyahu added that “he wanted to thank Germany's Chancellor, Angela Merkel, for her ongoing commitment and assistance to Israel’s security."  Netanyahu said that the new ships will be added to the submarines which are already under construction in Germany. The ships are expected to reach the coast of Israel in about two years. (Jerusalem Online, Dec. 25, 2014)  

 

ISRAEL DEPLOYING UNDERWATER BARRIER AGAINST HEZBOLLAH DIVERS (Haifa) — US and EU firms are deploying a defensive barrier and sonar array along the country’s maritime border with Lebanon, meant to foil Hezbollah undersea infiltrations. Israeli security officials believe Hezbollah has built or acquired an array of undersea weapons and delivery systems to be used against Israel in future conflicts. While the exact details and location of the Israeli picket system are classified, its purpose is to prevent the infiltration of divers, swimmers, and submersible craft into Israeli territory. A similar barrier has been in operation south of Zikim beach, along Israel’s maritime border with Gaza, and was instrumental in thwarting two raids by Hamas naval commandos during Operation Protective Edge. (Algemeiner, Dec. 28, 2014)

 

HARVARD STUDENTS’ SODASTREAM BAN FIZZLES AFTER PRESIDENT STEPS IN (Cambridge, MA) —Harvard administration has reversed the dining hall's decision to cut ties with an Israeli soda company based on one-sided input from pro-Palestinian student groups. The decision last week by university President Drew Faust and Provost Alan Garber came quickly after they discovered that Harvard University Dining Services had decided to stop buying SodaStream products due to the company's presence in the West Bank. In a statement, Garber said Harvard’s contracting policies are not to be dictated by partisan student groups.  The dining hall administrators agreed last fall to cut ties with SodaStream after meeting with the school's Palestine Solidarity Committee, and the Harvard Islamic Society. (Fox News, Dec. 23, 2014)

 

NEW BILLBOARDS TARGET NY TIMES FOR ANTI-ISRAEL REPORTING (New York) — The CAMERA watchdog organization has posted five new billboards in midtown Manhattan to spread the message of The New York Times’ slanted reportage on Israel. The organization, officially known as the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America, still posts a billboard opposite the newspaper’s headquarters with a message that reads, “The New York Times Against Israel—All Rant, All Slant, All The Time. Stop The Bias!” “We are expanding our effort to let the public know, beginning with the newspaper-reading public in New York City, that The Times persists—[and] has even doubled-down—in its long-standing pattern of prejudiced reporting and editorializing when it comes to Israel,” said Andrea Levin, CAMERA’s executive director. (Jewish Press, Dec. 25, 2014)

 

EGYPT, MOROCCO, AND UNITED ARAB EMIRATES BAN “EXODUS” MOVIE (Cairo) — Egypt, Morocco, and UAE have banned the biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings. The BBC reported that Egypt's censorship board has banned the film due to what censors called "historical inaccuracies," including, it said, the film depicting Jews having built the pyramids and that an earthquake, not a miracle by Moses, made the Red Sea part. The ancient story claims the pyramids were built by Jewish slaves who were led to freedom by Moses after God inflicted a series of plagues on Egypt. These developments mark just the latest opposition to the controversial film. The movie has drawn criticism for its white stars, including lead actors Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton. (Hollywood Reporter, Dec. 26, 2014)

 

ARGENTINA’S PRESIDENT ADOPTS JEWISH GODSON (Buenos Aires) — Argentina’s president has accepted an official Jewish godson for the first time in the country’s history to help counter legend of death to a seventh son. The president described in seven tweets her meeting with her new godson, Yair Tawil, a member of a Chabad-Lubavitch family. He was adopted as a godson in order to counteract a legend that the seventh son, born after six boys without any girls in between, becomes a werewolf whose bite can turn others into a werewolf. The boys receive presidential protection, a gold medal and a scholarship for all studies until his 21st birthday. (Jewish Press, Dec. 26, 2014)

 

 

On Topic Links 

 

Pro Israel American Student Speaks Against BDS: Youtube, Feb. 17, 2014

The Failed Palestinian Effort at the UN: Dore Gold, JCPA, Dec. 31, 2014—The Palestinian draft resolution that was voted down by the UN Security Council was unacceptable to Israel for two essential reasons. First, all Israeli governments have insisted that any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be reached through direct negotiations between the parties.

Mahmoud Abbas is Again Insisting on Failure: Washington Post, Dec. 29, 2014 —In a meeting with President Obama last March, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to accept a U.S.-brokered “framework” for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Is CAIR a Terror Group?: Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Nov. 28, 2014 —We who follow the Islamist movement fell off our collective chair on Nov. 15 when the news came that the United Arab Emirates' ministerial cabinet had listed the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) as one of 83 proscribed terrorist organizations, up there with the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS.

Top 10 Worst U.N. Decisions Of 2014: Buzzfeed, Dec. 21, 2014—1. U.N. Adopts 20 Resolutions on Israel vs. 4 on Rest of World Combined.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by fax and e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends and family to visit our website for more information on our Briefing series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, contact us at http://www.isranet.org/.

 

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible membership contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address or “Donate” button on Website)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s Briefing series attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinion of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Institute.

 

 

 

WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Media-ocrities of the Week

 

[The] Israeli and American spreading of poisoned terms continues, with its penetration through the media into broad spheres of world public opinion. Even more dangerous, however, is the penetration of these poisoned terms into Arab and Palestinian public opinion, which is drawn into the trap of using them, without careful examination.”—Excerpt of a new book, Terminology in Media, Culture and Politics, published by the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Information, outlining the “proper” phrases to be used by Palestinians when discussing the conflict with Israel. According to the Ministry, “the Israeli terminology acts to distort the Palestinian national struggle, transforming the essence of Zionis[m] from a racist, colonialist endeavor into [one] of self-definition and independence for the Jewish people.” Therefore, for example, the book instructs Palestinians to replace the name “Israel” with the term “Israeli colonialism,” and the words “Palestinian terror” with “resistance.” (Palestinian Media Watch, June 19.) [To view the full PMW report see “On Topics” below—Ed.]

 

The Arab awakening—at its core—was a nonreligious event, led by young people frustrated that they lacked the space, job opportunities and educational tools to realize their full potential. That was the volcanic energy source that blew the lid off Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and Libya.”—Thomas Friedman, describing the “Arab Spring” as nonreligious, despite the emergence of the Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic in movements in “Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and Libya.” Friedman, who initially hailed the upheavals in the Middle East as “a quest for personal empowerment, dignity and freedom,” now admits that “the Arab awakenings…will have no chance of really empowering the new generation without [a] revolution in education.” (NY Times, June 16, 2012 & February 15, 2011.)

 

Weekly Quotes

 

We are hopeful that…[European Union foreign policy chief Catherine] Ashton and I can reach a decision regarding the time and place for the next negotiations.”—Lead Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, calling for another round of diplomacy after this week’s two-day talks with world powers in Moscow—the third round of negotiations since April—again failed to resolve the dispute over Tehran’s illicit atomic program. Citing the “significant gaps” that remain between the two sides, Ashton agreed to a low-level, technical follow-up meeting in Istanbul on July 3. (Reuters & Wall Street Journal, June 19.)

 

Our enemies should know that arrogance and unsubstantiated demands from Iran will lead to nowhere.”—Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reiterating Iran’s refusal to compromise on its nuclear program. (Wall Street Journal, June 19.)

 

Eight years are enough. I will not found any political party or group.”—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claiming he will not run in Iran’s June 2013 presidential elections. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, June 17.)

 

If Iran and Egypt stand beside each other, there won’t be any more need for war to root out enemies and Zionists’ domination. The news of unity between Iran and Egypt will make timorous and coward Zionists prefer to escape rather than to stay in the region.”—Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claiming Tehran’s ongoing rapprochement with Cairo will bring about the end to “Zionist hegemony” in the Middle East. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, June 16.)

 

What’s happening in Sinai [is that] terror bases are being established. We expect the Egyptians to exert their sovereignty there.”—IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, calling on Egypt’s government to immediately restore control over the Sinai, after terrorists launched a cross-border raid from the increasingly lawless territory which killed one Israeli. (Jerusalem Post, June 19.)

 

The situation is now even more serious and abominable. To prevent this civil war from getting worse, we need…a viable alternative.”—French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, announcing his country will introduce a resolution in the UN Security Council providing member states with a mandate to intervene in Syria, possibly as part of a military operation. (Wall Street Journal, June 13.)

 

Any data or information produced by this system will only be available to the alliance.…”—Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz, rejecting the possibility that Israel be given access to data from NATO’s X-band radar system, stationed in Kurecik, Turkey, designed to protect against ballistic missile threats from Iran. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, June 13.)

 

There will be no peace with secularism. The only peace is first with God, then with Jihad, then with resistance, then with the people and with martyrs.”—Fathi Hammad, Interior Minister in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, at a graduation ceremony for 184 Palestinian police officers. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, June 13.)

 

When I grow up I’ll join Islamic Jihad and the al-Quds Brigades. I’ll fight the Zionist enemy and fire missiles at it until I die as a shahid (martyr).… I want to blow myself up on Zionists and kill them on a bus in a suicide bombing.”—Hamza, at his kindergarten graduation ceremony in Gaza. During his commencement speech, the kindergarten’s director affirmed: “It is our obligation to educate the children to love the resistance, Palestine and Jerusalem, so they will recognize…who the enemy [Israel] is.” (Ynet News, June 12.)

 

We find it puzzling that President Obama would say that the Israeli government is of the extreme right. There is no factual or analytical basis for it. First, the Netanyahu government, from its inception in 2009, made it clear that it accepted in-principle the idea of a negotiated Palestinian state.… Second, the Netanyahu government…agreed to a 10-month freeze on all Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria, a unilateral concession that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton herself described at the time, correctly, as ‘unprecedented.…’  Third, despite the failure of Mahmoud Abbas’ PA to negotiate virtually at all during the freeze and its failure to negotiate to date, Israel has made it clear that it is willing to negotiate with the PA immediately, without preconditions. Fourth, it is singularly strange that President Obama would say that the Israeli government is of the extreme right only days after Prime Minister Netanyahu formed a coalition with Shaul Mofaz’s leftwing opposition Kadima party.…”—Morton A. Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America, debunking US President Barack Obama’s recent claim to a delegation of rabbis from the Orthodox Union that Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government is “extreme right-[wing].” (Independent Media Review and Analysis, June 14.)

 

If the UN were to form an anti-terrorism group dedicated to attacking the menace on a global scale, who do you think would be asked to lead it? A nation with a proven track record of anti-terror initiatives? A nation that esteems human rights and freedoms above all else? Unfortunately, in the case of the UN Centre for Counter Terrorism, the answer is emphatically neither.… In a move more befitting Alice in Wonderland than the United Nations, Saudi Arabia was named chair of the organization.…”—Brooke Goldstein and Zack Kousnetz, in “Saudi Arabia to Lead UN Counter Terrorism Initiative.” [For the complete article see ‘On Topics’ below—Ed.]

 

He has lost more than 100 pounds since his arrest. He suffers from severe degenerative arthritis and is no longer able to walk in his cell. He has other health problems that cause pain and require treatment.”—US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, “call[ing] on the government of Cuba to release [from prison] Jewish-American Alan Gross immediately.” Gross, 63, was arrested in Havana in December 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in prison for setting up Internet networks under a US program aimed at promoting political change. (Reuters, June 15.)

 

It has become increasingly clear that Hungarian authorities are encouraging the whitewashing of tragic and criminal episodes in Hungary’s past, namely the wartime Hungarian government’s involvement in the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of its Jewish citizens. I do not wish to be associated in any way with such activities.”—Elie Wiesel, in a letter to the speaker of the Hungarian Parliament, Laszlo Kover, renouncing Hungary’s highest honor, the Order of Merit, Grand Cross, awarded to him in 2004, after several Hungarian lawmakers participated in a memorial ceremony for Jozsef Nyiro, a WWII member of Hungary’s parliament who supported Hitler. (JTA, June 19.)

 

This summer’s Olympic Games in London will mark the 40th anniversary of the worst terrorist atrocity in the history of the Games—the 1972 hostage murder of 11 Israeli athletes and coaches in Munich. Civil society groups and political leaders around the world have been calling on the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to hold a moment of silence at the opening ceremony of the London Games. I am delighted that the Canadian Parliament is the first to unanimously support this call. The adoption of this motion is part of our responsibility to remember the victims of this terrorist assault 40 years ago—le devoir de mémoir (the duty of memory).”—Canadian Member of Parliament Irwin Cotler, after the House of Commons unanimously passed his motion calling on the IOC to commemorate at the upcoming London Games the Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich massacre. (Office of Irwin Cotler, June 13.) [The following is a link to a petition urging the IOC to hold a moment of silence: http://www.change.org/petitions/international-olympic-committee-minute-of-silence-at-the-2012-london-olympics.]

 

Short Takes

 

DOZENS OF ROCKETS FIRED INTO ISRAEL; HAMAS RESPONSIBLE—(Jerusalem) Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have fired approximately 100 rockets into Israeli territory since Monday, with Hamas claiming responsibility for many of the launches. The announcement by Hamas’s armed wing, the Izzaddin al-Kassam Brigades, marks a significant departure from the terrorist group’s position over the last few months; in recent rounds of violence Hamas has refrained from firing rockets and mortar shells itself, while encouraging other Palestinian terror groups to do so. [Hamas’ emboldened posture is at least in part a result of the strengthening in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, the terror group’s progenitor—Ed.] (Jerusalem Post, June 20.)

 

U.N. SUSPENDS OBSERVER MISSION IN SYRIA—(Istanbul) The United Nations has suspended its observer mission in Syria, citing a surge in violence over the last two weeks that posed a significant risk to the monitors. Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed the collapse of the mission on opposition fighters, with state news agency SANA claiming that “international parties are still supplying terrorists with advanced weapons…to commit their crimes and defy the United Nations and its plan.” The UN effort was part of a six-point peace plan, brokered by UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan, that failed to stem the Syrian regime’s nearly 16-month crackdown on protests. Annan, meanwhile, reportedly is now working to bring world powers together—including Syrian ally Iran—for a meeting aimed at breaking the diplomatic deadlock. (Wall Street Journal, June 17.)

 

MUBARAK “CLINICALLY DEAD”; BROTHERHOOD APPEARS VICTORIOUS—(Cairo) Egyptian state media has declared Hosni Mubarak “clinically dead” after suffering a stroke; however, several sources in the military and security services denied the report, alleging instead that the deposed Egyptian president is in on life support in a Cairo hospital. The deterioration in Mubarak’s health came as hundreds of thousands of Egyptians rallied across the country to denounce recent moves by the military to consolidate power, and to support Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohammed Morsi, whose campaign claimed victory following last weekend’s run off election against ex-army man Ahmed Shafiq. Preliminary results show Morsi winning 51.8 percent of the vote to Shafiq’s 48.2 percent with 98 percent of the more than 13,000 poll centers counted. Egypt’s Presidential Election Commission, headed by a judge appointed by Mubarak, announced Tuesday that it would delay the release of official results of the election, originally expected on Thursday, a move being construed as another possible power grab by the country’s ruling generals. (JTA, June 18 & Reuters, Wall Street Journal, June 20.)

 

ISRAELI KILLED FOLLOWING EGYPTIAN BORDER ATTACK—(Jerusalem) Said Phashpashe, an Arab-Israeli father of four, has been killed in a terrorist attack near Israel’s border with Egypt. Israeli workmen involved in constructing a security fence along the border were driving in a car when a road-side bomb went off, killing Phashpashe and seriously injuring another. An IDF unit immediately arrived at the scene and a gun fight ensued; two terrorists were killed and a third is believed to have escaped into the Sinai. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denounced the cross-border attack and vowed to expedite the completion of the fence, which he described as “a supreme national interest.” A group tied to al Qaeda, the Mujahedeen Shura Council of Jerusalem, claimed responsibility, confirming Israeli assertions that the terror network is operating on its doorstep. (Jerusalem Post, June 18 & Associated Press, June 19.)

 

TURKEY INVESTIGATING IHH HEAD FOR FUNDING AL-QAIDA—(Jerusalem) Turkish legal authorities are investigating allegations that one of the key figures behind the May 2010 Gaza flotilla, Bülent Yildirim, has connections to al-Qaida. According to the Turkish daily Habertürk, special prosecutors in both Istranbul and Diyarbakir are conducting separate investigations into claims that Yildirim, president of the IHH, an organization that was one of the main planners of the Gaza flotilla and is considered a terrorist organization by Israel’s government, has been secretly “providing financial aid to al-Qaida via his foundation.” The Israeli NGO The Intelligence and Information Center claims the IHH also is affiliated with Hamas and the Union of the Good, an Islamic umbrella affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. (Jerusalem Post, June 15.)

 

UN DRAFT RESOLUTION REJECTS PALESTINIAN BID—(Geneva) A draft resolution rejecting a Palestinian bid to list the birthplace of Jesus as an endangered World Heritage site is being circulated in the UN, after a report by the International Council on Monuments and Sites—a Paris-based entity that advises the World Heritage Committee on which nominated properties to list—dismissed Palestinian claims that the Church of Nativity is under threat due to the “Israeli occupation”. The draft resolution will be considered by UNESCO’s 21-nation World Heritage Committee at a meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, later this month. The panel—which includes Algeria, Cambodia, Iraq, Malaysia, Mali, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, and the United Arab Emirates—has the power to overturn the expert-drafted text but insiders say that Arab states may not win the required two-thirds majority. “This is the first time in recent memory that a draft resolution circulated by the UN—let alone by UNESCO, which recently elected Assad’s Syria to its human rights committee—openly rejected a Palestinian claim or position,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. According to the UN watchdog, “The reason for the extraordinary occurrence is very simple: the Palestinians have just been admitted to UNESCO as a member state, and this is their first time taking advantage of the World Heritage procedure, which is governed in its initial stages by experts who are non-political—instead of by the very political 195 governments, most of whom join the automatic UN majority that rubber-stamps Arab resolutions.” (UN Watch, June 13.)

 

PARIS UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT APOLOGIZES FOR GAZA EXAM QUESTION—(New York) The president of a prestigious university in Paris has apologized for an exam question which asked whether a 2009 bombing by Israel in the Gaza Strip constituted a “crime of war; crime against humanity or genocide.” Vincent Berger, president of Paris Diderot University, expressed his “dismay” and “regret” at the inclusion of the question in an exam for medical students on June 12, conceding that the question did not fit the relevant pedagogic framework, being irrelevant to medicine. Paris Diderot was ranked as France’s 4th best university for 2011 in the Academic Ranking of World Universities. (JTA, June 14.)

 

PULITZER-WINNING AUTHOR WON’T LET ISRAELI PUBLISHING HOUSE PRINT BOOK—(Jerusalem) Alice Walker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, has refused to authorize an Israeli company to republish her book because of what she called Israel’s “persecution of the Palestinian people.” In a June 9 letter to Yediot Books, Walker denounced Israel as an “apartheid state” and expressed hope that the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement “would have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.” Walker, who participated in a flotilla to Gaza last year, recently has intensified her anti-Israel activities,. (JTA, June 19.)

 

JEWISH GROUPS DECRY NAZI SALUTES AT QUEBEC STUDENT PROTESTS—(Montreal) The Montreal Jewish community has strongly condemned the repeated usage of Nazi salutes by Quebec student protesters. The “Heil Hitler” salute has been employed in recent weeks to mock Montreal police at demonstrations in which chanting crowds have referred to local officers as the “SS” for their alleged brutality. According to B’nai Brith Canada CEO Frank Dimant, “th[e] inexcusable display of hate by Quebec student protesters…defile[s] the memory of the Holocaust and remind[s] us just how quickly anti-Semitism…can venture into our public discourse.” His comments came on what would have been the 83rd birthday of Holocaust victim and child author Anne Frank. (Gazette, June 12.)

 

WHITE HOUSE WON’T BUDGE ON POLLARD RELEASE—(Washington) The Obama administration reportedly has denied Israeli President Shimon Peres’ plea that former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard be granted clemency. Peres, who last week received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Obama in Washington, said he would ask the US President in a private meeting before the ceremony to consider commuting Pollard’s sentence to time served. Pollard, who is in ill health, has served more than 26 years in a federal prison for passing classified information to an American ally—Israel—during peace time, an offense which historically has garnered an average term of 2-4 years. (JTA, June 13.)

 

GILAD SHALIT NAMED SPORTS COLUMNIST—(Jerusalem) Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit has been named a sports columnist for the Israeli daily Yediot Achronot. Shalit, whose first column appeared in the newspaper last Friday, is reportedly in the US to cover the NBA finals. Shalit was released last October after more than five years of captivity in Hamas-ruled Gaza. (JTA, June 13.)