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

 

As We Go to Press: 12 KILLED IN ATTACK ON OFFICES OF FRENCH NEWSPAPER (Paris) —A manhunt is underway in Paris after three masked gunmen stormed the offices of satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, killing 10 journalists and two police officers. It was the worst terrorist attack on French soil in recent decades. Another 20 people were injured, including four critically, in the shooting. Security forces were hunting for the gunmen who spoke flawless, unaccented French in the military-style noon-time attack on the offices, near Paris's Bastille monument.  "Hey! We avenged the Prophet Muhammad! We killed Charlie Hebdo," one of the men shouted in French, according to a video shot from a nearby building. Other video showed two gunmen in black at a crossroads who appeared to fire down one of the streets. A cry of "Allahu akbar!" — Arabic for "God is great"— could be heard among the gunshots. France last year reinforced its anti-terrorism laws and is already on alert after calls from Islamist militants to attack its citizens and interests in reprisal for French military strikes on militant strongholds in the Middle East and Africa. (CBC, Jan. 7, 2015)

 

On Topic Links 

 

Charlie Hebdo: Martyrs for the Truth: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Jan. 7, 2015

Whitewashing Islamic Terrorism from Sydney to Jerusalem: Charles Bybelezer, Frontpage Magazine, Jan. 5, 2015

What About Arab War Crimes Against Palestinians?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 5, 2014

Europe Reverts To Anti-Semitic Form: Rabbi Berel Wein, Jewish Press, Jan. 1, 2015

 

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"We are at a very difficult moment. Several terrorist attacks have been impeded during the previous weeks. We are threatened because we are a country of freedom," —French president Francois Hollande, responding to Wednesday’s horrific attack in Paris. "We fight threats and we will punish the attackers…We will look for the people responsible," he added. (Telegraph, Jan.  7, 2015)

 

“There is aggression practiced against our land and our country, and the Security Council has let us down — where shall we go?” —Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas moved last week to have the PA join the International Criminal Court, a move that could lead to war-crimes prosecutions of Israeli officials and that risks severe sanctions from Washington and Jerusalem. It came a day after the defeat of a UN Security Council resolution that demanded an end to Israel’s occupation of “Palestinian” territory by 2017. “We want to complain to this organization,” he said of the court. “As long as there is no peace, and the world doesn’t prioritize peace in this region, this region will live in constant conflict. The Palestinian cause is the key issue to be settled.” Abbas, whose popularity plummeted after the battle between Israel and Hamas over the summer, has been pressed by other Palestinian leaders and the public to sign the statute and then use the court to pursue cases against Israel’s settlement policy and its military operations. But the step could have major repercussions, not least because Palestinian officials could also be charged by the court. Israel and the United States have promised to respond harshly to the move. (New York Times, Dec. 31, 2014)

 

“The Palestinian Authority has chosen confrontation with Israel and we will not sit idly by,” —Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. “We will not allow IDF soldiers and commanders to be hauled before the International Criminal Court in the Hague,” he exclaimed. “It is the [PA] leaders – who have allied with the war criminals of Hamas – who must be called to account,” Netanyahu said. On Saturday, Israel froze NIS 500 million ($127 million) in Palestinian tax revenues collected on Ramallah’s behalf, in response to the ICC membership request. The frozen funds are taxes collected by Israel which were intended to be transferred to the PA’s coffers. (Times of Israel, Jan. 4, 2015)

“[By] petitioning the UN, the International Criminal Court and international organizations to recognize them and accept them as a full member state, and by their unification with the Hamas terror organization, the Palestinians have knowingly and deliberately bypassed their contractual obligations pursuant to the Oslo Accords in an attempt to prejudge the main negotiating issues outside the negotiation,” —Amb. Alan Baker, a former deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Baker’s article “Ten Points Regarding the Fundamental Breach by the Palestinians of the Oslo Accords,” published by the Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs, argued that “the fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords by the Palestinians is indicative of their conscious decision to undermine them and prevent any possibility of their implementation. As such they have rendered the Accords void…Israel has the legitimate right to declare that the Oslo Accords are no longer valid.” Signed in September 1993 between the late Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, and the late PLO leader, Yasser Arafat, the Oslo Accords – which earned both men a Nobel Peace Prize – committed Israel and the Palestinians to a land for peace deal and an end to terrorist attacks. The Accords stipulated that a final agreement would be negotiated after an interim five-year period; by 1998, however, the Palestinians were shifting away from negotiations, and by 2000, had wrecked the peace process by launching a second intifada. (Algemeiner, Jan. 5, 2015)

 

“Now Mr. Abbas has moved to have “the state of Palestine” join the International Criminal Court, chiefly in order to harass and perhaps arrest Israeli military officers and politicians spuriously accused of war crimes. The gambit will fail for the simple reason that two can play the game. So why does Mr. Abbas persevere? Because, as the late Fouad Ajami knew so well, the pleasures of dreaming are better than the labors of building, just as the rhetoric of justice, patrimony and right is so much more stirring than the fine print and petty indignities of compromise. Mr. Abbas consistently refuses a Palestinian state because such a state is infinitely more trivial than a Palestinian struggle. Becoming is better than being. So long as “Palestine” is in the process of becoming, it matters. Once it exists, it all but doesn’t. How many times will some future president of an established Palestinian state get to visit the White House?” — Bret Stephens (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 5, 2015)

 

“I have no doubt that there are people in this country who are facilitating and funding the travel to Syria and Iraq. Those people need to be exposed. We just blame the Internet and social media, but I think that is very shortsighted,” — Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy, the founder of Muslims Against Terrorism and the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada. A handful of Calgary youth have already reportedly gone to the Middle East to fight for the Islamic State. Soharwardy says he was contacted by the parents of a 17-year-old boy who was prevented from going to Syria. They discovered that $5,000 had been transferred into his bank account to pay for his trip. The matter was turned over to police. “Our very young children have gone. They are children and they have been recruited in this country to be soldiers for terrorists. This is a serious thing and the public has the right to know and the politicians have a right to know,” said Soharwardy. (National Post, Jan. 1, 2015)

 

“[Antisemitism is] inherently genocidal, because when the dominant way of perceiving reality was through the lens of religion, the Jews were the wrong religion and they were blinded by evil for not accepting the Christian notion of the messiah, so in order for the individual Jew to redeemed he or she had to accept the Christian version of the messiah. But, moreover, for the world to be redeemed, the Jew had to change,” — Dr. Charles Ascher Small, director of the Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy. When people began to view reality through the lens of race, he continued, “Jews were the wrong race and they were poisoning and making impure the purity of the white Aryan race and for the race to be saved they had to get rid of the Jew.” In contemporary times, Israel, as the Jewish nation-state, has become a stand-in for the Jew in this regard. “Now people in governments in the Western world, in the United States and Europe, say that for the world to be saved the stubborn Jew has to change. Not only to they have to change to protect their own society, but if only the stubborn Israelis would change jihadism and radical Islam will dissipate. The world will be saved. And this is a very dangerous aspect of anti-Semitism that is irrational,” Small asserted. “World redemption will come when the Jew changes,” he said, summing up the consistent element linking these three forms of anti-Semitism. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 31, 2014)

 

“Here were Jews praying in a synagogue — the most basic Jewish act — and they were attacked for no reason other than that they were Jews,” —Steven Shulman, campaign director for the United Jewish Appeal of Greater Toronto. Toronto-born Howie Rothman still lies in an induced coma fighting for his life seven weeks after being attacked by Palestinian terrorists while praying in a synagogue in the Har Nof neighbourhood of Jerusalem. The brutality of the attack, and the father of ten’s struggle to survive, have prompted an outpouring of support: On Monday, the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto, facilitated by the Jewish Agency for Israel, presented Rothman’s family with a check for $108,000, the proceeds of a humanitarian campaign. The presentation was made in Jerusalem by the agency’s chairman Natan Sharansky, to Rothman’s wife, Risa, and brother Steven. “We don’t typically raise funds for individuals or families. We raise funds for the Jewish community-at-large; and for programs and initiatives in Israel, and other parts of the world…But Howie Rothman is a product of [our] community having attended the Tannenbaum Hebrew Academy of Toronto and York University,” Shulman said. (National Post, Jan .5, 2015)

 

“Regarding 2015, I am very optimistic. I think the DC political process might go back to working as it has for most of our nation’s existence. Regular order! Passing a budget. Allowing amendments to bills. Allowing the ‘ Nixon to China’ moments to go forward,” —Former Florida governor and possible presidential aspirant Jeb Bush. Bush said that he is “incredibly optimistic” about “our future because of the acceleration of innovation and technology in our lives. In spite of dysfunction in Washington, we are on the verge of being an emerging nation once again . . . dynamic, aspirational and young at heart.” (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 2, 2015)   

 

Contents

 

 

SHORT TAKES

 

US WEIGHS CUTTING AID TO PALESTINIANS OVER ICC MOVE (Washington) — The Obama administration said it was reviewing its annual $440 million aid package to the Palestinians because of their effort to join the International Criminal Court to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel. Under American law, any Palestinian case against Israel at the court would trigger an immediate cut-off of U.S. financial support. Membership itself doesn't automatically incur U.S. punishment. Israel, like the U.S., is not a member of the ICC and doesn't recognize its jurisdiction. The court has no police force and no authority to go into Israel and arrest suspects. But it could issue arrest warrants that European and other countries would be willing to enforce. (CNS, Jan. 5, 2015)

 

ISA FOILS TERROR ATTACK AGAINST ISRAEL (Tel Aviv) — The Israel Securities Authority (ISA) and IDF announced recently that they arrested a terror cell last November identified with Islamic State.  The members of the cell, residents of Hebron, planned to implement various terror attacks, and even carried out some of their active plans, while throwing explosive devices on IDF forces. The three members of the cell that were arrested are Ahmed Shahada, Mahmoud Zara, and Katzei Maswada. During the interrogation, Shahada admitted that he intended to establish, along with the two other terrorists, an Islamic State cell that would implement terror attacks. (Jerusalem Online, Jan. 4, 2015)

 

HAMAS LEADER MASHAAL SAID DEPORTED FROM QATAR (Doha) —Qatar has deported Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal after hosting him for the past three years, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The move was swiftly denied by an official from the Islamist group. According to the Turkish newspaper Aydınlık, Qatar has faced significant pressure from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to deport Mashaal, amid a diplomatic reconciliation process currently underway between the small Gulf state and the Arab world. According to a Hamas-run news agency, Mashaal and other Muslim Brotherhood members were most likely to head to Turkey. On December 20, Egyptian President el-Sissi met with a special envoy of Qatari leader Sheikh al-Thani. The meeting apparently ended the longstanding enmity between the two states over Qatar’s support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood. (Times of Israel, Jan. 6, 2015)

 

LIBYA BANS PALESTINIANS, SUDANESE AND SYRIANS FROM ENTERING AMID TERROR THREAT (Tripoli) — In an unprecedented move, Libya has imposed a ban on Palestinian, Sudanese and Syrian nationals from entering the country. Control for the North African country, which has been gripped by violent civil war since 2011, is largely being contested by two sides: the internationally recognized government headed by the General National Congress, and its rival Libyan Dawn, which seized control of Tripoli in August. In December, forces allied to Libyan Dawn maneuvered toward Libya's coveted oilfields, igniting clashes in two key port cities. In 2012, U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens was killed in an RPG attack by elements suspected of belonging to Ansar al-Sharia, a group linked to al-Qaida and more recently to the Islamic State. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 6, 2015)

 

HARPERCOLLINS APOLOGIZES FOR LEAVING ISRAEL OFF MAPS  (New York) — The HarperCollins publishing house apologized for omitting Israel from maps in atlases that it sells to English-speaking schools in the Middle East. The apology came less than a day after Collins Bartholomew, a map-publishing company that is a subsidiary of HarperCollins, said that including Israel in its “Collins Primary Geography Atlas For The Middle East” would have been “unacceptable” to their customers in the Gulf and that leaving Israel off the maps incorporated “local preferences.” While Israel is not demarcated on the maps, the West Bank is clearly labeled. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 2, 2015)

 

FAMILY OF MOHAMED FAHMY OPTIMISTIC HE MAY SOON RETURN (Cairo) — Family and representatives of a Canadian-Egyptian journalist who has been detained in Egypt for more than a year said they are optimistic he might soon be making a return to Canada. Fahmy served as Cairo bureau chief for Al Jazeera English until his arrest, along with two colleagues, by Egyptian security forces in 2013. Found guilty on charges related to supporting the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Fahmy was sentenced to seven years in prison, but a retrial was ordered last week. On Tuesday, Fahmy’s family has been told a deportation process is nearing an end. Recent steps to secure the transfer of Fahmy to Canada have come following a decree which enables Egyptian President el-Sisi to deport foreigners who have been accused or convicted of crimes under Egyptian law. (National Post, Jan. 6, 2014)

 

IRANIAN POLICE ARRESTED 50 WOMEN FOR 'UN-ISLAMIC' DRESS (Tehran) —Iran’s Morality police arrested a number of women for immodest dress in Tehran last week, according to reports from the Islamic Republic. According to police, the women were guilty of wearing "shameful and immoral dress in public," not in accordance with the Islamic code, which was put in place by Ayatollah Khomeini in the beginning of 1981. He ordered covering all the parts of the body except the face and wrists. The women were detained for several hours and then were forced to sign a statement not to repeat their actions and to follow the Islamic culture traditions. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 1, 2015)

 

BOSTON BOMBER TRIAL BEGINS  (Boston) —Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of helping to detonate deadly twin bombs at the 2013 Boston Marathon, faced potential jurors for the first time Monday as trial proceedings began. The 21-year-old has pleaded not guilty. Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured on April 15, 2013, when two homemade bombs exploded near the marathon finish line. The government alleges that Tsarnaev, then 19, and his brother, Tamerlan, each planted a bomb. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, died amid a firefight with police during the brothers’ capture four days after the bombing. Prosecutors describe the younger Tsarnaev as a cold, calculating participant who was fueled by religious extremism and hatred of the U.S. His family immigrated from the embattled Russian republic of Chechnya about 12 years ago. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 5, 2015)

 

A.H.A. SHELVES ANTI-ISRAEL RESOLUTIONS (New York) — The American Historical Association has declined to bring several resolutions sanctioning Israel to a vote at its annual convention. The resolutions, which accused Israel of limiting Palestinian academic freedom, were not submitted by the required Nov. 1 deadline for inclusion on the convention agenda. As such, proponents of the resolutions pushed for the AHA to suspend its regular rules and bring them up for discussion. It wasn’t the only defeat for the activists, who were affiliated with the Historians Against the War network. Earlier, the AHA’s executive council had rejected HAW’s proposal for a full-blown boycott of Israel. (Tablet, Jan. 5, 2014)

 

ISRAELI ATTACKED BY MEN SINGING ANTI-SEMITIC SONGS IN BERLIN (Berlin) — Berlin police said they are investigating an attack on an Israeli citizen who was beaten by a group of young men after he asked them to stop singing antisemitic songs on the subway in the German capital on New Year's Eve. The victim, 26-year-old Shahak Shapira, who lives in Berlin, said that after he asked the seven men to stop chanting anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli songs and slurs, he recorded them on his cell phone. When he got off at the next subway stop, the men, who Shapira said were speaking both German and Arabic, followed him and demanded he delete his video. When he refused, some of the men spat on him and beat and kicked him, injuring his head. (Ynet, Jan. 5, 2015)

 

LIGHTS GO OUT ON GERMAN ‘ANTI-ISLAMIZATION’ MARCHERS (Berlin) — The lights went out on Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate and Cologne’s gothic cathedral on Monday night, a visual condemnation of anti-immigrant protests. The group Pegida, an acronym that stands for “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West,” held its latest round of weekly demonstrations against darkened backdrops. The group wants to reform asylum laws and says it opposes Islamism. Its “evening walks,” which began in the eastern city of Dresden in October, have seen increased numbers recently. But in a sign of the backlash growing against the movement, thousands of counter-demonstrators took to the streets to show support for tolerance, asylum and immigration. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 6, 2015)  

 

50,000 FRENCH JEWS INQUIRED ABOUT ALIYA IN 2014 (Tel Aviv) — Some 50,000 French Jews asked the Jewish Agency for information about immigrating to Israel in 2014, Natan Sharansky, The Jewish Agency chairman, said on Monday. Antisemitism may drive emigration from Europe, but other factors impel those who leave to come to Israel, he said. According to Sharansky, “the overwhelming majority” of Jewish émigrés from France, possibly up to 70 percent, choose to go to Israel. “So [Theodor] Herzl was right, Israel will be a magnet.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 6, 2015)

 

NETANYAHU WINS LIKUD PARTY PRIMARY (Jerusalem) — Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has won the backing of his Likud party in its primary and will lead it into general elections this March. Israel Radio reported that Netanyahu had won the support of about 75 percent of electors, giving him an unassailable lead over challenger Danny Danon, a former deputy defense minister. Some 100,000 Likud members were eligible to vote in the poll. Early opinion polls ahead of the March 17 general elections show Netanyahu's Likud party in a neck-and-neck race with a joint list headed by Labor Party leader Isaac Herzog and former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnuah party. (Fox News, Dec. 31, 2014)

 

NEW GAS FIELD DISCOVERED OFF ISRAEL’S COAST (Tel Aviv) — A new natural gas field was discovered off Israel’s Mediterranean coast — the third largest found in Israeli waters. The Royee field contains 3.2 trillion cubic feet of extractable natural gas, the Israeli business daily Globes reported. Royee, located about 93 miles from Israel’s coast, near the international maritime border with Cyprus and Egypt, ranks behind the Leviathan and Tamar fields. Tamar, which has at least 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, is expected to meet Israel’s energy needs for the next 20 years. Leviathan is estimated to hold 16 trillion to 18 trillion cubic feet of gas. (JTA, Dec. 15, 2015)

 

KING ABDULLAH IN HOSPITAL, SAUDIS FRET OVER LEADERSHIP TRANSITION (Riyadh) —As the 90-year-old king of Saudi Arabia lingers in hospital, the kingdom is bracing itself for a possible change in leadership, right at the moment the world’s largest oil exporter is learning to cope with crude prices that have lost 50% of their value within the past six months. King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud was admitted to hospital on New Year’s Eve suffering from pneumonia, while Saudi Arabia wages a battle for oil market share, flexes its financial, military and diplomatic muscle on regional fronts, and struggles to appease a young population increasingly demanding more of its hereditary monarchy. Brent crude prices dropped below US$50 per barrel on Tuesday, as eight of the world’s 10 largest producers maintain their output. (Financial Post, Jan .7, 2015)

 

BEN AMMI BEN-ISRAEL DIES AT 75: LED BLACK AMERICANS IN MIGRATION TO ISRAEL (Tel Aviv) — Ben-Israel, who led a migration of hundreds of fellow black Americans to what they consider their ancestral homeland, Israel, died on Saturday in a hospital in Beersheba, Israel. He was 75. His organization, the African Hebrew Israelites of Jerusalem, announced his death on its website. To his followers, who called him the father or the holy father, he was a prophet-like figure who maintained that he had a vision in 1966 in which the angel Gabriel told him to lead an exodus of black Americans to Israel. Since the first African Hebrews arrived there in 1969, the community has grown to about 3,000 members, half of whom were born in Israel. (New York Times, Dec. 31, 2015)

 

 

On Topic Links 

 

Charlie Hebdo: Martyrs for the Truth: Abigail R. Esman, IPT News, Jan. 7, 2015—With the massacre of Charlie Hebdo magazine's editors and cartoonists in Paris by Islamic gunmen early Wednesday afternoon, the forces of radical Islam lay the gauntlet down: radical Islam is not just fighting against Western freedom, or the hegemony of Western powers. Their real enemy is truth.

Whitewashing Islamic Terrorism from Sydney to Jerusalem: Charles Bybelezer, Frontpage Magazine, Jan. 5, 2015 —Three days before Christmas, one unsuspecting holiday shopper was killed and nine others injured when a van ploughed through a crowded market in Nantes, located in western France.

What About Arab War Crimes Against Palestinians?: Khaled Abu Toameh, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 5, 2014 —More than 2,500 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in Syria three years ago, according to a report published this week by the Working Group for Palestinians in Syria. It revealed that 2,596 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the conflict in that country in 2011.

Europe Reverts To Anti-Semitic Form: Rabbi Berel Wein, Jewish Press, Jan. 1, 2015 —What can one say about Europe? I imagine that if one wants to be bitterly truthful one could easily say that Hitler has in effect triumphed. He branded the Jews as the root of all troubles and proclaimed that the “final” and only solution to the “Jewish problem” was to eradicate all Jews from the face of the earth. And as we all know, he followed through on his genocidal program.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS IN REVIEW” ROUND-UP

Media-ocrities of the Week

 

Israel claims the [targeted Palestinians] were about to launch a rocket over the border from Gaza. Hamas of Gaza denies that, but retaliatory rocket attacks were launched from Gaza after the Israeli strike. They were the first rockets fired from Gaza in more than a year.…”—Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news anchor Reshmi Nair, erroneously claiming that last week’s unprovoked and indiscriminate firing of more than 130 rockets into Israel from Gaza represented the first such incident in over a year. According to the Israel Defense Forces, in “2012 alone, over 270 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit Israel” and “in 2011, 627 rockets from Gaza hit Israeli towns.” In response, HonestReporting Canada contacted senior editors at CBC News to alert them of the misstatement; the station thereafter commissioned an on-air correction expressing “regret” for the “error.” (HonestReporting Canada, June 20.)

 

In a race for Congress between an anti-Zionist black activist and a black activist who is a bought and paid for Zionist Uncle Tom, I’ll take the anti-Zionist any day.… Why? Because I think there’s no greater danger facing the…world than the unbridled power of Zionist globalism.”—Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard and self-described “white nationalist,” David Duke, endorsing African-American and fierce anti-Israel critic Charles Barron in New York’s 8th Congressional District Democratic primary. Barron has in the past referred to Gaza as “a virtual death camp, the same kind of conditions the Nazis imposed on the Jews,” and accused Israel of “massacr[ing] the Palestinian people…[in] what amounts to genocide.” [According to preliminary results, Barron lost the primary race to state Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries by a two-to-one margin—Ed.] (FrontPage, June 22 & JTA, June 27.)

 

I must mention human rights violations in Syria and, being in Israel, human rights violations in the West Bank. Silence in the face of evil is evil.”—Michael Wernstedt, grand-nephew of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who rescued 100,000 Jews during Holocaust, equating Israel’s policies in the West Bank with the Syrian regime’s violent suppression of the ongoing uprising. Wernstedt has since backtracked from his comments—made at a symposium at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum marking 100 years since Raoul Wallenberg’s birth—conceding he has never visited Judea and Samaria and that his information comes from three notoriously anti-Israel NGOs: Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and B’Tselem. (Jerusalem Post, June 27.)\

 

Weekly Quotes

 

Egypt is for all Egyptians, all of us equal in our rights and our responsibilities to this nation.”—Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamed Morsi, in his first speech after being declared winner of Egypt’s presidential election, pledging to establish a “modern, democratic, and constitutional government.” Carrying “a message of peace,” Morsi also promised to “honor international treaties and agreements,” a possible reference to the 1979 peace deal with Israel. He concluded by paying tribute to the “blood of the [Egyptian revolution’s] martyrs.” (Times of Israel, June 24 & Wall Street Journal, June 25.)

 

He did not give any interview to Fars News and everything this agency has published is baseless.”—Spokesman for Egyptian president-elect Mohamed Morsi, after Iran’s Fars News Agency published excerpts of an alleged June 24 interview with Morsi in which he vowed to “revise the [Israel-Egypt] Camp David [peace] treaty”. (Weekly Standard, June 25.)

 

We look forward to working together with President-elect Morsi and the government he forms.… The United States…stand[s] with the Egyptian people as they pursue their aspirations for democracy, dignity, and opportunity, and fulfill the promise of their revolution.”—White House spokesman Jay Carney, congratulating the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi on behalf of the Obama administration. (Weekly Standard, June 24.)

 

Israel looks forward to continuing cooperation with the Egyptian government on the basis of the peace treaty between the two countries, which is a joint interest of both peoples and contributes to regional stability.”—Excerpt of a statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Office, urging the new Egyptian government to uphold the 1979 peace agreement. (JTA, June 24.)

 

I am confident that the West will deal with Hamas and remove the movement from the terrorism list.”—Hamas official Ahmad Yousef, predicting that the ascendance of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ progenitor, will pave the way for “the international community to recognize [Hamas].…” (Independent Media Review and Analysis, June 26.)

 

We hope that the first action to be taken by the new Egyptian president will be the removal of the siege of the Gaza Strip, reopening of the border crossings and facilitating transit of construction materials and financial aid…[into] this war-stricken region.”—Yousef Rezqeh, a political advisor to Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh, calling on Egypt’s president-elect to pressure Israel into removing the legal blockade on Gaza. For his part, Haniyeh confirmed that his terror group “will look to Egypt to play a big, leading role…in helping the Palestinian nation get freedom [and] return home.…” (Independent Media Review and Analysis & FrontPage, June 26.)

 

We will not accept our citizens’ way of life being harmed and we will not tolerate citizens getting hit from Sinai terror.”—Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, warning Egypt that Israel “will not accept [Sinai-based] rocket fire.” [Over the last several months, Israel’s response to the growing terror threat emanating from Sinai has been reserved, in part because it did not want to be seen as interfering in the Egyptian election. Now that the election is over, however, Defense Minister Barak appears to have toughened his stance—Ed.] (Jerusalem Post, June 25.)

 

The image shows heavy machinery tracks and earth displacement throughout the site. There is evidence of…excavation activity near the…building suspected to contain the high explosive [nuclear] testing chamber.”—Excerpt of a report by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), a US security organization which monitors Iran’s nuclear program, claiming new satellite imagery of the Islamic Republic’s Parchin military facility “shows what appears to be further sanitization activity.” ISIS last month voiced concerns that Iran was trying to “destroy evidence” of atomic research at Parchin, including the razing of two small buildings. International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors continue to be denied access to Parchin despite repeated appeals. (Reuters, June 20.)

 

A nuclear Iran will be the end of the nonproliferation regime: Saudi Arabia will turn nuclear immediately, Turkey within several years, and probably the new Egypt will start moving to do it. Not to mention the potential of weapons-grade material leaking into the hands of terrorist groups from Iran.”—Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, warning the West that Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons will trigger a proliferation race in the Middle East. When asked about the likelihood of reaching a diplomatic solution to Iran’s drive for nuclear capability, Barak stressed that Israelis “hope [to] wake up and there will be an agreement…but we are too realistic.” (Jerusalem Post, June 21.)

 

If the Zionist regime takes any [military] actions against Iran, it would result in the end of its labors.…  It is they who will be destroyed.”—Brigadier-General Mostafa Izadi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, claiming an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would lead to the collapse of the Jewish state. (Reuters, June 23.)

 

The Iranian regime is…composed of…anti-Semitic fanatics who have a detailed worldwide plan, part of which, as they admit openly, is the destruction of the State of Israel.… Hitler also said crazy things and succeeded in carrying out his plan.”—Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, condemning Iranian first Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi for a speech he gave at a UN-sponsored conference in Tehran in which he blamed “Zionists and Jews” for controlling the international drug trade, orchestrating the Russian Revolution and ordering the killing of black babies. Rahimi also claimed that the Talmud teaches to “destroy everyone who opposes the Jews.” (Jerusalem Post, June 27.)

 

We live in a real state of war from all angles. When we are in a war, all policies…and all sectors need to be directed at winning this war.”—Syrian President Bashar Assad, describing Syria as being in state of civil war, and ordering loyalists to direct all their efforts towards vanquishing the uprising against his regime. (Reuters, June 26.)

 

Up to 1.5 million people now need humanitarian assistance in Syria.”—Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), announcing that the number of Syrians requiring humanitarian aid has risen to 1.5 million. (Reuters, June 22.)

 

We believe that nobody has the right to decide for other nations who should be brought to power, who should be removed from power.”—Russian President Vladimir Putin, reiterating Russian opposition to any foreign intervention in Syria. US President Barack Obama thereafter confirmed that both Russia and China have not “signed on at this point” to any plan for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad. (Reuters, June 20.)

 

Everybody should know that Turkey’s wrath is strong and devastating. Every military element approaching Turkey from the Syrian border and representing a security risk…will be treated as a military target.”—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following last week’s shooting down by Syria of a Turkish F-4 Phantom jet in international airspace, warning Syrian President Bashar Assad that the incident “would not go unpunished” and that the Turkish army’s rules of engagement along the Syrian border have now changed. Turkey has demanded backing from its NATO allies and called a meeting in Brussels under Article 4 of the alliance’s charter, which provides for consultations when a member state feels its security is threatened. (Reuters & Wall Street Journal, June 26.)

 

It’s another example of the Syrian authorities’ disregard for international norms, peace and security, and human life. NATO allies have expressed strong condemnation of this completely unacceptable act and we have expressed strong support for a solidarity with Turkey.”—NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, denouncing Syria’s downing of a Turkish jet and for the first time describing the Assad regime as a threat to international security. Rasmussen pledged to respond to further Syrian provocations and said NATO would “discuss what else could be done.” (Wall Street Journal, June 26.)

 

I believe that there is an opportunity to restart negotiations. I have a firm basis for believing this will happen in the near future.”—Israeli Vice Premier and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, following a meeting with US President Barack Obama in Washington, predicting Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations will soon be renewed without preconditions. (Jerusalem Post, June 21.)

 

I discussed with Clinton the Palestinian stance.… How can we negotiate while Israel is continuing to build settlements?… Israel must choose between peace and settlements.”—Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, following a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary in Washington, reiterating the Palestinians’ refusal to return to peace talks unless Israel freezes all construction in “settlements” and releases 123 Palestinian security prisoners. Last week, PA President Mahmoud Abbas declared the peace process “clinically dead.” (Jerusalem Post, June 21.)

 

The lives of about a million Israelis are paralyzed.… As long as Israel’s southern communities will not know quiet, it will not be quiet in Gaza.”—Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, lodging an official complaint with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over last week’s firing of more than 130 rockets into Israel from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. (Jerusalem Post, June 22.)

 

Short Takes

 

EU CONFIRMS FULL IRAN OIL EMBARGO TO START SUNDAY—(Luxembourg) European Union foreign ministers have confirmed that a full embargo of Iranian oil exports will enter into force July 1 as initially planned. The ban is the centerpiece of a stricter EU approach to Iran over its nuclear program, which also includes sweeping financial sanctions and an asset freeze and travel ban on scores of senior officials and Iranian companies. The confirmation of the embargo had been widely expected after last week’s nuclear talks in Moscow between international powers and Iran ended in failure. EU foreign-policy chief Catherine Ashton has since reiterated that the gap between the two sides remains “extremely wide.” (Wall Street Journal, June 25.)

 

REPORT: SENIOR SYRIA REGIME FIGURES TRYING TO DEFECT—(Jerusalem) According to the Daily Telegraph, citing unnamed US sources, members of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s inner circle are covertly planning to defect and join the opposition in the event the Syrian regime becomes critically threatened by the uprising. The report claims that senior Syrian military commanders have outlined “exit strategies” and are making direct contact with rebel forces to ensure that they will be welcomed and not persecuted. The news follows the key desertion last week of a Syrian air force colonel, who defected to Jordan by aircraft after abandoning a mission to attack the city of Dera’a. The Syrian regime so far has headed off mass diplomatic defections as occurred in the fall of former Libyan dictator Col Muammar Gaddafi. Syrian opposition groups confirmed they are actively courting American help to encourage more defections. (Jerusalem Post, June 22.)

 

AHMED SHAFIQ FLEES EGYPT FOLLOWING ISLAMIST ELECTION VICTORY—(Cairo) Ahmed Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister and loser of Egypt’s presidential runoff, has fled the country for the United Arab Emirates. Shafiq’s campaign claims that he left for a short visit and will return after making a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia; however, the move came only hours after Egypt’s prosecutor-general opened an investigation into allegations Shafiq wasted public funds during his 8-year term as a civil aviation minister in the ousted regime. The Egyptian daily Al Shorouk reported that at least 24 lawsuits have been filed against Shafiq and that a judge was planning to summon him for questioning. (Times of Israel, June 26.)

 

RIVLIN MUST EXPLAIN REJECTION OF TIBI ‘NAKBA’ BILL—(Jerusalem) Israel’s High Court of Justice has issued an interim order demanding that Knesset Speaker Reuben Rivlin justify his refusal to allow MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) propose a bill relating to the “Nakba,” or Catastrophe, a term used by Palestinians to describe the founding of the State of Israel. Tibi’s Nakba Bill would empower Israel’s Finance Minister to cut state funding to organizations that “deny publicly that Nakba Day was a historical, real event that constitutes a disaster for the Palestinian people.” In preventing Tibi’s bill from being tabled, Rivlin explained that he had the power to deny any audience for it because the legislation rejected Israel as a Jewish state. (Jerusalem Post, June 20.)

 

WAKF TO UK STUDENT: NO KIPPOT ON TEMPLE MT.—(Jerusalem) An official from the Islamic trust—Wafk—that administers the Temple Mount in Israel has denied entry to a visiting orthodox student because he was adorning a kippah. The 20-year-old from London, who attends the University of Leeds, was told that Jewish ritual head coverings were not allowed in what the official called “an [Islamic] holy place.” The Wakf restricts non-Muslims from entering the site outside specific visiting hours, and no form of non-Muslim worship is tolerated. However, religious clothing such as kippot and tzitzit have in the past been permitted. Accordingly, Rabbi Chaim Richman of The Temple Institute described the incident as “the opening of a new front of anti-Semitism at the hands of the Islamic Wakf committed to eradicating all Jewish connection to the site.” The student chose not to enter the Temple Mount instead of removing his kippah. (Jerusalem Post, June 21.)

 

DUTCH SENATE RATIFIES DEAL ALLOWING SHECHITAH—(The Hague) The Dutch senate has approved a deal to continue allowing ritual slaughter, shechitah, in the Netherlands. The agreement represents a compromise between Jewish and Muslim leaders and the Dutch Animal Rights Party, which withdrew a bill that had passed the lower house of parliament in June 2011 that would have made mandatory the stunning of all animals before slaughter, thereby rendering them unkosher. According to he compromise, ritual slaughter will be permitted so long as the animals lose consciousness within 40 seconds. (JTA, June 13.)

 

NORWEGIAN PARTY SEEKS TO OUTLAW CIRCUMCISION—(New York) A member of Norway’s governing coalition, the Centre Party, has announced it will seek to outlaw circumcision in the country. Ervin Kohn, president of the Jewish Community in Oslo, described the issue as “an existential matter,” as “banning circumcision would send a loud message that the Jewish minority is not wanted.” The ruling Labor Party has yet to formulate a stance on the issue. Norway is among a handful of European countries where the kosher slaughter of animals is prohibited. (JTA, June 25.)

 

U.S. CONGRESSMEN URGE HUNGARIAN PM TO OPPOSE ANTI-SEMITISM—(The Hague) Fifty U.S. congressmen have written a letter to Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban urging him to “use [his] authority to speak out against anti-Semitism.” The letter focuses on the “anti-Semitic…positions espoused by members of the Jobbik Party”—an extreme-right nationalist movement and the Hungary’s third largest political party—whose presidential candidate, Krisztina Morvai, has called Israelis “lice-infested, dirty murderers.” Earlier this month, Elie Wiesel renounced 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. Following the participation of Hungarian National Assembly Speaker László Kövér in the ceremony, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin retracted his invitation to Kover to visit Israel’s parliament for an event honoring the 100th birthday of Raoul Wallenberg, who was based in Hungary during the Holocaust. Last week, the president of Hungary’s Jewish community declared that Hungarian Jews “feel increasing danger.” (JTA, June 24 & Jerusalem Post, June 25.)

 

NEW $1 MILLION ‘JEWISH NOBEL PRIZE’ ESTABLISHED—(Jerusalem) The establishment of a new $1-million “Jewish Nobel Prize,” the Genesis Prize, has been announced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in conjunction with Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky and Genesis Philanthropy Group founder Mikhail Fridman. According to Fridman, “The Genesis Prize emphasizes the contribution of the Jews to world history. Far-reaching achievements in science, the arts, business, medicine, diplomacy and other fields of human endeavor have been realized thanks to the Jewish people’s natural aspiration to improve the world, and to its desire to pass its moral values on to coming generations.” (JTA, June 26.)