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

 

MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “…But couldn’t Saudi Arabia simply buy a nuclear bomb? That’s highly unlikely. Any such effort would have to take place secretly, under the threat of sanctions, Western retaliation and interception. Saudi Arabia depends heavily on foreigners and their firms to help with its energy industry, build its infrastructure, buy its oil and sell it goods and services. Were it isolated like Iran or North Korea, its economic system would collapse. It is often claimed that Pakistan would sell nukes to the Saudis. And it’s true that the Saudis have bailed out Pakistan many times. But the government in Islamabad is well aware that such a deal could make it a pariah and result in sanctions. It is unlikely to risk that, even to please its sugar daddy in Riyadh…So let me make a prediction: Whatever happens with Iran’s nuclear program, 10 years from now Saudi Arabia won’t have nuclear weapons. Because it can’t.” — Fareed Zakaria (Washington Post, June 11, 2015)

 

On Topic Links  

 

How Obama Abandoned Israel: Michael B. Oren, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2015

Fighting the Insanely Misogynist Islamic State Will Require Enormous Public Support: Robert Fulford, National Post, June 13, 2015

Success of Kurdish Forces Is a Rare Bright Spot for U.S. Policy in Iraq: Ben Hubbard, New York Times, June 12, 2015

Syrian Druze Have More to Fear From Nusra Than Islamic State: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, June 16, 2015

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"We will expose the truth; Israel did not commit war crimes," —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as the United Nations Human Rights Council was gearing up to issue its findings on possible war crimes during Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza last year. Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu was handed a report on the war which concluded that Israel adhered to international law and used proper proportionality. Referring to the Israeli report, which commended Israel on "exceeding" the highest standards of war conduct, Netanyahu said that "anyone who wants to know the truth will read this report and the generals' report. Those who want to continue the baseless accusations can waste their time reading the U.N. report. We will continue to defend our soldiers, while they continue to defend us," Netanyahu concluded. (Israel Hayom, June 14, 2015)

 

“I regret deeply this controversy, and I want to make totally clear that Orange as a company has never supported and will never support any kind of boycott against Israel…Israel is a fantastic place to be in the digital industry, and, of course, our will is to strengthen and to keep on investing here,” —Stéphane Richard, the chairman of the French company Orange. Richard made an personal pilgrimage to Israel to apologize to Prime Minister Netanyahu, after the executive’s recent declaration that he wanted to disentangle from an Israeli mobile provider prompted a diplomatic uproar. Richard said that his statement had been “distorted and misunderstood” as part of a growing movement to boycott companies that operate in Israeli settlements. (New York Times, June 12, 2015)

 

“The Iranian regime’s systematic persecution of Christians, as well as Baha’is, Sunni Muslims, dissenting Shi’a Muslims, and other religious minorities, is getting worse not better. This is a direct consequence of President Obama’s decision to de-link demands for improvements in religious freedom and human rights in Iran from the nuclear negotiations,” —US Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Illinois). (Jerusalem Post, June 14, 2015)

 

“Iranians aren’t the only ones captured by their own illusions and fear of violence. Leaving aside his fascination with transformative capitalism, President Obama’s entire approach in the nuclear negotiations can be boiled down to one factor: fear of American military action against the Islamic Republic. The clerical regime will retain a substantial nuclear-weapons infrastructure under any deal Obama concludes because the president fears that Khamenei will walk if he insists on greater curbs. As Johns Hopkins University’s Michael Mandelbaum put it in an unflattering comparison between Soviet-American arms-control talks and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, “Surely the main reason [Obama has conceded so much] is that, while there is a vast disparity in power between the two parties, the United States is not willing to use the ultimate form of power, and the Iranian leaders know this,”— Reuel Marc Gerecht (Weekly Standard, June 8, 2015)

 

“A deal that allows Iran to keep a uranium enrichment program will not prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Instead, it will make an Iranian bomb more likely. It also increases the risk of a nuclear arms race in the region. Then there is the matter of setting a dangerous precedent: It will be impossible for Washington to argue that it trusts Iran with sensitive nuclear facilities but not its friends and allies. To make matters even worse, in the wake of a deal, all of this will happen with the international community’s stamp of approval. Seventy years of successful U.S.-led nonproliferation policy will have been trashed. In sum, if to this point you have been confused about the arcane technical details in the Iran nuclear negotiations, save yourself some trouble. Unless the negotiators return to insisting on zero enrichment, their efforts deserve zero support,” — Matthew Kroenig (Tablet, June 15, 2015)

 

“The citizens of Israel will not pay out of their pockets for plays that accept the murders of soldiers,” — Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party. The play “Parallel Time” explores the personal details of prison life for a Palestinian man convicted of killing an Israeli soldier. Though it is fictional, the story closely resembles a real case that has inspired strong emotions in Israel. The play had been staged many times for Arabic-speaking audiences in Israel without controversy. But a performance with Hebrew subtitles was all it took to touch off a major furor. The city of Haifa froze the theater’s financing and began an investigation into its activities. The Education Ministry retracted the play’s eligibility for subsidized performances for students. (New York Times, June 13, 2015)

 

“There’s an economic lobby in the world, which is under the hand of the Jewish lobby, and these are the ones who want the AKP to fall…Not only the Jewish lobby, there is another movement – the Crusaders. Because the AKP government is the voice of the Muslims in Turkey, and all the world.” — Muhammed Akar, chairman of AKP’s Diyarbakir branch. Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost a parliamentary majority it had enjoyed for 13 years in voting last Sunday. AKP officials frequently blame Jews and outside “lobbies” for internal woes and often resort to antisemitic propaganda and slogans. During mass popular protests in July 2013, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay blamed Jews for fuelling the demonstrations. Earlier this year, Prime Minister Davutoglu also accused Jews of working to topple the Turkish regime. (Algemeiner, June 12, 2015)

 

“I am shocked by the images of these magnificent many-storeyed tower-houses and serene gardens reduced to rubble. This destruction will only exacerbate the humanitarian situation and I reiterate my call to all parties to respect and protect cultural heritage in Yemen. This heritage bears the soul of the Yemeni people, it is a symbol of a millennial history of knowledge and it belongs to all humankind,” — Irina Bokova, Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). On June 12, 2015, the Old City of Sana’a, a UNESCO World Heritage site, was hit by a bombing raid. Several houses and historic buildings were destroyed, causing human casualties. (UNESCO, June 6, 2015) 

 

“I am an equal opportunity feminist. I believe that all barriers to women’s advancement in the social and political realm must be removed. However, I don’t feel that gender is sufficient to explain all of human life. This gender myopia has become a disease, a substitute for a religion, this whole cosmic view. It’s impossible that the feminist agenda can ever be the total explanation for human life. Our problem now is that this monomania—the identity politics of the 1970s, so people see everything through the lens of race, gender, or class—this is an absolute madness, and in fact, it’s a distortion of the ’60s. I feel that the ’60s had a vision, a large cosmic perspective that was absolutely lost in this degeneration, in this splintering of the 1970s into these identity politics,” —  Camille Paglia, American academic, social critic, and self-described “dissident feminist.” (Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2015) 

 

“Israel is India’s most trusted ally in West Asia and one dare say among the three or four closest friends India has anywhere in the world,” — Indian columnist Ashok Malik, in light of a recent announcement that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would become the first Indian premier to visit the Jewish state. Some critics of Modi’s visit to Israel argue that it must occur within the larger context of an outreach to the Arab-Muslim Middle East. But Malik suggested that the Israel trip be considered a “standalone,” saying it would be “clumsy and discourteous to link a Modi visit to Israel to one to Muslim/Arab countries as well…The India-Israel relationship is important enough, even sacred enough, to merit that respect.” (Algemeiner, June 16, 2015)

 

“It is difficult not to wonder as to the relative weight of the role played in Obama’s life by his “Jewish mentors,” who have apparently induced him to judge the Jewish state more harshly than others, and that played by the rabidly anti-Semitic Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for 20 years. Holding Israel to a higher standard is all well and good – but how about the standard he applies to its Muslim adversaries? From the outset of his incumbency, Obama has been quick to extol the lofty virtues of Islam and the benefits it has bestowed on humanity. Yet curiously, when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, he never seems to appeal to the Arabs’ Islamic values or Muslim morals in an effort to arrive at a resolution. Why should Jewish morality be invoked to resolve conflicts and not the morality of its adversaries? Is it bias against the Jews or the soft bigotry of low expectations of the Arabs?” — Martin Sherman (Jerusalem Post, June 11, 2015)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

IDF CLEARS SOLDIERS IN DEATH OF FOUR BOYS ON GAZA BEACH (Jerusalem) —No criminal charges will be filed against soldiers involved in one of the most infamous incidents of the 2014 Gaza war with Hamas, the killing of four boys on an open Gaza beach area as they reportedly played soccer on a sunny July day. The United Nations Human Rights Council is expected to publish a report on Operation Protective Edge that many expect will accuse Israel of war crimes. The PA is submitting its own war crimes complaints against Israel to the ICC later this month. According to the IDF, the four minors, were unexpectedly in a gated off area that was known by the IDF and by Gazans to be a military location of Hamas’s naval commando unit. (Jerusalem Post, June 11, 2015)

 

ISRAELI ARMY VOWS TO PROTECT SYRIAN DRUZE (Jerusalem) — Israel pledged to protect any refugees who fled towards the Jewish state after a rebel offensive in Syria and Islamist violence there raised fears about the Druze minority's safety. A significant number of Druze live in Israel, and leading members of the community have called on the government to help their brethren in Syria following the recent violence. Without mentioning the Druze, IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot said the authorities were preparing for a possible influx of Syrian refugees and would prevent a potential massacre at the border. Officials say there are 110,000 Druze in northern Israel, and another 20,000 in the Israeli Golan Heights. The Druze, followers of a secretive offshoot of Shi'ite Islam, made up around 3% of Syria's pre-war population of 23 million people. (Arutz Sheva, June 16, 2015)

 

PALESTINIAN UNITY GOVERNMENT RESIGNS, ABBAS ADVISER SAYS (Ramallah) — The Palestinian unity government resigned Wednesday, according to an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.  Fatah officials have denied the report, Israel Radio said, saying that talks between the two sides have not concluded. This past April, Hamas called on Abbas to “quit the political scene,” saying he remains an obstacle to achieving national unity. Salah Bardaweel, a senior Hamas official in the Gaza Strip, accused Abbas of acting like a dictator “who lives in a state of personal intransigence and total refusal to share powers.” Discussions to form a new government would include consultations with the various Palestinian factions, including Hamas, AFP added. (Jerusalem Post, June 17, 2015)

 

IRANIAN PRESIDENT EXPECTS SANCTIONS TO LIFT WITHIN MONTHS OF DEAL (Teheran) —With two weeks before the deadline for a nuclear deal, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said that he expected relief from economic sanctions within a “couple of months” after an agreement with six world powers was signed. Rouhani dismissed reports that Iranians would have to wait more than a few months for the lifting of sanctions, which have crippled Iran’s economy. In the coming weeks, Iran and the P5+1 powers will intensify talks that can lead either to a breakthrough deal on Iran’s nuclear program or the end of negotiations. Iranian leaders have insisted that if they need more time to reach a deal, the talks should continue beyond the June 30 deadline. (New York Times, June 13, 2015)

 

AL-QAIDA'S NO. TWO LEADER KILLED IN US STRIKE IN YEMEN (Aden) — A U.S. airstrike has killed al-Qaida's second-most-powerful figure, the head of its Yemeni branch, dealing the terror network its biggest blow since the killing of Osama bin Laden at a time when it is vying with the Islamic State group for the mantle of global jihad. Nasir al-Wahishi was the latest in a series of senior figures from al-Qaida's powerful Yemeni branch eliminated by U.S. drone attacks over the past five months, including its top ideologue and a senior military commander. The U.S. has intensified its campaign, trying to push back the group as it has captured new territory in Yemen by taking advantage of the southern Arabian nation's chronic chaos. (Yahoo, June 16, 2015)

 

KURDS ACCUSED OF DISPLACING THOUSANDS OF ARABS, TURKMEN  (Istanbul) — More than a dozen Syrian rebel groups have accused the country's main Kurdish militia of deliberately displacing thousands of Arabs and Turkmens as it pushes deeper into I.S. strongholds in northern Syria. The accusation came as thousands of people poured into a Turkish-Syrian border crossing, fleeing intense fighting after Syrian Kurds reached the outskirts of Tal Abyad, a strategic I.S.-held border town. The main Kurdish fighting force known as the YPG has pushed to dislodge I.S. from Tal Abyad, aiming to sever a key supply line for the extremists' nearby de facto capital of Raqqa. The Kurdish advance, under the cover of intense U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, has caused the displacement of more than 16,000 people who fled to Turkey in the past two weeks. (Montreal Gazette, June 16, 2015)

 

ATTACKERS SEIZE EMPLOYEES AT TUNISIAN CONSULATE IN LIBYA (Tripoli) — An armed militia attacked the Tunisian consulate in Libya’s capital and has taken ten employees hostage. Libya has been divided between rival governments and hundreds of militias in the aftermath of its 2011 civil war that ousted dictator Moammar Gadhafi. An Islamist-led government backed by militias seized Tripoli last August. Libya’s internationally recognized parliament, which was forced out, convenes in the eastern city of Tobruk. The ministry repeated a warning to Tunisians urging them not to travel to the neighboring country under the current instability. Official figures say some 60,000 Tunisians are working in Libya. (Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2015) 

 

EGYPT COURT SENTENCES MORSI, BROTHERHOOD LEADERS TO DEATH (Cairo) —An Egyptian court sentenced deposed President Mohamed Morsi to death over a mass jail break during the country’s 2011 uprising and issued sweeping punishments against the leadership of Egypt’s oldest Islamic group. The general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, and four other Brotherhood leaders were also handed the death penalty. More than eighty others were sentenced to death in absentia. The sentences were part of a crackdown launched after an army takeover stripped Morsi of power in 2013. Since Morsi’s overthrow, Egyptian authorities have waged a crackdown on Islamists in which hundreds have been killed and thousands arrested. (Globe & Mail, June 16, 2015)

 

U.S. SNUBS UKRAINIAN NEO-NAZI UNIT (Washington) — U.S. lawmakers have voted to block troops from training a unit with neo-Nazi members that’s operating with Ukraine’s forces — raising questions about what safeguards Canada has to ensure it doesn’t help extremist groups. Canadian soldiers from Petawawa Garrison in the Ottawa Valley are preparing to head to Ukraine later in the summer to train government forces. U.S. troops are already there. But Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. are concerned some of those to be trained could be linked to extremist groups. Amendments passed unanimously by members of both parties, block “the training of the Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary militia Azov Battalion.” The Azov Battalion is a militia unit and now part of the Ukrainian National Guard. The unit has continued to face accusations of neo-Nazi links. (Ottawa Citizen, June 16, 2015)

 

PUTIN SAYS RUSSIA TO RECEIVE FORTY NEW ICBMS THIS YEAR (Moscow) — Russia's military this year alone will receive over 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of piercing any missile defences, President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday in a blunt reminder of the nation's nuclear might amid tensions with the West over Ukraine. Putin vowed to continue a big arms modernization program despite the nation's economic downturn. He specifically mentioned Armata tanks and other new armoured vehicles, which were first shown to the public during a Red Square military parade last month, saying they "have no analogues in the world." Putin also noted that the military was to start testing its new long-range early warning radar intended to monitor the western direction and later will deploy another one in the east. (CTV, June 16, 2015) 

 

ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS IN CANADA REACH ALL-TIME HIGH (Toronto) —Recorded antisemitic incidents reached an all-time high in Canada last year, B’nai Brith’s annual audit indicated. The yearly tally shows there were 1,627 reported antisemitic incidents in 2014, a 28 percent increase over the year before. Most cases last year – 84 percent or 1,370 incidents – involved harassment; there were 238 reported incidents of vandalism, or 15 percent of all cases; and 1 percent of recorded incidents, or 19 cases, involved violence. In 2014, “a clear pattern emerged. It has become too easy to deny anti-Semitism, as long as it is reframed under the legitimizing veil of anti-Zionism,” said Michael Mostyn, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada. (Times of Israel, June 13, 2015)

 

LONDON CINEMAS REJECT CALLS TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL FILM FESTIVAL (London) — With memories of last year’s unsuccessful attempt to derail London’s Israel Film Festival still fresh, the organizers of this year’s event ran into another attempt at getting it canceled this week, when 40 of Britain’s filmmakers and artists called for a boycott. In their letter published in The Guardian, the 40 artists– all well known for their strong criticism of Israel – called on the Curzon and Odeon cinema chains to scrap screenings of Israeli films that were part of Seret 2015, the London Israeli Film and Television Festival. Curzon cinemas rejected the boycott call. They pointed out that Curzon Cinemas hosts many festivals throughout the year, including the Human Rights Watch film festival, the London Film Festival and festivals representing regions from around the world. (Jerusalem Post, June 11, 2015)

 

FASCIST DEMONSTRATORS TO BURN TALMUD AT LONDON RALLY (London) — The extreme right-wing organizers of a Saturday protest in a predominantly Jewish London neighborhood plan to burn Israeli flags and a copy of the Talmud, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported. Right-wing activist Joshua Bonehill-Paine called on demonstrators to bring Israeli flags to the July 4 demonstration in the mostly Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Golders Green to “dismember … by hand,” which apparently sidesteps the legal complications of burning national flags. Additionally, the activist said there would be a private meeting held before the demonstration in which copies of the Talmud could be burned. White supremacy group the New Dawn Party posted on Twitter an advertisement for the protest with a banner that read: “This is London, not Tel Aviv.” (Algemeiner, June 16, 2015)

 

PROPOSED BILL TO SCRUTINIZE FOREIGN-FUNDED NGOS (Jerusalem) — MK Betzalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) has proposed a bill to increase government monitoring of NGOs that receive funding from foreign governments. The purpose of the so-called “NGO bill” is to clamp down on what Smotrich sees as illicit foreign intervention into Israel’s domestic policies under the guise of support for civilian organizations. In a statement quoted in the Israeli press, Smotrich described what he referred to the “erosion of the Jewish character of the State of Israel” by foreign countries masquerading as civilian groups. The bill obligates NGOs to specify the name of the country from which they receive funding on any document they submit to the government. (Jewish Press, June 17, 2015)

 

RARE INSCRIPTION FROM DAVIDIC TIMES FOUND (Jerusalem) —A rare inscription from the time of King David was discovered at Khirbet Qeiyafain, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) revealed. A ceramic jar c. 3,000 years old that was broken into numerous shards was discovered in 2012 in excavations. Intensive restoration work, during which hundreds of pottery shards were glued together to form a whole jar, solved the riddle – the jar bears the inscription: Eshba’al Ben Bada’. "This is the first time that the name Eshba’al has appeared on an ancient inscription in the country. Eshba’al Ben Shaul, who ruled over Israel at the same time as David, is known from the Bible. It is interesting to note that the name Eshba’al appears in the Bible, and now also in the archaeological record, only during the reign of King David, in the first half of the tenth century BCE," Professor Yosef Garfinkel of the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University stated. (Arutz Sheva, June 16, 2015)

 

On Topic Links 

 

How Obama Abandoned Israel: Michael B. Oren, Wall Street Journal, June 16, 2015 —‘Nobody has a monopoly on making mistakes.” When I was Israel’s ambassador to the United States from 2009 to the end of 2013, that was my standard response to reporters…

Fighting the Insanely Misogynist Islamic State Will Require Enormous Public Support: Robert Fulford, National Post, June 13, 2015 —A year ago this week, time stopped for most of the million people living in Mosul, the second city of Iraq, when the Islamic State took control.

Success of Kurdish Forces Is a Rare Bright Spot for U.S. Policy in Iraq: Ben Hubbard, New York Times, June 12, 2015 —Since retaking these barren hills in northern Iraq from the jihadists of the Islamic State, Kurdish pesh merga forces have dug in: excavating trenches, unfurling barbed wire and coordinating with the United States-led military coalition to identify targets for airstrikes.

Syrian Druze Have More to Fear From Nusra Than Islamic State: Avi Issacharoff, Times of Israel, June 16, 2015 —One of the pillars of the secretive Druze religion is hafiz al-ikhwan – to be your brother’s keeper. Perhaps this is the reason Israeli Druze in the Galilee and Golan mobilized so quickly to raise awareness of the fate of their Syrian brethren, under the gun of advancing jihadi rebel group.

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

 

Contents: Media-orcities of the Week 

Weekly Quotes Short Takes|On Topic

 

Download today's Daily Briefing.pdf

 

 

 

 

STICKS AND STONES AND DAMAGE FROM WORDS

 

Regarding David Feith's "Dancing Around Genocide" (op-ed, Dec. 5): International law, like U.S. law, makes clear that incitement to genocide occurs only if there is an imminent connection between words and actions. While Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's anti-Semitic statements are thoroughly repulsive and unacceptable, that connection does not exist. Human Rights Watch sticks by the law and the facts in its analysis of Iran as with all its work around the world. — Iain Levine, Human Rights Watch, New York. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 7, 2012) [What about Iran’s nuclear drive, Iain?-Ed.]

 

 

Weekly Quotes

 

 

“This weekend, the leaders of Hamas openly called for the destruction of Israel. Where was the outrage? Where were the UN resolutions? Where was President Abbas?  Why weren’t Palestinian diplomats summoned in European and other capitals to explain why the PA president not only refused to condemn this, but actually declared his intention to unite with Hamas? There was nothing. There was silence. And it was a deafening silence. Well, we can’t accept that. We can’t accept that, when Jews build homes in [Israel's] ancient capital, the international community has no problem finding its voice, but when Palestinian leaders openly call for the destruction of Israel, the one and only Jewish state, the world is silent.” —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal’s statements during his recent visit to the Gaza Strip. (Times of Israel, Dec. 10, 2012)

 

“Palestine is ours from the river to the sea and from the south to the north. There will be no concession on any inch of the land.  We will never recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation, and therefore there is no legitimacy for Israel, no matter how long it will take.  We will free Jerusalem inch by inch, stone by stone. Israel has no right to be in Jerusalem.” —Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal during his recent visit to the Gaza Strip.

    “We are imposing a new reality on the Israeli occupation,” —Salah Bardawil, a Hamas spokesman. “All the factions are here, and the Hamas flags embrace the Palestinian flags and the Fatah flags. We need to extend the Arab revolution to all Palestine from the sea to the river, and every refugee returns to his home.” (New York Times, Dec. 8, 2012)

 

“I am not happy with Europe’s position that for another time in history it ignores calls to destroy Israel. Hamas leaders said repeatedly that their goal is clear – to destroy the State of Israel. And Europe is quiet. The EU’s call yesterday was not condemnation of Hamas’s statements, but a call for Hamas heads to refrain from inflammatory statements. We already went through that with Europe at the end of the 1930s and in the 1940s.”—Israeli  Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman speaking at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Hezliya. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 11, 2012)

 

"It doesn't matter what you think about settlements. We have settlement blocs close to the Green Line and the only way for the conflict with the Palestinians to end is for Israel to keep them. Any pre-agreement by the international community to a withdrawal to 1967 borders before the talks occur, makes it difficult to negotiate. It was clear in the talks I conducted with the Palestinians that there would not be return to 1967 borders." Tzipi Livini speaking at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in Hezliya. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2012)

 

“The UN did not create the State of Israel with the partition resolution in 1947 and the UN cannot create the State of Palestine by recognizing one today. A Jewish state came into being in 1948-49 because Jews had returned to their land, built the institutions of statehood, fought to expel oppressors, declared the establishment of their state, fought to defend it and achieved sovereignty within its borders A Palestinian state in our homeland, on the other hand, is a danger we may never escape. But this danger is not inevitable.” —Daniel Tauber, executive director of Likud Anglos and a formal candidate on the Likud-Beytenu list for the Knesset. (Jeruslaem Post, Dec. 11, 2012)

 

"We in the government have no illusions. We want a true peace with our neighbours. But we will not close our eyes and stick our heads in the sand. They [Palestinians] have no intention of compromising with us. They want to destroy our country, but they will obviously fail." —Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking to his Cabinet. (Calgary Herald, Dec. 10, 2012)

 

“They can forget about seeing a single agora for the next four months. First we will get back what we are owed, and then after four months we will check and see what to do.”—Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, referring to the NIS 400 million in tax and tariff revenue that Israel collects for the PA and normally passes on to it each month. Israel withheld NIS 900m. to pay PA debts, which includes unpaid electrical bills, and advanced it another NIS 700m. to pay salaries.

 

"We are in a collapsing state now. We can't pay our salaries. So you have to offer this safety net. Do you agree, are you committed and how much will you pledge?" —Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, addressing delegates at a meeting of  the Arab League in Qatar's capital, Doha. (Windsor Star, Dec. 9, 2012)

 

“The Palestinians have ingeniously retreated to a two-track strategy of miring the shop-worn, flea-bitten, hacked and torn peace process in such complexities that they can continue in the palsied demand for the destruction of the Jewish state while apparently only seeking to advance an innocuous step on the road to the two-state solution that almost everyone now purports to espouse.”—Conrad Black in an op-ed article in the National Post. (National Post, Dec. 8, 2012)

 

“The [peace] settlement should be based upon the borders of June 4, 1967. When we say that the settlement should be based upon these borders, President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall – what will become of Israel? It will come to an end. If one says one wants to wipe Israel out, c’mon, it’s too difficult. It’s not (acceptable) policy to say so. Don’t say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself.” —Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee, in an interview on Al-Jazeera TV network. (MEMRI, Sept. 23, 2011)

 

“The Muslim Brothers, who put him in power, and its Islamist allies are simply not interested in a compromise. They are now about to seize power fully and redraft the rules of the game to enshrine Islamist control in the constitution itself. This is precisely why so many Egyptians, most of them ordinary citizens who have not been involved in politics, are protesting. They feel trapped by Islamists who came to power through the door of democracy only to shut it behind them.” Mr. Choukri Fishere, a professor at the American University in Cairo. (Globe and Mail, Dec. 7, 2012)

   “The Egyptian revolution proved remarkable in its ability to deliver a fell blow to the Mubarak regime. … [But] its architects were wholly unprepared [to take power.]” For the Muslim Brotherhood, “the revolution had not so much given rise to a new political and social order as it had created a power vacuum which needed to be filled. [This] domestic power vacuum, underlined further by the pathetic demise of the [Supreme Council of the Armed Forces], strong Western, particularly American, backing, regional support from oil-rich Qatar … no less than the growingly Islamist stamp on the Arab Spring – all of which seemed to give credence to what Western pundits had begun parroting repeatedly: The Islamist moment had arrived finally in the Arab world. For an international movement – who sees the Muslim-majority world from Morocco to Indonesia as its ultimate constituency – the seductive force of such a compulsion cannot be overestimated.” Hani Shukrallah, managing editor of the Egyptian al-Ahram newspaper. The result, Mr. Shukrallah argues, has been a suicidal march to chaos caused by the movement’s arrogance. (Globe and Mail, Dec. 7, 2012)

 

“We are partly to blame [for the ongoing Syrian crisis], having made it impossible for Bashar [al-Assad] to even contemplate giving up. By continually extending international jurisdictions and law enforcement, we simultaneously criminalized politics and cut off escape routes for guilty and innocent parties alike. By now everybody in a conflict area is at the mercy of politicized UN investigators and tribunals. Brimming with left-liberal activists and buzzwords, they’re gullible, inexpert, tendentious, untrustworthy and untainted by any knowledge of the region in which they operate….international meddlers increase casualties by removing the option of abdication from tyrants. Prosecutorial activists extend conflicts they can neither prevent nor resolve, adding to the body-count and the suffering of the population” —George Jonas in an op-ed article in the National Post. (National Post, Dec 12, 2012)

 

“Islamism is a totalitarian ideology.” And just as there cannot be a “democratic totalitarianism” so there cannot be “democratic Islamism.” —Bassam Tibi, a Syrian raised in Damascus and currentlty a Koret Foundation senior fellow at Stanford University,  from his new book Islamism and Islam. (National Post, Dec 12, 2012)

 

“[Prime Minister Steven Harper] is totally transparent on Israel,  the public reasons he stated for the policy [to support Israel] are precisely the reasons he holds to it so strongly. He actually does oppose Hamas’ terrorism. He actually does support Israel for being a democracy. And he actually does think, based on his reading of history, that when you let the anti-Semites loose, eventually they destroy not just the Jews but liberal democracy.” —a former senior government official who worked closely with Mr. Harper.
   “This is a fundamental belief he has had since well before he became prime minister. In that region, Israel is an island of democracy and he thinks that must always be protected.” —Dimitri Soudas, a Harper staffer for nearly a decade. (National Post, Dec. 8, 2012)

 

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SYRIA HAS FIRED SCUD MISSILES AT REBELS: U.S. OFFICIAL(Kabul, Afghanistan) A U.S. official says Syrian government forces have fired Scud missiles at insurgents in recent days, a move that escalates the two-year-old conflict in the Mideast nation. The official confirmed a report that forces of President Bashar Assad have fired the missiles from the Damascus area into northern Syria. He estimated that the number of Scuds fired was more than a half dozen. (National Post, Dec 12, 2012)

 

JUSTIN TRUDEAU TO SPEAK AT ISLAMIC EVENT SPONSORED BY HAMAS-LINKED CHARITY GROUP(Toronto) One of the sponsors of an upcoming conference featuring Liberal leadership candidate Justin Trudeau as a keynote speaker lost its charitable status last year after a Canada Revenue Agency audit found it had been providing support to Hamas. The Charities Directorate of the CRA wrote in a letter to IRFAN that it believed the Mississauga-based group was “an integral part of an international fundraising effort to support Hamas,” which has been a listed terrorist group in Canada since 2002. “Our findings indicate that IRFAN-Canada provided $14.6-million in resources to operating partners that were run by officials of Hamas, openly supported and provided funding to Hamas, or have been listed by various jurisdictions because of their support for Hamas or other terrorist entitles,” according to a summary of the CRA’s findings. IRFAN videos found at the group’s office “demonize Israel, characterize the Arab-Israel conflict as a religious war, appeal for all Arab and Muslim nations to join in the struggle against Israel and glorify martyrdom.” (National Post, Dec. 12, 2012)

 

MAURITANIA ELECTED TO UN HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL (Geneva) UN Watch condemned today's [Dec. 10] election of Mauritania, a country that allows 800,000 of its citizens to live as slaves, as Vice-President of the UN Human Rights Council. "It is obscene for the U.N. to use the occasion of Human Rights Day, when we commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to elect the world's worst enabler of slavery to this prestigious post" —Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director. "The U.N. is making an arsonist head of the fire department. It defies both morality and common sense." (UN Watch, Dec. 10, 2012)

 

A ‘VACCINE’ TO BOOST GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION(Sharshoret, Negev Desert)A revolutionary new seed treatment from Morflora could improve the world’s agricultural output, without the need for worrying genetic engineering. The Israeli company Morflora now has an alternative seed treatment in the works that is so revolutionary it is short-listed for Best Novel Agricultural Biotechnology in the 2012 international AGROW awards.“Our technology is an innovative trait delivery platform. We can deliver any genetic trait to any seed, and the delivered gene does not transform the genome of the treated plant,” says Dotan Peleg, CEO of Morflora. “We will not have any moral issues that the GMO community faces. We keep the plant intact so that the next generation of seeds of the plants will look totally unchanged. It is a paradigm shift.” (Israel21c, Dec. 9, 2012)

 

ITALY STOPS WEAPONS SHIPMENT TO GAZA(Rome) Following a tip from Israel, Italian police seize a shipment of weapons intended for Egypt with a final destination of Gaza. The weapons, which included a rocket launcher among other things, were part of a shipment that was supposed to go on an Egyptian ship which has been detained by local authorities. The container in which the weapons were found was part of a shipment of five containers, and the four remaining containers are currently being examined by the Italian customs authorities. (Israel National News, Dec. 9, 2012)

 

US EXTENDS EXEMPTIONS TO IRAN OIL SANCTIONS—(Washington) Announcing that they would extend waivers to certain countries from having to fully comply with American sanctions targeting Iran’s oil exports, the United States Department of State has announced that nine countries, including India and China, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Taiwan would be eligible, citing their significant reduction in oil import from Teheran. (Jewish Voice, Dec. 12, 2012)

US RECOGNIZES SYRIA OPPOSITION GROUP—(Washington)  US President Barack Obama granted American recognition on Tuesday to a Syrian opposition coalition as the legitimate representative of the Syrian people but he stopped short of authorizing US arming of rebels fighting to overthrow Assad. France, Britain, Turkey and the Gulf states led the way last month in recognizing the opposition coalition. But little in the way of direct military or financial support is expected to be channeled to the coalition, partly because it lacks the ability to act as a provisional government and because Western powers are still wary of backing Islamist fighters in the rebel ranks. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 8, 2012)

 

OBAMA PLANNING DIRECT TALKS WITH IRAN(Washington)  Washington has reportedly decided to negotiate directly with Iran, and will resort to military force in four or five months if diplomacy can’t persuade Tehran to relinquish its alleged atomic weapons program, Israel’s Channel 10 News carried this report on Tuesday night, quoting a “senior American official”. The channel’s veteran diplomatic correspondent Emmanuel Rosen reported that President Barack Obama had decided to bypass Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and leave Israel out of the loop. Rosen said that Obama believed Netanyahu was personally behind a recent series of purported leaks from reports produced by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) about the Iranian program. (Jerusalem Post, Dec. 12, 2012)

CANCELLING CANCER CELLS WITH NEW RADIATION(Ariel) Somewhere on the spectrum between electromagnetic waves that produce visible light, and those that cook food in a microwave oven, are millimeter waves that might hold the key to conquering cancer cells. When tested in an Israeli lab on human lung-cancer cells, millimeter wave radiation knocked out the cells’ ability to reproduce. “It disrupts their activity, although we don’t yet know how beyond some speculation regarding the mechanism,” says Asher Yahalom, head of Ariel University Center’s Free Electron Laser (FEL) Laboratory User Center, who also noted that the rays seem to have no effect on normal cells. (Israel21c, Dec. 10, 2012)
 

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UN Vote: from ‘Occupation’ to Border Dispute: Eugene Kontorovich, Jerusalem Post, Dec. 10, 2012If Israel was what it is often made out to be – a brutal occupier imposing its rule on others – how is it that the Palestinians managed to establish all the institutions of a state?

 

 

Justin Trudeau Keynote Speaker For Islamic Relief In Toronto: Point de Bascule, Dec. 6, 2012 Justin Trudeau, the frontrunner in the Liberal Party of Canada leadership race, will take part in a meeting sponsored by Islamic Relief, a charity linked to Hamas by Canada Revenue Agency, at the end of December in Toronto.

 

Dancing Around Genocide: David Feith, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 4, 2012— Is promoting genocide a human-rights violation? You might think that's an easy question. But it isn't at Human Rights Watch, where a bitter debate is raging over how to describe Iran's calls for the destruction of Israel. The infighting reveals a peculiar standard regarding dictatorships and human rights and especially the Jewish state.

 

 

 

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