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

 

 

On Topic Links

 

Jews Stood up to the U.S. Government 40 Years Ago, and Should Again on Iran: Natan Sharansky, Washington Post, July 24, 2015

The Iranian Nuclear Program and Regional Instablity: Dore Gold, Rubin Center, July 16, 2015

Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, July 26, 2015

For Erdogan, Turkish Assault is About Containing the Kurds as Much as Fighting Isil: Richard Spencer, Telegraph, July 25, 2015

 

WEEKLY QUOTES

 

"I am looking forward to being reunited with my beloved wife Esther…I would like to thank the many thousands of well-wishers in the United States, in Israel, and throughout the world, who provided grass roots support by attending rallies, sending letters, making phone calls to elected officials, and saying prayers for my welfare. I am deeply appreciative of every gesture, large or small." — Jonathan Pollard, who will be released from prison after serving thirty years of a life sentence on November 20, the US Parole Commission announced Tuesday. His parole hearing took place July 7 at the Federal Correctional Center in Butner, North Carolina, where he has been incarcerated. Pollard has been serving a sentence of life in prison for conspiracy to deliver classified information to the State of Israel. (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015)

 

“Former US special envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross admitted in his 2004 book, The Missing Peace, that he advised then-president Bill Clinton against releasing Pollard in the framework of the 1998 Wye Accords negotiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his first term … Ross argued that Pollard was simply far too valuable as a bargaining chip vis-à-vis Israel to be released cheaply. Ross thus furnished us with the definitive explanation for Pollard’s inexcusably drawn-out agony. Pollard has long suspected as much and had urged that he not be used as a “sweetener” to persuade Israel to agree to dangerous unilateral concessions…The very thought that Pollard would now be exploited to “sweeten” both Israeli opinion and that of American Jews on the Iran issue is morally repugnant in the extreme.” — Editorial (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015)
 

“I fear that what could happen is that, if Congress were to overturn it, our friends in Israel could actually wind up being more isolated. And more blamed. And we would lose Europe and China and Russia with respect to whatever military action we might have to take. Because we will have turned our backs on a very legitimate program that allows us to put their program to the test over the next few years.” — US Secretary of State John Kerry, warning that should Congress vote against the Iranian nuclear deal signed in Vienna, Israel could find itself more isolated in the international arena.  (Times of Israel, July 24, 2015) 

 

“The continued radical stances by the Canadian officials against Iran, specially under the present conditions, show that the Canadian government’s approach towards Iran lacks a logical rationale…By following the Zionist regime’s stances Canada’s conservative government is quickly moving towards a self-imposed isolation in the international community and even among its old allies.” — Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marziyeh Afkham. Canada severed diplomatic relations with Iran in 2012, with its then-foreign minister John Baird citing the Tehran regime as “among the world’s worst violators of human rights.” Earlier this month, Canada’s Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson was decidedly reserved in his reaction to the nuclear accord reached with Tehran, saying his country would maintain its economic sanctions against Iran for the time being, even if other Western powers drop them. (Times of Israel, July 24, 2015)

 

"This president's foreign policy is the most feckless in American history…He's so naive he would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven." —  Republican Mike Huckabee. Huckabee has faced broad criticism after likening the nuclear deal to "marching the Israelis to the door of the oven," a reference to the Holocaust. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) criticized Huckabee for his remarks. National Director Jonathan A. Greenblatt said they were "completely out of line and unacceptable."  (Fox News, July 27, 2015)

 

“Respected Mr. Huckabee: Nobody marches the Jews to ovens anymore…To this end we established the State of Israel and the IDF; and, if need be, we will know how to defend ourselves, by ourselves.” — Israeli Transportation Minister Israel Katz. Katz agreed that the Iran deal must not allow the “Iranian terrorism kingdom” to become a nuclear threshold state, but said that the comments by Huckabee were “wrong and unnecessary.” (Jerusalem Post, July 28, 2015)

 

“Those of us who believe that the nuclear agreement just signed between world powers and Iran is dangerously misguided are now compelled to criticize Israel’s best friend and ally, the government of the United States.” — Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky, in The Washington Post. Sharansky acknowledged that standing up against the White House in support of “what we think is right” for both Jews and the world, puts American Jewry at odds with the “power best able to protect us and promote stability.” Nevertheless, he said Jews must even risk giving the impression “that we somehow prefer war” rather than join those who believe “peace is on the horizon.” The human rights activist noted that the U.S. Jewish community similarly stood up to the White House forty years ago in a historic move that helped secure freedom for Soviet Jews at the time. (Algemeiner, July 26, 2015)

 

“This is the simple message that we should be sending to Iran: When Iran stands up and they chant, "Death to America," all we need to say is, "You first!" — Allen West, former congressman and former U.S. Army combat paratrooper. Last week as President Obama was attending a fundraiser and a Broadway play in New York City, over 10,000 protesters poured into the streets of Times Square for a Stop Iran rally. Giving the most powerful and memorable speech of the night was Allen West, who excoriated the president for negotiating nuclear weapons with Iran while ignoring those dissenting voices gathered in the city in lieu of a night out. West quoted Alexander the Great when he said, "I would not fear an army of lions if they were led by a sheep, but I would fear an army of sheep if they were to be led by a lion." West then added, "This great nation is a nation of lions that is currently being led by the greatest of sheep that we have ever seen in our 239 years of existence." (Truth Revolt, July 23, 2015)

 

“Iran’s staggering execution toll for the first half of this year paints a sinister picture of the machinery of the state carrying out premeditated, judicially-sanctioned killings on a mass scale…If Iran’s authorities maintain this horrifying execution rate we are likely to see more than 1,000 state-sanctioned deaths by the year’s end.” —Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa program. The human rights group is concerned over the “staggering” increase of executions in the Islamic Republic of Iran this year, the group said in a statement published on Thursday. According to Amnesty, Iranian authorities are believed to have executed an “astonishing” 694 people between January 1 and July 15 this year. The group added that the “unprecedented spike in executions in the country,” was the equivalent of “executing more than three people per day…At this shocking pace, Iran is set to surpass the total number of executions in the country recorded by Amnesty International for the whole of last year,” the statement said. (Algemeiner, July 24, 2015)

 

“Sometimes, in some circumstances, we are forced to give up areas to move those forces to the areas that we want to hold on to…There is a lack of human resources…. Everything is available [for the army], but there is a shortfall in human capacity." — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In his first public speech in a year, Assad said the country’s civil war has resulted in depleted reserves of soldiers, and swathes of territory have been lost. Despite admitting to military setbacks, loss of territory and a shortage of troops, Assad said he is determined to win the war, which entered its fifth year in March. According to the BBC, the Syrian army previously had 300,000 troops, but around 80,000 have been killed in the war. The war in Syria has killed an estimated 230,000 people and wounded more than one million. Four million refugees have fled the country, while millions remain displaced inside Syria’s borders. (Newsweek, July 27, 2015)

 

"Genocidal intent can clearly be seen in Islamic State's ideology and mission which is directed toward the creation of a global caliphate that has been purged of every man, woman, and child deemed to be an 'unbeliever' through either forced conversion or death…In Iraq, this has manifested most clearly in the insurgency's actions against Christians and Yezidis. They have been killed, tortured, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery, and forcibly removed from their territorial homeland." —Former Congressman Frank Wolf, R-Va., in a letter to President Obama. Wolf, now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a Christian human rights group, is calling on the U.S. government and the United Nations to declare the rampage a genocide. (IPT News, July 29, 2015)

 

Contents

 

SHORT TAKES

 

TURKEY URGED BY NATO TO SHOW RESTRAINT AGAINST KURDS (Ankara) — NATO urged Turkey to show restraint on Tuesday as its war against the Kurds in the far south-east showed signs of slipping out of control and damaging the US-led coalition’s fight against Islamic State. Turkey last week joined the coalition’s bombing raids on I.S. in northern Syria, as well as allowing US jets to use two of its air bases to stage its own raids. However, Turkish jets have also begun bombing bases of the outlawed PKK, the Kurdish guerrilla group, after it claimed responsibility for killing three police officers in Turkey last week. The PKK’s Syrian affiliate, the YPG, has been successfully fighting I.S. in Syria in co-ordination with US air strikes, so the Western allies fear that the gains from Turkey’s joining the raids on I.S. will be offset against the damage done to the Kurds. (Telegraph, July 29, 2015)

 

RIOTS AT TEMPLE MOUNT ON TISHA B'AV (Jerusalem) — On Sunday morning, dozens of Muslims rioted on the Temple Mount. They confronted the large police forces that had been deployed at the site in fear of clashes during the Tisha B'Av services. The rioters hurled stones, flares and an unidentified liquid substance at the police. The riots began after the Jerusalem Police collected information regarding masked young Arabs that hid inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount overnight. They gathered stones and prepared Molotov cocktails inside the mosque in order to confront the police and disrupt the Tisha B'Av services. (Jerusalem Online, July 26, 2015)

 

ARAB PARLIAMENT MEMBER DENIES JEWISH CLAIM TO TEMPLE MOUNT, SPARKING OUTRAGE (Jerusalem) — An Arab-Israeli parliament member drew criticism from Jewish Israelis on Monday when he claimed that Jews have no religious ties to the Temple Mount. The site of the long-destroyed ancient Jewish Temples and the current-day Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Temple Mount has long been a political and religious flashpoint. The remarks by Masud Ganaim of the Joint (Arab) List political party came a day after clashes between masked Muslim rioters and Israeli police marred the holy Jewish fast day of Tisha B’Av. Tensions were already simmering after an incident last week in which Muslim women cursed Jewish women on a visit to the Mount. One of the Jewish women shouted back, “Muhammad is a pig.” (Washington Post, July 27, 2015)

 

SEVERAL KILLED IN REPORTED ISRAELI STRIKE IN SYRIA (Damascus) — Several people were killed in a reported Israeli airstrike on a car in the Syrian Golan Heights near the border with Israel Wednesday. The three men killed were identified as members of militias affiliated with Iran, according to Lebanese media. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that five people were killed in the strike. Israeli officials have raised alarms over the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters using positions in the Syrian Golan, partially held by rebel forces, to attack Israel. In January, Israel reportedly carried out an airstrike on a group of Iranian and Hezbollah fighters, killing six people, including Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh and an Iranian general. (Times of Israel, July 29, 2015)

 

AFGHAN INTELLIGENCE: TALIBAN LEADER MULLAH OMAR DEAD (Kabul) — Afghanistan's main intelligence agency said Wednesday that the reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead for more than two years. The one-eyed, secretive head of the Taliban and an al-Qaida ally led a bloody insurgency against U.S.-led forces after they toppled him from his rule in Afghanistan in 2001. He has not been seen in public since fleeing the invasion over the border into Pakistan. It was not immediately clear why his death was only being announced now. The confirmation comes two days before the Afghan government and the Taliban are to hold their second round of official peace talks in Pakistan. (New York Times, July 29, 2015)

 

BOKO HARAM: CHILD BOMBER HITS DAMATURU (Abuja) — A girl aged about ten has carried out a suicide bombing in north-eastern Nigeria, killing at least sixteen people. The attack took place near a crowded market in the city of Damaturu in Yobe state. About fifty people were wounded. No group has said it was behind the attack but Boko Haram have been blamed for similar bombings in recent months. Two female suicide bombers killed nine people in the city earlier in July. Yobe police said that the child detonated her explosives in a crowd of people being screened by security services before they were let into the market. In the previous attack on 17 July, two female bombers – one also aged about 10 – killed people waiting to say prayers for the Muslim festival of Eid. (BBC, July 26, 2015)

 

SOMALIA HOTEL TRUCK BOMB TOLL RISES TO FIFTEEN (Mogadishu) — The massive truck bomb that killed fifteen people, including a Kenyan diplomat, and wrecked Somalia’s premier hotel, the Jazeera, has stunned the capital and raised fears that the Islamic extremist al-Shabab are escalating their violence. The scene at the site was grisly, with the front sheared off of the five-story luxury hotel that once housed diplomats and visiting heads of state. The damage echoed the decades of conflict in Mogadishu that once left much of the city as rubble. Security officials link the attack to setbacks by al-Shabab in the field where they have been driven out of Mogadishu and strongholds in the countryside by combined African Union and Somali forces. (Washington Post, July 27, 2015)  

 

MILLIONS IN YEMEN ON THE BRINK OF STARVATION (Sana’a) — More than six million people in Yemen are on the verge of starvation, Oxfam warned, adding that months of war and a blockade were pushing an additional 25,000 people into hunger every day. One in two of Yemen’s people – nearly 13 million – are now struggling to find enough to eat. Nearly 4,000 people have been killed and more than 1.2 million displaced in a conflict between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Oxfam said the number of hungry people had risen by 2.3 million to 12.9 million since March, when a Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi began bombarding the Houthis and imposed a blockade in a bid to cut off arms supplies. (Globe & Mail, July 28, 2015)

 

LAWYER URGES IRAN PRISON RELEASE FOR JOURNALIST (Teheran) — The lawyer for a Washington Post journalist facing trial in Iran on charges including espionage pressed for his immediate release from prison following the nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers. Her comments did not, however, include details of the next step in the closed-door proceedings against Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, who has been in Iranian custody for more than a year. He has denied all the allegations against him. Last week, President Obama said U.S. officials will not “relent” until Iran frees Rezaian and two other American citizens known to be detained there. Obama also demanded that Iran offer further information on the whereabouts of a former FBI agent who was last seen in that country in 2007. (Washington Post, July 28, 2015)

 

CANADA BUYS OWN IRON DOME (Ottawa) — Canada said  it will buy missile defense radars modeled after Israel's Iron Dome from German defense contractor Rheinmetall. The defense ministry put the cost of the ten medium range radar systems at CAD $243.3 million. Canada's Defense Minister Jason Kenney hailed the deal, saying the technology had proved useful for Israel. The ministry said the radar systems are "capable of detecting hostile indirect fire, locating the position of the enemy weapon and calculating the point of impact of a projectile, as well as simultaneously tracking multiple airborne threats." The delivery of the radar systems is expected to begin in 2017. (Arutz Sheva, July 29, 2015)

 

GROUP CALLS FOR J STREET TO BE TOSSED OUT OF JEWISH COMMUNITY (Washington) — A prominent interfaith organization is calling for the ejection of the anti-Israel group J Street from the Jewish community due to its support for a recently inked nuclear accord with Iran. Just a week after the announcement of a nuclear deal with Iran, Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) called out J Street for its connection to a range of shadowy organizations that are funding a major pro-Iran push. In April, when the framework of the agreement was announced, J Street jointly released a supportive statement with the pro-Tehran National Iranian-American Council (NIAC) and the Arab American Institute (AAI). Once the deal was struck, J Street undertook a multi-million dollar campaign to encourage American Jews to support the deal. (Washington Free Beacon, July 24, 2015)

 

STUDY: MOST JEWISH STUDENTS FACED HOSTILITIES ON NORTH AMERICAN CAMPUSES (New York) — Most Jewish undergraduates have encountered anti-Israel and/or anti-Semitic attitudes on campus, but they have not diminished their feelings of connection to Israel, a new study about anti-Semitism at North American universities found. According to the Brandeis University study, a few schools, among them Canadian universities and schools in the California state system, have “particularly high levels of hostility toward Jews or Israel.” The online survey of over 3,000 North American college students found that one-third of respondents reported having been verbally harassed during the past year because they were Jewish. (JTA, July 28, 2015)

 

ROMANIA BANS HOLOCAUST DENIAL, FASCIST SYMBOLS (Bucharest) — Romania’s president has signed into law legislation that punishes Holocaust denial and the promotion of the fascist Legionnaires’ Movement with prison sentences. The legislation also bans fascist, racist or xenophobic organizations and symbols, and promoting people guilty of crimes against humanity by up to three years in prison. About 280,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma, or Gypsies, were killed during the pro-fascist regime of Marshal Ion Antonescu. Romania has a few right-wing fringe groups such as Noua Dreapta, or New Right, which could be affected. Noua Dreapta’s followers closely adhere to the Romanian Orthodox Church and support Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, the leader of the 1930s ultra-nationalist Iron Guard movement, which was active in Romania from 1927 to 1941. (Times of Israel, July 22, 2015)

 

MORE THAN 200 FRENCH JEWS ARRIVE IN ISRAEL AS NEW IMMIGRANTS (Jerusalem) — More than 20,000 French Jews have moved to Israel over the past five years, with a record of over 7,200 French Jews making aliyah in 2014. The coastal city of Netanya is the top destination for French immigrants to Israel, followed by Tel Aviv-Yafo, Jerusalem, Ashdod and Raanana. France has seen an 84 percent increase in antisemitic attacks recorded during the first quarter of 2015 over the corresponding period last year. The worst of the attacks this year occurred on Jan. 9, when an Islamist killed four Jewish shoppers at a kosher supermarket. (Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2015)

 

ISRAELI BASEBALL PLAYER SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT FOR 1ST TIME (San Diego) —On the mound, Dean Kremer looks just like any other top-rated baseball prospect, whipping 90 mph fastballs and snapping nasty curves. When the 19-year-old pitcher greets his teammates in the dugout after striking out the side, however, he is speaking Hebrew, not English. The 6-foot-2 Kremer is the golden boy of Israeli baseball, the first citizen to be selected in the major league draft. Though he was born and raised in Stockton, California, and is also a U.S. citizen, the son of Israeli parents identifies strongly as Israeli himself and spends his summers in the Jewish State. He's the ace of Israel's national team and the San Diego Padres selected him in the 38th round of the draft in June. (AP, July 22, 2015)

 

TEVA BUYS ALLERGAN GENERIC DRUG BUSINESS FOR $40.5B (Tel Aviv) — Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. said Monday it is purchasing Dublin-based Allergan PLC's generic pharmaceuticals business for $40.5 billion, in what Israeli analysts called the largest-ever acquisition by an Israeli company. Word of the acquisition saw Teva shares shoot up 13 per cent in pre-opening trading on the Nasdaq. Trading in Teva shares on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange halted over the news of the sale. The Israeli pharmaceutical giant is the world's largest generic drugmaker, Israel's largest drug company,  and has long been a source of pride for Israelis. The company dates back to 1901, when its founders launched a small importer of medications. (CBC, July 27, 2015)

 

On Topic Links 

 

Jews Stood up to the U.S. Government 40 Years Ago, and Should Again on Iran: Natan Sharansky, Washington Post, July 24, 2015 —These days, like many Israelis and American Jews, I find myself in a precarious and painful situation.

The Iranian Nuclear Program and Regional Instablity: Dore Gold, Rubin Center, July 16, 2015 —I’ve been asked to speak about the Iranian nuclear program, at a conference dealing with regime collapse and sectarian war.  They seem to be separate subjects, but I’m going to try to merge them in my brief remarks.

Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds: Uzay Bulut, Gatestone Institute, July 26, 2015 —Turkey's government seems to be waging a new war against the Kurds, now struggling to get an internationally recognized political status in Syrian Kurdistan.

For Erdogan, Turkish Assault is About Containing the Kurds as Much as Fighting Isil: Richard Spencer, Telegraph, July 25, 2015 —Turkey’s decision to send fighter jets against Isil positions in Syria and open its Incirlik and Pirinçlik air bases to US jets is a step change in its involvement in the fight against militant jihad.

 

 

 

Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

 

ContentsDownload today's Daily Briefing.pdf

Weekly Quotes 

Short Takes

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Alan Dershowitz Speaking at the Standwithus Festival of Lights: Stand With Us, You Tube, Dec. 4, 2012

Diving Currency Adds to Egypt's Woes: Matt Bradley, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 30, 2012

The Peace Index Data – December 2012 (pdf): Israel Democracy Institute, Jan 2, 2013

 

 

 

Weekly Quotes

 

 

 

Always, always believe the threats of your enemies more than the promises of your friends.”—Elie Weisel quoted by Alan Dershowitz in a speech to Stand With Us. (Stand With Us , Dec.4, 2012)

 

“If Iran is allowed to develop nuclear weapons on the watch of any president, that president will go down in history as the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st C.—Alan Dershowitz in a speech to Stand With Us. (Stand With Us , Dec.4, 2012)

 

“A woman's role is to instill love of jihad and martyrdom in her children…and in encouraging them to wage Jihad for the sake of Allah. This is absolutely the most glorious thing a woman can do….If every mother were to prevent her son from waging Jihad for the sake of Allah, who would wage Jihad? Who would support Palestine? Palestine is dear to us, and its price is paid with our body remains and our lifeblood.  Is not Allah's reward precious? Allah's reward is Paradise. Paradise requires from us our blood, our body remains, and our efforts for its sake.  I am constantly praying: "Allah, make the end of our days be in martyrdom." I pray for this even for my husband and my children. None of us want to die in our beds.”—Umm Osama, wife of Hamas Gaza MP Khalil Al-Hayya, from an interview aired on Al-Aqsa TV. (MEMRI TV, Dec 2, 2012)

 

"The danger to the world is not a university in Ariel. The danger to the world is not that Israel is building neighbourhoods in Jerusalem. The danger is Iran, which is building nuclear weapons. The danger is Syria's arsenal of chemical weapons. History will judge harshly those who equate democratic Israel — which is establishing a university — and dictatorial regimes that slaughter their people and which hold atomic weapons of mass destruction.”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a visit to the newly accredited Ariel University, the first Israeli university to be established in a settlement in Samaria. (The Algemeiner, Jan 8, 2013)

 

“Now comes the latest news that Al [Gore] has sold Current [Cable TV], for the magnificent sum of $500-million, $100-million of which is his alone. Not bad for a TV station with less reach and inferior programming to most billboards. To whom did the Lord of the Upper Atmosphere sell? Why to al-Jazeera — which is to say, effectively to the ruler of Qatar, a wealthy country that has nothing else to sustain it but the sale of its huge petroleum resources. Qatar is about oil, oil and more oil. It is a global warmer’s hell. Surely there is some pill too tough to swallow in the idea of the world’s greatest alarmist on the subject of global warming, the evils of petroleum economies and the menace of fossil fuels accepting half-a-billion dollars from a state that utterly epitomizes the practices and product he most evangelistically despises.”—Rex Murphy in a National Post op-ed article. (National Post, Jan 5, 2013)

 

“[I]t’s becoming hard to deny that [Chuck] Hagel’s anti-Israel rhetoric and views and antipathy toward defence spending and sanctions on Iran are positives with this president, not demerits. A leading Democrat with a pro-Israel organization told me, ‘…[with] Hagel’s offensive record – from his slurs against minority groups like gays and Jews to his views on Iran and terrorist groups like Hezbollah and Hamas – it is going to be very awkward for Democrats in the Senate.’”—Peggy Noonan in a New York Post op-ed article. (New York Post, Jan 6, 2013)

 

“When I look at Netanyahu, I don’t see a shred of personal example as a leader in him. There is a leadership crisis. It’s a crisis of value, it is a total disregard for the public. People may think that I see this in an overly extreme manner. I am telling you that from up close, things look even worse. I am convinced we deserve a better leadership that's braver and more moral, and that sets a better personal example….I have a very strong feeling that with the Iranian issue Netanyahu is 'haunted' by (former Israeli prime minister) Menachem Begin, who attacked the reactor in Iraq, and by (former Israeli prime minister Ehud) Olmert, who, as it is claimed in many places, attacked the reactor in Syria.” Netanyahu "wants to go down in history as someone who did something of the same proportions."—Yuval Diskin, former head of Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency in an interview with Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot. Netanyahu's office in a text-messaged statement called Diskin's comments "baseless" and accused him of personal frustration over not being selected to head the prestigious Mossad spy agency. (Yahoo News, Jan 5, 2013)

 

“It’s not that we want to leave [Egypt]. We don’t. It would be very hard to abandon everything we have and start over”. —Ms. Nessim, a Maronite Christian. “But,” in this environment [Morsi’s Muslim Brothers-dominated Egypt] “we worry about the children. I thought maybe Jacky and the kids should go, at least for now.”Mr. Sedrak, Ms. Nessim’s husband. “But I said ‘No’. That’s the sort of thing that ruins a family.”—Ms. Nessim. “Either it becomes like Afghanistan with the Taliban, in which case we’ll have no choice but to leave. Or it gets rid of the Brotherhood and becomes a civilized country. I believe that is what is going to happen, and it will happen very soon.” Mr. Sedrak (The Globe and Mail, Jan.4, 2013)

 

“Christians are approaching Christmas with disappointment, grief and complaints, fearing not only their problems but Egypt’s situation in general. During the reign of [ousted President Hosni] Mubarak and the [military rulers], mainly Christians were facing problems, but now with the Muslim Brotherhood leaders, each and every moderate Egyptian is facing problems. It is not actual frequent sectarian violence, it is fear of further marginalization and second class citizenship.” —Amir Ramzy, a Coptic Christian and a judge in Cairo’s Court of Appeals. Egypt has been deeply polarized as it drafted the constitution. Christians and liberals walked out of the committee writing it, complaining that their concerns were not being addressed by the Islamist majority. (National Post, Jan 7, 2013)

 

"The point is that the government or the governing party alone, as we have seen until now is unable to lead the country in such an extremely dangerous situation. I'm not talking about a dialogue, I'm not talking about a meeting, I'm talking about [forming] a real coalition government."—Amr Moussa, a secular-leaning former presidential candidate and one of the leaders of the National Salvation Front, a leading opposition umbrella group. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 31, 2012)

 

“The United Nations seems to have an unwritten rule that the more barbaric the nation, the better its chance of being appointed to monitor barbarity. Sudan – whose president, Omar al-Bashir, has been charged with genocide by the International Criminal Court – was awarded a seat on the Economic and Social Council, which is responsible for upward of 70 percent of the human and financial resources at the UN. The advocacy group UN Watch complained that Sudan was “genocidal, misogynistic and repressive.” So it’s no wonder they fit right in.”—National Review editorial (Dec 17, 2012) quoted by Leah Speer in the New York Post. (New York Post, Dec. 15, 2012)

 

"I am profoundly concerned and disappointed by President Obama’s nomination of former Senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense. Recent reporting has made clear that Senator Hagel’s views and inflammatory statements about Israel are well outside the mainstream and raise well-founded doubts that he can be trusted to manage the special relationship the United States shares with our greatest Middle East ally." —US House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on [his]  opposition to Hagel's nomination, confirming, as well, that the move faces "widespread and bipartisan opposition" in the Senate. (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

“It’s very disappointing, I believe he will ultimately regret it. It undoubtedly will reduce support for him in the Jewish community, but I don’t think he [the President] worries about that now that the election is over. I believe it will encourage the jihadists. They will say: ‘Ah, we are winning the battle. America is beginning to desert Israel,’” — Ed Koch, former mayor of New York. (Newsmax, Jan 8, 2013)

Top of Page

 

 

 

 

ARAB-ISRAELI FATALITIES RANK 49TH(Washington) The Arab-Israeli conflict is often said, not just by extremists, to be the world's most dangerous conflict – and, accordingly, Israel is judged the world's most belligerent country. But is this true? The total number of deaths in conflicts since 1950 number about 85,000,000. Of that sum, the deaths in the Arab-Israeli conflict since 1950 include 32,000 deaths due to Arab state attacks and 19,000 due to Palestinian attacks, or 51,000 in all. These figures mean that deaths in Arab-Israeli fighting since 1950 amount to just 0.06 percent of the total number of deaths in all conflicts in that period.  [In fact] some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel [Israeli Jews counted for 16,000 of the 51,000 deaths.] In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims. (Mid East Forum, Jan 7, 2013)

 

TERROR ATTACKS IN WEST BANK, JERUSALEM ON THE RISE(Jerusalem) December 2012 witnessed a 400% spike in the number of terrorist attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem compared to August, according to statistics published by the Shin Bet security service on Monday. The Shin Bet tallied 111 attacks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in December: 98 involved firebombs, six involved explosive devices, and three involved grenades. There were two instances of small arms fire, a stabbing, and a hit-and-run. Three Israelis were injured in the attacks. At the same time, there was a marked drop in terrorist attacks on Israel's border with Gaza. Only one mortar was fired into Israel in December. (Times of Israel, Jan 7, 2013)

 

FAYYAD: PA IS ON THE VERGE OF BANKRUPTCY(Ramallah) The Palestinian Authority is on the verge of bankruptcy because of the severe financial crisis it has been facing over the past two years, PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Tuesday. He blamed Israel and Arab donor countries for the current crisis as international aid dropped from $1.8 to $ 1 billion. Fayyad said that he did not rule out the possibility that Palestinians would once again take to the streets to protest against economic hardships, as was the case in September 2012.  (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

SYRIAN REFUGEES ATTACK AID WORKERS IN JORDANIAN CAMP(Zaatari, Jordan) Syrian refugees in a Jordanian camp attacked aid workers with sticks and stones on Tuesday, frustrated after cold, howling winds swept away their tents and torrential rains flooded muddy streets overnight. The riot broke out after the region’s first major winter storm this year hit the Zaatari refugee camp, home to nearly 50,000 refugees in Jordan’s northern desert. Inside the camp, pools and lakes surrounded tents, stranding refugees including pregnant women and infants.Police said seven aid workers were injured. “It is hell — boiling hot in the summer and freezing cold now,” lamented Ahmed Zibi, 45, who said he spent the night watching over his five children when his tent collapsed. “Rain flooded the tent and its shafts submerged and collapsed on us.” (National Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

HEZBOLLAH SENT 5,000 FIGHTERS TO HELP ASSAD(Riyad) Some 5,000 Hezbollah combatants reportedly entered Syria in December to aid the faltering regime of Bashar Assad, according to a Saudi daily on Monday. Al-Watan, a government daily, said four “support battalions” comprising at least 1,300 soldiers each had succeeded in killing some 300 rebel soldiers in recent weeks as battles raged between government and opposition forces around the capital Damascus. The fighters reportedly entered Syria through the border town of Madaya, located northwest of Damascus. (Times of Israel, Jan 8, 2013)

 

EGYPT SEEKS $500B FROM ISRAEL FOR SINAI DAMAGE(Cairo) In December of 2011 Egypt sent the United Nations a report detailing the reasons for which Israel owes the government of Egypt $500 billion for damage sustained by the Sinai Peninsula when it was controlled by Israel between 1967 and 1982. The 750-page report describes the plethora of ways in which Israel supposedly shattered the local economy. It asserts that Israel destroyed the fishing industry and 40 percent of the coral reefs; took valuable oil, gold, and gems, leaving only “worthless” rock behind. It goes on to say that maritime trade through the Suez Canal was disrupted between 1967 and 1975, thus depriving Egypt of millions of dollars’ worth of revenue; Israel also stole just under $50 billion worth of sand; and conducted excavations, stealing valuable artifacts from both the land and museums in the area. (Nuqudy, Jan 7, 2013)

 

CONCERN OVER POSSIBLE URANIUM STOCKPILE IN SYRIA(London) Concern is heightening over the possible existence of up to 50 tons of enriched uranium in Syria, the Financial Times reported Tuesday [Jan. 8], a stockpile large enough for the production of five atomic bombs. The worry stems from the Assad regime's attempt to build a nuclear reactor in the eastern city of at Al-Kibar in the mid-2000s. With assistance from North Korea, Damascus is believed to have nearly completed the facility prior to its destruction in an alleged Israeli airstrike in 2007. According to one anonymous official quoted by the Financial Times, “Syria is almost certainly in possession of good quality uranium of the type that Iran has been trying to acquire on the international market for years. It would certainly be possible to transfer this from Syria to Iran by air.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 9, 2013)

 

POLISH GOV'T TO TURN NAZI HQ INTO EDUCATIONAL CENTER(Krakow, Poland) The Polish government has announced plans to renovate Adolf Hitler’s wartime headquarters in Nazi-occupied Poland – a network of bunkers known as the “Wolf’s Lair” – and turn it into an educational center and museum. “The main idea behind the project is to introduce the Wolf’s Lair as a place where totalitarian ideas developed and their horrific results,” said Jan Zaluska, 65, the CEO of Wolf’s Nest, the company that leased the site in 1991 and has operated it ever since. “We will turn the Wolf’s Lair into an educational center, especially for the younger generation,” said Zaluska. “We are very concerned by the fact that the younger generation’s knowledge of history gets worse every year as observed in the students who have been coming here from all over the world in recent years.” (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

HEBREW UNIVERSITY SCIENTISTS HELP BLIND 'SEE WITH EYE MUSIC'(Jerusalem) By activating their visual brain cortex, people who were born blind can describe objects and even identify letters and words, with the proper stimulation and using a device for sensory exchange developed by Hebrew University researchers. The research team, headed by Prof. Amir Amedi of the Edmond and Lilly Safra Center for Brain Sciences and Institute for Medical Research Israel-Canada and including doctoral student Ella Streim-Amit, developed a unique training program for seeing while using the device, which transfers visual information to the blind via their healthy senses. The device translates pictures into tones; after a few dozen hours of training, the blind from birth can identify images and put them in visual categories such as faces, houses, parts of the body, ordinary objects and textures. (Jerusalem Post, Jan 8, 2013)

 

QATAR TO DOUBLE AID TO EGYPT(Cairo) Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani said Tuesday [Jan 7] in Cairo that Qatari aid to Egypt will increase to $1 billion from $500 million, and that money loaned to the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) will also be doubled to $4 billion.   Qatar also plans investment in two major projects on the Mediterranean and at Port Said to cost $18 billion. (Daily News-Egypt, Jan 7, 2013)

 

ISRAELI HIGH-TECH START-UPS SOLD FOR COMBINED $5.5 BILLION IN 2012(Tel Aviv) Fifty Israeli high-tech start-up companies were bought out in 2012 for a total of $5.5 billion, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers Israel. In recent years, buy-out deals in the Israeli high-tech sector have become fewer, but larger.  Rubi Suliman, the head of PwC's high-tech practice, noted: "Recently, we are seeing Israeli companies grow, and become world leaders in their areas. We are seeing companies with revenues of over $100 million. We did not see these in the past. They were being sold much earlier, often pre-revenue." (Israel Hayom, Jan 8, 2013)
 

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Alan Dershowitz Speaking at The 2012 Standwithus Festival of Lights: Stand With Us, You Tube, Dec. 4, 2012 — Alan Dershowitz speaking at the 2012 Stand With Us Dinner before 1100 attendees, touches on Hamas, Gaza, apartheid, Iran, and hopes for peace.

 

Diving Currency Adds to Egypt's Woes: Matt Bradley, Wall Street Journal, Dec. 30, 2012—Government unveils new steps in bid to avoid devaluation. Egypt's currency plunged to new depths on Sunday as policy makers tried to reassure the public and investors that they can prevent a full-scale currency devaluation while still repairing Egypt's budget deficit.

 

The Peace Index Data – December 2012(pdf): Israel Democracy Institute, Jan 2, 2013—Some claim that no matter which of the large parties wins in the upcoming elections, the peace process with the Palestinians is at a standstill, for reasons that have nothing to do with Israel, and that there is no chance of progress in the foreseeable future. Do you agree or disagree with this claim? Strongly & moderately agree: Jews – 66.7%; Arabs (in Israel) 28.7%

 

 

Ber Lazarus
, 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

 

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