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MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “There is huge, if uncertain, upside potential to the establishment of an American relationship with Iran through this agreement. The downside potential in its absence is as great — and includes war. It is intriguing that, along with Israel and Republican members of Congress, the most vociferous criticism of the deal has come from Saudi Arabia…The Saudis are in lock step with Israel on hostility to the Iran deal but are no friends of Israel. Their goal, despite America’s dwindling dependence on the kingdom for oil, is to preserve a Middle Eastern status quo that limits American strategic options — including the possibility that Iran and the United States might find common cause in combating the Islamic State or, years from now, re-establish diplomatic relations. Any deep dig into the facts…cannot escape the question of whether a deal with an enemy, Iran, so fiercely opposed by this one ally, Saudi Arabia, might not, over time, change the Middle East equation in ways favorable to America’s national interest.” — Roger Cohen (New York Times, July 30, 2015)


On Topic Links  


After Deal, Europeans Are Eager to Do Business in Iran: Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, Aug. 1, 2015

The Vienna Accord Only Postpones Confrontation with Iran: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, Aug. 5, 2015

Israel Faces a Rise in Jewish Terrorism: Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor, Aug. 3, 2015

Jewish Athletes Under Siege in Germany: Prof. Phyllis Chesler, Arutz Sheva, Aug. 5, 2015




“When I met with Secretary of State John Kerry in his office this past Friday, it was apparent that he was in an exceedingly feisty mood, and it’s not easy to display feistiness when you’re trapped, as he was, in a recliner. Kerry, who broke his leg two months ago, will be rid of his crutches soon, which for him is not soon enough, because he’d prefer to do battle in Congress for the Iran nuclear agreement—quite obviously the crowning achievement, in his mind, of his long and distinguished career in public life—with two good legs. Congress is the target of Kerry’s feistiness, as is his close friend and staunch adversary, the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who is leading the charge against congressional ratification of the deal. In the course of a lengthy and freewheeling interview…Kerry warned that if Congress rejects the Iran deal, it will confirm the anti-U.S. suspicions harbored by the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and eliminate any chance of a peaceful solution to the nuclear conundrum.” — Jeffrey Goldberg. Read the interview here. (Atlantic, Aug. 5, 2015)


“We recently witnessed two abhorrent crimes…I have instructed security and law-enforcement officials to use all legal means at their disposal to apprehend the murderers and deal with the stabber and the arsonists to the fullest extent of the law.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Sixteen-year-old Shira Banki, one of six people wounded when a knife-wielding ultra-Orthodox man attacked a gay pride parade in Jerusalem, succumbed to her wounds Sunday. Meanwhile, the parents and brother of Ali Dawabsheh, a Palestinian toddler killed Friday when extremists set fire to the family’s home, remain in critical condition in Israeli hospitals. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 2, 2015)


“These flames, which are consuming all of us, cannot be extinguished with weak condemnations [by politicians]. These flames cannot be extinguished with solidarity rallies. Not even with this rally.” — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Rivlin has taken the lead in expressing public remorse for these attacks and has come under death threats as a result, his staff said Sunday. Speaking at an anti-violence rally in Jerusalem Saturday night, Rivlin warned that the flames of hatred, violence and “false, distorted and twisted beliefs are spreading through the land,” and that Israel could no longer afford to continue dismissing these attacks. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 2, 2015)


“In all the years (and this week it’s exactly 14 years) since our daughter was murdered, we have not found a single Arabic-language post, article, tweet or speech condemning that attack in the center of Jerusalem or the killings. We don’t say there have been none, and don’t claim perfect knowledge. But we look for them all the time … and have not found them – and we very much do want to be wrong on this. On the other hand, there is an endless supply … of the opposite in the opinion columns, on Twitter and Facebook…” — Frimet & Arnold Roth, whose fifteen year-old daughter Malki was murdered in the Jerusalem Sbarro massacre, 2001. (Jewish Press, July 31, 2015)


“We live this commitment every day, it’s something we do for Israel on a daily basis…We have a ally relationship with Israel and the word ally means something to us. It means that if you are attacked, we will defend you.” —US defense official Ernest Moniz. Moniz told a visiting delegation of Israeli diplomatic reporters that Israel’s status as a US ally means that the US will offer it the same defense it would any NATO ally. He said that the US is “appalled” by Iranian leadership’s call to destroy Israel mere days after the signing of the deal. “This is not the way a country should behave in today’s world. But that does not mean that we shouldn’t sign an agreement that reduces the risk of Iran becoming a nuclear state…We do not expect Iran to radically change its behavior following the agreement. We are trying to deal with the nuclear issue and bring it to a level of transparency and visibility.” (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 4, 2015)


“Russia and Iran are the two biggest supporters of the regime [in Syria]… There may be an opportunity with Iran as the deal is implemented to pursue a similar conversation.” — A senior administration official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because public comment had not been authorized. Administration officials say U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is hopeful that once the nuclear accord is solidified, he will be able to begin talking with the Iranians about ending their support for President Bashar al-Assad of Syria. Obama has already spoken to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin, about removing Assad, the official said. (New York Times, July 31, 2015) 


“Regardless of how the P5+1 countries interpret the nuclear agreement, their entry into our military sites is absolutely forbidden. The entry of any foreigner, including IAEA inspectors or any other inspector, to the sensitive military sites of the Islamic Republic is forbidden, no matter what… Israel does not dare to attack Iran. The moment it initiates such a thing, important Israeli cities will be razed to the ground.” — Ali Akbar Velayati, Security Adviser to Iran's Supreme Leader. (Jewish Press, Aug. 3, 2015)


“The Obama administration has just legitimized and bolstered Israel’s arch-enemy while claiming to care for Israel. There are columnists (many of them Jewish) who write about Israel mostly when they have negative things to say, yet they still proudly wear the mantle of being pro-Israel. There are American organizations (such as J Street) that support goals that barely any Israeli agrees with, that nevertheless flaunt the pro-Israel label. Mr. Oren’s book is controversial because he had the chutzpah to hint that a vague definition of the alliance — so vague that it allows one ally to make deals that infringe on the other ally’s ability to defend itself — is not truly an alliance. He had the audacity to propose that when something as grave as the agreement with Iran is on the line, the facade that all pro-Israel positions are the same becomes dangerous. It gives individuals and institutions the luxury of holding on to the pro-Israel label while promoting policies that are highly damaging to it.” — Shmuel Rosner (New York Times, July 23, 2015) 


“We believe that a world in which there is a deal with Iran is much more likely to produce an evolution in Iranian behavior than a world in which there is no deal.” — Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, just before the nuclear deal with Iran was announced. (New York Times, July 31, 2015) 


"This secretary of state, Kerry, negotiated with them for a year-and-a-half and accomplished nothing. He ought to give us back for all the trips he made. He cost us millions of dollars in airplane fares and he came back with nothing except a bad foot.” — Legendary Jewish comic Jackie Mason. Mason joined the list of critics of the nuclear deal signed between world powers and Iran, jesting that New York restaurants face a harsher inspections regime than Iran's nuclear facilities will under the terms of the agreement. "Do you know that in the restaurants of New York, they have an inspection system. You can surprise any restaurant without notice that you can walk in and inspect them… So we are protected in this city from a bad tuna fish.  We’re not protected from a bomb but we’re protected from a bad quality of a tuna fish," Mason joked. (Jerusalem Post, July 26, 2015)


“Mild sarcasm is about the worst [liberal comedian and host of “The Daily Show” Jon] Stewart can hurl at Obama, but he called conservative columnist Robert Novak a “vampire demon” and George W. Bush an “a–hole,” and mocked the heart transplant that saved Dick Cheney’s life as “more of a heart plant when you don’t have an original.”… One of Stewart’s first viral moments was his 2004 appearance on CNN’s “Crossfire,” when he accused the hosts of “hurting America. You’re partisan — what do you call it — hacks.” He might have used his talents to evade this charge himself, but instead, he allowed himself to be seduced by power. He sold out. He dined with those he should have been dining upon.” — Kyle Smith. Stewart has been secretly taking trips to the White House to receive intense one-on-one lobbying from President Obama. Moreover, Politico reported Tuesday, “Daily Show” staffers routinely call up the White House to get the administration’s input. Jon Stewart's last episode of "The Daily Show" will air on August 6, 2015. (New York Post, July 29, 2015)  





ISRAEL DETAINS MEIR KAHANE’S GRANDSON (Jerusalem) — Meir Ettinger, the grandson of assassinated Israeli-American far-right activist Meir Kahane, will be kept in detention following his arrest Monday in connection to extremist activity. The Shin Bet security service said it arrested Ettinger for “his involvement in a Jewish extremist organization.” The agency has accused Ettinger of heading an extremist movement seeking to bring about religious “redemption” through attacks on Christian sites and Palestinian targets. Security authorities did not accuse Ettinger of direct involvement in last week’s firebombing attack on a Palestinian home in Duma village the West Bank, in which a toddler was burned to death, but the Shin Bet had linked him to the arson attack on the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes last month. (Times of Israel, Aug. 4, 2015)


HAMAS DEMANDS SUICIDE ATTACKS AGAINST JEWS (Jerusalem) — Hamas called for attacks against IDF soldiers and "settlers" last Friday shortly after an Arab infant was killed in an arson attack at the village of Duma in Samaria, but now the group is stepping up its incitement and demanding that suicide bombings be deployed. A senior Hamas leader in Gaza said that residents of "the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem" need to attack not only Israel, but also the PA Security Forces who are "traitors and collaborators." Hamas has long demanded that the PA drop its security collaboration with the IDF. (Arutz Sheva, Aug. 3, 2015)


JEWISH WOMAN SEVERELY BURNED, 2 MORE INJURED IN YET ANOTHER ARAB FIREBOMBING ATTACK (Jerusalem) — Three people were injured Monday night from a Molotov cocktail that was thrown at their vehicles on Route 20 in the direction of Beit Hanina in East Jerusalem. A 27-year-old woman was seriously wounded and two others were only slightly wounded. The young woman was evacuated by MDA paramedics to Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center with 25% 2nd and 3rd degree burns all over her body. She was fully conscious and in stable condition. The young woman’s husband managed to escape from the vehicle unharmed. (Jewish Press, Aug. 4, 2015)


KURDISH MILITANTS TARGET MILITARY OUTPOST WITH DEADLY BOMBING (Ankara) — Militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) killed two soldiers and wounded 31 in a suicide attack in eastern Turkey, as violence escalated following Ankara’s air bombardment targeting Kurdish militants. PKK militants drove a tractor filled with explosives into a military outpost in the Dogubeyazit district of the eastern Agri province bordering Iran, the army said in a statement. The PKK also attacked a unit on patrol in the southeastern province of Mardin, killing one soldier and wounding seven. The PKK announced it was stepping up attacks in mid-July over what it said were ceasefire violations, but has responded with yet more violence since Turkey began a campaign of air strikes on PKK camps in northern Iraq on July 24. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 2, 2015)


FLORIDA MAN PLOTTED ISIS-INSPIRED BACKPACK BOMBING AT BEACH (Miami) — A 23-year-old Florida man faces terrorism charges after federal agents thwarted his alleged plot to detonate a backpack bomb at a public beach in Key West. Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, was arrested following a three-month investigation by the FBI. He first came to the attention of authorities after promoting ISIS on Facebook, according to the Department of Justice. Posting as Amlak Benitez, Suarez requested help making bombs. Suarez considered himself a member of ISIS, and said that the terrorist organization was coming to the U.S. to fight its enemies. (Huffington Post, July 29, 2015)


NEO-NAZI GROUP LOSES APPEAL TO INHERIT ESTATE OF CANADIAN WHITE SUPREMACIST  (Saint John, NB) — The New Brunswick Court of Appeal has barred a neo-Nazi group from inheriting the estate of a white supremacist Canadian man. The court confirmed the decision to prevent the National Alliance, a violent West Virginia-based neo-Nazi group, from receiving a collection of coins and artifacts worth about $250,000. Harry Robert McCorkill, a retired professor from Saint John, N.B., left his valuable possessions to the hate group in his will before he died in 2004. They included Greek and Roman coins, Nazi memorabilia and a human skull. McCorkill joined the National Alliance in 1998. (National Post, July 30, 2015)


ARGENTINA TO SHECHEM: NEW IMMIGRANT JOINS SOLDIERS ON FRONT LINE (Jerusalem) —The important and challenging task of protecting the city of Shechem (Nablus) and its surrounding area no longer is just a man’s job. The Home Front Command made history by welcoming the first female soldiers to guard the line in Nablus. Female combat soldiers make up 30% of the force in the newly co-ed David Company and are serving in the volatile area of Shechem, where last month the IDF seized several Palestinian Authority weapons caches. One of the women is Sgt. Jatemliansquy, who was born in Argentina and enlisted in the IDF a year and a half ago, after making Aliyah. She is part of the Search and Rescue unit. Watch her video here. (Jewish Press, Aug. 4, 2015)


ISRAEL RAILWAYS LAYS NEW TRACKS FOR HIGH-SPEED TRAIN TO JERUSALEM (Jerusalem) — The long-planned and long-delayed high-speed train between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is getting closer Israel Railways has begun to lay tracks for the western section of the line in the Ayalon Valley, west of Jerusalem. The target date for launching passenger train on the new line is January 2018, 17 years after construction began. The project is costing approximately $2 billion and includes five tunnels and 20 bridges. Israel Railways also announced that the new passenger line between Be’er Sheva and Ashkelon will begin operations in September. (Jewish Press, Aug. 4, 2015)  


PROSECUTORS CHARGING ANJEM CHOUDARY WITH SUPPORTING TERRORISM (London) — British prosecutors are charging one of the country’s most controversial Islamic preachers with supporting terrorism for comments published online allegedly praising Islamic State. A lawyer who has been a frequent British talk show guest, Choudary holds some religious views similar to those of radical Islamic terror groups. Britain’s chief prosecutor in charge of terrorism crimes said that a lengthy investigation has resulted in enough evidence to secure a conviction under the Terrorism Act of 2000 for Choudary and one of his supporters. Choudary supports the fundamentalist strain of Islamic teaching known as Salafism and believes that Muslims can only attain a state of purity by living in a nation that is based on religious law, known as Shariah. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 5, 2015) 


UK SCHOOLS TEACHING 'PRO-PALESTINIAN EXTREMIST AGENDA’ (London) — An “extremist agenda” is being taught to children as young as three, it has been claimed, with the UK’s National Union of Teachers accused of “spreading political propaganda” in classrooms by promoting Palestinian “resistance”.  The NUT has designed and promoted a teaching resources pack which asks teachers to explore themes of Palestinian “occupation, freedom and resistance”.  The resource pack, titled “My Name is Saleh”, and a video were launched at the NUT annual conference in April. However, concerns have been raised that the resource pack gives a “one sided” and “divisive” view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Telegraph, Aug. 3, 2015)


CALLS FOR GERMANY TO CONDEMN 'JEW BAITING' AT MACCABI GAMES (Berlin) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on German Justice Minister Heiko Maas on Monday to condemn outbreaks of antisemitism at the Maccabi Games. In a letter to the minister, Dr. Shimon Samuels, the center’s director for international relations, protested what he called “the Jew-baiting of Maccabi athletes at the Berlin Games.” Writing on Twitter, Burmester asked, “What are these Jewish sports festivals?” and added, “Have the Jews had their own Olympic games since ’36?” Maccabi’s return to Berlin, to the very stadium built for Adolf Hitler, was to have been a vindication of the united democratic Federal German Republic. Instead, the Jewish contestants had to be warned not to wear Stars of David or kippot for fear of violence,” Samuels wrote. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 4, 2015) 


STRONG POPULAR SUPPORT FOR 'JEW-FREE' ROMANIA, SURVEY SUGGESTS (Bucharest) — Nearly a quarter of Romanian respondents on a survey on Jews said their country should have no Jewish residents. The results of the survey among 1,000 Romanian adults were published last week by the Elie Wiesel National Institute for Holocaust Studies in Romania. Eleven percent described Jews as “a problem for Romania” whereas 22 percent said they would like them only as tourists. Romania used to have a Jewish population of over 750,000 before its pro-Nazi regime, led by Ion Antonescu, collaborated in the murder of about half of Romanian Jewry in the Holocaust. His troops also massacred 120,000 Jews in present-day Ukraine. Those Romanians who survived the Holocaust mostly left for Israel and now Romania has only a few thousand Jews, mostly living in Bucharest. (Ha’aretz, Aug. 5, 2015)


SURVIVORS APPEAL TO POPE TO INTERCEDE WITH GERMANY OVER HOLOCAUST REPARATIONS (Rome) — An organization representing American Holocaust survivors wrote to Pope Francis last month to request that the Vatican intercede with Germany in order to secure greater funding for the tens of thousands of survivors living in poverty around the world, but hasn’t yet heard from the Vatican. “We are asking you, Your Holiness, to intervene directly to persuade today’s Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to provide the promised, owed and much needed compensation which was first promised by Chancellor Adenauer in the 1950s ‘to care for survivors until their last breath’” the letter explained. Around 45,000 survivors in Israel live below the poverty line, according to the Foundation for the Benefit of Holocaust Victims in Israel’s 2014 annual assessment. (Jerusalem Post, July 30, 2015)


RUINS OF GREAT SYNAGOGUE OF VILNIUS DISCOVERED (Vilnius) — A ground-penetrating radar survey carried out in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, discovered the remains of the Great Synagogue, which was destroyed by the Nazis seventy years ago. The elaborate structure was built in the 17th century; at its center was a large space used to study Torah and celebrate community events. The complex housed another twelve synagogues, religious schools, ritual baths, the Jewish community council building, kosher meat vendors, and the famed Strashun Library. In June 1941, the city of Vilnius was overrun by the German military, which ransacked the complex. Over three years of Nazi occupation, the vast majority of the city's Jewish population was murdered. Upon the Red Army's return in 1944, a modern school was built on top of the synagogue's ruins. (Ynet, July 29, 2015)


WORLD JEWRY REMEMBERS SAMUEL PISAR, ‘MORAL VOICE OF A GENERATION’ (New York) — The death of prominent spokesman for the Holocaust survivor community Samuel Pisar, 86, has elicited eulogies from across the Jewish world. A Polish-born survivor who went on to become a lawyer and writer, as well as an adviser to US president John F. Kennedy, Pisar spent time in several Nazi camps, including Majdanek, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen and Dachau. He escaped during a death march at the end of World War II. After the war he earned a doctorate in law from Harvard as well as from the Sorbonne in France. Pisar was the founder of Yad Vashem France. He also wrote an award-winning memoir, Of Blood and Hope, about how he survived the Holocaust. European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor called Pisar “a moral voice of his generation.” (Jerusalem Post, July 29, 2015)


On Topic Links 


After Deal, Europeans Are Eager to Do Business in Iran: Alissa J. Rubin, New York Times, Aug. 1, 2015 —Before the ink was even dry on the Iran nuclear deal, European leaders and executives were heading to the airport to restart trade with an Iranian market described in almost feverish terms as “an El Dorado” and potential “bonanza.”

The Vienna Accord Only Postpones Confrontation with Iran: Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror, BESA, Aug. 5, 2015 —The Vienna agreement has made the situation more complex and dangerous, not less so. Even if Iran completely abides by the terms of the agreement, when restrictions and sanctions come to an end fifteen years hence, it will emerge much stronger, militarily and economically.

Israel Faces a Rise in Jewish Terrorism: Ben Caspit, Al-Monitor, Aug. 3, 2015 —Israel is in shock. On July 30, Yishai Shlissel, an ultra-Orthodox extremist, burst into a gay pride parade in Jerusalem.

Jewish Athletes Under Siege in Germany: Prof. Phyllis Chesler, Arutz Sheva, Aug. 5, 2015—Jewish athletes, from all over the world, who have assembled in Germany for the Maccabi Games, are being taunted and attacked by Muslims, neo-Nazis, and leftists.



Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up


ContentsDownload today's Daily Briefing.pdf


Media-ocrity of the Week

Weekly Quotes 

Short Takes

On Topic Links



Patronising the Palestinians: Pat Condell, YouTube, Jan. 3, 2013

A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads From Africa’s Wars Back to Iran: C. J. Chivers, New York Times, Jan. 11, 2013

Good News for Knees: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, January 15, 2013


Media-ocrity of the Week


New York Post review of
by Peter Beinart


Beinart’s contention is that the West Bank occupation that has gone on for so manyyears is changing the nature of Israel itself, so it’s less democratic than it used to be, and it might be impossible for there to be two separate states. Unfortunately, Israel’s isolating itself from many nations. Beinart’s an Orthodox Jew, and I found this book very convincing. —Sheldon Harnick, the lyricist for “Fiddler on the Roof”. 



Weekly Quotes


"America must signal that it will not be business as usual with the government of the Arab world's largest and most powerful nation, while they continue to characterize Jews as 'descendants of apes and pigs', 'war mongers', and threaten anti-Semitic Jihads. Today Egypt is asking the U.S. and the international community for $12 billion to keep its ailing economy afloat. Now is the time for American leadership to demand an end to Egypt’s public anti-Semitic posturing. The mainstreaming of Jew-hatred in the Arab and Muslim world will not only end hopes for any Middle East peace deal, but puts Jews in jeopardy around the world."—Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Founder and Dean and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. (Simon Wiesenthal Center, Jan. 15, 2013)


“Dear brothers, we must not forget to nurse our children and grandchildren on hatred towards those Zionists and Jews, and all those who support them. They must be nursed on hatred. The hatred must continue. [T]hese bloodsuckers who attack the Palestinians, these warmongers, the descendants of apes and pigs. The Zionists have no right to the land of Palestine…. What they took before 1947-8 constitutes plundering, and what they are doing now is a continuation of this plundering. By no means do we recognize their Green Line. The land of Palestine belongs to the Palestinians, not to the Zionists." The Arab-Islamic world "want[s] a country for the Palestinians on the entire land of Palestine…[and] all the talk about a two-state solution and about peace is nothing but an illusion." The Jews "have been fanning the flames of civil strife wherever they were throughout history. They are hostile by nature…. The Zionists understood nothing but the language of force."—Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in comments made in TV interviews in 2010 discovered and translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). (Jerusalem Post: Jan 15, 2013)

"We believe that President Morsi should make clear that he respects people of all faiths and that this type of rhetoric is unacceptable in a democratic Egypt.” President Morsi’s comments were "deeply offensive," and ran counter to the goal of peace in the region.—White House spokesman Jay Carney condemning comments Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi made in 2010 when he was still a Muslim Brotherhood leader, before being elected President. (Huffington Post, Jan 15, 2013)


“Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are.”—U.S. President Barack Obama, quoted by Jeffrey Goldberg, correspondent for Bloomberg News, in reference to Israeli announcements concerning new building in settlements in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria which, according to Goldberg,  Obama views, as moving Israel down a path toward near-total diplomatic isolation. “If Israel, a small state in an inhospitable region, becomes more of a pariah – one that alienates even the affections of the U.S., its last steadfast friend, it won’t survive. Iran poses a short-term tthreat to Israel’s survival; Israel’s own behaviour poses a long term one.” — Jeffrey Goldberg paraphrasing President Obama. (Bloomberg News, National Post, Jan. 14, 16, 2013)


"Your activism and your intolerance are abominable. Phony Facebook "fans" have posted messages expressly asking our musicians not play in Israel. This is sheer harassment. Moreover, it's really quite surprising because these fans purporting to sway the artists are not fans at all, but simply your army of little soldiers polluting the calm and positive spaces of our artists' Facebook pages. …What bothers me the most about your effort…is your hatred of Israel, a pathological hatred, blind and most assuredly hidden behind a veil of "political correctness." Your actions don't demonstrate a love or defense of Palestinians but rather a hatred for Israelis.”—Christophe Deghelt, manager for jazz musician Jack Terrasson, speaking out against BDS online harassment of artists. (Camera, Jan. 14, 2013)


 “If there is no diplomatic decision, the Palestinians will go back to terror. Knives, mines, suicide attacks. Even if the local inhabitants do not want to resume the violence, they will be under pressure of the Arab world.”—Israeli President Shimon Peres in pre-election comments to the New York Times magazine critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the “peace process”. Peres drew criticism for violating the principle of Presidential political impartiality. (National Post, Jan. 11, 2013)


“This afternoon, French armed forces lent support to units of the Malian army to fight against terrorists. This operation will last as long as needed. We have one objective: to make sure that when we leave, when we end this intervention, there is security in Mali, legitimate leaders, an electoral process and the terrorists no longer threaten its territory. We are confident about the speed  with which we will be able to stop the aggressors”—French President Francois Hollande commenting on the French government’s sudden decision to assist to the Malian army in its fight against the encroachment of al-Qaeda-linked rebels in the country.

   “I would advise France not to sing their victory song too quickly. They managed to leave Afghanistan. They will never leave Mali.”— Omar Ould Hamaha, a commander of the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, in response to the French military intervention. (Wall Street Journal, National Post,  Jan. 12 16, 2013)


“The establishment of a terrorist region in the middle of Africa is of grave concern to the broader international community, including Canada and our close allies.” —Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Canada’s participation (the loan of one transport aircraft) in France’s intervention in Mali. (Globe and Mail, Jan. 15, 2013)


“No fear, no horror, power belongs to the people. No to emerging dictatorship. No to religious dictatorship. Ennahda out, down with the [Muslim] Brotherhood Party. Where is the constitution? Where is democracy?” —Tunisian demonstrators chanting slogans against the ruling Islamist Ennahda Movement. (Globe and Mail, Jan. 15, 2013)


“We were waiting for our deaths so we came out, but we found our second deaths here. There we were foing to die from the fires. Here we’re going to die from the cold . We don’t want to die in this tent.”—Abu Tarik, a Syrian refugee in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. (New York Times, Jan 13, 2013)


“The transition is well under way. By the end of next year, 2014, the transition will be complete. Afghans will have full responsibility for their security and this war will come to a responsible end. Starting this spring our troops will have a different mission: training, advising, assisting Afghan forces.” —U.S. President Barack Obama on ending the U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. (New York Post, Jan. 12, 2013)


“It is part of our war strategy to target any foreign citizen whose country has a military presence in Afghanistan and enters our country without permission from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” —Zabiullah Mujahid, spokeman for Afghan insurgents from northern and eastern Afghanistan.  “No part of Afghanistan should be considered immune from violence. There is an ongoingand increased risk of kidnapping and assassination of U.S. citizens.”— U.S. State Department travel advisory.(New York Times, Jan. 13, 2013)


“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. Last month [Nov] , 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.”—the editors of National Review in the Dec. 17 issue as quoted by Leah Speer in the New York Post. (New York Post, Dec. 15, 2012)

“The question is: Why do Arabs fear a right-wing Israeli government? The reasons for the concern stem from the cultural mindset of the region. An Israel that has a strong character and is confident of itself and the justice of its cause, might stop behaving like a dishrag, as it has done in the past, more than once, under the irresponsible leadership of the bleeding hearts who are the "Pursuers of Peace", and might adopt a pattern of behavior typical to the Middle East.  In the embattled region where Israel is situated, the weak individual gets beaten up: he is shot at, missiles rain down upon him, his buses are blown up, he is de-legitimized, marginalized diplomatically, sued in international courts, states are established on his back that threaten him and declare their violent struggle against him again and again, and he – the weak one – must take all of this garbage that is rained down upon him and say, "It's only words". Sometimes he issues a warning but few take him seriously because he is weak and obsequious; he ‘seeks peace’.”—Mordechai Kedar, a 25-year veteran of Israeli army intelligence and a Bar-Ilan University expert on Israeli Arabs.


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‘JEW’ IS THE NEW ‘COOL’ IN DUTCH, LINGUIST SAYS(The Hague) Dutch teenagers are using “Jew” akin to “cool” or “awesome” in English, according to a linguist from Leiden University. Professor Marc van Oostendorp wrote Monday on his blog that he heard the new usage of the word “jood” (pronounced yode) at a high school in Leiden shortly after learning about the phenomenon from an online forum about the Dutch language. “One is at first unsettled by it. The word Jew is still a slightly sensitive issue if used improperly,” van Oostendorp wrote. Van Oostendorp notes that Dutch already has one positive exclamation connected to Judaism in “tof,” which was borrowed from Yiddish and means “good,” but he writes that “it’s not clear if those two are connected. I don’t believe too many people are aware of the etymology.” (Times of Israel, Jan. 15, 2013)


CANADIAN FIRM TO DREDGE, PURIFY KISHON RIVER(Jerusalem)A Canadian sewage giant, EnGlobe, will be dredging the Kishon riverbed and purifying its sediments in an effort to turn Israel’s once most polluted waterway into an oasis for the country’s northern residents. In addition to preventing floods, revamping the Kishon will decrease land pollution damages, encourage a more vibrant collection of biodiversity, and provide an oasis for the public. “Canada is one of our strongest allies around the world, if not the strongest lately, and I think it’s very important for us to strengthen the relationship. It’s great that you have companies with the international experience and abilities to do such a project,” Israeli Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said. Canadian Ambassador Paul Hunt praised the success of EnGlobe and said that he looked forward to following the progress of the Kishon’s ongoing rehabilitation. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 15, 2013)


EGYPTIAN MOM, KIDS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS IN PRISON FOR CONVERTING TO CHRISTIANITY(Cairo) The criminal court of Beni Suef (115 kms south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, and Nancy Ahmed Mohamed abdel-Wahab will spend 15 years in prison. Seven other people involved in the case were sentenced to five years in prison. (Asia News, Jan. 14, 20)

FACEBOOK 'CENSORS' PALESTINIAN WRITER POSTING ANTI-CORRUPTION ARTICLES—(Jerusalem) Khaled Abu Toameh has had his Facebook account suspended after a flurry of threats, seemingly simply for posting anti-corruption articles implicating the Palestinian Authority. Toameh also told The Commentator that over the past few days, he has been the subject of much online abuse, as well as threats and an apparently concerted smear campaign against him. This recently culminated in the posting of an article on the ‘Sabbah biz’ website, accusing Toameh of being an ‘Israeli Hasbara agent’ and showing a picture of him with the Star of David on his head. The website is run by ‘Haitham Sabbah’, who is based out of Tulkarm in the West Bank. (The Commentator, Jan. 15, 2013)

ISRAELI IMPLANT ENABLES BODY TO REGENERATE JOINT CARTILAGE—(Tel Aviv) A privately held Israeli medical device company is now offering a safe and effective novel off-the-shelf cartilage regeneration solution in a global market worth an estimated $1.6 billion annually. CartiHeal’s trademarked Agili-C can be implanted in a single-step arthroscopic procedure. In clinical studies, it was shown to regenerate true hyaline cartilage (the most abundant type of cartilage in the human body) after six months. Founder and CEO Nir Altschuler tells ISRAEL 21C that this is a breakthrough in the field — the “Holy Grail” in orthopedics. “Our clinical results, to date, confirm rapid cartilage and bone formation, as clearly visible on MRIs and X-rays,” says Altschuler. “Patients are reporting significant improvement in pain level and return to normal function, including sports.” (Israel 21C, Jan 15, 2013)


PROMINENT KURDISH REBEL MURDERED IN FRANCE—(Paris) Sakine Cansiz, one of the original founders of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), well as two other women, Fidan Dogan and Leyla Soylemez were found shot dead inside the Kurdish Institute of Paris. Cansiz led a tough life that included stints on the frontlines and in notorious Turkish jails, making her a legend in PKK ranks. Born in the mountainous Tunceli province in eastern Turkey, Cansiz’ family belongs to the minority Alevis — a historically persecuted sect that is considered an offshoot of Shia Islam. An eloquent women’s rights proponent, Cansiz insisted that women’s participation in the PKK’s armed struggle was not a “token gesture” nor were they “a showpiece”. (France 24, Jan. 12, 2013)

DOZENS KILLED AS EXPLOSIONS HIT SYRIAN UNIVERSITY—(Beirut, Lebanon) At least two deadly explosions, possibly caused by regime airstrikes or rebel bombs, devastated the campus of Aleppo University in Syria on Tuesday [Jan 15] as students were taking exams, a major escalation of the violent struggle for control of the country’s largest city. The opposition and the government blamed each other for the blasts, among the worst since the Syrian conflict began nearly two years ago. Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Jaafari, said at a Security Council meeting that 82 people had been killed and 192 wounded in the explosions, which he called a terrorist attack. (New York Times, Jan. 16, 2013)


A TRAIL OF BULLET CASINGS LEADS FROM AFRICA’S WARS BACK TO IRAN—(Washington, DC) For six years [2006-2012], a group of independent arms-trafficking researchers [have] worked to pin down the source of the mystery cartridges turning up in several African conflicts. Their finding showed that for the past several years Iran’s state-manufactured ammunition was distributed through secretive networks to a long list of combatants, including in regions under United Nations arms embargoes. The trail of evidence uncovered by the investigation included Iranian cartridges in the possession of rebels in Ivory Coast, federal troops in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Taliban in Afghanistan and groups affiliated with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Niger. The ammunition was linked to spectacular examples of state-sponsored violence and armed groups connected to terrorism — all without drawing wide attention or leading back to its manufacturer. (New York Times, Jan 12, 2013)


PALESTINIAN FLIGHT VEXES SYRIA'S NEIGHBORS—(Cyber City, Jordan) Fighting in Damascus has sparked fears of a mass exodus of some 500,000 Palestinians toward neighbors Lebanon and Jordan, where officials concerned about stability have moved to limit their entry. Jordan is admitting Syrians but turning Palestinians away at the border. Prime Minister Abdalla Ensour said accepting Palestinians was a "red line" for Jordan because it would spur a greater influx, and that Israel is ultimately responsible for their fate. "Jordan is not a place for solving Israel's problems, and there is a clear, sovereign Jordanian decision to deny entry to Palestinians," he told the Arab daily al-Hayat on Thursday. The prospect of a large new influx of Palestinians has rekindled bad memories from the 1970s, when militants—among the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who arrived after the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967—sparked a civil war in Lebanon and an uprising against the Jordanian monarchy. (Wall Street Journal, Jan. 12, 2013)

BIZARRE REPORT: CLINTON INJURED, US NAVY SEAL KILLED IN SECRET US MISSION TO IRAN(Moscow)A [Russian] Foreign Military Intelligence (GRU) report circulating in the Kremlin today [Dec 30] is saying that United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was injured, and a top US Navy Seal Commander killed, when their C-12 Huron military passenger and transport aircraft crash-landed nearly 3 weeks ago in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, near the Iraqi border. GRU analysts say in this report that when the C-12 Huron entered into Iranian airspace neither American nor IranIAN air force units responded, clearly indicating that this secret mission was sanctioned. Upon the C-12 Huron landing at Ahwaz, however, this report says it encountered “extreme turbulence” causing it to leave the runway where its main landing gear then collapsed, causing it to crash. This unconfirmed, claims that Secretary Clinton was flying to Iran to meet Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad, who had already landed at Ahwaz just prior to Clinton’s alleged crash. (EU Times, an on-line publication, Dec 30th, 2012) [This  story is completely unconfirmed but not completely out of the realm of the plausible. – Ed.]


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Patronising the Palestinians: Pat Condell, YouTube, Jan. 3, 2013


A Trail of Bullet Casings Leads from Africa’s Wars Back to Iran: C. J. Chivers, New York Times, Jan. 11, 2013 — For the past several years, even as Iran faced intensive foreign scrutiny over its nuclear program and for supporting proxies across the Middle East, its state-manufactured ammunition was distributed through secretive networks to a long list of combatants, including in regions under United Nations arms embargoes.


Good News for Knees: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21C, January 15, 2013—In a groundbreaking advance, a novel Israeli implant provides a scaffold for the body to regenerate true joint-protecting cartilage.



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


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