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MEDIA-OCRIES OF THE WEEK: “The early polls show Mr. Harper trailing, but he’s beaten bad polls before. He has been prime minister for nearly a decade for a reason: He promised a steady and quiet life, undisturbed by painful facts. The Harper years have not been terrible; they’ve just been bland and purposeless. Mr. Harper represents the politics of willful ignorance. It has its attractions. Whether or not he loses, he will leave Canada more ignorant than he found it.”— Stephen Marche (New York Times, Aug. 12, 2015)


“All the people in this region are playing with fire. While they’re fighting over who is caliph, who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad from the seventh century — Sunnis or Shiites — and to whom God really gave the holy land, Mother Nature is not sitting idle. She doesn’t do politics — only physics, biology and chemistry. And if they add up the wrong way, she will take them all down. The only “ism” that will save them is not Shiism or Islamism but “environmentalism” — understanding that there is no Shiite air or Sunni water, there is just “the commons,” their shared ecosystems, and unless they cooperate to manage and preserve them (and we all address climate change), vast eco-devastation awaits them all.” — Thomas L. Friedman (New York Times, Aug. 19, 2015)


On Topic Links  


On Iran, Let's Get Serious: David Harris, Huffington Post, Aug. 16, 2015

Syria’s New Diplomacy: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 15, 2015

Why Kurdish Independence Is the Only Solution for the World: Ayub Nuri, Time, Aug. 14, 2015

Foreign Ministry: Spanish Festival's Boycott of US Jew Matisyahu Proves BDS is Anti-Semitic: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2015




“Let anyone who tries to harm IDF soldiers, border police or citizens of Israel know, that his blood would be on his own head. The struggle against Palestinian terrorism, both organized and by individuals, is complex and requires an iron fist, patience and good judgment—and this is how we operate.” — Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. Over the Sabbath, two Israeli security officers were stabbed in separate attacks. The first attack came when an IDF soldier was stabbed by an Arab north of Jerusalem. The second occurred during a routine security check near the Huwara checkpoint. An Arab pulled out a knife and stabbed a police officer in the back. Security personnel shot the attacker. The injured terrorist later died of his wounds. (Jewish Press, Aug. 15 & Jewish Press, Aug. 16, 2015)


“The leader of Iran, Khamenei, said yesterday, and I quote 'we will use all means to support all those who fight Israel'…Iranian foreign Minister Zarif said a few days ago in Beirut after meeting the head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, that the nuclear deal has provided a historic opportunity against the Zionist entity.” — Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. These comments, he said, bear out as “accurate and true” what Israel has been saying all along: “The money that will flow to Iran as a result of the [nuclear] accord will go to strengthen the terrorist organizations that work against us.” (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 18, 2015)


“Syria is the golden ring of resistance against the Zionists.” —Ali Akbar Velayati, a top adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. According to official Iranian media, Velayati also said that the "resistance axis" of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories is "not only to fight against the dominance of foreigners in their countries" but also to roll back US hegemony. Velayati said that the Western powers are conspiring to divide Syria after "failing in its military aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq." (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2015)   


“This week came one more revelation of how single-minded this administration has ‎been on turning Iran into its new partner. We now know that then-Senator John ‎Kerry was sent off to woo the Iranians in 2011, when Holocaust denier Mahmoud ‎Ahmadinejad was still president, rather than the ostensibly more moderate ‎Hassan Rouhani, who followed. So negotiations had nothing to do with Iran ‎showing a new face and opening to the West. Kerry came with an opening offer ‎that Iran could continue its nuclear enrichment even if a deal were struck. In other ‎words, if you like your nuclear program, you keep your nuclear program. There is ‎nothing like giving up everything in the store before the thugs enter to hold you up.” ‎— Richard Baehr (Israel Hayom, Aug. 16, 2015)


“In a speech at American University defending the deal Obama stooped to new lows far beneath the dignity of the office of the presidency, savaging deal opponents as warmongers and saying that “those hardliners chanting ‘Death to America’” in Iran were “making common cause with the Republican caucus. Shockingly, his diatribe also was replete with coded innuendos employing standard anti-Semitic themes involving implied disloyalty and nefarious influences related to money and power.  One can only imagine the sting of his words on members of his own Democratic party, especially those Jewish Members of Congress who have publicly stated their opposition to this deal based on its merits or lack thereof.” — Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 13, 2015)


“In [NYT columnist Thomas] Friedman’s liberal view, the way to win over our adversaries is to forsake our friends. Needless to say, that’s not how he put it. Friedman’s argument was that if we support those Iraqis who prefer democracy and secularism, especially if they’re expatriates returning from the West, it will only engender resentment against us. We’ll be seen as occupiers or colonizers trying to export our values and influence. The Iraqis we support will seem like our stooges. On the other hand, if we throw our weight behind those who represent Muslim and/or Arab nationalism, any theocratic or nationalistic state they establish is less likely to bear us ill will. In time, who knows, such a home-grown Iraqi state may even begin to see the values of democracy and secularism, and develop them indigenously. This was the liberal New York Times position then, as it seemed to me, and still is today.” —George Jonas (National Post, Aug. 14, 2015)


"The Israelis have taken to heart lots of lessons over the last 70 years. They have concluded that often the world quietly wants Israel to deal with existential threats emanating from the Middle East while loudly damning it when it does. They have learned from the experience of the Holocaust that, for good or evil, Jews are on their own and can never again trust in the world’s professed humanity to prevent another Holocaust. And they are convinced that they can also never again err on the side of the probability that national leaders, with deadly weapons in their grasp, do not really mean all the unhinged things they shout and scream about killing Jews. Given all that, we should conclude that any deal that leads, now or in the near future, to an Iranian bomb is unacceptable to Israel — a nation that will likely soon have no choice but to consider the unthinkable in order to prevent the unimaginable.” — Victor Davis Hanson (National Review, Aug. 4, 2015)


“Turkish people: Fight against the friends of the devil. There is no doubt that [the] devil’s order is weak… Let us all embrace God’s way… Altogether and under the orders of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi … let’s conquer Istanbul, which the traitor Erdogan works day and night to hand over to crusaders.”"A Message to Turkey" video produced by ISIS in Raqqa. The messenger in the video is a Turk who proclaims allegiance to I.S., urging Turks to rebel against “infidel” President Erdogan. He accuses the Muslim president of “selling the country to Crusaders” and giving the U.S. access to Turkish air bases “just to keep his post.” (Jewish Press, Aug. 18, 2015)


“Growing up in Egypt, my entire country had opinions about Israel, and none of them were positive…I arrived to Israel knowing only what I had learned in the movies and in the media. So, at the airport, when the security official asked why I decided to come here, I half-joked, “I always heard the Jews are bad people, and I came to see this for myself.”… I expected to find that people here were unfriendly, and especially unhappy to meet Egyptians. I was pleasantly surprised to find just the opposite… And the diversity I found here was as surprising as the warmth of the people…How fascinating is it to be in a country where you can to go a beach and see a Muslim woman, a gay couple kissing, and a Hassid sharing the same small space? Where else can you find a Christian Arab whose apartment is decorated in posters of Mao and Lenin? Where else can you see a Beduin IDF soldier reading the Koran on the train during Ramadan?…To be sure, my experience here has been defined by the unexpected.” — Haisam Hassanein, an Egyptian-born student, in his recent commencement speech at Tel Aviv University. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2015)





DANNY DANON APPOINTED ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UN (Jerusalem) — Prime Minister Netanyahu has appointed Minister of Science, Technology and Space Danny Danon (Likud), to be the new Israeli Ambassador to the UN. He’ll be replacing Ambassador Ron Prosor. Danon and Netanyahu haven’t always had the smoothest of relationships. Danon began in the Knesset in 2009 and was a deputy defense minister in the previous government, until Netanyahu fired him following their open dispute during Operation Protective Edge. Over the years, Danon challenged Netanyahu a number of times for key positions in the Likud party, including the premiership. (Jewish Press, Aug. 14, 2015)  


ISRAELI COURT TO RULE ON RELEASE OF PALESTINIAN STAGING HUNGER STRIKE (Jerusalem) — The Israeli Supreme Court was to rule on the release of a Palestinian prisoner who has been on a hunger strike for two months in protest of his incarceration, after last-minute negotiations on Wednesday appeared to falter. Lawyers for the prisoner, Mohammad Allan, could not obtain his consent on a tentative offer that would have granted him freedom by early November because his mental state had deteriorated and he was no longer capable of making decisions, said Issa Qaraqe, the Palestinian minister for prisoner affairs. Allan, a 31-year-old lawyer who has not eaten since June 16 to protest his indefinite incarceration without known charges, had presented a particularly challenging case because his fast entered a critical phase just as Israel passed a law last month that allowed the force-feeding of hunger strikers. (New York Times, Aug. 19, 2015)


ARAB BANK REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH US VICTIMS OF HAMAS ATTACKS (New York) —Jordan’s Arab Bank settled a case with hundreds of plaintiffs that could be worth billions of dollars. It comes nearly a year after the New York jury found the $46 billion bank liable; four months after the bank lost a shot at a retrial; days before a damages trial was set to start; and 14 years after some of the terrorist attacks in question took place. The highly public trial lasted five weeks and revisited some of Hamas’s worst attacks, including the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem that killed or wounded 130, and a range of 24 other terrorist attacks during the second intifada. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 15, 2015)


TURKEY’S LEADERS MEET WITH HAMAS IN ANKARA (Ankara) — Turkey’s President Erdogan welcomed international Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal to Ankara last week. Senior Turkish officials joined the meeting, which reportedly focused on Turkey’s role in providing support to the Palestinian Authority. Meshaal also met with Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. A statement released in Gaza by a Hamas official said that a delegation led by Meshaal briefed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Qatar at a recent meeting between the two men during which Lavrov reportedly invited Meshaal to Moscow. (Jewish Press, Aug. 13, 2015)


ELECTIONS SEEM LIKELY IN TURKEY AS I.S. THREAT RISES (Ankara) —  Prospects for a period of instability in Turkey increased after attempts by the dominant party to form a new coalition government officially ended in failure. The development helped create the basis for President Erdogan to call for a new election, which would mean the installation of a temporary government just as Turkey is facing new threats from Islamic State (I.S.) in neighboring Syria and a re-energized Kurdish insurgency at home. An I.S. video released on Monday called for Turkish Muslims to revolt against the president. On Wednesday, Turkey's state-run news agency reported that Kurdish rebels detonated a bomb on a road in southeast Turkey, killing at least eight soldiers. (New York Times, Aug. 18, 2015)  


RUSSIA TO SHIP AIR DEFENSE MISSILE BATTERIES TO IRAN WITHIN WEEKS (Moscow) — Moscow is close to inking an agreement that would expedite the transfer of several of its S-300 missile units to Iran. The air-defense batteries will help extensively to secure Iran’s military and nuclear sites against airstrikes. Russia has had the S-300s ready for Iran since 2010, but had agreed to not sell the regime the sophisticated technology following international pressure. But Russia has reneged on its promise, and the new missile shipment will be delivered shortly after the two sides finalize the deal. President Vladimir Putin unilaterally lifted the ban on the S-300 sale in April following the interim agreement negotiated between world powers and Iran. (Breitbart, Aug. 18, 2015)


SYRIA AIR STRIKES KILL NEARLY 100 (Damascus) — The death toll in Syrian government air strikes on a rebel-held town outside Damascus neared 100 on Monday. Sunday's raids on Douma, in the rebel bastion of Eastern Ghouta, were among the bloodiest regime attacks in Syria's four-year war. They came almost exactly two years after devastating chemical weapons attacks on the same region that much of the international community blamed on the Syrian government. Eastern Ghouta, a rebel bastion regularly targeted by government air strikes, has been under a suffocating siege for nearly two years. (Yahoo, Aug. 17, 2015)


I.S. BEHEADS ANTIQUITIES SCHOLAR IN ANCIENT TOWN OF PALMYRA (Damascus) — I.S. beheaded one of Syria’s most prominent antiquities scholars, 81-year-old Khaled al-Asaad, in the ancient town of Palmyra, then hung his body from one of the town’s Roman columns. Since I.S. overran Palmyra in May, there have been fears the extremists, who have destroyed famed archaeological sites in Iraq, would demolish the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city at the edge of the town — a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the Mideast’s most spectacular archaeological sites. The Sunni extremist group, which has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law, believes ancient relics promote idolatry. (Globe & Mail, Aug. 19, 2015)


I.S. SUSPECTED OF USING CHEMICAL WEAPON  (Damascus) — I.S. likely used mustard agent against Kurdish forces in Iraq this week in the first indication the militant group has obtained banned chemicals. The officials said I.S. could have obtained the mustard agent in Syria, whose government admitted to having large quantities in 2013 when it agreed to give up its chemical-weapons arsenal. The use of mustard agent would mark an upgrade in I.S.’s battlefield capabilities, and a worrisome one given U.S. intelligence fears about hidden caches of chemical weapons in Syria, where I.S. controls wide swaths of territory. The attack in question took place about 40 miles southwest of Erbil in northern Iraq. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 13, 2015)


I.S. 'MEIN KAMPF' BLAMES ISRAEL FOR GLOBAL TERRORISM (Damascus) — Intelligence officials are comparing a newly discovered secret I.S. document to Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” as it blames Israel for the rise of I.S. and crowns President Obama as the “Mule of the Jews.” Found in Pakistan’s remote tribal region, the 32-page Urdu language document promotes an “end of the world” battle as a final solution. It argues that the Islamic leader should be recognized as the sole ruler of the world’s Muslims, under a religious empire called a “caliphate.” The document discloses the history of I.S. dating back to the early 1990s. (Arutz Sheva, Aug. 16, 2015)


BANGLADESH POLICE ARREST THREE MILITANTS TIED TO BLOGGER DEATHS (Dhaka) — Bangladeshi police arrested three alleged Islamists, including one they said is a British citizen, in connection with fatal assaults on atheist bloggers that have stirred fears of mounting extremism in this mostly Muslim country. Authorities in Dhaka said the men belonged to the banned terror group Ansarullah Bangla Team, which police say has links to international jihadist organizations and had admitted involvement in planning and carrying out machete attacks that killed two writers critical of Islam earlier this year. In February, prominent Bangladeshi-born American writer Avijit Roy was hacked to death after he left a book fair in Dhaka. Ananta Bijoy Das, a supporter of Mr. Roy, was killed in a similar manner in May. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 18, 2015)


OSAMA BIN LADEN'S SON 'CALLS FOR ATTACKS ON THE WEST' (Jerusalem) —Al-Qaeda has released a message, purportedly from Osama bin Laden's son Hamza, calling for attacks on London and other western cities. The audio recording is the first such message from Hamza bin Laden, who is believed to be either 23 or 24 years old. He had not previously been put forth as an al-Qaeda spokesman, but he has been touted as a future leader of the terror network. In the message, a man al-Qaeda claim is Hamza calls for Jihad against America and its allies. He specifically suggests London, Washington, Paris and Tel Aviv as targets for attacks. (Telegraph, Aug. 14, 2015)


CTV ISSUES CLARIFICATION: ISRAELI OFFICER DIDN’T STAB PALESTINIAN (Toronto) — On August 16, CTV News Anchor Brad Giffen erroneously claimed that an Israeli officer had stabbed a Palestinian to death. Giffen stated the following: “A funeral was held today for a Palestinian man who was killed after a stabbing by an Israeli security officer…The man stabbed by an officer in the back while he was doing a routine security check, another near-by officer opened fire and killed the attacker. It was the second stabbing attack on an Israeli security official on Saturday.”  Contrary to what CTV reported, the Palestinian man was the one who stabbed the Israeli officer, and not the other way around. confirms the veracity of this information via an AP article on August 15 which says: “Israeli military and police shot two Palestinians, one fatally, after separate stabbing attacks on security forces in the West Bank on Saturday, authorities said…” (Honest Reporting, Aug. 18, 2015) 


UCC PASSES ISRAEL DIVESTMENT RESOLUTION (Barcelona) — The United Church of Canada (UCC) passed a resolution during its 42nd General Council encouraging divestment from Israel in order “to address the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories by the State of Israel.” The new resolution called for “initiating and developing a program of education and advocacy in cooperation with our partners, related to divestment from and economic sanctions against all corporations and institutions complicit in and benefiting from the illegal occupation,” according to the UCC 42nd General Council website. The UCC is Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, with more than two million members. In 2012, the organization passed a resolution boycotting settlement-produced goods. The statement also urged members to discourage “tourism which bolsters the oppression of Palestinians.” (Times of Israel, Aug. 12, 2015)


SPANISH FESTIVAL RE-INVITES MATISYAHU (Barcelona) —A Spanish music festival that disinvited Jewish American reggae singer Matisyahu over his refusal to endorse a Palestinian state apologized and extended a new invitation to the singer to perform. The Rototom Sunsplash reggae festival said it rejects any form of discrimination and anti-Semitism. The new invitation asks Matisyahu – the stage name of the ex-ultra-Orthodox artist whose real name is Matthew Miller – to perform in his originally planned slot at the festival. “We respect the Jewish community and sincerely apologize for what happened,” the festival organizers said in a statement. The statement blamed the local anti-Israel group BDS País Valencià, which campaigned to cancel Matisyahu’s invitation, for “pressures, threats and coercion” efforts that threatened to “seriously disrupt the normal functioning of the festival” and “prevented the management of the situation with clarity.” (Times of Israel, Aug. 19, 2015)  


91-YEAR-OLD ISRAELI WINS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP IN RUNNING FOR SENIORS (Lyon) —Three months after being named European champion, 91-year-old Israeli long-distance runner Semion Simkin won the world championship for senior runners in Lyon, France. Simkin finished the 6.2-mile race with a time of 1:20:01. A day earlier, Simkin won the silver medal in the 3.1-mile race. “…I hope that in the future I will still have the strength to continue and to bring honor to Israel,” Simkin said after his victory. Simkin, who was born in Belarus and survived the Holocaust, is a father of two, grandfather of four, and great-grandfather of six. Despite being legally blind, he prefers competing without any concessions on his behalf. (Algemeiner, Aug. 11, 2015)


IDF, CIVILIAN VICTIMS MEMORIALIZED IN 75 TORAH SCROLLS (Jerusalem) — The victims of last year’s war in Gaza were memorialized in a special event at the Western Wall in which 75 Torah scrolls were dedicated in their memory. Each Torah will be sent to memorial sites across the country to commemorate Israel’s fallen. At the event, one of Israel’s most iconic photos was reenacted when a historic Torah scroll was brought once again to the Western Wall. The photo shows the army’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Shlomo Goren, holding a Torah scroll while blowing a ram’s horn (shofar) following the liberation of the Temple Mount from Jordanian control during the Six Day War. The same scroll carried by Goren was once again able to visit the Temple Mount some 48 years later in the hands of Israel’s current defense minister. (Breaking Israel News, Aug. 13, 2015)


On Topic Links 


On Iran, Let's Get Serious: David Harris, Huffington Post, Aug. 16, 2015 —The Iran deal is perhaps the most consequential foreign policy issue in a generation. Yet the debate over it has too often fallen short of what's needed.

Syria’s New Diplomacy: Jonathan Spyer, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 15, 2015 —As the civil war over the ruins of Syria grinds on into its sixth year, the fighting seems nowhere near an end.

Why Kurdish Independence Is the Only Solution for the World: Ayub Nuri, Time, Aug. 14, 2015 —Even we Kurds are tired of the West rushing in to save us from Iraq. How long will the rest of the world tolerate this?

Foreign Ministry: Spanish Festival's Boycott of US Jew Matisyahu Proves BDS is Anti-Semitic: Herb Keinon, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 16, 2015 —If you plan on going to the Sunsplash Rototom Reggae Festival in Spain this week, you better not speak the language of the Hebrewman. If you do, they might kick you out.


Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes


Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf


On Topic Links


A Native and a Zionist: Ryan Bellerose, The Metropolitain, Jan. 24, 2013
Exposing the Palestinians' Anna Baltzer: Lee Kaplan, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2013
Deadly Riots Erupt Across Egypt on Anniversary of  Revolution: David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, Jan. 25, 2013



“France’s foreign minister said this month that his country was fighting to prevent the creation of an Islamist terrorist enclave ‘at the doorstep of France and Europe.’ If Mali is on France’s doorstep, Gaza is in Israel’s living room. Make no mistake, France’s principled stand should be commended. We only ask that France and all the countries who are supporting its principled stand today, support Israel tomorrow when we fight Islamic terrorism on our borders.”—Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, in comments at the UN Security Council’s monthly open debate on the Middle East. Referring, furthermore, to the November 2012 UN vote to create a non-voting “State of Palestine” Prosor said, “The only Palestinian state in these halls is the Palestinian state of denial. Last month’s resolution did not confer Palestinian statehood. It did not constitute recognition of a Palestinian state. The change in terminology and titles risks creating a false impression of Palestinian statehood when no such state exists.” (Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2013)

“[I]n our view, any reference to the ‘State of Palestine’ in the United Nations, including the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term ‘State of Palestine’ in the invitation to this meeting or other arrangements for participation in this meeting, do not reflect acquiescence that ‘Palestine’ is a state. Only direct negotiations to settle final status issues will lead to this outcome.”—Susan Rice, American Ambassador to the UN, on the occasion of the first Palestinian address to the Security Council since the U.N. General Assembly voted to upgrade the Palestinians from U.N. observer to non-voting member state. (Washington Post, Jan. 23, 2013)

"I do not understand the meaning of this expression [diplomatic terrorism], but, frankly, yes, we are waging diplomatic war against Israel for our rights, to isolate Israel's policy in our land and delegitimize Israel on our land."—Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in a speech on the occasion of  the birthday of the prophet Mohammed. [Jan. 24]. (Elder of Ziyon,  Jan. 24, 2013)

 “Many of our best friends are telling us…'Don't worry, if worst comes to worst the world will inevitably (help)….It cannot be taken for granted. It's on the screens all around the world, tens of thousands of [Syrian] people slaughtered by their own leader and the world doesn't move."—Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.(Washington Post, Jan. 24, 2013)

“The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they’d go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make?  It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”—Hilary Rodham Clinton, American Secretary of State, responding angrily to a question at the Congressional hearings on the Benghazi debacle in September 2012 where four Americans, including the US Ambassador to Libya, were killed by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists in a pre-planned attack. (Times of Israel, Jan. 23, 2013)


"It [Iran] would definitely use it [a nuclear bomb] against Israel or against any other enemy state. The [Iranian] regime thinks that if it has several atom bombs, [that] will grant it an insurance policy…They believe that the world would treat them the way it treats North Korea."—Mohammed Razza Hidari, a former representative of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, who defected two years ago in Oslo, Norway, speaking to Israel's Channel 2 television on Friday [Jan. 25]. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 25, 2013)


“Having visited Auschwitz twice – once with my family and once with local schools – I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.”—British Liberal Democrat MP David Ward, upon signing the Holocaust Educational Trust's Book of Commitment in the House of Commons. In a further statement to The Commentator Ward said, "The Holocaust was one of the worst examples in history of man's inhumanity to man. When faced with examples of atrocious behaviour, we must learn from them. It appears that the suffering by the Jews has not transformed their views on how others should be treated." The Liberal Democrat party has denounced Ward's statements, saying, “This is a matter we take extremely seriously. The Liberal Democrats deeply regret and condemn the statement issued by David Ward and his use of language which is unacceptable.” (The Commentator, Jan. 25, 2013)

“Not at all hopeful. I think it’s nothing. You saw how it ended in Libya. It ended in a kind of mess, you know. It will happen elsewhere, too. It [will] come and go, and we’ll be back where we started. Chaos, one-man rule, which is how these things usually end in the Muslim world.”—author V.S. Naipaul, in an interview with Isaac Chotiner, commenting on the Arab Spring.  (New Republic, Dec. 20, 2012)


"What is surprising about this is that not only was this a public amputation, but that photos of it were distributed by official press agencies, and that they showed a machine that we had until yet never seen images of. We have noticed that the authorities have recently been making more and more publicity surrounding cases of corporal punishment. Every time we get closer to an election, the number of these incidents increases. And we're getting quite close to the presidential election [slated for June]. I believe this is a strategy to instil fear in the population so as to avoid any protests.”—Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights based in Norway, commenting on the public amputation of an alleged thief’s fingers in Shiraz, Iran, using a new machine invented for that purpose. (American Thinker, Jan. 27, 2013)


“I cannot emphasize enough the challenges that we are all facing, both in Jordan and Lebanon, and it’s only going to get worse. What we’re asking from the international community is not just to help us with the refugee problems and their challenges as they face this harsh winter, but also stockpiling in Jordan so that we can move supplies across the borders to keep people in place.”—King Abdullah of Jordan, commenting on the increasing influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. (New York Times, Jan. 26, 2013)

“This is the beginning of another revolution. The Egyptian pound is down against the dollar. Our economy is even worse now than it was under Mubarak. Morsi behaves like a dictator. Something must be done.”—Ahmed Attif, an anti-Morsi demonstrator in Tahrir Square, where he hawked Palestinian scarves because his usual work in a bazaar disappeared when tourism dropped.
   “We begin again because no other course of action is open to us,” Mr. Ahmed said. “Life is worse for us in every way today. We don’t trust the police. Most of us have serious economic problems and no chance to solve them.” —Mohammad Ahmed, a demonstrator at Tahrir Square.(National Post, Jan. 26, 2013)

“This is not a minister of defense, it’s a minister of chaos. [Choosing Chuck Hagel] makes it seem Mr. Obama is just a joke, American power is just a joke. What we hear from your country makes us so confused. What [potential] American defense minister will say he will never go to war? Such a statement from a high-level politician will…push Iran to understand there is no serious position in America.”—Mithal al Alusi, a former Iraqi Parliamentarian who has championed counter-terrorism cooperation and normalized relations between Iraq and Israel, in an interview with the Algemeiner. (Algemeiner, Jan. 27, 2013)

"For the Morsi I know, any cooperation with Israel is a serious sin, a crime. Anti-Israeli rhetoric is a cornerstone of the Brotherhood's ideology.”—Abdel-Jalil el-Sharnoubi, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who has known Mohammed Morsi for 13 years and believes that behind the Egyptian president's veneer of goodwill towards Israel lies a deep-seated hatred. He explains that Morsi is a "master of disguise." With respect to Egypt itself, Sharnoubi said,  “They [the Brotherhood] will infiltrate all areas of our society: government offices and ministries, schools and universities, as well as the police and the military. They will eliminate their enemies. The Brotherhood will never give up its power without a fight."  (Der Spiegel, Jan. 28, 2013)



Top of Page





HAMAS TO ESTABLISH MILITARY ACADEMY FOR SCHOOLKIDS(Gaza City) Hamas plans to establish a military academy in the Gaza Strip to train and educate schoolchildren. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh announced on Thursday [Jan 24] that the military academy, the first of its kind in the Gaza Strip, would prepare the children for the “phase of liberating Palestine.” He said that children in grades 7-9 could join the school and graduate with a diploma or a BA in military affairs. Haniyeh made this announcement during a ceremony in the Gaza Strip marking the birth of the prophet Muhammad. More than 10,000 schoolchildren attended the ceremony, which included a “military parade” by some of the teenagers. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 24, 2013)


ARABS DESECRATE JOSEPH'S TOMB, AGAIN(Shechem, Samaria) Visitors to the Tomb of Yosef in Shechem were shocked to discover Wednesday night yet another instance of major Arab vandalism to the holy site. Arabs trashed furniture, destroyed books, and defaced the site with anti-Semitic graffiti, and there was evidence that they had tried to burn the structure down. In addition, human and animal waste was found all over the floor of the site. Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika said tonight "Only barbarians do these horrid things to desecrate this holy place." (Arutz-7, Jan. 24, 2013)


NO ISRAELIS KILLED BY WEST BANK TERROR IN 2012, FIRST TIME SINCE 1973(Jerusalem) For the first time since 1973, no Israelis were killed in terror attacks in the West Bank in 2012, according to a report published Thursday by the Israel Security Agency. However, in 2012 there were 578 terror attacks in the West Bank as opposed to 320 incidents in 2011. 10 Israelis were killed during security-related incidents in other parts of the country: 6 by rocket attacks, 2 by shooting, and 2 from terrorist attacks near the Israel-Egypt border. 2,327 rockets and 230 mortar shells were fired from Gaza in 2012. Also, 8 rockets were fired at Israel from Sinai. There were 11 attempts to fire anti-aircraft weaponry at IDF planes, compared to 1 such attempt in 2011. (Ha'aretz, Jan 24, 2013)


IRAN, SYRIA AND NORTH KOREA DEVELOPING BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS (Washington) Dangerous biological weapons are being developed by the nexus of Iran, Syria and North Korea. Among the more than 16 biological agents that Iran reportedly is developing are anthrax, Ebola, encephalitis, biological toxins, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), cholera, smallpox and plague. Worse yet, Iran, with North Korea's help, has genetically altered the smallpox virus in ways that may make current vaccinations ineffective. (Washington Times, Jan. 24, 2013)


ISRAEL GIRDS FOR ATTACKS AS SYRIA FALLS APART(Jerusalem) Israel deployed at least one Iron Dome missile defense battery in northern Israel on Sunday [Jan 27] amid reports of intense security consultations regarding the possibility of Syrian chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist rebels or being transferred to Hizbullah. "If there will be a need, we will take action to prevent chemical weapons from being transferred to Islamic terror organizations," Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told Army Radio. (New York Times, Jan. 27, 2013) [Latest reports indicate that two Iron Dome batteries were moved into northern Israel. – Ed.]


ISRAEL STRIKES AT SYRIA-LEBANON BORDER(Jerusalem) Israeli forces attacked a convoy on the Syrian-Lebanese border on Wednesday, sources told Reuters, after Israelis warned their Lebanese enemy Hezbollah against using chaos in Syria to acquire anti-aircraft missiles or chemical weapons.  "The target was a truck loaded with weapons, heading from Syria to Lebanon," said one Western diplomat, adding that the consignment seemed unlikely to have included chemical weapons. Its load probably included high-tech anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 30, 2013)


PALESTINIAN INFILTRATED INTO SHAVEI SHOMRON FOR SANCTUARY (Shavei Shomron, Israel) On Tuesday [Jan. 29] a Palestinian managed to infiltrate into the town of Shavei Shomron, about 40km due east of Netanya in Shomron.  He was caught by the town’s local security team. Apparently he did not infiltrate into the town to commit a terror attack. The Palestinian was involved in a family feud in his village and ran to the settlement for sanctuary. (Jewish Press, Jan. 29, 2013)


THE GENIUS OF IRANIAN INDUSTRY(Tehran) It seems that cutting off the fingers of thieves the old-fashioned way was messy. Iranian ingenuity came to the rescue and now the mullahs have a machine that cuts off the fingers of thieves. Quick, efficient, and ruthless. One of Iran's official press agencies published photos showing the public amputation of a thief's fingers on Wednesday [Jan. 23] These show a man getting his finger chopped off with a machine resembling a rotary saw. According to the INSA press agency, the man shown getting his finger cut off was charged with robbery and adultery by a court in the south-western city of Shiraz. He was also accused of being at the head of a criminal organization. On top of losing one of his fingers, he was sentenced to three years in prison and 99 whip lashes. (American Thinker, Jan. 27, 2013)



History was made on Saturday evening as natural gas began flowing to its power stations from a regasification ship hired by the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC). The ship, anchored about ten kilometers from the Hadera coast, was connected last week to a marine buoy and as of Saturday night, natural gas began flowing from the LNG (liquid natural gas) ship through an underwater pipeline directly to the Company's power stations throughout the country. The LNG, which is imported from Trinidad, is cheaper than imported oil. This marks an important step in the development of Israel’s new offshore natural gas. The Tamar field is due to begin producing gas in April this year. (Israel National News, Jan. 28, 2013)


IRAN LAUNCHES MONKEY INTO SPACE(Tehran) Iranian state TV says the country has successfully sent a monkey into space, in what is described as another step toward Tehran’s goal of a manned space flight. Monday’s report said the monkey was sent up in a Pishtam, or Explorer, rocket to a height of 120 kilometers (72 miles). The monkey returned safely. The US and its allies worry that technology from the space program could also be used to develop long-range missiles that could potentially be armed with nuclear warheads. (Times of Israel, Jan. 28, 2013)

RUPERT MURDOCH APOLOGIZES FOR LONDON SUNDAY TIMES CARTOON(London) Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, owner of Britain's Sunday Times, has issued an apology for the cartoon that was published by the Times Sunday, calling the image "grotesque" and "offensive." The cartoon depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a large-nosed Jew, hunched over a wall, building with Palestinian blood-cement as they writhe in pain within the wall. (Algemeiner, Jan. 28, 2013)

UNHRC POSTPONES ISRAEL'S REVIEW OVER BOYCOTT(New York) The United Nations Human Rights Council postponed its periodic review of Israel's human rights record on Tuesday [Jan. 29], after Jerusalem said it would boycott the proceedings due to what it perceives as a bias against it. The Council stated that the review would take place no later than November 2013.  UN Watch's Hillel Neuer slammed the Council, saying that "a jury of brigands is not justice, it’s a travesty. We regret that today's resolution failed to acknowledge the elephant in the room: the council's systematic bias against Israel," he said.  (Jerusalem Post, Jan. 29, 2013)

IRAN SENTENCES U.S. PASTOR TO EIGHT YEARS FOR CHRISTIANITY—(Tehran) An American pastor, Saeed Abedini, who has been jailed in Iran since September, has been sentenced to eight years in prison, the U.S. State Department said Sunday. Abedini's attorney, Nasser Sarbazi, said his client, who is of Iranian origin but lives in Boise, Idaho, was tried in the Revolutionary Court on charges of attempting to undermine state security by creating a network of Christian churches in private homes. State Department Spokesman Darby Holladay said, "We condemn Iran's continued violation of the universal right of freedom of religion." (Washington Post, Jan.  , 2013

ANCIENT TIMBUKTU MANUSCRIPTS TORCHED BY ISLAMISTS(Timbuktu, Mali) The historic manuscripts of Timbuktu, including one written in Hebrew, are, reportedly, no more. They were destroyed by Islamic terrorists in the African nation of Mali. The library, which contained thousands of priceless manuscripts from ancient times, was put to the torch as the rebels fled the French and Malian troops who were closing in on the Saharan city. At least one of the manuscripts, buried beneath the sand or in caves for centuries in wooden trunks and boxes, was written in Hebrew. The manuscripts covered women’s rights, medicine, music, poetry, geography, history, religion and even astronomy. Researchers had managed to digitize only a small percentage of the manuscripts. (Arutz Sheva, Jan. 28, 2013)

NORWAY: FAILED BOYCOTT, RECORD IMPORTS FROM ISRAEL(Oslo) In spite of boycotts, Norway has never bought so many goods from Israel as in the last year. “These figures show the lack of success when it comes to boycotting Israeli goods”, says Ola H. Grytten, a professor of economy, to Dagen News.   Interim figures covering Norwegian foreign trade in 2012 show imports from Israel estimated at a value of 762 Million NOK; an increase of 5.5 percent, compared to the year before. On the other hand, total imports to Norway only increased by 1.5 percent. The largest category of goods from Israel is electrical appliances, valued at 129 Million NOK, one million more than in 2011. (Israel What, Jan. 16, 2013)



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A Native and a Zionist: Ryan Bellerose, The Metropolitain, Jan. 24, 2013—I am a Métis from Northern Alberta. My father, Mervin Bellerose, co-authored the Métis Settlements Act of 1989, which was passed by the Alberta legislature in 1990 and cemented our land rights. I founded Canadians for Accountability, a native rights advocacy group, and I am an organizer and participant in the Idle No More movement in Calgary. And I am a Zionist.

Deadly Riots Erupt Across Egypt on Anniversary of  Revolution: David D. Kirkpatrick, New York Times, Jan. 25, 2013— Violence erupted across Egypt on Friday as tens of thousands of demonstrators filled Tahrir Square to mark the second anniversary of the country’s revolution with an outpouring of rage against the rise to power of the Muslim Brotherhood. At least seven protesters and two police officers were killed in clashes in Suez, the state news media said.

Exposing the Palestinians' Anna Baltzer: Lee Kaplan, Gatestone Institute, Jan. 29, 2013—Will Oxford Endorse a Fraud? Anna Baltzer — apparently neither a Fulbright Scholar, nor a descendant of Holocaust survivors, nor an alumna of the Birthright Program — appears to be just a fraud and a fabulist. So why is Oxford having her speak January 31st? 




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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