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On Topic Links  



Israel Must Keep Confronting Obama: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Aug. 25, 2015

Kerry’s Invisible Bridge: Wall Street Journal, Aug. 26, 2015

The IAEA Has Let Us Down: Omri Ceren, Israpundit, Aug. 24, 2015

Questions and Answers About the Iranian Nuclear Agreement: Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, JCPA, Aug. 26, 2015




"This is further clear indication of Iran's increasing involvement in attacks against Israel in particular and against regional targets in general. The ink on the nuclear agreement has not yet dried, and this attack shows clearly how Iran plans to act the moment after the international sanctions are removed." — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement shortly after the IDF airstrike that took out the Islamic Jihad terror cell backed by Iran that launched four rockets into Israel from Syria the day before. (Arutz Sheva, Aug. 21, 2015)

“International inspections should be done by international inspectors. Period. The standard of ’anywhere, anytime’ inspections – so critical to a viable agreement – has dropped to ’when Iran wants, where Iran wants, on Iran’s terms.”’ —U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce. Iran will be allowed to use its own inspectors to investigate a site it has been accused of using to develop nuclear arms, operating under a secret agreement with the UN agency that normally carries out such work. The newly disclosed side agreement, for an investigation of the Parchin nuclear site by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency, is linked to persistent allegations that Iran has worked on atomic weapons. (National Post, Aug. 19. 2015)


“Trusting Iran to inspect its own nuclear site and report to the UN in an open and transparent way is remarkably naive and incredibly reckless. This revelation only reinforces the deep-seated concerns the American people have about the agreement.” — John Cornyn of Texas, the second-ranking Republican senator. Iran has refused access to Parchin for years and has denied any interest in — or work on — nuclear weapons. Based on U.S., Israeli and other intelligence and its own research, the IAEA suspects that the Islamic Republic may have experimented with high-explosive detonators for nuclear arms. The IAEA has cited evidence, based on satellite images, of possible attempts to sanitize the site since the alleged work stopped more than a decade ago. (National Post, Aug. 19, 2015)


“I believe Iran will not change its mind as long as that regime is in power in Tehran…Iran does many things that are not good. They want to revive the Persian Empire. And also they want to dominate the Middle East through destabilization.” —Anwar Eshki, a retired major general in the Saudi armed forces. Gen. Eshki made history in June when he appeared on a panel in Washington with Dore Gold, the newly appointed director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry. At that event, Gen. Eshki outlined a vision for the Middle East that included Arab-Israeli peace, regime change in Tehran, democracy in the Arab world and the creation of a Kurdish state. “The main project between me and Dore Gold is to bring peace between Arab countries and Israel…This is personal, but my government knows about the project. My government isn’t against it, because we need peace. For that reason, I found Dore Gold. He likes his country. I like my country. We need to profit from each other.” Jerusalem and Riyadh, he says, are two powers that “don’t want trouble in the region.” (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 21, 2015)


“These resignations are needed to renew the work and legitimacy of the PLO Executive Committee…They are needed to inject new blood in the PLO. The dangerous conditions in the region require that we all strengthen our internal situation to confront Israeli aggression and escalation.” — Ghassan Shakaa, a member of the PLO Executive Committee. Palestinian officials on issued contradictory statements regarding reports that PA President Mahmoud Abbas had resigned as chairman of the PLO Executive Committee and that nine other committee members submitted their resignations during a meeting in Ramallah the previous day. An official statement released by the Executive Committee made no reference to the reported resignations, while some Palestinian factions and officials ridiculed the reported resignations as a “silly show.” Abbas told visiting Polish journalists on Sunday that he and other members of the PLO had indeed resigned. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 23, 2015)


"Erdogan is back in the driver's seat…But the car's wheels are falling — and the car is breaking down." —Svante Cornell, Director of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared a shadow of his former self after his party suffered major losses in June elections. Two months on, the shrewd politician seems to be back in the saddle. The coalition-building he reportedly opposed has collapsed, and Turkey is now edging closer toward the repeat elections that he has been angling for. Last week, he claimed that since he was elected by popular vote instead of by Parliament, Turkey now had a "de facto" new system with a more powerful president, and a new constitution was needed to reflect the change. (Fox News, Aug. 18, 2015)


"We haven't seen something similar since the Second World War…I think this is the biggest attempt, the most brutal systematic destruction of world heritage." —UNESCO chief Irina Bokova. A series of recent attacks has stoked fears that I.S. is accelerating its campaign to demolish and loot heritage sites. Last Friday, witnesses said I.S. bulldozed St. Elian Monastery in central Syria. Days earlier, they beheaded an 81-year-old antiquities scholar who had dedicated his life to overseeing the ruins of Palmyra in Syria, one of the Middle East's most spectacular archaeological sites. Bokova said recent images of archaeological sites under I.S. control in Iraq and Syria show signs of widespread illegal digging and looting. "If you look at the maps, the photos, the satellite pictures of it, you will not recognize one place…It is just hundreds of holes all around them." Palmyra has remained largely intact, but Bokova said "we know that some of the destruction is starting…The drama … and the tragedy, I think is that we don't know what will happen tomorrow…The fact that Dr. al-Asaad was accused of protecting a place where idolatry is being practiced shows that unfortunately this (destruction) may not stop." (New York Times, Aug. 21, 2015)


"There are many Christians that support Israel, but they don't come out…Those who know what real apartheid is, as I know, know that there is nothing in Israel that looks like apartheid." —Kenneth Rasalabe Joseph Meshoe, President of the African Christian Democratic Party. Meshoe went on to say that calling Israel an apartheid state "is an empty political statement that does not hold (any) truth," adding, "You see people of different colors, backgrounds and religions," interacting with each other everyday. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 25, 2015)  


"Over the past months, and especially over the last few days, the communities of Judea and Samaria have faced very serious terror attacks…The settlements are at the forefront of the struggle, and the price paid by the settlers, is a painful price indeed…We must be an iron wall, a protective shield, against those who seek to rise up against us…At the same time, we must remember that our struggle is not a struggle for the sake of struggle…We are fighting for our lives, for the continued growth of the settlements, a struggle for development, work, and prosperity.” — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin. Rivlin hosted the regional and municipal heads of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Rivlin spoke of the recent wave of terror attacks in the region. (Arutz Sheva, Aug. 24, 2015) 





UN WILL ALLOW IRAN TO INSPECT ITS OWN NUCLEAR SITE (New York) — Under an unprecedented secret agreement, the United Nations will allow Iranian experts to inspect their own military site reportedly used to develop nuclear weapons, according to a document obtained by the AP. Usually, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is tasked with inspecting a member nation's nuclear weapons sites. However, the UN agency reached a separate deal with Iran concerning inspections at the Parchin military site without consent from the U.S. and the other international powers who signed the broader Iran nuclear agreement. (IPT, Aug. 19, 2015)


U.N. WATCHDOG: WE NEED MONEY TO MONITOR IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL (London) — More than $10 million a year will be needed from member states to monitor the proposed Iran nuclear deal, said Yukiya Amano, director general of the IAEA, and funds are already running out. A further 160,000 euros ($185,000) per month will also be needed between the day the agreement is adopted and when it's implemented, he added, as the IAEA carries out preparatory work to enable the verification and monitoring process. Under the deal, the IAEA will be responsible for determining the protocol and carrying out the inspections of Iranian nuclear sites. (CNN, Aug. 25, 2015)


MOROCCAN CHARGED WITH TERROR ATTACK ON FRENCH TRAIN (Paris) — Prosecutors have charged a Moroccan man, Ayoub El Khazzani, over last week's attack on a high-speed French train, accusing him of a "targeted and premeditated" jihadist assault that would have ended in carnage had passengers not intervened. A Paris prosecutor said Khazzani had boarded a train in Brussels Friday armed with a Kalashnikov assault rifle and 270 rounds of ammunition, as well as a Luger pistol, a bottle of petrol and a box-cutter. The 25-year-old walked out of a toilet armed and topless before being subdued by two young American off-duty servicemen, their friend and a 62-year-old British consultant who have since been given France's top honour, the Legion d'Honneur. (Yahoo, Aug. 26, 2015)


POLICE CRACK DOWN ON BEIRUT PROTESTS (Beirut) — Police fired water cannons and rubber bullets into a crowd of mostly youthful protesters in Lebanon’s capital, wounding at least fifty people outside the office of Prime Minister Tamam Salam. Thousands had gathered for a second day of protests, decrying a trash dispute that has led to giant garbage piles across the country, prompting calls for the prime minister to step down. The country has been without a president for over a year. The protests have been largely coordinated by members of the “You Stink” campaign, a nonviolent secular movement that was formed in answer to the trash crisis that has left mounds of trash simmering in the summer heat across Beirut and neighboring areas. (Wall Street Journal, Aug. 23, 2015)


LIEBERMAN AND GRAHAM HEADLINE BIPARTISAN STOP IRAN RALLY (New York) — Stop Iran Rally, the grassroots movement that brought 15,000 people to Times Square in July, will protest against the deal with Iran at Senator Gillibrand’s office in New York City on September 1. US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and retired US Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman will headline the bipartisan rally, where they will deliver a landmark foreign policy speech. Family members of victims of Iranian terror, including the daughter of an Iranian journalist who died a political prisoner and the brother of a US Navy Seal tortured and killed on TWA Flight 847 by Iranian proxy Hezbollah, will also address the thousands expected to attend the rally. (Jewish Press, Aug. 25, 2015)


ISRAEL ALMOST ATTACKED IRANIAN MILITARY POSITIONS SAYS EHUD BARAK (Jerusalem) — Former Israeli defence minister Ehud Barak has said Israel was about to launch a full-scale military attack on key Iranian positions multiple times between 2009 and 2012, but stopped short. The claim was strongly denied by the present government led by Prime Minister Netanyahu. Barak, who served under Netanyahu, said he also rallied behind the idea of an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities along with the premier but the plan was suspended due to opposition from military chiefs and other government leaders. (International Business Times, Aug. 22, 2015)


TASE REGAINS GROUND, FOLLOWS US, EUROPEAN MARKETS  (Tel Aviv) — The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) on Tuesday regained ground after two days of brutal losses that mirrored global markets. The TA-25 index of the largest 25 companies on the exchange rose 2.58% to 1,609, while the TA-100 rose 2.92% to 1,400, though the market was still lower than a week earlier, when the TA-25 was nearly 7% higher. The TASE followed the paths of markets in the US and Europe that lost substantial ground Friday and Monday, even as Chinese markets continued to plummet. Those markets saw dramatic dips Monday over worries that China's economy was slowing significantly. The Shanhai Shenszen CSI 300, on the other hand, had fallen another 7%. (Jerusalem Post, Aug. 25, 2015) 


KURDS SUPPLYING MOST OF ISRAEL'S OIL (Jerusalem) — In the past few months Israel has imported about three-quarters of the oil it consumes from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, according to a report. It has thus provided cash to the Kurds to support their fight against I.S. According to the Financial Times, Israeli refineries and oil companies imported more than 19 million barrels of Kurdish oil between the beginning of May and August 11. The FT says that this is the equivalent of about 77% of average Israeli demand, which runs at roughly 240,000 barrels per day, and accounts for more than a third of all of the northern Iraqi exports. Iraq has no official ties with Israel. (Globes, Aug. 24, 2015)


ISRAEL CARRIES OUT 2ND ROUND OF AIRSTRIKES IN SYRIA (Damascus) — The Israeli military mounted a second round of airstrikes in Syria on Friday morning, killing all of the passengers traveling in a vehicle and intensifying the most serious conflict in the area in months. The Israeli military said it was pursuing militants who had fired rockets at Israeli-controlled areas on Thursday, saying in a statement that the air force had “targeted part of the terror cell responsible for the rocket fire” but providing no further information. Sana, the official Syrian news agency, said an Israeli drone strike hit a civilian vehicle on Friday near a marketplace in Al Koum, a village in the Quneitra area on the Syrian-controlled side of the Golan Heights. Israel repeated its claim that Iran was ultimately to blame for the rocket fire. (New York Times, Aug. 21, 2015)


I.S. PUBLISHES IMAGES OF PALMYRA TEMPLE DESTRUCTION (Damascus) — I.S. on Tuesday published images showing the destruction of the Baal Shamin temple in Syria’s Palmyra, after international condemnation of the act. The series of images showed militants placing barrels and small containers, presumably containing explosives, into the temple, as well as similar containers placed on parts of its columns. The images, which appeared to be screenshots from a video, also showed a large explosion apparently as the temple was blown up, and then a pile of rubble at its former location. The temple, which is considered ancient Palmyra’s second-most significant site, was reportedly destroyed on Sunday and news of its demolition sparked international condemnation. (Times of Israel, Aug. 25, 2015)


ISLAMIC JIHAD PLANNED ATTACK AT JOSEPH'S TOMB (Jerusalem) — Israeli authorities foiled a Palestinian cell's plan to conduct a terrorist attack targeting Jewish worshipers at Joseph's Tomb in the West Bank, Israel's domestic security agency Shin Bet announced. The Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization reportedly armed and directed the cell to carry out a bombing and shooting attack. This development comes amid rising tensions between Israel the Islamic Jihad, as the group threatens to retaliate if Mohammad Allan – the former hunger-striking detainee affiliated with the terrorist group – is harmed. Last week, the IDF blamed Islamic Jihad operatives in Syria for firing four rockets which landed in the Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee.(IPT, Aug. 25, 2015)


US COURT IMPOSES $10M BOND ON PLO AND PA IN TERRORISM CASE (New York) — The judge in a New York terrorism case that ended in a victory for the plaintiffs on Monday, Aug. 24, imposed a $10 million bond on the defendants, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. The defendants must also make $1 million monthly payments during the duration of any appeals of the $655 million award to the plaintiffs at the end of the jury trial back in February. Attorneys for the plaintiffs, which included the Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin, had requested a $30 million monthly bond be paid into an account until the case is resolved. (Jewish Press, Aug. 25, 2015)


HAMAS CAPTURES DOLPHIN ‘SPYING’ FOR ISRAEL (Jerusalem) — Hamas claims it has captured one of Israel’s stealthiest secret agents — an undercover dolphin. Divers working for the terror group say they seized a dolphin in the Mediterranean off the Gaza Strip that was equipped by Israeli intelligence with a remote-control camera. It was also found wearing another device from which harpoons large enough to kill a man could be fired remotely, Hamas alleged. The Palestinian naval fighters wrangled the mammal to shore a few days ago after they spied it making “suspicious movements,” according to Arab news. The group’s military officials claim the dolphin is proof that Israel has been waging an underwater espionage war off the Gaza Strip. (New York Post, Aug. 19, 2015)


UK ISLAMIST ‘FOUND’ ON ASHLEY MADISON HACK LIST (London) — A well known British Islamist preacher, Hamza Tzortzis, has turned up on the Ashley Madison user list that was leaked by hackers earlier this week, according to his own Facebook page. Tzortzis, who is a prominent member of the Islamic Education and Research Academy which tours British universities posted yesterday that he had been tipped off that his details were included in the leak, but denied ever using the extra-marital dating service. He is best known for his debates with atheist Richard Dawkins, but Tzortzis has also made statements flagged up in the British media in recent years. He has claimed that those who leave Islam “should be killed” as well as arguing that beheading is painless. (Breitbart, Aug. 23, 2015) 


ISRAELI GOVT TO ESTABLISH ANTI BDS TASKFORCE  (Jerusalem) —The Israeli government is expected to approve the establishment of a taskforce to fight the boycotting of Israel. The taskforce will be run by Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan, who says he has studied the subject since joining the government. The announcement represents a new stage in dealing with the BDS phenomenon with its various offshoots. Until now, the issue was handled by only one official at the Foreign Ministry, and sporadically by Israeli representatives around the world, who used their own judgment to tackle each case. (Jewish Press, Aug. 22, 2015)


J STREET U ELECTS MUSLIM STUDENT AS PRESIDENT (Washington) — The campus arm of left-wing pro-Israel group J Street elected a Muslim-American student to serve as president of its national student board. At its “Summer Leadership Institute” in Washington, J Street U elected Amna Farooqi, a senior at the University of Maryland who is of Pakistani descent. Approximately 120 J Street U student leaders attended the gathering, and J Street U says it has 4,000 active participants on 75 college campuses in the U.S. A native of suburban Washington, Farooqi grew up in a “fairly religious Muslim home” with “a lot of Jewish friends,” Haaretz reported. (Times of Israel, Aug. 20, 2015)


NO ARAB WOMEN AND CHILDREN HECKLERS ALLOWED ON TEMPLE MOUNT  (Jerusalem) — Arab women and children who have spent more than a week harassing Jewish visitors to the Temple Mount were barred from entering the site on Tuesday by security forces. Adult Arab men with Israeli identification cards are being allowed to enter the site, according to Israel Police, but are being asked to leave within a half hour of their entry. The restrictions came in the wake of recent violence by the burka-clad women and Arab children, who were terrorizing every Jewish visitor to the site. The Arab hecklers clearly answered to Islamic authorities, who were seen in several videos telling them to be quiet during questioning at the entrance to the site — and they immediately lowered the volume of their chants. (Jewish Press, Aug. 25, 2015)


INDIA SEEKS ISRAELI HELP TO BECOME NEXT “START UP NATION” (Delhi) —On the occasion India’s 69th Independence Day on August 15, 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the initiative “Start-up India, Stand up India”, aimed at encouraging individuals to start new ventures and businesses — not just in technology sector. Israel is India’s key partner when it comes to start ups, academic and scientific research. This year alone, Indian multinationals have invested millions in Israeli start up and innovation ecosystem, hoping to hires the best talent and acquire cutting-edge technology. India’s private sector involvement in Israel also includes setting up technology incubators and investments in Universities. (Legal Insurrection, Aug. 18, 2015) 


On Topic Links 


Israel Must Keep Confronting Obama: Isi Leibler, Israel Hayom, Aug. 25, 2015 —The U.S.-Israel tensions that have escalated over the Iranian issue during the past month have ‎led to waves of criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ‎

Kerry’s Invisible Bridge: Wall Street Journal, Aug. 26, 2015 —Maybe we’ve been unduly harsh with John Kerry when it comes to the Iran deal. We’ve tried to judge the agreement according to the likelihood that it will thwart Tehran’s bid to get nuclear weapons.

The IAEA Has Let Us Down: Omri Ceren, Israpundit, Aug. 24, 2015 —The morning conversation has been split between worries over the stock market meltdown, on the domestic side, and stories on the Legion of Honor awards, on the foreign affairs side.

Questions and Answers About the Iranian Nuclear Agreement: Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, JCPA, Aug. 26, 2015—Is it a good deal? Even by the criteria that the Americans declared at the start of the talks and during them, it is a bad deal. The question, however, is tautological since, for the U.S. Administration any deal it accepts is a good deal by definition, since otherwise it would not have signed on it.


Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes


Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf


On Topic Links


'PA Promotes Hatred, Terror Towards Israelis, Jews': Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013
Argentina-Iran Deal Makes a Mockery of Justice: Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, Jan. 30, 2013

How Water Became a Weapon in Arab-Israeli Conflict: Yochanan Visser, Jerusalem Post, Feb.3, 2013



"It is rather quaint to be lectured about settlements from the representative of a country which has ethnically cleansed the northern part of Cyprus and illegally settled 200,000 Turks in that territory."—an Israeli official, on Monday in response to yet another anti-Israel tirade by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who said that, “Israel has now been rendered by the international community a ‘pariah’ status for its expanding illegal settlements.” Turkey's leaders have become the "laughingstock of the international community with their self-righteous discourse," said the official, accusing Turkish leaders of “brazen hypocrisy.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2013)

"The attack in Burgas was only one of a series of recent terrorist operations against civilians in Thailand, Kenya, Turkey, India, Azerbaijan, Cyprus and Georgia. All this is happening in parallel to the deadly support given by Hizbullah and Iran to the murderous Assad regime in Syria. The attack in Burgas was an attack on European soil against a member country of the EU. We hope that the Europeans draw the necessary conclusions as to the true character of Hizbullah."—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a statement in response to the Bulgarian government's announcement placing blame on Hizbollah for the terrorist bombing in Burgas. (Israel Prime Minister's Office, Feb. 5, 2013)

“If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the punishment [often death] for apostasy, Islam would not exist today.” —Yusuf al-Qaradawi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood and one of the most respected leaders of the Sunni world, recently on Egyptian television. (Gatestone Institute, Feb 5, 2013)


"The idea of establishing a 'truth commission' on the AMIA tragedy that involves the Iranian regime would be like asking Nazi Germany to help establish the facts of Kristallnacht," —David Harris, American Jewish Committee, commenting on a  deal struck between Argentina and Iran to jointly investigate a 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which according to Argentine prosecutors and Interpol was masterminded by top Iranian officials. (Miami Herald, Jan. 30, 2013)

“I could not agree more with the decision of the Israeli government to withdraw from this particularly disgraceful UN body [UN Human Rights Council]. I find it appalling and hypocritical in the extreme that the Council's "fact-finding mission" report would dare call for sanctions against Israel, even as they routinely ignore the grossest human rights violations of many of its member states, half of whom deserve to be investigated well before Israel.” Nachman Shai, a member of Israel's Knesset for the Labor Party. (Ha'aretz, Feb. 1, 2013)

“The Palestinian Authority continues to promote incitement… and a culture of hate, terror, and non-acceptance toward Israelis and Jews. The Palestinians have a full system of indoctrination, including government-sponsored television programs, PA youth magazines and summer camps.”—Yosef Kuperwasser, the deputy director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry, presenting Israel’s response to an American-funded study that asserted that instances of demonization and dehumanization of Jews in Palestinian school books are “rare.” (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013)

“There’s an unexplained feeling in our hearts, an overwhelming excitement, emotionally and spiritually. For over 2,000 years, we have been waiting for this moment. We know that we are the hopes of many generations. We are the ones who have the privilege of finally stepping foot back in the Land of Israel.”—Ephraim Manlun, a recently arrived member of the B’nei Menashe community from northeast India who came on the first flight of a renewed wave of aliya for this ancient Israelite tribe. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 4, 2013)

“The continuation of conflict, and the differences among the various political groups on the management of the country’s affairs, may lead to the collapse of the [Egyptian] state.” Egyptian Gen. Al Sisi, in comments posted to the [Egyptian] military’s Facebook page, in response to the ongoing violence that has resulted in at least 60 people killed during protests against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. The General added that the violence and political deadlock “threaten the future of coming generations.” (Globe and Mail, Jan. 30, 2013)

“What is happening now in Egypt is natural in nations experiencing a shift to democracy. Nations take time to stabilize and in some countries that took many years. It has only been two years in Egypt and, God willing, things will stabilize soon.”—Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to reporters during a brief visit to Germany on Wednesday.[Jan. 30] (Washington Post, Jan. 31, 2013)

"There is no question when you start passing MANPADs [anti-aircraft missiles that can be carried by a single person] around, that becomes a threat—not just to military aircraft but to civilian aircraft. That is an escalation." Leon Panetta, outgoing U.S. Defence Secretary to The Wall Street Journal commenting on the recent interception of a boat off the coast of Yemen carrying MANPADs said to have been supplied by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. (Wall Street Journal, Feb. 2, 2013)

“The report disregards the thousands of suicide bombings, knifings, and other terrorist attacks committed by Palestinian Arab groups, failing to acknowledge how this violence brought about Israeli security measures in the territories that did not previously exist. The reality is that the HRC’s fact-finding enterprise is dedicated chiefly to attacking but one country: Israel. In the entire history of the HRC, there have been seven one-sided inquiry missions on Israel, and only five on the rest of the world combined. Mass atrocities committed by Iran, China, or Sri Lanka, for example, have never been subjected to a single HRC inquiry. In a week when the UN legitimized genocidal Sudan, by electing the regime as vice-president of a top human rights body, it is now focusing its scarce time, resources and moral outrage on yet another biased, politicized and one-sided report against Israel.”—Hillel Neuer, UN Watch executive director, commenting on the UN Human Right’s Council recent report which said that Israel was violating international humanitarian law under the Fourth Geneva Convention and that Israeli settlements are “a mesh of construction and infrastructure leading to a creeping annexation that prevents the establishment of a contiguous and viable Palestinian State and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.” (National Post, Jan 31, 2013)

“a kind of weapon for the Palestinians.”—Christine Chanet, a French judge and head of the UN panel behind the UN Human Rights Council report on Israel, characterizing a possible use that could be made of the report by the Palestinians if they decide to take Israel to the International Criminal Court, as they have repeatedly threatened to do. (National Post, Jan 31, 2013)

“Israel’s preference would be if a Western entity would control these weapons systems. But because it appears the world is not prepared to do what was done in Libya or other places, then Israel finds itself, like it has many times in the past, facing a dilemma that only it knows how to respond to.”—Tzachi Hanegbi, incoming Israeli Member of Knesset close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  (National Post, Jan. 31, 2013)

“America keeps silent. The way we see it as Arabs: If you are silent, then you are agreeing with what is happening.”—Abdulkader al-Saleh, leader of the military wing of Al Tawhid, the largest antigovernment fighting group operating in and near Syria’s most populous city, Aleppo .
  “All the world has abandoned us. If the revolution lasts for another year, you’ll see all the Syrian people like Al Qaeda; all the people will be like Al Qaeda.”—Abdel-Aziz Salameh, Al Tawhid’s political leader. (New York Times, Feb. 2, 2013)

“I don’t expect any serious strategic repercussions. There’s very little sympathy in the region for Syria and Iran, and I don’t think they’ll get any traction by escalating the conflict. Hezbollah is not going to retaliate either, and that would’ve been the easiest way for Syria to bring pressure on Israel.”—Gary Gambill, associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, commenting on recent Israeli airstrikes in Syria.
   “Syria is in such a bad state right now that an Israeli retaliation to a Syrian action would be harsh and could topple the regime. Therefore Syria is not responding.”—Moshe Maoz, a professor emeritus who specializes in Syria at Hebrew University.
   “There’s a huge imbalance of power, obviously in favour of the Israelis. It’s not a war Syria could win and it knows that.”—Bessma Momani, political science professor at the University of Waterloo and fellow at the Brookings Institution. (National Post, Feb. 1, 2013)

“While the world is discussing where and when the next meeting with Iran will be, Iran is rapidly advancing towards obtaining a nuclear bomb. The international community cannot allow Iran to arm itself with a nuclear weapon.”—a senior official from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office in response to Iran’s announcement that it was planning to increase its uranium enrichment. (National Post, Feb. 1, 2013)


Top of Page




BULGARIA: HEZBOLLAH BEHIND BOMBING THAT KILLED FIVE ISRAELIS(Sofia) After 7-month probe, Bulgarian interior minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, announced Tuesday [Feb 5] that two Hezbollah terrorists were involved in the Burgas suicide bombing of a bus transporting Israeli tourists from airport. "We have established that the two were members of the militant wing of Hezbollah," Tsvetanov said. "There is data showing the financing and connection between Hezbollah and the two suspects." The conclusions of the Bulgarian investigation may open the way for the European Union to join the United States in branding the Iranian-backed Hezbollah a terrorist organization since there is now a clear connection to an attack on EU territory.(Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2013)

NGO MONITOR: FOREIGN GOVERNEMTS FUNDING ISRAELI NGOS(Jerusalem)  Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor released a report analyzing submissions made by NGOs to the Israeli registrar of non-profits in Israel in 2012, as legislated under the NGO Transparency law. The reports for 2012 show that a total amount of 34,355,579 NIS ($9,161,000 CA) annually is being provided to 30 NGOs from a number of foreign governments. NGO Monitor highlights in our analysis the use of foreign government money to fund political advocacy NGOs based in Israel. As of January 27, 2013, 13 political advocacy NGOs reported grants from foreign governments totaling 21,671,115 NIS, these groups include B’Tselem, Physicians for Human Rights Israel, Gisha, and Yesh Din. (NGO Monitor, Feb. 4, 2013)

OBAMA TO VISIT ISRAEL ON PASSOVER EVE TO PUSH PEACE(Jerusalem) President Barack Obama is planning to visit Israel, the PA and Jordan this spring, probably in March, the White House said yesterday, hinting at a new American effort to restart Israel-Palestinian peace efforts.  Israel’s Channel 10 News cited a source in Washington that said the president will visit Jerusalem on March 20th—the week just before Pesach. (Jewish Press, Feb. 6, 2013)


HUNGARY ORDERS HOLOCAUST DENIER TO VISIT AUSCHWITZ(Budapest) A court in Hungary ordered a Holocaust denier to serve a most unconventional punishment. He was instructed to visit either the Budapest Holocaust memorial center, the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp or the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel. Gyorgy Nagy, a 42-year-old unemployed computer technician, is the first Hungarian convicted under the country’s Holocaust denial law, which came into effect in February 2010. Nagy was arrested at a political rally in Budapest in 2011 when the local police read on the banner he was holding: “The Shoah didn’t happen.” The court also gave him an 18- month suspended jail sentence. If Nagy chooses to visit the local Holocaust memorial center, he will have to visit the place three times, and write down his thoughts and observations after his visits in order to complete his sentence. Holocaust denial is a crime in Hungary punishable by a maximum three-year sentence.(Jerusalem Post, Feb. 3, 2013)

ISRAELIS UNHAPPY WITH STUDY OF THEIR TEXTBOOKS(Jerusalem) A [US] State Department-funded study to be released Monday [Feb 4] on how Israelis and Palestinians depict each other in textbooks says both sides are locked into narratives that portray the other side as the enemy and erase it from maps, yet do not dehumanize each other. The study was boycotted by Israel's Education Ministry, which refused to cooperate. The ministry called the study biased and said it was based on a false comparison between the Israeli and Palestinian school systems. Passages related to peace were extremely rare in Palestinian books, present in only 2% of those examined. Such passages were present in 25% of the books used in Israeli public schools. (Washington Post, Feb. 3, 2013)

EGYPT’S DIESEL RESERVE ONLY ENOUGH FOR THREE DAYS (Cairo) Egypt’s strategic reserve of diesel fuel — used for trucks and group transport vehicles — can meet demand only for three days, according to an official at the Ministry of Supply and Domestic Trade, who added that the shortage would be resolved soon. “Though the strategic reserve of diesel fuel has dropped from five days to three days, it has helped curb the […] crisis,” Magdy Wasfy, director of the ministry’s subsidy department, told state-run news agency MENA on Tuesday. Since the January 2011 uprising, Egypt has suffered chronic fuel shortages, resulting in long lines of vehicles outside oil stations. (Egypt Independent, February 5, 2013)

IRAN'S AHMADINEJAD LANDS IN EGYPT ON HISTORIC VISIT(Cairo) Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived in Egypt on Tuesday on the first trip by an Iranian head of state since the 1979 revolution, underlining the thaw in relations since Egyptians elected an Islamist head of state. President Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood politician elected in June, kissed Ahmadinejad as he disembarked from his plane at Cairo airport. The leaders walked down a red carpet, Ahmadinejad smiling as he shook hands with waiting dignitaries. .(Jerusalem Post, Feb. 5, 2013)

ALEPPO EXECUTIONS: SEVENTY-NINE BODIES PULLED FROM SYRIA RIVER(Aleppo)At least seventy-nine Syrian men and teenage boys, each with a single bullet hole to the head, have been found dead in a river in Aleppo in the biggest mass execution of the country’s two-year civil war. It was impossible to be certain who was responsible for their deaths. But those identified, at least half the total by nightfall, were from rebel-held districts, and locals blamed government checkpoints on the other side of the river. Most of them were young men, some dressed in military fatigues, and others in civilian clothes. The corpses of two young boys, no older than 11 and 15, were among the dead.  (The Telegraph, Jan. 29, 2013)

SEPARATE CARS FOR WOMEN ON TRAINS STARTING WEDNESDAY (Cairo) The Egyptian Railways Authority is set to enforce women’s-only train cars on several popular routes to and from the capital starting Wednesday. [Feb 6] The move is part of its efforts to curb sexual harassment, which is rampant across the country. Egyptian women are already afforded private metro cars in Cairo, which comprise the only public transportation that separates genders. In 2008, an Egyptian court dismissed a lawsuit filed by two lawyers demanding the end of women’s-only cars on the grounds that separating the sexes violates gender equality.  The court ruled that allocating cars to women did not fall under its jurisdiction and added that Islamic law emphasizes respect for women, which obligates the state to protect them. (Egypt Independent, Feb. 5, 2013)

NAZI PLUNDER TRIGGERS FUROR ART DEALER’S ANCESTORS FIGHT FOR MASTERPIECES(Berlin) The heir to a prominent Jewish art dealer who fled Adolf Hitler’s Germany urged the state of North Rhine-Westphalia to relinquish paintings by Paul Klee and Juan Gris that he says were lost due to Nazi persecution. Alfred Flechtheim was one of the earliest collectors of Pablo Picasso in Germany and among the best-known art dealers in Europe before the Second World War, representing Klee, George Grosz and Max Beckmann as well as the French Cubists. His great-nephew Mike Hulton, a medical doctor based in California, first contacted the Dusseldorf museum that houses the two works in 2008. (Bloomberg News,  Jan. 29, 2013)

IRAN PLANS TO VASTLY INCREASE PACE OF URANIUM ENRICHMENT(Vienna) In a defiant move ahead of nuclear talks, Iran has announced plans to vastly increase its pace of uranium enrichment, which can make both reactor fuel and the fissile core of warheads. Eager to avoid scuttling those negotiations, world powers are keeping their response low-key. Iran told the International Atomic Energy Agency of its intentions last week, and the IAEA informed member nations in an internal note seen by The Associated Press on Thursday. The brief note quoted Iran as saying new-generation IR2m “centrifuge machines …will be used” to populate a new “unit” – a technical term for an assembly that can consist of as many as 3,132 centrifuges. (National Post, Jan 31, 2013)

EXHIBITION DETAILS HITLER’S RISE(Berlin) On the 80th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s rise to power, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Germans to always fight for their principles and not fall into the complacency that enabled the Nazi dictator to seize control. Opening the exhibition Berlin 1933 – The Road to Dictatorship at the documentation centre Topography of Terror, on the former grounds of the SS and Gestapo headquarters in Berlin, the chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the rise of Hitler had been made possible because "the majority had, at the very best, behaved with indifference. The co-operation of the German elite and broad swaths of society" had allowed it, she said, speaking almost precisely to the minute that Paul Hindenburg, then the president of the Reich, had sworn Hitler in as chancellor eight decades before. (The Guardian, Jan. 31, 2013)

CANADIAN EXTREMISTS MORE LIKELY HOMEGROWN: 'SECRET' CSIS REPORT(Ottawa) Violent Canadian extremists are more likely to be citizens than immigrants, according to a “secret” study by the federal intelligence service. And these radicals tend to be relatively young and well-integrated members of society. These findings appear in “A Study of Radicalization: The Making of Islamist Extremists in Canada Today,” a 21-page study released to The Globe and Mail under the Access to Information Act. Canadian-born radicals now “represent a plurality” of those identified as violent extremists. In fact, none of the radicals studied by CSIS were “assessed to be poorly integrated into Canadian society.” It adds that “the low incidence of refugee claimants would suggest that immigration trauma is not a significant driver for radicalization in Canada.” (The Globe and Mail Feb. 2 2013)

RABBI MARTIN PENN PASSES AWAY AT SIXTY-THREE. (Montreal) CIJR notes with sadness the passing of Rabbi Martin Penn, in Montreal, on Monday, 21 January 2013, at age sixty-three. Rabbi Penn was one of the leader's of Montreal's Free Soviet Jewry movement, and at his passing he was co-rabbi of Congregation Shomrim Laboker. A fine scholar and religious leader, Rabbi Penn first fought back after a debilitating stroke, and then valiantly struggled against cancer.  "May his memory forever be a blessing", Yish hassid v'zadik.

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'PA Promotes Hatred, Terror Towards Israelis, Jews': Sam Sokol, Jerusalem Post, Feb. 6, 2013Israel attacks study comparing Palestinian and Israeli textbooks, while Washington tries to distance itself from report. “The Palestinian Authority continues to promote incitement… and a culture of hate, terror, and non-acceptance toward Israelis and Jews,” government officials told foreign journalists on Tuesday.

Argentina-Iran Deal Makes a Mockery of Justice: Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald, Jan. 30, 2013—Argentina has crossed a line by making a sweet deal with Iran to jointly investigate a 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which according to Argentine prosecutors and Interpol was masterminded by top Iranian officials.


How Water Became a Weapon in Arab-Israeli Conflict: Yochanan Visser, Jerusalem Post, Feb.3, 2013—The conflict between the Palestinians and Israel is fought on many fronts nowadays. This is the result of a change in strategy decided on by the current Palestinian Authority leadership in 2008. A 2008 report by The Palestinian Strategy Group, which advises the PA, called “Regaining the Initiative” formed the basis of this strategic overhaul in PA politics vis-à-vis Israel.



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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