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On Topic Links  


NB: Beth Tikvah Synagogue & CIJR Present: The Annual Sabina Citron International Conference:

THE JEWISH THOUGHT OF EMIL L. FACKENHEIM: JUDAISM, ZIONISM, HOLOCAUST, ISRAEL — Toronto, Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The day-long Beth Tikvah Conference, co-chaired by Prof. Frederick Krantz (CIJR) and Rabbi Jarrod R. Grover (Beth Tikvah), open to the public and especially to students, features original papers by outstanding Canadian and international scholars, some his former students, on the many dimensions of Emil L. Fackenheim's exceptionally powerful, and prophetic thought, and on his rich life and experience. Tickets: Regular – $36; Seniors – $18; students free. For registration, information, conference program, and other queries call 1-855-303-5544 or email Visit our site:


Contents: |  Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links


On Topic Links


Obama’s Syria Debacle: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Oct. 1, 2015

The Syrian Disaster Just Got Even Worse: National Post, Oct. 5, 2015

‘PA Instability Adding to Unrest’: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 7, 2015

The Impossible Abbas: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Oct. 4, 2015




“President Obama has said that he is committed to preventing dangerous weapons coming into the hands of Iran's proxies, that he wants to prevent Iran from destabilizing countries in the Middle East…There is no better partner for that than Israel.” — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The premier explained that the two countries must now work together to contain Tehran’s aggression in the region and ensure its compliance with the deal to curb its nuclear program. Israel, he said, is the most powerful country that stands in the breach of a collapsing region. “The one party that is standing there 10 miles from ISIS, a few hundred yards from Iran's murderous proxies, is Israel. Now, we're protecting ourselves. But in so doing, we're also protecting the neighborhood." (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 4, 2015)


"Targets hit are not in areas where Islamic State operates…Thus, strikes not about fighting Islamic State but instead about helping increasingly weak Assad government." — Robert Ford, a former U.S. ambassador to Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to launch airstrikes last week in Syria caught world leaders still debating a common approach to the conflict off-guard. While Russia insists that its initial targets were I.S. militants, U.S. and European leaders openly questioned whether the attacks were instead taking aim at other opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad, a long-time Putin ally. (National Post, Oct. 1, 2015)  


"What is for certain is that the Western officials are lost, lack clarity of vision and are feeling the failure of their plots (toward Syria)…The only goal that was realized … is the destruction of much infrastructure in Syria, shedding lots of blood…In reality, they are the biggest contributor for reaching this stage by supporting terrorism and imposing a siege on Syria…They attack terrorism but they are terrorists in their policies either by imposing the siege of by supporting the terrorists." — Syria's President Bashar Assad. Assad said that the air campaign by Russia against "terrorists" in his country must succeed or the whole region will be destroyed, stressing that the fight against terrorism must precede a political process. In the interview with Iran's Khabar TV, Assad also accused Western nations of fueling the refugee crisis and said the U.S.-led coalition to fight I.S. will only spark more instability in his country and the region. (Ottawa Citizen, Oct. 5, 2015)


“An air campaign alone won’t do the job. You will need ground forces to fight Islamic State. Through an air campaign you can pulverize the enemy, but you cannot control the land.” — Anders Fogh Rasmussen, a former NATO secretary-general. Although Western military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya were problematic, “look at Syria and you will see that inaction is more costly,” he said. “While action may not be perfect, inaction may be more costly.” Rasmussen underlined that Canada has obligations to the international community. “We can’t expect other countries to do the job and be free riders ourselves. I would strongly regret if Canada were to withdraw from its international commitments…We can’t just be consumers of security. We also have to be producers of security,” he said. (Globe & Mail, Oct. 2, 2015)


“I know there is a major battle upon us and everything needed for this battle will be made available. There is a plan to carry out offensive operations in more than one spot.” — Wiam Wahhab, a former Lebanese minister allied to Iran and Assad. Wahhab stressed that Iran wouldn’t be dispatching troops in the conventional sense. Instead, they were likely to be officers and advisers from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC. Experts believe Iran has some 7,000 IRGC members and paramilitary volunteers operating in Syria already. Since late 2012 Iran has played a lead role in organizing, training and funding local pro-regime militias in Syria, many of them members of Assad’s Alawite minority. Experts believe they number between 150,000 and 190,000—possibly more than what remains of Syria’s army. Some experts estimate 20,000 Shiite foreign fighters are on the ground, backed by both Shiite Iran and its main proxy in the region Hezbollah. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2015)


“It did not have to be this way – but this is the inevitable consequence of hollow words, red lines crossed, tarnished moral influence, leading from behind and a total lack of American leadership,” —Senator John McCain, an Arizona Republican, long a fierce critic of Obama, hours after the Russian warplanes attacked in Syria. For Obama, the Russian leader’s military gambit creates an unwelcome dynamic and will fuel accusations by domestic critics that the U.S. President’s dithering on Syria allowed the violence to worsen and spread. (Globe & Mail, Sept. 30, 2015)


“We in Germany are rapidly approaching the limits of what we can do…Many places in Germany are already overwhelmed.” — German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, head of the left-of-center Social Democrats. Four weeks after Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the doors to refugees and Germans welcomed them with applause and food, worries are mounting that the country has been overwhelmed. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2015)


“It is simply too much…But the worst thing is how poorly organized everything is.” — Karin Pahlitzsch, a 57-year-old teacher in the eastern German city of Dresden. In a country that prizes order, polls show that Germans are losing faith that their government is up to the task of managing the influx as the news media show chaotic scenes of migrants sleeping outside and police responding to fights at shelters. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2015)


“Until summer, the refugees were thankful to be here with us…(Now, some) go on strike because they don’t like their shelter, they make trouble because they don’t like the food, they fight in the asylum-seeker facilities.” —German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière. Germany-based Islamists have been approaching migrants, particularly minors traveling alone, de Maizière said Friday after meeting with security officials. Intelligence agencies have warned that I.S. jihadists could try to sneak into Germany with the migrants. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 2, 2015)


“An election is an excellent time to debate Canada’s position in the world. But it is no time to talk nonsense about it, including harking back to a golden age before Prime Minister Stephen Harper “ruined everything.” It is especially not a good time for members of the public service to be weighing in on the topic, overtly or covertly. Consider the documents prepared by senior Foreign Affairs personnel for a deputy-ministerial meeting last month that somehow (oops) got leaked, claiming “Canada’s overall engagement on democracy, governance and human rights has declined significantly in recent years,” while “our influence has eroded … compromising our ability to effect positive change,” and so on. Partisanship in members of the public service is always a bad idea. It compromises their integrity, undermines public confidence in their impartiality and creates friction with their political masters that gums up the machinery of government…Which brings us to a particularly disquieting feature of this whole line of attack: the extent to which, if you peel back the surface sentimentality, it hinges on distaste for the Harper government’s unwavering rhetorical support for Israel. How controversial is it that we do not maintain a balanced pose over Ukraine, or trouble in sub-Saharan Africa?” — Editorial (National Post, Oct. 7, 2015)


“A people whose leader encourages murder will never have a state and this must be stated clearly.” —Israeli Cabinet minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party. Prime Minister Netanyahu on Friday demanded that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his government explicitly condemn the murder of an Israeli settler couple by suspected Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank. The attack comes on the heels of a series of Palestinian rock and firebomb attacks that have prompted Israel to vow to quash such threats. It also followed a hard-line speech at the United Nations by Abbas, the last of several that Israeli leaders have condemned as incitement. Abbas has said that Israelis desecrate a Jerusalem holy site, the Temple Mount, with their “dirty feet” and charged that Israel was committed to the “ethnic cleansing” of his people. (National Post, Oct. 3, 2015)


"So Israel must understand that what it is doing is a crime as it relates to human rights, which is compounded by the hundreds of crimes it has committed against the Palestinian people…What is taking place at al-Aksa mosque is a crime against the entire Islamic world…It's not just limited to the Palestinian question. So Israel needs to take a different approach. It's playing with fire, and it will pay a price in different places and in different ways, because people's thresholds are limited." —Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Erdogan warned that Israel was engaging in behavior on the Temple Mount that amounted to "subversiveness and treachery." Erdogan said that "the struggle over the mosque doesn't belong just to Muslims but also to Christians." Israeli security forces and Palestinian rioters have clashed on Temple Mount in recent weeks. The government has accused the Palestinians of fanning the flames and inciting young Palestinians to cause trouble at al-Aksa mosque, while Jordan – which views itself as the custodian of the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem – has accused Israel of conducting unnecessary raids. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 2015)


“The name is al-Aqsa, not the Temple Mount, and there is nothing there for Jews…It’s a place for Muslims only, according to all the agreements signed after the occupation of Jerusalem, and the agreements between Jordan and Israel. The Israelis understood that they occupied Jerusalem but are not allowed to occupy Al-Aqsa; now they are trying to occupy Al-Aqsa too.” —Israeli Arab Knesset member Hanin Zoabi. The Arab lawmaker, a member of the Joint Arab List, told a Hebrew-language newspaper there is no proof Jews have a connection to the site. Where in Jerusalem should Jews pray? Zoabi was asked. Her response: “I don’t know, I am not an historian, but in any case there is no place for Jews at Al-Aqsa.” (Jewish Press, Oct. 4, 2015)


"We are all impressed with what he has done…The day after the attack, university students took to the streets and clashed with Israeli soldiers. Mohannad's way is the only way to liberate Palestine." —Malik Hussein, a 19-year-old law student at Al-Quds University near Jerusalem. A new generation of angry, disillusioned Palestinians is driving the current wave of clashes with Israeli forces. Some young Palestinians say they want to emulate those killed or wounded in confrontations or attacks on Israelis — like Mohannad Halabi, the 19-year-old law student from the West Bank who stabbed to death two Israelis in a bloody rampage in Jerusalem's Old City over the weekend before being shot dead by police. (CBC, Oct. 7, 2015)


"If Abbas is against us … we will reject his words and start the intifada…We don't want any leaders here to show us what to do." — Bassel Obeida, a 21-year-old “Palestinian” protester. Obeida said the unrest would continue regardless of the decisions of the Palestinian leadership. Many of the protests appeared to be spontaneous, or arranged informally via social media, rather than by the two main Palestinian factions, Abbas' Fatah and its main rival, Hamas. A senior Hamas official in the West Bank said his group encourages confrontation with Israel in principle, but doesn't want to send too many activists into the protests because of concerns they might be arrested by Israel or Abbas' security forces. He spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussions. (CBC, Oct. 7, 2015)





ISRAELI MOTHER AND FATHER SHOT DEAD IN WEST BANK TERROR ATTACK (Jerusalem) — An Israeli mother and father were killed in a shooting attack on their vehicle Thursday night in the northern West Bank. The couple, identified as Eitam and Naama Henkin of the settlement of Neria north of Ramallah, leaves behind four children — aged 4 months, 4, 7 and 9 — who were in the vehicle at the time of the attack, but were not hit by the gunfire. (Times of Israel, Oct. 1, 2015)


TERRORIST KILLS TWO, WOUNDS TODDLER AND MOTHER IN CAPITAL'S OLD CITY (Jerusalem) — A Palestinian terrorist murdered two Jewish men and wounded a mother and son in Jerusalem in a Saturday stabbing and shooting spree, before he was shot dead by police. The victims were Rabbi Nehemia Lavie, 41, an Old City resident, and Aharon Benita from Beitar Illit. The toddler’s mother, 22, was in critical condition. The incident began when the knife-wielding Arab attacked the couple and their toddler son, as well as Lavie, as they walked past Lion’s Gate, en route to the Western Wall. The attack comes amid heightened tension in the capital, and less than 48 hours after terrorists murdered Naama and Eitam Henkin as they drove in Samaria. Hamas lauded Saturday’s Old City killer as a “hero.” (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 2015)


5-MAN HAMAS CELL THAT KILLED NAAMA & EITAM HENKIN ARRESTED (Jerusalem) — Israeli security forces have arrested the Palestinian terror cell that carried out the murders of Naama and Eitam Henkin in the West Bank on Thursday, the Shin Bet security service said Monday evening. The five cell members are Hamas members from Nablus, the Shin Bet said. The Abdel Qader al-Husseini Brigades, a group affiliated with Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, had claimed that it carried out the attack. In fact, said the Shin Bet, Hamas was to blame. It was not clear whether the killing was organized higher up the Hamas hierarchy. The suspects claimed to have carried out the killing in revenge for the firebombing of a Palestinian home in Duma two months ago, in which three people were killed. That attack was allegedly the work of Jewish terrorists. (Times of Israel, Oct. 5, 2015)


ISRAEL VOWS ‘HARSH OFFENSIVE’ TO WAVE OF PALESTINIAN VIOLENCE (Jerusalem) — A series of grisly Palestinian attacks that killed several Israelis has prompted the government to take unprecedented security measures amid growing public debate over whether the specter of another Intifada, or uprising, is on the horizon. Israel’s prime minister vowed a “harsh offensive” to counter rising violence that has focused in recent weeks over Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site sacred to both Muslims and Jews, in a series of Palestinian attacks against Israelis. On Sunday, Israel announced that Palestinians would be temporarily barred from Jerusalem’s Old City, the first time Israel has taken this step since it captured the Old City in the 1967 War. (National Post, Oct. 4, 2015)


UN CHIEF CONDEMNS KILLINGS OF PALESTINIANS, WITHOUT MENTION OF ISRAELI TERROR VICTIMS (Geneva) — UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon expressed his concern over the recent surge in tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, condemning the killings of Palestinians without mention of Israeli victims. Ban said he is "profoundly alarmed by the growing number of deadly incidents in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem." Ban acknowledged the death of four Palestinians, referring to a 13-year-old boy whom the IDF said was accidentally killed by misfire and three terrorists who were killed by security forces following attacks that killed four Israelis. Ban's statement made no specific mention of the four Israeli causalities in terrorist shootings and stabbing over the past week, nor did he mention steps the PA should take. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 6, 2015)


PALESTINIAN BABY NAMED AFTER TERRORIST HOURS AFTER HE STABBED TWO PEOPLE TO DEATH (Jerusalem) — A Palestinian baby was named after terrorist Muhannad Halabi just hours after he stabbed the two Israelis Nehemia Lavie and Aharon Benita to death in Jerusalem three days ago. WAFA, the official Palestinian Authority news agency and the official PA daily both reported on the joyous naming. Both sources described the killer who murdered the two Israelis and also stabbed a mother and her baby as a "hero of our people," who was "murdered by the occupation army." Muhannad Halabi killed the two Israelis in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Oct. 3. Following the attack, he was shot and killed by Israeli security forces. (Palestinian Media Watch, Oct. 6, 2015)


ISRAEL’S GAZA BORDER SECURITY FENCE COMPLETED (Gaza) — A new security fence complete with high-tech sensors has been completed along Israel’s southern border with Gaza, the Defense Ministry announced. The information may help residents of the Gaza Belt communities feel safer: infiltration by Gaza terrorists will not be nearly as easy since completion of the fence, although the measure will not stop rocket or mortar attacks. Improvements included a three-year budget for fence maintenance as well as additional security equipment. There are 12 Jewish communities that form a ring of protection for Israel along the Gaza border. (Jewish Press, Oct. 6, 2015)


MERKEL APPROVAL RATING DROPS TO FOUR-YEAR LOW ON REFUGEE CRISIS (Berlin) —  German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s approval rating dropped to the lowest in almost four years in a monthly poll that suggests voters’ welcome for hundreds of thousands of refugees is exhausted. The share of Germans who are satisfied with Merkel’s handling of her job fell 9 percentage points to 54 percent in the poll, the lowest since December 2011. The backlash reflects the political risks of Merkel’s decision to open Germany for war refugees from Syria, which prompted some of her European Union partners and a growing array of domestic allies to accuse her of encouraging the influx of asylum seekers. (Bloomberg, Oct. 2, 2015)


GERMANY'S JEWISH COMMUNITY HEAD FEARS MIGRANTS' ANTISEMITISM (Berlin) —  Josef Schuster, the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, expressed fear about increased antisemitism due to the attitudes of Muslim migrants entering the country. Schuster called on Muslim organizations and communities to help integrate immigrants into German society. The Central Council of German Jews has 100,500 members. Germany has more than 4,000,000 Muslims, most of whom are of Turkish origin. Germany expects a million refugee-seekers to arrive in 2015. Most of them are from Muslim-majority countries such as Syria and Afghanistan. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 4, 2015)


COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GERMAN MAYOR FOR ANTI-ISRAEL HATE (Jena) — Andreas Neumann, a German Jew, filed a criminal complaint against the mayor of Jena, Albrecht Schröter, alleging he incited hatred toward Israelis because of his call to boycott products from Israel and blaming Israel for the Syrian refugee crisis. Schröter was criticized last month after he said Israel is partially responsible for the Syrian refugee crisis in Europe. Schröter, a social democrat, called on Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier to “show less restraint” toward Israel. Schröter is currently in Ramallah working on a city partnership between Jena and the PA. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 2, 2015) 


ISLAMIC STATE DESTROYS PALMYRA’S TRIUMPHAL ARCH (Damascus) — I.S. extremists have blown up the famous Arch of Triumph in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. I.S. has carried out a sustained campaign of destruction against heritage sites in areas under its control in Syria and Iraq, and in August beheaded the city’s 82-year-old former antiquities chief. The jihadists have already destroyed the shrine of Baal Shamin and the 2,000-year-old Temple of Bel, regarded as Palmyra’s masterpiece, since overrunning the citadel in May. Activists said the city has also been damaged by heavy bombardment from barrel bombs dropped by Syrian government forces. (Times of Israel, Oct. 5, 2015)


CONTROVERSIAL IMAM TO SPEAK IN MONTREAL (Montreal) —  A controversial imam who has been forbidden from preaching in his native Tunisia is not welcome at Université Laval in Quebec City either. But Béchir Ben Hassen will speak in Montreal at an event sponsored by Muslim and Tunisian groups — as well as the U.S. government, organizers say — on preventing radicalization. Ben Hassen is by all accounts a Salafist, with radical views on Islam, women and politics, who was one of several imams dismissed from leading their mosques after the terrorist attacks in Tunisia in June. In January eight youths from Montreal left Canada, allegedly to join groups in Syria, and in May another 10 youths attempted to leave but were stopped at the airport after one of the parents alerted the police. (Montreal Gazette, Sept. 30, 2015)


NB: Concordia University Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies has published: The Future of the Past: the Jewish Public Library of Montreal, 1914-2014, edited by Ira Robinson, Rivka Augenfeld, and Karen Biskin. The 97 page book is number 8 in the Institute's series of Chapbooks in Canadian Jewish Studies. It contains the proceedings of the October 26, 2014 conference, co-sponsored by the Institute, celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the founding of Montreal's Jewish Public Library.


On Topic Links 


Obama’s Syria Debacle: Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, Oct. 1, 2015 —If it had the wit, the Obama administration would be not angered, but appropriately humiliated. President Obama has, once again, been totally outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin. Two days earlier at the United Nations, Obama had welcomed the return, in force, of the Russian military to the Middle East — for the first time in decades — in order to help fight the Islamic State.

The Syrian Disaster Just Got Even Worse: National Post, Oct. 5, 2015 —It is not hard to understand what Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to do in Syria. It will be very hard to stop him from succeeding. It did not need to be this way.

‘PA Instability Adding to Unrest’: Yaakov Lappin, Jerusalem Post, Oct. 7, 2015 —The Palestinian Authority’s instability is one of the main factors contributing to the current wave of unrest, a senior security source said Tuesday, hours before IDF officers and representatives of the PA’s security forces met to try and lower the level of violence in the West Bank.

The Impossible Abbas: David Horovitz, Times of Israel, Oct. 4, 2015 —Benjamin Netanyahu can’t be an easy prime minister for Mahmoud Abbas to deal with. Unlike, say, Ehud Olmert.




Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes


Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf


On Topic Links


Address by President Shimon Peres to the European Parliament: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar 2013
Taking Refugees Off the Table: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, March 13, 2013 Petition Over 154,000 Signatures: Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013



ISRAEL’S NEXT GOVERNMENT AGREED: 4 PARTIES, 68 MEMBERS(Jerusalem) Six weeks of coalition talks drew toward a successful conclusion Wednesday evening, when the Likud finally conceded the Education Ministry to Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, and Lapid reportedly accepted the other terms of Likud’s compromise offer. The necessary legal documents were to be drawn up and signed Thursday, leaving Netanyahu free to formally inform President Shimon Peres on Saturday night — the final day of the six weeks allocated to him — that he has mustered a Knesset majority. The coalition will comprise four parties: Likud-Beytenu (31 seats), Yesh Atid (19), Jewish Home (12) and Hatnua (6), for a total of 68 members in the 120-seat Knesset. (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)




“Like many Canadians I am concerned with the rise of anti-Israel activities on campuses across Canada, culminating in the so-called 'Israeli Apartheid Week' (IAW), which is often promoted in a manner that disregards the rights and safety of Jewish students and professors. Universities are meant to offer an environment in which academic discourse can take place freely. Jewish faculty and students have the right to engage in this debate without feeling the need to conceal their identity, or to self-censor.
   The irony of this week cannot be overlooked.  While singling out the only liberal democracy in the Middle East for condemnation, the organizers of IAW ignore Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's brutal slaughter of his own people and the suppression of basic human rights in many countries around the globe. Debate over Israeli policy is legitimate and encouraged through academic dialogue. However, there is a point at which well-intentioned debate is overrun by hatred and intolerance, creating a toxic environment that prevents meaningful dialogue on important issues from taking place.

   The organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week use the cover of academic freedom to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel. In reality, this week is nothing more than an unbalanced attempt to paint Israel and her supporters as racist. This week runs contrary to Canadian values of tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding. I call on all Canadians to reject anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, discrimination and intolerance, which are unacceptable and completely contrary to Canada’s fundamental values.”Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. (Citizenship Immigration Canada, Mar. 7, 2013)

“I am writing to commend you for your clear and forthright statement concerning "Israeli Apartheid Week", which is about to infest our campuses. This vicious antisemitic movement is the antithesis of what the universities it focuses on should stand for: mutual respect and the objective search for truth.  IAW speakers' vicious, propagandistic hatred of Israel and Jews abuses the precious democratic concept of freedom of expression and the scholarly principle of academic freedom. It is made possible, as well, by an appalling professorial and administrative silence, an abdication of both educational, and moral, responsibility. We can all be proud of Canada's leading role in supporting democratic Jewish Israel. In this regard it is to be hoped that your courageous statement will play a role in rallying the forces of freedom and human dignity on our campuses, as well as in society at large.”Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, in an email to Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. (CIJR, Mar. 8, 2013)


“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking at the “Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum” in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. (Hurriyet News, Feb. 28, 2013)

"This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world."Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, condemning Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement about Zionism and its comparison to fascism. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 28, 2013)

“A clear voice must be raised against the violation of human rights by the Iranian regime, against a regime that hangs people without bringing them to court, that throws journalists into prison without trial, that fires live bullets at civilian demonstrators. A moral voice will encourage the Iranian people in their fight for freedom, in their struggle against misery.”Shimon Peres, President of Israel, speaking to the European Parliament in Brussels. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mar. 12, 2013)

[The] “demand for the right of return [of Arab refugees to Israel] was actually intended to achieve the purpose of annihilating Israel.”Egyptian Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din (1949).

   “[T]he Arab countries do not want to resolve the problem of the refugees. They want to leave them like an open wound, as a weapon against Israel. The Arab rulers don’t care at all if the refugees live or die.”Alexander Galloway, a senior official in UNRWA (1952), quoted by Ben-Dror Yemini in The Story Of Arab Apartheid. (Front Page Magazine, June 3, 2011)


"To the Arabs, indeed Zionism seems as hideous as anything the Nazis conceived in the way of racial expansion at the expense of others."from a 1945 pamphlet by the Arab League, the representative body of all Arab states.
   "The Zionist concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Arab problem' in Palestine, and the Nazi concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem' in Germany, consisted essentially of the same basic ingredient: the elimination of the unwanted human element in question."from a pamphlet published by the PLO shortly after its creation in 1964, quoted by Ephraim Karsh in “The Middle East's Real Apartheid.” (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 5, 2012)


“Many UNRWA camps are decorated with keys. Young Palestinians are taught that these keys will one day open doors for them. But in reality these keys lock them in, in perceptions of the past and frustrations that they will never be able to realize."Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, speaking last week [Mar.6] at a small gathering of former officials, diplomats and lobbyists in New York City’s Harvard Club, who were meeting to initiate changes to the UN definition of who is a Palestinian “refugee”. Currently, Palestinian refugee status is handed down from one generation to another, the only refugee population for which this is allowed. While there remain only an estimated 50,000 original Palestinian refugees the UNRWA definition allows for about 5 million, 40% of whom are citizens of Jordan. This “insane” policy is “the major hurdle to peace,” Prosor added, [and] “without talking about this problem, there won’t be peace.” (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)


"From early on, people are taught in religious schools that slaves are the masters’ properties, who are passed along as inheritance and where the condition of slavery is transmitted from parent to child, where women slaves must submit their bodies to their masters."Abidine Merzough, a man born as a slave to slave parents in Mauritania, commenting on that country’s ongoing practice of slavery under sharia law while attending UN Watch’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy.  (The Commentator, Feb. 24, 2013)


“It was one of those clear examples of crossing that line from legitimate criticism of Israel into hate and anti-Semitism. Am I gonna cry at night? … No, but I think on campus we’re supposed to have a more academic atmosphere. If I disagree with the drop [tuition] fees campaign, at least that is something they [the Student Union] are doing for [all] students. But when you get into polarizing foreign policy issues that go against your own rules of singling out people on campus, I think that’s when we see the problem.”Eitan Gilboord, president of the Campus Conservatives and Israeli Student Association clubs at Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto, commenting on the anti-Israel “Gaza Teach-In” held on campus using Student Union funds.  (National Post, Mar. 13, 2013)


“Real apartheid, genocide and ethnic cleansing are occurring on our watch, yet these people have become so obsessed with the end of Zionism that the suffering of others has become a side show. Protest the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia and you'll have my respect. Protesting against an Israeli theater group is pathetic.”Kasim Hafeez, a British-born pro-Israel Muslim in an op-ed article in Ynet News. (Ynet, Feb. 20, 2013)


“A political lie of a variety well known in the twentieth century and scarcely exceeded in all that annal of untruth and outrage. The lie is that Zionism is a form of racism. The overwhelming truth is that it is not.”Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (quoted in a David G. Dalin’s review of Gil Troy’s new book, “Moynihan’s Moment”), coming to the defense of Zionism in his effort to block UN resolution 3379, passed by the General Assembly in November 1975, declaring Zionism to be a form of racism. Moynihan further proclaimed that, in the approval of this resolution, the “abomination of anti-Semitism…has been given the appearance of international sanction,” and that the General Assembly had granted “symbolic amnestyand moreto the murderers of  millions of European Jews.”  The resolution was ultimately repealed in 1991 with 111 countries voting for the motion to repeal. (National Review, Feb. 11, 2013)


"[Palestinian] children grow up learning that Jews are 'Satan with a tail'… Adults hear that Jews are evil and not to be trusted. It is perhaps not surprising that the [Palestinian] hatred is growing. The messenger is a [PA] government that receives large amounts [of money] from Norway."Norwegian state-owned TV, NRK in a recent program on Palestinian Media Watch's findings concerning the direct connection between the Palestinian Authority's promotion of hatred and terror glorification and the Norwegian funding of the PA, at 300 million kroner a year ($52,628,700). (Palestinian Media Watch, Feb. 27, 2013)


“I think Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu understands the importance of the issues surrounding Har Hazeitim [Mount of Olives] and the significance of the sensitivities involved concerning the historic site and for the unity of Jerusalem. We have made dramatic progress in recent years…to assure visits to loved ones and Jewish figures from throughout the ages take place without fear and endangerment. These efforts have resulted in a significant reduction in the wanton destruction of graves of some of the 150,000 Jews who are buried there, including three of our prophets, foremost Torah scholars, heads of hassidic dynasties, and many of our national leaders over the ages, including prime minister Begin.” However, these efforts are “overshadowed by the continued violence on the approaches to Har Hazeitim, most notably the Ras al-Amud Square, and the road that leads from Har Hatsofim to Har Hazeitim.”Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to The Jerusalem Post on Monday [Mar. 11]. (Jerusalem Post, Mar.11,2013)


“[W]ith tensions on the Korean peninsula rising, experts point out seven years of UN sanctions have done nothing to derail Pyongyang [North Korea]’s drive for a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States. They may have even bolstered the Kim family by giving their propagandas maestros ammunition to whip up anti-US sentiment and direct attention away from government failures.”Choe Sang-Hun in the New York Times. (New York Times, Mar. 11, 2013)


“Anyone still not convinced of the need to stop Iran from getting a nuke should watch the behavior of North Korea.  Its threat of ‘all-out war’ against South Korea and vow to turn Washington into a ‘sea of fire’ is Exhibit A of how madmen gain a sense of immunity once they have the bomb.  North Korea gets away with its outrageous provocations because of its ability, and apparent willingness, to use nuclear weapons. Imagine how Iran’s madmen would act if they get a nuke. Its impossible to without shuddering, which is why that day must never come to pass.”Michael Goodwin, in an op-ed in the New York Post. (New York Post, Mar. 10, 2013)


“Despite his admission and his regret, Jonathan continues to serve a sentence unprecedented in American history [for the crime he committed]. His health is fleeting and the remainder of his life is diminishing.”Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau in a letter to US President Barack Obama in anticipation of the latter’s visit to Israel in March. He noted that Pollard would soon mark the unfortunate milestone of 10,000 days in prison. “Let him live the rest of his life with his wife, Esther, in the State of Israel that granted him citizenship. This action would be seen as a humanitarian gesture by the seekers of freedom in the world,” Lau wrote. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 23, 2013)


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CATHOLIC CHURCH CHOOSES NEW POPE(Vatican City) Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff. In a remarkably fast conclave, they named Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who took the name Francis, as pontiff. (Times if Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)

ALMOST A MILLION PALESTINIANS ALLOWED INTO ISRAEL IN 2012(Jerusalem) More than 930,000 Palestinians traveled to Israel in 2012, according to the Israeli Civil Administration. The figures include tens of thousands of family visits, traveling in Israel, receiving medical care in Israeli hospitals, and commerce and employment for Palestinian workers and merchants in Israel. This marks a rise of 98.5% in total. The Civilian Administration has upgraded the infrastructure of  passageways, increasing inspection sections, adding manpower, and improving service. (Israel Defense, Mar. 11, 2013)

ISRAEL'S BOLD NEW QUEEN(Jerusalem) Almost 30 years since the first clandestine Israeli airlift of Ethiopian Jews,  Ethiopian-born Yityish "Titi" Aynaw, 21, was just crowned Miss Israel., Israel's most beautiful woman. The past few years have been trailblazing ones for Ethiopian-born Israeli women. In 2011, Hagit Yaso was the first Ethiopian-born winner of the Israeli version of "American Idol." In 2012, Belaynesh Zevadia was appointed Israel's first Ethiopian-born ambassadorto Ethiopia. (Tablet, Mar. 13, 2013)

MORE LOCUSTS SWARM INTO ISRAEL(Revivim) Additional bands of locusts entered Israel on Tuesday, marking a week since the first wave of bugs flew across the Sinai border. Aerial and ground spraying has largely worked in eradicating the swarms, the Agriculture Ministry stressed. Locusts are not harmful to humans, and they only pose a threat to agriculture in large swarms. The chemicals used to combat the locusts are "soft pesticides." They have no effects on other animals and leave no residue. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)

EGYPT BANS FILM ON EGYPTIAN JEWS(Cairo) The director of the film "On Egypt's Jews" film Amir Ramses has said that the National Security Agency banned the film in Egypt. Ramses said that the NSA’s ban violated the powers of the country’s censorship authorities. "This is an encroachment on the powers of the censorship authority. The film had been displayed as it already gained the [censorship authority] approval without remarks. It was displayed in the [Panorama European Film] Festival, in addition to being displayed in more than one festival," Ramses wrote on his Facebook account. [He] lashed out at the National Security Agency, which he said was “as authoritarian” as the Interior Ministry and the equivalent of the former State Security Investigation Services under ousted President Hosni Mubarak. (Egypt Independent, Mar. 13, 2013)


UK DIPLOMAT FLEES PROTESTS AT WEST BANK UNIVERSITY(Ramallah) British Consul-General Sir Vincent Fean was forced to flee Birzeit University near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday, after student protests broke out. The senior diplomat was at the university to discuss Britain's foreign policy in the Middle East, and to meet with Birzeit President Dr Khalil al-Hindi. But he cut short his visit and departed abruptly after the protests erupted. Dozens of students shouting, "Get out of Birzeit!" attacked Fean's car as it left the campus. "His intention had been to engage in an open dialogue with the student community about the UK’s policies in the Middle East," the British Consulate-General said in a statement. (Jerusalem Post. Mar. 6, 2013)


ISRAEL PREPS FOR OBAMA'S FIRST VISIT WITH OPERATION "UNBREAKABLE ALLIANCE"(Tel Aviv) Israel is preparing to go into near-lockdown mode with a security mission dubbed "Unbreakable Alliance" for President Obama's upcoming visit. Air Force One lands on March 20, and for 48 hours Israel will be on a high state of alert. The presidential party will then board 12 Blackhawk helicopters to fly to Jerusalem. "This is a huge security operation, in which thousands of police officers, Israel Security Agency agents and U.S. Secret Service agents will be participating," a senior police officer said. "Success, as far as we're concerned, means zero mistakes."  (Washington Times, Mar. 11, 2013)


SPANISH TOWN TO HOLD FIRST SEDER SINCE 1492—(Ribadavia, Spain) A town in northern Spain is preparing to hold its first Passover Seder since 1492. The ritual dinner will take place in the old center of the town of Ribadavia on March 25, the first Seder night, and is being organized by the municipality’s tourism department in partnership with the Center for Medieval Studies, a Ribadavia-based association that researches the history of Iberian Jews prior to their expulsion during the Spanish Inquisition that began in 1492. Historian Abraham Haim, the center’s honorary president, will conduct the Seder, according to a report by La Voz de Galicia, a local newspaper. The public is invited; a seat costs about $40, the newspaper said. The city expects a few dozen people will attend. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)


SHIN BET: HAMAS INCREASING SUICIDE BOMB EFFORTS(West Bank) Hamas in Gaza has increased efforts to set up terrorist cells in the West Bank, and ordered new recruits to create and fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank, to kidnap and kill a soldier, and to prepare suicide bombings, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said Wednesday [Mar. 13]. On the surface, the four-month truce between Israel and Hamas appears to be holding well since the cessation of last year's eight-day conflict, but behind the scenes, senior Hamas officials in Gaza are increasing their efforts to carry out deadly attacks on Israelis, the Shin Bet added. The intelligence came partly from the questioning of security suspects who have been arrested days before planning to act, the domestic security agency said. It named Hamas interior minister in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, as a figure behind many of the efforts to carry out atrocities. Hammad has often called out for the continuation of terror attacks in Israel. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)


EGYPT, GIVING CITIZEN ARREST POWERS(Cairo) The Sunday announcement by Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah that citizens have the right to arrest "vandals" has caused a firestorm of controversy. "Egypt's prosecutor-general urges all citizens to exercise the right afforded them by Article 37 of Egypt's criminal procedure law issued in year 1950 to arrest anyone found committing a crime and refer them to official personnel," said a statement issued by the prosecutor-general's office.  Another statement issued on Monday by the prosecutor-general's office said that "the statement of the prosecutor-general did not include granting 'judicial arrest' powers to citizens, but rather granting the judicial arrest to officers as defined officially in the law."  Nevertheless, the statements of the prosecutor-general opened an angry debate about security issues in the face of an ongoing police strike in a number of governorates. (Al Ahram, Mar. 13, 2013)


SCHALIT SIGNS PETITION URGING OBAMA TO FREE POLLARD(Tel Aviv)  Former kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit became the latest well-known Israeli to sign a petition Monday calling upon US President Barack Obama to commute the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. The petition has been signed by nearly 150,000 Israelis, including Nobel prize winners, dovish authors, and politicians from across the political spectrum. Schalit urged his Facebook friends to sign the petition. “Freedom is a great gift and a right,” Schalit wrote. “Thank you to those who worked on my behalf. Now join to save Pollard.” (Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013)


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Address by President Shimon Peres to the European Parliament: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar 2013I stand here before you, burning memories in my heart, great hopes in my soul. I carry profound pain concerning the past. And look with confident eyes to the future. I immigrated to Israel in 1934, at the age of 11. In 1942, most of the inhabitants of my town were burned alive. Had my family delayed their emigration by 8 years, we would have been exterminated.

Taking Refugees Off the Table: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, March 13, 2013A new effort is underway, backed by Israel, to tackle ‘the major hurdle to peace:’ how the UN defines a Palestinian refugee. “There was never a thorough debate about what is a Palestinian refugee,” explained Steve Rosen, a former top AIPAC official now affiliated with the Middle East Forum, and an organizer of the event together with Australian real estate developer Bob Magid. Petition Over 154,000 Signatures: Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013The petition is located at and reads in part "Jonathan Pollard has now served 28 years of a life sentence in American prisons. A few short weeks from now, he will mark his 10,000th day in jail."



Ber Lazarus
, Publications Editor
 Canadian Institute for Jewish Research
/L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme  Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843



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