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MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “As for Mr. Netanyahu, in the most recent Israeli election, he raised the expectation that he could never, and would never, accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank…Yet that would be an essential part of any real solution. That leaves a yawning gap between the Israeli government and the PA. So it’s not really surprising that some young Palestinians, a number of them from East Jerusalem, are acting violently on their own, by themselves, with no sign of leadership…Some media reports speak of a “wave,” a “flare,” a “spike in violence” or “lone wolves.” Others are predicting a third Intifada, including Isaac Herzog, the Leader of the Opposition in Israel, and Ismail Haniyeh, the main leader in Gaza. Mercifully, or prudently, Hamas has so far not gone beyond moral support. … As ever, the two-state solution is the only viable hope, but the path to it is unclear, and the leaders are lacking. Mr. Abbas and Mr. (Netanyahu) should move on.” —Editorial  (Globe & Mail, Oct. 15, 2015) 


Contents: |  Weekly QuotesShort Takes   |  On Topic Links


On Topic Links


Gaza Imam: Jews Are Brothers of Apes and Pigs, We Will Pray in Tel Aviv (Video): Memri, Oct. 14, 2015

Follow the Terror-Brick Road: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Town Hall, Oct 14, 2015

Canada Loses a Moral Compass: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Oct. 20, 2015

A Path Out of the Middle East Collapse: Henry A. Kissinger. Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2015




“I’m opposed to the BDS movement. I think that it’s an example of the new form of anti-Semitism in the world, as Irwin Cotler points out, an example of the three “Ds”: demonization of Israel, delegitimization of Israel, and double standard applied toward Israel. I’m all for freedom of speech and expression in Canada, and we need to be sure we’re defending that. But when Canadian university students are feeling unsafe on their way to classes because of BDS or Israel Apartheid Week, that just goes against Canadian values. And I have said so, not just in news interviews, but in person on university campuses.” — Liberal Party leader, and Canadian Prime Minister elect, Justin Trudeau. Trudeau will become Canada’s 23rd prime minister after his party steamrolled to a stunning majority victory Monday. (CJN, Oct. 15, 2015)


"Now we have a new big lie. That new big lie is that Israel is executing Palestinians." — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. PA President Mahmoud Abbas ignited an uproar in Israel after falsely claiming in a televised speech that Israelis had "summarily executed" Ahmed Manasra, when the 13-year-old actually was recovering at an Israeli hospital after he stabbed two Israelis, including a boy his own age. Israel has repeatedly accused Abbas of fomenting violence with what it says are incendiary comments. Still, Netanyahu said he would be "perfectly open" to meeting Abbas to address what the Israeli leader said was a wave of incitement. (National Post, Oct. 16, 2015)


“The Palestinian attack on Joseph’s Tomb reminds us of the actions of the most extreme Islamist elements, from Afghanistan to Libya.” — Dore Gold, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Palestinians set fire at dawn on Friday to a holy site known as Joseph’s Tomb, in the PA-controlled city of Nablus in the West Bank, damaging the tiny stone compound that many Jews believe is the burial place of the son of the biblical patriarch Jacob. (New York Times, Oct. 16, 2015)


“I want a gun not so much because I’m worried for my own safety, but because I’ll be better prepared to protect other people from attacks,” — Jerusalem resident Netanel Oberman. The Israeli government responded to the rising demand for weapons with a decision to ease gun ownership rules, including allowing some municipalities to issue temporary licenses for the first time. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, filmed recently carrying his own Glock pistol, has called for legal gun owners to arm themselves. (Bloomberg, Oct. 15, 2015)


“A wave of terror continues to spread across the nation and it spares no one – babies, children, men and women…Everyone is considered a walking target…Israelis do not feel safe walking down the street, they avoid taking the bus to work, and they fear for the lives of their children every time they walk out the door… in a particularly shocking and horrific attack, two Palestinian teenagers, one of them merely 13 years old, stabbed a 13-year-old boy riding his bicycle and an Israeli man who was walking down the street…Such acts of pitiless slaughter” are a “direct result of Palestinian incitement.” — Danny Danon, in his first appeal as Israeli ambassador to the UN. The incitement “deliberately aims to inflame Palestinian children’s minds with hate,” and the attacks are a result of the propagation of “false allegations against Israel, in particular regarding the status quo on the Temple Mount, even though the prime minister clearly stated time and again that Israel is fully committed to maintaining it.” In his statement addressed to the UN Secretary-General and the Security Council, the new ambassador stressed that “only the cessation of the incitement will alleviate this dangerous situation and bring calm and security to the region.” (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2015) 


“In order to want to have to go and stab somebody because of who they are, that person first has to be dehumanized. We saw this in 1939. Jews were dehumanized into Untermenschen before they were massacred by the Nazis, and today in Palestinian society, Jews are considered the children of apes and pigs and are accused of a litany of false crimes…The Palestinian Authority-controlled areas are the most antisemitic territories in the world, where, according to the ADL, 93 percent hold antisemitic views.”Algemeiner Editor Dovid Efune. (Algemeiner, Oct. 19, 2015)


“It's striking how, when it comes to these issues, some otherwise intelligent and thoughtful people in government, media, or think tanks, just shut down their critical faculties. Instead, they resort to a Pavlovian response mechanism that essentially rejects any possible legitimacy for the Israeli position and blindly defends whatever Palestinian narrative comes along. In this mindset, if Israelis are being shot or stabbed, they must have done something to "deserve" it. If Israeli authorities mobilize the army and police to stop the terrorism, then, by definition, Israel is using "excessive force." No matter how inflammatory President Abbas's speeches at the UN may be, he is a man of "peace." No matter how many times Israeli leaders call for face-to-face negotiations with the Palestinians, Israel is always branded as the "obstacle" to peace. Isn't it long overdue to get real, see things as they actually are, and stop living in a world of self-imposed illusions and falsehoods?” — AJC Executive Director David Harris (Huffington Post, Oct. 11, 2015)


“(Iran’s) ballistic missile test is troubling for three primary reasons. First, this test furthers Iran's ICBM program. An ICBM is not tangential or unrelated to Iran's nuclear program. The sole purpose of an Iranian ICBM is to enable delivery of a nuclear weapon to the United States… Second, this long-range ballistic missile that Iran tested last weekend likely improves Tehran's ability to target Israel-our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East. A threat combines hostile intent and capability…Third…this latest violation of international law demonstrates Tehran's continued willingness to ignore its obligations. As White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday, "We have seen Iran…almost serially violate the international community's concerns about their ballistic missile program." We could not agree more.” — Letter to Obama by U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Mark Kirk (R). Iranian media reported last week that the regime’s military successfully tested a long-range ballistic missile, which is likely capable of hitting Europe and Israel. French officials have also condemned Iran’s rogue behavior. (Breitbart, Oct. 15, 2015) 


“We need to plan to confront nuclear and non-nuclear issues…Iran continues to send weapons to Hezbollah, Hamas and Assad in Syria. It is imperative that the breach with the US is healed in order to control Iran’s activities that continue to create chaos throughout the region…We must never lose sight of the fact that when the 15-year term of the Iran deal ends, Iran may very well have an unlimited stockpile of centrifuges.” — Maj. General (res.) Amos Yadlin, former head of IDF Military Intelligence. Speaking to more than 1,300 Israeli Americans in Washington, Yadlin said: “The deal is a catastrophe but it is done and unfortunately the issue is not going away. How do we go forward to deal with the deal?” (Jewish Press, Oct. 19, 2015)


“Syria may be beyond any solution…Half the remaining population has escaped the war zones and they lack jobs or homes. Many of the towns have suffered a great deal of damage.” —Anthony Cordesman, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. With Russian warplanes in the air and Iranian special forces on the ground, an emboldened President Assad is turning back to the biggest trophy in his country’s civil war, and this time Europe is also on the front line. Should Aleppo and other Sunni towns fall to Assad’s forces, the potential for another, larger, wave of refugees would be nightmarish, according to one official in a European government. (Bloomberg, Oct. 18, 2015)


“Syria is the four cities: if you own them, you own Syria…I suspect that the government believes that if they can own the four cities and win over the urban population, the countryside will eventually have to fall in line…This larger war of Sunnis versus Shiites is only at its beginning…If you create a rump state that includes all the Sunni cities, you still have this fundamental problem: who is going to rule, Sunnis or Shiites? It doesn’t solve the problem.” — Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. (Bloomberg, Oct. 18, 2015)


“It makes no difference whether we’re in Iraq or Syria, we consider it the same front line because we are fighting the same enemy…We are all the followers of (Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali) Khamenei and will go and fight to defend the holy sites and Shiites everywhere.” —a spokesman for Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, an Iraqi Shiite militia that says it has fighters around Aleppo. Saidi said the group has been sending reinforcements to Syria for several months but declined to give numbers. (Washington Post, Oct. 19, 2015)






10 ISRAELIS KILLED, 112 HURT IN PAST THREE WEEKS OF TERROR WAVE  (Jerusalem) — According to Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency medical, disaster, ambulance and blood bank service, as of Tuesday, 10 Israelis have been killed and 112 wounded since the current wave of Palestinian terrorism began three weeks ago. In the near-daily attacks that include stabbings, shooting and vehicular attacks, 11 Israelis have been seriously wounded, 17 moderately hurt, and 84 lightly wounded. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 20, 2015)


TWO DEAD, TEN INJURED IN SHOOTING ATTACK IN SOUTHERN ISRAEL (Beersheba) —A Palestinian terrorist opened fire on passengers at the central bus station in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba Sunday, injuring ten people and killing a soldier. Another man, an Eritrean asylum seeker, was shot and critically injured by a security guard who mistook him for a terrorist. The man was then kicked by bystanders who also believed he was a Palestinian assailant. He succumbed to his wounds. The soldier who died of his wounds has been named as Sgt. Omri Levy (19). (I24, Oct. 19, 2015)


PALESTINIAN POSING AS JOURNALIST STABS IDF SOLDIER IN HEBRON (Hebron) — An Israeli soldier was moderately wounded in a stabbing attack near the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba near Hebron on Friday. The Palestinian attacker posed as a photojournalist, and was wearing a yellow “press” vest at the time of the attack, according to the IDF. The attacker was shot dead by soldiers at the scene. After another week of deadly attacks and clashes with Palestinians across the country and in the West Bank, Israel beefed up its security presence Friday in preparation for an outbreak of fresh violence. (Times of Israel, Oct. 16, 2015)


ARAB PROPOSAL TO U.N. OVER WESTERN WALL STIRS NEW CONCERN (Jerusalem) —U.N. officials have objected to a proposal by some Arab states to classify the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism, as part of the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, following denunciations by Israel and many U.S. Jewish groups. The proposal is contained in a draft resolution to the executive board of Unesco. The Unesco director general, Irina Bokova, expressed her objection to the resolution, saying it “could be seen to alter the status of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls.” The proposal has emerged at a time when deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians has been flaring over the Al Aqsa compound, known as the Temple Mount to Jews. Attempts to bring the measure up for a vote as early as Tuesday appeared to have been delayed. (New York Times, Oct. 20, 2015)


NETANYAHU ACCUSED OF ‘ABSOLVING HITLER’ FOR HOLOCAUST (Jerusalem) — Prime Minister Netanyahu was pounded with a barrage of condemnations after he claimed that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler only decided on the mass extermination of Europe’s Jews after receiving input on the matter from Jerusalem’s then-grand mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini, a Palestinian nationalist widely acknowledged as a fervent Jew-hater. “Hitler didn’t want to exterminate the Jews at the time… He wanted to expel the Jews,” Netanyahu said. “And Haj Amin al-Husseini went to Hitler and said, ‘If you expel them, they’ll all come here [to mandatory Palestine],'” continued the prime minister. “‘So what should I do with them?’ He [Hitler] asked,” according to Netanyahu. “He [Husseini] said, ‘Burn them.'” The Prime Minister later said he had merely intended to drive home the enormity of the mufti’s role as the originator of contemporary Palestinian “incitement” against Jews. (Times of Israel, Oct. 21, 2015)


OBAMA ABANDONS PLEDGE TO EXIT AFGHANISTAN (Washington) — President Obama on Thursday abandoned his pledge to end America’s longest war, announcing plans to keep at least 5,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan when he leaves office in 2017 and hand the conflict off to his successor. Obama had originally planned to withdraw all but a small embassy-based force from Afghanistan at the end of next year, shortly before leaving office. The president’s decision was reinforced when Taliban fighters took control of the key northern city of Kunduz late last month, leading to a protracted battle with Afghan forces supported by U.S. airstrikes. During the fighting, a U.S. air attack hit a hospital, killing 12 Doctors Without Borders staff and 10 patients. (National Post, Oct. 16, 2015)


TRUDEAU TO OBAMA: CANADA TO PULL OUT OF BOMBING CAMPAIGN AGAINST ISIS (Washington) — Canada's new leader-in-waiting says he intends to follow through on his campaign promise to pull the country out of the U.S.-led bombing campaign against I.S. in Syria and Iraq. Justin Trudeau said he has already told President Obama of his plans. Trudeau is expected to take office in the coming weeks, replacing Prime Minister Harper, who sent Canadian warplanes to carry out airstrikes against I.S. Canada's bombing raids started hitting I.S. positions in Iraq in November 2014 and expanded into Syria in April. As of last week, Canada's six Hornet fighters in the region had flown 1,046 sorties in the operation, according to the military. (CNN, Oct. 21, 2015)


SYRIAN REGIME EXPANDS GROUND OFFENSIVE TO ALEPPO (Damascus) — Syrian pro-regime forces backed by Russian airstrikes have expanded their ground offensive to the strategic city of Aleppo. Losing partial control of the city, which was once Syria’s largest, was an embarrassment to the regime. But with the backing of Russian warplanes, Iranian forces and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah, Assad’s forces could now be in position to regain large parts of the city and the surrounding countryside. On Sunday, the regime captured a village and U.S.-backed rebels destroyed two regime tanks using American-supplied weapons as they tried to stem the regime’s progress. In a rare move, the offensive is being led by regime-allied Iranian fighters. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 18, 2015)


'FIRST RUSSIAN CASUALTIES' IN SYRIA (Damascus) —  Three Russians fighting alongside government forces have been killed in Syria, it was reported on Tuesday, in what would be the first Russian casualties since Moscow’s intervention in the war there began three weeks ago. Pro-Syrian government military sources said three Russians were killed when shelling hit their positions near Latakia on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. About 20 Russians were stationed at a position near Nabi Younis where the three were killed, according to the monitoring group. The news of casualties comes as Syrian forces backed by Russian air power and Iranian troops and fighters from Hezbollah pressed on with offensives on several fronts.  (Telegraph, Oct. 20, 2015)


IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL FORMALLY ADOPTED  (Washington) — The White House began implementing its nuclear agreement with Iran with an eye toward lifting expansive sanctions imposed on Tehran in the past decade. Concerns from opponents of the deal continued to grow, however, as senior administration officials during the weekend played down the importance of a UN  probe into whether Tehran has attempted to secretly develop the technologies needed to build atomic weapons. The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, is committed under the deal to release a report about Iran’s alleged weaponization work. U.S. officials over the weekend said the report would have no bearing on moves by the international community to lift sanctions. U.S. officials had previously said sanctions wouldn’t be lifted unless Iran substantively cooperated with the U.N. probe. (Wall Street Journal, Oct. 19, 2015)


HAJJ DISASTER DEATH TOLL AT LEAST 2,121 (Mecca) — The crush and stampede that struck the hajj last month in Saudi Arabia killed at least 2,121 pilgrims, a new AP tally showed Monday, after officials in the kingdom met to discuss the tragedy. The toll keeps rising from the Sept. 24 disaster outside Mecca as individual countries identify bodies and work to determine the whereabouts of hundreds of pilgrims still missing. The official Saudi toll of 769 people killed and 934 injured has not changed since Sept. 26, and officials have yet to address the discrepancy. Iran has repeatedly blamed the disaster on the Saudi royal family, accusing it of mismanagement and of covering up the real death toll, which Tehran says exceeds 4,700, without providing evidence. (CBC, Oct. 19, 2015)


BRITAIN UNVEILS PLANS TO FIGHT EXTREMISM IN YOUNG MUSLIMS (London) —  Britain has announced new measures intended to prevent the radicalization of young Muslims. In a new counter-extremism strategy, the government outlined a range of plans, including moves to prevent radical material from being posted online and to bar anyone who expresses conviction to commit terrorist crimes or extremist activities from working with children. A panel will examine the application of Shariah law in Britain, and another will seek to ensure that schools, colleges and local authorities are protected against infiltration by extremists. Prime Minister Cameron has described the battle against Islamic extremism as one of the great struggles of his generation. (New York Times, Oct. 19, 2015)


MINISTERS APPROVE BARRING BDS ACTIVISTS’ ENTRY INTO ISRAEL (Jerusalem) — The Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Monday approved a bill by MK Yinon Magal to prevent the entry of anti-Israel boycott activists into the Jewish state. The bill amends the 1952 Entry into Israel Law, which regulates entry into the country of persons who are not citizens of Israel or immigrants, and the arrangement for their stay in the country. Under the new bill, persons active in or are members in NGOs promoting boycotting Israel will not be allowed to enter Israeli territory, for work or tourism. In the coming weeks the bill will be presented to the Knesset for first out of readings on its way to becoming law. (Jewish Press, Oct. 19, 2015)


BLOGGER CAMPAIGNS TO MAKE ISRAEL'S VOICE HEARD IN NYT (New York) — As terrorism in Israel continues to make international headlines, Elad Nehorai, who runs the Jewish blog Pop Chassid, has felt very frustrated following the U.S. media. Nehorai started a crowd-funding page in order to raise enough money to buy a full-page ad in The New York Times. The goal is to use it to publish a “comprehensive list of all the attacks against the Jewish people of Israel” and expose the paper’s readers to “the other side of the story.” Nehorai’s initiative was noticed by StandWithUs, an organization that advocates for Israel, who offered to let him buy the advertisement under its nonprofit status, which significantly brought down the price. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 14, 2015)


CZECHS BEAT DRUMS TO MARK 1ST TRANSPORT OF JEWS TO DEATH CAMPS (Prague) — Hundreds of people are beating drums in Prague to mark the 74th anniversary of the first Czech Jews sent to Nazi death camps during World War II. The transports began Oct. 16, 1941, with the first of the five trains heading for Lodz in Poland, which was occupied by the Nazis, as was the former Czechoslovakia, where Prague was located. Of the 5,000 Jews in them, less than 300 survived. Further transports followed. Nearly 120,000 Jews lived in the country before the war. More than 80,000 of them perished in the Holocaust. (U.S. News, Oct. 16, 2015)


HOUSEFATHER HOLDS MOUNT ROYAL FOR THE LIBERALS  (Montreal) — In one of the most-watched races in Canada’s recent election, particularly for the Jewish community, Mount Royal was the riding the Conservatives had pinned their hopes on for making a breakthrough in Montreal. But in the end, it wasn’t even close. Liberal Anthony Housefather decisively defeated Conservative Robert Libman maintaining a 75-history of Liberal hegemony in Mount Royal, the riding held by outgoing MP Irwin Cotler. The riding has a large Jewish population, the second largest in Canada—36.3 percent. According to Elections Canada, the final tally was Housefather 50 per cent (more than 24,000 votes), Libman 38 per cent, and the NDP’s Mario Jacinto Rimbao eight per cent. (CJN, Oct. 20, 2015)

On Topic Links 


Gaza Imam: Jews Are Brothers of Apes and Pigs, We Will Pray in Tel Aviv (Video): Memri, Oct. 14, 2015 — Calling to wage Jihad against "the brothers of apes and pigs" in the streets and alleys of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Abu Sa'da, in a sermon delivered at the Abdallah Azzam Mosque, Gaza, said that they were awaiting their leader to proclaim: "You will all be praying your afternoon prayer in Tel Aviv, Allah willing."

Follow the Terror-Brick Road: Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Town Hall, Oct 14, 2015—On October 3rd, Muhannad Halabi knifed his way into Palestinian hearts. The law student stabbed Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi, Aharon Bennett, Bennet’s wife and two-year-old son in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Canada Loses a Moral Compass: Michael Rubin, Commentary, Oct. 20, 2015 —Apparently antagonized by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s sometimes-brash leadership style and itching for change after almost a decade of conservative rule, Canadians have delivered Harper a surprising and decisive defeat at the polls.

A Path Out of the Middle East Collapse: Henry A. Kissinger. Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16, 2015 —The debate about whether the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran regarding its nuclear program stabilized the Middle East’s strategic framework had barely begun when the region’s geopolitical framework collapsed.






Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes


Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf


On Topic Links




Tamar’s Blessing: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2. 2013

Syria: Divided We Stand: Lawrence Soloman, Times of Israel, Mar. 28, 2013

Why are Israelis So Damn Happy?: Allison Kaplan Sommer, Ha’aretz, Apr.03, 2013





"In light of Israel's investigation into the [Gaza Flotilla] incident, which pointed to a number of operational mistakes, the prime minister expressed Israel's apology to the Turkish people for any mistakes that might have led to the loss of life or injury and agreed to conclude an agreement on compensation/nonliability."—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement of apology to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan made at the end of US President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel. (Facebook: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mar. 22, 2013)


“Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan should be tried for the deaths of the activists on the Marmara…The flotilla, which was provided material support by the Turkish government, was a provocation designed to endanger the lives of Israeli sailors.”—Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin, the Israel Law Center, expressing outrage [at] the apology to Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the deaths of those killed by the commandos during the clashes. She called the decision to apologize a “pathetic pandering to an Islamic extremist who compared Zionism to facism.” (Israel National News, Mar. 27, 2013)


"This is a very important step, [to apologize to Turkey], and the right one, as I told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. In these times, especially looking at what is happening in Syria, there are mutual security interests between Israel, Turkey and the United States."— Tzipi Livni, Israel’s Justice Minister, welcoming the reconciliation between Israel and Turkey. (Jerusalem Post, Mar 22, 2013)


“Anyone who saw the photos taken on the Mavi Marmara understands beyond any doubt that IDF soldiers acted in self-defence against the activists of the IHH organization, which is recognized as a terrorist organization in Europe. Such an apology harms IDF soldiers' motivation and their willingness to go out on future missions, and strengthens the radical elements in the region. Worse still is the fact that the apology also affects Israel’s uncompromising struggle for righteousness, morality and for the morality of its soldiers. [Prime Minister Recep] Erdogan’s tirades against Israel whenever possible, starting with the attack on President Peres in 2009 at the Davos conference and until his statement a few weeks ago that Zionism is racism and a crime against humanity, along with his refusal to apologize for this statement, violate the dignity and status of Israel in the region and the entire world.”—former Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman reacting to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan for  the deaths of Turkish nationals on the Mavi Marmara in 2010. (Israel National News, Mar. 22, 2013)


"There are thousands of Lord Ahmeds out there: mild-mannered and well-integrated British Muslims who nevertheless harbour deeply anti-Semitic views. It pains me to have to admit this but anti-Semitism isn't just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it's routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article – if they are honest with themselves – will know instantly what I am referring to. In recent years, I've been depressed to discover that there are plenty of 'second-generation' Muslim youths, born and bred in multiracial Britain, who have drunk the anti-Semitic Kool-Aid. The truth is that the virus of anti-Semitism has infected members of the British Muslim community, both young and old. We're not all anti-Semites. But, as a community, we do have a 'Jewish problem'. There is no point pretending otherwise."—Mehdi Hasan, a British Muslim writer, in a response to the discovery, published on the front-page of the London Times, [Mar. 22] that ex-Labour peer Lord Ahmed of Rotherham had been caught on Pakistan television blaming his imprisonment — for having, while driving and texting, run over and killed a man, — on "the Jews." (Gatestone Institute, March 29, 2013)


We are responding to your recent letter dated March 5 asking for our continued financial

support.  We are tuned into and agree with the growing perception in the local community that the  Florida Atlantic University (FAU) administration from Charles Brown to the president, M.J. Saunders, has been lax and unresponsive to the shockingly brazen displays of  anti-Semitic racial bigotry rampant on your campus permitted under the guise of “academic freedom of expression”. The SJP [Students for Justice in Palestine], affiliated and aided by radical Muslim groups, has run, unfettered, with racial activism as evidenced by the mock eviction postings with PBC and FAU official seals and physically aided by a FAU Housing Authority employee.  Outrageously, no one has been fired. One must assume the donations from Muslim sources dictates policy in this State Institution.  Consequently, we will no longer support the Football program and plan to urge our Jewish and Christian friends to withhold future donations to FAU during the tenure of the current university president.”—Howard D. Zipper, M.D and Susan B. Zipper in a letter to Dr. [Jennifer] Anderson, VP Community Engagement, Florida Atlantic University. (Private correspondence, March 26, 2013)


“Does Obama in fact know the relationship, for example, between ‘Passover’ and ‘Christian blood’..?! Or ‘Passover’ and ‘Jewish blood rituals?!’ Much of the chatter and gossip about historical Jewish blood rituals in Europe are real and not fake as they claim; the Jews used the blood of Christians in the Jewish Passover.”—Nawaf Al Zaru, in an article, in Arabic, on the website of Miftah, a Palestinian non-profit organization, founded by Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi and funded by European and Western governments. (Times of Israel, Apr. 2, 2013)


“The Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy, MIFTAH would like to apologize for the recent and brief publication on our website of an article penned by Nawaf Al Zaru that discusses Jewish blood libel during Passover. It has become clear to us after investigating this incident that the article was accidentally and incorrectly published by a junior staff member. The said staffer has been reprimanded and all our staff has been informed as to the disgusting and repulsive phenomena of blood libel or accusation, including its use against Jews. Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, as founder, has nothing to do with the day to day management at Miftah and was no way involved in this incident.”—a statement from Miftah concerning the blood libel article published on its web-site, after being exposed  by the blog Elder of Ziyon. (Miftah, Apr. 1, 2013)


“Miftah's Arabic website shows no indication of regret, apology or condemnation of the classic blood libel against Jews that it published. Readers of the Arabic website have only been exposed to the original blood libel article and to Miftah's justification for it but they have not been informed by the NGO that claims to "fight hatemongering" that there was anything wrong about the original article.”—Elder of Ziyon Blog. (Elder of Ziyon, Apr. 2, 2013)


We're gathered here today as emissaries of a nation which has managed to tame the wilderness, but has also committed to remember the scorched earth from which it came. We're gathered here as commanders of an army which has vowed to guard the people of Israel from the next calamity, and we also vow today to remember, and forget nothing. Our safety does not rely only on tanks and airplanes, and isn't summed up by Iron Domes. For our safety, for our future as a nation and a state we are committed to preserve the memory. The Nazis' successors are numerous; they stick by anti-Semitic ways and plot (to create) a modern Auschwitz. The IDF stands against intentions to wipe out the State of Israel, and we have sworn that Jewish blood will not be abandoned.”—Lieutenant General Benny Gantz, IDF Chief of Staff, at a memorial service at Israel’s Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem. (Ynet News, Apr. 3, 2013)


“The [Canadian government’s] calculation appears to be that with many of the regimes in the [Middle East] region under military, political or economic threat, they will see advantage in closer relations with Canada because their basic needs outweigh their commitment to the Palestinian cause. Street opinion in the Arab countries that Mr. Baird is visiting will remain very sensitive to the Palestinian reality, but the forces that count in autocracies are governments, which would appear to have a different view. Their seeking the opportunity to meet Mr. Baird suggests as much.”—Michael Bell, former Canadian ambassador to Egypt, Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories, commenting, in an op-ed article in the Globe and Mail, on Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird’s current visit to the Middle East. (Globe and Mail, Apr. 2, 2013)


Top of Page





MARCH WAS DEADLIEST MONTH IN SYRIAN WAR(Beirut) March was the bloodiest month yet in Syria’s two-year-old conflict, with more than 6,000 documented deaths, a leading antiregime activist group said Monday, blaming the increase on heavier shelling and more violent clashes. Rami Abdul-Rahman, who heads the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said the increased toll is probably incomplete because both the Syrian army and the rebel groups fighting the government often underreport their dead in the civil war. “Both sides are hiding information,’’ Abdul-Rahman said by phone from Britain, where his group is based. ‘‘It is very difficult to get correct info on the fighters because they don’t want the information to hurt morale.” Total deaths in Syria’s civil war are now approaching 80,000. (Boston Globe, Apr. 2, 2013)


UN NUKE CHIEF: IRAN MAY BE CONTINUING WORK ON BOMB(New York) International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano expressed concern Tuesday that Iran may be secretly continuing work on nuclear weapons. "We have information indicating that Iran was engaged in activities relevant to the development of nuclear explosive devices in the past and now," he said. While not going into detail, Amano said the IAEA's information was "cross checked…so we have concerns." Amano also said there was "some possibility" that Iran may already be constructing additional sites to enrich uranium at locations unknown to the agency."  (Washington Post, Apr. 2, 2013 )


ISRAEL'S JEWISH POPULATION PASSES 6 MILLION(Jerusalem)  Israel's population reached eight million over Passover with six million Jews, 1.6 million Arabs, and 350,000 non-Arab Christians and others, mostly relatives of immigrants from the former USSR. There are 5.5 million Jews in the U.S., 500,000 in France, 380,000 in Canada, and 290,000 in Britain. "In the world today there are 13,800,000 Jews," said Professor Sergio Della Pergola, an expert on Jewish demography from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, who collected the data. (Ynet News, Mar. 28, 2013)


HISTORIC DAMASCUS SYNAGOGUE LOOTED AND BURNED(Damascus) The 2,000-year-old Jobar Synagogue [dating to 720BCE] in the Syrian capital of Damascus was looted and burned to the ground. The Syrian army loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebel forces are blaming each other for the destruction of the historic synagogue, according to reports on Sunday. The Jobar synagogue was built atop a cave that, according to tradition, was used by the prophet Elijah to conceal himself from prosecution. The synagogue is said to have been built by Elijah's successor, the prophet Elisha, and repaired during the first century by Eleazar ben Arach.  (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 1, 2013)


ISRAEL ON COURSE TO ENERGY INDEPENDENCE(Ashdod)After about four years rife with many delays, and after great difficulties in obtaining funding for the Tamar drilling platform, at precisely 4 PM Saturday [Mar. 30] natural gas began to flow from the site, 56 miles off shore, to the Yam Tethys reservoir in Ashdod. The use of the gas will commence within 24 hours. The gas is transferred from the sea through a special pipeline installed along the bottom of the sea to the Yam Tethys reservoir. It will flow from there to a gas absorption station in Ashdod and transferred from there to company customers: Electric Company power stations, and private power plants owned by the refineries in Haifa and Ashdod, and to Israel’s petrochemical plants. (Jewish Press, March 30, 2013)

HEZBOLLAH COURIER FOUND GUILTY IN PLOT TO ATTACK ISRAELI TOURISTS IN CYPRUS(Berlin) In a decision that could have significant repercussions for Hezbollah’s operations in Europe, a court in Cyprus on Thursday [Mar. 21] found a man guilty of participating in a plot to attack Israeli tourists there, part of a conspiracy similar to a deadly bombing last July in Bulgaria. The court found the man, Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a dual Swedish-Lebanese citizen, guilty on five of the eight charges against him, including participation in a criminal organization and in the preparation of a criminal act. “It has been proven that Hezbollah is an organization that operates under complete secrecy,” the head of the three-judge panel that ruled on the case, Tasia Psara-Miltiadou, said Thursday in court. “There is no doubt that this group has multiple members and proceeds with various activities, including military training of its members. Therefore, the court rules that Hezbollah acts as a criminal organization.” (New York Times, March 21, 2013)

PENN HILLEL PROVIDED PLATFORM FOR ‘BREAKING THE SILENCE’(Philadelphia) In yet another example of academia succumbing to a flawed “freedom of speech” battering ram, the Hillel of Greater Philadelphia, on Thursday, March 28, provided a platform for the pro-Palestinian J Street U to defile the integrity of the Israel Defence Forces through a well-funded delegitimization organization known as Breaking the Silence. The “silence” that the group supposedly “breaks” is the unspoken criticism of Israel and Israel’s military.  Yes, that’s right – without Breaking the Silence, one would never hear a negative word about the IDF, because the New York Times, the United Nations Human Rights Council, the EU, the Guardian, the Iranian regime, the Arab League, the Huffington Post, CNN, El Mundo, El Diario or just about any other entity with a microphone or a media outlet never criticizes the IDF. (Jewish Press, March 29th, 2013)



Two Canadians suspected of involvement in a terrorist attack at a natural gas plant in Algeria this year have been identified as former high school friends from London, Ont. — in a news report that suggests more Canadians than previously revealed may have been involved in the hostage-taking.

CBC’s The National on Monday [Apr. 1] identified the two men as Ali Medlej and Xristos Katsiroubas, both in their early 20s and raised in middle-class neighbourhoods. The two likely intentionally blew themselves up during the attack at the In Amenas facility, the CBC reported, citing unnamed sources. (Ottawa Citizen, Apr. 1, 2013)


HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, SLATED TO BE HONORED, DIES(Jerusalem) Peretz Hochman, one of six Holocaust survivors slated to light a torch at Yad Vashem on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day on April 7, died on Sunday at the age of 86. Hochman, born as Pavel in Warsaw in 1927, fought in the Polish underground against the Nazis during World War II and, after his aliya in 1946, was injured during the War of Independence while serving in the Palmah Brigade of the Negev.  During the war years, Hochman and his brother Zanek escaped the Warsaw Ghetto and survived on the outside by posing as Poles. The Hochman brothers lived by selling cigarettes to German officers and through street singing, smuggling food and clothing to their parents in the ghetto. Hochman’s father died of starvation while his mother was shot to death in 1942. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2, 2013)

ISRAEL’S REVOLUTIONARY MUV-E SCOOTER(Tel Aviv) Another new invention from Israel: an all-electric scooter called the MUV-e that helps people go the distance between the commuter bus, car park or train to the office and home again. It was those last five miles commuting inside cities where he worked –– congested cities like Tel Aviv, Milan, Rome and Torino –– that put a strain on Amir Zaid when he was working for Fiat and Ferrari as an interior and 3D automobile designer. What emerged from Zaid’s fantasy form of transport is the MUV-e scooter. It’s a foldable, all-electric sporty three-wheeler that can connect with your smartphone, turning it into an odometer, gas gauge, speedometer and navigator. The phone can control the folding and opening of the scooter, and sits on the handlebars during the ride. When fully charged, the MUV-e can go about 10 miles before needing to plug in. Estimated driving speeds peak at about 20 miles per hour. (Israel21c, Apr. 3, 2013)

ANTI-ISLAMIC ADS SUBMITTED TO MTA IN REBUTTAL OF ANTI-ISRAEL ADS(New York) The pro-Israel group that called enemies of the Jewish state “savage” in subway ads will launch a new campaign to counteract pro-Palestinian billboards that went up in Metro-North train stations this week. The new ads, paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, feature disturbing images under the headline: “This is Islamic Apartheid.” One of the images shows two blindfolded men having nooses placed over their heads. Below the image, it reads, “Gay under Islamic law (Sharia).” The picture is from Iran, said Pamela Geller, head of the AFDI. Another picture shows a woman dressed in a white burqa getting whipped, above the words: “Under Islamic law rape victims are tortured or killed unless they agree to marry their rapist.” Geller said that picture is from Indonesia. She submitted the ads to the MTA yesterday. It’s unclear when they will go up. (New York Post,  Mar. 28, 2013)

PRESENT-DAY HUNGARIAN ANTI-SEMITIC POSTER(Budapest) This poster describes a local "hunk" in uniform, fairly similar to the SS, holding a "small" Jew by his hair. The little Jew is ugly, his face distorted, hooked nose and trembling with fear. The pockets are designed to express that Jews have "pockets full of money".  In case you are wondering, the poster is not from Germany, in the years of 1932 to 1945, but it is printed now, tens of thousands of copies all over Hungary (Picture Date – March 2012).  Yes, anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews is rearing its head, and so began the roots that led to the Holocaust of the Jewish people.




SAPLINGS FROM ANNE FRANK’S TREE TAKE ROOT IN U.S. (Indianapolis) Saplings from the chestnut tree that stood as a symbol of hope for Anne Frank as she hid from the Nazis for two years in Amsterdam are being distributed to 11 locations in the United States as part of a project that aims to preserve her legacy and promote tolerance. The tree, one of the Jewish teenager's only connections to nature while she hid with her family, was diseased and rotted through the trunk when wind and heavy rain toppled it in August 2010. But saplings grown from its seeds will be planted starting in April, when the Children's Museum of Indianapolis will put the first one in the ground. (Ha’aretz, Mar.27, 2013)

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Tamar’s Blessing: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 2. 2013—Tamar’s blessing. Tradition teaches that it was because God wanted to hear the Jewish people’s prayers for rain that He gave them Israel, a land so dependent on heavenly downpours, and did not give them, say, Egypt with its Nile River. The same could have been said for Israel’s dearth of fossil fuel reserves – until now. At 4 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, natural gas began to flow from Tamar, a huge field located off the Haifa shore, to a terminal at the Ashdod port.

Syria: Divided We Stand: Lawrence Soloman, Times of Israel, Mar. 28, 2013—Israel’s desire for a centralized regime that rules over Syria’s minorities is misguided. A breakup of Syria into its component nations would empower the country’s minorities while serving to protect Israel. Rather than discouraging the minorities’ hopes for self rule, Israel should be encouraging it, and helping to shape it. Otherwise the outcome of Syria’s civil war could redound to Israel’s sorrow.


Why are Israelis So Damn Happy?: Allison Kaplan Sommer, Ha’aretz, Apr.03, 2013—It’s happened again. An international survey has been published showing that Israelis are, compared to their counterparts in other Western countries, very happy and content people. That information confounds everyone, not least Israelis themselves. It's thanks to both the wars and the weather, and those Friday night dinners that keep us from feeling lonely.



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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