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Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae

May 3, 1917


In Flanders fields the poppies blow//Between the crosses, row on row//That mark our place; and in the sky//The larks, still bravely singing, fly//Scarce heard amid the guns below.


We are the Dead. Short days ago//We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow//Loved and were loved, and now we lie//In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe://To you from failing hands we throw//The torch; be yours to hold it high.//If ye break faith with us who die//We shall not sleep, though poppies grow//In Flanders fields.






Kevin Patterson

National Post, Nov. 6, 2015


The eye is drawn to difference, and so our conversations about war emphasize how much combat has changed since John McCrae’s time. The rise of drones and precision-guided munitions and aeromedical evacuation and satellite imagery. But the essence of McCrae’s wars remains the essence of ours: men trying to kill one another with fire. Put some accelerant – nitrates, usually – in with the fuel, and it burns fast. Confine it, and it explodes. Maybe the nitrates come as fertilizer, mixed with diesel fuel and tamped down in a pressure cooker, buried in a road. Maybe carbon is bonded to the nitrates to make gunpowder that pushes a projectile down a tube. To the extent that war has changed, it has changed in these, the engineering details of how shards of metal are blown toward teenagers and whoever else may be standing in the way…


War is aphoristically hell, and yet that hell is embraced. It is the central puzzle of “In Flanders Fields” and of a century of wars – First, Second, Cold, Gulf, Terror – that has not spared a single generation since McCrae. Contemporary readers avert their eyes from the third stanza of “In Flanders Fields,” preferring to concentrate on the first two and drink the melancholy and grief within them. Some people even imagine that this is an anti-war poem – just as they imagine that professional soldiers fight reluctantly.


But McCrae did not go to battle to ease the suffering of its victims. He went to war to help win it, to repair as many of the broken fighters as he could so that they might fight more and break more of the enemy. He wrote that he believed medical personnel were in any event beside the point – what the army needed to win was fighting men. Self-evidently true, this is still surprising to read from the pen of a physician.


What McCrae wrote in the third stanza of “In Flanders Fields,” entreating the living to “Take up our quarrel with the foe,” is also shocking. He adopts the voices of the dead, the men who have just lost the lives they were supposed to have lived – their children, the furniture they would have made, the houses they were to have built, the tender moments with their wives that were to have lingered as warming memories in their older years – and urges on more convulsive homicide. It is an act of astonishing and deluded presumption: Who would assume that, if the masses of war dead could speak – nearly 20 million in that conflagration – what they would urge on would be more of it? What sane person would suggest it?…


Until only one long lifetime ago, it was not possible to talk about unconscious drives and the havoc they wreak, because they had not themselves been contemplated. The other great intellectual revolution unfolding when the First World War came was psychoanalysis, though a man as resolute as McCrae may have disdained its insights. W.H.R. Rivers – like Freud, a neurologist – independently developed his psychoanalytic techniques to treat shell shock. He treated the war poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen successfully enough to send them back to the front. When he was in England being treated by Rivers, Owen wrote “Dulce et decorum est,” and this is its last stanza:




Wilfred Owen

Oct., 1917


…If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace//Behind the wagon that we flung him in,//And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,//His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;//If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood//Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs//Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud//Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, –//My friend, you would not tell with such high zest//

To children ardent for some desperate glory,//The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est//Pro patria mori…

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]



MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK: “Painfully, the Palestinian Oslo generation has reached its limit, disgusted with a peace process that did not lead to freedom, but to an apartheid reality accepted by too much of the world. As I watch this play out before me, and prepare to hand the reins of leadership to my children’s generation, I cannot help but wonder whether the Israeli people are capable of electing a leadership committed to a just peace. Where is their F.W. de Klerk? Israel seems prepared only to let the opportunity for a two-state peace slip away. If the possibility of a two-state solution does fade away—as is already happening courtesy of Mr. Netanyahu—Israel will consolidate apartheid across all of Palestine, pushing the achievement of Palestinian freedom, independence and equal rights beyond the horizon.” — Saeb Erekat, secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization. (Wall Street Journal, Nov. 6, 2015)


On Topic Links  


Obama Shutters the Peace Process Shop: Aaron David Miller, Real Clear World, Nov. 9, 2015

Islam is a Religion of Violence: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Foreign Policy, Nov. 9, 2015

What Canada Can Do to Help Stabilize the Middle East and Resurrect a Strong Western Alliance: Conrad Black, National Post, Nov. 7, 2015

Why is Russia Bombing My Town?: Raed Fares, Washington Post, Nov. 6, 2015





"What you saw publicly was evident behind closed doors as well…The first and most important issue we discussed was the memorandum of understanding on American security aid to Israel. We didn't focus on the amount, but I presented our security and technological needs with regards to regional threats. We have ISIS in Sinai and spillover in the Golan Heights. President Obama is aware of these challenges, including the likelihood that the Russian plane was downed." — Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday. Obama and Netanyahu agreed to expedite talks on a new 10-year U.S. military aid package for Israel, in an effort to finish negotiations before the end of Obama's term. The current military aid to Israel, the prime minister noted, was half of American military aid to South Korea. (Ynet, Nov. 9, 2015)


"It's no secret that the prime minister and I have had a strong disagreement on this narrow (Iran nuclear) issue…But we don't have a disagreement on the need to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, and we don't have a disagreement about the importance of us blunting destabilizing activities that may be taking place in Iran. And so, we're going to be looking to make sure that we find common ground there." — U.S. President Barack Obama. (Ynet, Nov. 9, 2015)

"The president has reached the conclusion that right now – barring a major shift – the parties are not going to be in a position to negotiate a final status agreement." — White House Middle East Adviser Rob Malley, ahead of Netanyahu's arrival in Washington. Despite Netanyahu's statement that “(Israelis) haven't given up on our hope for peace," U.S. officials said Obama has given up hope on reaching a peace accord before the end of his term. (Ynet, Nov. 9, 2015)


“As a candidate to become Prime Minister, [Justin] Trudeau had promised to maintain the substance of Canada’s exemplary relationship with Israel, modifying only the tone…However, just sworn-in Stephan Dion promises his ministry at Foreign Affairs will return to the role of ‘honest broker’ vis a vis Israel…Israel already has many ‘honest brokers’ among the Europeans. What Israel, a democracy surrounded by terrorist states and dictatorships needs is friends it can count on.” — Statement from the Canadian chapter of Christians United for Israel. The pro-Israel group expressed concern over just sworn-in Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion’s promise to have Canada become an “honest broker” with Israel. “Canada needs to maintain the moral clarity to differentiate between sister democracies and violent, terrorist states if it is to strengthen and help its many strong friends and allies among whom Israel has always been counted,” CUFI Canada said. (Algemeiner, Nov. 6, 2015)


“I would hope that Canada would be able to reopen its mission [in Tehran]… I’m fairly certain that there are ways to re-engage [Iran].” — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to a CBC interviewer in June, just as the U.S. and other world powers were concluding a nuclear agreement with Iran. Canada severed all diplomatic ties in September, 2012, when it shut down its embassy in Tehran and ordered all Iranian officials to leave Canada within five days. The drastic measure was intended as a rebuke of the Iranian regime for its human-rights abuses, provocative nuclear program, support for the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and threats to Israel. (Globe & Mail, Nov. 5, 2015)


 “As I have said, when we started the [nuclear] work, we were at war, and we wanted to have such an option for the day our enemies wanted to use nuclear weapons. This was [our] state of mind, but things never become serious.” — Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. Rafsanjani, the head of Iran’s Expediency Council, admitted in an interview that his country started a nuclear weapons program during the Iran-Iraq War. Rafsanjani continued, “The principle of our doctrine was the use of nuclear [energy] for peaceful purposes, even though we never abandoned [the idea] that if we were some day to face a certain threat, and if it became necessary, then we would have the option of going to the other side [to develop nuclear weapons]. But we did not have a plan to do this, and we never deviated [from civilian use]…” (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 28, 2015)


“The advantage of the lone wolf here is that he is already established in the West, his entire life is a cover story – and a very strong one at that. So use that to your advantage. Be patient, don't rush anything, put your trust in Allah." — From a 64-page terrorist operations manual recently released by an Islamic State (I.S.) supporter on Twitter. FBI Director James Comey said last month that the Bureau has approximately 900 ongoing I.S.-related inquiries, most of which involve homegrown suspects. The manual, "Safety and Security Guidelines for Lone Wolf Mujahideen," provides detailed instructions on successfully carrying out terror attacks. (IPT News, Nov. 9, 2015)






EIGHT DEAD IN SHOOTING ATTACK IN JORDAN (Amman) — A senior Jordanian officer shot and killed eight people including two Americans and one South African military trainers Monday at a US-funded facility which trains Iraqi and Palestinian security forces, before being shot dead by fellow police officers. Jordan's government spokesman said the shooter also wounded two American instructors and three Jordanians in the attack which occurred at a facility in the eastern outskirts of Amman. Jordan is part of a US-led coalition battling I.S., which has seized territory in its neighbors Syria and Iraq. The shooting occurred on the 10th anniversary of the Amman bombings, in which 65 people were killed in a series of coordinated attacks targeting three hotels in the capital by al-Qaida in Iraq, the predecessor of I.S. which overran a large swath of territory in Syria and Iraq. (I24, Nov. 9, 2015)


NETANYAHU FREEZES APPOINTMENT OF SPOKESMAN WHO ACCUSED OBAMA OF ANTISEMITISM (Jerusalem) — Prime Minister Netanyahu froze Ran Baratz’s appointment as his new media chief after past Facebook posts he had written insulting Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry became headline fodder around the world. Baratz had described Obama actions as “modern anti-Semitism,” referred to Kerry as someone “whose mental age doesn’t exceed 12” and charged that President Reuven Rivlin is unworthy to hold office. Netanyahu said he had not known about Baratz’s comments prior to announcing his appointment. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 5, 2015)


MUSTARD AGENT WAS USED IN SYRIA ATTACK, MONITORING AGENCY SAYS (Damascus) — The international organization that monitors chemical weapons use said Friday that a mustard agent was used in an attack on the Syrian town of Marea in August. Three people were injured in the August attack on the town in Aleppo province. The organization didn’t name a perpetrator for the attack. Opposition rebels and activists in the area have said the attack was carried out by I.S., who have been trying to seize control of the town for months. The attack on Marea came after U.S. officials said they believed I.S. had used a mustard agent against Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria in August, the first indication that the terrorist group had obtained chemical weapons. (Wall Street Journal, Nov. 6, 2015)


SYRIAN GOVERNMENT ACCUSED OF PROFITING FROM ABDUCTIONS (Damascus) — The Syrian government has profited from the abduction of tens of thousands of people during the country’s civil war, according to a report by Amnesty International based on interviews with Syrians alleging that bribes are routinely demanded for details about the missing. The rights group says the government of President Assad oversees an “insidious black market” that exploits Syrians desperate for information about loved ones amid the country’s “widespread and systematic enforced disappearances.” Syrian authorities, the report alleges, are linked to middlemen and brokers who charge hefty fees for relaying information about missing people. The Assad government has long been accused of trying to silence critics with the extensive use of detentions and abductions. (Washington Post, Nov. 5, 2015)


RUSSIA FINALIZES AIR DEFENSE MISSILE CONTRACT WITH IRAN (Moscow) — Russia has finalized a contract for the delivery of advanced air-defense missile systems to Iran. Sergei Chemezov, the head of Russian Technologies, the holding company that includes the arms trader, said that "the contract with Iran for the S-300 has entered into force." Russia in 2010 froze a deal to supply advanced S-300 missile systems to Iran, linking the decision to U.N. sanctions. President Putin lifted the suspension earlier this year following Iran's deal with six world powers that curbed its nuclear program in exchange for relief from sanctions. The missile system deal has long worried Israel and other countries in the region, as well as the U.S., which see it as destabilizing. (Yahoo, Nov. 9, 2015)


IRAN RESPONSIBLE FOR DEADLY ROCKET ATTACK ON CAMP LIBERTY IN IRAQ (Baghdad) — An Iranian dissident group said more than 20 of its members in Iraq were killed in October when a barrage of Iranian-made rockets slammed into a former U.S. military base near Baghdad where Iraqi authorities have kept the dissidents for years. Although the casualty count could not be immediately verified, Iraqi police confirmed that at least 16 rockets had rained down on Camp Liberty, a facility the Iraqi government has used since 2012 to house more than 2,000 members of the Iranian opposition group known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, or MEK. No one claimed responsibility, but MEK leaders were quick to pin ultimate blame on the Iranian government and claimed that Tehran-backed leaders in Baghdad willingly allowed the attack to occur. (Washington Times, Oct. 29, 2015)


IRAN ARRESTS 'LEBANESE-AMERICAN' FOR ESPIONAGE (Tehran) — Iran arrested a "Lebanese-American citizen" on suspicion of espionage, according to a state-run media outlet. Nazar Zaka had "deep ties with the U.S. military and intelligence services," said IRIB. The U.S. State Department said Zaka is not a U.S. citizen. The arrest of Zaka came several days after Siamak Namazi, a Dubai-based businessman with dual U.S. and Iranian citizenship, was detained while visiting relatives in Tehran. Four other Americans are being held in Iran. IRIB also reported Tuesday that Iran arrested an "infiltration network" affiliated with the U.S. and British governments and people operating in cyberspace and Iran's media who collaborated with Western governments. (CNN, Nov. 3, 2015)


LEBANESE MAN ‘LURES FATHER TO SYRIA TO BE BEHEADED BY IS’ (Beirut) — A Lebanese man lured his father to Raqqa, Syria — the self-proclaimed capital of I.S.’s “caliphate” — to be beheaded by the Islamic extremists, according to a Lebanese TV report aired last week. The father, Mahmoud al-Hussein, from the city of Tripoli, recently traveled to Syria to retrieve his two daughters who were convinced by their brother, Yehia al-Hussein, 20, to join I.S. According to Mahmoud al-Hussein’s brother, he was ambushed by the group his son and daughters now belonged to, charged with alleged crimes such as “insulting the Prophet Muhammad,” “contacts with the Turkish embassy,” and “relations with the Lebanese government,” and then beheaded. (Times of Israel, Nov. 7, 2015)  


THREE ARRESTED AFTER ISRAELI SCHOLAR SHOUTED DOWN AT U. OF MINNESOTA (Minneapolis) — A lecture at the University of Minnesota Law School last week by renowned Israeli scholar Moshe Halbertal was marred when anti-Israel protesters repeatedly shouted down his remarks. The protesters delayed the lecture by half an hour with repeated shouts and interruptions from the audience, before continuing to chant outside the room in which the event was held. Halbertal, a professor at both New York University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, was scheduled to give a presentation on the ethics of war. The protests were endorsed by the campus branch of Students for Justice in Palestine and was organized by the Minnesota Anti-War Committee. The protesters were eventually removed from the building by campus police. (The Tower, Nov. 4, 2015)


GAZA DEMONSTRATORS MARK BALFOUR DECLARATION ANNIVERSARY BY BURNING FLAGS (Gaza) — Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza burned British, U.S. and Israeli flags to mark the anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. Members of the al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades terrorist group brandished guns, swords and axes at a demonstration in Rafah. The demonstrators then burned the flags of the three countries. Signed on Nov. 2, 1917, by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, the Balfour Declaration stated that the British government “views with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people and would use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.” The declaration, issued while the area that is now Israel was still under the control of the Ottoman Empire, represented a pivotal victory for Zionists and has been credited with helping pave the way for the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. (JTA, Nov. 3, 2015)


IN SWEDEN, A KRISTALLNACHT COMMEMORATION WITHOUT JEWS (Stockholm) — In the Swedish city of Umea, organizers of a Kristallnacht commemoration have been accused of excluding Jews. The Kristallnacht pogroms, carried out in territories controlled by Nazi Germany on November 9-10, 1938, resulted in the destruction of 267 synagogues and the internment of 30,000 Jewish men in concentration camps. According to local media and the leader of the city’s small Jewish community, organizers failed to invite them to attend or address the gathering, which some believe has been re-purposed for political reasons. Some critics have accused the organizers of using the event to promote agendas unrelated to the Holocaust. The head of the city’s Jewish community said she was shocked to learn that the reason she was not contacted was because organizers believed that “Jewish people will be scared to come” because often Israeli flags are on display with swastikas daubed across them. (Jerusalem Post, Nov. 9, 2015)


YITZHAK NAVON, ISRAEL’S FIFTH PRESIDENT, DIES AT 94 —Yitzhak Navon, Israel’s fifth president, diplomat, key adviser to David Ben-Gurion and respected Labor politician, died Friday night at the age of 94. Navon, the scion of a long line of renowned Sephardi rabbis, was born on April 9, 1921. Navon served as the head of the Arab section of the Haganah, the forerunner to the IDF, in the years running up to the establishment of the state. He then served as an Israeli diplomat in Latin America, before becoming personal secretary to Israel’s first foreign minister, Moshe Sharett, from 1950-1952. Navon then took a position as a political adviser to David Ben-Gurion, a post he held for more than a decade, becoming one of the first Prime Minister’s most trust aides. (Times of Israel, Nov. 7, 2015)

On Topic Links 


Obama Shutters the Peace Process Shop: Aaron David Miller, Real Clear World, Nov. 9, 2015 — This week the Obama administration once again declared the peace process, and hopes for an agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, closed for the season. White House officials stated that an agreement between the two sides "isn't in the cards" during what remains of the Obama presidency.

Islam is a Religion of Violence: Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Foreign Policy, Nov. 9, 2015 — In the 14 years since the attacks of 9/11 brought Islamic terrorism to the forefront of American and Western awareness and then-President George W. Bush launched the “Global War on Terror,” the violent strain of Islam appears to have metastasized.

What Canada Can Do to Help Stabilize the Middle East and Resurrect a Strong Western Alliance: Conrad Black, National Post, Nov. 7, 2015—The new government has already declared that it will, as promised in the late election campaign, withdraw Canada’s token participation in the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, although it is continuing to train some local forces supported by the West.

Why is Russia Bombing My Town?: Raed Fares, Washington Post, Nov. 6, 2015 — On Jan. 29, 2014, I pulled into my driveway after a typical day of work. But after I got out of my car, a masked gunman jumped from his hiding place and fired bullets into my chest. A second gunman then appeared and fired more shots. As I lay bleeding, I felt death embrace me.






Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

Contents:  Weekly Quotes |  Short Takes


Download Today's Isranet Briefing.pdf


On Topic Links


MKs Decry US Demand To Free Terrorists As Gesture: Yuval Bagno, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013
Hepatitis B No Match For Sci-gen’s New Vaccine: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21c, Apr. 18, 2013
Israel At the Dawn of a New Age: Michael Ordman, Israpundit, Apr. 23, 2013





“Zionism is nothing more – but also nothing less – than the Jewish People’s sense of origin and destination in the land linked eternally with its name. It is also the instrument whereby the Jewish nation seeks an authentic fulfillment of itself.”Former foreign minister Abba Eban, quoted by Sofa Landver in “Aliya – the Revolution Has Just Begun” in the Jerusalem Post. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 17, 2013)

“After 2,000 years of bitter exile, Zionism – the national expression of the Jewish people gave voice and shape to a dream that never left the Jewish conscience: the return of world Jewry to its ancestral homeland. It is quite simply breathtaking to behold what people like Theodor Herzl, Eliezer Ben- Yehuda and Chaim Weizmann accomplished against all odds. It’s simply a miracle to behold.
   Seventy years ago, my grandfather left Canada to fight the Nazis in the Second World War. I’m deeply influenced by his contribution to combating an evil which sought to exterminate the Jewish people…that moment in history when the Devil almost drove a stake through the heart of humanity.
   The heavy spirit, the knotted stomach, and the paralysis of shock I felt as I learned details of the horrors of the Nazi era have been ingrained in my soul; they shook me to my core and have become part of my DNA….
   Yes, the horrors of the Holocaust are behind [us], but the hatred that caused it, has cast itself in a new form,…it targets the Jewish state. That Israel is still the subject of hatred is deeply disturbing and one of the forces that drives my support for the Jewish State.
In choosing not to stand idly by as the age-old hatred of the Jewish people has been transferred to the “collective Jew,” I have been speaking up against the new anti-Semitism that is so pervasive today….
   Canada will not accept the attempt to judge Israel by a different standard than any other state, we will not passively observe the effort to delegitimize and isolate it within the international community, nor will we stay silent while the Jewish state is attacked for defending its territory or its people. Canada stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Israel.” Foreign Minister John Baird, in a speech to the Jewish National Fund’s annual Negev Dinner, at the National Gallery in Ottawa in Nov. 2012. (Full text of speech)


"I particularly say to the families of people who were lost in the [Mavi Marmara] incident: We understand these tragedies completely and we sympathize with them….I have just been through the week of Boston and I have deep feelings for what happens when you have violence and something happens and you lose people that are near and dear to you. It affects a community, it affects a country."  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, at a press conference in Istanbul on Sunday [Apr. 21], speaking of the Turks killed on the Mavi Marmara after they attacked Israeli soldiers attempting to board the ship, which was trying to break Israel’s legal blockade of Gaza in 2010. (Jerusalem Post, April 22, 2013


U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry's Moral Equivalency Tour (Jewish Press)



"As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy."Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, in remarks implying that the Boston terror attack was a justified response to Israel’s supposed influence on U.S. policies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.

   "The United States completely rejects the provocative and offensive commentary by Richard Falk, UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories, regarding the recent terrorist attack in Boston, Massachusetts. The U.S. had previously called for Falk's resignation for his numerous outrageous statements, and these comments underscore once more the absurdity of his service as a UN Special Rapporteur."Erin Pelton, the U.S. spokesman at the UN, in a statement responding to remarks Richard Falk. (Hindustan Times, Apr. 24, 2013)

"I decided not to participate so I would not sit with Jews on the same platform." Yousuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars and one of the most important Sunni clerics in the world, explaining why he boycotted an interfaith conference hosted by the International Union in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday [Apr 23]. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013)


“After the capture of the second Boston bombing suspect, President Obama gave a Friday-night speech to praise private citizens and law-enforcement officials. He called the bombers “terrorists”.… To put it kindly, the president is stuck in deep denial. Shadow-boxing against the truth, he can’t bring himself to say “Muslim terrorists.” To do so would, in his mind, feed a stereotype and fuel innate American prejudice. So reality must be avoided and important facts omitted about the extraordinary events in Boston….Those who think Islam matters are regarded as bigots. Obama’s not fooling anybody except himself. The ties between terrorism and radical Islam won’t disappear because he refuses to see them.”Michael Goodwin in an op-ed article for the New York Post.(New York Post., Apr. 22, 2013)


“Israel will make the decision that Israel must make to protect itself, to defend itself.” U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in Israel at the start of a week-long Middle East tour. (Associated Press, Apr. 22, 2013)

“It is clear the events we have seen over the past few days in Boston were an attempt to kill American citizens and terrorize a major American city. The accused perpetrators of these acts were not common criminals attempting to profit from a criminal enterprise, but terrorists trying to injure, maim, and kill innocent Americans. The suspect, based upon his actions, clearly is a good candidate for enemy-combatant status.”—U.S. Senators John McCain (Rep.-Ariz.), Lindsey Graham (Rep.-SC) and Kelly Ayotte (Rep.-NH), and Rep. Peter King (Rep.) of Long Island, in a statement Sunday [Apr. 21]. (New York Post, Apr. 21)


“Executing prisoners in batches like this is obscene. It is like processing animals in a slaughterhouse. [Iraq’s judicial system is] too seriously flawed to warrant even a limited application of the death penalty, let alone dozens of executions at a time. The application of the death penalty in these circumstances is unconscionable, as any miscarriage of justice as a result of capital punishment cannot be undone.”—Navi Pillay, the United Nations human rights chief, in a statement released in Geneva on Friday [Apr. 19]

   “The Ministry of Justice had to carry out the punishment against those killers that have shed innocent Iraqi blood…[and would] continue to implement the measures of the judiciary against the terrorist murderers.”— Iraqi  Justice Minister Hasan al-Shammari, in a statement released after the [group of ] 21 prisoners, referred to by Ms. Pillay, were executed. There are reports that the Justice Ministry plans to execute about 150 in coming days — eclipsing the 129 prisoners executed last year, which was nearly double the 68 people hanged in 2011.
   “This statement [of Pillay’s] means nothing to us. The people that have been executed are criminals. The timing of the executions is up to the judiciary and government authorities, and they don’t have the right to interfere in our internal issues. Where were they when Saddam was killing hundreds of people each day? Now the human rights people are shedding their tears.”— Izzat al-Shahbandar, Iraqi  member of Parliament and a close aide to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. (New York Times, Apr. 20, 2013)


 “We urge the European Union and all partners who have not already done so to list Hezbollah as a terrorist entity and prosecute terrorist acts committed by this inhumane organization to the fullest possible extent. Canada is committed to fighting global terrorism and to holding perpetrators of terrorism — and those who provide them support — accountable for their actions. Preventing and countering violent extremism is a priority for Canada. We will not tolerate terrorist activity or those who support terrorist activity, at home or abroad.”Emma Welford, a spokeswoman for the Dep’t of Foreign Affairs, Canada. (National Post, Apr. 23, 2013)


“If a Palestinian suicide bomber kills several dozen Israeli teenagers in a Jerusalem restaurant, is that an act of terrorism or wartime retaliation against Israeli government policies and army actions?”a statement from the 10th edition of “The Cultural Landscape: An Introduction to Human Geography”, a much-criticized textbook used in a high school in Tenessee. (Washington Times, Apr. 23, 2013)


Top of Page





EX-MI HEAD: IRAN HAS PASSED RED LINE(Jerusalem) Former Military Intelligence head, Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos Yadlin, said Tuesday that "Iran has already crossed Israel's new 'red line'" regarding nuclear weapons development. Yadlin, who is the Head of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), said that in the summer, Iran will reach a distance of one or two months between a decision and a bomb." That is, it will be able to build a nuclear bomb within a month or two of deciding to do so. "This is a breakthrough range that will make it very difficult to stop Iran, when it decides to have a bomb. Israel's new red line – a problematic definition in itself – enables Iran to build a wide nuclear infrastructure without crossing the line," he explained. "It enables other nuclear activities that are not included in the red line, and makes it possible to reach a bad agreement even without crossing the line that was set." (Arutz Sheva, Apr. 23, 2013)

ASSAD ATTACKED REBELS WITH NERVE GAS, TOP IDF ANALYST SAYS(Tel Aviv) The IDF’s top intelligence analyst said Tuesday that the army was quite certain that President Bashar Assad deployed chemical weapons against rebel forces in Syria on March 19. “To the best of our understanding the regime used lethal chemical weapons.” said Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, head of the Research and Analysis Division at the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate. Speaking at a security conference in Tel Aviv, Brun said further that based on the pictures of the victims — the size of their pupils, “and the foam coming out of their mouths” — the army believed that Assad’s troops had used the lethal nerve gas sarin as a weapon. Sarin, used by Saddam Hussein in aerial strikes against Iraqi Kurds in 1988 and in a Japan terror attack in 1995, is a nerve agent that cripples the respiratory system. It is hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide and is considered a weapon of mass destruction. (Times of Israel, Apr. 23, 2013)


Canadian police have arrested two men accused of conspiring to carry out an "al-Qaeda supported" attack to derail a passenger train in the Greater Toronto Area, following a cross-border investigation that involved Canadian and American law enforcement. Chiheb Esseghaier, 30, of Montreal, and Raed Jaser, 35, from Toronto, have been charged with "conspiring to murder persons unknown for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a terrorist group."  RCMP Assistant Commissioner James Malizia said the two were getting "direction and guidance" from al-Qaeda elements in Iran. (CBC News-Canada, Apr. 22, 2013 )


U.S. REPORTEDLY ASKS CANADA TO JOIN MISSILE SHIELD (Ottawa) The United States has reportedly asked Canada to join an anti-ballistic missile shield, resurrecting a potentially thorny political issue in this country. The request comes amid heightened concerns over North Korea, which has been levelling bellicose rhetoric at the United States of late. On Sunday, a South Korean news agency reported that North Korea has moved two short-range missile launchers to its east coast, indicating preparations for a test launch, according to Reuters. A spokesman for Defence Minister Peter MacKay would neither confirm nor deny the report that the U.S. had approached Canada about participating in a missile-defence shield. (Postmedia News April 21, 2013)


PALESTINIAN MURDERER GETS TWO LIFE SENTENCES(Jerusalem) The Judea Military Court sentenced Waal al-Arjeh to two life sentences plus 58 years on Tuesday for the murder of Asher Palmer, 25, and his infant son, Yonatan, in 2011, killed when Arjeh threw a stone through the windshield of their car. "It was thrown from an oncoming vehicle that was traveling in the opposite direction," said the Palmer family's lawyer, Adrian Agassi, a former IDF military court judge. "At that velocity, it was like shooting a bullet." Arjeh, who had worked for the Palestinian Authority security forces, was the ringleader of a gang that developed this method of killing Jews, Agassi said. They had tried it many times before, and Arjeh had "carried out more attacks" after the deaths of Asher and Yonatan.  Asher's father, Michael Palmer, said that Asher and Yonatan's lives "were taken by people who did not know them, who had never even seen them, for the simple reason that they were Jews."  (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 23, 2013)

B’NAI BRITH CANADA, AUDIT OF ANTISEMITIC INCIDENTS(Ottawa) In 2012, the League for Human Rights, B’nai Brith Canada documented 1,345 antisemitic incidents across Canada, representing a 3.7% increase over the 1,297 cases recorded in 2011. Canada has seen a steady upward progression in antisemitic incidents in the past decade. Taking a ten-year perspective, incidents have more than doubled from the 584 cases in 2003. Just over half the incidents (730) took place as usual in the province of Ontario, with the next largest number being in the province of Quebec (337). There were 1,013 cases of harassment, 319 of vandalism and 13 of violence. Studies of victim reporting patterns indicate that only about one-tenth to one-third of victims will file a report with either the police or a community advocacy organization such as the League. (Full Report)


HATE-CRIME STATS DEFLATE ‘ISLAMOPHOBIA’ MYTH(Washington)A detailed analysis of FBI statistics covering ten full calendar years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks reveals that, on a per capita basis, American Muslims, contrary to spin, have been subjected to hate crimes less often than other prominent minorities. From 2002 to 2011, Muslims are estimated to have suffered hate crimes at a frequency of 6.0 incidents per 100,000 per year – 10 percent lower than blacks (6.7), 48 percent lower than homosexuals and bisexuals (11.5), and 59 percent lower than Jews (14.8). Americans should keep these numbers in mind whenever Islamists attempt to silence critics by invoking Muslim victimhood.” (National Review, January 11, 2013)


'JORDAN OPENS SKIES FOR IAF DRONES FLYING TO SYRIA'(Amman, Jordan) Jordan has opened two corridors of its airspace to Israeli Air Force drones seeking to monitor the ongoing conflict in Syria, French daily Le Figaro reported on Sunday [Apr 21], citing a Western military source in the Middle East. Le Figaro quoted the military source as saying that the Israeli drones fly at night to avoid detection. The source added that "the Syrians have Russian air defense assets, but Israeli aircraft are difficult to detect and therefore virtually immune to anti-aircraft measures." According to the source, the unmanned aerial vehicles are carrying out surveillance, but "they are also armed and therefore can hit targets anywhere in Syria."  (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2013)


JORDAN MP EXPELLED FOR SHAKING HAND OF ISRAELI PRESIDENT(Amman, Jordan) Muhammad Esa al-Doima, a member of Jordan's moderate Islamic Al-Wasat Al-Islamiy party, was expelled from his faction this week after it was published that he visited Israel on Independence Day and shook President Shimon Peres' hand. Al-Dumia has denied the allegations, but media outlets in the Hashemite Kingdom reported Monday that his expulsion has been finalized. (Ynet News, Apr. 22, 2013)


US STEPS IN, STOPS PA GOING AFTER ISRAEL AT UNESCO(Geneva) Following US intervention, the Palestinian Authority has agreed to postpone five resolutions condemning Israel that they were to present to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) executive board in Paris, Israel Radio reported Wednesday. The resolutions would have condemned Israel's activity in the West Bank as well as its endangerment of Jerusalem's "Arab character", the radio said. As part of the agreement brokered by the US between the PA, Jordan and Israel, Israel has in return agreed to allow UNESCO experts to survey a number of sites in Jerusalem. Israel has also agreed to take part in UNESCO meetings about the Mugrabi Bridge, which runs from the Western Wall plaza to the Temple Mount and which has been a source of conflict between Israel and the Waqf Muslim religious trust.  (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013)


SPAIN INTENDS TO OPEN A CONSULATE IN GAZA(Madrid) One of the central issues that will presumably accompany the upcoming visit to Israel by the foreign minister of Spain, José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil, will be the minister’s curious, unprecedented and most irregular decision, dated March 14, 2013, to open a Spanish consulate in Gaza, accredited to the Hamas administration. Opening a consulate in Gaza is incompatible with the provisions of the 1995 Israeli- Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (commonly known as “Oslo II”) under which the Palestinians are committed not to exercise powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, and specifically not to permit the establishment of diplomatic or consular posts in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, or the appointment or admission of diplomatic or consular staff. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2013)


RELATIVES OF FLOTILLA RAID VICTIMS REJECT COMPENSATION FROM ISRAEL(Istanbul) Relatives of the nine people killed in Israel’s 2010 deadly raid on a Turkish-led flotilla to Gaza, said Saturday [Apr. 20] that they would reject the compensation promised by Israel until it fully removes restrictions on the movement of goods and people in Gaza. The relatives also said that they would not drop their lawsuits against Israelis involved in the raid, potentially complicating the Washington-brokered reconciliation between the two governments that began last month when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel called his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to apologize. “Compensation and apology had always been government demands, not ours,” said Nimet Akyuz, whose husband, Cengiz Akyuz, was among those killed. “At this stage, we are going to see how sensitive and sincere the government really is about Gaza, the Palestinian situation.” (New York Times, Apr. 21, 2013)


EGYPTIAN JUSTICE MINISTER STEPS DOWN (Cairo) Egypt’s justice minister, Ahmed Mekki, submitted his resignation Sunday [Apr. 21], in a move that signaled strong disapproval of the President’s handling of a prolonged showdown with the country’s judiciary. Mr. Mekki said that he wanted to leave office in part because of protests against him. Mr. Mekki, a pro-reform judge under the former regime of Hosni Mubarak, faces criticism from judges and activists who accuse him of siding with Mr. Morsi by keeping silent in the power struggle with the judiciary. Mr. Morsi’s Islamist backers recently accused Mr. Mekki of not doing enough to reform the justice system following the acquittals of former regime officials charged with corruption and nearly all policemen charged with killing protesters during the 2011 uprising. (National Post, Apr. 21 2013)


'ERDOGAN INTENT ON GAZA TRIP DESPITE US, PA WISHES'(Istanbul)Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not likely to postpone his trip to the Gaza Strip planned for late May, despite US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas having asked him to cancel or delay the visit.  Abbas visited Istanbul over the weekend to ask Erdogan to cancel his plans to visit Gaza. The PA believes that a visit by Erdogan to Gaza would deepen Palestinian divisions, said Azzam al- Ahmed, member of the Fatah Central Committee and a close adviser to Abbas. But on Monday Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said any request to prevent Erdogan’s trip was “objectionable….Only the Turkish government decides when and where the prime minister or any other Turkish official travels to.” Arinc told reporters. (Jerusalem Post, Apr. 22, 2013)


ISRAEL IS TOP CHOICE FOR TECH BY MULTINATIONALS(Tel Aviv) Over 250 multinational companies (MNC) have research and development centers in Israel, 80 of them Fortune 500 companies, with 66% being U.S. companies. During 2011, international tech companies bought out 83 Israeli start-ups, with the buyouts amounting to $5 billion. During the first half of 2012, there were 50 buyouts, at a total value of $3.5 billion (not including the purchase of NDS by Cisco).  Between 2002 and 2009, productivity by MNC units in Israeli grew by 121%, an average of 12% annually. This accounted for 15% of all business activity in Israel. (Times of Israel, Apr. 15, 2013)


Top of Page




Mks Decry US Demand to Free Terrorists as Gesture: Yuval Bagno, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 24, 2013—Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis promises not to cave to US demands that Israel release terrorists as a goodwill gesture to the PA.


Hepatitis B no Match for Sci-gen’s New Vaccine: Abigail Klein Leichman, Israel 21c, Apr. 18, 2013—The world’s only third-generation inoculation against this widespread virus comes from an Israeli pharmaceutical company.

Israel at the Dawn of a New Age: Michael Ordman, Israpundit, Apr. 23, 2013—Israel is the world’s third most innovative country, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology survey of 61 experts from 20 countries.  Israel’s agricultural technology is starting to eliminate hunger in Africa, India and China. 



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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