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CIJR’s 27th Anniversary “Israel High-Tech Miracle & Canada” Conference-Gala a Superb Success!: Prof. Frederick Krantz, CIJR, May 1, 2015 — CIJR’s Wednesday, April 29, 2015 all-day Conference on “Israel’s High Tech Miracle & Canada: Innovation for Humanity”, a unique event held for the first time in Canada, was a superb success.
Genocide Promoters, the Existential Threats to Israel and the False-Paranoia Lobby: Manfred Gerstenfeld, CIJR, Apr. 28, 2015 — The framework of the recent agreement between the six major nations and Iran regarding its nuclear program has led Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to say that this agreement could endangers Israel’s existence, once it is completed.
Congress Should Try to Kill the Iran Deal Now: National Review, Apr. 21, 2015 — W e thought we had a bad deal with Iran; then it looked like we didn’t really have a deal at all.
What the West’s Long Struggle With Communism Tells Us About the Battle With Islamic Terrorism: Michael Bliss, National Post, Apr. 14, 2015 — It won’t surprise you that a historian believes the best way to begin to think about the unknowable future is to consider some of the things we have seen in the past.
The Marshall Islands’ Cautionary Tale: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 30, 2015
Deadly Comparisons: Robert S. Wistrich, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 25, 2015
Lauder at 70th Bergen-Belsen Liberation Ceremony: ‘Silence Emboldens Tyrants’: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Apr. 26, 2015
Why I Require FBI Agents to Visit the Holocaust Museum: James B. Comey, Washington Post, Apr. 16, 2015
Prof. Frederick Krantz
CIJR, May 1, 2015
CIJR’s Wednesday, April 29, 2015 all-day Conference on “Israel’s High Tech Miracle & Canada: Innovation for Humanity”, a unique event held for the first time in Canada, was a superb success. A total of over 250 fascinated people, paying rapt attention, heard and discussed dynamic Conference an evening Gala by the leading Israeli and Canadian practitioners of high-tech innovation, venture-capital formation, investment opportunities, and university-private sector research cooperation.
Powerful Keynote speakers at the Conference were Prof. Izhak Ben Israel, head of Israel’s Space Agency and National Research Council, and Israel Ambassador to Canada Rafael Barak. Pierre Boivin, CEO of Claridge, Inc., spoke on Israel investment opportunities, Rafael Hochstein (MARs Innovation) and Haim Rousso (of Israeli defense company Elbit) elaborated on technological innovation, and the academic world was ably represented by Ferridun Hadullahpur (Waterloo), Guy Breton (U. de Montréal), and Graham Carr (Dean of Research, Concordia U.).
Matthew Price-Gallagher (Watercluster Scientitic) described private-governmental nanotechnology-based water innovation, Dan Vilenski (former head of Applied Materials [Israel] spoke on technological issues, and McGill U. was brilliantly represented by Prof. Nahum Sonenberg, who, emphasizing the role of pure science, presented on Israeli Nobel Prize winners in organic biochemistry, at the evening Gala.
At the 27th Anniversary Gala, Stockwell Day, one of the founders, and initial Cabinet Ministers, of the Conservative Party and of its clear and principled pro-Israel foreign policy, saved the day. Filling in on very short notice for the two scheduled Keynoters, each of whom had to drop out at the very last moment, Stock arrived from Vancouver on the “red-eye” flight, to deliver a dynamic, wide-ranging and eloquent address on democratic Jewish Israel’s incredible achievements and contributions to mankind, which brought the large audience to its feet.
More–before speaking, he also volunteered to auction off–quite comically and successfully!–two donated round-trip El Al tickets to Israel. Drawing on his pre-political business experience as an auctioneer he charmed the crowd and handily and well sold the tickets!
Finally, the evening was truly sweet for yours truly, who was honored—along with—deservedly, no CIJR without her!–my wife Lenore, also known as “Prof. K” [she art history, me history]. Wonderfully introduced by Barbara Kay, of National Post fame, who presented me with a beautiful Italian fountain pen, for my personal collection!), the honorific plaque was conferred, with a fine speech, by my 18-year-old grandson Stuart, a surprise visitor (with his dad Stefan; my eldest son Ian, with his daughter Sara, were also surprise visitors, up from Philadelphia—daughter Lise, and youngest son Adam, in Washington, DC, couldn’t get away but sent congratulatory messages).
Stu, fluent in Hebrew and a Tamid Fellowship winner (a two-months Economics internship with leading firms in Israel this summer) from the University of Maryland, charmed the audience with a strong talk on the need for on-campus Israel advocacy and, to the delight of his grandparents, stole the show!
(And, as a Concordia U. faculty member for over 40 years—History and the unique Liberal Arts College–it was also gratifying that my outstanding public University, which bore the initial brunt years ago of the anti-Israel campus delegitimation movement, took a table this year at the Gala—personal thanks to President Alan Shepard and Board Chairman Jonathan Wener.)
All in all, academically, personally, and in advocacy terms, it was a remarkable, enlightening, and invigorating day, summed up at the Gala by a wonderful video in which “Theodor Herzl” compares modern-day Israel favourably with the utopia he had envisioned in his Altneuland (Old-New Land) book (1902).
My colleague and friend Jack Kincler, our fine Board Chairman–to whom we largely owe the High-Tech Conference–was suitably honored, and special thanks are due to major backers Board members Herbie Feifer, Evelyn Schachter, Aaron Remer, David Sherman (Toronto), and Sabina Citron (in Jerusalem). Our dear colleague, Research Chairman, and resident tzaddik, 95-year-old Baruch Cohen, with me from the beginning of CIJR and still at his desk every day, was also duly recognized.
This ambitions all-day undertaking was made possible by our small but dedicated staff, outstanding volunteers like the superb videographer Abigail Hirsch, and CIJR’s fine student Interns. The Conference-Gala is solid proof of the now-international reputation and powerful Israel advocacy of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research. Many of those present strongly urged us to make the Conference an annual event—on verra.
And very importantly, any of the hoped-for additional funds issuing from my honoring will go to an Endowment Fund, finally, after 27 years, to assure permanence and continuity for CIJR’s important pro-Israel, and pro-community, work. (So if you haven’t yet made your tax-free contribution, please do so now!)
(Frederick Krantz has been Director, and is now President, of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research since its founding in 1988. He is also editor of its Daily Isranet Bulletin and Israfax journal.)
CIJR, Apr. 28, 2015
The framework of the recent agreement between the six major nations and Iran regarding its nuclear program has led Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to say that this agreement could endangers Israel’s existence, once it is completed. One rarely finds other nations’ leaders claiming that there is a possibility that their country may not survive. Some commentators thus claim that Israel is acting paranoid.
This fear of its future destruction, however, is far from being a fallacious Israeli claim. Palestinian and other Arab leaders have a lengthy record of promoting and announcing the genocide of the Jews in Israel and in British Mandatory Palestine. For many years, the leader of the Palestinian so-called “moderates” was Jerusalem mayor Ragheb bey al-Nashashibi. After the 1929 riots, the non-Jewish French writer Albert Londres asked the mayor why the Arabs had murdered the pious old Jews in Hebron and Safed, with whom they had no quarrel. The mayor answered, “In a way you behave like in a war. You don’t kill what you want. You kill what you find. Next time, they will all be killed, young and old.” Later on, Londres spoke to the mayor again and tested him by saying ironically, “You cannot kill all the Jews. There are 150,000 of them.” Nashashibi answered “in a soft voice, ‘Oh no, it’ll take two days.’” The hard-line Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al Husseini, during the Second World War, developed plans for a Palestinian Auschwitz-like crematorium to kill Jews near Nablus.
Such statements and events reflect a much broader genocidal Arab mindset. Azzam Pasha, secretary of the Arab League, succinctly said during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”
Nowadays, the Iranian leaders are prominent among those who proclaim a new Holocaust. Its first Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini said about Israel, "This regime that is occupying Quds must be eliminated from the pages of history." The current Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has said that, “Israel is a cancerous tumor which must be uprooted from the region.” Former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a 2008 speech, “In the Middle East, they [the global powers] have created a black and filthy microbe called the Zionist regime, so they could use it to attack the peoples of the region, and by using this excuse, they want to advance their schemes for the Middle East.” In 2005, Ahmadinejad said, "We are in the process of an historical war between the World of Arrogance [i.e., the West] and the Islamic world," adding that, "a world without America and Zionism" is "attainable."
Former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said in 2002, "If one day…the world of Islam comes to possess the weapons currently in Israel's possession [meaning nuclear weapons] – on that day this method of global arrogance would come to a dead end. This…is because the use of a nuclear bomb in Israel will leave nothing on the ground, whereas it will only damage the world of Islam." Hamas has taken all this hatred further by promoting the extermination of all Jews in its charter. In October 2012, a video showed then-Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, of the Muslim Brotherhood, answering “Amen” to an imam who made a genocidal prayer request: “Oh Allah, destroy the Jews and their supporters.”
There are also many examples of such hatred emanating from the West. One incident occurred in 2009, when anti-Israeli demonstrators in Amsterdam shouted, “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas.” Two Dutch parliamentarians of the left-wing Socialist Party, who had participated in the demonstration, claimed that they had not heard these slogans. They did admit, however, that they had shouted, “Intifada, Intifada, Palestine must be free. Against such a background, which is but a small selection of the existential threats against Israel, it is not surprising that many Israelis have always seen Israel’s future as precarious. This reaction has been explicitly expressed by several of its leaders. Nahum Goldmann, who was the longstanding President of the World Jewish Congress, recounts in his biography how Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, said to him shortly before his seventieth birthday in 1955:
When you, Nahum, ask me whether I will live in a Jewish state and be buried in it, I rather believe that. How long can I live? Ten or twelve years – until then, there will certainly be a Jewish state. If you ask me whether my son Amos…will have the opportunity to die in a Jewish state and be buried there, I would say, at best, 50%. The late Amos Ben-Gurion, who died in 2008, was indeed buried in Israel.
The late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin told Israeli Ambassador Yehuda Avner, who was a close staff member, why he was in favor of the Oslo Accords. Rabin said that without some kind of peace, there was no way to guarantee Israel’s continued existence. Rabin also pointed out that Israel was the only country whose existence was still publicly debated. Current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has, for several years, expressed concern about the country’s survival. In 2011 he already said that “Iran is developing nuclear weapons and poses the greatest threat to our existence since the War of Independence. Iran’s terror wings surround us from the north and south.”
Existential threats to Israel are an integral part of the ideology of important factions of Islam. Those who whitewash these threats and call the Israeli reactions “paranoid” are indirect allies and supporters of these genocide promoters.
[To Read the Full Article With Footnotes Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Manfred Gerstenfeld is a CIJR Academic Fellow
National Review, Apr. 21, 2015
W e thought we had a bad deal with Iran; then it looked like we didn’t really have a deal at all. Now it appears President Obama is doing everything he can to make whatever we have worse. The interim agreement supposedly reached at the beginning of April gave the Iranians a great deal of concessions the U.S. had suggested were off the table. But it left a number of issues still unresolved. There was no public agreed-upon text, just fact sheets released by the respective sides, and the gaps between them are substantial.
It was unclear, for instance, whether the signing of a final deal will trigger immediate, and maybe even complete, sanctions relief. Iran said that was the plan, while the White House said sanctions should be phased out. But then, last Friday, President Obama suggested the U.S. would allow substantial immediate sanctions relief — some $50 billion worth, potentially — on the day a final deal is signed. In return, he insisted, the sanctions will be “snapped back” if Iran is caught cheating. Yet that is hardly sufficient: Russia and China are known to be wary of a snapback policy, and a punishing sanctions regime can’t be reconstructed quickly or unilaterally.
Meanwhile, the White House has said that inspectors will have unrestricted access to any sites where there is suspicious activity, but an Iranian general remarked this past weekend that no inspections will be allowed at any military base. President Obama has a proven track record of resolving such disputes — he just gives the Iranians what they want. It is still no sure thing that the remaining gaps between our negotiators and the Iranians can be bridged, but it falls to Congress to ensure that President Obama can’t resolve them as he is accustomed. Congressmen of both parties remain skeptical of the outlined deal. The confusion over what the interim outline meant has only strengthened the case that the White House cannot be trusted with reaching a final deal, and more concessions should further worry hawkish Democrats.
So what can be done? The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has unanimously passed a bill sponsored by Senator Bob Corker that would give Congress a period in which to approve or disapprove of a final deal. It is a weak measure — the president retains plenty of flexibility and rejecting a deal will require two-thirds of both houses — but it is better than nothing. President Obama had clearly hoped never to have to send the text of an agreement to Congress. Now, even though it looks unlikely that 13 Democrat senators will vote against a final deal, Obama does have to send it to Congress, making the terms public. That is something.
But Congress should do more — indeed, all it can to signal its disapproval of the ongoing Obama concessions and to destabilize the agreement before it can be finalized. Opponents of the drift of the negotiations should push, again, for a measure along the lines of the Kirk-Menendez legislation, which would reinstate sanctions if talks drag on. They should pass resolutions making it clear that a congressional majority disapproves of a deal that lifts sanctions immediately, or a deal that doesn’t allow for any-time, anywhere inspections, or a deal that doesn’t guarantee that enriched uranium is shipped out of Iran (which is yet another point of confusion). The time for all of this is now…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
National Post, Apr. 14, 2015
It won’t surprise you that a historian believes the best way to begin to think about the unknowable future is to consider some of the things we have seen in the past. So to help understand the problem of Islamic fundamentalist or jihadist terrorism I suggest that we think a bit about our history with an earlier form of revolutionary ideology.
“A spectre is haunting Europe.… All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre.” These are the opening lines of The Communist Manifesto, by Marx and Engels, published in 1848. In their view the spectre haunting Europe in the mid 19th century was that the wretched masses might rise up in violent revolution, replace monarchist or bourgeois governance with the dictatorship of the proletariat, and go on to create a beautiful, communist society. The spectre of communism was haunting Europe. The bearded, bomb-throwing or president-assassinating anarchist became one of the stock boogeymen of the late 19th century. But the communist/terrorist spectre was not really a mainstream menace until the events of 1917 — when the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917 suddenly gave communism a territorial base, a base from which it hoped to instigate violent revolutions around the world.
The Bolsheviks did not gain power at all easily. Every kind of murder and every form of suffering seemed acceptable as the birth pangs of a new order. And not surprisingly, the revolutionary cause attracted acolytes ranging from vile murderers to starry-eyed idealists, including many drawn from other countries, some of them oppressed workers, others privileged intellectuals, infatuated with the dream of revolution. Revolution in Russia also created a fear of Bolshevik subversion in countries around the world. Revolutionary movements briefly seized power in some jurisdictions, were suppressed in most others, and generated a climate of fear, confusion and authoritarianism characterized here in North America as the great Red Scare of 1919. No one quite knew how to combat communism as a domestic movement. No one knew how seriously to take it. No one knew exactly who the communists were and how they got to be that way.
In particular no one knew what to do about the relationship between communism and the much broader movement aimed at improving society that called itself socialism. Was Marxist revolutionary communism a terrible perversion of the noble ideals of socialism or was it a logical consequence of the worst weaknesses of socialist ideology? Depending on how that question was answered, socialists might be valuable, indeed leading allies in the resistance to Communism, or they might be seen as embryonic subversives to be watched and suppressed. What was the balance between security and civil liberties in the days of the Communist menace?
That debate was with us for many years. And then suddenly, and surprisingly, during the late 1980s the Communists and the threat they posed to other peoples went away. The generation now coming to maturity has virtually no experience of the years when the world wrestled with the spectre of Communism. But now this generation in Europe, North America, and around the world is being haunted by the spectre of Islamic fundamentalism, or jihadist terrorism, or ISIS or ISIL, or whatever it becomes politically correct to call it. And that challenge has to be faced as surely as the Bolshevik/Communist challenge had to be faced.
As a historian I have all sorts of skepticism about simplistic notions that history repeats itself or that the lessons of history are easy to discern and apply, but I do believe that the experiences we have had in the past have to be drawn upon as we consider options for dealing with recognizably similar problems in the present and future. Surely the success of ISIL in Iraq and Syria in 2014 has real parallels with the coming to power of Bolshevism in Russia in 1917. Surely the history of the struggle against Communism in the 20th century supplies us with some markers for dealing with the spectre of Islamic terrorism in the 21st century.
One “lesson” from this past is to be careful not to underestimate the strength and appeal of a radical, messianic movement with deep cultural roots. Like Bolshevism, ISIL has immediately become engaged in a hugely complicated, multi-faceted set of local wars as it tries to consolidate its power. Like Bolshevism it is utterly and appallingly ruthless in its cold-blooded determination to create what it calls the new caliphate. And, also like Bolshevism, the ideology of apocalyptic revolution is proving to be a kind of magnet for true believers everywhere, who make pilgrimages to ISIL territory to fight for their great cause. This should not surprise us. Nor should we be surprised that ISIL-spawned or affiliated Islamic fundamentalist movements are active in many other countries, and might well succeed in taking power in other failed states, ranging from Libya and Yemen through, most worrisomely, Nigeria, and perhaps Afghanistan and even Pakistan. We are dealing at one and the same time with a territorially-based mini-state leading a boundariless international movement.
Given this situation, it’s perhaps no wonder that a coalition of the enemies of ISIL quickly formed and became active in trying to degrade and destroy it. Here the haunting danger is of a repetition of the failed Allied intervention in the Russian Revolution, a destructive fiasco characterized by our almost complete ignorance of a far-off area of the world, strategic incoherence in the face of social collapse and revolution, and the West’s naive habit of claiming moral high ground. So far, the signs seem to be that we in the West are again stumbling blindfolded into a vastly complex and chaotic situation with only simplistic, confused and uninformed ideas of our objectives and interests. As with the Allied interventions in Siberia, in which Canada played a significant role in the hope of showing off its potential as a young nation, and actually only showed an almost pathetic naivité, there is a distinct possibility that in the short, medium, and long terms we will succeed only in making things worse.
Admittedly, the situation is changing so quickly that it’s quickly becoming almost impossible to keep track of it — particularly as the chaos in Yemen seems to be forcing moderate Islam to become militarily engaged for the sake of its own survival. There is a real danger that the situation might evolve into a great civil war been Shiite and Sunni Muslims. Generally, it’s probably wise to be cautious in situations in which it might seem like a good idea for the West to wage war against Islamic fundamentalism. We should remember how enthusiastic anti-Communists tended to overreach themselves, from the Korean peninsula through the Bay of Pigs and into the swamps of Vietnam. Already the West has stumbled dreadfully in Afghanistan and in the unbelievably disastrous American invasion of Iraq. With our NATO partners we Canadians were enthusiastically complicit in what we now realize was also a disastrous demolition of order, perhaps even of civilization, in Libya. And yet we still listen to voices urging us to do it all over again, and have just begun airstrikes in Syria without legal justification…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
CIJR Wishes All Our Friends & Supporters: Shabbat Shalom!.
The Marshall Islands’ Cautionary Tale: Caroline Glick, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 30, 2015—On Tuesday, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps forcibly commandeered the Maersk Tigris as navigated its way through the Straits of Hormuz.
Deadly Comparisons: Robert S. Wistrich, Jerusalem Post, Apr. 25, 2015—As a historian of the Holocaust I have always recognized its uniqueness. But without the ability to correctly read warning signals of looming catastrophes, history may repeat itself.
Lauder at 70th Bergen-Belsen Liberation Ceremony: ‘Silence Emboldens Tyrants’: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Apr. 26, 2015 —A ceremony was held today, April 26, in Lohheide, Germany, to mark the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen Nazi death camp which took place on April 15, 1945.
Why I Require FBI Agents to Visit the Holocaust Museum: James B. Comey, Washington Post, Apr. 16, 2015 —I believe that the Holocaust is the most significant event in human history. And I mean “significant” in two different ways.
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