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Address by President Shimon Peres to the European Parliament: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar 2013
Taking Refugees Off the Table: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, March 13, 2013
PollardNow.org Petition Over 154,000 Signatures: Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013
ISRAEL’S NEXT GOVERNMENT AGREED: 4 PARTIES, 68 MEMBERS—(Jerusalem) Six weeks of coalition talks drew toward a successful conclusion Wednesday evening, when the Likud finally conceded the Education Ministry to Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, and Lapid reportedly accepted the other terms of Likud’s compromise offer. The necessary legal documents were to be drawn up and signed Thursday, leaving Netanyahu free to formally inform President Shimon Peres on Saturday night — the final day of the six weeks allocated to him — that he has mustered a Knesset majority. The coalition will comprise four parties: Likud-Beytenu (31 seats), Yesh Atid (19), Jewish Home (12) and Hatnua (6), for a total of 68 members in the 120-seat Knesset. (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)
“Like many Canadians I am concerned with the rise of anti-Israel activities on campuses across Canada, culminating in the so-called 'Israeli Apartheid Week' (IAW), which is often promoted in a manner that disregards the rights and safety of Jewish students and professors. Universities are meant to offer an environment in which academic discourse can take place freely. Jewish faculty and students have the right to engage in this debate without feeling the need to conceal their identity, or to self-censor.
The irony of this week cannot be overlooked. While singling out the only liberal democracy in the Middle East for condemnation, the organizers of IAW ignore Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad's brutal slaughter of his own people and the suppression of basic human rights in many countries around the globe. Debate over Israeli policy is legitimate and encouraged through academic dialogue. However, there is a point at which well-intentioned debate is overrun by hatred and intolerance, creating a toxic environment that prevents meaningful dialogue on important issues from taking place.
The organizers of Israeli Apartheid Week use the cover of academic freedom to demonize and delegitimize the State of Israel. In reality, this week is nothing more than an unbalanced attempt to paint Israel and her supporters as racist. This week runs contrary to Canadian values of tolerance, mutual respect, and understanding. I call on all Canadians to reject anti-Semitism and all forms of racism, discrimination and intolerance, which are unacceptable and completely contrary to Canada’s fundamental values.”—Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. (Citizenship Immigration Canada, Mar. 7, 2013)
“I am writing to commend you for your clear and forthright statement concerning "Israeli Apartheid Week", which is about to infest our campuses. This vicious antisemitic movement is the antithesis of what the universities it focuses on should stand for: mutual respect and the objective search for truth. IAW speakers' vicious, propagandistic hatred of Israel and Jews abuses the precious democratic concept of freedom of expression and the scholarly principle of academic freedom. It is made possible, as well, by an appalling professorial and administrative silence, an abdication of both educational, and moral, responsibility. We can all be proud of Canada's leading role in supporting democratic Jewish Israel. In this regard it is to be hoped that your courageous statement will play a role in rallying the forces of freedom and human dignity on our campuses, as well as in society at large.”—Prof. Frederick Krantz, Director, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, in an email to Jason Kenney, Minister for Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. (CIJR, Mar. 8, 2013)
“Just like Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it becomes unavoidable that Islamophobia must be regarded as a crime against humanity.”—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking at the “Fifth Alliance of Civilizations Forum” in Vienna’s Hofburg Palace. (Hurriyet News, Feb. 28, 2013)
"This is a dark and mendacious statement the likes of which we thought had passed from the world."—Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, condemning Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement about Zionism and its comparison to fascism. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Feb. 28, 2013)
“A clear voice must be raised against the violation of human rights by the Iranian regime, against a regime that hangs people without bringing them to court, that throws journalists into prison without trial, that fires live bullets at civilian demonstrators. A moral voice will encourage the Iranian people in their fight for freedom, in their struggle against misery.”—Shimon Peres, President of Israel, speaking to the European Parliament in Brussels. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mar. 12, 2013)
[The] “demand for the right of return [of Arab refugees to Israel] was actually intended to achieve the purpose of annihilating Israel.”—Egyptian Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din (1949).
“[T]he Arab countries do not want to resolve the problem of the refugees. They want to leave them like an open wound, as a weapon against Israel. The Arab rulers don’t care at all if the refugees live or die.”—Alexander Galloway, a senior official in UNRWA (1952), quoted by Ben-Dror Yemini in The Story Of Arab Apartheid. (Front Page Magazine, June 3, 2011)
"To the Arabs, indeed Zionism seems as hideous as anything the Nazis conceived in the way of racial expansion at the expense of others."—from a 1945 pamphlet by the Arab League, the representative body of all Arab states.
"The Zionist concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Arab problem' in Palestine, and the Nazi concept of the 'final solution' to the 'Jewish problem' in Germany, consisted essentially of the same basic ingredient: the elimination of the unwanted human element in question."—from a pamphlet published by the PLO shortly after its creation in 1964, quoted by Ephraim Karsh in “The Middle East's Real Apartheid.” (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 5, 2012)
“Many UNRWA camps are decorated with keys. Young Palestinians are taught that these keys will one day open doors for them. But in reality these keys lock them in, in perceptions of the past and frustrations that they will never be able to realize."—Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, speaking last week [Mar.6] at a small gathering of former officials, diplomats and lobbyists in New York City’s Harvard Club, who were meeting to initiate changes to the UN definition of who is a Palestinian “refugee”. Currently, Palestinian refugee status is handed down from one generation to another, the only refugee population for which this is allowed. While there remain only an estimated 50,000 original Palestinian refugees the UNRWA definition allows for about 5 million, 40% of whom are citizens of Jordan. This “insane” policy is “the major hurdle to peace,” Prosor added, [and] “without talking about this problem, there won’t be peace.” (Times of Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)
"From early on, people are taught in religious schools that slaves are the masters’ properties, who are passed along as inheritance and where the condition of slavery is transmitted from parent to child, where women slaves must submit their bodies to their masters."—Abidine Merzough, a man born as a slave to slave parents in Mauritania, commenting on that country’s ongoing practice of slavery under sharia law while attending UN Watch’s Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. (The Commentator, Feb. 24, 2013)
“It was one of those clear examples of crossing that line from legitimate criticism of Israel into hate and anti-Semitism. Am I gonna cry at night? … No, but I think on campus we’re supposed to have a more academic atmosphere. If I disagree with the drop [tuition] fees campaign, at least that is something they [the Student Union] are doing for [all] students. But when you get into polarizing foreign policy issues that go against your own rules of singling out people on campus, I think that’s when we see the problem.”—Eitan Gilboord, president of the Campus Conservatives and Israeli Student Association clubs at Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto, commenting on the anti-Israel “Gaza Teach-In” held on campus using Student Union funds. (National Post, Mar. 13, 2013)
“Real apartheid, genocide and ethnic cleansing are occurring on our watch, yet these people have become so obsessed with the end of Zionism that the suffering of others has become a side show. Protest the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia and you'll have my respect. Protesting against an Israeli theater group is pathetic.”—Kasim Hafeez, a British-born pro-Israel Muslim in an op-ed article in Ynet News. (Ynet, Feb. 20, 2013)
“A political lie of a variety well known in the twentieth century and scarcely exceeded in all that annal of untruth and outrage. The lie is that Zionism is a form of racism. The overwhelming truth is that it is not.”—Daniel Patrick Moynihan, (quoted in a David G. Dalin’s review of Gil Troy’s new book, “Moynihan’s Moment”), coming to the defense of Zionism in his effort to block UN resolution 3379, passed by the General Assembly in November 1975, declaring Zionism to be a form of racism. Moynihan further proclaimed that, in the approval of this resolution, the “abomination of anti-Semitism…has been given the appearance of international sanction,” and that the General Assembly had granted “symbolic amnesty—and more—to the murderers of millions of European Jews.” The resolution was ultimately repealed in 1991 with 111 countries voting for the motion to repeal. (National Review, Feb. 11, 2013)
"[Palestinian] children grow up learning that Jews are 'Satan with a tail'… Adults hear that Jews are evil and not to be trusted. It is perhaps not surprising that the [Palestinian] hatred is growing. The messenger is a [PA] government that receives large amounts [of money] from Norway."—Norwegian state-owned TV, NRK in a recent program on Palestinian Media Watch's findings concerning the direct connection between the Palestinian Authority's promotion of hatred and terror glorification and the Norwegian funding of the PA, at 300 million kroner a year ($52,628,700). (Palestinian Media Watch, Feb. 27, 2013)
“I think Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu understands the importance of the issues surrounding Har Hazeitim [Mount of Olives] and the significance of the sensitivities involved concerning the historic site and for the unity of Jerusalem. We have made dramatic progress in recent years…to assure visits to loved ones and Jewish figures from throughout the ages take place without fear and endangerment. These efforts have resulted in a significant reduction in the wanton destruction of graves of some of the 150,000 Jews who are buried there, including three of our prophets, foremost Torah scholars, heads of hassidic dynasties, and many of our national leaders over the ages, including prime minister Begin.” However, these efforts are “overshadowed by the continued violence on the approaches to Har Hazeitim, most notably the Ras al-Amud Square, and the road that leads from Har Hatsofim to Har Hazeitim.”—Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to The Jerusalem Post on Monday [Mar. 11]. (Jerusalem Post, Mar.11,2013)
“[W]ith tensions on the Korean peninsula rising, experts point out seven years of UN sanctions have done nothing to derail Pyongyang [North Korea]’s drive for a nuclear weapon capable of hitting the United States. They may have even bolstered the Kim family by giving their propagandas maestros ammunition to whip up anti-US sentiment and direct attention away from government failures.”—Choe Sang-Hun in the New York Times. (New York Times, Mar. 11, 2013)
“Anyone still not convinced of the need to stop Iran from getting a nuke should watch the behavior of North Korea. Its threat of ‘all-out war’ against South Korea and vow to turn Washington into a ‘sea of fire’ is Exhibit A of how madmen gain a sense of immunity once they have the bomb. North Korea gets away with its outrageous provocations because of its ability, and apparent willingness, to use nuclear weapons. Imagine how Iran’s madmen would act if they get a nuke. Its impossible to without shuddering, which is why that day must never come to pass.”—Michael Goodwin, in an op-ed in the New York Post. (New York Post, Mar. 10, 2013)
“Despite his admission and his regret, Jonathan continues to serve a sentence unprecedented in American history [for the crime he committed]. His health is fleeting and the remainder of his life is diminishing.”—Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau in a letter to US President Barack Obama in anticipation of the latter’s visit to Israel in March. He noted that Pollard would soon mark the unfortunate milestone of 10,000 days in prison. “Let him live the rest of his life with his wife, Esther, in the State of Israel that granted him citizenship. This action would be seen as a humanitarian gesture by the seekers of freedom in the world,” Lau wrote. (Jerusalem Post, Feb. 23, 2013)
CATHOLIC CHURCH CHOOSES NEW POPE—(Vatican City) Cardinals elected a new pope to lead the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics on Wednesday, overcoming deep divisions to select the 266th pontiff. In a remarkably fast conclave, they named Argentinian Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, who took the name Francis, as pontiff. (Times if Israel, Mar. 13, 2013)
ALMOST A MILLION PALESTINIANS ALLOWED INTO ISRAEL IN 2012—(Jerusalem) More than 930,000 Palestinians traveled to Israel in 2012, according to the Israeli Civil Administration. The figures include tens of thousands of family visits, traveling in Israel, receiving medical care in Israeli hospitals, and commerce and employment for Palestinian workers and merchants in Israel. This marks a rise of 98.5% in total. The Civilian Administration has upgraded the infrastructure of passageways, increasing inspection sections, adding manpower, and improving service. (Israel Defense, Mar. 11, 2013)
ISRAEL'S BOLD NEW QUEEN—(Jerusalem) Almost 30 years since the first clandestine Israeli airlift of Ethiopian Jews, Ethiopian-born Yityish "Titi" Aynaw, 21, was just crowned Miss Israel., Israel's most beautiful woman. The past few years have been trailblazing ones for Ethiopian-born Israeli women. In 2011, Hagit Yaso was the first Ethiopian-born winner of the Israeli version of "American Idol." In 2012, Belaynesh Zevadia was appointed Israel's first Ethiopian-born ambassador—to Ethiopia. (Tablet, Mar. 13, 2013)
MORE LOCUSTS SWARM INTO ISRAEL—(Revivim) Additional bands of locusts entered Israel on Tuesday, marking a week since the first wave of bugs flew across the Sinai border. Aerial and ground spraying has largely worked in eradicating the swarms, the Agriculture Ministry stressed. Locusts are not harmful to humans, and they only pose a threat to agriculture in large swarms. The chemicals used to combat the locusts are "soft pesticides." They have no effects on other animals and leave no residue. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)
EGYPT BANS FILM ON EGYPTIAN JEWS—(Cairo) The director of the film "On Egypt's Jews" film Amir Ramses has said that the National Security Agency banned the film in Egypt. Ramses said that the NSA’s ban violated the powers of the country’s censorship authorities. "This is an encroachment on the powers of the censorship authority. The film had been displayed as it already gained the [censorship authority] approval without remarks. It was displayed in the [Panorama European Film] Festival, in addition to being displayed in more than one festival," Ramses wrote on his Facebook account. [He] lashed out at the National Security Agency, which he said was “as authoritarian” as the Interior Ministry and the equivalent of the former State Security Investigation Services under ousted President Hosni Mubarak. (Egypt Independent, Mar. 13, 2013)
UK DIPLOMAT FLEES PROTESTS AT WEST BANK UNIVERSITY—(Ramallah) British Consul-General Sir Vincent Fean was forced to flee Birzeit University near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Tuesday, after student protests broke out. The senior diplomat was at the university to discuss Britain's foreign policy in the Middle East, and to meet with Birzeit President Dr Khalil al-Hindi. But he cut short his visit and departed abruptly after the protests erupted. Dozens of students shouting, "Get out of Birzeit!" attacked Fean's car as it left the campus. "His intention had been to engage in an open dialogue with the student community about the UK’s policies in the Middle East," the British Consulate-General said in a statement. (Jerusalem Post. Mar. 6, 2013)
ISRAEL PREPS FOR OBAMA'S FIRST VISIT WITH OPERATION "UNBREAKABLE ALLIANCE"—(Tel Aviv) Israel is preparing to go into near-lockdown mode with a security mission dubbed "Unbreakable Alliance" for President Obama's upcoming visit. Air Force One lands on March 20, and for 48 hours Israel will be on a high state of alert. The presidential party will then board 12 Blackhawk helicopters to fly to Jerusalem. "This is a huge security operation, in which thousands of police officers, Israel Security Agency agents and U.S. Secret Service agents will be participating," a senior police officer said. "Success, as far as we're concerned, means zero mistakes." (Washington Times, Mar. 11, 2013)
SPANISH TOWN TO HOLD FIRST SEDER SINCE 1492—(Ribadavia, Spain) A town in northern Spain is preparing to hold its first Passover Seder since 1492. The ritual dinner will take place in the old center of the town of Ribadavia on March 25, the first Seder night, and is being organized by the municipality’s tourism department in partnership with the Center for Medieval Studies, a Ribadavia-based association that researches the history of Iberian Jews prior to their expulsion during the Spanish Inquisition that began in 1492. Historian Abraham Haim, the center’s honorary president, will conduct the Seder, according to a report by La Voz de Galicia, a local newspaper. The public is invited; a seat costs about $40, the newspaper said. The city expects a few dozen people will attend. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)
SHIN BET: HAMAS INCREASING SUICIDE BOMB EFFORTS—(West Bank) Hamas in Gaza has increased efforts to set up terrorist cells in the West Bank, and ordered new recruits to create and fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank, to kidnap and kill a soldier, and to prepare suicide bombings, the Shin Bet [Israel Security Agency] said Wednesday [Mar. 13]. On the surface, the four-month truce between Israel and Hamas appears to be holding well since the cessation of last year's eight-day conflict, but behind the scenes, senior Hamas officials in Gaza are increasing their efforts to carry out deadly attacks on Israelis, the Shin Bet added. The intelligence came partly from the questioning of security suspects who have been arrested days before planning to act, the domestic security agency said. It named Hamas interior minister in Gaza, Fathi Hammad, as a figure behind many of the efforts to carry out atrocities. Hammad has often called out for the continuation of terror attacks in Israel. (Jerusalem Post, Mar. 13, 2013)
EGYPT, GIVING CITIZEN ARREST POWERS—(Cairo) The Sunday announcement by Egyptian Prosecutor-General Talaat Abdullah that citizens have the right to arrest "vandals" has caused a firestorm of controversy. "Egypt's prosecutor-general urges all citizens to exercise the right afforded them by Article 37 of Egypt's criminal procedure law issued in year 1950 to arrest anyone found committing a crime and refer them to official personnel," said a statement issued by the prosecutor-general's office. Another statement issued on Monday by the prosecutor-general's office said that "the statement of the prosecutor-general did not include granting 'judicial arrest' powers to citizens, but rather granting the judicial arrest to officers as defined officially in the law." Nevertheless, the statements of the prosecutor-general opened an angry debate about security issues in the face of an ongoing police strike in a number of governorates. (Al Ahram, Mar. 13, 2013)
SCHALIT SIGNS PETITION URGING OBAMA TO FREE POLLARD—(Tel Aviv) Former kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit became the latest well-known Israeli to sign a petition Monday calling upon US President Barack Obama to commute the life sentence of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. The petition has been signed by nearly 150,000 Israelis, including Nobel prize winners, dovish authors, and politicians from across the political spectrum. Schalit urged his Facebook friends to sign the petition. “Freedom is a great gift and a right,” Schalit wrote. “Thank you to those who worked on my behalf. Now join to save Pollard.” (Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013)
Address by President Shimon Peres to the European Parliament: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 12 Mar 2013—I stand here before you, burning memories in my heart, great hopes in my soul. I carry profound pain concerning the past. And look with confident eyes to the future. I immigrated to Israel in 1934, at the age of 11. In 1942, most of the inhabitants of my town were burned alive. Had my family delayed their emigration by 8 years, we would have been exterminated.
Taking Refugees Off the Table: Haviv Rettig Gur, Times of Israel, March 13, 2013—A new effort is underway, backed by Israel, to tackle ‘the major hurdle to peace:’ how the UN defines a Palestinian refugee. “There was never a thorough debate about what is a Palestinian refugee,” explained Steve Rosen, a former top AIPAC official now affiliated with the Middle East Forum, and an organizer of the event together with Australian real estate developer Bob Magid.
PollardNow.org Petition Over 154,000 Signatures: Israel National News, Mar. 13, 2013—The petition is located at www.PollardNow.org and reads in part "Jonathan Pollard has now served 28 years of a life sentence in American prisons. A few short weeks from now, he will mark his 10,000th day in jail."
Ber Lazarus , Publications Editor Canadian Institute for Jewish Research /L'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme www.isranet.org Tel: (514) 486-5544 Fax: (514) 486-82843
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