Tag: Pollard

U.S. JEWS INCREASINGLY SECULAR, AS POLLARD LANGUISHES IN PRISON WILL U.S. – KHAMENEI NUCLEAR DEAL BETRAY ISRAEL? IN ARGENTINA, KRISTALLNACHT PROTEST AGAINST POPE’S LEGACY

We welcome your comments to this and any other CIJR publication. Please address your response to:  Rob Coles, Publications Chairman, Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, PO Box 175, Station  H, Montreal QC H3G 2K7 – Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284; E-mail: rob@isranet.org

 

 

 Contents:         

 

The Coming Betrayal of Israel: Cal Thomas, Fox News, Nov. 12, 2013 — In Geneva, Switzerland, The United States and other major powers appeared close to a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some economic sanctions against the terrorist-sponsoring state.

U.S. Issues Belated Condemnation of Khamenei After Israel Protest: Yuval Bagno & Sof Hashavua, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2013 — Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned on Thursday Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks in which he referred to Israeli officials as those who “cannot be even called humans” and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a “rabid dog.”                                          Loving Us To Death: Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, Nov. 01, 2013 — In the first half of the 20th century, the political and social perspective of the American Jewish community was defined by its collective experience of anti-Semitism—both in the countries from which Jews had emigrated and, in far more muted form, inside the United States.                                                   In Argentina, Catholic Supporters Opposed to Pope Francis Challenge His Legacy of Jewish Relations: In Argentina, Kristallnacht has come to be known as “el pogrom de noviembre”—the “November pogrom.”                                                                                              Pollard Supporters to Mark 28 Years Since Israeli Spy’s Arrest: Gil Hoffman, Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2013 —Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will enter the 29th year of his life sentence Thursday, the 28th anniversary of his arrest outside the Israeli embassy in Washington.

 

On Topic Links

 

Unless You Are Antisemitic, Consider This Before You Promote Boycotting Israel: Ari Lesser, Tent of Abraham, Nov. 18, 2013

Israel: It’s Time to Stand Up: Jerrold L. Sobel, American Thinker, Nov. 22, 2013

10 Tel Aviv Apps, Startups and Alternative Vehicles That Will Make Travelling So Much Easier: Adam Van Heerden, No Camels, Nov. 11, 2013

Saul Kagan Pursued a Relentless Quest for Justice: Paul Vitello, Globe & Mail, Nov. 19, 2013

                                 

                                                               

THE COMING BETRAYAL OF ISRAEL

Cal Thomas

Fox News, Nov. 12, 2013

 

In Geneva, Switzerland, The United States and other major powers appeared close to a deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for lifting some economic sanctions against the terrorist-sponsoring state. Negotiations, however, fell apart at the last minute when France and Iran balked at the final wording on the interim draft. Talks are expected to resume within a few weeks, but it is worth pausing to consider what was nearly agreed to and what the outcome could likely be.

 

President Obama has pledged to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that America has Israel’s “back.” Who knew he had a knife? An agreement that trusts Iran’s promises and allows it to surreptitiously complete development of nuclear missiles would stab Israel in the back. North Korea promised former President Jimmy Carter during his 1994 visit to Pyongyang it would close a nuclear reactor at Yongbyon in exchange for food and humanitarian aid. The reactor was subsequently re-opened. Memo to the Obama administration: tyrants lie. Unlike North Korea, an officially atheist state, Iranian mullahs have repeatedly said they have a religious duty to annihilate Israel, not to mention America. How do secular diplomats negotiate with people who, in their minds, would be violating “Allah’s will” by making deals with the “great Satan”? While the negotiations between Secretary of State John Kerry and Iran were taking place in Geneva, Ynetnews.com claims, “…the Iranian government sent a different message with a broadcast on state television of a simulated missile attack on Israel.” How much more evidence of Iran’s intentions and ultimate objective are needed?

 

Last month, Kerry and Netanyahu met for seven hours in Rome. Caroline Glick of the Jerusalem Post, citing the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, writes, “The secretary of state told the prime minister that he heard from his European friends … that if the negotiations (with the Palestinians) fail, Israel can forget about participating in the European research and development program ‘Horizon 2020’.” Kerry is then quoted as saying, “And that will only be the beginning.” Doesn’t Kerry have this backward? Sanctions might be lifted against Iran for a promise that won’t be kept, but possibly imposed on Israel if it won’t agree to what amounts to assisted suicide? It would also appear that this “deal” had been in the works for at least several months before the Geneva meetings. The Daily Beast reports: “The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, well before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.” The administration pledges to watch Iran closely and if it violates any provisions in a final agreement, sanctions would be re-imposed. If sanctions and other means, such as the introduction of the Stuxnet virus into Iran’s computers, failed to deter Iran’s nuclear program, why would anyone think additional threats and more sanctions would produce the desired results? Iran is playing for time and it appears the United States is willing to give it to them.

 

History is a great teacher, but not everyone pays attention. In The Guns at Last Light, Rick Atkinson’s chronicle of World War II, the author recalls President Franklin Roosevelt’s view of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin following their meeting at Yalta in February 1945: “‘Stalin doesn’t want anything other than security for his country,’ the president said. ‘He won’t try to annex anything and will work for a world of democracy and peace.’” Winston Churchill similarly misjudged Stalin, writes Atkinson, telling his war cabinet, “‘Stalin I’m sure means well to the world and Poland. … He will not embark on bad adventures.’ He added, ‘I don’t think I’m wrong about Stalin,’ whom he had called ‘that great and good man.’” Times and dictators change, but human nature remains the same. Roosevelt and Churchill were wrong about Stalin and the Obama administration is wrong about Iran.

 

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U.S. ISSUES BELATED CONDEMNATION                                                OF KHAMENEI AFTER ISRAEL PROTEST

Yuval Bagno & Sof Hashavua

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 21, 2013

 

Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations, condemned on Thursday Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s remarks in which he referred to Israeli officials as those who “cannot be even called humans” and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as a “rabid dog.” In an interview with CNN, Power said the remarks were “abhorrent.” Earlier in the day, US Secretary of State John Kerry told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “obviously we disagree with [Khamenei’s statements] profoundly.” "It's inflammatory and it's unnecessary, and I think at this moment, when we are trying to negotiate and figure out what can and can't be achieved, the last thing we need are names back and forth," Kerry said.

 

Israeli officials expressed shock Thursday that world powers negotiating with Iran over its nuclear program, and the US in particular, remained silent in regard to the scathing comments by Khamenei. Khamenei took swipes at Israel and France during a speech to tens of thousands of volunteer Basij militiamen in Tehran, broadcast live on Iran’s Press TV. “Zionist officials cannot be called humans, they are like animals, some of them,” said Khamenei. “The Israeli regime is doomed to failure and annihilation,” he said. The Iranian leader referred to the "Zionist regime" as the "rabid dog of the region."

 

Jerusalem awaited condemnation of the comments from senior officials of the states taking part in nuclear talks with Iran in Geneva, but such a reaction was not forthcoming. The P5+1 group of world powers negotiating with Iran consists of the US, China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany. "We knew the Americans were eager, even more so than the Iranians themselves, to reach an intermediate deal in Geneva, but we did not estimate to how great an extent," a senior official in Jerusalem told The Jerusalem Post's Hebrew-language sister publication Sof Hashavua Magazine. The official added that "the West is choosing not to direct its gaze at Khamenei, who is the true face of Iran and its de facto ruler, and to accept the "pretty face" of Iran's new diplomacy instead. The comments by the supreme leader, who cursed America and France at the height of the talks, constitute spitting in the face of the enlightened world, not just Israel, but the world remains silent, thinking it is rain, and continues to talk with this leader's emissaries, who are masters of deception. They then blame us for making comparisons to the 1930s." An official in the US delegation to the Geneva talks skirted questions Thursday from journalists on the issue, saying, "Naturally, there are still expressions of the deep lack of trust between us and the Iranians – which stem from more than three decades of severed relations. We are trying to reach an agreement whose goal is to peacefully prevent the Iranian regime from obtaining nuclear weapons, while dealing with this atmosphere, and it is not easy."

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who flew to Russia on Wednesday to appeal for tougher terms, said Khamenei's comments showed Iran had not changed since so-called moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected as president in June. "He called Jews 'rabid dogs' and said that they were not human. The public responded to him with calls of 'Death to America! Death to Israel!' Doesn't this sound familiar to you? This is the real Iran! We are not confused. They must not have nuclear weapons. And I promise you that they will not have nuclear weapons," the premier said.
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LOVING US TO DEATH

Jonathan S. Tobin

Commentary, Nov. 01, 2013

 

In the first half of the 20th century, the political and social perspective of the American Jewish community was defined by its collective experience of anti-Semitism—both in the countries from which Jews had emigrated and, in far more muted form, inside the United States. Four percent of Americans were estimated to be Jewish at mid-century, twice as many as at present. But the Jews of that time were insecure about their place in American society and often unwilling to make a show of their background and faith. They felt themselves a people apart, and they were. It was difficult if not completely impossible for them to live as American Jews entirely on their own terms.

 

Now the situation is reversed. As an explosive new survey of 3,400 American Jews reveals, 94 per-cent say they are proud of being Jewish. That data point dovetails neatly with the current place of Jews in American society—a society in which they make up 2percent of the population but in which there are virtually no barriers to full Jewish participation. American Jews can live entirely on their own terms, and they do. But the stunning finding of Pew’s A Portrait of Jewish Americans—the most comprehensive portrait of the community in 20 years and, in the richness of its detail, perhaps of all time—is the degree to which American Jews are now choosing not to live as Jews in any real sense. Secularism has always been a potent tradition in American Jewry, but the study’s analysis of what being Jewish means to its respondents reveals just how much irreligion has taken center stage in American Jewish life.

 

There has been a startling increase over the past quarter century of Jews who say they regard themselves as having “no religion.” Intermarriage rates are now at 70 percent. And the proportion of families raising their children as Jews by religion is 59 percent, while only 47 percent are giving them a Jewish education. Jews are not being driven from Judaism due to social difficulties. Fewer than 20 percent claimed to have experienced even a snub in a social setting, let alone an anti-Semitic epithet, in the last year. Such numbers are not only without precedent in American history; they are without precedent in the millennia-long history of the Jewish people. The Pew survey paints a portrait of a group that feels none of the shame or fear that once played a major role in defining Jewish attitudes toward other Americans. But this loss of shame, and the concomitant growth of pride when it comes to having a Jewish heritage—these have come at a heavy cost, it appears. It is now inarguable that American Jewry, or at least the 90 percent that does not hew to Orthodox practice, is rapidly shrinking, and the demographic trend lines are stark.

 

The same American Jewish community that is bursting with pride also now regards Jewish identity as a matter of ancestry and culture almost exclusively. Forty-two percent think a good sense of humor is essential to being Jewish; almost exactly the same number, 43 percent, think it means supporting the State of Israel. When asked about the fundaments of Judaism itself, Jews speak of values and qualities that apply equally to other faiths and are followed just as readily by those who have no faith at all. After all, there is nothing distinctively Jewish about believing one should lead an ethical and moral life or about working for justice. And yet these are the defining characteristics of Judaism for American Jews. Only 28 percent think being Jewish has something to do with being part of a Jewish community. Only 19 percent think it means abiding by Jewish religious law.

 

This is what happens after several generations of the most highly educated minority group in the United States have allowed themselves and their children to become functionally illiterate about Judaism itself, its belief system, its history, and the obligations of Jewish peoplehood. The Pew data make it abundantly clear that the cultural values of secular Jews have proved to be perfectly portable—they can carry their liberal political and cultural beliefs everywhere without having to carry the Jewish trappings that go with them.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link – ed.]

 

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IN ARGENTINA, CATHOLIC SUPPORTERS OPPOSED TO

POPE FRANCIS CHALLENGTE HIS LEGACY OF JEWISH RELATIONS

Natasha Zaretsky

Tablet, Nov. 22, 2013

 

In Argentina, Kristallnacht has come to be known as “el pogrom de noviembre”—the “November pogrom.” Last week, on the 75th anniversary of that tragic night, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires, a cavernous space in the symbolic center of the city, hosted an interfaith commemoration of the violence of that November pogrom convened by the archdiocese of Argentina and the nation’s B’nai B’rith.

 

Diana Wang, the daughter of survivors and president of the Argentine group Generations of the Shoah, was at the cathedral for the event and did not expect it to be different from any previous commemorations, including the one last year, which was led by then-Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio—now Pope Francis—and his friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka. As in other years, the cathedral was full, crowded with representatives of various Christian denominations, rabbis, Jewish community leaders, politicians, and Holocaust survivors.

 

But this year, for the first time in the nearly 20-year history of such memorials in Argentine churches, a protest erupted: Members of a far-right religious group, the Society of St. Pius X, staged a group prayer to oppose what they called “the profanation of this space.” According to Wang, it started as a murmur of “Our Father” and other prayers, and then the protesters began chanting the rosary louder and louder. Between 20 and 40 young men, some just teenagers, kneeled down and began praying fervently, their eyes fixed straight ahead. The Society, an international organization formed in the wake of the Second Vatican Council by Catholics who opposed the liberalization of church doctrine, rejects the promotion of interfaith dialogue—strongly promoted by Pope Francis, who from Vatican City described Jews as “big brothers” to Catholics in his own observance of the Kristallnacht anniversary. It has gained a particular reputation for anti-Semitism. One of its bishops has been convicted of Holocaust denial in the German courts. In October, the Italian branch offered to hold a funeral for Nazi war criminal Erich Priebke, who had been extradited to Italy from Argentina.

 

The Kristallnacht protest at the Metropolitan Cathedral was a disruption of remembering, an assault on a key moment in Jewish history and Holocaust memory. But it was also a challenge to Pope Francis, on his home turf, and to the entire post-Vatican II infrastructure of interfaith dialogue Francis has reinvigorated since his election as pontiff earlier this year. Wang—whom I first met through my fieldwork as an anthropologist working with survivor groups in Buenos Aires—told me she felt a sensation of fear. She worried that violence might erupt, in a church filled with elderly survivors. But they surprised her: The survivors in the cathedral, she told me, stood their ground “like soldiers,” refusing to leave. “I am not going anywhere from here,” they said later. “Ni loca”—not for anything—“would I go.” Others in attendance tried to intervene and stop the protest. Martha de Antueno, president of the Argentine Judeo-Christian Confraternity, decried their use of the rosary—a holy prayer—as a “weapon” against the memory of Holocaust victims being remembered that evening. But the men continued their prayers, murmuring louder and louder as they stared ahead. “They then confronted me, asking, how can I as a Catholic be supporting an event with those who had killed Jesus?” de Antueno told me afterward. One of the protesters took over the microphone and called out, “Leave, and stop this profanation.” After nearly an hour, the protesters finally left.

 

Jews have long occupied a tenuous position in Argentina, home to the seventh-largest Jewish population in the world, and the largest in Latin America. They built an array of synagogues, schools and social service organizations, but the country where they found refuge also became an infamous haven for Nazis, many living under assumed identities—including, of course, Adolf Eichmann, who was known as “Ricardo Klement” until his capture by the Mossad in 1960. At the time, neo-Nazi groups responded by unleashing violence that included the kidnapping of a young Jewish student named Graciela Sirota; they tattooed a swastika onto her body. Since then, Jews have experienced waves of anti-Semitism, especially during the political repression of the military dictatorship, from 1976 to 1983, and the trauma of two terrorist attacks that targeted Jewish sites in the early 1990s. But today, three decades after the collapse of the junta, Argentines memorialize the Holocaust through museums, monuments, archives, and commemorative programs like last week’s, as well as through active outreach to society at large, Jews and non-Jews alike, undertaken by the Holocaust Museum of Buenos Aires and survivor groups, like Generations of the Shoah. Argentina, as the only Latin American member nation in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, also gives official state support for Holocaust commemoration in the national school curriculum. Holocaust remembrance ceremonies like the event at the cathedral are generally not controversial affairs—simply part of the landscape of memorial practices in Buenos Aires.

[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link – ed.]

 

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POLLARD SUPPORTERS TO MARK 28 YEARS SINCE ISRAELI SPY’S ARREST

Gil Hoffman

Jerusalem Post, Nov. 20, 2013

 

Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard will enter the 29th year of his life sentence Thursday, the 28th anniversary of his arrest outside the Israeli embassy in Washington. Pollard’s wife Esther said she and her husband had not lost hope that US President Barack Obama would commute his sentence to the time he has already served.
“It is a terrible blow to Jonathan and to me that all the anguish and suffering he has endured for a full 28 years in prison now continues into year 29,” Esther Pollard said. “We had such high hopes that this nightmare anniversary would not occur again. After all the recent developments, we really hoped that by now we would be recovering from our ordeal and rebuilding our life , that we would finally live together here in Israel and get on with our life together.” She said she was encouraged by the numerous ranking American officials who have come out in support of her husband’s release, the declassification of materials exonerating him and many other factors. She called upon Obama to commute the sentence of her husband, whose health is deteriorating, as a matter of compassion and mercy.

MKs Hilik Bar (Labor), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) and David Azulay (Shas) jointly called for Pollard’s release in a special discussion in the Knesset plenum. Bar said the effort to bring Pollard home crossed party lines. He complained that the US, which did not want Pollard’s deeds to be seen positively, had made him a hero by holding him so long. “Pollard paid a price for his actions that is higher and heavier than usual,” Bar said. “He should be allowed to go home to Israel and his family.” The government’s liaison to the Knesset, deputy minister Ophir Akunis (Likud) rejected charges that the government was not doing enough to bring Pollard home. He said the issue was not in the hands of the Israeli government, but of the president of the United States.

 

CIJR wishes all its friends and supporters Shabbat Shalom!

On Topic

 

Unless You Are Antisemitic, Consider This Before You Promote Boycotting Israel: Ari Lesser, Tent of Abraham, Nov. 18, 2013 — Friends and supporters of Israel, even those of us who don’t believe the Jewish State is beyond criticism, always find ourselves wondering why so many people support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement that encourages consumers, countries and the private sector from doing business with Israel.

Israel: It’s Time to Stand Up: Jerrold L. Sobel, American Thinker, Nov. 22, 2013 — Growing up in a tough Bronx neighborhood further back than I like to think, it was good to have an older tough friend.

10 Tel Aviv Apps, Startups and Alternative Vehicles That Will Make Travelling So Much Easier: Adam Van Heerden, No Camels, Nov. 11, 2013 — Tel Aviv is a hub of innovative transportation solutions that will help you get from A to B efficiently and in style.

Saul Kagan Pursued a Relentless Quest for Justice: Paul Vitello, Globe & Mail, Nov. 19, 2013 — Saul Kagan, a former refugee who for decades led the Jewish service organization that was primarily responsible for securing more than $70-billion (U.S.) in restitution for Holocaust survivors and their heirs, died Nov. 8 in Manhattan. He was 91.

 

On Topic Links

 

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PASSOVER — FESTIVAL OF FREEDOM, OBAMA LECTURES ISRAEL BUT WON’T LET POLLARD GO!

Download an abbreviated version of today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

 

Contents:                          

 

 

The Festival of Freedom: Passover, 5773: Baruch Cohen, Mar. 22, 2013—Passover is the festival of Freedom! Gathering around the festive seder table provides a feeling of warmth and sustaining joy. The Haggadah  is the story of a living drama, not the record of a dead event.  When we recite it we are performing an act of remembrance, a unique and personal identification in the here and now!

 

The Buck Stops Here: Editorial, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 20, 2013—Freedom for Jonathan Pollard is a matter of Israeli national consensus. More than 200,000 Israelis signed a petition calling upon President Barack Obama to bring Pollard with him to Israel, but that didn’t happen.

 

Obama Lectured Israelis, Promised and Applauded Arab Palestinians: Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, Mar. 22nd, 2013—U.S. President Barack Obama gave two speeches on Thursday, March 21, one to Arab Palestinians in a joint press conference with acting head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and the other to Israelis at the Jerusalem Convention Center.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Obama in Jerusalem: Elliott Abrams, Weekly Standard, Mar 21, 2013

The Obama Visit and American Jewry: Isi Liebler, Israel Hayom, Mar. 20, 2013

Bennett: A Nation Cannot Occupy its Own Land: Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post,Mar. 21, 2013

‘Free Pollard’ Hunger-Striker Going Strong: Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 22, 2013

Full Text of Obama's Jerusalem Speech: Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2013

 

 

 

The Festival of Freedom: Passover, 5773

Baruch Cohen

 

In memory of our beloved Malca z”l

 

Passover is a story of hope.

Elie Weisel

 

   Passover is the festival of Freedom! Gathering around the festive seder table provides a feeling of warmth and sustaining joy.

 

   The Haggadah  is the story of a living drama, not the record of a dead event.  When we recite it we are performing an act of remembrance, a unique and personal identification in the here and now!

 

   Historically, the spirit of Passover represents a glorious symbol of the struggle for human dignity, the eternal quest for freedom and justice.

 

   During centuries of adversity, we Jews, have found renewed strength and hope in the Passover story. Every person, in every generation, must regard herself/himself, as having been personally freed from slavery. We renew from our past the strength and confidence to struggle for our final victory, our final aim: Eretz Israel, the State of Israel.

 

  Around the festive seder table the stories we tell recall our long history, and we gain confidence to hold firmly to our conviction that justice and freedom for all women and men will prevail.

 

   The reading of the Haggadah reaffirms our self-confidence and reliance on the god of Israel, and His love of justice and concern for Israel and all humanity.

 

Hag Pesach Sameach!

Happy Passover to the entire House of Israel and to all CIJR supporters and friends..

 

 

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THE BUCK STOPS HERE

 

Editorial

Jerusalem Post, Mar. 20, 2013

 

Freedom for Jonathan Pollard is a matter of Israeli national consensus. More than 200,000 Israelis signed a petition calling upon President Barack Obama to bring Pollard with him to Israel, but that didn’t happen. In the US, 30 national Jewish organizations have issued a pre-Passover appeal to President Obama led by Conference of Presidents leaders Richard Stone and Malcolm Hoenlein, requesting that Obama release Pollard prior to his 10,000th day of imprisonment, on April 8, 2013.

 

After wishing Obama a successful trip to the Middle East, they respectfully and urgently requested that the president “act on the commutation of his sentence to time served before this milestone is reached. Mr. Pollard, whose health has deteriorated, has expressed remorse and regret repeatedly.”

 

Obama’s answer to a question about Pollard in an interview with Channel 2 television last week was troubling and insensitive. He did not seem to be aware of the concern among the Israeli public and US Jewry over the injustice of Pollard’s life sentence, nor of the fear that Pollard’s failing health threatens to end his life after 28 years in prison.

 

On the contrary, Obama responded by reducing Pollard’s plight to that of a common criminal who just wants to get out of jail early. He implied that Pollard was trying to jump the line without following proper procedure.

The president’s response distanced himself from any direct responsibility for Pollard’s fate: He suggested that Pollard should avail himself of the procedures offered by the US justice system which may have “the potential to ultimately release him.”

 

Obama stated that his own involvement is limited by law to observing from a distance to ensure that all prisoners are treated equally, including Pollard. The truth of the matter is quite at odds with Obama’s take.

Pollard’s petition for executive clemency landed on the president’s desk on October 15, 2010. It was presented after Pollard had been in prison for 25 years and had exhausted all legal remedies and procedures.

 

Nine supplemental filings have been added to Pollard’s petition for clemency over the past two years. Each additional filing contained copies of letters from high-ranking American officials urging Obama to commute Pollard’s disproportionate sentence to time served as a matter of justice.

 

Among those calling for Pollard’s release are those who have first-hand knowledge of the case and are familiar with the secret files. They include former CIA director R. James Woolsey, former White House counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former senator and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee Dennis DeConcini, former US assistant secretary of defense Lawrence J. Korb, and former attorney-general Michael Muckasey. In their opinion, keeping Pollard in prison any longer is intolerable and unjust. Former secretaries of state George Shultz and Henry Kissinger have declared in letters to the president that the people who are best informed about the classified material Pollard passed to Israel favor his release.

 

Pollard’s clemency file contains numerous petitions by American congressmen and senators, public officials, religious leaders, retired judges, law professors and a host of other notable individuals and groups calling for his release as a matter of justice. Bolstering the outpouring of support for Pollard’s release, a recently declassified 1987 CIA damage assessment puts the lie to American allegations that have been used for over a quarter of a century to justify Pollard’s continued incarceration.

 

Now in Israel on his first official visit, President Obama owes a formal response to official appeals by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for Pollard’s release. But more important, Pollard is owed a response to his petition for clemency, and not a brush-off. Pollard did as the president suggested. He followed procedure. That procedure, once exhausted, led to the petition that is sitting on the president’s desk.

 

It is not only the president’s constitutional right to set Pollard free from his grossly disproportionate life sentence. It is his duty. Pollard is not an ordinary prisoner. He is an Israeli citizen and the victim of a grave injustice that has gone on far too long. Only Obama can set Pollard free and with the same stroke of his pen repair the American system of justice and restore Israel’s confidence in our closest ally. Mr. President, the buck stops with you and the time is now.

 

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OBAMA LECTURED ISRAELIS, PROMISED AND
APPLAUDED ARAB PALESTINIANS

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Jewish Press, March 22nd, 2013

 

U.S. President Barack Obama gave two speeches on Thursday, March 21, one to Arab Palestinians in a joint press conference with acting head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and the other to Israelis at the Jerusalem Convention Center.

 

His talks were ostensibly about the state of relations between the different parties, but everyone knew that the animating impulse was to kickstart the “Middle East Peace Process.” Everyone who watched the speeches or read the transcripts, are now desperately looking at the tea leaves to see what just happened. The substance of Obama’s two speeches, the venues in which they were given, the words chosen, the words avoided, taken all together paint a vivid picture of this president and his beliefs about the region.

 

One speech he gave in Ramallah, the acknowledged seat of government of the Palestinian Authority, where he gave a joint press conference with Mahmoud Abbas, the acting leader of the PA.  The other he gave in Jerusalem, not at the seat of Israel’s government, and not directed to Israel’s elected leaders.

 

At the Jerusalem speech the U.S. president spoke directly to the citizenry of Israel, mostly university students – minus those, such as students at a newly credentialed Israeli university located in Ariel – which is situated beyond the “green line” and, apparently, for Obama is beyond the Pale, ironic given the large number of Arabs who are students at that university.

 

The speeches revealed little that is new: Obama believes there should be two states on the land, one, the Jewish homeland, Israel, and the other, a new one for Arab Palestinians, called Palestine.  He criticized Hezbollah and Hamas as terrorist entities, praised what he said was the Palestinian Authority’s transparency, institution-building and security services, and lauded Israeli ingenuity. “Only in Israel could you see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the place where the technology on board the Mars Rover originated,” Obama told the audience in Jerusalem.

 

But there were clear indications of what Obama believes, and what he wants to have happen between Israel and the Arab Palestinians. He believes that the Arab Palestinians, like all “oppressed” people, are yearning for freedom which, when granted, will quell their hatred for their oppressors.  He certainly sees their plight as akin to that of African Americans before the passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery. And he links the idea of slavery and second status-hood of African Americans with Arab Palestinians.

 

And those of us in the United States understand that change takes time but it is also possible, because there was a time when my daughters could not expect to have the same opportunities in their own country as somebody else’s daughters.

 

Obama talked about the Jewish people who were slaves in Egypt, and who had suffered pogroms and genocide and their freedom, expressed in Zionism. “The idea that people deserve to be free in a land of their own,” Obama said, and that once the Jews achieved that, they should know that “responsibility does not end when you reach the promised land, it only begins.”  Suggesting, not too subtly, that it is the responsibility of Israelis to enable Arab Palestinians to enjoy their freedom in their own homeland.

 

Appealing directly to the Israeli people, the U.S. president said

 

The Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and justice must also be recognized.  Put yourself in their shoes – look at the world through their eyes.  It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of her own, and lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements of her parents every single day.  It is not just when settler violence goes unpunished.  It is not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands; to restrict a student’s ability to move around the West Bank; or to displace Palestinian families from their home.  Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer.  Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land.

 

In other words, Obama believes virtually every one of the points of the false narrative that have been spun since Arafat was brought back from Tunisia: the Arab Palestinians are the sole native people, Israeli “settlers” commit violence and that violence goes unpunished, Arab Palestinian farmers are prevented from farming “their” land, the movements of Arab Palestinians are restricted for no reason other than Israeli arrogance and greed, Arab Palestinians have been unfairly expelled from their land and they live under a state of Occupation in their own land, and, ultimately and completely, the land belongs, always belonged and must belong to the Arab Palestinians.
 

When in Ramallah, the U.S. president did not mention any responsibilities for peace owed by his listeners.  Instead, he talked about the recent release of U.S. funds “to help the Palestinian Authority bolster its finances.”  The only discussion of terrorism when speaking in Ramallah was directed at Hamas. As recently as last month, however, a PA terror group claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on Israel from Gaza.

 

Just as the U.S. president told the Israelis that the Arabs deserve their own state and that it is the responsibility of Israelis to give it to them, he made the same points to the Arab Palestinian audience gathered in Ramallah.

 

The Palestinian people deserve an end to occupation and the daily indignities that come with it.  Palestinians deserve to move and travel freely, and to feel secure in their communities.  Like people everywhere, Palestinians deserve a future of hope — that their rights will be respected, that tomorrow will be better than today and that they can give their children a life of dignity and opportunity.  Put simply, the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own.

 

When in Jerusalem, Obama talked about Hizbollah and the Assad regime, and also Iran, as contributing to Israel’s security issues, but nothing about the constant terror attempts by those under the responsibility of the Palestinian Authority, including the Al Aksa Martyrs’ Brigade, which is responsible for more terrorist attacks than any other Arab Palestinian terrorist group.

 

Obama proclaimed in Ramallah that the U.S. seeks “an independent, a viable and a contiguous Palestinian state as the homeland of the Palestinian people.”  To the Jewish crowd in Jerusalem, he said the same thing except he left out the word “contiguous.” And the U.S. president congratulated the PA on its achievements of which he and the U.S. , “as its single largest donor of assistance” is so proud: increased transparency, efficiency, stronger and more professional security forces, and institution building.

 

Obama acknowledged that there are disagreements between the two sides – he referred to them as “irritants”: the “Israelis have concerns about rockets flying into their cities at night,” and for the Arab Palestinians it is “the continued settlement activity in the West Bank area.”   But, he said,

 

My argument is even though both sides may have areas of strong disagreement, may be engaging in activities that the other side considers to be a breach of good faith, we have to push through those things to try to get to an agreement — because if we get an agreement then it will be very clear what the nature of that agreement is: there will be a sovereign Palestinian state, a sovereign Jewish state of Israel.

 

While side-stepping the Arab insistent focus on the problem of settlement building – and this is what gave rise to furious responses in the Arab media – Obama described the core goal in this way: “How do we get sovereignty for the Palestinian people, and how do we assure security for the Israeli people?” He wants a “broad-based agreement that assures the Palestinians that they have a state, and you have a comprehensive approach that ensures Israel the kind of security they need.” Apparently the new buzz words will be “sovereignty” and “security.”

 

The problem, of course, with Obama’s vision is that determining boundaries is a fixed decision – the land doesn’t move, there can’t be any change, while a promise, a commitment, even a sworn statement guaranteeing peace is permeable and depends on the commitment of millions of people – many of whom have rather poor track records – to honor it.

 

And just in case anyone hoped to pretend that the PA understands negotiations happen when both sides to a conflict agree to make substantial compromises in order to achieve a mutually satisfactory goal, that delusion was put to rest.  When Mahmoud Abbas introduced President Obama to the gathered crowd in Ramallah, he spoke briefly but made clear what his intentions are, have been, and will always be.

 

Abbas stated that his people have suffered from “the calamities of the Nakba (the re-birth of Israel),” that the land has belonged to the Arab Palestinian people” since ancient times,” Jerusalem “the Lady of the Cities” must be the capital of the “independent state of Palestine,” that peace cannot come so long as there are “walls, settlements, arrests, denial of refugee rights,” and that the Arab Palestinian people fully intend to join forces with Hamas, thereby “ending the division [to] achieve the Palestinian reconciliation.” Okay then.

 

There was one new hopeful development that the U.S. president hoped to see replicated.  When Obama spoke to the audience in Jerusalem, he revealed that he envisions the future state of Palestine to mirror the current state of Israel in terms of being an open society, committed to education, entrepreneurship, one that is opposed to corruption and is a hub for regional trade:

 

One of the great ironies of what is happening in the broader region is that so much of what people are yearning for – education and entrepreneurship; the ability to start a business without paying a bribe, to connect to the global economy – those things can be found in Israel.

 

Obama described a program run by a U.S. company, Cisco, in Jeruslaem, where “young Arab engineers and Palestinian engineers” are hired because they are so well qualified, so talented.  He went on to share his fantasy – and it is a fantasy – of such a program taking place in “Palestine”:

 

Well, imagine if you have a strong, independent state that’s peaceful — and all that talent that currently is being untapped that could be creating jobs and businesses and prosperity throughout this area.

 

Perhaps people have difficulty imagining that because everyone in the Middle East knows it is not going to happen.  There will be no Jews working in those programs alongside the “well qualified, so talented” Arab Palestinian engineers in “Palestine,” because no Jew will be allowed in the state that he and so many Westerners are trying so desperately hard to help create.

 

So “two states for two people” is likely to be replaced with “sovereignty and security,” the West will continue pretending that: the PA is a non-terrorist political group deserving of continuing U.S. aid, the Israeli government is intransigent and unwilling to make concessions, and it is Israel which bears all responsibility for ensuring that a Palestinian state  – created in its own image – comes into existence as soon as possible. Nothing new.

 

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On Topic

 

 

 

Obama in Jerusalem: Elliott Abrams, Weekly Standard, Mar 21, 2013—President Obama spoke to the Israeli people today, at the Jerusalem Convention Center. His remarks moved his administration toward the pre-Obama consensus views of the Clinton and Bush administrations, indeed at several points echoing Bush’s 2008 speech to the Knesset. But he presented a view of the chances for peace with the Palestinians that was far rosier than reality permits—or than he may really believe.

 

The Obama Visit and American Jewry: Isi Liebler, Israel Hayom, Mar. 20, 2013—[Obama] is arriving at a time when the political influence of American Jewry, the most affluent and powerful Diaspora community in our history, is in decline. This is starkly exemplified by its failure to influence successive Administrations to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard whose unprecedented inhumane treatment is now even raising ugly allegations of discriminatory prejudice.

 

Bennett: A Nation Cannot Occupy its Own Land: Lahav Harkov, Jerusalem Post,Mar. 21, 2013—Reactions from MKs to US President Barack Obama’s speech in Jerusalem on Thursday ranged from excited support to condemnation. Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett mentioned the rockets fired at Sderot in the morning, saying they were the result of the previous withdrawal from land, as were thousands of victims over the years.

 

‘Free Pollard’ Hunger-Striker Going Strong: Daniel K. Eisenbud, Jerusalem Post, Mar. 22, 2013—Over one week after beginning a one-man hunger strike under Jerusalem’s Bridge of Strings to free Jonathan Pollard, Michael Foa, 52, a member of Likud, remains resilient, and has been joined by another protester who is also foregoing food.

 

Full Text of Obama's Jerusalem Speech: Jerusalem Post, March 21, 2013—Shalom. It is an honor to be here with you in Jerusalem, and I am so grateful for the welcome that I have received from the people of Israel. I bring with me the support of the American people, and the friendship that binds us together.

 

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Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

GAZA WAR: HAMAS’ MISCALCULATION, FAJR-5’s, LOOMING IRANIAN BOMB, DICTATED ISRAEL’S “DISPROPORTIONATE DETERRENCE”

Ambassador Alan Baker

Is Peace Possible? Israel, Palestinians & the  UN

 

Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

The Chevra  @  5237 Clanranald  |   $5 at the door

 

RSVP: 514-486-5544  |  cijr@isranet.org

 

 

Download Today's Isranet Daily Briefing.pdf 

Contents:

 

 

Only Disproportionate Deterrence Will Offset Hamas: Isi Leibler, Jerusalem Post, Nov 18, 2012 —In fact, a disproportionate response to aggression is fully consistent with international law in which the prime obligation of the state is to protect its civilians. Those seeking to deny us this basic right are maliciously hypocritical.

Hamas' Miscalculation: Barak Mendelsohn, Foreign Affairs, Nov. 18, 2012—In fact, two factors pushed Hamas to ramp up its bombing campaign: competition from Salafi groups and Hamas' belief that its strategic environment had improved in the wake of the Arab Spring.

 

With Longer Reach, Rockets Bolster Hamas Arsenal: Ethan Bronner, New York Times, November 17, 2012 — When Israel assassinated the top Hamas military commander in Gaza on Wednesday, setting off the current round of fierce fighting, it was aiming not just at a Palestinian leader but at a supply line of rockets from Iran that have for the first time given Hamas the ability to strike as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Western Media Elites Just Don’t Get the Middle East: Barry Rubin, Jewish Press, November 18th, 2012

"IDF Did More to Safeguard Civilians Than Any Army in History of Warfare": Col. Richard Kemp, UN Watch, October 16, 2009

Eleven Reasons Why This Is Not Cast Lead: Anshel Pfeffer, Ha’aretz, Nov.18, 2012

Paz Azran, 12th grade student from Ashkelon speaking to 70 Ambassadors and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu About her experiences under bombardment: IraeliPM, YouTube Video, Nov 12, 2012

Dear North American Student: Rebecca, CIJR, Nov. 16, 2012 

 

 

 

ONLY DISPROPORTIONATE DETERRENCE WILL OFFSET HAMAS

Isi Leibler

Jerusalem Post, Nov 18, 2012

 

The Jewish state was created to overcome powerlessness and provide a haven for Jews – not to have them cringing in shelters. There had previously been considerable criticism of the government for its failure to adequately respond to the ongoing toll inflicted on over a million Israeli citizens obliged to endure thousands of missiles launched against them at the whim of a loathsome neighboring terrorist state….

 

Hamas is no longer a terrorist faction. It is in every respect an independent state the majority of whose citizens enthusiastically support the terrorist initiatives and missile launches initiated by its evil leaders, who are committed to our annihilation.

 

The situation deteriorated with the rise to power in Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood, the creators of Hamas. Since then, the Egyptian authorities stood by as Hamas accumulated vast quantities of sophisticated missiles and other lethal weapons including guided anti-tank missiles and shoulder-mounted anti-aircraft weapons from Iran, Libya Sudan and other states.

 

That explains why, despite awareness that Operation Pillar of Defense may escalate into full-scale war, all sections of Israeli society fervently support the IDF operation. It is also gratifying that Jews throughout the world are actively demonstrating solidarity with Israel.

 

Hamas was emboldened to test our resolve, believing that Israel would be fearful of confronting the new Egyptian regime and also encouraged by the active support from the Turkish government and the recent visit to Gaza of the emir of Qatar, who contributed $400 million to their coffers.

 

Israel was indeed sensitive to these issues, as well as the effect of a military conflict diverting attention from Iran – especially now as it proceeds with its uranium enrichment. There was also concern at the civil war in Syria and the dramatic rise of Islamic extremism throughout the region. To top it off there were inhibitions because of the US presidential elections.

 

Nevertheless, Hamas miscalculated. By intensifying the bombardment of the South, it obliged the State of Israel to respond harshly or forfeit any modicum of deterrence. The initial outcome was good. The IDF had clearly learned from the lessons of previous wars: intelligence was impeccable; action was systematic and rational with, to date, minimal civilian casualties.

 

It must be stressed that the targeted killings of terrorist leaders are not acts of revenge or showmanship. They are logical military actions which can be rationally justified in moral terms.

The killing of Ahmad Jabari, regarded as the Palestinian counterpart of Osama bin Laden, is a prime example….

 

The global response from most Western countries, which followed President Obama’s lead condemning the rocket attacks and endorsing Israel’s right to self-defense, has until now been satisfactory, despite the usual calls for restraint and for Israel to act in a “proportionate” manner.

 

But these are early days. Initially, we are unlikely to face problems at the UN Security Council. However, the General Assembly and UN Human Rights Council, controlled by Islamic and other anti-Israeli coalitions, have consistently viewed Israel as the aggressor and never the victim. Neither of these bodies has even once condemned the Hamas missile attacks and there is little doubt that they and NGO bodies such as Amnesty International will blame Israel exclusively for reigniting the armed conflict.

 

In addition, while the IDF is taking extraordinary precautions to minimize civilian casualties, there will invariably, as in any military conflict, be mishaps – especially in Gaza where Hamas ruthlessly employ human shields by locating armaments and launching missiles in civilian residential areas….

 

Clearly, the IDF would prefer to limit the conflict to pinpointed aerial strikes. However, if Hamas continue raining rockets against Israeli civilians, Israel will be forced into a ground offensive in which greater casualties are inevitable.

 

The main challenge for the government is to devise an end strategy to achieve long-term deterrence as well as a strategy to be implemented instantly should Hamas become sufficiently re-emboldened to recommence missile launches. Israel has no desire to return to the era of the tit-for-tat war of attrition whereby we respond to missile launches by bombing rocket launching sites and empty buildings.

 

Although some of our allies are already urging us not to respond “disproportionately,” such a concept has absolutely no relevance to the threat facing Israel. While still seeking to minimize civilian casualties, we must create genuine deterrence in order to avoid future full-scale conflicts of ever increasing magnitude. In fact, a disproportionate response to aggression is fully consistent with international law in which the prime obligation of the state is to protect its civilians. Those seeking to deny us this basic right are maliciously hypocritical.

 

The issue of Israel continuing to provide Hamas-controlled Gaza with services is another bizarre anomaly. It is one thing to be sensitive to the humanitarian needs of civilian noncombatants, but to continue providing electricity and other utilities to a neighboring state raining missiles on us is utterly perverse. If the lights went out automatically every time a rocket was dispatched, the inconvenienced Gaza residents might even influence their leaders to hesitate before launching missiles.

 

An intensive government campaign must be implemented to counter the impact of successive years of the world having become conditioned to regarding Israel under missile attacks as normative. We must highlight the fact that such attacks against civilians are unequivocally war crimes….

 

We must recognize that in future conflicts, the terrorists will continue accumulating more effective and lethal weapons to employ against us. We must therefore endeavor to resist calls for a cease-fire until such time as Hamas, in conjunction with the Egyptians, undertake to cease their aggression.

There must be a clear understanding that any breach would result in harsh “disproportionate” Israeli responses including the targeted killings of those responsible for initiating attacks. In the absence of such an agreement an enforced cease-fire will be perceived as a major victory for Hamas and our citizens will simply return to the life of terror they endured since the first Kassams were launched a decade ago.

 

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HAMAS' MISCALCULATION

Barak Mendelsohn

Foreign Affairs, November 18, 2012

 

The escalation in the fighting last week between Israel and Hamas caught many observers by surprise. Operation Cast Lead, Israel's 2008 campaign against Hamas, had led to an uneasy calm between the warring sides. And last year's release of Gilad Shalit (the Israeli soldier who had been kidnapped by militants in 2006) in exchange for a thousand Palestinian prisoners had even given observers hope that Israel and Hamas had found a way to manage their conflict. But then, Hamas attacked an Israeli mobile patrol inside Israeli territory on November 10 and Israel retaliated by assassinating Ahmed Jabari, Hamas's military chief. This time, the violence that has followed has not faded quickly; indeed, the fight is still intensifying.

 

Given the destruction wrought by Israel and Hamas' last major conflict, Hamas' calculations in the lead-up to this round of fighting are especially puzzling. The typical explanation is that Hamas ramped up its rocket campaign earlier this year in an effort to break Israel's siege on the Gaza Strip. Under fire, Israel had to retaliate.

 

That answer, though, is unsatisfying. In many ways, the siege had already been broken…Israel's efforts to tightly control the area's borders, which started after Hamas won elections there in 2006, had gradually wound down. After the public relations disaster that followed Israel's 2010 mishandling of the Gaza-bound Turkish aid flotilla, the flow of goods over the Israeli border into Gaza increased substantially. Moreover, the tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border, through which most of the goods coming into Gaza are smuggled, became so elaborate that they resembled official border crossings. In fact, the volume of trade that travels through the tunnels could be up to $700 million dollars a year.

 

To some extent, Hamas had a political interest in perpetuating the siege idea, which could be used to foment anger against Israel and drum up popular support. Further, it made sense for the movement to preserve some limitations on the movement of goods into Gaza, since the smuggling industry lined its coffers. Thus, although life in Gaza might not have been all that pleasant for Gazans, Hamas wanting to break the siege is not a compelling explanation for its renewed violence against Israel.

 

In fact, two factors pushed Hamas to ramp up its bombing campaign: competition from Salafi groups and Hamas' belief that its strategic environment had improved in the wake of the Arab Spring. Since Hamas was elected, it has found the Salafi groups in Gaza especially difficult rivals to manage….

 

Under pressure, Hamas repeatedly tried to quell the Salafi threat, and it did not shy from using brute force to do so. The clearest demonstration came in August 2009, when Hamas killed the leader of Jund Ansar Allah, a Salafi group that had openly challenged Hamas' authority, and a number of its members. But short of using extreme violence to suppress Salafism in Gaza, which would have been too costly for Hamas, Hamas could not eliminate the Salafi challenge. It watched with worry as new Salafi groups emerged and strengthened throughout the strip.

 

The pressure on Hamas only increased in the wake of the 2011 Arab uprisings. The Egyptian revolution and the subsequent chaos in the Sinai Peninsula were a backwind in the sails of Gaza's Salafis. The collapse of authoritarian regimes in North Africa unleashed a flood of weapons and fighters, which Salafis channeled into the Sinai Peninsula. With the Egyptian military unable to control the area, Gazan Salafis turned the peninsula into a staging ground for attacking Israel. They believed (correctly) that Israel, anxious not to kill its peace accord with Egypt, would not dare to respond directly….

 

The new regional order presented Hamas with a serious dilemma. As the ruler of Gaza, it could not sit on the sidelines while Israel targeted territory under its control. But it was unable to fully rein in the Salafis without proving once and for all that it was no longer a resistance movement. For Hamas, then, the only choice was to tolerate the attacks. It portrayed them at home as a way to preserve the struggle against Israel. Abroad, it refused to acknowledge any role in them at all to reduce the danger of a backlash. Over time, pressure from Hamas rank and file led the organization to take a more active role in each round of violence.

 

The flaw in Hamas' logic, though, was that it assumed that Israel would cooperate and not retaliate. Israel would not let Hamas shirk responsibility, though, and demanded that Hamas assert its authority over the radical factions. To reinforce the message, this year, Israel carried out a number of strikes on Hamas targets. Once it became a target itself, Hamas was even less able to show restraint. It eventually resumed carrying out its own strikes on Israel, a move that was cheered by the Hamas rank and file, who, without such attacks, might have defected to the more radical groups.

 

Another of Hamas' miscalculations was expecting Egypt to be supportive of its actions, which, when combined with Israel's fear of alienating the regime in Cairo, would allow Hamas to escalate the conflict without it spinning out of control. The hope was not off base….But, the group was wrong again. Hamas' closer ties with Egypt did not discourage Israel from fighting back.

 

Simply put, Hamas' strategic environment was not as favorable as it thought. When it tried to push Israel's boundaries, Israel pushed back. Now the group is in a bind. It needs a face-saving resolution to the fighting, one that would allow it to claim some achievement worth of the devastation inflicted this month on Gaza. Even after that, the group will still face the same old tension between its ideology of resistance and the responsibilities that come with governing. And all the while, its Salafi challengers will be lurking, challenging its commitment to the struggle against Israel. If Hamas wants to avoid future such escalations, it will need to crack down on these groups.

 

But that would come with a price — in popularity and legitimacy — that Hamas seems unwilling to pay. Hamas must also finally make the transition from resistance movement to normal political party. It will probably take a push from Cairo for that to happen. Hamas' alliance with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood offers the group some of the cover it needs to make the much-needed transition. And the Muslim Brotherhood is a good model for Hamas to follow, besides. Absent Hamas' political transformation, no cease-fire with Israel will hold for long. The next round of violence awaits, just over the horizon. 

 

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With Longer Reach, Rockets Bolster Hamas Arsenal

 

Ethan Bronner

New York Times, November 17, 2012

 

When Israel assassinated the top Hamas military commander in Gaza on Wednesday, setting off the current round of fierce fighting, it was aiming not just at a Palestinian leader but at a supply line of rockets from Iran that have for the first time given Hamas the ability to strike as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

 

The commander, Ahmed al-Jabari, had shifted Hamas’s low-grade militia into a disciplined force with sophisticated weapons like Fajr-5 rockets, which are named after the Persian word for dawn and have significantly increased the danger to Israel’s major cities. They have a range of about 45 miles and are fired by trained crews from underground launching pads.

 

Hamas had perhaps 100 of them until the Israeli attacks last week, which appear to have destroyed most of the stockpile. The rockets are assembled locally after being shipped from Iran to Sudan, trucked across the desert through Egypt, broken down into parts and moved through Sinai tunnels into Gaza, according to senior Israeli security officials.

 

The smuggling route involves salaried employees from Hamas along the way, Iranian technical experts traveling on forged passports and government approval in Sudan, Israeli officials said.

Mr. Jabari’s strategy has been so effective and alarming for Israel that it is preparing for a possible next stage in the four-day-old battle: a ground war in which its troops would seek to destroy remaining rocket launching bases and crews and munitions factories.

 

Under Mr. Jabari, Hamas also developed its own weapons industry in Gaza, building long-range rockets as well as drones that they hoped to fly over Israel just as Israeli drones roam the skies of Gaza…The current operation to eliminate the Hamas rocket launchers could serve to cripple the ability of Iran’s allies in Gaza from retaliating should Israel ever carry out its threat to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

 

“Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad are building weapons with experts from Iran,” one top security official said Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity. “What we took care of …was their own production facility for U.A.V.’s,” he added, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones. “This was all the work of Jabari, who was a very sophisticated and strategic thinker.”

 

A number of recent Israeli military attacks were aimed at cutting the supply chain into Gaza. In late October, a munitions factory in Sudan was hit from the air. Israel did not acknowledge carrying out the attack, but the winks and nods of officials here make clear that it did. Israel has carried out several other such attacks on Sudan, including on convoys, in the past few years.

 

In addition, Mossad agents killed a Hamas official in a Dubai hotel in early 2010 because he was thought to be crucial to the Hamas supply chain of weapons and rockets into Gaza.  One official here said that until Israel ended its military occupation of Gaza in 2005, there were only primitive weapons factories there. The Hamas rockets had a flight capacity of about a mile, they could not be aimed and they flew in a wild cylindrical pattern. Hamas then built better rockets that could fly up to 12 miles.

 

That changed little until 2007, when Hamas fighters pushed the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority out of Gaza into the West Bank and took over governing the coastal strip. “At that point, Jabari turned his neighborhood defense operation into a real army,” said a retired Israeli general whose portfolio included Gaza and who spoke on condition of anonymity. “He organized what was a militia into companies, battalions and brigades. He sent commanders to Syria and to Iran to be trained by the Revolutionary Guards. And then he built up this whole new branch to develop military technology focusing on long-range missiles.”…

 

In addition to the Fajr-5, Hamas has a few hundred of what are known as enhanced Grad rockets, which have a range of about 25 miles. The Grads are 122-millimeter rockets that have bigger warheads than the standard Grads, but their accuracy is relatively low. The Grads may also be coming from Iran but others are made in Gaza and imported from Libya. In addition, Hamas has hundreds of standard Grads that have a range of about 12 miles, as well as thousands of homemade mortars and Qassam rockets with a range of about six miles.

 

Israeli officials said the movement of the Fajr-5 rockets through Egypt could not go unnoticed there, given their size. Each is 20 feet long and weighs more than 2,000 pounds — the warhead alone weighs 375 pounds — and the trucks carrying them across Egyptian bridges and through roadblocks into Sinai would be hard to miss.

 

In the current conflict, Israel’s antirocket system, known as Iron Dome, has been more effective than expected, but still dozens of rockets have landed.  Whether the military operation against Gaza is a dress rehearsal for any future attack on either Iran or Lebanon — where Hezbollah has thousands of rockets pointed at Israel — is a matter under debate here. Some see it as clearing away any possible trouble from Gaza. Others say that makes little sense, given the difference of scale in the conflict in Gaza and any war against Iran or Hezbollah. Hamas’s arsenal is tiny compared with what Hezbollah in Lebanon is thought to have: thousands of rockets capable of hitting Tel Aviv.

 

Yonatan Touval, an analyst with Prime Source, a private Tel Aviv risk-assessment company, said, “The Iron Dome system is ineffective in intercepting longer-range projectiles, such as those that would be launched from Lebanon toward the Tel Aviv area. To address this threat, Israel is currently developing the Magic Wand system, but it is not expected to become operational before 2015.”….

 

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Paz Azran, 12th Grade Student from Ashkelon Speaking to 70 Ambassadors and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu About Her Experiences Under BombardmentIsraeliPM, YouTube Video, Nov 12, 2012

 

Dear North American Student: Rebecca, CIJR, Nov. 16, 2012 — A letter from a Canadian, Jewish, Israel young woman who is currently studying in Israel having made aliyah  and after having served in the IDF. A unique perspective from a wise, younger person who is able to understand the comparison between a person living in Israel, versus a person living in any Western city.

 

Western Media Elites Just Don’t Get the Middle East: Barry Rubin, Jewish Press, November 18th, 2012—The elite currently in power in the Western mass media is never going to comprehend the Middle East. There is a problem with bias, for sure, but the big problem is the impenetrable ignorance of the very people who are entrusted with explaining the region to others. They insist on imposing their own misconceptions on the situation while ignoring the evidence.

 

"IDF Did More to Safeguard Civilians Than Any Army in History of Warfare": Col. Richard Kemp, UN Watch, October 16, 2009Statement to UN Human Rights Council, 12th Special Session — Debate on Goldstone Report— The truth is that the IDF took extraordinary measures to give Gaza civilians notice of targeted areas, dropping over 2 million leaflets, and making over 100,000 phone calls. Many missions that could have taken out Hamas military capability were aborted to prevent civilian casualties.

 

Eleven Reasons Why This Is Not Cast Lead: Anshel Pfeffer, Ha’aretz, Nov.18, 2012— This isn't a second Operation Cast Lead, though. There are a number of significant differences in the circumstances and execution of the latest offensive which are affecting the way events are unfolding and will influence the eventual outcome.

 

 

Visit CIJR’s Bi-Weekly Webzine: Israzine.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing is available by e-mail.
Please urge colleagues, friends, and family to visit our website for more information on our ISRANET series.
To join our distribution list, or to unsubscribe, visit us at http://www.isranet.org/.

The ISRANET Daily Briefing is a service of CIJR. We hope that you find it useful and that you will support it and our pro-Israel educational work by forwarding a minimum $90.00 tax-deductible contribution [please send a cheque or VISA/MasterCard information to CIJR (see cover page for address)]. All donations include a membership-subscription to our respected quarterly ISRAFAX print magazine, which will be mailed to your home.

CIJR’s ISRANET Daily Briefing attempts to convey a wide variety of opinions on Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world for its readers’ educational and research purposes. Reprinted articles and documents express the opinions of their authors, and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the Canadian Institute for Jewish Research.

 

 

Ber Lazarus, Publications Editor, Canadian Institute for Jewish ResearchL'institut Canadien de recherches sur le Judaïsme, www.isranet.org

Tel: (514) 486-5544 – Fax:(514) 486-8284 ; ber@isranet.org

OREN: GAZA CRISIS SIMILAR TO MAY, 1967 (OR 1948) – POLLARD’S 28TH YEAR OF PRISON; QUEEN’S U. HONOURS JIMMY CARTER

Ambassador Alan Baker

Is Peace Possible? Israel, Palestinians & the  UN

 

Monday, November 19, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

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Contents:

 

Israel’s Right Of Return Fire: Globe Editorial, The Globe and Mail, Nov. 15 2012— Israel is right to be responding swiftly and forcefully to bombardment from Gaza. For months, the leaders of Hamas have been building up a more powerful arsenal with which to assault their neighbours.

 

 

An Open Letter To President Obama: Esther Pollard, Jerusalem Post, November 15, 2012 —I write with some urgency to draw to your attention the request for clemency which my husband, Jonathan Pollard, filed more than two years ago during your first term in office.In the interim, Jonathan’s health has continued to deteriorate while calls for his release by senior American officials continue to mount.

 

Michael Oren: It’s May 1967—Or May 1948: Bari Weiss, Tablet Magazine, Nov. 15, 2012—“In the best of circumstances, it’s May 1967. And the worst, May 1948. Rarely in our history have we ever faced such a broad spectrum of monumental threats.”

 

Queen’s U. Faces Backlash Over Plan To Honour Jimmy Carter: Sarah Boesveld, National Post, Nov 15, 2012 —Queen’s University is facing a backlash from Jewish alumni over its decision to award former U.S. president Jimmy Carter — a strong critic of Israel — an honorary degree next week.

 

On Topic Links

 

 

Iran's Agenda in the Gaza Offensive: Stratfor Gobal Intelligence, November 16, 2012

Montreal’s Debt to the Jews: Joe King

Hamas Military Leader Jabari Got What He Deserved: Jonathan Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012

Paul Ehrlich: A Petrified Pundit: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012
 

 

 

ISRAEL’S RIGHT OF RETURN FIRE

 

Globe Editorial

The Globe and Mail, Nov. 15 2012,

 

Israel is right to be responding swiftly and forcefully to bombardment from Gaza. For months, the leaders of Hamas have been building up a more powerful arsenal with which to assault their neighbours. For years, factions in Gaza had sent rockets into Israel that for the most part did no great harm – a nuisance that was occasionally dangerous to Israeli civilians, but rarely inficted serious injury.

 

Recently, however, Hamas has gained more confidence and has become more ambitious in its purchasing of missiles. As an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, it feels encouraged by that movement’s increasing ascendancy in Egypt and other countries of the region. By sending many more, and more lethal, rockets into Israel, it cannot do any good for the inhabitants of Gaza whom they rule, or for other Palestinians. Their attacks are merely vindictive and narcissistic, but they are a serious threat to the people of Israel.

 

The Egyptian government, which relies on American money, is unlikely to give any practical help to Hamas, but these events put it in a difficult and amibguous position.

 

Israel has so far wisely refrained from a ground offensive – let alone to a reoccupation – though it has moved troops toward its border with the Gaza Strip, and has called up reservists, quite properly to provide for contingencies. The Israeli Defence Force appears to be well informed on the locations of Hamas’s armaments, and can do most of what it needs to do by way of aerial bombardment….

 

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MICHAEL OREN: IT’S MAY 1967—OR MAY 1948

Bari Weiss

Tablet Magazine, November 15, 2012

 

Michael Oren has served as Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. for the past three years. But his real trade isn’t diplomacy, it’s the past: Before Oren took on arguably the toughest job in Washington, he wrote books about Mideast history. So when I spoke to the ambassador yesterday afternoon [Nov. 14] about Operation Pillar of Defense, I asked him what historical moment he’d compare this one to: “In the best of circumstances, it’s May 1967. And the worst, May 1948. Rarely in our history have we ever faced such a broad spectrum of monumental threats.”

 

There’s the Iranian regime bidding for nuclear weapons, a Muslim Brotherhood government running Egypt, Hamas ruling Gaza, Hezbollah controlling southern Lebanon, and the civil war raging in Syria that spilled into Israel earlier this week. Jordan, a reliable Israeli ally since the mid-1990s, has become even more critical since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in Egypt. But many suspect it’s only a matter of time before the Arab upheaval fells King Abdullah II—especially given current protests.

 

That would be a worst-case scenario for Israel. “Jordan is what keeps Iran out of our backyard,” said Oren. “Our defense border is the Jordanian-Iraqi border”—that is, not the Jordanian-Israeli one.

 

It’s difficult not to see this operation— pinpointing and targeting Hamas leaders, while taking out underground missile sites—as intended for an audience beyond the Strip, namely the one watching in Tehran. (The Iranians have undertaken major air drills in the past few days, and revealed new missile systems.) But Oren insists the Islamic Republic has nothing to do with this operation: “This is not about sending a message to Iran. This is a message about defending a million of our citizens,” he said. “It would be the equivalent of 40 million Americans in bomb shelters.”

 

And yet Iran was the subject we kept coming back to. “I think that the key to it all is Iran,” Oren said. “Gaza’s basically an outpost of Iran. Lebanon is an outpost of Iran. Assad is a lackey of Iran.” Indeed, one key lesson Oren draws from Israel’s previous territorial withdrawals is that Iran’s proxies tend to fill the vacuum left behind. “Wherever we have withdrawn, the Iranians have filled it. In Lebanon, in Gaza.”

 

Since Israel pulled out of southern Lebanon (2000) and Gaza (2005), the IDF has played an ongoing game of whack-a-mole with Hezbollah and Hamas. Oren argued that this tactic has been more successful than some have claimed. “After the Lebanon war [of 2006] we were very tough on ourselves, with the whole Winograd Commission. But I think we were too tough on ourselves. In fact, we deterred Hezbollah” in that war.

 

Four years since Operation Cast Lead, deterrence is once again the name of the game for the IDF in Gaza: “Hamas may have to just be reminded again, and reminded in large scale, that we will not allow our citizens to be shot at with impunity,” Oren said. “It will go on for as long as Hamas continues to escalate.” Israel said Wednesday that it is prepared to expand this campaign into a ground operation.

 

“We have nothing to be ashamed about, nothing to apologize for. This is our right,” said Oren. “Ahmed Jabari killed dozens and dozens of Israelis.”

 

And what would victory look like? “Victory looks like security restored to the inhabitants of the south,” said Oren. Longer term, the goal is a change in mindset. “The Palestinian people have to internalize that as long as they choose leadership like Hamas, that will bring them no closer to statehood, no closer to economic and social development, and no closer to peace.”

 

With weeks until Israelis go to the polls, some see a clear connection between the election and this operation. Oren dismissed the question: “This is not about the elections. We didn’t want war,” he said. “This government has exhibited superhuman restraint: 2,500 rockets since 2009. Last month, 800 rockets. In the last week, 300 rockets. What government in the world wouldn’t have responded with war a long time ago?”

 

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AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA

Esther Pollard

Jerusalem Post, November 15, 2012

 

Dear President Obama, Congratulations upon your election to a second term as president of the mightiest nation in the world, the United States of America. May your second term in office be a blessing to America, to its allies and to the world.

 

I write with some urgency to draw to your attention the request for clemency which my husband, Jonathan Pollard, filed more than two years ago during your first term in office.

 

In the interim, Jonathan’s health has continued to deteriorate while calls for his release by senior American officials continue to mount. I write in the sincere hope of urging you to respond favorably and speedily to Jonathan’s petition and to all of the official appeals for his immediate release.

 

Traditionally, some time next week, shortly before November 22, you will be pardoning this year’s American National Thanksgiving turkey, thereby sparing its life.

 

As the president of the United States, your granting clemency to a lowly barnyard bird demonstrates to the world the great respect that the American people have for the values of justice, compassion and mercy. It is in this light that I write to bring to your personal awareness once again, the urgent plight of my husband, Jonathan Pollard.

 

On November 21, 2012 – the day before Thanksgiving – Jonathan begins his 28th year of a life sentence with no end in sight. I urge and implore you, Mr. President, to include Jonathan in the list of holiday clemencies that are expected to be announced by the White House shortly, enabling those who are set free to get home in time for the holidays.

 

Mr. President, G-d has seen fit to elevate you for yet another term to the position of the head of the most powerful nation in the world, the president of the United States of America, and to invest in you powers of clemency second only to His own.

 

Clearly these gifts were bestowed upon you as a man worthy and capable of fulfilling the biblical injunction which describes what G-d requires of man, namely: “to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your G-d.” (Micha 6:8) Over the past two years, since Jonathan submitted his clemency petition to you on October 15, 2010, there has been a burgeoning public awareness of the injustice of his sentence. Many senior American officials as well as high-ranking legal officials and elected representatives have appealed to you, both publicly and privately, to release Jonathan.

 

In their words, his release is a matter of simple justice because “his sentence is grossly disproportionate.” And it is appropriate on humanitarian grounds because his health is failing after more than a quarter of a century of affliction in American prisons.

 

Those who know the case best have been very clear in their publicly stated opinions and in their letters to you, indicating that keeping Jonathan in prison any longer is a travesty of justice. These include, among many others: former secretary of state George Shultz, former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, former White House legal counsel Bernard Nussbaum, former attorney-general Michael Mukasey, former deputy attorney-general Phillip Heymann, former assistant secretary of defense Lawrence Korb and former CIA director James Woolsey.

 

As well, in a historic display of bipartisanship, a group of 18 prominent former United States senators wrote to you, Mr. President, and asked that you commute Jonathan’s sentence to time served. A number of the signatories served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, including senators Dennis DeConcini (D-Arizona), Alan Simpson (R-Wyoming), the late Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), Birch Bayh (D-Indiana), Connie Mack (R-Florida) and David Durenberger (RMinnesota)….

 

Another bipartisan congressional appeal to you, jointly sponsored by Reps. Chris Smith and Eliot Engel, is being circulated and has already acquired dozens of signatures in support of my husband’s release.

 

Internationally, Jonathan’s release is supported by a number of prominent organizations and individuals, including the European Parliament, the European Jewish Congress and the African Redeemed Church of Christ, which has more than 14,000 branches in 110 countries and has more than five million members in Africa alone.

 

My husband, Jonathan Pollard, has now served more than six to eight times the usual sentence for the offense he committed. After enduring 27 years of the harshest afflictions in prison, including seven years in solitary confinement, it is time to release him, now, while he is still alive – before it is too late….

Mr. President, if a lowly turkey is deserving of your compassion and merits the dispensation of justice by your own hand, how much more so does a man who has more than paid the price for the offense he committed and is now, after 27 years in prison, in danger of losing his life.

 

We are taught, “From Heaven did the Almighty look down upon the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to liberate those who are doomed to die.” (Psalms 102:20-21) While those who hold the reins of power are urged: “Let the groaning of the prisoner come before you; According to the greatness of your power, set free those who are condemned to die.” (Psalms 79:11) Mr. President, I implore you, set my husband free by commuting his sentence to the 27 years he has already served, and send him home to me in the Holy City of Jerusalem for the Holiday of Light which fast approaches – and G-d will surely bless!

 

Respectfully, Esther Pollard, Mrs. Jonathan Pollard.

 

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QUEEN’S U. FACES BACKLASH OVER
PLAN TO HONOUR JIMMY CARTER

Sarah Boesveld

National Post, Nov 15, 2012

 

Queen’s University is facing a backlash from Jewish alumni over its decision to award former U.S. president Jimmy Carter — a strong critic of Israel — an honourary degree next week.

 

Shimon Fogel, chief executive of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said his organization has received about 50 “angry and frustrated inquiries” over the past month from graduates of the respected Canadian university, worried their school will be tarnished by Mr. Carter’s view of Israel as an apartheid state and his controversial relationships in the Arab world.

 

“It’s just a huge lightning rod for distress and disappointment,” Mr. Fogel said. “He simply doesn’t meet the test of somebody that is seeking to offer a constructive contribution towards advancing peace. And it’s in that context that we’d express real disappointment that a leading institution like Queen’s would further legitimize or validate him by conferring on him this kind of award.”

 

The 88-year-old former president and his wife are expected to attend Queen’s convocation in Kingston next Wednesday to accept the degrees honouring “their philanthropic and advocacy work in areas such as housing and mental health,” according to a statement from Queen’s principal Daniel Woolf on the university’s website. It will be Mr. Carter’s first honourary degree from a Canadian university.

 

“They are wonderful examples of the same qualities that characterize the Queen’s spirit, and I’m sure their presence at convocation will be a memorable experience for everyone,” Mr. Woolf said.

 

And while the Nobel Peace Prize winner, who served as president from 1977 to 1981, has indeed been a champion of human rights through his not-for-profit Carter Center and Habitat for Humanity, Jewish North Americans have bristled at his positions on Israel.

 

In his 2006 book Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, Mr. Carter characterizes Israel as an apartheid state. He has also repeatedly said Israel has no interest in a two-state solution, Mr. Fogel said, and his comments and interventions supporting “Israel’s detractors” attempt to “isolate and delegitimize Israel” as the region’s only democracy.

 

“When it comes from somebody in the Arab world, it’s not met with any surprise,” Mr. Fogel said. “When it comes from and is articulated by somebody who is the leader of, in effect, the lead country in the democratic world, it has an entirely different impact.”

 

Lars Hagberg for PostMedia News Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., is honouring Jimmy Carter's philanthropic and advocacy work in such areas as housing and mental health, according to a statement from Queen’s principal Daniel Woolf on the university’s website. While he’s sure Queen’s fully intended to honour Mr. Carter for his human rights work alone, Mr. Fogel said the school “failed to do their due diligence that would have flagged [his views on Israel] as problematic.”

 

Michael Shafron, who graduated from Queen’s with an MBA in 1987, said he had a “freakout moment” when he received an alumni email bearing the news. The Atlanta, Ga., resident wrote a letter to Queen’s chancellor David Dodge “The area of his life that I find so egregious, the portion that I find so detestable, are his blatant anti-Israel/anti-Semitic positions he has staked out since leaving the presidency,” Mr. Shafron wrote.

 

He then forwarded the letter to Mr. Woolf, who responded, in part, by saying: “While I regret that the committee’s decision displeases you, it is a broad-based committee whose work we value and whose choices we support.” Mr. Woolf said the university will continue to give honourary degrees to people of many different political and ideological stripes and base its decision on the significant work that the recipient has done for the good of others.

 

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Montreal’s Debt to the Jews (pdf): Joe King — The extraordinary debt of Montreal to its Jewish community has never been widely acknowledged but has been recognized by some of Canada’s most important personalities.

 

 

Hamas Military Leader Jabari Got What He Deserved: Jonathan Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012 —The 52-year-old Jabari was a symbol of the nihilistic Jew-hatred that comprises Hamas’ foreign policy (and which is encoded in its founding 1988 covenant, where “the fight with the warmongering Jews” is a prominent theme).

 

Paul Ehrlich: A petrified pundit: Barbara Kay, National Post, Nov 14, 2012 ­—Professor Ehrlich favours the dual stylistic approach of apocalypticism and cheap personal attack. Imagine a kind of grizzled, male version of Ann Coulter, but on the left – with the same ominously merry twinkle in the eye, but minus the wit.

 

Iran's Agenda in the Gaza Offensive: Stratfor Gobal Intelligence, November 16, 2012

To begin to make sense of the escalating conflict in Gaza, we need to go back to the night of Oct. 23 in Khartoum. Around 11 p.m. that night, the Yarmouk weapons facility in the Sudanese capital was attacked, presumably by the Israeli air force.

 

 

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