Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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A longstanding Department of Homeland Security effort to combat foreign disinformation has touched off outrage amount Republicans who say the department is assembling an Orwellian “ministry of truth,” but experts and former GOP insiders say the sturm-und-drang over the DHS program shows how much the Trump-era iteration of the Party of Lincoln has come to depend on lying as a political strategy and therefore fears not being able to count on their lies going unchallenged. Last week, Fox Newsreporters began pressing White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki about a news item, first reported by Politico, which stated that DHS was standing up a “disinformation governance board” to counter foreign disinformation and misinformation “related to homeland security,” led by ex-Wilson Center fellow Nina Jankowicz. … the appointment of Ms Jankowicz to helm DHS’s anti-disinformation efforts touched off a a geyser of grievance among Republican officeholders and their conservative media allies, citing public statements she’d made describing the October 2020 New York Post reporting on a laptop thought to have belonged to Hunter Biden as a “Trump campaign product” and other statements perceived to be at odds with conservative media narratives regarding Mr Biden and Mr Trump. Though a 2 May fact sheet released by DHS laid out the department’s aims, including a focus on “disinformation that threatens the security of the American people, including disinformation spread by foreign states such as Russia, China, and Iran, or other adversaries such as transnational criminal organizations and human smuggling organizations,” Republicans were animated by the false belief that the Biden administration was establishing some manner of universal arbiter of what is true and what is not for political purposes.”

                              WEEKLY QUOTES

“Israel is a sovereign state and does not ask for permission to operate in its territory,” – Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. (WIN, May 10, 2022)
“I see the faces of the captured terrorists after their carried out the terrible massacre in Elad, and I see clearly how they aren’t afraid of prison. They know that they will get conditions many times better than what any common criminal would face, and a stipend from the Palestinian Authority in honor of the murders they committed … I know perfectly well what a prison designed to deprive a prisoner of his will to live looks like. But here, the conditions for the jailed, despicable murderers only encourage more terrorists to join the club. … I’m tired of this. I’m tired of seeing our so-called leaders taking our flag, and washing out the blue, and leaving only the white of surrender. I’m waiting for somebody, a leader, a true Jewish leader, to come forward and put the blue stripes and the Magen-David back on our flag. I’m waiting for a leader that will put the fear of G-d into our enemies. I’m waiting for a leader who will act without any concern about what anybody else outside our country thinks. Whether it be the United States or the European Union, the UN, or anybody else who believes they can tell us where we can live or how we are to defend ourselves.” – convicted US spy Jonathan Pollard who now resides in Israel.  (Israel National News, May 9, 2022)
“The correct response to such [Iranian] extremism is deterrence, not accommodation . . .The breakdown of the JCPOA [re-negotiation] in Vienna is not a tragedy. It is an opportunity.” – former Canadian PM Stephen Harper.  (Edmonton Sun, May 7, 2022)
“The international community must now decide whether an increasingly toothless deal is worth extending the regime billions of dollars in sanctions relief and other concessions, and, if not, how to address the Islamic Republic’s creep toward nuclear threshold status. But fractures among the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council—France, China, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the U.S.—complicate both calculations, particularly following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “The proposed deal imposes few significant restrictions on Iran’s nuclear ambitions beyond 2030 and a coalition of great powers willing to cooperate to constrain Iran’s regional and missile programs doesn’t exist,” Norman Roule, the former U.S. national intelligence manager for Iran.” – Journalist Charlotte Lawson.  (The Dispatch, May 10, 2022)
“The one who is repeating the horrific crimes of Hitler’s regime today, following Nazi philosophy, copying everything they did. He is doomed.” — Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, criticized Vladimir Putin in his address to the Ukrainian nation on the May 8 anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. (BNN Bloomberg, May 9, 2022)
“I am pro-life for the most essential reason. There’s a baby in there, a human child. We cannot accept . . .that we have decided that we can extinguish the lives of our young … children grow up hearing this and absorbing it and thinking ‘We end the life within the mother here,’ ‘it’s just some cells’—. . .all of this has released a kind of poison into the air, that we breathed it in for50 years, and it damaged everything. Including of course our politics.’ – Conservative columnist Peggy Noonan. (WSJ, May 5, 2022)
“European countries have expressed an intention to phase out their dependence on over 150 billion cubic meter of annual imported Russian [liquefied natural] gas. …” We have the resources in the ground”, said David Braziel, chief executive at RBN Energy. . .”and we could develop them if you had an indication from the [Biden]administration that they want to develop natural gas resources.” – journalist Clifford Kraus.  (NY Times, May 5, 2022)
“We have a president today who is incapable of this most basic element of his job [communication],  And whatever unelected group of White House flunkies there are — who are actually the president — can’t trust him to even open his mouth unless he can stare at a teleprompter and mouth their insights like the weatherman. . .If he can’t appear in public, in his own office, for want of a digital cheat sheet, then, of course, he has little if anything to do with the actual running of the country.” — David Marcus.  (NY Post, May 6, 2022)
“A KGB term of tradecraft is now part of U.S. Department of Homeland Security governance. … Last year, DHS re-defined disinformation as follows: “Disinformation is deliberately created to mislead, harm, or manipulate a person, social group, organization, or country.” So DHS re-defined disinformation, sanitized the term of its KGB roots, and expanded the definition by removing the foreign element and applying the label to First Amendment-protected political discourse. DHS then officially adopted the KGB word as its own to create a political board for “governance” of disinformation — whatever that is — to guide agencies to monitor American citizens’ free speech.” – columnist J. Michael Waller.  (The Federalist, May 9, 2022)
“More specifically, the panel recommends the [Canadian Armed Forces]CAF no longer employ chaplains from faith communities that don’t accept same-sex marriage, distinguish different leadership roles for men and women, or reject polytheism. In short, the panel seems to want to fire Christian chaplains from Catholic, Orthodox and most Protestant backgrounds, as well as many Moslem imams and Jewish rabbis.” — Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett, the director of religious freedom and faith community engagement at the think tank Cardus.  (Globe and Mail, May 6, 2022)


3 DEAD, 4 INJURED IN AX MURDER TERROR ATTACK IN ELAD, ISRAEL (Elad) — At least three people were killed and four others injured in a terrorist attack in the Israeli city of Elad near Petah Tikva towards the end of Independence Day. The victims, Yonatan Habakkuk, a father of five, Boaz Gol, a father of five, and Oren Ben Yiftach, a father of six from Lod were in their 40s. Two of the victims aged 60 and 35 were seriously wounded and transported to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and Rabin Medical Center-Beilinson Campus sedated and intubated. (Jerusalem Post, May 5, 2022)
ISRAEL’S PLAN TO BUILD 4,000 HOMES IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA IRKS US, PA (Jerusalem) — Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced plans to advance the construction of about 4,000 homes in Jewish state, drawing condemnation from the United States and warnings of “serious consequences” from the Palestinian Authority.  If approved, it would be the biggest settlement construction plan since the Biden administration took office. (Israel Hayom, May 5, 2022)
SENATE PASSES NON-BINDING MEASURE OPPOSING RE-ENTRY INTO IRAN NUCLEAR DEAL (Washington) — During a series of late-night votes, the U.S. Senate passed a non-binding measure that would oppose re-entering the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that does not deal with other belligerent actions of Iran beyond its nuclear program. The Motion to Instruct (MTI), which provides instruction to appointed conferees for the United States Innovation and Competition Act, was put on the floor by Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and passed by a vote of 62-33, with the support of 16 Democrats joining the Republicans in what is seen as a repudiation of the Biden administration’s reported concessions to Iran in its attempt to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. (Jewish Press, May 7, 2022)
IMF REPORT: PA, GAZA ECONOMY IN DIRE CONDITION AS POLITICAL & SECURITY SITUATION ‘REMAINS FRAUGHT(Ramallah) — The International Monetary Fund last week issued a report on the economic situation in the “West Bank and Gaza,” suggesting “the Palestinian economy is enduring a fiscal crisis and the economic outlook is dire.  The report says that repeated political and security shocks, and the combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and spending priorities, have driven deficits in the PA and Gaza to unprecedented levels. (Jewish Press, May 4, 2022)
SURVEY: MORE UAE CITIZENS (55%) LIKE ISRAEL THAN DO AMERICANS (53%) (Abu Dhabi) — Sympathy for Israel in Arab countries increased during 2021, compared with the year before, according to a public opinion survey conducted last November by Israel’s Foreign Ministry and the Conrad Adenauer Foundation in November. Respondents from five Arab countries participated in the survey, as did respondents from five Western countries. Among the countries surveyed, the highest levels of sympathy were recorded in the UAE, where 55% of respondents said they had a positive view of Israel. This response is better than US respondents’ view of Israel: only 53% of Americans said they supported Israel. (Jewish Press, May 6, 2022)


ISIS CLAIMS RESPONSIBILITY FOR SINAI ATTACK THAT KILLED 11 EGYPTIAN SOLDIERS (Sinai Peninsula) — Islamic State in the Sinai Peninsula has claimed responsibility for a deadly attack that killed 11 members of the Egyptian security forces.  According to the report, the jihadist organization released a statement on its Amaq news agency and on Telegram. The Egyptian military said five other soldiers had been injured in the attack, one of the deadliest in Sinai in recent years. (JNS, May 9, 2022)

DUTCH GOVERNMENT REJECTS AMNESTY’S APARTHEID REPORT (Amsterdam) — The government of the Netherlands rejected Amnesty International’s report on Feb. 1 accusing Israel of apartheid. “The cabinet does not agree with Amnesty’s conclusion that there is apartheid in Israel or the territories occupied by Israel,” the government said in an April 29 letter signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs W.B. Hoekstra. The government noted that in rejecting the report, it joins “many other countries, including Germany, the U.K. and the US” (Israel Hayom, May 8, 2022)
ORTHODOX JEWS ALLEGE ANTISEMITIC DISCRIMINATION AFTER GERMAN AIRLINE LUFTHANSA PREVENTS THEM FROM BOARDING CONNECTING FLIGHT (Frankfurt) —  A row over masking requirements resulted in what passengers alleged was collective punishment. The 127 Orthodox Jewish passengers, who were traveling in separate groups were not allowed to board a connecting Lufthansa flight to Budapest because of the claimed refusal of some of them to wear masks on the plane from New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport to Frankfurt. One of the passengers told the German-language FAZ news outlet that while a handful of the Jewish passengers had not worn their masks correctly, he and most of the others had done so. He further accused Lufthansa of deliberately excluding passengers who were visibly Jewish from the connecting flight, instead of the handful who reportedly did not comply with the masking rules on the leg from New York. Fearing financial repercussions, Lufthansa has since issued an apology. (Algemeiner, May 9, 2022)
70 PROMINENT HARVARD FACULTY MEMBERS BLAST SCHOOL PAPER’S ANTI-ISRAEL BDS ENDORSEMENT (Cambridge) — Since The Harvard Crimson’s endorsement of the anti-Israel BDS movement two weeks ago, a group of more than 70 prominent members of Harvard’s faculty has begun a petition to condemn and correct the misinformation in the editorial. Organized by the Academic Engagement Network (AEN), it includes among its signatories professor Gabriella Blum, Dr. Amy Comander, attorney and emeritus law professor Alan Dershowitz, Dr. Gary R. Fleisher, law professor Jesse Fried, Yiddish literature professor Ruth Wisse and economist Richard Zeckhauser. (WIN, May 10, 2022)
HISTORIC OREGON SYNAGOGUE BECOMES TARGET OF ANTISEMITIC ATTACK (Portland) — Police are investigating a fire and antisemitic graffiti discovered outside a historical synagogue in Portland, Ore. Congregation Beth Israel, which was completed in 1928 and is on the National Registry of Historic Places, was not significantly damaged, though scorch marks from the fire could be seen outside the building, both on the ground and on a door. According to local media reports, the words “Die Juden” were spraypainted outside as well. (Cleveland Jewish News, May 3, 2022)
GLOBAL PORT CONGESTION IS GETTING WORSE, DASHING HOPES FOR EASING SUPPLY CHAIN SNAGS, REPORT SAYS(Toronto)A report by Michael Tran and Jack Evans at RBC Capital Markets points out that one-fifth of the global container fleet is currently stuck in congestion at various ports, and less than 40% of ships are arriving on time. Meanwhile, freight prices are still elevated, while marine fuel prices and insurance costs are soaring. (Market Watch, May 3, 2022)


WATCH: BINYAMIN ROSE OF MISHPACHA – Why is Terrorism Surging Out of Control? Will the Israeli Government Dissolve?VIN News, May 10, 2022 — In this insightful and powerful interview, Binyamin explains why Prime Minister Naftali Bennett may be too intimidated to fight terror properly.


Jewish and Pro-Israel Groups React to Appointment of New White House Press Secretary: Dimitriy Shapiro, JNS, May 10, 2022 — American Jewish organizations are divided in their reception of the new White House press secretary who has a history of taking anti-Israel positions.
WATCH: Murder of 3 Israeli Fathers ‘Legitimate Resistance,’ Says UK Journalist MEMRI, WIN, May 10, 2022  — British-Palestinian journalist Abdel Bari Atwan said in a video uploaded to his YouTube channel that Thursday’s axe murder of three Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists was a legitimate act of resistance against the Israeli “occupation.”

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