MEDIA-OCRITIES OF THE WEEK
Bibi Is Trump and the Israeli Change Coalition Is Biden: Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, June 3, 2021“…Netanyahu makes his enemies even angrier than Donald Trump does. Just like Trump, Netanyahu’s main political strategy for winning elections has been to foster an immense personality cult and try to gain and win power with slim majorities by dividing Israel along as many lines as possible–in his case, primarily Jews versus Arabs, left versus right, religious versus secular and patriots versus traitors…just like Trump [he was] perfectly happy to undermine Israel’s democratic institutions, the press, and the rule of law–anything that could restrain his quest to retain power [as he faces] investigations and legal proceedings over bribery, fraud and breach-of-trust… Sound familiar?
As with Trump, Bibi was, and continues to be, ready to take Israeli society to the edge of civil war to hold on to power, which is why Israel is at a delicate moment…Before the fragile, incredibly ideologically diverse “change coalition” that has come together…is sworn in [he] will use every trick in the book–and out of the book–to stop this transition of power.
Sound familiar? [This coalition] is Israel’s equivalent of Bidenism–a movement of people who believe that society has to repair its torn political fabric, back away from the brink and restore respect for institutions and for one another… [Inclusion in the coalition of Ra’am, an Arab Islamist party, means, in the view of Mansour Abbas, its leader, that it is] high time for Israeli Arabs to play the game of Israeli politics the same way the other big non-Zionist political blocs in Israel–the Jewish ultra-Orthodox parties–play that game…by using its swing voters to extract as many budgetary resources as possible for its community [Ra’am has been promised $2 billion in “resources”, according to Israeli media–Ed.]….
A Democracy That’s More Like Putin’s Than Lincoln’s: Is That What Republicans Want?: Lawrence Martin, The Globe and Mail, June 2, 2021
“When and how will the madness stop? In the grip of its authoritarian wing, the Republican party is starting to resemble a fifth column that’s out to sabotage the American electoral system… If it sounds far-fetched, one need only think of the lengths the Trump Party and its supporters have been prepared to go. One need only think of Jan.6… If the designs of his party of white nationalists are carried out, [Trump’s] legacy could be the establishment of a democracy that’s more Putinesque than Lincolnesque.”
“We are witnessing the greatest election fraud in the history of the country, in my opinion in the history of any democracy. We, my friends and I in Likud, we will vehemently oppose the establishment of this dangerous government of fraud and surrender. And if, God forbid, it is established, we will bring it down very quickly.” – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Likud legislators. (Reuters, June 6, 2021)
“The left is using Bennett as a tool to crown itself once again, and Bennett is using [the left] as a tool to get himself into the Prime Minister’s Office. . I was right about this, too. And now I warn: The danger posed by this [forming] government is much greater [than Oslo and Gaza disengagement]… because there is a threat here … to our national security. … In the place where it matters [Iran], and in Washington, in these two places … The minute this [coalition] deal is signed, it’s over.” – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Channel 20. To which Yamina leader Naftali Bennett replied. “I call on Mr. Netanyahu: Let go. Let the country move forward. People are allowed to vote for a government even if you do not lead it.” (JNS, June 7, 2021)
“The principle is clear – incitement and violence will always be out of bounds,” Mr. Netanyahu said … “But freedom of expression is not incitement. It is impossible to treat the words of the right as incitement and the words of the left as freedom of expression.” The febrile environment was compounded by renewed plans by far-right groups to march through Palestinian parts of Jerusalem on Thursday. The march has yet to be sanctioned by the police, but it may coincide with the confidence vote in the Knesset.” – political columnist Patrick Kingsley. (The Globe and Mail, June 7, 2021)
“Naftali Bennett has completely lost his moral sense, doesn’t stop at red on his way to be an illegitimate prime minister with six [Knesset]seats.” — The Religious Zionism Party in a statement. (Times of Israel, June 8, 2021)
[ …a government headed by Bennett “is going to destroy and ruin everything we have maintained for years. A government headed by Bennett will destroy Shabbat, conversion, the Chief Rabbinate, kashrut and will tear the people of Israel asunder. For the sake of his personal ambition, Bennett is throwing away everything that is important to the Jewish people. The State of Israel is changing its face and its character and its identity. This isn’t a separation of religion and state, but an uprooting of religion from the state.” — Shas leader Aryeh Deri. United Torah Judaism leader Moshe Gafni added. “There will be a war on all fronts, there will be nothing he can do — this wicked one!” (Times of Israel, June 8, 2021)
[Mansour Abbas, Ra’am leader in new Israeli coalition,] “I say very clearly and frankly…we will be able to influence it and accomplish great things for our Arab society”. [Badri Karam, in Gaza,] “He is a traitor. What will he do when they ask him to vote on launching a new war on Gaza? Will he accept it, being part of the killing of Palestinians?”[Joint List leader Abou Shehadeh,] “It’s a very big crime.” (National Post, June 3, 2021)
“We have seen unthinkable atrocities committed by the U.S., Hamas, Israel, Afghanistan, and the Taliban. I asked @SecBlinken where people are supposed to go for justice.” – Democratic Rep. and antisemite Ilhan Omar tweeted. (NY Post, June 8, 2021)
“The less journalists actually know about the veracity of a story, the more defensible their legal position. Justice Clarence Thomas recently described the malice standard as “almost impossible” to prove, and without a reporter unearthing counterfactual accounts, proving malice is properly impossible. So reporters find a story they love with suspect, but well-placed, sourcing and run it without corroboration. … Rep. Adam Schiff and his staff continually leaked falsities about the Russia investigation, and reporters dutifully printed every word of it. Let’s overturn Sullivan and watch how fast the 24-hour news cycle changes under the threat of the plaintiffs bar.” — Conan M. Ward makes the case for overturning Sullivan v. New York Times (1964), which requires a plaintiff to prove “actual malice” on the part of the media. (WSJ, June 2, 2021)
KNESSET TO MEET ON SETTING DATE FOR VOTE ON NEW GOVERNMENT, LIKELY JUNE 14 (Jerusalem) — Knesset Speaker Yariv Levin will (possibly) on Monday set in motion the process of holding a vote of confidence in the new, eight-party coalition that would oust the current transition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The law holds that the vote must come within seven days of the speaker’s announcement. (Times of Israel, June 7, 2021)
SCIENTIST AVI HAR-EVEN, 85, SUCCUMBS TO INJURIES FROM ACCO’S ARAB RIOTS (Acco) — Widely acclaimed Israeli aerospace scientist Avi Har-Even, 85, a recipient of the Israel Security Award, senior researcher at Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and former director of the Israel Space Agency succumbed to critical injuries he suffered last month when rioting Arabs torched the Effendi Hotel where he was staying in the ancient, mixed city of Acco. (Jewish Press, June 6, 2021)
REPORT: NO MORE MASKS, INDOORS OR OUT, EFFECTIVE JUNE 15 (Jerusalem) — Israel’s Health Ministry has announced the requirement to wear a mask indoors will be lifted on June 15, except school children, who will continue to be required to wear masks during their classes since nearly none of the students under age 16 have been vaccinated thus far. (Jewish Press, June 6, 2021)
PA AWARDS $43,000 TO FAMILY OF TERRORIST WHO MURDERED 2 ISRAELIS IN 2015 (Ramallah) — In October 2015, the terrorist, Mohammed Halabi stabbed Rabbi Nehemiah Lavi and soldier Aharon Benita Hy”d in the Old City of Jerusalem and wounded Benita’s wife and their toddler son. Ramallah Governor Laila Ghannam gave the terrorists 30,000 Jordanian dinars – just under $43,000, as a gift from PA Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, intended to cover the family’s living costs Israel had demolished their home three months after the murders. (Jewish Press, June 7, 2021)
HAMAS CLAIMS IRAN ALREADY RESUPPLYING IT WITH THOUSANDS OF ROCKETS (Gaza Strip) — The Iranian regime begam restocking its Islamist proxy in the Gaza Strip with the resources to produce thousands of new rockets. In the recent 11-day conflict, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired more than 4,300 rockets indiscriminately toward Israel’s population centers forcing Israelis to seek refuge in bomb shelters. (Algemeiner, June 2, 2021)
UNRWA GAZA DIRECTOR DEPARTS THE STRIP AFTER BACKLASH FOR SAYING ISRAEL DID NOT TARGET CIVILIANS IN STRIKES AGAINST HAMAS (Gaza Strip) — Matthias Schmale, head of Gaza operations at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), told Israel’s Channel 12 on May 22 that he “would not dispute” the IDF’s claim that airstrikes during Guardian of the Walls were “very precise.” Subsequently, he is being temporarily replaced. UNWRA also admitted that Hamas placed a one of its tunnels under a UN-operated school in in Gaza. (Algemeiner, June 2, 2021; WIN, June 8, 2021)
FOUNDER OF HEZBOLLAH ALI AKBAR MOHTASHAMIPUR DIES OF CORONA COMPLICATIONS (Beirut) — Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, a former member of Iran’s parliament and one of the founders of Hezbollah in Lebanon, has died of the coronavirus in the Iraqi city of Najaf at age 75. Mr. Mohtashamipour, a well-known figure in the Iranian reform movement, served as Interior Minister in the second Mir Hossein Mousavi government and in parliament. He was a member of the Central Council of the Assembly of Fighting Clerics. (Jewish Press, June 7, 2021)
CONGRESS PURSUES BILL TO SANCTION ENTITIES AIDING PALESTINIAN TERROR GROUPS (Washington) — A group of 16 Republican senators signed on to a reintroduced bill that would require the imposition of sanctions on any individual, entity or state that provides support for Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian terrorist groups. The “Palestinian International Terrorism Support Prevention Act” was reintroduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on May 27 and co-sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), and others. (Cleveland Jewish News, June 2, 2021)
SEN. GRAHAM: ISRAEL TO REQUEST $1 BILLION IN AID FOLLOWING GAZA CONFLICT (Washington) — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told Fox & Friends during a visit to southern Israel that Israel would be requesting a billion dollars in U.S. aid this week, in the aftermath of last month’s fighting with terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. The senator, who met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, said the aid money would be “a good investment for the American people.” (JNS, June 2, 2021)
JEWISH SUPPORT FOR BIDEN REMAINS UNCHANGED FROM ELECTION, SAYS AJC SURVEY (Washington) — A survey commissioned by the American Jewish Committee indicated that support for U.S. President Joe Biden among American Jews remains strong, while a political rift continues between the Orthodox Jews and other denominations, including unaffiliated Jews. Biden received just 12 percent from Orthodox voters, 61 percent among Conservative voters, 80 percent among Reform Jews, 99 percent from Reconstructionist, 86 percent from secular Jews and 71 percent from Jews without a specified denomination. (JNS, June 2, 2021)
GOOGLE REASSIGNS DIVERSITY STAFFER WHO SAID JEWS HAVE ‘INSATIABLE APPETITE FOR WAR AND KILLING’ (California) — Google has reassigned Kaman Bobb, a top diversity officer/ Roughly a decade before joining Google in 2018, Bobb wrote on his blog “If I were a Jew I would be concerned about my insatiable appetite for war and killing in defense of myself/ Self-defense is undoubtedly an instinct, but I would be afraid of my increasing insensitivity to the suffering [of] others.” (Epoch Times, June 3, 2021)
N. KOREA ACCUSES ‘MISANTHROPIC’ ISRAEL OF GENOCIDE, ‘MASSACRING CHILDREN’ (Pyongyang) — North Korea accused Israel of genocide, crimes against humanity and targeting children during Operation Guardian of the Walls last month. Israel has an “extreme misanthropic spirit and ambition for territorial expansion,” and is engaged in “state-sponsored terrorism and [the] act of obliterating other nations,” the Foreign Ministry in Pyongyang said in a statement released. (Jerusalem Post, June 7, 2021)
FACEBOOK OVERSIGHT BOARD EXCORIATED BY ADL OVER REFUSAL TO REMOVE BLATANTLY ANTISEMITIC POSTS(California) — In a lengthy letter to Facebook’s Oversight Board the ADL spotlighted seven antisemitic posts that Facebook was alerted to last month. One post approvingly quoted Adolf Hitler’s propaganda chief, Joseph Goebbels, on how Jews are supposedly “masters at manipulating public opinion.” (Algemeiner, June 2, 2021)
MANCHIN TO VOTE AGAINST DEMOCRATS’ SWEEPING ELECTION BILL (Washington) — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said he will vote against For the People Act, a sweeping election reform bill pushed by his Democratic colleagues that’s also known as S. 1 in the Senate. He claimed that forcing it through via the reconciliation process will further deepen divisions. (Epoch Times, June 6, 2021)
Global Jewish Leaders Refocus Blame for Gaza Children’s Deaths on Hamas: Hana Levi Julien, Jewish Press, June 7, 2021 — Major Jewish leaders around the world are supporting an initiative to place the blame for the deaths of dozens of children, killed in the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, on the Gaza-based terrorist organization.
Structural Antisemitism: Jonah Goldberg, The Dispatch, May 19, 2021 — Structural racism means different things to different people. But here’s a serviceable definition from the Aspen Institute, hardly a hotbed of conservatism.
Armed Low-Cost Drones, Made by Turkey, Reshape Battlefields and Geopolitics: James Marson and Brett Forrest, WSJ, June 3, 2021 — A soldier idles by a Russian-made T-72 tank. A moment later, a missile fired from a drone slams into the vehicle, exploding in an orange flash, blowing the man off his feet and leaving the tank a smoldering wreck.