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Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW” (May 26, 2021)

An Open Letter to Canada: It Is Starting to be Unsafe to be a Canadian Jew:  Michael Mostyn, National Post, May 25. 2021 — Dear Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, premiers, mayors, university presidents and all Canadians of good conscience.
 
Are You Afraid to Publicly Display Jewish Identifiers (Yarmulke, Hebrew Writing) in New York or the US?:  Jewish Press, May 25, 2021 — Violent anti-Semitic attacks are on the rise in the US, how are you responding to it?
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MEDIA-OCRITIES OF THE WEEK
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Bernie Sanders: The U.S. Must Stop Being an Apologist for the Netanyahu Government Bernie Sanders, NY Times, May 14, 2021 “… why do we seem to take notice of the violence in Israel and Palestine only when rockets are falling on Israel? … In the Middle East, where we provide nearly $4 billion a year in aid to Israel, we can no longer be apologists for the right-wing Netanyahu government and its undemocratic and racist behavior. We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses…”

Conflict Strengthens Netanyahu, but the Price Is High:  Roger Cohen, NYTimes, May 22, 2021

 “The deaths in Gaza of more than 60 children, have prompted growing international outrage, including within President Biden’s Democratic Party. But Netanyahu has ridden out such surges of indignation before. Since taking office in 2009—he was also prime minister from1996-1999—Mr. Netanyahu has deftly projected a state of permanent emergency, fanning division and fear where necessary…The fear mongering has worked. Nobody can find a way to dislodge the master puppeteer…nobody has been able to halt the slow demise of the land-for-peace left, which embodied the hopes of a two-state settlement… Mr. Netanyahu has survived again, but he is not out of the woods. The ‘melech Yisrael’, the regal magician, is caught in a web of his own creation”.

Here’s How The Cycle Of Status-Quo Violence In Gaza Can Be Broken: Carl Bildt.  The Globe and Mail, May 25, 2021 – [Bildt is the former Prime Minister of Sweden.]

[Stop blaming ..,] acknowledge that both sides are right…start focusing on the goal of a long-term agreement…Gaza’s latest war could led to a necessary peace…Palestinians—and Israelis—deserve no less.”

For Many Indigenous People, Memories Of Oka Are Driving Solidarity With Palestinians Drew Hayden Taylor, Globe and Mail, May 24, 2021.  [Taylor is i.d.’d as “Anishnawbe playwright and humourist”

“…Many of the issues happening in Gaza are uncomfortably similar to our history here. Palestinians, once under the control of the British Empire, longed for their own independent homeland. On could argue the Gaza Strip is one big reserve…Indeed, Kanesatake is a checkerboard First Nation…It all sounds uncomfortably Indigenous… Perhaps this is why so many First Nations people here in Canada find themselves in support of the Palestinian struggle… Organizations like the Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hamas…lashed out with their own violence in an effort to carve out a nation and say ‘we are a people’ ….”
 
My Parents Are Being Displaced From Sheikh Jarrah. The Fight For Their Neighbourhood Is A Fight For Our Rights:  Rasha Budeiri, Globe and Mail, May 21, 2021 — [Budeiri is i.d.’d as an Ottawa-based writer who was born and raised in Jerusalem.”]
 
“My grandparents…passed down the strength and steadfastness to fight a lengthy exhaustive and colonial threat intent on forcibly expelling the residents of Sheikh Jarrah and replacing hem with Jewish settlers…The latest flare is part of the continuing Nakhba—or “great catastrophe,” in Arabic—of Israel’s apartheid of indigenous Palestinians, [of] settler colonialism… [Despite the ceasefire] these scenes will only persist…on the bloody rubble of Palestinian families’ dreams and memories…But I feel energized and hopeful, as I witness an “awakening” in regards to Palestinians’ resistance and resilience…Israel is being investigated by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes against seniors, women, children, doctors, paramedics, teachers and even journalists… [Canada must end its] “complicity in Israel’s campaign of occupation and colonialism….

____________  _       WEEKLY QUOTES

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__“There is a large and growing Hamas wing of the Democrat Party. Other Democrats should speak up more.” – Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell tweeted.  (Richard Grenell@RichardGrenell, May 24, 2021)
 
“This is a broader strategic effort by the Biden administration to place Iran as a central figure inside of their vision for how they’d like to see the Middle East realigned. …You can’t designate the Houthis as terrorists if you want the Iranians to sit down with you in Vienna. You can’t oppose Hamas—an ideological, radical terrorist regime sitting in the Gaza Strip firing missiles against civilians in Israel—because you know you have this other game that’s being played, this other policy. The Iranians know this. They’ve played this game for an awfully long time. It’s why this vision of just getting back into the [Iran nuclear deal] and saying, ‘We’ll be able to control their missile program and their terror efforts’ is such a folly.” — Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo harshly criticized the Biden administration for its blatant efforts to appease Iran by going out of its way to avoid explicitly stating the Islamic regime’s involvement in the Hamas terror group’s firing of more than 4,000 rockets at Israeli civilians from its base in the Gaza Strip. (JNS, May 20, 2021)
 
“Black Lives Matter stands in solidarity with Palestinians. We are a movement committed to ending settler colonialism in all forms and will continue to advocate for Palestinian liberation. (always have. And always will be).” — official Black Lives Matter organization.  “The fight for Black lives and the fight for Palestinian liberation are interconnected. We oppose our money going to fund militarized policing, occupation, and systems of violent oppression and trauma. We are anti-war. We are anti-occupation. And we are anti-apartheid. Period,” — Rep. Cori Bush tweeted, citing her own House floor speech on the matter. Bush is a member of the Squad. (Daily Wire, May 18, 2021)
 
“This place [his apartment house] used to be a sanctuary.  But now there is no safety in Gaza. Everyone is exposed to danger.” –  Gaza-resident Sami Abl Ouf on the first day of the ceasefire.  (NYTimes, May 21, 2021)
 
“We’ve been experiencing an operation after an operation. Israelis are looking for a final conclusion to these operations. People are saying enough is enough is enough. Sometimes, one is willing to suffer in order to bring a very unpleasant situation to a close.” — Tsamar Herrman, senior fellow at Israel Democracy Institute, Jerusalem.  (NYTimes, May 21, 2021)
 
“The sound of Israelis chanting ‘Death to the Arabs’ while Israel flattens entire residential buildings in the Gaza Strip has made my home in Haifa a frightening place…” — Diane Buttu, a Palestinian-Canadian lawyer and legal adviser to the P.A. and Haifa resident. (Globe and Mail, May 21, 2021)
 
“Even so, the President’s evolving position on the conflict—from silence to gentle public persuasion to more substantial intervention—reflected a significant change from his position only a decade ago…by week’s end [he] was saying “the Palestinians and Israel equally deserve to…enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy…” — Political analyst David Shribman.  He provides a soft, liberal’s “analysis,” of President Biden’s evolving position on Israel and the Palestinians, and notes Biden’s pro-Israel record. (Globe and Mail, May 21, 2021)
 
“However, there is no excuse that, while ignoring the plight of our own minorities and the plight of other Muslim ethnicities, we advocate for the eradication of a country that has existed for 73 years and has over nine million inhabitants, 20 per cent of whom are Arab-Israelis who have a better quality of life than people living in most Arab countries.” — Dr. Ahmed Shah, a resident-physician at McMaster University.  (National Post, May 22, 2021)
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  SHORT TAKES
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ISRAEL DESTROYS OVER 60 MILES OF HAMAS UNDERGROUND TUNNEL INFRASTRUCTURE IN GAZA (Gaza Strip) — The Israeli army said it has destroyed more than 100 kilometers, or over 60 miles, of an underground tunnel system in the Gaza Strip during the past 10 days of fighting with Hamas. The complex tunnel system is used by the terrorist group to move rockets and operatives from one area to another and to launch attacks. (United With Israel, May 20, 2021)

 NETANYAHU ANNOUNCES NEW MOSSAD CHIEF, AGENCY VETERAN WHO HANDLED OVERSEAS SPIES (Jerusalem) — Netanyahu’s choice is David Barnea, 56, the deputy chief and a long-time veteran of the intelligence agency. He will take over from current head Yossi Cohen, whose tenure has largely been seen as a success, with several widely publicized intelligence operations against Iran.  Barnea served in the IDF’s special forces unit Sayeret Matkal. (Algemeiner, May 24, 2021)
 
OVER 130 HOLLYWOOD ELITES SIGN OPEN LETTER AGAINST ISRAEL CONFLICT MISINFORMATION ON SOCIAL MEDIA (LA) – More than 130 members of the entertainment industry have signed an open letter calling on celebrities and influencers to stop spreading false information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “We call on our colleagues and friends in the entertainment community to stop posting misinformation and one-sided narratives that only work to inflame the conflict instead of bringing about peace,” the May 14 open letter stated.  The letter’s signatories include KISS frontman Gene Simmons, Grammy Award-winning artist Michael Bublé, songwriter-producer Diane Warren, among many others. It was published by Creative Community for Peace, an apolitical, non-profit entertainment industry organization. (Algemeiner, May 21, 2021)
 
‘I’D RATHER DIE THAN BE A … JEW’: BELGIAN SOCCER STAR IN SHOCKING CHANT AFTER TEAM WINS NATIONAL TITLE (Brussels) — Noa Lange, who plays for Club Brugge, was filmed in raucous scenes that followed his team winning the Belgian national title this season. Lange led overjoyed fans in chants of “I’d Rather Die Than Be a Sporting Jew” — a derogatory reference to Brugge’s rivals Anderlecht, who are often derided by hostile supporters as a “Jewish” club. (Algemeiner, May 21, 2021)
 
TRUDEAU EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER ANTI-SEMITIC INCIDENTS IN MONTREAL, ELSEWHERE IN CANADA (Ottawa) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted,  “I am deeply disturbed by recent reports of antisemitic acts in Montreal and across the country. This intimidation and violence is absolutely unacceptable – and it must stop immediately. There is no place for hate of any kind in Canada.” The prime minister’s statement comes a day after local Liberal MP and former Côte-St-Luc mayor Anthony Housefather posted a video on his Facebook page describing the incidents, which included violent clashes in Montreal between protesters last weekend at demonstrations sparked by the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the arrests of two men who are alleged to have uttered anti-Semitic slurs to passersby in Côte-St-Luc, as “appalling.” (Montreal Gazette, May 19, 2021)
 
TORONTO FAILS TO ACT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM YET AGAIN (Toronto) — For the third Saturday in a row, over a thousand anti-Israel demonstrators marched from Yonge-Dundas Square to the Israeli consulate at Yonge and Bloor, shouting repeatedly for an “intifada.” At least one protester carried the flag of Hamas, a terrorist group that seeks Israel’s destruction, and carried signs depicting antisemitic caricatures.  Organizers also bizarrely asserted at one point that “Canada is a part of Israel.”  (Bnai Brith Canada, May 25, 2021)
 
FRIGHTENING’ FIREWORK ATTACKS TARGET NEW YORK CITY’S HEAVILY JEWISH DIAMOND DISTRICT (NYC) — Multiple arrests were reportedly made after violent attacks, including with incendiary devices targeting Jews. Video footage, taken on 47th street between 5th and 6th avenues, in the heavily Jewish diamond district adjacent to Times Square, also shows mobs of pro-Palestinian protesters aggressively shouting antisemitic epithets from passing cars. (Algemeiner, May 20, 2021)
 
AMID A SPATE OF ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACKS, ORANGE COUNTY MUSLIM LEADER INCITES MORE HATRED (California) – A Southern California imam called Israelis “child killers” and urged Muslims to “sacrifice whatever resources we can in defense of that land,” in a talk live-streamed  on YouTube. Sheikh Tarik Ata’s remarks came after Jews were targeted in at least two anti-Semitic attacks in Los Angeles. The video remains available on the Orange County Islamic Foundation‘s YouTube channel, called ShuraTV. Ata is a Foundation board member. He also serves on the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California‘s board. The Council includes 74 Southern California mosques and Islamist organizations, including local chapters of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Muslim Students Association (MSA) and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). (IPT News, May 25, 2021)
 
BOKO HARAM LEADER, RESPONSIBLE FOR CHIBOK SCHOOLGIRL KIDNAPPINGS, DIES (Nigeria) — Abubakar Shekau, the fundamentalist warlord who turned Boko Haram from an obscure radical sect into a jihadist army whose war with the Nigerian state has left tens of thousands dead across four nations, has died, according to officials, mediators, phone calls intercepted by a West African spy agency and internal intelligence memos seen by The Wall Street Journal. It removes one the world’s most brutal and effective terrorists, who plunged four nations, including Africa’s most populous, into a religious war. Globally, he was best known for kidnapping nearly 300 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok on the night before their final exams, an abduction that sparked the world-wide social-media movement #BringBackOurGirls. (WSJ, May 21, 2021)

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  FOR FURTHER REFERENCE
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An Update On Antisemitism At Canadian University Campuses:  Hasbara Staff, Hasbara Canada, May 19, 2021 — Over the past few days, Canadians Jews have been confronted by imagery reminiscent of Nazi-era pogroms at rallies in Toronto, Winnipeg, Montreal, and Vancouver. They have seen Israeli flags burned and defaced with Nazi symbols, and heard death threats and calls for the destruction of our people.

Raheel Raza: Battle Against anti-Semitism Has Barely Begun:  Raheel Raza, National Post, May 25, 2021  On May 15 two young people who are like children to me, were viciously assaulted on the streets of Toronto. Tiphaera Ziner-Cohen and her brother Jon Jaden Ziner-Cohen were walking near Nathan Phillips Square when they were swarmed by pro-Hamas supporters and Jon was punched in the head thrice (leading to a concussion) while Tiphaera was hit and pushed to the ground.

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