Thursday, December 8, 2022
Thursday, December 8, 2022
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Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

                                 WEEKLY QUOTES
You do not need to be a historian or a researcher in order to understand the atrocities of the Holocaust. You need to be a human being. The pits full of skeletons and corpses and the crematoria cry out from the forests and the extermination camps. Any person who lies and denies the truth of this devastating and agonizing history is a person who easily lies today and will continue to do so in the future with no hesitation.” — Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi when visiting the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp in Poland.  He warned that Iranian Holocaust denial is an “additional reminder that such people must not be allowed to possess any sort of capability to develop lethal weapons.” (JNS, Sept. 20, 2022)
 
“Historical events should be investigated by researchers and historians. There are some signs that it happened. If so, they should allow it to be investigated and researched.” – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on 60 Minutes with Leslie Stahl.  She asked him if he believes that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.  (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 19, 2022)
 
“They [J Street] agree that I have a unique lens and perspective on what is happening in Palestine. We have a good working relationship, but they know that … I don’t believe there is a pathway for a two-state [solution] with the apartheid system that is happening in Israel right now. We need to change our policies when it comes to the State of Israel. We desperately need to look at it [through] a different lens.” – US Congresswoman Rashid Tlaib (D-Mich.) in an interview with Al Jazeera.  (JNS, Sept. 19, 2022)
 
“Missing from Ms. Kay’s excellent article on racist Laith Marouf, whose barrage of mostly antisemitic hate attacks were blatantly available to the public, and whose organization the Community Media Advocacy Centre received hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money was “hiding in plain sight” for over six years.” – CIJR co-Chairman, Toronto Division Doris Strub Epstein in a letter to the editor.  She responded to Barbara Kay’s article titled “A Welcome Probe into the Marouf Affair.”  (National Post, Sept. 17, 2022)
 
“The minute even a small fraction of what those border towns deal with every day is brought to their front door, they go berserk, and they’re so upset that this is happening.  And it just shows you that their virtue-signaling is a fraud.”– Florida Governor Ron Desantis.  He slammed Democrats and the “sanctuary jurisdictions” they run for going “berserk” over his move to ship dozens of migrants out of his state to Martha’s Vineyard — and accused them of engaging in phony “virtue signaling.” (NY Post, Sept. 16, 2022)
 
‘The border is secure,” Vice President Kamala Harris lied to the nation on “Meet the Press.” Asked to justify that claim, all she could offer was: “in that is a priority for any nation, including ours and our administration.” She followed by admitting “There are still a lot of problems that we are trying to fix,” but pinned those on “the deterioration that happened over the last four years.” Meaning: It’s Trump’s fault!” NY Post news brief.  (NY Post, Sept. 13, 2022)
 
“Walter Kimbrough alleges that Purdue’s near-perfect record of graduates repaying their student loans is due not to their character but to their “wealth” and “privilege.” But if our students were really so rich, they wouldn’t have borrowed in the first place. The biggest reason they honor their obligations is that they were more likely to study, rigorously, in a discipline valued in the marketplace. More than two-thirds of today’s Boilermakers graduate with a STEM-related degree, and many others are in fields like hospitality or supply-chain management. The average 2021 graduate started at a salary of $62,452. … Purdue is responding to the urgent calls for more American engineers and technologists. Even if it were valid, the criticism wouldn’t mean that Purdue should have raised its tuition steadily, as schools like those Mr. Kimbrough led do. Nor would it justify the unfair, fiscally indefensible and antidemocratic policy of federal debt “cancellation.” — Mitch Daniels, President, Purdue University in a letter to the editor. He responded to Mr. Kimbrough’s article titled “Student Loans and the National Debt.”  (WSJ, Sept. 12, 2022)
 
“Since China signed the Paris pact, its coal-fired power capacity has increased by some 185 gigawatts, S&P Global Commodity Insights estimated earlier this summer. The U.S. has decreased its coal capacity by about 80 gigawatts since late 2015. … The reason for China’s coal boom is obvious: The Communist Party’s priority is economic growth, higher living standards, and becoming the world’s leading power. Carbon emissions are an afterthought, and promises of future reductions are the compliment Chinese vice pays to Western virtue signalers.” – Editorial board.  (WSJ, Sept. 12, 2022)
 
“Free speech used to be a sacred principle of the left — this was the side that gave a voice to the voiceless and challenged the status quo. Free and open debate was the route to progress. In recent years, though, a large and vocal section of the left has abandoned this doctrine. Even the term “free speech” has itself become a contentious phrase that is considered on a par with “cancel culture”: an eye-roll-worthy rightwing obsession that is a non-issue at best, or a cover for bigotry at worst. So-called “free speech warriors” are stuffy, gammon-faced and probably racist — the kind of people whose opinions can safely be ignored.”  —  columnist Jemima Kelly.   (Financial Times, Sept. 17, 2022)

SHORT TAKES


JORDAN’S KING MEETS LAPID AT UN AFTER ACCUSING ISRAEL OF PLACING CHRISTIANITY ‘UNDER FIRE’ IN JERUSALEM (NYC) — In his address to the UN General Assembly, Jordanian King Abdullah II warned Israel about breaking the status quo in Jerusalem. Lapid later spoke with the Jordanian King about the need for calming the situation on the ground and halting terrorism ahead of the upcoming Jewish holidays. He emphasized that Israel will not stand idly by and will fight terrorism directed against it in all its forms, and will not allow harm to the security of its citizens. (WIN, Sept. 20, 2022)
 
ISRAEL WARNS JEWS AT RISK OF BEING ATTACKED BY IRAN AND ISIS ON OVERSEAS TRIPS (Jerusalem) — The Counter-Terror Division of the Prime Minister’s Office issued a travel warning for the upcoming holidays, telling Israelis to be wary of potential terror attacks by Iran or ISIS. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 19, 2022)BOOKING.COM TO ADD WARNINGS TO LISTINGS IN JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN JUDEA AND SAMARIA (Amsterdam) — The online travel agency Booking.com announced plans to add warnings to listings for properties located in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.  According to the report, Booking.com will caution customers reserving such accommodations that they are traveling to a “disputed, conflict-affected” area that “may pose greater risks.” (JNS, Sept. 20, 2022)
 
TURKEY’S ERDOGAN TELLS U.S. JEWISH LEADERS HE PLANS TO VISIT ISRAEL (NYC) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a group of Jewish leaders in New York at the UN General Assembly that he plans to visit Israel, another sign that he is intent on resetting a long-troubled relationship. Erdogan also told a room full of leaders of American Jewish organizations that antisemitism is a “crime against humanity.”. (Times of Israel, Sept. 20, 2022)
 
WHO IS A JEW? 70% OF JEWISH ISRAELIS SAY PATRILINEAL DESCENT DOESN’T COUNT (Jerusalem) — 70% of Jews in Israel don’t accept that someone can be Jewish by patrilineal descent, according to a newly released poll by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI). The poll is the IDI’s biennial statistical report on religion and state and comes ahead of an annual conference. It serves as an in-depth look at the balance between religion and state that is so central to Israel and Israeli society. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 20, 2022)
 
JEWISH AGENCY IN RUSSIA STOPS SHARING INFORMATION WITH ISRAELI OFFICE (Moscow) — The Jewish Agency is abiding by Russian information laws and has not shared data about aliyah applicants with the main office in Israel since September 14. The Jewish Agency’s offices in Russia are in the midst of establishing a local call center that will serve those interested in making aliyah, instead of the service provided by the agency’s Global Center in Jerusalem. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 19, 2022)
 
ISRAELI ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNCOVER EARLIEST KNOWN USE OF OPIUM IN THE ANCIENT WORLD (Central Israel) — Call it “CSI: Ancient World.” Using crime-scene forensics techniques, a multi-discipline team of scientists and archaeologists has identified the earliest evidence of opium use in the ancient world. Through residue analysis of 14th century BCE vessels excavated in a burial pit at central Israel’s Tel Yehud, the team uncovered what is likely the first physical evidence of the use of a psychoactive drug in the world. (Times of Israel, Sept. 20, 2022)

ISRAELI HIGH SCHOOLER WINS SILVER IN INT’L COMPUTER COMPETITION(Jerusalem) — A student at the Jerusalem College of Technology’s Torah U’Mada Yeshiva High School won a silver medal in the world’s most prestigious computer science competition for high school students. Eitan Elbaum, 17, was one of four Israelis participating in this year’s International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI), held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia last month. A total of 346 students from 90 countries took part. (JNS, Sept. 19, 2022)

ISRAEL’S POPULATION CLIMBS TOWARD 10 MILLION MARK, STATISTICS BUREAU SAYS (Jerusalem) — According to the statistics, 9.593 million people live in the country. Of those, 7.069 million (74 percent) are Jewish, 2.026 million (21%) are Arab and 498,000 (5%) are neither. The government agency said the population was expected to reach 10 million by the end of 2024, around 15 million by 2048, and 20 million by the end of 2065. (Times of Israel, Sept. 20, 2022)
 
NEW RESEARCH PROJECT EXAMINES HOW SHABBAT DINNER CAN BUILD SOCIAL CONNECTIONS (Washington) — A new research project announced last week will study how Shabbat dinners can be used as a tool to build social connections, decrease feelings of loneliness and help humans flourish. The initiative is supported by the Templeton World Charity Foundation and led by the Collaborative for Applied Studies in Jewish Education (CASJE) at George Washington University in partnership with OneTable, a national nonprofit that helps young adults find and share Shabbat dinners with others. (JNS, Sept. 19, 2022)
 
FIRST-EVER CERTIFICATE OF JEWISH ANCESTRY CONNECTS DESCENDANTS OF FORCED CONVERTS TO STOLEN PAST (NYC) — Millions of descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, whose ancestors were forcibly converted from the 14th Century onwards, can now apply for a Certificate of Sephardic Ancestry.  The initiative was launched by the American Sephardic Federation’s Institute of Jewish Experience, Reconectar, which helps descendants of Spanish and Portuguese Jewish communities reconnect with the Jewish people, and Genie Milgrom, an author, researcher, and genealogist. Recent research shows that as many as 200 million people, mainly in Latin and North America and Europe, have “significant Jewish ancestry” dating back to the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal. (JNS, Sept. 19, 2022)
 
ANTISEMITIC QATARI DIPLOMAT LOSES BID FOR KEY UN HUMAN RIGHTS POST (Geneva) — Qatar’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Hend Al-Muftah lost her bid to become chair of the upcoming UN Forum on Human Rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law, in wake of an outcry over her tweets calling Jews “our enemies” and gays “disgusting.” Instead, Patricia Hermanns, the ambassador of the Bahamas, was appointed to the post. Al-Muftah’s long record of antisemitic and homophobic tweets were exposed by UN Watch, an independent human rights monitoring organization based in Geneva. (United With Israel, Sept. 20, 2022)
 
LUFTHANSA ADOPTS IHRA ANTISEMITISM DEFINITION 4 MONTHS AFTER BOOTING JEWS FROM PLANE (Berlin) — Germany’s flagship airline has joined with a major American Jewish advocacy organization to combat global antisemitism, four months after igniting a scandal when its agents barred dozens of Jews from boarding a plane in Frankfurt. Under the terms of the partnership, American Jewish Committee staffers will train employees of the Lufthansa Group to identify and respond to antisemitism. The airline is also joining dozens of countries, states, and companies that have adopted a specific definition of antisemitism to guide their own activities known as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition. (Times of Israel, Sept. 19, 2022)
 
FOREIGN DESK: BEWARE PUTIN’S NEXT MOVE ( Moscow) — Vladimir Putin and Russia deserve to be humiliated on an epic scale,” and “that’s just what they’re getting,” cheers National Review’s Jim Geraghty. But the Russian prez “likely thinks that his forces are losing because of” NATO aid to Ukraine and “his best shot of neutralizing NATO is to freeze central Europe this winter. Even if the Germans, Italians, French, and Poles aren’t freezing in their apartments,” their “factories will grind to a halt under skyrocketing energy prices.” Then they’ll “be ready to force territorial concessions upon Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine.” Is Team Biden “prepared for all-out energy war in Europe?” Its “track record is not encouraging.” It “wants to stand at arm’s length from” the Ukrainian president “when the war is going badly or stuck in a stalemate, but hugs him the moment the Ukrainians start winning again.” (NY Post, Sept.12, 2022)

US MILITARY BASE IN SYRIA TARGETED IN FAILED ROCKET ATTACK(Northeast Syria) — A rocket attack targeting the US military’s Green Village base in northeast Syria failed to hit US or coalition forces, or any equipment. What do we know about the strike? Three 107 mm rockets targeted the base on Sunday and a fourth rocket along with rocket tubes was found at the launch point, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away, the command said in a statement. The Green Village base was targeted last month in violence between the US military and Iran-backed militants leaving at least one US military service member in Syria with a minor injury. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 19, 2022)  

 REPUBLICAN: CLOSE THE BORDER, SAVE LIVES (Washington) —  Contra President Biden’s Philly speech, “the greatest source of lawlessness in America isn’t Republicans,” thunders Sen. Marco Rubio at Fox News, “it’s the southern border, where the president’s failed policies are allowing drug dealers to feed the worst overdose crisis in our country’s history.” In 2021, “more than 100,000 Americans died of drug overdoses,” many “from deadly fentanyl . . . smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.” Indeed, “fentanyl is now the leading cause of death among adults aged 18-45.” Donald Trump “worked to secure the border” and saw fewer “overdose deaths between 2017 and 2018”; “Biden and his fellow Democrats must stop undermining border security.” “How many more” OD deaths “are needed before Biden and fellow Democrats do what is necessary.”  (NY Post, Sept.12, 2022)
 
SCHOOLS BEAT: UNIONS,ADL PUSH ANTISEMITISM (Washington) — Antisemitism in US education “has been primarily associated with the demonization of Israel” at colleges but efforts to “delegitimize the Jewish state are now moving” to K-12 public schools, “aided and abetted by teachers unions and normalized by mainstream Jewish groups,” warns Irit Tratt at Jewish News Syndicate. Some union locals back the BDS movement and a curriculum that falsely portrays Israel as a “colonial settler state” founded via “genocide,” yet American Federation of Teachers boss Randi Weingarten (who last year slammed Jews as “part of the ownership class”) has remained largely silent. Meanwhile, the Anti-Defamation League “is peddling intersectional material steeped in critical race theory, along with praise for anti-Semitic activists, to thousands of educators.” (NY Post, Sept.12, 2022)
 
KING CHARLES RESCHEDULES MEETING WITH CHIEF RABBI TO ACCOMMODATE THE ONSET OF SABBATH (London)King Charles III rescheduled a meeting with faith leaders on Friday evening so that British Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis could return to his synagogue in time for Shabbat. The move was made on Buckingham Palace’s own initiative, and not at the request of the chief rabbi’s office. The Chief Rabbi was one of several high-profile religious figures to have been invited to the palace to meet the new king on Friday at 6 p.m. But the timing would have meant that Rabbi Mirvis would likely not have made it back for prayers at his own synagogue in north London, with the sabbath beginning less than an hour later at 6.59 p.m. (WIN, Sept. 20, 2022)

IRAN DROPS DEMAND THAT IRGC BE REMOVED FROM US TERRORISM LIST (Tehran) — A senior Biden administration official revealed that Iran’s response earlier this week to a draft nuclear agreement proposed by the EU made no mention of Tehran’s previously firm position on the IRGC. Another source told CNN that while a deal was “closer than it was two weeks ago, the outcome [is] uncertain as some gaps remain. [U.S.] President [Joe] Biden will only approve a deal that meets our national security interests.”  (WIN, Aug. 21, 2022)
 
PACKED ISRAELI BUS IN SAMARIA TARGETED BY GUNFIRE FROM PALESTINIAN VILLAGE (Judea and Samaria)–Suspected Palestinian terrorists fired on a crowded Israeli bus in Judea and Samaria shortly after another incident in which three Arab women in possession of a submachine gun and a suicide note were arrested at a checkpoint. The bus was traveling along the north-south Route 60 highway when it was fired upon from the Palestinian village of Silwad, which is located near the Jewish community of Ofra. No casualties were reported. (United With Israel, Aug. 21, 2022)
 

FOR FURTHER REFERENCE


Haredi MK Finds Himself Debating Maimonides in TV InterviewJudah Ari Gross, Times of Israel, Sept. 18, 2022 The head of the Haredi United Torah Judaism party, Moshe Gafni, found himself debating an unlikely opponent on Saturday night television: famed medieval rabbi Moses ben Maimon, more commonly known as “Maimonides” or by the Hebrew acronym “Rambam.”
 
WATCH: Is US Now Listening to Israel’s Opinion On Iran?WIN, Sept. 19, 2022Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shares his views on the U.S.-Israel relationship with Israel National News at Israel Heritage Foundation event in New York City.

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