Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
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Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW”

MEDIA – OCRITIES OF THE WEEK

 

“David’s Sling” (Hebrew designation “Sharvit Ksamim”) is an Israeli air defense system. In this photo: an interceptor missile is launched in the final December 2015, which ended successfuly with the interceptor destroying its target. The Israeli Missile Defense Agency declared the system “operational” and the Israeli Air Defense Command started to assimilate “Sharvit Ksmaim” (Magic Wand). (Wikipedia)

The Republicans Who Embraced Nihilism:  Editorial, NY Times, Dec. 11, 2020

“What makes this entire episode so sad is that the nation needs a vibrant, honest, patriotic opposition party. A party that argues in good faith to win more votes the next time around. Many Republicans, particularly at the state and local level, stood tall and proud against the worst instincts of the national party. The health of a democracy rests on public confidence that elections are free and fair. Questioning the integrity of an election is a matter of the utmost seriousness. By doing so without offering any evidence, Mr. Paxton and his collaborators have disgraced themselves. Attorneys general are sworn to uphold the rule of law. … But the incendiaries are playing a dangerous game. They are battering public trust and raising doubts about the legitimacy of future elections. Most of it is political theater: Mr. Biden’s decisive victory is difficult to overturn. But a great many voters trust their political leaders, they don’t expect to be lied to, they aren’t in on the grift. … ”

The ‘Trump Won’ Farce Isn’t Funny Anymore:  Jamelle Boule, NYTimes, Dec. 11, 2020

“the Republican Party, or much of it, has abandoned whatever commitment to electoral democracy it had to begin with. That it views defeat on its face as illegitimate, a product of fraud concocted by opponents who don’t deserve to hold power. That it is fully the party of minority rule, committed to the idea that a vote doesn’t count if it isn’t for its candidates, and that if democracy won’t serve its partisan and ideological interests, then so much for democracy. None of this is new — there is a whole tradition of reactionary, counter-majoritarian thought in American politics to which the conservative movement is heir — but it is the first time since the 1850s that these ideas have nearly captured an entire political party. And while the future is unwritten, the events of the past month make me worry that we’re following a script the climax of which requires a disaster.”
 

  WEEKLY QUOTES

“Until we open up the economy, I want businesses to receive oxygen and, therefore, we are doing two things: First, the Finance Minister will bring a plan for additional grants for businesses and second, we hear from the Finance Ministry that they have lifted almost all of the restrictions on giving state-guaranteed loans to businesses.” – Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu on his government’s upcoming economic plan.  (Prime Minister’s Office, Dec. 15, 2020)“The Americans were trying for months to add the missile issue (to the nuclear talks) and this was rejected. (President Donald) Trump was uninformed and did not know about the matter, but Mr. Biden is well aware of the details of the deal. I have not heard Biden say that we have to reach another agreement in order to return to the nuclear deal, that is what Trump says,” — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at a news conference.  The Iranian president said that Tehran’s missile programme was non-negotiable and that U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden is “well aware of it”. (Reuters, Dec. 12, 2020)

“It’s now a country with a totalitarian, left-of-center press, and a judiciary that is politically biased by or intimidated by the left, where, because of the pusillanimity of the Supreme Court, it’s now the law that elections may be rigged with no oversight, except within the state where the rigging occurred. With a bench that is incapacitated in the most politically important matters, Madison’s magnificent triumvirate of equal branches of government will degenerate into a two-legged stool, in which the president will be a virtual dictator when his party controls the Congress, and he will be constantly vulnerable to harassment and threat of almost capricious removal when his opponents control the Congress.” – columnist Conrad Black reflecting on the Supreme Court’s defusal to hear Texas and 17 other states’ suit against four states (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) that were alleged not to have conducted fair presidential elections.  The court claimed that Texas had no legal standing in the matter. (Epoch Times, Dec. 14, 2020)

“Black life cannot wait. Creating thriving conditions for Black communities in the 21st century cannot be put on pause. As the organization leading the largest global social justice movement, we demand a seat at the table. To ignore us — and the 64,000 of you who have signed our petition — is to ignore our generation’s most pressing demands for transformative justice. @joebiden @kamalaharris we are waiting.” – Black Lives Matter spokespeople wrote in a letter requesting a meeting with VP Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. (NYPost,Dec. 11, 2020)

“At a time when large numbers of young people in Britain, Canada and the United States are embracing socialism, the Crown plays into the misconceived notion that her free-market policies made Britain worse off than when she came to power. That is false. While Britain experienced a deep recession in the early 1980s, it was brought about by the punishing interest rates needed to control inflation that had peaked at 25 per cent in the late 1970s. Mrs. Thatcher’s moves to cut public spending and privatize decrepit state-owned industries caused short-term pain, to be sure. But they paved the way for the economic revival that lifted Britain out of its decades-long funk, when it was reduced to relying on loans from the International Monetary Fund. Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess,” she famously warned in a 1976 interview. “They always run out of other people’s money.” – columnist Konrad Yakabuski regarding British PM Margaret Thatcher.  He notes how it was “hip to hate” her among the high school and college crowd, and still is today.  (Globe and Mail, Dec. 5, 2020)

  SHORT TAKES

ISRAEL, BHUTAN ESTABLISH DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS (Manama) — Israel and the Kingdom of Bhutan established full diplomatic relations, in the latest of a series of normalization deals to be signed by the Jewish state. Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said the agreement came after secret contacts and reciprocal with Bhutan in recent years, in a process led by the foreign ministry. (United With Israel, Dec. 13, 2020)

INTERCEPT TESTS OF DAVID’S SLING SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED (Jerusalem) — The Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO) of the Directorate for Defense R&D in the Ministry of Defense, together with the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA), have successfully completed a series of live-fire intercept tests of the David’s Sling weapon system, against threat-representative cruise and ballistic missiles. The tests conducted were led by Rafael Advanced Systems from a testing site in central Israel, with the participation of the Israel Air Force and Navy. This successful series is a critical milestone in the augmentation of Israel’s operational capabilities in defending itself against current and future threats. (Arutz Sheva, Dec. 15, 2020)

$10 BILLION IN INVESTMENTS: ISRAELI COMPANIES SHATTER RECORDS, DESPITE PANDEMIC (Jerusalem) — Despite the global coronavirus pandemic, Israeli companies raised a record amount of capital in 2020, according to a new report by the NGO Start-Up Nation Central (SNC).  As of December, Israeli companies had raised $9.5 billion in capital, putting 2020 on course to break the $10 billion threshold for the first time—a 20 percent increase over the $7.7 billion raised by Israeli companies in all of 2019. The amount of capital already raised is nearly 20 percent more than the $7.7 billion, and well above the amount of high-tech investment recorded this year in Europe, Asia or the United States, the report notes. (United With Israel, Dec.13, 2020)

JEFFREY ROSEN TO BECOME ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL AFTER BARR EXITS (Washington) — Speaking just weeks ago about combating anti-Semitism, Jeffrey Adam Rosen, the deputy attorney general, quoted the ancient Rabbi Tarfon: “It is not incumbent on you to complete the work, but neither can you desist from doing it.” Now Rosen is set to complete William Barr’s work as attorney general until the end of President Donald Trump’s term in January. Trump said on Twitter that Barr will leave his post on Dec. 23 and Rosen would be acting attorney general. (JTA, Dec. 14, 2020)

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SANCTIONS 2 TOP IRANIAN SPIES IT BLAMES FOR ROBERT LEVINSON’S ABDUCTION (Washington) — The Trump administration named and sanctioned two top Iranian spies it says are responsible for the abduction and death in custody of Robert Levinson, the Jewish-American former FBI agent who went missing in 2007. The sanctions were the first formal U.S. allegation that Iranian officials were involved in the abduction of Levinson on Iran’s Kish Island. Levinson, 58 at the time, was on what was later revealed to be a rogue CIA operation. (JTA, Dec. 14, 2020)

ANTI-ISRAEL CONGRESSWOMAN RASHIDA TLAIB’S HANUKKAH GREETINGS TWEET MEETS SKEPTICAL RESPONSE (Washington) — Anti-Israel Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib met with an audience of skeptics on Twitter when she posted greetings for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, with several respondents asking whether she was aware that the festival marks the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem during the Second Century CE. (Algemeiner, Dec.11, 2020)

‘WE ARE SCARED’: CHINA CRACKS DOWN ON JUDAISM, CHANUKAH CELEBRATED IN SECRET (Beijing) — The government of China has cracked down on “unapproved religion” in recent years, forcing the country’s small Jewish community to observe their religion in hiding. “Every time we celebrate, we are scared,” said one member of the Kaifeng Jewish community. He spoke with The Telegraph on the condition of anonymity due to the threat of government retaliation. He lights Chanukah candles in secret, worried that Chinese officials will visit him again as they have on previous religious occasions. (WIN, Dec. 15, 2020)

GERMAN CULTURAL LEADERS WARN AGAINST BAN ON ISRAEL SANCTIONS MOVEMENT (Berlin) — At a news conference in Berlin, the directors of 32 institutions released an open letter in which they rejected the sanctions movement. “At the same time,” the letter added, “we consider the logic of a counter-boycott, triggered by the parliamentary anti-B.D.S. resolution, to be dangerous.” They were referring to a resolution passed by the German Parliament in May 2019 that designated the sanctions campaign as anti-Semitic. The advisory declaration called on all Germany’s states and municipalities to deny public funding to any institution that “actively supports” the movement or questions the right of the state of Israel to exist. (NYTimes, Dec. 11, 2020)

DUTCH GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES CREATION OF ANTISEMITISM TSAR TO COMBAT RISING JEW-HATRED(Amsterdam) — Ferd Grapperhaus — the Dutch justice minister — said that the new post instituted to combat antisemitism was part of an overall strengthening of the government’s official approach toward dealing with threats, discrimination, and intimidation. Grapperhaus observed that social media had made antisemitism more visible and increased its reach. (Algemeiner, Dec. 14, 2020)

AFTER ANTISEMITIC OUTRAGES, AUSTRIAN CITY OF GRAZ UNVEILS PLAN TO COMBAT JEW-HATRED (Graz) — The southern Austrian city of Graz has unveiled a plan to combat antisemitism in the wake of two alarming incidents targeting Jews last summer. On Aug. 19, the synagogue in Graz was daubed with the slogan “Free Palestine,” following which Jewish community President Elie Rosen warned of a rise in “left-wing and anti-Israel antisemitism.” Two days later, Rosen was himself attacked by an assailant wielding a wooden club. Rosen managed to escape the attacker unhurt. (Algemeiner, Dec. 11, 2020)

CANADIAN JEWISH NEWS TO RELAUNCH NEXT MONTH AS ONLINE PUBLICATION (Montreal) — The leadership of Canada’s 60-year-old flagship national Jewish newspaper confirmed Monday that it will attempt a revival next month, according to a report in the Canadian Jewish Record, a free online volunteer Jewish news website launched in May to fill the void left by The CJN’s absence. The resurrected CJN will be online only and seek to attract a younger generation of readers through an array of products, including podcasts, electronic newsletters, occasional print magazines, and a new focus on advertising and fundraising made possible by the publication’s new tax-exempt status. (JTA, Dec. 15, 2020)

MONTREAL JEWISH NURSING HOME’S RESIDENTS AND STAFF WILL BE FIRST IN QUEBEC TO GET COVID-19 VACCINE (Montreal) –– Among the first Canadians to receive the COVID-19 vaccine were residents and staff at a Jewish nursing home where dozens of residents have died of the disease. The Donald Berman Maimonides Geriatric Centre received two boxes of 975 doses each of the Pfizer vaccine. That’s more than 3% of the 30,000 initial doses that Canada is due to receive imminently. (JTA, Dec. 11, 2020)

ELECTORS IN 7 STATES CAST DUELING VOTES FOR TRUMP(Washington) — Republican electors in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico cast alternative slates of votes for President Donald Trump on Dec. 14, as the certified Democrat electors in the same states cast votes for former Vice President Joe Biden. Democrats successfully executed the same gambit in Hawaii in 1960 by casting an alternative set of votes for John F. Kennedy after the state’s governor certified the electors for Richard Nixon. President Donald Trump and allied third parties are pursuing legal challenges to the election in all of the states involved, including a lawsuit filed in New Mexico on the same day as the Electoral College vote. (Epoch Times, Dec. 15, 2020)

BIN LADEN SPOKESMAN RETURNS TO U.K. (London) — Osama bin Laden’s former spokesman Adel Abdel Bary, 60, was flown back to the U.K. Friday after spending 21 years in prison over his involvement in the al-Qaida bomb attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in which 224 people were killed. He is free to roam the streets without any formal restrictions, such as electronic tagging and curfews, which normally apply to freed terrorists, because the sentence was served in the U.S. (Ottawa Citizen, Dec. 12, 2020)

LEBANON’S CARETAKER PM AND EX-MINISTERS CHARGED OVER BEIRUT BLAST (Beirut) — A prosecutor has charged Lebanon’s acting prime minister and three former ministers in connection with the port blast that killed more than 200 people and disfigured the heart of Beirut, in a rare move against the country’s ruling elite. The charges come four months after the catastrophic explosion on 4 August and amid fears that there has been little progress in the investigation into what caused it. Caretaker PM, Hassan Diab, and former ministers Ali Hassan Khalil, Ghazi Zaiter and Youssef Fenianos were accused of failing to respond to warnings ahead of the disaster that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored unsafely at the port posed a growing danger to residents. (The Guardian, Dec. 10, 2020)

FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

US Elections: ‘It’s Not Over Yet’:  Arutz Sheva, Dec. 15, 2020 Speaking on Radio 103FM, Israeli-American pro-Trump activist Joe Zevuloni discussed some of the latest developments in efforts to expose fraud during the US presidential election, as well as pathways that still remain open for Trump to remain in office.

Moroccan Schools Teach Jewish History in Groundbreaking First Jonathan Shamir, Haaretz, Dec. 10, 2020 When coronavirus-stricken schools in Morocco belatedly opened their doors in November, the royal court had a surprise.

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