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Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW” (April 21, 2021)

5Concordia University Faculty Association (CUFA) Council to consider and pass a motion opposing the IHRA definition of antisemitism at its upcoming meeting to be held on Wed. April 21st, at 13h00 on Zoom.  Invited, as well are Concordia full-time faculty members interested in this issue.  Isranet, Apr. 20, 2021This email was written and circulated by Concordia Prof Kevin Gould (Geography, Planning and Environment):“A group of CUFA members are trying to encourage other members to attend the next meeting, which is today, Wednesday 21 April at 1pm.  We are asking for support to pass a motion which opposes the IHRA definition.  This is the general meeting, and if we can get 100 people to attend, then decisions can be made by the rank and file.  Would you be willing to attend the meeting and to support us on this?  Do you know of others who might be willing to attend? … The Zoom link to the meeting is https://zoom.us/j/94052792425?pwd=M05vUFUvK1lLNFJGeGh6b3d6Q2ZzQT09#success

MEDIA-OCRITIES OF THE WEEK
We Need a High Wall With a Big Gate on the Southern Border:  Thomas L. Friedman, NY Times, Apr. 13, 2021“this latest flood of illegal immigrants and asylum-seekers — more than 170,000 apprehended in March alone, including thousands of children, mostly fleeing chaos in Central America — only reinforces my view that the right border policy is a high wall with a big gate.
… if all we do is focus, as many on the left do, on the evils of a wall and ignore the principles of a big gate — that would-be immigrants and asylum-seekers need to get in line, ring our doorbell and enter legally, and those who don’t should be quickly evicted — we will also lose out on the huge benefits of immigration.” [Echoes of former US President Donald Trump]
Afghan Women Fear the Worst, Whether War or Peace Lies Ahead:  Thomas Gibbons-Neff, Fatima Faizi and Najim Rahim, NY Times, Apr. 18, 2021“I remember when Americans came and they said that they will not leave us alone, and that Afghanistan will be free of oppression, and will be free of war and women’s rights will be protected,” said Shahida Hussain, an activist in Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar Province, where the Taliban first rose and now control large stretches of territory. “Now it looks like it was just slogans.…”It was my dream to work in a government office,” aid Ms. Ahmadi, 27, who graduated from Kunduz University two years ago before moving to a Taliban-controlled village with her husband.  “But I will take my dream to the grave.”

Trump’s Killing Spree Continues:  Elizabeth Bruenig, NY Times, Apr. 15, 2021“…Arizona’s pause in executions may be reaching an end–not because someone has produced a cruelty-free method of killing a person but because the state is following the blueprint announced by the Trump administration when it pushed through 13 federal executions in its final months. [If] Arizona’s death row [resumes killing] Mr. Barr and Mr. Trump showed [it] the way.”

‘God Knows What’s Going to Happen’: Minneapolis Braces for Verdict in Floyd’s Death Tim Arango, NY Times, Apr. 20, 2021

“If Mr. Chauvin is found guilty, it would certainly bring a sense of relief to many in the [Minneapolis] community… [but] It’s not a one-and-done thing,” Mr. Stamshror-LLott said. “Even if he’s found guilty, that is like literally scraping at the very beginning of all the justice reform that needs to happen, from the schools to the prison system, to the health care system, to everything n between.  Yes, it would be a victory, but it wouldn’t mean the system is changed.”

 WEEKLY QUOTES
 
“A tiny nation the size of New Jersey has emerged in the span of a few decades as a global power and a global innovator, as a startup nation and as a water superpower. The story of Israel’s renaissance takes on special meaning in our present moment; at a time when our own country is reeling from the cataclysm of COVID-19, Israel reminds us that it is possible to overcome. It is possible to emerge stronger than ever. And it is possible, in the words of President Joe Biden, to build back better.” — US Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) taking to the floor of the US House of Representatives Thursday to mark Israel’s Independence Day.  (Algemeiner, Apr. 16, 2021)
 
“Iran is undermining stability in the entire Middle East and the international community must act to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. Not today and not in the future.” — Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi (Blue and White) meeting with British Minister for the Cabinet Office Michael Gove, who is also responsible for the UK government response to coronavirus. The meeting took place at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, during Gove’s short working visit to Israel. (Arutz Sheva, Apr. 20, 2021)
 
“It’s as if My Pillow were accused of having some secret poison in its formula, and you couldn’t tell it by just looking at the pillow, and then somehow My Pillow said, we’re not going to give you our formula, we’re going to hide it from you. That’s what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to hide what they’re doing—at the same time that they’re trying to prevent you from entering the marketplace of ideas. ,,,They’re not only in the marketplace of ideas; they’re in the economic marketplace too. They’re to shut you out of being able to sell your products in stores. They’re trying to silence you, and they’re doing it as the government of the United States. That’s why I’m in this case.” — Constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz blasted Dominion, whose counting machines came under fire after the 2020 Presidential elections, for refusing to share its source code. Dershowitz explained why Dominion is guilty of violating the First Amendment Rights of Mike Lindell as well as the rights of the media to report the news. “My Pillow” is suing Dominion for $1.6 billion for violating their First Amendment Right.  (Gateway Pundit, Apr. 19, 2021)
 
“I heard our ambassador to the United Nations this week talk about our founding as fundamentally corrupt and flawed and not noble and good. I couldn’t disagree more…. Quite frankly, I think it’s disqualifying to have a UN ambassador who expresses a moral relativism and doesn’t understand the exceptional nature of the country in which we all live.” — former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo regarding U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield’s rebuke of the Constitution claiming it had the underpinnings of “white supremacy.”  (Newsmax, Apr. 18, 2021)
 
“I’ll give you that Congresswoman Waters may have given you something on appeal that may result in this whole trial being overturned.” — Judge Peter Cahill, the judge in the Chauvin trial, insinuating that inflammatory remarks by Representative Maxine Waters could lead to the trial being “overturned” on appeal. Waters had called for demonstrators to “get more confrontational” and protest in the streets if no guilty verdict was reached in the case.  (National Review, Apr. 19, 2021)
 
“What Maxine Waters did, coupled with the judge refusing to sequester the jury, will lead to the US Supreme Court ultimately reversing any conviction for Derek Chauvin.”  — Constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz tweeted.  (Twitter, Apr. 20, 2021)
 
“We’re not packing the court.  We are unpacking it.  Senator McConnel and the Republicans packed the court over the past couple of years. [By appointing right-leaning judges as opposed to left-leaning ones, as the Democrats would have done in the Republicans’ situation.]  This is a reaction to that.  It is a necessary step to the evolution of the court and I’m glad to co-sponsor it.” — Rep. Jerry Nadler, a co-sponsor of a bill to add four new justices to the Supreme Court, explains the reasoning behind the idea, using Orwellian language.  (Realclearpolitics, Apr. 15, 2021)
 
   SHORT TAKES
LIKUD LOSES KEY KNESSET VOTE, AS OPPONENTS SEEK TO REPLACE NETANYAHU (Jerusalem) — Israel’s ruling Likud Party lost a key Knesset vote, giving opponents of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a narrow majority in a newly formed Arrangements Committee. The committee sets the parliamentary agenda during the current interim period between an election and the forming of a formal coalition government. Likud had hoped that by achieving a majority within the committee it could pass new legislation to solve Israel’s protracted political crisis with a special direct popular vote for prime minister between Netanyahu and current opposition leader Yair Lapid—a vote Netanyahu would win according to most polls. Opponents of the prime minister can now block such legislation. (JNS, Apr. 20, 2021)
 
IRAN SAYS QUDS FORCE DEPUTY CHIEF DEAD OF A HEART ATTACK (Tehran) — The deputy commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards has died of a heart attack. Brig. Gen. Muhammad Hussein-Zada Hejazi, 65, worked directly under Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani until the latter was killed in a US drone strike last year. Hejazi was named by Israel in 2019 as the official responsible for an Iranian project to manufacture precision-guided missiles for the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. (Times of Israel, Apr. 20, 2021)
 
SUDAN ANNULS ITS ISRAEL BOYCOTT LAW (Khartoum) — The Sovereign Council and the cabinet of Sudan’s interim government gave its final approval to the annulment of the country’s Israel boycott law, which had prohibited the establishment of diplomatic ties with the Jewish state and forbid business relations between Israeli and Sudanese entities. The annulment approved on Monday is another step on the path to normalization, which began with a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the head of the Sovereignty Council of Sudan, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, in February 2020. (Jewish Journal, Apr. 20, 2021)
 
TAU INNOVATION TO GENERATE IMMEDIATE MELANOMA DIAGNOSIS SAVING MANY PATIENTS’ LIVES (Tel Aviv) — An innovative optical technology that can distinguish between different types of cancer — melanoma, which is considered extremely deadly – has been developed in the laboratory of Professor Abraham Katzir, from the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences at Tel Aviv University. The diagnosis is rapid, non-invasive, and causes no pain to the patient. This technology was tried successfully on about one hundred patients in a major hospital in Israel. (Jewish Press, Apr. 18, 2021)
 
ISRAEL’S UNIVERSITY OF HAIFA TO HELP DECODE THE LANGUAGE OF WHALES IN GLOBAL, MACHINE LEARNING RESEARCH PROJECT (Haifa) — The University of Haifa revealed details of the five-year study, in which it will work together with other institutions such as The City University of New York (CUNY), Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Imperial College London, and UC Berkeley. The project — the Cetacean Translation Initiative (CETI) — will take place in Dominica, in the Caribbean, and seeks to provide the first-ever blueprint of another animal’s language by using advanced machine learning and state-of-the-art, non-invasive robotics. (Algemeiner, Apr. 20, 2021)
 
MINIVAN DRIVER ARRESTED AFTER ‘HORRIFIC’ HIT-AND-RUN ASSAULT ON BROOKLYN HASIDIM (Brooklyn) — New York police have arrested the driver responsible for a deliberate hit-and-run attack Saturday on five Brooklyn Hasidim.  The minivan driver was caught on camera intentionally backing up into five pedestrians in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, striking the victims twice and initially lingering on the scene before ultimately speeding away. The victims were five male relatives ranging in age from 11 to 82, with the oldest individual requiring medical attention for a foot injury. (Algemeiner, Apr. 19, 2021)
 
AT J STREET EVENT, PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS SEEK CONDITIONS ON US AID TO ISRAEL, OTHERS PUSH BACK(Washington) — Speaking at the virtual J Street national conference on Monday, former Democratic presidential candidates Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) indicated that they were willing to place conditions on the aid Congress has promised Israel. Halie Soifer, CEO of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, drew a distinction between the opinions of Sanders and Warren with the rest of the Democratic Party, including others who spoke at the conference. (JNS, Apr. 16, 2021)
 
ABBAS TO ADDRESS J STREET CONFERENCE, THANK BIDEN(Washington) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will address the J Street conference on Sunday in a pre-recorded message. The conference will take place virtually and will be attended by 4,000. Abbas will reportedly thank President Joe Biden for resuming aid to the Palestinians. Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced $235 million in aid with two-thirds of it going to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). (WIN, Apr. 18, 2021)
 
DEREK CHAUVIN FOUND GUILTY ON ALL CHARGES IN DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD (Minneapolis) — Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of all three charges in the death of George Floyd. Jurors convicted Chauvin of second-degree murder, second-degree manslaughter, and third-degree murder. (Epoch Times, Apr. 20, 2021)
 
CAPITOL POLICE OFFICER BRIAN SICKNICK DIED OF NATURAL CAUSES, MEDICAL EXAMINER RULES (Washington) — U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who engaged with pro-Trump rioters during the Jan. 6 “insurrection,” died of natural causes the day after the attack, Washington, D.C.’s chief medical examiner announced Monday, after suffering two strokes.  Despite being sprayed with a chemical substance outside the Capitol, the report said he did not suffer an allergic reaction to the chemical irritants dispensed by rioters.  Nor was there evidence of internal or external injuries. [Media reports at the time insisted that pro-Trump rioters clubbed him to death with a fire extinguisher, apparently creating story out of thin air.]  (NPR, Apr. 19, 2021)
 
HEAD OF ELITE NYC SCHOOL DALTON RESIGNS AFTER PARENTS COMPLAIN ABOUT ‘OBSESSIVE’ AND ‘WILDLY INAPPROPRIATE’ ANTIRACISM AGENDA THAT INCLUDED REENACTMENTS OF ‘RACIST COPS’ IN SCIENCE CLASSES (NYC) — The head of the elite Manhattan school Dalton is stepping down after being slammed by parents for pushing an ‘obsessive’, antiracism agenda on students. Jim Best said he would see out the year at the $50,000-a-year institution then step down to pursue ‘other opportunities’. His resignation is in response to parents’ complaints that Dalton, like other prestigious private schools Grace Church and Brearley, is indoctrinating students with its woke agenda.  (Daily Mail, Apr. 17, 2021)
 
DEMOCRATS TO PROPOSE LEGISLATION EXPANDING THE SUPREME COURT (Washington) — Several House Democrats are set to unveil legislation to expand the number of justices on the Supreme Court. They include U.S. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts and U.S. Reps. Jerry Nadler and Mondaire Jones. Given Democrats’ control of the White House and Senate, the legislation could allow the party to supersede the court’s current conservative majority by “packing” the Court with liberal justices. (Fox News, Apr. 15, 2021)
 
  FOR FURTHER REFERENCE
 
WATCH: Former Saudi Ambassador To US Says Deal Won’t Stop Iran From Getting Nukes:  World Israel News, Apr. 20, 2021 — Former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the U.S. Prince Turki Al-Faisal said that he does not believe that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons, in an interview with Al-Arabiya Network on April 17.

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