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

MEDIA-OCRITIES OF THE WEEK

America Punishes Only a Certain Kind of Rebel:  Jamelle Bouie, NY Times, July 13, 2021“Trump was impeached for his leading role in he insurrection, but not convicted.. The stain of that second impeachment notwithstanding, he left office without sanction. He lives in freedom, … [he] still has the Republican Party in his thrall [and] now hails the Jan.6 insurrectionists as heroes…. We are not the only democracy to have had a corrupt authoritarian in high office. But we have had a hard time holding that person minimally accountable, much less keeping him out of contention for future office, which would have been accomplished had he been removed from the White House… When a perceived internal enemy is a threat to the established hierarchy, the state springs into action. But when the challenge is in defense of those hierarchies, the incentive often runs in the other direction… Trump leads a mass movement in defense of traditional hierarchies. His most fervent supporters tried to overturn American democracy in his name… But because Trump and his movement are essentially mainstream—because his political power weighs on the fortunes of both parties—he is insulated from the consequences of his actions…It almost doesn’t matter if Trump runs for president again. The damage has been done…the insurrection in itself is already fast becoming something of a ‘Lost Cause’… we should not underestimate the power and potency of that particular narrative.”

As the Press Weakens, So Does Democracy:  Charles M. Blow, NYTimes, July 18, 2021

“Democracy cannot survive without a common set of facts and a vibrant press to ferret them out and present them. Our democracy is in terrible danger… We are moving ever closer to a country where the corrupt can deal in the darkness without fear of being exposed to the light.” [Frederick Krantz: not a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but of the pot not even aware that it is the pot….]
 
How Big Spending Got Its Groove Back:  Paul Krugman, NY Times, July 15, 2021

“Clearly, the Republican descent into madness [lies about a stolen election and insane claims about critical race theory] is a bad thing. If you aren’t concerned for America’s future, you aren’t paying attention. But the craziness has, perversely, helped smooth the path for the Democrats’ economic and fiscal agenda. Oh, old-line senators are still mumbling about the usual denunciations of bigspendingsocialist-jobkillers, but the G.O.P.’s energy is focused on defeating imaginary satanic conspiracies, not blocking real Democratic spending plans…right now, it looks as if big spending is making a comeback—and it’s doing so for all the right reasons.”
 

                                       WEEKLY QUOTES
 
“Iran is the sugar daddy of Hamas. The 11-day war that Israel just fought, wasn’t just with Hamas.  Israel was fighting against Iranian weapons, Iranian money and Iranian trained terrorists, and everyone knows it.” – former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. Haley further urged the Biden administration to change course in its diplomatic approach to Iran. “There is never a time to sign a deal with the devil who wants to destroy America and Israel,” she said. (The Forward, July 18, 2021)
 
“Our position regarding the payment of the salaries and allowances of the prisoners and their families is firm. This is their [Palestinian terrorists’] right, and it is anchored in all the international conventions and treaties, because our prisoners are prisoners of a liberation movement and freedom fighters.” –  a July Facebook post from the PLO’s Prisoner Affairs Commission. Additionally, a July statement published in the PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida read, “Since [the start of] the Israeli threats and pressures on the banks that are active in Palestine, the position has been clear: We must continue to pay and to ensure the allowances of the prisoners and their family members.” (WIN, July 19, 2021)
 
“Ra’am affirms that “the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, with all its 144-dunums area, is a pure right of Muslims and no one else has any right in it, and that the Islamic movement and all our people inside the Palestinian interior and Al-Quds Al-Sharif will stand as an impenetrable dam against all attempts by extremists to impose a new fait accompli or any kind of division, temporal and spatial, inside the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.” – Mansour Abbas, a member of the Islamist Ra’am party in the Knesset and a member of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition, forcefully coming out against the approximately 1,800 Jews who visited the Temple Mount on Sunday to mark the day of Tisha B’Av. The term 144-dumans in Islamic lure refers to the Western Wall and the Western Wall plaza. (TPS, July 19, 2021)
 
“There are people [Democratic colleagues] who say you can’t be a progressive and support Israel.  I push back on that because I’ve been doing it for a decade.” — Daniel Hernandez, a 31-year-old Tucson lawmaker now running for Congress  in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional district. (Jewish Insider, July 20, 2021)
 
“Allow me to be clear: If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.” — Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to would-be Cuban and Haitian migrants hoping to come to the US illegally by boat, calling it a risk “not worth taking.” Mayorkas’ comments came amid unrest in Cuba and Haiti. In Cuba, citizens have been taking part in the biggest anti-government protests against the country’s Communist regime in years. Meanwhile, the president of Haiti was killed last week in an assassination shrouded in mystery and confusion. (Yahoo News, July 14, 2021)
 
“No one wants to see endless wars ended more than those who have actually served in them, but we are not ending this war—we are ending U.S. involvement in it… we will also look back and regret the haughty way in which we seem to be doing this…what I see now, sadly, is the onset of what is going to be quite a brutal civil war.” — General David Petraeus, former Afghanistan commander on President Biden’s proposed withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan.  (New York Daily NewsJuly 18, 2021)

 Short Takes

LIKUD’S BARKAT HEADS TO WASHINGTON TO STOP PALESTINIAN CONSULATE OPENING (Washington) —  Likud MK Nir Barkat is on a mission: To stop the US from opening a mission to the Palestinians in JerusalemThe former mayor of Israel’s capital flew to the US to advance that cause, for meetings in New York and Washington with members of both houses of the US Congress and to appear in US media. US President Joe Biden has said he plans to keep his predecessor’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital intact. However, the Biden administration has also said it seeks to reopen the US Consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, which former US president Donald Trump ordered closed in 2018, after moving the US Embassy to Israel to the capital. The Likud MK argues that opening a consulate to a foreign entity – the Palestinian Authority – on Israel’s territory undermines its sovereignty in Jerusalem, and is a move towards dividing the capital. (Jerusalem Post, July 15, 2021)
 
ISRAEL, MOROCCO SIGN CYBER DEFENSE ACCORD (Jerusalem; Rabat) — The North African, Muslim nation of Morocco and Israel have signed a cyber security cooperation agreement. The accord formalizes operation cooperation, research and development, and the sharing of information and knowledge. It was signed this week at a ceremony in the Moroccan capital city of Rabat. (Jewish Press, July 15, 2021)
 
ISRAELI LAB: SOME EXISTING DRUGS COULD STOP COVID AT ALMOST 100% (Jerusalem) — Scientists from Jerusalem’s Hebrew University say they have identified 18 drugs that could potentially help treat, if not “cure,” people who develop COVID-19, according to Prof. Shy Arkin, a biochemist in the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Science. (Jerusalem Post, July 20, 2021)
 
MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGH: ISRAELI RESEARCHERS RESTORE SENSE OF TOUCH TO DAMAGED NERVES (Tel Aviv) –. In a medical breakthrough, researchers at Tel Aviv University restored the sense of touch to limbs that suffered severe nerve damage. A tiny sensor implanted in the limb, such as a finger, was connected to a healthy nerve. The sensor releases an electric charge that is transmitted to the undamaged nerve. When the injured finger touches something, the touch releases tension corresponding to the pressure applied to the device – weak tension for a weak touch and strong tension for a strong touch – just like in a normal sense of touch. (United With Israel, July 12, 2021)
 
FIRST IRANIAN DELEGATION TO VISIT ISRAEL ON ‘SOLIDARITY’ MISSION (Jerusalem) — A group of Iranians that include ex-patriates and former political prisoners, will arrive in Israel for a four-day visit and will meet with Israeli officials in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and several other locations near the borders with Syria and the Gaza Strip. The mission seeks to “rekindle millennia-old ties between the people of Iran and Israel in defiance of the Islamic Republic’s ongoing genocidal antisemitism,” stated iVOL, which organized of the delegation. (United With Israel, July 19, 2021)
 
BEN & JERRY’S BOYCOTTING JUDEA AND SAMARIA? NOT SO FAST (Vermont) — Is Ben & Jerry’s boycotting Judea and Samaria? The answer is yes and no, because there is more than one company named Ben & Jerry’s. The global corporation announced Monday that in would no longer sell its products in Judea and Samaria, but it currently is incapable of carrying out that boycott. Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in Israel is produced by an Israeli company, also named Ben & Jerry’s, which is licensed to produce the sweet dessert. This Israeli company, which operates out of Beer Tuvia, is not boycotting any part of Israel. Their license only expires at the end of 2022. Until then, Jews living in Judea and Samaria will continue to find Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in their stores. (Arutz Sheva, July 19, 2021)
 
AHMED JIBRIL, MILITANT PALESTINIAN LEADER BEHIND ATTACKS, DIES AT 84 (Syria) — Ahmed Jibril, 84, one of the most extreme of the Palestinian militants who opposed Israel in the 1970s and ’80s and the leader of a group that was responsible for a series of airplane hijackings, kidnappings and attacks, died of heart failure on July 7 in Damascus, Syria. Mr. Jibril was based in Syria, and in later years his forces supported Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, in the country’s civil war. (NY Times, July 13, 2021)
 
TOP CANADIAN JEWISH GROUP BLASTS REINSTATEMENT OF TORONTO SCHOOLS EMPLOYEE WHO CIRCULATED ANTI-ISRAEL MATERIAL (Toronto) – Bnai Brith Canada strongly criticized the Toronto school board for refusing to discipline a school employee who circulated virulent anti-Israel material. Javier Dávila, a Student Equity Program Advisor with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) sent emails to a local educators’ listserv that, the group said, called Israeli Jews “colonizers,” quoted Palestinian terrorists Laila Khaled and Ghassan Kanafani, included material justifying suicide bombings, and accused Israel of genocide. Despite substantial pushback, Dávila announced that he had been reinstated without discipline. (Algemeiner, July 18, 2021)
 
RIOTS IN LEBANON AS WEST CALLS FOR QUICK CABINET FORMATION (Tripoli) — Tension intensified in Lebanon with riots leaving more than two dozen people injured in Tripoli, including five soldiers who were attacked with a hand grenade. France, the European Union and the United States called on Lebanese politicians to urgently form a Cabinet and planned an international conference to help stabilize Lebanon after a series of crises. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said Lebanese leaders are responsible for solving “the current domestic, self-made crisis,” adding that it is urgent to form a new Cabinet quickly. He said that an agreement with the International Monetary Fund remains essential to rescue Lebanon from financial collapse. (69 News, July 16, 2021)

 

9 KILLED IN STRIKES ON SYRIA’S LAST REBEL ENCLAVE (Idlib Province) — The Syrian Civil Defence team that operates in opposition areas, known as White Helmets, said that Syrian guided missiles struck in Ibleen, a village in southern Idlib, killing a woman, her daughter and a child and injuring four others. In eastern Idlib, at least six civilians were killed, including a child, when rockets hit an area where a quarry is located near Foa. The White Helmets added that two children were among those killed. (The Tribune, July 15, 2021)
 
GRAPHIC VIDEO SHOWS TALIBAN EXECUTING UNARMED AFGHAN SPECIAL FORCES SOLDIERS (Kabul) — Taliban fighters executed nearly two dozen unarmed members of the Afghan special forces, mowing down the soldiers in a town market after they surrendered when they ran out of ammunition, shocking new video shows.  The video obtained by CNN shows the Afghan soldiers emerging from a building, after the Taliban called out, “Surrender, commandos, surrender,” in the town of Dawlat Abad in Faryab province, near the Afghanistan border with Turkmenistan, in June. Then gunfire erupts amid cries of “Allahu Akhbar” — “God is great.” A witness to the slaughter told CNN the commandos were gunned down in cold blood. (NY Post, July 13, 2021)
 

  FOR FURTHER REFERENCE
 
Interview:  Will Israel’s New Government Allow the Biden Administration to Divide Jerusalem?”:  Pulse of Israel, July 18, 2021 — Join me as I speak with Alex Traiman, editor of JNS.org regarding the very real danger that Israel’s current government might allow the Biden administration to implement policies that will in essence divide Jerusalem.
 
False, Far From Reality: Pegasus Developer On Reports Of Phone Hacking:  Munish Chandra Pandey, India Today, July 19, 2021 — Israeli cyber arms firm NSO, which developed the spyware Pegasus, has rubbished media reports which alleged that phones of journalists from across the world were hacked into and called the allegations “outrageous and far from reality.”

 

Ilhan Omar’s Antisemitism Poses A Moment Of Reckoning For Democrats John Hagee, Times of Israel, July 15, 2021 — Christians were appalled by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene advancing antisemitic conspiracy theories.  

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