Sunday, October 17, 2021
Sunday, October 17, 2021
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Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW” (October 13th, 2021)

Contra “woke” authoritarianism:

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive…those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience”.
–CS. Lewis
 

                                       WEEKLY QUOTES
[Re Golan Heights, Israeli PM Naftali Bennett said internal Syrian strife] “persuaded many in the world that perhaps it is preferable that this beautiful and strategic territory be in the State of Israel’s hands. But even in a situation—as could happen—the world changes tack on Syria, or in relation to Assad, this has no bearing on the Golan Heights. The Golan Heights is Israeli, full stop.” – Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.  (The Globe and Mail, Oct. 11, 2021)
 
“The Iranian nuclear program has reached a critical stage – a stage that demands the action of true leadership. For over two years now, Iran has been violating its nuclear obligations. By now, its violations in regard to enrichment, stockpiling, uranium metal, and R&D are so extensive that they have completely hollowed the Iranian obligations of their essence. The inaction taken against Iranian nuclear advances only serves to bolster Iran’s resolve to continue its flagrant violations. Coming to terms with Iran becoming a threshold nuclear state puts world peace in the balance and will remain a black stain on the history of the free world.” — Israel’s Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan in a speech to the UN General Assembly criticizing Syria’s use of weapons of mass destruction and the Iranian regime’s consistent violations of its commitments to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).  (Israel National News, Oct. 12, 2021)
 
An Israeli last-resort military action against Iran risks American appeasement and emboldens the Islamic Republic, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said at the Jerusalem Post Conference.  “We denied them [Iran] resources, and we denied them the ability to build out a Gulf-threatening culpability.  The strike on [former Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commander] Qasem Soleimani demonstrated our willingness to defend American interests around the world. The work we were engaged in would have prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.” (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 12, 2021)
 
“… do not forget the emerging camp, which is on your side—the Chinese camp. China is going to lead the world, and it proclaims: ‘There can be no stability and progress without the liberation of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital.’” — Fatah’s Central Committee member Abbas Zaki on Palestine TV.  (JNS, Oct. 7, 2021)
 
“The progressives are serious. They are ideologues. They know what they want, they have serious legislative aims and worked-through strategies. They are socialists and mean to change America in its fundamentals…And I think this has not been fully understood.” – Conservative political columnist Peggy Noonan.  (WSJ, Oct. 7, 2021)
 
[Respect for law… the foundation of free speech] “The thin veneer of civility represented by the rule of law requires protection. Our society only continues if people voluntarily respect the law. Canada is not a society with soldiers on street corners policing the population with machine guns at every turn. It is our shared values, including our commitment to the rule of law, that differentiates our democracy from so many other cultures. Free speech is the foundation of strong democratic society. Hate speech is a perversion and violation of that right. It is, for good reason, against the law. It is a threat to the safety of many in our country, and a threat to the values and ideals that our country strives to represent. To combat hate in Canada, we need action and accountability. Law enforcement must act against those who promote hate; the courts must hold these people accountable and make them pay a price. That’s the path to Canadians having the confidence that the law can protect them, and to meaningful deterrence. The thin veneer must be protected. Those who willfully violate the law – and ignore its sanctions – must be punished. Perhaps jail is a blunt tool and risks making Mr. Johnston a martyr to his cause,” Justice Myers acknowledged. “But at some point, society simply needs to protect its members and itself from those who would use our democratic freedoms to deliberately hurt others and strike at the democratic and Charter values and the democratic institutions that are Canada.” — Mohamad Fakih writes.  He is the founder and CEO of Paramount Fine Foods.  He writes regarding a case of harassment against him by Kevin Johnson, who the court sentenced to 18 months in prison. (The Globe and Mail, Oct. 8, 2021)
SHORT TAKES
DESPITE PANDEMIC, IMMIGRATION TO ISRAEL INCREASED OVER 30% (Jerusalem) — Aliyah to Israel increased by 31% in 2021 so far, with 20,360 olim arriving compared to 15,598 during the corresponding period last year. The figures come ahead of Yom HaAliyah (Aliyah Day) – a national holiday on October 13th, which celebrates immigrants to Israel from all over the world. Israel has continued seeing a dramatic rise in Aliyah despite the COVID-19 pandemic. (United With Israel, Oct. 10, 2021)

 

YOSSI COHEN: IRAN NOT CLOSE TO GETTING A NUCLEAR BOMB (Jerusalem) — There is greater opposition to Iran’s nuclear program than in the past, former Mossad director Yossi Cohen said at the Jerusalem Post Conference. “I think that Iran, to this day, is not even close to acquiring a nuclear weapon… [because of] longstanding efforts by some forces in the world,” he said. Iran’s position is also weaker because there is “less foreign support for what [it is] doing than in the past,” If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, Israel must be able to stop it on its own, Cohen said. Asked if that would be possible without bunker-buster bombs, he responded: “We have to develop capabilities to allow us to be absolutely independent, doing what Israel has done twice before” – bombing nuclear reactors in Syria and Iraq. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 12, 2021)

BENNETT: WE NEED TO LIMIT POLITICAL INFLUENCE OF THE HAREDIM (Jerusalem) — Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett called for the limiting of Haredi political influence in Israel while also calling the Israeli Left an essential part of the country’s political dialogue. Speaking at The Jerusalem Post 10th Annual Conference, Bennett said Israeli society is composed of three broad political forces or “vectors,” arguing that all three have important roles in the Jewish state. “We need all three vectors,” said Bennett, delineating the groups as the national-Right, the humanist Left, and the traditionalist Orthodox segment of the population. (Israel National News, Oct. 12, 2021)

POLL: 34 SEATS FOR LIKUD, 7 FOR BENNETT (Jerusalem) — A poll conducted by the Madgam Institute and published on Channel 12 News found that if the elections were held today (Tuesday), the Likud would grow to 34 seats. The Yesh Atid party would win 18 seats, the Shas faction nine, Blue and White eight, the Labor Party seven, and the United Torah Judaism and Yamina parties receive seven seats each. The Religious Zionism party would win six seats, Yisrael Beiteinu five seats, Meretz five seats, and the Ra’am and New Hope parties would receive four seats each. The current coalition would fall to 58 seats, below the majority needed to form a government. The Netanyahu bloc would receive 56 seats, also too few seats to form a government. When Likud voters were asked who they preferred to lead the party, they said Benjamin Netanyahu. (Israel National News, Oct. 12, 2021)

DRONES DELIVER SUSHI, BEER AND ICE CREAM IN TEL AVIV AS PART OF PILOT PROJECT (Tel Aviv) — Dozens of drones floated through the skies of Tel Aviv.  They ferried cartons of ice cream and sushi across the city in an experiment that officials hope provided a glimpse of the not-too-distant future. Israel’s National Drone Initiative, a government program, carried out the drill to prepare for a world in which large quantities of commercial deliveries will be made by drones to take pressure off highly congested urban roads. The two-year program aims to apply the capabilities of Israeli drone companies to establish a nationwide network where customers can order goods and have them delivered to pick-up spots. (VIN News, Oct. 11, 2021)

NEW SURVEY SHEDS LIGHT ON DEEP-ROOTED ANTISEMITIC ATTITUDES ACROSS EU NATIONS (Brussels) — Antisemitic prejudice towards Jews persists among more than 30 percent of the population in countries across Eastern Europe.  In Western Europe, hostile views of the State of Israel command similar levels of agreement despite a sharp decline in traditional antisemitic attitudes, a new survey disclosed. The Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA) released the study at a conference on Tuesday addressed by senior Jewish and Israeli leaders. Based on polling among 1,000 respondents in each of sixteen EU member states, the survey demonstrated that antisemitism was still “deeply ingrained in Europe and hard to treat,” the EJA’s president, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, said. (Algemeiner, Oct. 12, 2021)

ISRAELI-CANADIAN, ISRAAID HELPED EVACUATE 165 REFUGEES FROM AFGHANISTAN IN ‘SPY NOVEL’ OPERATION (Jerusalem) – Sylvan Adams, co-owner of the Israeli national cycling team, revealed new details of a mission that helped Afghan women cyclists and others to escape Taliban rule. The Israeli-Canadian Adams owns the Jewish nation’s first professional cycling team that competes in international tournaments.  He was approached based on past humanitarian projects. For the mission, the philanthropist teamed up with IsraAID, as the Israeli non-governmental humanitarian assistance agency had operatives on the ground. Together they devised a plan to help the women cyclists and others flee from Afghanistan. Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the cycling’s world governing body, was also part of the evacuation operation. (Algemeiner, Oct.12, 2021)
 
100-YEAR-OLD DENIES BEING ACCESSORY TO MURDER AT NAZI CAMP (Berlin) — A 100-year-old defendant is charged with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin, where he allegedly worked between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary wing. The defendant, identified only as Josef S. in keeping with German privacy rules, told the Neuruppin state court that he didn’t know the Sachsenhausen camp. (VIN News, Oct. 8, 2021)

TORONTO LAW PROF COMPARES JEWISH JUDGE TO NAZI FIGURE (Toronto) — Professor Mohammad Fadel teaches Business Organizations at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, a mandatory course for undergraduate law students. His Twitter profile picture depicted Justice David Spiro, a Jewish member of Canada’s Tax Court, under which he wrote the words: “The sovereign is he who decides the exceptions,” a quote from Carl Schmitt, a bitterly antisemitic German jurist who joined the Nazi Party and facilitated its rise to power in the 1930s. Fadel also added the words: “Schmitt lives in Toronto.” Justice Spiro lives in Toronto, making Fadel’s equation clear. (Bnai Brith Canada, Oct. 7, 2021)
 
IRISH WRITER REFUSES HEBREW TRANSLATION (Dublin) —  Sally Rooney, the acclaimed Irish author, has reportedly refused to allow her new novel to be published in Hebrew owing to her views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She turned down a translation bid from Modan, an Israeli publisher, as she supports a boycott of Israel. Rooney’s novel, titled ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You,’ was released in September and quickly topped books charts in the UK and Ireland. (National Post, Oct. 12, 2021)
 
ANTI-SEMITIC GRAFFITI FOUND AT AUSCHWITZ DEATH CAMP (Auschwitz) — Nine windowless wooden barracks that each housed hundreds of prisoners at a time at an Auschwitz death camp were marked with anti-Semitic phrases and Holocaust-denying slogans. Police have not yet made an arrest, though they are reviewing security tapes and analyzing the graffiti. (National Post, Oct. 7, 2021)

3 US-BASED ECONOMISTS WIN NOBEL PRIZE FOR SOCIETAL RESEARCH (Stockholm) – David Card, an economist with the University of California, Berkeley, won the Nobel prize for economics.  His pioneering research showed that an increase in minimum wage does not lead to less hiring, and immigrants do not lower pay for native-born workers, challenging commonly held ideas. Two others – Joshua Angrist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and  Dutch-born Guido Imbens from Stanford University shared the award for creating a novel framework for studying societal issues. (VIN News, Oct. 11, 2021)

NAVY NUCLEAR ENGINEER CHARGED WITH TRYING TO PASS SECRETS (Washington) — A Navy nuclear engineer was charged with trying to pass information about the design of American nuclear-powered submarines to someone he thought was a representative of a foreign government.  This person turned out to be an undercover FBI agent. Jonathan Toebbe, 42, who had access to military secrets, was arrested in West Virginia on Saturday along with his 45-year-old wife, Diana, after he had placed a removable memory card at a prearranged “dead drop” in the state, according to the US Justice Dept. (VIN News, Oct. 10, 2021)
 
IRAQ CLAIMS CAPTURE OF IS FINANCIAL CHIEF IN OPERATION ABROAD (Baghdad) — Sami Jasim al-Jaburi was arrested in a “complex external operation” by the Iraqi National Intelligence Service, Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi tweeted, without specifying a location. He added that Jasim, also known as Hajji Hamid, was a deputy leader of IS under the late Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Its Rewards for Justice website alleged that he was “instrumental in managing finances for [IS] terrorist operations.”  He supervised the group’s “revenue-generating operations from illicit sales of oil, gas, antiquities, and minerals” after it seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria in 2014. (BBC, Oct. 11, 2021)
 
UNHRC VOTE KILLS YEMEN WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION (Geneva) — Bahrain, Russia, and other UN Human Rights Council members pushed through a vote Thursday to end its war crimes investigations in Yemen, in a stinging defeat for Western states. Members voted 23-18 to reject a resolution to give investigators another two years to monitor atrocities, marking the first time in the council’s 15-year history that a resolution was defeated. The seven-year conflict has pitted a Saudi-led coalition against Iran-allied Houthi rebels. Bahrain, China, Cuba, Pakistan, Russia, Venezuela, and Uzbekistan voted to end the resolution; Britain, France, and Germany voted to support it. Ukraine was absent, and the US has only observer status. (Edmonton JournalOct. 9, 2021)CAR BOMB IN MARKET OF OPPOSITION-HELD SYRIAN TOWN KILLS 4 (Afrin) —  A car bomb exploded in a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkey-backed Syrian opposition fighters, killing at least four people. The bomb exploded in a market in the town of Afrin in Aleppo province. Volunteers with the Syrian Civil Defense, rescuers who operate in opposition areas said the death toll would likely rise. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at six, including suspected opposition fighters. The bodies were badly charred, it said. (AP, Oct. 11, 2021)

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