Thursday, September 16, 2021
Thursday, September 16, 2021
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Daily Briefing: WEDNESDAY’S “NEWS OF THE WEEK IN REVIEW” (September 15, 2021)

WATCH: IDF Cantor and Choir Chant Yom Kippur Prayer:  United With Israel, Sept. 13, 2021 — The famous prayer is about God determining who will die and who will live in the coming year. Included are scenes from the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Because of Yom Kippur, the Daily Briefing will not be available tomorrow, but will return on Fri. Sept. 17, 2021.  We wish all our readers a meaningful Yom Kippur.


MEDIA-OCRITY OF THE WEEK


How 9/11 Turned America Into a Half-Crazed, Fading Power: Michelle Goldberg, NYTimes, Sept. 9, 2021“Al Qaeda had pulled off something spectacular…America’s horror and distress, however, were tinged with dark excitement. Plenty of influential people seemed thrilled to shed their post-Cold War ennui, to feel the nation charged with new purpose.  They thought themselves clear-eyed but were in fact devastatingly naive… Al Qaeda fell apart shortly after its greatest triumph. Yet the damage Sept.11 did to the United States was more profound than even many pessimists anticipated. The attacks, and our response to them, catalyzed a period of decline that helped turn the United States into the debased, half-crazed fading power we are today. America launched a bad-faith global crusade to instill democracy in the Muslim world and ended up with our own democracy in tatters. Bin Laden didn’t build the trap that America fell into, We constructed it ourselves… [George W.] Bush’s…aggressive jingoism [through] his own political party has radicalized against Democracy. Faith in human freedom has turned into the petulant solipsism of the anti-vaxers…. You can’t draw a straight line between the twin towers falling and America entering a protracted nervous breakdown; the end of any empire has multiple causes. [But] as the twentieth anniversary of Sept.11 arrives with the Taliban back in power in Afghanistan, America is face to face with its defeat…We didn’t just lose to the Taliban. We left them stronger than we found them. The sheer waste of it all is staggering…We launched hubristic wars to remake the world and let ourselves be remade instead, spending an estimated $8 trillion in the process. We midwived worse terrorists than those we set out to fight. We thought we knew what had been lost on Sept. 11.  We had no idea.”


                                       WEEKLY QUOTES

“Fast forward to 2021. How much Saudi money is now going to Hamas? The answer is Zero. In fact, Saudi Arabia is not giving a dime to any of the terrorist organizations. Today the main countries funding Hamas are the Islamic Republic of Iran and Qatar. What about the propagation of extremist ideologies? Back in 2001, the Muslim World League, headquartered in the Saudi Kingdom, was spreading the ideology that supported a new wave of global terror. Their membership included refugees from Arab states who had been part of the Muslim Brotherhood. Yet today the same Muslim World League has issued the Charter of Mecca in 2019 based on interreligious tolerance rather than jihad. A year later its secretary-general took a delegation to Auschwitz. We are in a different world.  – Amb. Dore Gold in an op-ed claiming that Saudi Arabia is no longer the problem.  (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, Sept. 12, 2021)
 
“… the goal of Hamas, and Islamism generally, is not Palestinian self-determination. It is to subjugate Gaza, along with the rest of the Middle East, under an Islamic caliphate. It is therefore more hostile to Palestinian self-determination than is Israel. Israel is loath to concede national rights to the Palestinians because it fears for its own security. But Islamism is generally hostile to the idea of self-determination in principle. It is a trans-national movement that takes a dim view of nation states as democratic communities.” – political columnist Daniel Ben Ami making his case as to why Israeli critics who liken the Gaza war between a superpower (Israel) and helpless victim (Hamas) are wrong.  (Spiked, Sept. 4, 2021)
 
“It is very clear that the study does reveal the existence of very deeply problematic content…changes to the curriculum are essential…Full compliance of all educational material with UNESCO standards of peace, tolerance, coexistence and non-violence must be ensured as must any reference of antisemitic nature need to be addressed and taken out. It’s totally clear that even a little bit of antisemitism is not ok…” — Acting Director Henrike Trautmann, whose EU Commission directorate oversees all aid to the Palestinian education sector, condemning antisemitic and violent content in Palestinian textbooks in a meeting of the EU Parliament’s Working Group Against Antisemitism.  (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 10, 2021)
 
[Thirteen] American soldiers are dead – most of them between the ages of 20-23 because they were put in harms [sic] way chaotically in the line of fire of a suicide bomber. Disappointed and disgusted President Biden says, ‘this couldn’t have been done in a more orderly manner’ This is extremely difficult for me to say: I once thought I truly knew Joe Biden and he helped me through pain and grief, for which I am grateful. This man on tv giving this speech, I do not recognize this man. God help our country. God help the Americans we have abandoned.”  — The View former host Meghan McCain tweets, responding to President Biden’s speech excusing himself for not evacuating the American troops earlier.  (NY Post, Aug. 31, 2021)
 
“Mr. Secretary, in your statement I think the most troubling thing is the following quote. “Even the most pessimistic assessment did not predict the government forces in Kabul would collapse while U.S. forces remained.” And you also cite General Milley who said there was no indication that that would be a collapse of the Afghan army and government. You know, for much of last year I was acting Chairman of Intelligence and now I am the vice-chairman of Intelligence. I’ve been tracking this very closely. Just going back to the beginning of this year … let me suffice to say that there are numerous pieces that could be categorized as “it was going to hit the fan.” I think any analysis of those pieces would have led everyone to that conclusion.” —   Sen. Marco Rubio suggesting that the Biden administration’s assessment of the intelligence about what would happen when U.S. forces left Afghanistan was very wrong.  He spoke during a hearing with Secretary of State Blinken at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  (Marco Rubio, Sept. 14, 2021)
 
“… We were left with that extraordinary telephone exchange between presidents Biden and Ghani on July 23 … Biden starts: “As you know and I need not tell you, the perception around the world and in parts of Afghanistan, I believe, is that things aren’t going well in terms of the fight against the Taliban.” This was correct, as everyone in Kabul could readily testify. That it directly contradicts later statements coming from the administration to the effect that no one could have predicted the defeat against the Taliban and the fall of the Afghan government is intriguing. What explains Biden’s inability to act in July and August according to the facts he so accurately portrayed to his interlocutor? It seems that he did not regard them as facts but as a perception that could be more or less magically replaced with a different perception. … Ghani, who … had always been ready to play his part in the great illusion, is suddenly less sure of himself. He still has faith in the world’s great superpower, but doubts are creeping in. Could it be that the Americans really do believe the world is no more than a picture? But now the Taliban are descending on the presidential palace and a picture is not enough. … If only Afghans could dispense with the brute logic of reality and live by fiction alone, everything would have worked out. The world has to be made safe not for democracy, but for the growing virtual space we call the metaverse.” — Bruno Maçães a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America.  (CJ, Sept. 13, 2021)

  SHORT TAKES

BENNETT RETURNS FROM ‘VERY IMPORTANT, VERY GOOD’ MEETING WITH EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT (Sharm el-Sheikh) — Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Sharm el-Sheikh. The two leaders discussed a series of topics, including “ways to deepen and strengthen cooperation between the states, with an emphasis on broadening mutual trade, and a long series of regional and international issues.” (United With Israel, Sept. 14, 2021)

ISRAELI SCIENTISTS SAY THEIR ANTIVIRAL DRUG COULD STOP COVID-19 (Ashkelon) — A team of Israeli scientists say that a drug previously used in an uncontrolled fashion to treat HIV has a direct antiviral effect against coronavirus, sending patients home virus-free within only a few days. Code Pharma, which is headquartered in the Netherlands but has its research and development office in Israel and an Israeli CEO, recently completed a Phase I trial of its drug Codivir for use against coronavirus. (Jerusalem Post, Sept. 14, 2021)

BREAKTHROUGH: ISRAELI RESEARCHERS UTILIZE WHITE BLOOD CELLS TO FIGHT CANCER (Tel Aviv) — Researchers at Tel Aviv University discovered that a certain type of white blood cell can be utilized to fight cancer, opening up new possibilities for the development of cancer treatments. Prof. Ariel Munitz and PhD student Sharon Grisauri of the Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine led the research. The findings were published in Cancer Research, a prominent journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. (United With Israel, Sept. 14, 2021)

ISRAELI FIRM INTRODUCES ARMED COMBAT DRONE TO PATROL BORDERS (Jerusalem) — Israeli state-owned defence contractor Israel Aerospace Industries “REX MKB” has unveiled a remote-controlled armed robot it says can patrol battle zones, track infiltrators and open fire. The unmanned vehicle is the latest addition to the world of drone technology, which is rapidly reshaping the modern battlefield. (Aljazeera, Sept. 13, 2021)

BIDEN OFFICIALS PRIVATELY PUSHED ABBAS TO SHELVE ICC PROBE AGAINST ISRAEL (Washington) — Senior officials in the Biden administration have privately pressed the Palestinian Authority, including its president Mahmoud Abbas, to walk back Ramallah’s effort to have Israel tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Court (ICC). Publicly, the United States has issued statements “firmly” opposing the ICC’s March decision to probe alleged actions committed by Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem since 2014.  (Times of Israel, Sept. 14, 2021)

SURVEY SHOWS WORLD JEWISH POPULATION ROSE TO 15.2 MILLION IN 5781, JUST SHY OF 1939’S 16.6 MILLION (Jerusalem) — According to the Jewish Agency for Israel, the number of Jews worldwide stands at approximately 15.2 million, compared to 15.1 million in 5781.The number of Jews in Israel is close to 6.9 million (compared to 6.8 million in 5781), while about 8.3 million live outside Israel (including around 6 million in the United States). The updated estimates by Professor Sergio Della Pergola of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will be published in the American Jewish Year Book 2021. (Jewish Press, Sept. 5, 2021)

ESCAPED PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS CHOSE TO RETURN TO PRISON QUIETLY (Jerusalem) — According to calculations made by Palestinian Media Watch, the PA had already paid terrorists languishing in Israeli prisons a minimum cumulative sum of 3,728,600 shekels ($1,165,125). Leading the payments was Mahmoud Ardah, who was arrested in 1996 and sentenced to life and another 15 years. To reward Ardah for his terrorist activities, to date the PA has paid him a total of 1,156,000 shekels ($361,230). (PMW, Sept. 12, 2021)

AL-QAIDA CHIEF APPEARS IN NEW VIDEO MARKING 9/11 ANNIVERSARY (Location unknown) — Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri appeared in a new video marking the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, attacks, months after rumors spread that he was dead. In it, al-Zawahri said that “Jerusalem Will Never be Judaized,” and praised al-Qaida attacks including one that targeted Russian troops in Syria in January. al-Zawahri also noted the U.S. military’s withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war. His comments do not necessarily indicate a recent recording, as the withdrawal agreement with the Taliban was signed in February 2020. (Newsmax, Sept. 12, 2021)

IRAN NEARS AN ATOMIC MILESTONE (Tehran) — Experts studying new data contained in reports last week by the International Atomic Energy Agency say that by enriching nuclear fuel in recent months to near bomb-grade levels, Tehran has gained the capability to produce the fuel needed for a single nuclear warhead within a month or so, under the most extreme timeline. (NY Times, Sept. 14, 2021)

IRAN BLOCKING IAEA ACCESS TO NUCLEAR-RELATED SITES (Tehran) — Iran is refusing to allow inspectors access to nuclear-related sites and hindering a probe by the United Nations atomic agency while continuing to expand its nuclear activities, the International Atomic Energy Agency said in two confidential reports Tuesday, casting doubt on efforts to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.  (WSJ, Sept. 8, 2021)

ISRAEL’S MILITARY CHIEF SAYS ‘ACCELERATING’ IRAN STRIKE PLANS (Jerusalem) — Preparations for possible action against Iran are being intensified, Chief of General Staff Aviv Kohavi said in an interview with Walla news, adding “a significant chunk of the boost to the defence budget, as was recently agreed, was intended for this purpose”.  (Aljazeera, Sept. 8, 2021)

US SHOOTS DOWN IRANIAN DRONES ATTACKING AIRPORT IN IRAQ: OFFICIALS (Irbil) — U.S. forces shot down a pair of Iranian drones that attacked the Irbil airport in Kurdish-held northern Iraq late on 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 (Fox News, Sept. 12, 2021)

BDS RESOLUTION NIXED IN VERMONT OVER CONCERNS IT WOULD SPARK ANTISEMITISM (Burlington) — A Burlington, Vermont city council vote to endorse the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel was scrapped at the last moment when the resolution’s sponsor withdrew it on Monday. Council member Ali Dieng said he was concerned the resolution would promote antisemitism. (United With Israel, Sept. 14, 2021)

ECONOMIST/YOUGOV POLL: BIDEN APPROVAL COLLAPSES TO 39 PERCENT (Washington) — According to the latest Economist/YouGov poll, which was released Wednesday, just 39% approve of Biden’s overall job performance and a near majority (49%) disapprove.  The 10-point negative rating is the first time Biden has been underwater during his eight-month presidency, according to the poll results (Newsmax, Sept. 8, 2021)


  FOR FURTHER REFERENCE


Jewish Tradition and National Unity Joe Lieberman, WSJ, Sept. 9, 2021 The ram’s horn, or shofar, is sounded throughout the Jewish high holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur as a call for Jews to reflect, reform and repent.

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