Trump’s Presidency Ever End?: Frank Bruni, NYTimes, Sept. 25, 2020
Toward the beginning of a wise and beautifully stated essay about American partisanship and the response to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death, the lawyer and political commentator David French wrote, “I have never in my adult life seen such a deep shudder and sense of dread pass through the American political class.” I don’t think the shudder was confined to the political class. And the day after Ginsburg died, I felt a shudder just as deep. That was when Trump supporters descended on a polling location in Fairfax, Va., and sought to disrupt early voting there by forming a line that voters had to circumvent and chanting, “Four more years!” …
Yes, The Reichstag Is On Fire, But The American People Have Water To Put It Out | Will Bunch: Will Bunch, Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 27, 2020
… My thoughts on President Donald Trump’s open contempt for the American Experiment — that he can’t commit to “a peaceful transfer of power,” in an election he falsely claims is chock full of fraud before even the first vote has been counted — is that we should take him both literally and seriously. It’s what I’ve been saying consistently since the ominous winter of 2015-16, when I wrote that voters who thought Americans could never install a dangerous demagogue in the White House did so at great peril. Since Jan. 20, 2017, the 45th president has shown that a frequent liar and laughable fool can nonetheless take 244 years of our imperfect democracy to the edge of a cliff. ..
“… out of a great sense of mission, in reverence, in majesty and splendor, in fear and in trembling, this year the synagogues should be closed down and prayers conducted in the open air.” He added: “This is my call – lead the people of Israel with faith and responsibility and pray outdoors. It’s hard and painful. A stranger will not understand how much. But this is exactly the test of a true follower of God. Danger to life supersedes almost the entire Torah, and the observance of the commandment of ‘and live through them (Lev. 18:5)’ requires the closing of synagogues,” — Chairman of the National Union and the junior co-leader of Yamina MK Bezalel Smotrich posted on Facebook. (Jewish Press, Sept. 23, 2020)“The Palestinian cause is a just cause but its advocates are failures, and the Israeli cause is unjust but its advocates have proven to be successful. That sums up the events of the last 70 or 75 years. There is also something that successive Palestinian leaderships historically share in common; they always bet on the losing side, and that comes at a price,” — One of Saudi Arabia’s top diplomats Prince Bandar bin Sultan told the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television station. (WIN, Oct. 6, 2020)
“The issue of Jerusalem is not an ordinary geopolitical problem for us. First of all, the current appearance of the Old City, which is the heart of Jerusalem, was built by Suleiman the Magnificent, with its walls, bazaar, and many buildings. Our ancestors showed their respect for centuries by keeping this city in high esteem…. Jerusalem is our city, a city from us,” – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said when opening the Turkish parliament’s legislative session on Thursday. (Jerusalem Post, Oct. 3, 2020)
“We face today two pandemics: one is COVID-19, and the other one is anti-Semitism,” — said, Israel’s Acting Consul-General to New York City, Israel Nitzan in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com via Zoom. (Jewish Press, Oct. 6, 2020)
“The message, which referenced the Columbia University Apartheid Divest referendum, was clearly inappropriate and did not meet our standards for distribution. We deeply apologize for giving this advertisement space on our platform and are immediately reviewing our internal processes to ensure that publication of such material will never happen again. Neither The Columbia Spectator nor Spectator Publishing Company endorses Students Supporting Israel (SSI) and Columbia or its products, services or views,” — Editor-in-Chief Karen Xia, Managing Editor Shubham Saharan and Publisher Isabel Jauregui said. The SSI ad was published ahead of a vote this week on a BDS referendum which seeks to “divest [Columbia’s] stocks, funds and endowment from companies that profit from or engage in the State of Israel’s acts towards Palestinians.” (Algemeiner, Sept. 22, 2020)
“Hey there – this event and my involvement was presented to my team differently from how it’s now being promoted. Thanks for pointing it out. Taking a look into this now,” – wrote US Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She later withdrew from an event commemorating former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. (AlJazeera, Sept. 25, 2020)
NETANYAHU, CROWN PRINCE OF BAHRAIN HOLD FIRST PUBLIC PHONE CALL (Jerusalem) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain held their first public phone call on Tuesday, one week after the ceremony in Washington DC to sign a declaration of peace between their two nations. Netanyahu was summoned from a meeting of the Coronavirus Cabinet to take the call, which involved a discussion about the possible ways in which the two countries might cooperate. (Jewish Press, Sept. 22, 2020)
FOREIGN COUNTRIES FUNDING LEGAL DEFENSE FOR ANTI-BIBI DEMONSTRATORS (Jerusalem) — Several organizations have been holding weekly demonstrations against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu while calling for his resignation in recent months. While the demonstrations are not large, they are often violent and several are arrested at every event. “Foreign-funded entities [most of which have diplomatic relations with Israel] are at the center of controversy in Israel,” Itai Reuveni, of the NGO Monitor research institute, charged in a discussion on the issue. (Jewish Press, Sept. 22, 2020)
IT’S OFFICIAL: A 27-YEAR-OLD YESHIVA STUDENT IS NOW THE OWNER OF EL AL (Jerusalem) — It’s official – the 27-year-old son of successful U.S. businessman Kenny Rozenberg is now the proud owner of Israel’s national airlines. Eli Rozenberg has taken control of El Al Airlines for a cool $75 million. Rozenberg senior, a New York-based real estate entrepreneur who also owns hotels and nursing homes in the United States, needed the help his son, who is a dual Israeli-U.S. citizen, to make the bid. Non-Israelis can’t own El Al, even though it was privatized in 2004. With no cash left to pay any bills and some $320 million in refunds owed to customers whose flights were canceled due to the pandemic, El Al was forced to stop flying in July. (WIN, Oct. 6, 2020)
TOP FATAH OFFICIAL THREATENS TO ‘CHANGE RULES OF ENGAGEMENT’ WITH ISRAEL (Ramallah) — Fatah Central Committee Secretary General Jibril Rajoub said in an interview last week that the Palestinians may choose to “change the rules of engagement” in response to Arab, Israeli and U.S. pressure. Rajoub called on Palestinians to stay loyal to the legacy of “giants,” such as former PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, former PFLP Secretary General Abu Ali Mustafa, current PFLP Secretary General Ahmad Sa’adat, and former Fatah political figure and convicted terrorist Marwan Barghouti. (JNS, Oct. 5, 2020)
INDIAN JEWISH MMA, KICKBOXING CHAMPION SET TO IMMIGRATE TO ISRAEL, HOPES TO JOIN IDF (India) — A mixed martial arts (MMA) and kickboxing champion from India is slated to fulfill his lifelong dream of immigrating to Israel after the Jewish High Holidays. Obed Hrangchal, 26, will make aliyah with his parents, Gabriel and Ruth Hrangchal, and sister, Lucy, with the help of the non-profit organization Shavei Israel. The family will reside in the northern city of Nof HaGalil. (Algemeiner, Sept. 22, 2020)
TRUMP JOINS GROWING LIST OF VIRUS-INFECTED WORLD LEADERS (Washington) — President Donald Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, joining a small group of world leaders who have been infected. Other leaders who have had the virus, some of whom are sending Trump their wishes for a speedy recovery. These include British PM Boris Johnson, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernandez among others. (CTV, Oct. 2, 2020)
B’NAI BRITH MARKS HISTORIC MOMENT IN FEDERAL POLITICS(Toronto) — In a historic moment for Canada, Annamie Paul has become the first Jewish woman to lead a major federal political party and the first Black woman to lead one on a permanent basis. Paul triumphed over seven other contenders to win the leadership of the Green Party of Canada. Paul is also the Green candidate in the upcoming Oct. 26 byelection in the riding of Toronto Centre. Paul, a lawyer who speaks English, French, Spanish and Catalan, has faced antisemitism and anti-Black racism at times on the campaign trail, but overcame those obstacles to claim victory on Saturday. (Bnai Brith Canada, Oct. 4, 2020)
UN WATCH MOURNS THE LOSS OF AMBASSADOR RICHARD SCHIFTER (Geneva) — UN Watch is deeply saddened by the loss of Ambassador Richard Schifter (1923-2020), who fled to the United States at age 15 from Nazi-occupied Vienna and rose to become an eminent public servant, serving as the State Department’s top human rights official, representing the U.S. at key United Nations bodies, and waging a decades-long battle against anti-Israeli bigotry at the UN. (UNWatch, Oct. 4, 2020)
ACT NOW! DEMAND TUFTS EXPEL STUDENT WHO PROMOTED VIOLENT ANTI-SEMITISM (Middlesex County) — Pro-Israel advocacy group StandWithUs sent a letter last week to Tufts University’s president and the dean of its dental school, Anthony Monaco and Nadeem Karimbux, warning that dental student Adam Elayan’s tweets “should raise immediate concern.” His tweets reportedly include the following:– “I will f***in cremate you Jewish b**ch.” – “LEMME F*** THIS YAHOOD [Jewish] B**CHES UP YO.” – “YAHOOD [Jews] RIGGED THE GAME.” – “Can’t stand the yahood [Jews] here.” (United With Israel, Oct. 2, 2020)
CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR VETOES BILL THAT WOULD HAVE INSTITUTED ETHNIC STUDIES CURRICULUM DEEMED ANTISEMITIC (LA) — California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have instituted an ethnic studies curriculum for public high schools that critics have slammed as being biased and antisemitic. In his veto message, Newsom stated that he supported including ethnic studies as part of the required high school curriculum. However, he noted, the bill he vetoed “would require ethnic studies to be taught in high school at a time when there is much uncertainty about the appropriate K-12 model curriculum for ethnic students.” (Algemeiner, Oct. 1, 2020)
2020 COLLEGE FREE SPEECH RANKINGS REVEAL CRISIS ON CAMPUS (Washington) — RealClearEducation launched the College Free Speech Rankings so parents and students can see how schools they’re interested in stack up. Surveying nearly 20,000 students at 55 schools across the country, the survey reveals some startling facts. Almost 20% of students say that using violence to stop an unwanted speech or event is in some cases acceptable. Among Ivy League students, 36% said that it was “always” or “sometimes” acceptable to shout down a speaker one doesn’t like. Self-censorship is also a major problem. 60% of college students say they have kept quiet due to fear of how others would respond. Among conservative students, that number is 72%. (RealClearEducation, Sept. 29, 2020)
JEWISH SCIENTIST AMONG NOBEL PRIZE WINNERS (Norway) — Americans Harvey J. Alter and Charles M. Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton jointly won the Nobel Prize for medicine for their discovery of the hepatitis C. Announcing the prize, the Nobel Committee noted that the trio’s work identified a major source of blood-borne hepatitis that couldn’t be explained by the previously discovered hepatitis A and B viruses. Their work has helped saved millions of lives, it said. (WIN, Oct. 5, 2020)
NYT A ‘HOAX’ VICTIM (NYC) — The New York Times, after first defending a critically acclaimed podcast about the caliphate in Syria, now says it will assign a new reporting team to re-examine the Pulitzer Prize-nominated series after one of the central subjects was arrested in Canada and charged with “hoax terrorist activity.” Shehroze Chaudhry, 25, spoke with The Times and other media outlets under the pseudonym Abu Huzayfah, claiming he had joined the caliphate in Syria and executed two people before growing disillusioned with the group and returning to Canada. But last week, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Chaudhry on charges that he lied about his participation in ISIS terrorist activity in Syria. (NYPost, Oct. 1, 2020)
THE NY TIMES KNOWS TAX AVOIDANCE AND OTHER COMMENTARY (NYC) — A New York Times “investigation” described how President Trump found ways to avoid taxes — and the Times “ought to know,” snarks Ira Stoll at The New York Sun, because the Gray Lady and “the Ochs-Sulzberger family that control it have done the same thing.” Trump, for instance, used losses in some years to lower his taxes in others. Likewise, in 2008, the Times lost $58 million and then cited a net income-tax “benefit” of nearly $6 million. The paper is painting “Trump as somehow corrupt for doing things that the Ochs-Sulzberger family has itself been doing for years. (NYPost, Sept. 30, 2020)
FRANCE’S EMMANUEL MACRON TARGETS ‘ISLAMIC SEPARATISM’ WITH PROPOSED LAW (Paris) — French President Emmanuel Macron took aim at radical Islam, announcing plans to outlaw what he called “Islamic separatism” in communities where he said religious laws are taking precedence over civil ones. Mr. Macron said the law, if passed, would empower authorities to shut down associations and schools that he said indoctrinate children, and monitor foreign investment in religious organizations in France. It would also improve public services in poor suburbs, he said. (WSJ, Oct. 2, 2020)
CHINA RAZED THOUSANDS OF XINJIANG MOSQUES IN ASSIMILATION PUSH, REPORT SAYS (Xinjiang) — New research shows Chinese authorities have razed or damaged two-thirds of the mosques in China’s remote northwestern region of Xinjiang, further illuminating the scope of a forced cultural-assimilation campaign targeting millions of Uighur Muslims. In a report published Friday, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute said satellite imagery showed that roughly 8,500 mosques, close to a third of the region’s total, have been demolished since 2017, with another 7,500 sustaining damage. (WSJ, Sept. 25, 2020)
Trump Returns To White House, Tells Americans, “Don’t Be Afraid Of Covid, Don’t Let It Dominate You”: RealClearPolitics, Oct. 5, 2020 — President Donald Trump delivered remarks on the coronavirus after returning to the White House from Walter Reed Medical Center.
Naftali Bennett: Infectious Dose Determines Severity of Consequent Illness: Jewish Press, Sept. 23, 2020 — Citizens of Israel, here’s a statistic you won’t have heard yet: the severity of the illness you would experience, were you to be infected with Corona, is dependent, quite dramatically, on the volume of infection transmitted.
Researchers May Have Discovered Reason Why Nearly Half of Corona Sufferers Don’t Feel Symptoms: WIN, Oct. 6, 2020 –– The virus that causes COVID-19 can relieve pain, according to a new study by University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers.
U.K. Conservation Society Details Links to Colonialism and Slavery: Elian Peltier, The New York Times, Sept. 22, 2020 — The country house of former Prime Minister Winston Churchill, an ardent imperialist; an estate in northern England that was owned by prominent slave traders; the London property of Thomas Carlyle, a 19th-century historian known for pro-slavery writings.