Friday, December 1, 2023
Friday, December 1, 2023
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New Insights into Trump’s State of Mind on Jan. 6 Chip Away at Doubts Peter Baker, NY Times, July 3, 2022“He was not speaking metaphorically. It was not an offhand comment. President Donald J. Trump had every intention of joining a mob of supporters he knew to be armed and dangerous as it marched to the Capitol. And there had even been talk of marching into The House chamber himself to disrupt Congress from ratifying his election defeat. … But for a man who famously avoids leaving emails or other trails of evidence of his unspoken motives, any doubts about what was really going through Mr. Trump’s mind on that day of violence seemed to have been eviscerated by testimony presented in recent weeks by The House committee investigating the Capitol attack — especially the dramatic appearance last week of a 26-year-old former White House aide who offered a chilling portrait of a president willing to do almost anything to hang onto power. More than perhaps any insider account that has emerged, the recollections of the aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, demolished the fiction of a president who had nothing to do with what happened. … More than perhaps any insider account that has emerged, the recollections of the aide, Cassidy Hutchinson, demolished the fiction of a president who had nothing to do with what happened. … While Attorney General Merrick B. Garland must weigh many factors before deciding whether to bring a case, including whether it is in the national interest to charge a former president, Ms. Hutchinson’s account of Mr. Trump’s actions leading up to and on Jan. 6 provided the building blocks for possible prosecution by demonstrating that he and his advisers understood they were playing with fire.” –– [Ms. Hutchinson admits to not having personally seen or heard the events she related under oath: she continually qualified her remarks by saying, “I was in the vicinity of,” or “said something to the effect of …”  Moreover, some of her more “explosive” testimony was vehemently denied by those who were physically there, and who are willing to testify under oath to that effect. As well, a note she claims to have personally written was, in fact, written by Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann.  See an analysis of her testimony here– Ed.]

                                       WEEKLY QUOTES
“We’ll do whatever we must to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear capability or entrenching itself on our borders. I stand before you at this moment and say to everyone seeking our demise, from Gaza to Tehran, from the shores of Lebanon to Syria: don’t test us. … The great Israeli question is actually why in a period in which we have wide national agreement on all the important topics, the levels of hate and anxiety within Israeli society are so high? Why is polarization more threatening than ever? The answer is – politics. In Israel, extremism doesn’t come from the streets to politics. It’s the opposite. It flows like lava from politics to the streets. The political sphere has become more and more extreme, violent and vicious, and it’s dragging Israeli society along with it. This we must stop. This is our challenge.” – Israeli PM Yair Lapid in his first speech to the Knesset as prime minister. (Times of Israel, July 2, 2022)
“You don’t come to a Jewish neighborhood and yell anti-Semitic tropes if it isn’t about hating Jews. … This is not anti-Zionism – it’s a blatant act of antisemitic hate, which must be condemned by everyone. … I hope @YRP and police forces across the country start treating these events for the hate crimes they are — so open Jew-hatred in our streets ends, today.” — Melissa Lantsman, Canadian MP representing Thornhill.  She commented on pro-Palestinian protesters who had gathered on Canada Day in the Thornhill suburb of Toronto in front of a shopping plaza with mainly Kosher stores and harassed Jewish shoppers. (Jerusalem Post, July 5, 2022)“[Hillary] Clinton also sought to warp the entire machinery of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Clinton’s skullduggery was hidden behind three firewalls—the Democratic National Committee, the Perkins-Coie legal firm, and the Fusion GPS opposition research firm—to mask her likely illegal payments that enlisted a foreign national and ex-spy, Christopher Steele, to assist her campaign by destroying Donald Trump.  … As far as rejecting the outcomes of federal and state elections, for leftist insurrectionists the validity of an election hinges on whether the Left is a declared winner or loser. Once Hillary Clinton lost the election in 2016, her opponent became “illegitimate.” She joined the “Resistance” and later advised Joe Biden to reject the ballot tally if he lost the popular vote. No one claimed she was endangering hallowed institutions or sounding insurrectionary. For Time journalist Molly Ball, the billionaire effort to undermine the 2020 election by infusing hundreds of millions of dollars of dark money to usurp the work of selected county registrars was a giddy “conspiracy.” For former Obama Pentagon lawyer Rosa Brooks in 2017, the 11-day tenure of newly inaugurated President Donald Trump was already an occasion to weigh the relative advantages of either impeachment, invocation of the 25th Amendment—or a military coup to remove him.”  classicist and author Victor Davis Hanson asking, “Who Are the Real Insurrectionists?” (American Greatness, July 3, 2022)
“Maybe this is why. because Mr. Biden owes Mr. Putin one and continues to owe him for Mr. Putin’s professional courtesy in not making global headlines by pointing out that the U.S. intelligence community knowingly published false allegations about Russia to protect Mr. Biden from personal embarrassment and help him get elected.” – political correspondent-Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., answering the questions, “Why hasn’t the U.S. imposed sanctions on Putin’s paramour, former Olympic gymnast Alizia Kabaeva, and why hasn’t Putin, who nurtures grievances, ever protested U.S. media and intelligence officials’ accusations that the Hunter Biden laptop story was Russian disinformation?” (WSJ, July 1, 2022)
“[By blockading Ukrainian Black Sea grain shipments] Putin is hoping to orchestrate a famine in the developing world. He aims to create a refugee crisis that will destabilize Europe and eventually break Western resolve in its support for Ukraine. With high energy prices and uncontrolled migration of desperate people across the Mediterranean, the stage would [be] set for disruptive political forces on the far left and the far right. . .to press mainstream leaders into appeasing the Kremlin.” – journalist Dalibor Rohac.  He argues that the U.S. Navy should aid Ukraine by breaking Russia’s Black Sea grain-shipments blockade. (NY Post, July 1, 2022)
[U.S. consumers will have to pay high gasoline prices] as long as it takes [for Ukraine to defeat Russia]—U.S. President Joe Biden (Thursday). “What you heard from the president today was a clear articulation of the stakes. This is about the future of the liberal world order and we have to stand firm”  Brian Deese, National Economic Council Director. – journalist Callie Patteson reports.  (NY Post, July 1, 2022)


LAPID SAYS ISRAEL WILL ‘CONTINUE TO DEFEND ITSELF’ AFTER INTERCEPTING HEZBOLLAH DRONES (Jerusalem) — PM Yair Lapid pledged to continue defend Israel a day after the country’s air force foiled an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attack by the Hezbollah terror group on the disputed Karish gas field in Israeli economic waters. One UAV was intercepted by an F-16 Barak fighter jet, which was dispatched to the scene from the 109th Squadron in Ramat David. The two other drones were intercepted by the INS Eilat missile ship, using Barak interceptors.  (Jerusalem Post, July 3, 2022)
IRANIAN WARSHIPS PATROLLING IN RED SEA POSE ‘DIRECT THREAT,’ ISRAEL’S GANTZ WARNS (Jerusalem) — Speaking at the 26th annual Economist Government Roundtable in Athens, Greece, Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz displayed satellite images of four Iranian warships patrolling the Red Sea in recent months, during a period when Tehran is entrenching itself in the area. He cautioned that Iran’s recent test of a satellite launcher from the Semnan province demonstrates a capacity to make intercontinental ballistic missiles reaching as far as the center of Europe. (Algemeiner, July 5, 2022)
ABU AKLEH BULLET TEST INCONCLUSIVE BUT IDF LIKELY RESPONSIBLE, US CLAIMS (Washington) — Test results on the damaged bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh were inconclusive. But additional investigations showed it was likely she was accidentally killed by gunfire originating from an IDF position, the United States said.  The US Security Coordinator oversaw third-party ballistic tests on the bullet and had full access to both IDF and Palestinian Authority investigations into the events in Jenin that May 11 morning when Abu Akleh was killed.(Jerusalem Post, July 5, 2022)
UNILEVER AGREEMENT TO SELL BEN & JERRY’S ICE CREAM IN ISRAEL PROVES DEFEAT FOR BDS (West Bank) — The agreement enabling Ben & Jerry’s ice cream to continue to be sold throughout Israel announced on June 29 was a sweet victory against the BDS movement, as well as a personal victory for the 160 people employed at the Negev factory who had been worrying about their jobs since the decision last July by Ben & Jerry’s to end its contract with its Israeli licensee Avi Zinger over his refusal to stop selling its ice cream over Israel’s pre-1967 border. This agreement also provided a new working model that can be employed in the future. (Honest Reporting, July 4, 2022)
ANTI-ISRAEL LAWMAKER LOUDLY BOOED BY HER OWN COMMUNITY(Minnesota) — The Somali-American community aren’t fans of Rep. Ilhan Omar. Over the weekend, the Somali-born Democratic representative appeared at an annual Somali Independence Day event in Minnesota, which is home to around 50,000 people of Somali descent. Loud boos could be heard emanating from the crowd as she took the stage. According to Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Michael Rubin, Somalis are “frustrated … that … Omar … had not used her seat to advance U.S.-Somali ties,” but has, instead, made the Palestinian issue a cornerstone of her congressional activism, “  (United With Israel, July 4, 2022)
JEWISH LAWMAKER BECOMES FIRST FEMALE SPEAKER OF FRENCH NATIONAL ASSEMBLY (Paris) — France’s lower house of parliament chose Yael Braun-Privet, a Jewish lawmaker, to serve as its speaker. Braun-Privet, whose Jewish grandparents fled Germany to France in the 1930s, is the first woman to hold the post of National Assembly speaker. She is a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist Ensemble coalition, despite the ruling alliance losing its majority in recent legislative elections. Braun-Privet, 51, joined the Assembly’s France-Israel friendship group when she was first elected in 2017 and has visited Israel several times. (Times of Israel, June 29, 2022)
MYSTERIOUS BLAST ROCKS IRANIAN BASE NEAR TEHRAN (Tehran) — An operations base for the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) near Tehran was rocked by a mysterious explosion. The Iranian government has not officially confirmed the blast, which allegedly occurred Saturday morning, as reported by Iranian dissidents living in Europe. The extent of the casualties and damage caused by the explosion is unknown. (WIN, July 3, 2022)
SYNAGOGUE STAFFER, MEXICAN GRANDFATHER AMONG 6 SHOT DEAD IN CHICAGO’S HIGHLAND PARK (Chicago) – Jacki Sundheim, a North Shore Congregation Israel congregant and staffer was among the victims of the Highland Park shooting.  Roberto Velasco, a Mexican national, was also killed.Robert E. “Bobby” Crimo III, the alleged suspect, is facing seven counts of first-degree murder. He is alleged to have opened fire on a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill., a Chicago suburb. (Times of Israel, CBC News, July 5, 2022)
SEVERAL PEOPLE SHOT AT COPENHAGEN SHOPPING MALL, POLICE SAY(Copenhagen) — Several people were shot at a Copenhagen shopping mall, one of the largest in Scandinavia. Copenhagen police said that one person has been arrested in connection with the shooting at the Field’s shopping mall, which is close to the city’s airport. Police tweeted that “several people have been hit,” but gave no other details. (VIN, July 3, 2022)
101-YEAR-OLD EX-NAZI GUARD SENTENCED FOR AIDING 3,500 murders (Berlin) — A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard was convicted in Germany of more than 3,500 counts of accessory to murder — becoming the oldest person to date to be held accountable for crimes related to the Holocaust. The Neuruppin Regional Court sentenced Josef Schütz to five years in prison, although he is unlikely to serve any time behind bars because of his poor health, advanced age, and lengthy appeals process. (NY Post, June 28, 2022)
A WORLD WAR II VETERAN GETS HIS DUE—NEARLY 80 YEARS AFTER SURVIVING D-DAY (NYC) — Ninety-seven year-old William Kellerman, a Jewish World War II veteran from the Bronx, will finally get the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals denied him by bureaucratic error, despite his heroism during the 1944 Normandy landing (he was 19), his subsequent escape from a German prison, and return to combat.  He was wounded by sniper fire in April 1945, just before the war in Europe ended. (WSJ, June 27, 2022)
BRITISH COLUMBIA TO RENAME GEOGRAPHICAL SITES HONORING NAZI COLLABORATOR PÉTAIN (Vancouver) — Three geographic sites in British Columbia will no longer be named after Marshal Philippe Pétain, the notoriously antisemitic leader of France’s wartime collaborationist Vichy government created after the Nazi invasion. The names of Mount Pétain, Pétain Creek, and Pétain Glacier were rescinded on June 29, according to a letter B.C. Provincial Toponymist Trent Thomas sent to B’nai Brith Canada and other advocacy groups. “[Pétain] was recognized as a hero of the First World War for his role in the defense of Verdun.” Thomas wrote. “During the Second World War Pétain headed the Vichy Government, an ally of Nazi Germany that created many antisemitic and other racially-based policies.”  (Algemeiner, July 5, 2022)
PALESTINIANS TORTURE DETAINED CRITICS, RIGHTS GROUP SAYS(Ramallah) — International human rights group Human Rights Watch charged the Palestinian West Bank and Gaza Authority with arbitrarily arresting and systematically torturing critics and opponents. It Is calling on international donors to cut funding to Palestinian security forces, and for the International Criminal Court to investigate abuses, which could qualify as crimes against humanity. (The report comes a year after the beating to death, in prison, of Nizar Banat, a prominent critic of PA President Mohammed Abbas.) (Reuters, July 1, 2022)
DRONE STRIKE TARGETS LEADER OF AL-QAEDA-LINKED GROUP IN SYRIA, US SAYS (Idlib) — The US military said it carried out a “kinetic strike” targeting a leader of the Hurras al-Din jihadist group, an al-Qaeda affiliate, in the Syrian province of Idlib. The US is “highly confident” that the strike, carried out from a drone, killed Abu Hamzah al Yemeni. The strike was the second US operation in June to target a senior jihadist in Syria. US forces captured Hani Ahmed Al-Kurdi, a leader of the Islamic State (IS) group, on June 16 during a raid in Aleppo province. (Times of Israel, June 29, 2022)
RUSSIA DECLARES VICTORY IN UKRAINE’S LUHANSK REGION (Moscow) — Russia claimed victory in Ukraines Luhansk region in the east, which became a focus of its invasion after a failed campaign to take Kyiv. The takeover became complete when Russian forces and separatists established “full control” over the city of Lysychansk and several nearby settlements, Russia’s Defense Ministry said. (Washington Examiner, July 3, 2022)
RECESSION COMING IN NEXT YEAR FOR CANADA AND THE WORLD, MORE ECONOMISTS WARN (Ottawa) –There were signs last week that Canada’s economy was losing momentum when Statistics Canada released a preliminary estimate that GDP contracted 0.2% in May. This weakness was partly from the temporary effects of oil and gas output that month, but the slowdown also reflects the impact of the decline in Canada’s housing market, said Capital Economics’ Stephen Brown. (Financial Post, July 4, 2022)
TURKEY LIFTS VETO ON FINLAND, SWEDEN JOINING NATO, CLEARING PATH FOR EXPANSION (Ankara)Turkey drops opposition to entry of Sweden and Finland into NATO, ending a weeks-long drama that tested allied unity against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  In return, the Nordic countries will stop supporting Kurdish militant groups present on their territory, and lift their bans on some sales of arms to Turkey. US aid to modernize the Turkish air force is rumored to be included in the agreement.  (Reuters, June 28, 2022


Yair Lapid’s Attempt to Appeal to the Majority Ruthie Blum, Algemeiner, July 3, 2022 In his maiden speech on Saturday evening, Israel’s newly instated interim prime minister, Yair Lapid, performed very well. His delivery was good and whoever wrote the address deserves kudos for its content and tone. The trouble was the circumstances, which rendered the whole thing moot.

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