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Wednesday’s News of the Week In Review

early photo of Ben Hecht – approx. age 25
(Source: Wikipedia)


Weekly QuotesShort Takes

On Topic Link


The Hollywood Legend Who Mobilized the English Language on Behalf of the Jews of Europe and Israel:

Rick Richman, Mosaic, July 3, 2019




“Recently, Iran has been threatening the destruction of Israel. It would do well to remember that these planes can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and certainly Syria.” – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said via a video feed to the annual Christians United for Israel (CUFI) summit in Washington, DC.  (Algemeiner, July 9, 2019)


“Our plan right now is with President [Mahmoud] Abbas.  We’re not looking for any type of regime change.” — U.S. special envoy for Mideast peace negotiations Jason Greenblatt said at the annual summit by the organization Christians United for Israel. (Jewish Press, July 9, 2019)


“To compare the humane work of the dedicated men and women of Customs and Border Protection with the horrors of the Holocaust is an outrage. The Nazis took lives, American law enforcement save lives every day.” – Vice President Mike Pence speaking at the “Christians United For Israel” event Monday in Washington, where he blasted Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib for comparing U.S. migrant detention centers to concentration camps. “We can’t allow memory of the Holocaust to be cheapened to advance left-wing political narrative.” (Realclearpolitics, July 8, 2019)


There are “serious and credible allegations that the Trudeau government politically interfered in Mr. Norman’s prosecution and trial.” – Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said in a statement accusing the governing Liberals of using taxpaper dollars to hide behind a political nightmare months before the coming federal election as regards the Vice-Admiral Mike Norman affair.  “I call on Justin Trudeau to immediately disclose the settlement amount and waive the nondisclosure agreement.  Anything less than full disclosure would amount to a cover-up.”  (Globe and Mail, June 28, 2019)


“We regret this decision by Iran, which calls into question an essential instrument of nuclear non-proliferation,” — the foreign ministers of Germany, France, and Britain said in a joint statement with the EU’s High Representative on Iran. “We urge Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal,”they said. (Reuters, July 2, 2019)


“Within hours, the technical tasks will be done and enrichment above 3.67 per cent will be in. We predict that the IAEA measurements early tomorrow morning will show that we have gone beyond 3.67 per cent.” – Iran nuclear agency spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said referencing Iran’s claims to have enriched its uranium levels allowed by its 2015 nuclear agreement, moving closer to weapons-grade levels. (Globe and Mail, July 8, 2019)


“It is a very, very dangerous step.  I’m asking you not to provoke but out of joint knowledge of history and what happens when aggressive totalitarian regimes can cross the threshold toward things that are very dangerous to us all.  Take the steps that you promised.  Enact the sanctions.” – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging the international community to punish Iran for its decision to enrich uranium beyond the levels set by the JCPOA. (Globe and Mail, July 8, 2019)


“Throughout his remarkably prolific and often penniless working life — Orwell died at the age of 47 — Orwell’s chief concern was the timeless susceptibility of intellectuals to the allure of totalitarianism, to slavish habits of mind, to confirmation bias, to slovenly conformity, and the ideological rote-recitation of self-affirming truth claims, no matter how baseless. Totalitarianism will not emerge in liberal democracies by way of invading armies of uniformed men, Orwell insisted. It will arise in the debasement of language, in the coarseness of political speech.” – National Postcolumnist Terry Glavin writes on the 70th year anniversary of George Orwell’s classic titled Nineteen Eighty-Four. (National Post, June 26, 2019)




TUNISIA BANS FULL-FACE VEILS FOR SECURITY REASONS (Tunis) — Prime Minister Youssef Chahed of Tunisia prohibited anyone wearing the niqab, a religious covering for the face with only an opening for the eyes, from entering public institutions and government offices, citing security reasons. (NYT, July 5, 2019)


ISRAELI ANALYST: US THREATENS CUTTING OFF JORDAN IF KING FAILS TO SUPPORT PEACE DEAL (Washington) — Israeli Arab-affairs analyst Shimrit Meir tweeted that the Trump administration is considering cutting aid to Jordan should it fail to support the political part of the “deal of the century” which should be presented after the September 17 Israeli elections, according to the Wall Street Journal. (Jewish Press, July 8, 2019)


IRANIAN OIL TANKER CREW BEING INTERVIEWED AS WITNESSES IN GIBRALTAR (Gibraltar) — The crew on a giant Iranian oil tanker detained in Gibraltar are being interviewed as witnesses to establish the nature of the cargo and its ultimate destination, a spokesman for the British territory said. British Royal Marines abseiled onto the Grace 1 tanker and seized it for trying to take oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions. (National Post, July 5, 2019)


SECRET US-IRAN TALKS REPORTEDLY HELD IN KURDISH REGION OF IRAQ (Erbil) — A hotel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region in Iraq, was the scene of secret meetings taking place between U.S. government and Iranian officials, according to i24NEWS. However, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook immediately denied that secret meetings had taken place. Iran has rejected diplomacy “too many times,” he said, and “right now, there are no back-channel talks between the U.S. and Iran.” (WIN, July 10, 2019)


EGYPT: SIX DETAINED OVER SPYING FOR IRAN (Egypt) — Egypt’s Supreme State Security Criminal Court sentenced five defendants to 25 years in jail and another to 15 years on charges of espionage for Iran with the aim of harming Egypt’s military, political, and national interests. (Ashraq Al-Awsat, July 8, 2019)


GANTZ TAPS TOP OBAMA STRATEGIST FOR BLUE AND WHITE CAMPAIGN (Jerusalem) — Joel Benenson will join Gantz’s team ahead of Israel’s September 17 election. Disclosure of the beefed-up effort by Gantz and his people to unseat Netanyahu comes on the heels of Ehud Barak’s entry into the Knesset race. The former prime minister has been forceful in delivering professionally-packed statements about the need to topple the incumbent leader. (WIN, July 9, 2019)


JERUSALEM COURT’S LANDMARK RULING PUTS PA ON HOOK FOR TERROR DAMAGES (Jerusalem) — On Monday, the Jerusalem District Court ruled that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is liable for civil damages in connection with 17 acts of terror during the Second Intifada. The landmark decision was won by Shurat Hadin, an Israel-based organization that defends Israel and Jews through legal systems worldwide. In this case, it represented the families of eight victims of Second Intifada terror. The ruling could force the PA to compensate the families for as much as one billion shekels ($279 million) in damages. (WIN, July 8, 2019)


YOUNG JEWISH EUROPEANS FACE MORE ABUSE THAN PARENTS:  STUDY (Europe) – Rise in antisemitic abuse comes in emails, text messages and social media postings, according to a European Union study.  Around 44 per cent of respondents aged 16-34 said they had suffered harassments, more than double the proportion for over-60s.  More than 80 per cent of Jews of all ages said they felt antisemitism had increased on the internet over the past five years. (National Post, July 5, 2019)


US SAYS SAUDI PIPELINE ATTACKS ORIGINATED IN IRAQ: REPORT (New York) — Drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil industry in May originated in Iraq, not Yemen, US officials have concluded, according to a Wall Street Journal report. (AlJazeera, June 28, 2019)


U.S. IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON HEZBOLLAH OFFICIALS ACCUSED OF SUPPORTING IRAN (Washington) — The Trump administration imposed sanctions on three senior Hezbollah officials in Lebanon, accusing them of having a “malign agenda” to support the Iranian government. Amin Sherri and Muhammad Hasan Ra’d, who are members of Parliament, and Wafiq Safa, a senior Hezbollah security official in Lebanon, were added to the Treasury Department’s sanctions list. (NYT, July 9, 2019)


MOSSAD FOILED 50 ISIS TERROR ATTACKS IN 20 COUNTRIES, INCLUDING TURKEY (Jerusalem) — The Mossad and the IDF Intelligence branch prevented 50 terror attacks by ISIS and Iran in the past three years, many of them in Tukey, Channel 12 reported. Twelve of the attacks were prevented in Turkey itself, which succeeded in foiling them thanks to Israeli-provided information to Turkish security services. (Jerusalem Post, July 9, 2019)


25 TERROR SUSPECTS ARRESTED OVERNIGHT IN JUDEA, SAMARIA (Judea and Samaria) — Israeli military personnel arrested 25 Palestinian Authority Arabs accused of carrying out terrorist activities and violence against Israeli civilians and security forces, during overnight raids that took place in Judea and Samaria. Most of the counter-terrorism operation reportedly focused on capturing Hamas operatives in the area around the Palestinian Authority-controlled city of Jenin, according to a report quoting an Arab source that was broadcast on Israel’s Kan public broadcasting station. (Jewish Press, July 8, 2019)


ARRESTS MADE AS ETHIOPIAN-ISRAELI PROTESTS CONTINUE IN MAJOR CITIES AROUND ISRAEL (Tel Aviv) — Members of the Ethiopian-Israeli community are accusing the state of institutionalized racism, saying they face a double standard in every area of Israeli life. (Jewish Press, July 8, 2019)


GOOGLE BUYS ISRAELI CLOUD STORAGE COMPANY ELASTIFILE(Central Israel) –The two companies did not provide financial details but one person familiar with the matter who spoke to Calcalist on condition of anonymity said the deal is valued at approximately $200 million. (C-Tech, July 9, 2019)


FLORIDA PRINCIPAL REFUSED TO CALL THE HOLOCAUST A ‘FACTUAL, HISTORICAL EVENT’ (Boca Raton) — In the messages, first published and reported by The Palm Beach Post, William Latson, principal of Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, Florida, wrote, “Not everyone believes the Holocaust happened.” Latson has since been reassigned to a position with the Palm Beach County school district, according to a district spokesperson. (USA Today, July 8, 2019)


FORMER MISS IRAQ TO BE STRIPPED OF CITIZENSHIP OVER HER ISRAEL SUPPORT (Iraq) — Sarah Idan, Miss Iraq 2017 reacted with disbelief at news that the country she once represented at the Miss Universe pageant plans to revoke her citizenship over her outspoken support for the Jewish State. Most recently, she defended Israel at the 41st session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on July 2. (WIN, July 10, 2019)


EXTRAORDINARY MEDITERRANEAN GAS PIPELINE PROJECT TO LINK ISRAEL, EUROPE GAINS US SUPPORT (Jerusalem) — The EastMed pipeline, which envisions the construction of a pipeline that takes natural gas from Israeli and Cypriot underwater reserves, and then transfers them to Greece and beyond, has been a frequent talking point during trilateral summits. In March, a summit in Jerusalem involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was joined by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who expressed support for the project. (WIN, July 10, 2019)


CAIR EXEC’S BROTHER MAKES FACEBOOK POST ABOUT KILLING JEWS (Lod) — Ahmed Billoo, the brother of a prominent CAIR executive wrote about killing Jews on Facebook while waiting for a plane at Israel’s David Ben Gurion Airport after a trip to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Middle East Forum’s Sam Westrop found. “Oh God, reduce their numbers, exterminate them, and don’t leave a single one alive,” Billoo wrote in an Arabic post featuring the hashtag “#Zionists.” (IPT, July 10, 2019)


TWITTER SAYS 2018 TWEET IN WHICH FARRAKHAN COMPARED JEWS TO TERMITES VIOLATES NEW RULES (San Francisco) — Twittersaid it was requiring Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan to take down a 2018 tweet in which he compared Jews to termites. The move came as Twitterannounced it was expanding its rules against hateful conduct “to include language that dehumanizes others on the basis of religion.” (Algemeiner, July 9, 2019)


GERMAN STATE OF HESSE PLEDGES TO CONFRONT BDS CAMPAIGN AGAINST ISRAEL (Germany) — The leading municipal association in the German state of Hesse — home to the city of Frankfurt — launched a new initiative urging leaders of cities worldwide to stand up to the anti-Zionist boycott of the State of Israel. Among those appearing at the launch of the anti-BDS campaign in Wiesbaden, the capital of Hesse, were Uwe Becker, the mayor of Frankfurt who also serves as the state’s commissioner for combating antisemitism, Haim Bibas, the mayor of the Israeli city of Modi’in, and Peter Beuth, Hesse’s interior minister. (Algemeiner, July 9, 2019)


STUDY: JORDANIAN TEXTBOOKS HAVE GREATLY IMPROVED IN PROMOTING MODERATE ISLAM, TOLERANCE, BUT STILL REJECT ISRAEL (Jordan) — A new study has revealed that Jordanian textbooks have greatly liberalized in promoting moderate Islam and tolerance, but still reject Israel and its right to exist. IMPACT-se, which conducted the study, stated that while the textbooks emphasized an abstract commitment to peace, “Israel is not envisaged to be part of it in any tangible manner.” (Algemeiner, July 9, 2019)


OMAR MUST GO!’ DEMANDS PRO-ISRAEL US LAWMAKER(Washington) — When asked by Michelle Makori of i24 News at the annual summit by Christians United for Israel whether the freshman congresswoman Ilhan Omar should be kicked off the committee for her antisemitic remarks, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), who is the top-ranking member of the committee, said that decision is up to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), an answer that elicited jeers from the CUFI crowd before McCaul could finish his answer. “But as for me, I think Omar has to go,” he said, eliciting wild applause and a standing ovation from the audience. (WIN, July 9, 2019)


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