Saturday, January 23, 2021
Saturday, January 23, 2021
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Wednesday’s “News in Review” Round-Up

 

 

 

Weekly Quotes

[Israel will act] firmly, responsibly and wisely [to preserve the] quiet and security. Recently there are elements who want to disturb that quiet. They are trying to test our determination and the country’s staying power. They will discover that the government, the army and the Israeli public has a steel will to protect the state and its citizens.”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, condemning today’s horrific terrorist attack in Jerusalem, which killed one and injured approximately 40 others. Netanyahu also confirmed that his government has adopted a policy on security matters in response to ongoing rocket and mortar fire emanating from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip: “The IDF is acting and will act against the terror organizations in Gaza. We will firmly and decisively defend our citizens. No country would be prepared to absorb the firing of rockets on its cities and citizens. Perhaps it will come to exchanging blows, it may continue for some time, but we are very determined to take away the terrorist organizations’ ability to harm our citizens. (Jerusalem Post, March 23.)

 

I do not scare. We will not give up. They will not terrorize us. We are making fun of their rockets. The Libyans are laughing at these rockets. We will defeat them by any method. [Libyans] are leading the international war against imperialism, against despots and I tell you, I do not scare.”—Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, in a speech broadcast on state television, vowing to emerge victorious in his battle against international forces seeking to impose a no-fly zone in his country in order to halt his forces from attacking civilians. Gadhafi’s defence ministry issued a statement warning that “any foreign military act against Libya [would] expose all air and maritime traffic in the Mediterranean Sea to danger and civilian and military [facilities would] become targets of Libya’s counterattack.” (Gazette, March 18 & CNN, March 23.)

 

I have no mission to attack that person. And we are not doing so. We are not seeking his whereabouts or anything like that.”—General Carter Ham, U.S. regional commander for all of Africa, confirming that he has not been mandated to seek out, capture, or kill Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Ham also stated that “the [U.S.] will not provide close air support for the opposition forces. We have no mission to support opposition forces if they should engage in offensive operations.” (Globe and Mail, March 21.)

 

“‘I think it’s very easy to square our military actions and our stated policies,’ President Obama insisted during a stop in his tour of Latin America. ‘U.S. policy,’ he reiterated, is ‘that Gaddafi needs to go.’ But the military intervention in Libya…is not aimed at that goal, the president maintained. Instead, in keeping with its U.N. mandate, it has been limited to protecting Libya’s civilian population.… The administration’s principal response to this [inconsistency] has been to try turning over the mission to its allies as quickly as possible—an effort that triggered a multinational quarrel over who would take over command. But another abdication of leadership won’t free Mr. Obama from Libya for long. Because of its limits, the military intervention threatens to perpetuate a stalemate that leaves Mr. Gaddafi in power, and that over time would create both a greater humanitarian crisis and more serious threats to U.S. and European interests.… Mr. Obama [needs] to do something he has avoided from the beginning in Libya: Exercise U.S. leadership.… As initial operations in Libya have demonstrated, effective multilateral action, especially involving the military, depends on strong American participation.… Ultimately Mr. Obama’s passivity is self-defeating. The sooner he recognizes this, the better the chance of salvaging a decent outcome in Libya.”—Excerpts from a Washington Post editorial, describing U.S. president Barack Obama’s incoherent Libya policy, which threatens to turn Libya into “a giant Somalia, riven by tribal warfare and anarchy that allows al-Qaeda to create a stronghold.

 

This week, we called upon [U.S.] President Obama and [U.S. Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton to specifically condemn the honoring of [Palestinian terrorist Dalal Mughrabi] and to demand of Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority that it immediately terminate incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and Jews in its schools, media, and speeches, and rescind the dozens of streets, schools, city squares, youth camps and sports tournaments named in honor of killers of Jews. To our shock and dismay, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have refused to condemn this vile, almost Nazi-like Fatah ceremony. We condemn him for this disgraceful failure and silence.… We live in the surreal situation in which President Obama and Secretary Clinton have been vocal condemning and criticizing Israeli actions with which they disagree, especially the building of homes for Jews in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, but deafeningly silent when it comes to the PA honoring terrorists. What does President Obama’s shocking, unbelievable and frightening refusal to condemn the honoring and glorifying of a major Jew-killer by Abbas’ PA, a day after an anti-Israel massacre, tell us about Obama’s true feelings about Jews and Israel?”—Zionist Organization of America National President Morton A. Klein, strongly condemning U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their shameful refusal to denounce the naming of a town square by Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party in honor of the terrorist Dalal Mughrabi. Mughrabi commanded the terrorists that perpetrated the 1978 coastal road massacre in which 37 Israelis, including a dozen children, were slaughtered. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, March 21.)

 

To all those who questioned and attacked and criticized Israel for stopping Gaza-bound ships in order to check them, here is the answer. Every day there are efforts by Iran, Syria and terrorist organizations to smuggle weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas. There is an axis of terror in our region, and we have to confront it if we want to prevent terrorism and create a chance for peace.…”—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, lashing out at critics of the partial Gaza blockade, after 50 tons of Iranian-made, Hamas-destined weapons were found on board the Victoria, a ship that was intercepted by the Israeli navy. Iran denied any involvement, with Iranian Army Commander-General Amir Ataollah Salehi saying “The Zionist regime’s diet is mixed with lies, lies and more lies. We deny all false reports. The Zionist regime is a usurper. There is an Islamic awakening throughout the Middle East and North Africa.… God willing, [Israel] will sink to the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea.…” (FrontPage Blog, March 17.)

 

[The events, which seek to promote Palestinian human rights, are frequently] accompanied by anti-Semitic harassment, intimidation and bullying. These activities can cultivate an atmosphere exactly the opposite of one that is open to the free exchange of ideas and the development of the mind with the aid of facts and logic. [Repeatedly condemning Israel year after year creates a] hateful environment [that] offends not only our sense of fairness, but also our core Canadian values of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law.”—Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, slamming Israeli Apartheid Week, and affirming that “such scapegoating [is] yet another symptom of a worrying new acceptance of the vilification of Israel and of Jews around the world.” Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper also strongly denounced the growing prevalence of anti-Semitism on Canadian campuses, saying “At one time…we could’ve expected threatening behaviour toward Jewish students to be rejected in any form at institutions of higher learning. Unfortunately, it is now often the behaviour of the anti-Israeli mob that is allowed to prevail.” (National Post, March 11.)

 

Of course I don’t condone any violence against anyone, but who wouldn’t fight for their country? What would any American do if their land was being taken? Remember Pearl Harbor. The Palestinian violence is to protect what little remains of Palestine. The suicide bombers act out of despair and desperation.”—Disgraced journalist Helen Thomas, in a Playboy interview, sympathizing with the plight of Palestinian suicide bombers. When asked about the Holocaust, Thomas replied, “There’s nothing wrong with remembering [the Holocaust], but why do we have to constantly remember? We’re not at fault. Do the Jews ever look at themselves? Why are they always right? Because they have been oppressed throughout history, I know. And they have this persecution. That’s true, but they shouldn’t use that to dominate.” (Contentions, March 18.)

Short Takes

JERUSALEM BLAST: MAN’S VIGILANCE SAVES LIVES—(Jerusalem) David Amoyal, who was wounded in today’s terror attack in Jerusalem, minimized the related casualties by calling police and warning by-standards after spotting a suspicious sack near the Jerusalem bus terminal, which contained the detonated explosive device. According to Jerusalem’s mayor, Nir Barkat, Amoyal “saw a suspicious bag and told some youths who were nearby to stay away while he called police.” The mayor added that Amoyal needed only a few more minutes to clear the area of civilians—during his call, the bomb went off. Amoyal is a hero. (Ynet News, March 23.)

 

SYRIA ARRESTS OPPOSITION LEADER AS PROTESTS CONTINUE—(Damascus) At least twenty-one people have been killed by Syrian security forces, as hundreds of anti-government demonstrators marched in southern parts of the country for the sixth straight day. Syrian authorities have also arrested a prominent rights leader, Loay Hussein—a political prisoner from 1984 to 1991—and accused him with supporting the protestors. Opponents of the al-Assad government have been demonstrating throughout the Syria, calling for political and economic reforms and alleging massive human rights abuses. (CNN, March 22.)

 

EGYPT COMMITTEE CHARGES MUBARAK OF KILLING PROTESTERS—(Cairo) An Egyptian committee set up to investigate violence during the demonstrations that toppled Hosni Mubarak has laid charges against the former president and interior minister for intentional murder of protesters. The fact-finding committee submitted its charges to the Public Prosecutor’s office, saying Mubarak as the head of the government was criminally responsible for the death of the protesters. Egypt’s former interior minister Habib al-Adli has also been accused of ordering police to open fire at demonstrators. More than 360 people died in the Egyptian uprising and thousands were injured. (Reuters, March 23.)

 

HUNDREDS OF ISLAMISTS STONE EGYPT’S ELBARADEI—(Jerusalem) Islamists have attacked Egyptian presidential candidate Mohamed ElBaradei outside a polling station, as he was going to vote in a referendum on constitutional amendments. “We don’t want you,” the mob shouted, throwing stones, shoes and water at the Presidential candidate. An estimated 45 million Egyptians were being asked to vote  “yes” or “no” to a package of constitutional changes, opposed by El-Baradei, that would lead to an election within six months. The main advocates of a “yes” vote have been the Muslim Brotherhood and elements of the former ruling National Democratic Party, who stand to benefit from the lack of organization of grass roots level groups if elections are held too quickly. (Ynet News, March 20.)

 

GUNMEN KILL 45 PROTESTERS IN YEMEN—(San’a, Yemen) Security forces have opened fire on crowds of antigovernment protesters in Yemen’s capital, killing an estimated 45 people and injuring hundreds—prompting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to declare a state of emergency, and suggesting his government has shifted to a hard line against its hardening opposition. The bloodshed marked the most significant escalation in violence in Yemen’s capital since protesters began in January to call for the end of Mr. Saleh’s 32-year regime. The one-day death toll stood higher than the estimated 40 demonstration-related fatalities in Yemen until now. (Wall Street Journal, March 19.)

 

HAMAS DIGGING ‘TERROR TUNNELS’ ALONG BORDER WITH ISRAEL—(Jerusalem) According to reports, there is a growing concern within the IDF regarding increased efforts by Palestinian terrorist groups to dig tunnels along Israel’s border that could be used to infiltrate the country and perpetrate attacks. Tunnels have been used in the past by Hamas and other terrorist groups to launch attacks on Israel; the terrorists who abducted Gilad Schalit from his military post near Kerem Shalom, in June 2006, crossed into Israel through an underground tunnel. The number of tunnels leading into Israel has grown in recent years; however, their exact number is unknown to the IDF. (Jerusalem Post, March 21.)

 

U.S. PRAISES PA SECURITY PROGRESS—(Washington) The Obama administration has lauded the growth and development of Palestinian security services. “The program…is achieving notable progress on security, justice, corrections, and other new fronts,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement. The White House’s comments come a week after two members of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ official security forces were arrested in conjunction with the bloody massacre in Itamar in which five family members were brutally stabbed to death inside their home. The Obama administration has been pressing Israel to cede more authority to the Palestinian security services as a means of advancing the peace process. (JTA, March 22.)

 

JAPAN’S JEWISH COMMUNITY RAISES MONEY FOR RELIEF EFFORTS—(Kobe, Japan) The Jewish community of Japan has released photos of relief efforts it helped fund in the disaster-stricken country, where hundreds of thousands of people remain homeless following last week’s earthquake and tsunami. Philip Rosenfled, treasurer of the community in Tokyo, said that the country’s 2,500 Jews have raised $35,000 to provide food and shelter for the needy. For its part, Israel has also contrubted to relief efforts, having been the first nation to establish a field hospital in Japan. (Jerusalem Post, March 20 & 21.)

 

ISRAEL’S SUPREME COURT TO RULE ON DISENGAGEMENT CLEMENCY LAW—(Jerusalem)Israel’s Supreme Court has been tasked to decide whether to overrule a parliamentary law to expunge the criminal records of Jewish dissidents, whose indictments stem from the 2005 Gaza Disengagement. The Court has appointed a panel of nine judges to rule whether to accept nine petitions by left-wing groups against a parliamentary law to pardon anti-Disengagement protesters. More than 1,000 indictments were issued following the disengagement, of which approximately 400 are still in judicial proceedings. The hearing is scheduled for July 24. (Independent Media Review and Analysis, March 22.)

 

FORMER ISRAELI PRESIDENT SENTENCED TO 7 YEARS—(Jerusalem) Former Israeli President, Moshe Katsav, has been sentenced to seven years in jail for rape. Katsav has consistently denied the charges brought against him, that he twice raped an aide when he was a Cabinet minister in the late 1990s, and molested or sexually harassed two other women who worked for him during his 2000-2007 term as president. However, a three-judge panel at Tel Aviv District Court convicted him in December, alleging that his testimony had been “riddled with lies.” Katsav cried and shouted in the Tel Aviv courtroom during his sentencing. (National Post, March 23.)

 

US GOV’T TO PROBE ANTI-SEMITISM AT CALIFORNIA UNIVERSITY—(New York) In what experts are calling a “strong signal to American higher education,” the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has opened an investigation into claims of anti- Semitism at the University of California Santa Cruz. UC-Santa Cruz lecturer Tammi Rossman-Benjamin filed a complaint in June 2009 claiming that the university was failing to address an intensifying “hostile” environment for Jewish students, in which Jews endure “demonizing criticism.” According to former OCR chief Kenneth L. Marcus, “There’s really only one remedy if a school is to be found in violation, and that would be complete cessation of all federal funding.” (Jerusalem Post, March 17.)

 

STUDY: BIRTHRIGHT ALUMNI BETTER ISRAEL ADVOCATES, MARRY JEWISH—(San Francisco) A new study conducted by Brandeis University’s Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies has found that the impact of a Taglit-Birthright experience is significant and lasts for years. The study, “The Impact of Taglit-Birthright Israel: 2010 Update,” which focused on 2,000 young Jews who applied for and/or took part in a Birthright trip between 2001 and 2005, discovered that participants in the 10-day Israel trips become more confident advocates for Israel, are more likely to feel very connected to Israel, and are 51 percent more likely to marry a Jewish person than their peers who applied for but did not go on a Birthright trip. (JTA, March 17.)

 

UNRWA SCRAPS PLAN TO TEACH HOLOCAUST—(Amman) The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA),which provides full monetary assistance, protection and advocacy for Palestine “refugees,” has shelved plans to include the history of the Holocaust in its school textbooks. A recent statement announcing the intention triggered a wave of protest among UNRWA Arab cadres in the five areas of operation—Jordan, Lebanon, theWest Bank, Gaza and Syria. The Union of Arab Workers at UNRWA released a statement describing the plan as an “attempt to derail the relief agency from its main duty of providing humanitarian services to refugees,” and called on the organization to instead include an “enrichment” topic about the right of refugees to return to their homeland. (Jordan Times, March 18.)

 

PALIN VISITS ISRAEL—(Jerusalem) Former American vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin has concluded a two-day visit to Israel, which included a tour of the Western Wall, and dinner with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem. During her trip, Palin affirmed that she “absolutely supports Israel,” and that “America is the biggest friend that Israel has.” She also questioned “Why [is Israel] apologizing all the time?” Palin is the latest potential candidate for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination to visit Israel over the last two months, joining former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. (Jerusalem Post, March 21.)

 

OUTRAGE OVER HOLOCAUST-DENYING NORWEGIAN LAWMAKER—(Jerusalem)

Members of Norway’s Labor Party have called for the resignation of lawmaker Anders Mathisen after he told the Finnmarken newspaper that the Holocaust never happened and challenged readers to prove him wrong. “There is no evidence the gas chambers or mass graves existed,” Mathisen told the newspaper. “Even reputable Holocaust historians have admitted it cannot be established.” Mathisen has accused Holocaust survivors of exaggerating their stories, and believes the public has been brainwashed by films such as “Schindler’s List.” (Jerusalem Post, March 21.)

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