Sunday, November 01, 2020

11/01 Links: Trump Is the Candidate for the Middle East; French cartoon row: Islamic leaders push Holocaust denial in response; Should Jews celebrate Balfour Day?

From Ian:

Trump Is the Candidate for the Middle East
Here, too, Iran is the exception to the rule. Most Middle East countries want to see Trump remain in the White House; the fact that Iran fears him so much is considered a bonus. One can argue about his style, but no one can deny Trump credit for the fact that his regional policies have made friends and foes alike take notice. He has restored the United States’ standing as a major power-player in the Middle East.

There is also no doubt that his crowning achievement is making actual breakthroughs in the moribund Middle East peace process. His decision to go over the Palestinian Authority’s head was proven right, and regardless of what the future might bring, Trump will go down in history as the US president who brokered three peace agreements between Muslim nations — the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan — and the Jewish state, and presided over the Israel-Lebanon maritime border talks. And more is sure to come.

Effective progress in peacemaking in the Middle East alongside the very effective deterrence gained vis-ร -vis Iran has restored stability to the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring, and therefore has been welcomed by the region’s rulers. Trump has proven he has a better understanding of regional realities than his predecessor, and unlike President Barack Obama didn’t create an Islamist backlash by trying to push Western democracy or preach morals.

The results of the November 3 elections are for American voters to decide, but Trump’s legacy will be felt in the Middle East long after he leaves the White House, be it in 2020 or in 2024. His will be a legacy of power and determination, of resorting stability to the region, and of proving that the United States stands by its allies.
Dov Lipman: Israel & Sudan: From Bloody Enemies to Prospective Peace Partners
Support for Normalization: Sudan National Dialogue

All of this came on the backdrop of the so-called Sudan National Dialogue, a summit attended by all of the country’s political parties and factions, during which many of them expressed support for normalizing relations with Israel, especially due to the economic benefits that such a move would entail.

Under-the-radar discussions between Sudan and Israel were launched and continued into February 2020, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Uganda with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of Khartoum’s Sovereignty Council. The two held a two-hour tete-a-tete that resulted in a loose agreement to start forging ties.

Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization, “aggressively” condemned the move, saying that it constituted “a stab in the back of the Palestinian nation.” Massive Country, Massive Achievement

Despite objections from Ramallah, the encounter bore immediate fruit as Israeli commercial planes were later that month given permission to use Sudanese airspace. This, in turn, decreased the flight time from Israel to South America by three hours.

The fact that Sudan, which has a population four times larger than the UAE and Bahrain combined, and whose geographical size is 22 times bigger than those two countries together, appears to be choosing a path of engagement with Israel is a remarkable twist.

A historic development of this magnitude between former enemies simply cannot be downplayed or ignored.
Joe Biden, FDR, and the Nazis
Regardless of the outcome of next week’s election, former Vice President Joe Biden will have the distinction of being the first American presidential candidate to draw attention to the US government’s shameful record of friendly relations with Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

During the final presidential debate on October 22, President Donald Trump claimed that he has “a good relationship” with North Korea and argued that “having a good relationship with leaders of other countries is a good thing.” Former Vice President Biden retorted that “we had a good relationship with Hitler before he in fact invaded Europe.”

Biden’s assertion must have surprised many viewers of the debate, who likely assumed that because President Franklin D. Roosevelt led America in a war against Nazi Germany, he must have always been hostile to the Hitler regime. In fact, from the time FDR first took office in 1933 until America entered World War II in December 1941, the Roosevelt administration’s policy was to pursue cordial, sometimes even friendly relations with the Nazi regime.

Many Americans boycotted products from Nazi Germany. But the Roosevelt administration helped Nazi Germany evade the boycott in the 1930s by permitting goods from Germany to bear labels that misled consumers as to their country of origin. The administration halted this disgraceful practice only when threatened with a lawsuit by boycott activists.

FDR also sent Secretary of Commerce Daniel Roper to address a pro-Nazi rally in New York City in 1933. At that rally, Nazi Germany’s ambassador to the United States was the keynote speaker and the podium and hall were decorated with swastika flags. In 1937, the administration sent one of its senior diplomats to represent the United States at the annual Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg.

In some instances, the Roosevelt administration actually apologized for U.S. citizens’ anti-Nazi sentiment. In 1935, the administration publicly apologized to Adolf Hitler after a New York City judge released protesters who tore a swastika flag off a visiting German ship. Then, in 1937, when New York mayor Fiorello La Guardia called Hitler a “brown-shirted fanatic who is threatening the peace of the world,” Roosevelt’s secretary of state expressed the US government’s “regret” over “utterances calculated to be offensive to a foreign government.

Seth Frantzman: French cartoon row: Islamic leaders push Holocaust denial in response
In a speech on Friday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah raged against cartoons that had offended the “prophet to over a billion people.”

Then in a seemingly unrelated comment, he said in a matter “less sensitive” than offending Muslims, France had prosecuted “philosopher Roger Garaudy, who wrote a book questioning the myths of the so-called Holocaust.”

In his speech, Nasrallah denied the Holocaust and supported Holocaust denial, claiming that denying it was less offensive than cartoons mocking religion.

His tirade against the Holocaust began by referring to a controversy with France, in which Turkey and other countries led by leaders who identify with political Islam have claimed France is insulting Muslims.

The controversy is largely invented because it stems from cartoons published years ago in a French magazine. It has been revived primarily by Turkey to encourage attacks on France.

Why did Nasrallah seek to deny the Holocaust to get back at France for cartoons? The cartoon controversy has led to a series of hypocritical statements by leaders claiming to be offended. Mahathir Mohamad, the former Malaysian leader, claimed that “Muslims have a right to be angry and to kill millions of French people.”
PMW: PA sides with Islamists following 2 French beheadings, 4 murders The official Palestinian news sources have not published condemnations of the murders of innocent French Christians by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas or any other PA leader.
France is on its highest terror alert in many years following a series of terror attacks by Muslims, and the PA has chosen to be on the side of the terrorists.

The terror attacks started after a French teacher who showed his class cartoons of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as an example of freedom of expression, was beheaded by a Muslim. Reacting to the murder in a Paris suburb, President of France Emmanuel Macron spoke in defense of freedom of expression, and said: “Islam is a religion that is experiencing a crisis across the world.” He also called the murder “a typical Islamist terrorist attack.” [The Guardian, Oct. 18, 2020] Subsequently another Muslim murdered three Christians in a church in Nice, one of them an elderly woman whom he beheaded. A few days later, yet another terrorist shot and injured a priest as he was leaving church. In addition, Muslims are demonstrating against France and against cartoons portraying Islam’s Prophet Muhammad across the world.

Significantly, the Palestinian Authority has chosen to take the side of the Islamists. The official Palestinian news sources have not published condemnations of the murders of innocent French Christians by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas or any other PA leader. In fact, no one has even mentioned the killings. Instead, while being careful not to criticize France by name, since France is one of the PA’s top financial supporters in Europe, PA religious leaders - including the Ministry of Religious Affairs - have condemned the publication of the Muhammad cartoons, saying that it is the cartoons that “fan the spirit of hatred and hostility”:

“The Ministry of Religious Affairs expressed its rejection of the affront to Prophet Muhammad… Ministry of Religious Affairs Director-General in the Ramallah District Wafiq Alawi said: ‘The ministry – with all its administrative staff and all the mosque imams, preachers, and guards – has followed with great resentment the publication of the cartoons affronting Prophet Muhammad… We warn against continuing these affronts… This fans the spirit of hatred and hostility, and contributes to burying the culture of tolerance and peace between the peoples.”

[WAFA, official PA news agency, Oct. 28, 2020]
Muslim organizations of New York to protest in front of French consulate
Muslim organizations across New York plan to protest in front of the French Consulate in Manhattan on Sunday, in response to recent remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron in a row about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

"The French President is directly provoking the Muslim world in his support of offensive and vulgar depictions of the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)," the Islamic Leadership Council of New York said in a press release. PBUH is the acronym for "peace be upon him."

"Moreover, he continues to directly terrorize the French Muslim community by raiding private homes and mosques over baseless accusations in the aftermath of the attack against a French teacher," it added.

The council said that even before his most recent comments, Macron had been on a "crusade against Muslim communities" and accused the French president of "further alienating an already marginalized" society.

"The Muslim world will not tolerate such blatant disrespect of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and stands in solidarity with their French Muslim brothers and sisters," the council said.

Tens of thousands of Muslims protested from Bangladesh to Pakistan and the Palestinian territories on Friday after killings in a French church prompted a vow from Macron to stand firm against attacks on French values and freedom of belief.

Thousands of Palestinian worshipers rallied after Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, in Jerusalem's walled Old City to condemn the republication of Muhammad caricatures in France. "A nation whose leader is Muhammad will not be defeated," protesters chanted.

JCPA: “The Devil from Paris” – Iran’s Harsh Criticism of the French President
As early as September 2020, with the opening of the trial of those involved in the murder of 12 members of the Charlie Hebdo editorial board in Pares, the Iranian Foreign Ministry condemned the French magazine that re-published the cartoons from 2015, which mocked the Prophet Muhammad. Iran’s Foreign Ministry defined the publication as an “anti-religious move.” A ministry spokesman said that “the publication of the cartoons ostensibly in the name of the freedom of expression, shows disrespect for the values and beliefs of over a billion Muslims around the world, and this is unacceptable.”

Even then, Iran sharply criticized the “indifference” of French President Macron, who, following the re-publication of the cartoons in early September 2020, defended the freedom of expression and freedom of the press in France. Tehran claimed that while France saw the Mohammed cartoons as freedom of expression, it defined Holocaust denial as a crime. The news agency website Alef claimed that France makes a distinction between Jews and Muslims and that anyone accused of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is a candidate for a trial.

The paper cited the case of French Communist author Roger Garaudy, who was convicted and fined for Holocaust denial, and the case of the anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonnรฉ M’bala M’bala. The site also criticizes French policy, which expands the definition of anti-Semitism to include anyone who insults Israel and Zionism and considers it a crime. Alef’s article addressed Macron and wrote: “If you have red lines regarding freedom of expression, then they should apply to everyone … Why do they apply them only to Israel and anti-Semitism but not to Muslims who are victims of anti-Islamism and on whose back you teach a lesson of liberty and freedom in France?10“

For Iran, Macron’s remarks and the publication of the offensive cartoons are an opportunity to present itself as leading the fight against those who harm Islam and protect them from the “Crusades of the West.”

In this context, Tehran competes with Ankara, Turkey, which has also responded belligerently and called for a boycott of French products. Furthermore, Tehran looks at the attack on Islam in the broader context. Tehran points out that Macron’s reaction is actually a part of the Western axis – Israel, the United States, and Europe – policy against the Prophet Muhammad, the martyrs of Islam, and their supporters. Thus, the planned cartoon exhibition that challenges the Holocaust was declared to provoke international media noise that will, it hopes, reveal the hypocrisy of the West and its biased attitude toward Israel and Zionism.

Mr Corbyn’s shameless self-pity betrays the victims of the antisemitism scandal
It was Mr Corbyn’s decision to make what should have been a turning point for the better for Labour into another argument about himself. To some extent, it was always going to be about him. Antisemitism was never a big problem in the Labour party under any previous leader and only became a hugely divisive and damaging issue under him. The EHRC report puts it starkly: “Our analysis points to a culture within the party which, at best, did not do enough to prevent antisemitism and, at worst, could be seen to accept it.” The independent investigators clearly do not believe Mr Corbyn’s assertions that he was “always determined to eliminate all forms of racism and root out the cancer of antisemitism”. The report says: “It is not hard to conclude that antisemitism within the Labour party could have been tackled more effectively if the leadership had chosen to do so.” Since it was beyond their remit to peer into Mr Corbyn’s soul, the investigators don’t come to conclusions about why he didn’t choose to tackle it more effectively. The most generous explanation offered by some of his associates is that he has “a blindspot for antisemitism”. Much more severe verdicts are available.

Mr Corbyn’s vanity simply will not allow him to accept responsibility. Many things have been said about his character over the years, but one thing has not been said enough: he is a narcissist. He cannot deal with criticism because it challenges his self-conceited estimation of his own purity. He can never be the transgressor, he must always be the sufferer. So his response to the EHRC report was to weakly express “regret” that Labour took too long to address the issue while trying to shift culpability on to “an obstructive party bureaucracy” and adding the self-exculpating, responsibility-denying, victimhood-claiming assertion that the antisemitism on his watch had been “dramatically overstated for political reasons by our opponents inside and outside the party, as well as by much of the media”. Despite a statutory investigation finding otherwise, he stuck to his dog-eared denialist script that the antisemitism scandal was an exaggeration fabricated by his enemies.

After this direct violation of the “zero-tolerance” policy, Mr Starmer did not instantly treat it as an opportunity to demonstrate his “new leadership” by making an example of his predecessor. Mr Corbyn was first given a chance to avoid being suspended by retracting the statement. He instead went on TV to repeat it. There was no real choice then but to suspend his membership pending investigation, with the automatic consequence of also losing the party whip. For those asking under which rule, it is for “bringing the party into disrepute”. That appears rather appropriate.
Berger threatened she 'would pay' for Corbyn suspension.
Luciana Berger has revealed that she received a message online threatening that she “would pay” for the suspension of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

The former Labour MP was also subjected to vicious attacks during a live chat session run by the pro-Corbyn Novara Media website – including comments labelling her a “vile fifth columnist” and having a “face of evil.”

The former Liverpool Wavertree parliamentarian told the Sunday Times: ”The volume and toxicity of what has come in the past 48 hours is an example of the problem that still permeates the left.”

Ms Berger added that supporters of the former Labour leader were “still seeking to do down the experience of Jewish members and former members.”

On Twitter she was called a “criminal”, an “agent of a foreign power” and “Zionist scum”.

Commenting on Mr Corbyn’s response to the damning EHRC report into Labour's handling of antisemitism, Ms Berger said what was needed was a “wholesome apology” and not “another moment when he has chosen to obfuscate and not take responsibility.”

The 39 year-old also told the newspaper she believed Mr Corbyn is antisemitic, noting how he “can’t process not to be" but then engage in actions such as defending the Tower Hamlets mural that featured caricatures of Jewish bankers with hooked noses.
Meet the activists defending the community: ‘This was everyone’s fight’
The Equality and Human Rights Commission report had one focus: to decide “whether the Labour Party had unlawfully discriminated against, harassed or victimised people because they are Jewish”.

The commission was aware of many who had spent the past years in what sometimes looked like a hopeless battle, to raise awareness of antisemitism in the party – and to challenge its proponents wherever possible.

Simon Myerson, a barrister, is not a party member (he left in 2018). But, along with all those to whom Jewish News spoke, he has paid a price (of vitriolic abuse) for his vigilance and monitoring of anti-Jewish hatred.

He battles what he calls “the triumphalist left”, who are “thick and stupid – and malign”, adding: “These are people who are genuinely unpleasant. The minute you start making excuses for racism, or say it is justified because of Israel – when people are prepared to put aside their moral principles to do those things, where do they stop?”

Myerson took up the cudgel on Twitter because he is passionately anti-bullying, seeing it as “morally offensive”. His wife has urged him to stop, telling him “nobody listens”; but he says: “What about all the people who say nothing, but watch and read [antisemitism]? If they don’t hear the voice, it’s too easy for them to assume there’s something in it.”

Gnasher Jew is the anonymous online collective that has taken a leading role in challenging the Corbynistas. Three of the group were Labour members and one a Labour voter. They have a professional background in OSI, or Open Source Investigation, and had been challenging antisemitism on social media before Corbyn’s advent as Labour leader.
Truth, Lies, Statistics and Corbynistas
Those of you who are on social media or who have been following the news would have heard the line that only 0.3% of Labour members have been investigated, or suspected of being antisemitic.

Channel 4 Factcheck has done an excellent job of killing this nonsense by pointing out two things:

1. “It’s hard to understand how Mr Corbyn can claim to know how many Labour members were investigated by the party for antisemitism throughout his leadership. This is because people close to him have always argued that Labour did not have proper systems in place to track antisemitism cases until they took over the management of the party.”

2. “FactCheck approached Labour last year to ask how Mr Corbyn was able to recite such statistics then if, according to Ms Formby’s later statement, there was no “consistent and comprehensive system” in place for recording antisemitism complaints until she took over a month later. Those representing Labour at the time denied that there was any inconsistency between Mr Corbyn and Ms Formby’s statements, though they were unable to provide a full explanation of how the two might be reconciled.”

It appears that the statistic comes from a survey commissioned by Professor Greg Philo whose book downplayed (to put it mildly) antisemitism in the Labour Party. It was co-authored by Professor David Miller of Bristol University, whose comments on antisemitism have been well documented on this blog. Miller was suspended from the Labour Party twice. He has since quit the party in a huff using language that the Community Security Trust, an organisation that documents antisemitism, claimed was “disgraceful and dangerous”.
'Jewish Question' speech given at Momentum 'Stand By Corbyn' rally
A meeting held by the left-wing Momentum organisation to demand Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party suspension be rescinded included an incendiary speech on “the Jewish Question” which suggested antisemitism “has been used as a diversionist weapon against the progressive forces.”

Labour MPs Jon Trickett, Diane Abbott, Richard Burgon and John McDonnell all delivered speeches at Friday evening’s virtual event openly challenging Sir Keir Starmer over the decision to suspend the former leader over his response to the damning EHRC report into the handling of antisemitism complaints.

And Unite union executive Howard Beckett delivered his own interpretation of the EHRC report’s findings – claiming he believed the watchdog recognised the “reality” that Mr Corbyn had been “unjustly labelled” by the “right-wing media” and “given ownership of every act of antisemitism in the Labour".

But addressing the ‘Stand With Corbyn’ event, Rivkah Brown, who writes for the Novara Media website, made reference to a book she said had been shared with her by a “comrade” written in 1942, Antisemitism and the Jewish Question by “the Austrian Jewish Marxist scholar I Renapp.”

She quoted a passage from the book in which she said the author wrote: "Throughout the ages antisemitism and the Jewish Question have been used as a diversionist weapon against the progressive forces and their struggle for a better and higher order of things and today they can still be used for the same purpose.”

Ms Brown continued: ”This is entirely relevant to our moment.

“We have just had a day, and you know years, when antisemitism and the Jewish question, as we might call it, have been used to distract us from what ought to be the focus of the Labour Party which should be about winning power but should also be about transformative change.”

US Amb. to Israel David Friedman: Mideast is ‘exploding with good opportunities’ under Trump
Over the course of the past four years, the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has charted a new direction towards Israel, Iran and the greater Middle East. Many of the policies advanced during this period have looked considerably different from those of previous administrations—particularly that of Trump’s immediate predecessor, Barack Obama.

A central figure in the advancement of these policies has been U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, an American-Jewish bankruptcy attorney who represented Trump in previous business dealings, and a longtime advocate for Israeli settlements. His appointment initially was opposed by much of the U.S. diplomatic elite and many Mideast experts.

Highlights of the Trump administration’s Israel policy include: official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city; the transfer of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights; rollout of the Peace to Prosperity vision for Israeli-Palestinian peace, accepted by Israel as the basis for negotiations; and a reversal of longstanding American policy on the legality of suburban settlements in Judea and Samaria.

The U.S. election this week is likely to have profound implications for the future of America’s Mideast policy. Included are the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship and whether or not Friedman gets to spend another four years serving as ambassador. In the final weeks of a first or possibly only term, many of the Trump administration’s hard-fought efforts are only now beginning to bear fruit.

In just the past several weeks, three countries—the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan—have pledged to fully normalize diplomatic and commercial relations with the State of Israel. In the wake of these deals, which were advanced over the course of many years, America has further committed to ensuring Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME)—a fundamental principle of the Israel-U.S. alliance.
Gulf states hope for Trump's victory, officials say
Officials in the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain made it clear over the weekend that the Persian Gulf states' support for the re-election of US President Donald Trump extends to encouraging moderate Muslims in the US to vote for him, despite the fact that traditionally they do not support the conservative Republican Party.

"We have one eye on the US election. We hope for a Trump victory, but we are also preparing for the possibility of a new president entering the Oval Office," a senior Emirate diplomat told Israel Hayom.

A senior official in the Bahraini capital of Manama, who is close to government circles in Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, also confirmed to Israel Hayom that the moderate Sunni states are concerned that Trump will be defeated and that his rival, Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden will pursue changes in US policy in the Middle East.

"There are preparations in case the administration changes and the [new] administration's policy in the Middle East changes completely," he said.

"Nevertheless, neither scenario is expected to affect the agreements signed so far with Israel," he stressed. "In fact, a Biden victory may pave the way for a stronger alliance with Israel, with the understanding that we are dependent on one another and therefore we don't need constant backing from the Americans."

The Bahraini official added that although there are no plans for additional normalization deals between Gulf states and Israel by Nov. 3, such negotiations are ongoing.

"Talks with other countries in an effort to have them normalize their relations with Israel continue all the time, but if there is an agreement, it will be implemented only after the US election and in accordance with who wins them.

"If Trump wins, there will be a flood of moderate Arab and Muslim countries that are very interested in taking part in the Middle East [peace] process," he continued. "A Biden victory will see many of the countries that are currently exploring the possibility of normalizing relations [with Israel] take a step back and rethink the risk they are taking.

UAE ratifies mutual visa exemption agreement with Israel
The United Arab Emirates on Sunday gave its final okay to an agreement with Israel that will exempt tourists from both countries from visa requirements when visiting the other country.

“The cabinet ratified a number of agreements between the government of the UAE and a number of friendly countries, including the ratification of the agreement between the UAE and the State of Israel regarding mutual exemption from entry visa requirements,” UAE’s state news agency WAM said in a statement.

The agreement still must be ratified by the Israeli cabinet and Knesset before it enters into force.

The Israel-UAE visa exemption agreement will mean that citizens from both countries will be allowed to enter each other’s countries without having to go through the hassle of applying for a visa first.

The deal will be the first such arrangement between the Jewish state and an Arab country. Notably, even Israel’s closest ally, the United States, has so far refused to sign a visa exemption agreement with the Jewish state.

The treaty was signed last month during high-level meetings and a ceremony outside Tel Aviv attended by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and two senior UAE ministers — part of the first high-level delegation from the Gulf nation to visit Israel.
Should Jews celebrate Balfour Day?
Theodor Herzl likely died of exhaustion and frustration on July 3, 1904. The founder of political Zionism and the great and charismatic leader at its helm struggled for almost a decade to find a strong foreign power with influence that would recognize the reality of a Jewish state. He negotiated with the Turkish sultan, Kaiser Wilhelm, the king of Italy, and Pope Pius X.

In his 1989 study of Herzl, biographer Ernst Pawel writes, “Time and again he proceeded to act on the assumption that a few men at the top were free to determine the course of events, and that if he could talk to the key players he could convince them to follow his game plan.” It was all for naught during Herzl’s lifetime, but his legacy would lead to what Zionists considered a major triumph years after the leader’s death: the Balfour Declaration.

The Balfour Declaration was the product of practical politics and religious zeal. On November 2, 1917, British foreign secretary A.J. Balfour sent a letter Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, the de facto leader of Jewry in England. Balfour assured Lord Rothschild that “His Majesty’s Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a National Home for the Jewish People and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object.”

The declaration was the culmination during WWI of a year of continuous negotiations between the Zionist movement and the British government. It was in part a gesture of appreciation for Chaim Weizmann’s critical work on developing acetone for explosives for the British military, an attempt to counter Bolshevik propaganda and convince Russian Jews to remain in the war effort, and the influence of Balfour’s Christian Zionist religious beliefs.

While news of the Balfour Declaration electrified the Jewish world, the joy would soon be tempered by political reality. The Ottoman Empire collapsed and was soon replaced by the British Mandate. There can be no doubt that the power of the British Empire played a major role in England’s promises to the Jews. Historian Sir Martin Gilbert states in his 1998 history of Israel that Zionist leader David Ben-Gurion “sounded a cautionary note” to the news of the declaration.

Ben-Gurion’s words were prophetic: “Britain has made a magnificent gesture; she has recognized our existence as a nation and has acknowledged our right to the country. But only the Hebrew people can transform this right into tangible fact; only they, with body and soul, with their strength and capital, must build their National Home and bring about their national redemption.” As it turned out, the British were the power Herzl was looking for. Yet, in a short time, they betrayed their promises and eventually had to be driven out of the Land of Israel by the Jews. Their policies that favored Arab wrath at Jewish immigration into the Promised Land didn’t help.

THERE ARE two betrayals by the British of the Balfour Declaration that stand out. The first betrayal was the British Empire’s appointment of Haj Amin al-Husseini as the senior Muslim cleric in Palestine following the 1921 riots against Jews that he led, and which resulted in 47 dead. This appointment of a murderer of Jews as “grand mufti” was done to placate Arab opposition to Jewish immigration into the Mandate. The leader of this pogrom soon became “the predominant Arab political figure” in Palestine.

Israeli defense companies, IAI and Rafael, to present at UAE defense show
Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries will display their wares at the upcoming International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) set to take place in Abu Dhabi in February.

The companies’ participation at the biennial arms and defense technology sales exhibit, the largest of its kind in the Middle East, was facilitated through the recent normalization deal signed with the UAE.

Rafael and IAI, Israel’s largest military hardware manufacturers, will be joined in the Israeli pavilion by other companies such as SmartShooter, who make lightweight precision counter-drone systems that have been used operationally by the IDF along the Gaza border, and by US Special Forces and by BIRD Aerosystems, a company that develops and markets airborne missile protection systems (AMPS) and aerial surveillance, intelligence, and observation solutions (ASIO).

Last month, BIRD Aerosystems unveiled its ASIO Holistic Solution, a comprehensive system tailored for maritime and ground surveillance missions that provide a multidimensional approach to combating diverse security threats.

The Defense Ministry will decide which other companies will participate and what systems and platforms they will be allowed to display.

Although the list of products has not been finalized, Rafael’s Iron Dome Missile Defense System, the Trophy active protection system for armored vehicles and electronic jamming and radar systems are possibilities.
Netanyahu Says Can ‘See Light at the End of the Tunnel’ as Vaccine Trials Commence
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sounded optimistic on Sunday over the coronavirus pandemic, saying, “I see the light at the end of the tunnel, I see the vaccines in the State of Israel.”

The prime minister arrived at the Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan, where the Israeli-developed COVID-19 vaccine launched its clinical trial with the first participants, to deliver statements to the press alongside Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz.

“In this means or another, a vaccine developed here or abroad, we will bring enough vaccines to Israeli citizens and then we will be able to finally break free from the pandemic,” Netanyahu remarked

“I don’t think this will happen immediately,” he added. “I have only one request: Until there is a vaccine, heed the instructions and don a mask above the nose.”

Gantz, stressing “cautious optimism” and wishing luck to the volunteers, also took the opportunity to criticize the Israeli premier, urging to pass the 2021 state budget as soon as possible.

The experimenter who received the vaccine an hour ago “told me: ‘Help us, I came here to tell you to help us financially. I switched three jobs in the last several months before I received the vaccine,’” the former military chief recalled.
Israel Starts Human Trials of COVID-19 Vaccine as Schools Slowly Reopen
Israel began human trials on Sunday for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate which, if successful, could be ready for the general public by the end of next summer.

Eighty volunteers will initially take part in the trial that will be expanded to 960 people in December. Should those trials succeed a third stage with 30,000 volunteers is scheduled for April/May.

“We are in the final stretch,” said Shmuel Shapira, Director General of the Israel Institute for Biological Research.

The institute, which is overseen by the Defense Ministry, began animal trials for its “BriLife” vaccine in March and announced a week ago it had received regulatory approval to take it to the next stage.

Shmuel Yitzhaki, head of the institute’s biology division, told Reuters that if all goes well the vaccine could reach the general population by the end of next summer.

While the first batch of volunteers received the potential vaccine, around the country elementary students returned to school as a second nationwide lockdown comes to a gradual end.

Restrictions in Israel, with a population of nine million, are being slowly lifted following a steady decline in the rate of daily infections.
Israel to take part in European, Australian coronavirus vaccine trials
Israelis will be recruited to take part in two additional coronavirus vaccine trials beyond the Israeli Institute of Biological Research trial that started Sunday, according to Eytan Ben-Ami, head of early phase clinical trials at Sheba Medical Center.

According to the hospital, Israelis will be selected to take part in vaccine trials being run by undisclosed companies in Australia and Europe. The trials should begin within months if not before.

“Many thousands of people will be participating in the trials,” Ben-Ami told The Jerusalem Post. “We hope that in the very near future we will have various vaccine options for our population.”

If the vaccines are proven safe and effective, the people who were inoculated with them will be immune to the virus.

The European trial, like the IIBR trial that kicked off Sunday morning with two volunteers at Hadassah Ein Kerem and Sheba, is a Phase I/II trial. The Australian trial is in Phase III.

Ben-Ami said that he expects the volunteers that will be recruited for these trials to be broader and more diverse than those recruited for the Phase I IIBT trial, which only includes healthy adults between the ages of 18-55.

Sheba will not be the only medical center participating in the trials, he said, but will join other hospitals around the world.
Israeli experts make global stink over coronavirus surviving in treated sewage
Israeli experts say that sewage plants in some developed countries need to add a step to their treatment, fearing that the coronavirus can make it through the process and be introduced into natural bodies of water.

“We’ve found that copies of the virus have survived after conventional sewage treatment, raising a concern that when treated wastewater is released to streams and rivers, it could infect animals,” Oded Nir, one of the scholars, told The Times of Israel.

He said that only one percent of coronavirus RNA survived in treated sewage inspected by his team, and researchers have estimated that SARS-CoV-2 can only remain active in untreated or inadequately treated wastewater for a few days.

However, the amount of virus and quick treatment time in sewage plants, which can turn dirty water clean in 12 hours, are enough to raise alarms.

“It’s hard to predict what this would mean, but there is a concern that this could cause reinfection from animals back to humans, possibly after a mutation,” said Nir, a researcher at Ben Gurion University’s Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research. “If we pump large amounts of the virus to nature without further treatment, it could impede efforts to eliminate the virus.

“There is also a concern that humans could possibly get infected directly from wastewater that has coronavirus RNA.”
PA denies reports it will accept tax revenue from Israel again this month
The Palestinian Authority denied reports claiming that it would begin accepting tax revenue funds from Israel again, with Secretary General of the Palestinian Council of Ministers, Amjad Ghanem, saying that the reasons for the refusal still remained, meaning the PA would not accept the funds.

Watan News reported on Sunday that Ghanem had told them that the PA is expecting to start receiving tax revenues from Israel later this month, after refusing to receive the revenues since earlier this year. The report was circulated by additional Palestinian media outlets.

All public employees in the Palestinian Authority will be paid full salaries once the funds are received, said Ghanem. "We hope that we will win the political battle with the occupation and have the ability to recover the funds for compensation and end political blackmail," added Ghanem to Watan news, saying that efforts are being made in this regard and that the PA hopes to receive the funds this month.

Ghanem stressed that while there are many details concerning the "efforts" being made to receive the funds without any concessions by the PA, the result of the efforts is all that concerns civilians.

All imports to the PA go through Israeli checkpoints, and Israel collects VAT and tariffs for the PA. Those funds are the largest source of income for the PA. Israel also collects income tax and health insurance funds for Palestinians who work for Israelis.
A hollow victory for Iran''s mullahs
In all likelihood, the arms embargo imposed on the Iranian regime will not be significantly breached, especially by Western countries. An ally of the United States would have no business getting involved in arms sales to the mullahs, as this could lead to strong tensions with the US administration.

In terms of the nature of the threat posed by the mullahs’ regime, other Western countries have the same opinion as the Americans. But differences between the two sides lie not in the strategy, but in the tactics proposed for dealing with this regime.

As for China and Russia, it would not be a good idea to sell “qualitative” weapons to the mullahs. China has made no secret of its intention to sell arms to Iran after October 18. But I believe that these weapons will not affect the regional balance of power or increase the mullahs’ ability to threaten regional peace and stability.

Such a decision would anger the United States. On top of that, it would strain their already complicated relations, especially after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo promised that “any arms sales to Iran will result in sanctions,” and would anger the two countries’ allies in the GCC and Israel.

But all these scenarios will depend on precise calculations of strategic interests, gains and losses vis-ร -vis Iran and other countries. It is these calculations that will tip the scale for the major powers that have been talking about possible military cooperation with Iran in the near future.

Lifting the UN embargo five years after the nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 group—made up of the US, the UK, France, Russia, China and Germany—whose legal framework is defined by UNSC resolution 2231, leaves no doubt about the serious shortcomings and weaknesses of this agreement.

High school reporters reveal Hitler quoted in Kentucky police training materials
A report by Louisville, Kentucky, high school students has drawn national attention to local police training materials that quoted Adolf Hitler admiringly.

Hitler was the most-quoted person in a Kentucky State Police training presentation that encouraged officers to be “ruthless killers,” according to the report that appeared Friday in the Manual Redeye, the student newspaper of Louisville’s DuPont Manual High School. The presentation quotes from Mein Kampf and links to Hitler’s page on a social networking site about books, according to the report.

The student journalists, brothers Satchel and Cooper Walton, obtained the presentation because they are related to a partner at a law firm that had requested training materials as part of its work in a case related to a 2018 police killing, their article disclosed.

The report swiftly drew widespread attention from national news organizations and clarification from the state that the presentation had not been used since 2013. It also elicited condemnation from Kentucky officials and Jewish leaders.

“I am angry. As a Kentuckian, I am angry and embarrassed. And as a Jewish American, I am genuinely disturbed that there are people like this who not only walk among us, but who have been entrusted to keep us safe. There needs to be consequences,” tweeted Rep. John Yarmuth, the Democrat who represents Louisville in Congress. In a second tweet, Yarmuth said the presentation reflected “a poisonous culture that has gotten too many innocent people harassed and killed.”
Alaskan senator accused of antisemitism after ad against Jewish rival
US Senate candidate Al Gross has accused Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan of publishing antisemitic tropes. Sullivan published an ad showing Gross, who is Jewish, surrounded by cash with a faded-out picture of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is also Jewish, in the background.

The ad was accompanied by the text: “Lower 48 liberals are flooding Alaska with millions,” possibly referring to out-of-state funding for Gross’s campaign. Both campaigns have received large amounts of funding from outside of Alaska, 87% of Gross’s and 76% of Sullivan’s, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The combined spending of the two campaigns reached almost $21 million as of October 14, and outside groups have spent about $27m. more.

“This ad has disgusting antisemitic tropes but it’s what we should expect from a candidate who has hidden how his family does business with communist China and has voted time and again to benefit their bottom line,” Gross tweeted on Saturday. “They should take the ad down.”

Gross is an independent candidate running with the Democratic nomination.

His race with Sullivan has garnered national attention as it may result in a Republican seat in the Senate flipping to a Democratic seat.

OrCam, hearing aid firm Starkey to provide joint visual & hearing devices
Israel’s OrCam, a maker of devices to assist the blind and visually impaired, is joining forces with US hearing-aid firm Starkey, to integrate their technologies and help those suffering from both hearing and vision loss.

The result of this collaboration is a single solution that pairs Starkey’s Livio Edge artificial intelligence-based hearing aids with the wearable OrCam MyEye devices via a wireless connection, providing both hearing enhancement and audio communication of the visual world to a user at the same time, the two firms said.

“Livio AI transformed hearing aids into multipurpose, connected health devices with integrated sensors and artificial intelligence,” said Starkey chief technology officer Achin Bhowmik in the statement. “By using AI, we’re bridging the gap between a patient’s hearing health and their overall health and wellness. This partnership with the OrCam MyEye device allows us to achieve even greater success in our quest to help people live happier and healthier lives by enhancing and augmenting human perception and cognition with advanced technology.” Starkey’s Livio Edge AI hearing aids combine sound quality and sound processing for listening environments that are challenging. With a double tap by users, the device’s inbuilt AI system conducts an analysis of the acoustic environment and makes necessary adjustments immediately. OrCam’s MyEye is a finger-sized device that attaches to any pair of eyeglasses. Using artificial intelligence software, the device is able to read printed and digital text out loud, but discreetly, from any surface in real time. The device also recognizes people’s faces, as well as identifies consumer products, colors and money notes.
Tel Aviv University aims to launch shoebox-size satellite next year
Tel Aviv University is planning to launch a research nanosatellite, the size of a shoebox, hitching a ride on a spacecraft sent by NASA and US aerospace firm Northrop Grumman to resupply the International Space Station in the first quarter of 2021.

Once it’s at the ISS, a robotic arm will release the TAU-SAT1 nanosatellite into low-earth orbit (LEO). The satellite will conduct several experiments while in orbit, including measuring cosmic radiation in space.

The TAU-SAT1 is currently undergoing pre-flight testing at the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). From Japan, the satellite will be sent to the United States, where it will “hitch a ride” on the resupply spacecraft, the university said in a statement on Sunday.

“This is a nanosatellite, or miniature satellite, of the ‘CubeSat’ variety,” said Ofer Amrani, head of Tel Aviv University’s miniature satellite lab, in the statement. “The satellite’s dimensions are 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters, (4 x 4 by 12 inch) the size of a shoebox, and it weighs less than 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds). TAU-SAT1 is the first nanosatellite designed, built and tested independently in academia in Israel.”

The TAU-SAT1 was created, developed, assembled, and tested at the new Nanosatellite Center in Tel Aviv, an interdisciplinary venture of the Faculties of Engineering and Exact Sciences and the Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences of the university.

Approximately 400 kilometers (249 miles) above sea level, the nanosatellite will orbit the earth at a speed of 27,600 kilometers (17,150 miles) per hour, or 7.6 kilometers (4.72 miles) per second, completing an orbit around the Earth every 90 minutes, the statement said.

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.