News Digest — 10/31/19

Jews Arrested On Temple Mount

Five people were detained on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Wednesday (30th) as they stopped to pray during their tour, while affirming “G-d is the Lord.”  Police arrested the worshipers.

Attorney Nati Rom, who accompanied the detainees under the auspices of the Honeinu legal aid organization, responded, “In the 21st century, in a democratic state, Jews must not be arrested solely for praying or expressing religious sentiments.  This is a disgrace and a serious violation of human rights. It is inconceivable that in the city that is our capital, Jews are not able to close their eyes, pray to their Creator, and express their feelings.”

“I expect human rights organizations and anyone who cares about our democracy to do as much as they can to allow Jews freedom of worship and freedom of expression in the capital city, Jerusalem.  This is a fundamental violation of the values of human rights, freedom of worship, and democracy. This ongoing injury must be stopped immediately.”



Israel To World Powers: No Help To Lebanon Unless Missiles Addressed

The Israeli government has recently sent out a request to various countries asking that any foreign assistance granted to Lebanon in dealing with its ongoing political crisis should also address the precision-guided missiles that Iran has placed in the country, Israel Hayom has learned.

The message was conveyed primarily to the United States and France in a variety of forums.

Officials who spoke with Israel Hayom said that any plan to stabilize Lebanon must also include a pledge by the government of Lebanon to stop the missile project pursued by Hezbollah in Iran.

According to foreign reports, Hezbollah has 150,000 missiles and has received help from Iran in its effort to upgrade them into GPS-guided projectiles, making their potential impact much more devastating.

Israel has vowed to counter this threat. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon presented the UN Security Council with specific diagrams and figures several months ago accusing Iran of turning Lebanon into its missile hub.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced Tuesday (29th) he would be stepping down over his government’s failure to address the concerns of the Lebanese people.  Protesters have taken to the streets over the past several weeks, accusing the Lebanese establishment of corruption and being out of touch with the people.



Turkey Summons US Ambassador Over Armenian Genocide Recognition

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the US ambassador for a dressing down Wednesday (30th) following a vote in the House of Representatives relating to Turkey.

Turkey called in US Ambassador David Satterfield in response to the House measure, which condemned the Armenian genocide.

On Tuesday (29th) the House passed a measure which recognizes the mass-murder of Armenians during World War I as an act of genocide, and condemns the Ottoman Empire for the killings.  The measure passed by a margin of 405 to 11 in the 435 member House.   

The Turkish Foreign Ministry rejected the House’s vote to recognize the killing of Armenians as an act of genocide.

Armenians have long sought international recognition for the 1915-1917 killings in the Ottoman era as genocide, which left some 1.5 million of their people dead.

Turkey–The Ottoman Empire’s successor state–strongly rejects that the massacres, imprisonment and forced deportation of Armenians from 1915 onward amounted to a genocide, dubbing them instead the “incidents of 1915.”

In 2016, Germany recognized the massacre of the Armenians as genocide.  Earlier that year, Austria recognized the Armenian genocide following the EU’s position.  Later Russia also recognized the Armenian genocide, angering NATO-member Turkey.



The Attempt To Revive The False Charge That Israel Is Racist – Dore Gold

→ Every few years a voice emerges which seeks to brand Israel or its leaders as racist.  The most famous case was the decision of the UN General Assembly in 1975 to brand Zionism, the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, as racism.

→ Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Chaim Herzog, speaking in the name of the Jewish people, responded by saying that the resolution was based on hatred, falsehood, and arrogance, as he tore the resolution in half.  In 1991, the General Assembly formally revoked the resolution, largely as a result of diplomatic efforts of the United States.

→ Tragically, the issue has been reawakened in the context of the 2020 American presidential campaign, with the charge of Senator Bernie Sanders that the Israeli government under Prime Minister Netanyahu is racist.  Israel does not want to get drawn into American domestic politics. But Israel cannot, indeed Israel must not let such lies stand without a response.

→ It is Israel which reached out into Ethiopia during the 1980s to assist 120,000 of their Jewish brothers and sisters to cross Sudan and start new lives in Israel.  During the Syrian civil war, it was Israel that quietly opened its borders to Syrian refugees in order to provide them with urgent medical care. Anyone visiting Hadassah Hospital, or for that matter any Israeli hospital, will witness how thousands of Arab and Jewish patients are cared for by Arab and Jewish doctors. 

→ Israeli medical teams led the effort to defeat Ebola in West Africa, with mobile clinics which were flown in.  Ironically, it was Prime Minister Netanyahu who put Africa at the top of Israel’s priorities, with his repeated visits to the continent, starting in 2016.

→ Peace will eventually prevail in the Middle East, but it will be delayed if falsehoods about Israel continue to be spread and the Jewish state is defamed by those who should know better.

The writer is president of the Jerusalem Center.



70-Year-Old Jewish Man In Berlin Assaulted In Violent Anti-Semitic Attack

Berlin’s police department said that a man assaulted a 70-year-old Jewish man on Tuesday (29th) in the district of Pankow.  A police notice defined the attack as “Man anti-Semitically insulted.”

The 70-year-old man was walking in the neighborhood of Pankow when an unknown assailant taunted him with anti-Semitic language.  As the elderly man defended himself verbally, the assailant punched him, causing injuries to his head and chin. The attempts by the Jewish man to blunt the blows cause him to lose his footing and he fell to the ground.  A bystander ran toward the two men, prompting the assailant to flee.

This latest outbreak of anti-Semitism comes on the heels of the city’s prosecutors pulling the plug on an investigation into an anti-Semitic attack on Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal, president of the city’s Chabad community.  Assailants allegedly spat on the rabbi after he left synagogue services in July.

The mayor of Berlin, Michael Muller, has faced intense criticism for his lax attitude toward rising anti-Semitism in Germany’s capital.  Berlin’s best-selling paper Bild said last week that Muller has helped “make anti-Semitism socially acceptable” because he welcomed Iran’s anti-Semitic mayor to the capital.

The Jerusalem Post reported in September that Muller met Tehran’s Mayor Pirouz Hamachi, who participated in a rally in his city calling for Israel’s destruction.

Muller has also declined to take legal action against the Iranian regime-sponsored anti-Semitic Al-Quds march, which takes place each year in Berlin.  

Berlin’s city government permits 250 Hezbollah members and supporters to operate in the capital, according to the city’s intelligence agency.