News Digest — 12/10/20

Hanukkah Party At The White House

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke at the White House Hanukkah party on Wednesday (9th), wishing those in attendance a “very happy Hanukkah.”  He also joked with guests, saying he wished “about three of you a Merry Christmas.”

Trump welcomed the guests saying that he saw “a lot of friends and a lot of talent here, and I just want to thank everybody.”

The audience repeatedly shouted to the president during his remarks, expressing their appreciation for him.  At one point, party attendees began chanting “four more years,” to which Trump responded saying, “We’ll see what happens.” 

Yishai Fleisher, the international spokesperson for the Jewish community in Hebron, tweeted a photo of a “Build Israel Great Again” hat in the style of Trump’s famous, red “Make America Great Again” hat, saying the picture was taken at the White House Hanukkah party.

Since the party was not covered by the press, Donald Trump Junior streamed Trump’s remarks at the party live on his Facebook page, briefly showing the crowd at the celebration.



Pence In Hanukkah Call: Trump ‘Greatest Friend Ever’ Of Israel

On Tuesday evening (8th), Vice President Mike Pence looked back on the Trump administration’s victories for Israel in a call with Jewish community leaders, Jewish Insider reported.

In the pre-recorded 10-minute phone call one day before the White House’s annual Hanukkah party, Pence said, “It’s been such an extraordinary honor for me to serve as your vice president, alongside the greatest friend and strongest defender of the State of Israel and the Jewish people – ever to sit in the Oval Office – President Donald Trump.”

“When you think of the accomplishments over the last four years, I know for many it seems almost surreal.”

The U.S. relocating its embassy to Jerusalem, U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 were all mentioned by Pence.

Pence also highlighted the nomination and appointment of Amy Coney Barrett as a Trump administration achievement for religious freedom.

He cited the recent Supreme Court ruling that struck down New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s restrictions closing houses of worship, in which Coney Barrett tipped the balance for the decision.

Mentioning the recent death of former British Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Pence called him a “true Eved HaShem – a humble servant of God.”

“While we have much yet to do, I wanted to take this opportunity just to extend our best wishes to all the great leaders and friends on this call,” he said.

“All of you across the country have supported us in every way you can, but most especially in your prayers.”

Pence is an outspoken Evangelical Christian.  He has stated that his pro-Israel stance comes from his religious beliefs.

“My support for Israel stems largely from my personal faith,” he told Congressional Quarterly, in 2002.

“God promised Abraham, ‘those who bless you, I will bless, and those who curse you, I will curse.’” 



Mossad Fearful That Iran Will Target Israelis In UAE

The new surge of Israelis visiting the Persian Gulf for vacations or business is a major headache for the Shin Bet and Mossad, Haaretz reported Wednesday (9th).

Last week, Israel’s National Security Council issued a special statement warning that Iran is threatening to attack Israeli targets around the world to avenge the assassination in November of its top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in an attack Iranians blame on Israel.

Israel’s General Security Service, the Shin Bet, only looks after security of airline flights and Israel facilities abroad like embassies and trade missions, while the Mossad spy agency gathers intelligence on threats to the Jewish state and to Israelis abroad.

Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists are known to operate in the Gulf.  Also thousands of Iranians visit or live in the UAE and Iran has set up businesses that are fronts for Iranian intelligence.

“The current holiday period – Hanukkah, Christmas and New year’s – and the expectation that thousands of Israelis will flock to Bahrain and the UAE are a major new challenge for the Israeli intelligence community,” wrote veteran journalist Yossi Melman.  “One attack will suffice to undermine the normalization process with the two countries.”

“The greatest difficulty is how to protect Israelis after they land in the Gulf – how to protect them in hotels, malls and museums, as well as on beaches and desert tours.  It’s a very complex task that requires great skill.  The proximity to Iran only increases the challenge,” Melman wrote.



Israeli Baker Offers ‘Abu Dhabi’ Doughnut For Hanukkah

An enterprising Israeli baker is trying to tempt customers with a date-flavored doughnut, created in honor of the Jewish State’s new regional partner, the United Arab Emirates.

Pastry chef Itzik Kadosh is offering the “Abu Dhabi doughnut,” with its Emirati dates, nougat and cream filling, topped with a golden leaf.

Coming in an ever-growing range of colors and fillings, the doughnut takes ‘pride of place’ among dishes traditionally eaten over the week-long Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which begins on Thursday night (10th).

The Emirates in September signed a landmark U.S.-brokered deal to formalize relations with Israel, the first such agreement by a Gulf Arab state and only the third by any Arab country.

“We want to pay tribute to Abu Dhabi and to peace in the region,” Kadosh told AFP.

Each year Kadosh and his wife Kerem try to create new pastries for Hanukkah during which the Jewish community eats food fried in oil, especially the doughnut, or “sufganiya” in Hebrew.

Outside their well-known Jerusalem shop dozens of people, all wearing face-masks according to coronavirus regulations, stop to buy sweet pastries for the holiday also known as the Festival of Lights.

“This new ‘taste of the Gulf’ doughnut costs 20 shekels compared to just seven shekels for the standard jelly filled doughnut,” said Kadosh.



PA ‘Protocols’: PA TV Presents Notorious Anti-Semitic Forgery As ‘Important Book’

The Palestinian Authority’s (PA) official television station recently presented a notorious anti-Semitic forgery called “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” as a true work and an “important book” in an educational piece about a Lebanese historian who translated it.

The historian, Ajaj Nuwayhed, was described by PA TV as having a deep “cultural and intellectual contribution.”

Nuwayhed “left a mark on the Arab library that testifies to the depths of his cultural and intellectual contribution.  Among the most important of his books… [is] his important book: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which he translated,” the PA broadcasted in late November, reported by Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).

The Protocols was published in Russia in 1903 and was translated into multiple languages, feeding anti-Semitism everywhere it was published.

Already by 1921, “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion,” was exposed as a malicious anti-Semitic forgery.

However, “the significant detail that the book is a forgery has not stopped the Palestinian Authority from presenting it to its people as an authentic Jewish document, describing in precise detail the Jews’ plan to subjugate humanity,” PMW said Wednesday (9th).

PMW has previously exposed the PA for presenting “The Protocols” as an authentic document.

A Fatah spokesperson claimed that “The Protocols” instructs “the Zionists” to create “extremist” Islamic “religious streams” that will undermine Arab regimes by causing “internal disputes,” while the host of a program on Islam on official PA TV claimed that the Jews had already begun to implement several stages of “the plan” set out in “The Protocols.”

Both the PA and Fatah have claimed that there is a Jewish plan to subjugate humanity and take over the world.