Anti-Trump sentiment may turn against Israel, Ya’alon warns — Zio-Watch, March 7, 2017
Latest News Zio-Watch News Round-up

Anti-Trump sentiment may turn against Israel, Ya’alon warns — Zio-Watch, March 7, 2017

From The Times of Israel

Anti-Trump sentiment may turn against Israel, Ya’alon warns

Days after announcing intention to run for PM, ex-defense minister says he fears Israel becoming a GOP issue in Trump age

March 7, 2017, 6:27 am

Former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon speaks at Hebrew University, on January 18, 2017 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon speaks at Hebrew University, on January 18, 2017 (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

WASHINGTON — Days after Moshe Ya’alon announced his intention to form a new political party and run for prime minister in the next national elections, he warned against Israel becoming increasingly perceived as a partisan issue, namely a Republican cause, in the age of US President Donald Trump.

“I’m afraid of the fact that Israel is identified nowadays more with the Republicans,” he said Monday during a lecture at American University’s Center for Israel Studies. “Anti-Trump sentiments are becoming anti-Israel sentiments. This is my fear.”

“I’m afraid that we are paying the price today for taking sides,” he added, presumably alluding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s openly favoring then Republican candidate Mitt Romney when Barack Obama was seeking reelection in 2012, Netanyahu’s highly controversial address to Congress in 2015, amid strong opposition from Democrats, in an effort to thwart Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, and the Israeli leader’s generally adversarial relationship with the ex-president.

Since Trump assumed office in January, Netanyahu has signaled an intent to forge a closeness with the new American leader. He travelled to Washington last month to meet with him at the White House, where they both castigated Obama’s nuclear accord and vowed to thwart Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal.

Netanyahu also absolved the president from charges of anti-Semitism, saying there is no “greater supporter of the Jewish people and the Jewish state than Donald Trump.”
Click here for the full story



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Trump, Netanyahu discuss ‘dangers’ of Iran deal in phone call

Trump Bibi

President Trump with Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office of the White House, Feb. 15, 2017. (Andrew Harrer/Pool/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about the Iran nuclear deal in a phone call.

Trump called Netanyahu on Monday and the two leaders discussed “the dangers posed by the nuclear deal with Iran,” according to a statement from Netanyahu’s office.

“The two leaders spoke at length about the dangers posed by the nuclear deal with Iran and by Iran’s malevolent behavior in the region and about the need to work together to counter those dangers,” read the statement.
Click here for the full story



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Annexing West Bank will lead to ‘crisis’ with Trump administration, Liberman warns

Avigdor Liberman

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman speaking to the Knesset Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee, March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Annexing the West Bank will lead to a “crisis” with the Trump administration, Israel’s Defense Minister warned.

“I am saying it as clearly as possible: We received a direct message from the United States saying that Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank would mean an immediate crisis with the new administration,” Avigdor Liberman said Monday during an appearance  before the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Liberman called on the ruling government coalition led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “clarify very clearly, there is no intention to impose Israeli sovereignty.” Liberman is due to meet with top U.S. administration officials this week in Washington.
Click here for the full story



From The Times of Israel

Amid wave of anti-Semitism, NY gov shows ‘solidarity’ with Israel visit

Andrew Cuomo scheduled to meet Netanyahu and Reuven Rivlin in trip also geared toward advancing business ties

March 5, 2017, 9:44 am

In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to members of the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017photo, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks to members of the media after meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower in New York. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

New York City Governor Andrew Cuomo was set to arrive in Israel on Sunday for a visit that he has described as a gesture of solidarity spurred by acts of anti-Semitism at Jewish cemeteries, college campuses and community centers across the United States.

Cuomo announced the trip Wednesday during a speech to Orthodox Jewish students, parents and teachers advocating at the state capitol for increased funding for religious schools.

“I want to say to the people of Israel and I want to say to the Jewish community in New York, you are not alone, and every person in the state of New York with any decency and understanding of what it means to be a New Yorker stands with you at this moment,” he said.

Cuomo denounced local and national incidents of vandalism and threats as “repugnant,” echoing a speech he had given earlier in the day at the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center.

Speaking to The News York Times on Friday, Cuomo said showing support to the local Jewish community was not enough to tackle the growing phenomenon.
Click here for the full story



From the Ynet News

NYPD responds to arrest of disgraced journalist over bomb threats to US Jewish groups

Watch: NYPD vows to find all responsible after former journalist is arrested for allegedly threatening Jewish institutions; ‘As you make these threats from behind whatever technical curtain you use, we will shine a light in whatever direction we have to, you will be uncovered, you will be caught, and you will be charged,’ says NYPD representative.


Click here for the full story


From the Ynet News

Trump tells officials anti-Semitic threats could be to ‘make others look bad’

According to Democrat Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who attended a White House meeting Tuesday, Trump suggested spate of anti-Semitic incidents in the US could be manufactured to generate negative publicity against his administration and make ‘someone else look bad.’


Click here for the full story



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Israeli decries ‘Women’s Strike’ organizer convicted in bombing that killed her uncle

(JTA) — The niece of an Israeli killed in a terrorist attack nearly 50 years ago criticized the planned International Women’s Strike for allowing one of the convicted terrorists in a leadership position.

In an op-ed published last week on the Huffington Post website, Terry Joffe Benaryeh said she commends the goal of the strike, a push for women’s equality. The strike is planned for March 8, the official observance of International Women’s Day.

“But, explain how my family is supposed to reconcile the reality that the woman who stripped my uncle of his life is now deemed a hero by many of my fellow Americans. What justification is there for Rasmea Odeh, a woman who killed two people (with the intention of killing more!) to lead a peaceful fight for human rights?” Benaryeh wrote.

Eddie Joffe and Leon Kanner were killed at the Supersol market in Jerusalem on Feb. 21. 1969, when a bomb set by Odeh and an accomplice exploded in the crowded store. Nine people were injured in the blast.
Click here for the full story



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Knesset bans entry to foreigners calling for boycotts of Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attending a ceremony marking 25 years since the 1992 terror attack on the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, in Jerusalem, March 6, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

(JTA) — Israel enacted a law banning entry to foreigners who publicly call for boycotting the Jewish state or its settlements.

The Knesset passed the law by a vote of 46-28 on Monday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The ban applies to any foreigner “who knowingly issues a public call for boycotting Israel that, given the content of the call and the circumstances in which it was issued, has a reasonable possibility of leading to the imposition of a boycott – if the issuer was aware of this possibility.” It includes those who urge boycotting areas under Israeli control, such as the West Bank settlements.
Click here for the full story



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Why former US envoy Dan Shapiro isn’t ready to leave Israel

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel standing in his backyard in Raanana, Israel, March 2, 2017. (Andrew Tobin)

RAANANA, Israel (JTA) – Dan Shapiro can’t seem to leave Israel.

Before stepping down as the U.S. ambassador to the country in January, he said he would stay long enough for his daughters to finish the school year. On Sunday, he announced he would be sticking around a little longer to join the Institute for National Security Studies, a top think tank in Tel Aviv. He and his wife, along with their three daughters, are living within commuting distance, in a rental house in an upscale neighborhood of Raanana.

The plan is to stay for “a number of months,” Shapiro said in an interview next to his backyard pool, which he hopes to get a chance to use this summer, and not to immigrate.

“I can say the primary reason we made the decision was to let the kids finish their school year. But we are very much looking forward to the opportunity to experience life in Israel as a normal family,” he said in an interview next to his backyard pool, he said. “It was something we considered long ago, like many Jewish parents.”
Click here for the full story



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Avigdor Liberman to meet top administration officials in Washington

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman will arrive in Washington for meetings with senior Trump administration officials.

Liberman will leave Israel for the United States on Monday evening, his office said in a statement.

He is scheduled to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

The statement said that Liberman is looking forward to discussing with his counterpart “the security challenges that Israel and the U.S. share in the Middle East, including Iran, Syria, and Lebanon.”

Click here for the full story



From The Times of Israel

Netanyahu pauses 4-hour police grilling to speak to Trump

Investigators question PM for 4th time on corruption allegations in two separate cases; police chief indicates probes almost complete

March 7, 2017, 12:56 am

Illustrative: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking on the phone at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem, April 28, 2014. (Amos Ben Gershon/GPO)

Illustrative: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking on the phone at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, April 28, 2014. (Amos Ben Gershon/GPO)

Police investigators questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday evening for the fourth time in two corruption cases, an interview that lasted for over four hours and during which the Israeli leader excused himself to take a pre-scheduled call from US President Donald Trump.

Investigators from the police anti-corruption unit, Lahav 433, arrived at the Prime Minister’s residence in Jerusalem to question the prime minister on suspicions he and his family accepted expensive gifts from wealthy businessmen in exchange for favors, known as Case 1000, and on a separate investigation, dubbed Case 2000, which involves Netanyahu’s alleged negotiations with the publisher of the Yedioth Aharonoth daily, Arnon Mozes, to advance legislation to hobble the paper’s rival — the Sheldon Adelson-controlled Israel Hayom — in exchange for more favorable coverage from Yedioth.

Netanyahu paused the session for approximately 30 minutes to accept a call from Trump to discuss Iran’s recent belligerent acts in the region and the controversial nuclear agreement signed between Tehran and six world powers in 2015.

A Likud MK on Saturday joined some opposition critics who have questioned Netanyahu’s capacity to run the country effectively while under investigation. “Whoever tells you the prime minister can act without disruption and distraction while being investigated, is not telling the truth,” said Avi Dichter, a former Shin Bet chief. “This matter is very problematic for someone running the country.” Dichter said he would challenge for the party leadership, taking on Netanyahu if necessary, at the next Likud elections, but walked back that pledge a few hours later.

The two leaders talked “at length” about the “dangers emanating from Iran and Iranian aggression in the region and the need to work together to deal with these threats,” according to a readout from the Prime Minister’s Office.
Click here for the full story



From PressTV

Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:35AM
Nasr al-Hariri, the head of the Saudi-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main opposition group attending Syria talks in Geneva
Nasr al-Hariri, the head of the Saudi-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main opposition group attending Syria talks in Geneva

As talks on a political resolution of the conflict in Syria continue in Geneva, the Syrian opposition seeks to meet with Russian officials in an attempt to affect Moscow’s pro-Damascus stance.

The UN-backed negotiations started out on Thursday between the Syrian government and the representatives of the armed and political opposition.

The head of the Saudi-based High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the main opposition group at the talks, said his team was likely to meet with Russian delegates on the sidelines of the talks on Tuesday.

He urged Russia to put pressure on Damascus and drive it towards the opposition’s prime demand of discussing political transition. This is while the government insists the talks should start with an agreement on the need to fight terrorism.

We hope that Russia “will not bet on one person,” he said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and that it “will provide real and positive support to the political process so that we could reach an appropriate solution.”

“The opposition wants to see the Russians to tell them to put pressure on the government,” Reuters quoted a Western diplomat as saying.
Click here for the full story



From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Fan of Nazi collaborator to represent Ukraine at Paris Holocaust symposium

(JTA) — Ukrainian Jews protested the attendance at an international symposium on the Holocaust by a state historian who praised a Nazi collaborator whose troops killed Jews.

Eduard Dolinsky, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, last week condemned the planned attendance of Volodymyr Vyatrovych, director of Ukrainian National Memory Institute, at a conference planned for Paris this week under the title: “Holocaust in Ukraine – New Perspectives on the Evils of the 20th Century.”

Vyatrovych, who has been running his state-controlled institution since 2014, “is a falsifier and manipulator of historical facts who has not only blamed Jews for the Great Famine, but denies the anti-Semitic ideology and practices” of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, Dolinsky said in a statement.

Known as OUN and UPA respectively, the two groups fought during the first half of the 20th century against Soviet domination and briefly collaborated with Nazi occupation forces before turning against them. Encouraged by the anti-Semitic vituperations of many of their leaders, UPA troops killed thousands of Jews during the 1940s, according to the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Click here for the full story



From The Times of Israel

Dutch anti-Semitism watchdog calls to ban ‘Hamas front’ conference

Center for Information and Documentation on Israel asks government to scrap Rotterdam forum titled ‘Palestinians in Europe’

March 4, 2017, 4:45 am

The Rotterdam city hall building, in the Netherlands. (CC BY/Wikimedia)

The Rotterdam city hall building, in the Netherlands. (CC BY/Wikimedia)

A watchdog on anti-Semitism in the Netherlands petitioned the government to ban an upcoming Rotterdam conference that it said was organized by Hamas-affiliated groups.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, on Friday asked Justice Minister Stef Blok and Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk to stop the conference, titled “Palestinians in Europe,” which is slated for April 15. CIDI said it has made repeated appeals to Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb to prevent the forum.

“The organizers of this conference are affiliated with the terrorist group Hamas,” CIDI wrote in a statement, noting that Hamas is classified by the European Union and the Dutch government as a terrorist entity, and espouses an anti-Semitic policy.

CIDI also wrote that the German security service, BfV, has called the PRC group that organizes Palestinians in Europe conferences “a front for Hamas.”

The watchdog said in the statement that Aboutaleb, a Labor politician who was born in Morocco to a Muslim family and has spoken harshly against anti-Semitism, told CIDI that he had consulted with the Dutch National Coordination for Counterterrorism and Security, a homeland security organ of the government, and it said there was no grounds to ban the event.
Click here for the full story