“Gantz says there is ‘likelihood’ Tehran behind explosion in Gulf”

Blaming Iran, security officials said to back response to blast on Israeli ship
by Staff and AP
February 27, 2021

Israeli security officials view the attack on an Israeli-owned ship in the Persian Gulf on Friday as a crossing of a red line on the part of Iran, and support an Israeli response, according to a report Saturday. Kan News said Israel unequivocally believes Tehran was behind the explosion, and high-level discussions on the matter are expected to take place Sunday. In an interview Saturday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Kan there is “a likelihood” that Iran is behind the explosion. The cargo ship MV Helios Ray anchored in Dubai on Saturday morning. The blast did not disable the ship or injure its crew, but forced it ashore for repairs. READ MORE

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“Next month, Israelis will go to the polls to elect a new 120-seat Knesset. It will be Israel’s fourth general election in just under two year”

Netanyahu and Israel’s NeverNetanyahu Right
by Caroline Glick
February 25, 2021

Despite Netanyahu’s demonization at the hands of the media at home and abroad, his positions are not extreme. They involve standing up for Israel’s rights and interests, developing the economy, fighting Israel’s enemies when necessary and building alliances with foreign governments to achieve common goals when possible. These policies have brought Israel sustained prosperity, peace and security. The fact that Netanyahu stands at the center of Israel’s political map doesn’t mean that he has abandoned the Right. He hasn’t. And a large majority of Israelis have joined him there. Less than ten percent of Israelis define themselves today as leftists. READ MORE

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“US President Joe Biden speaks to Saudi King Salman ahead of the release of the declassified US intelligence report on the killing and dismemberment of the US-based journalist”

ISRAEL HAYOM (by agreement with JNS)
Ties with Saudis at stake as US releases findings on Khashoggi killing
by AP and ILH staff
February 26, 2021

The United States has pledged to tell the world its conclusions on what role Saudi Arabia’s crown prince played in the brutal killing and dismembering of a US-based journalist, but as important is what comes next — what the Biden administration plans to do about it. Ahead of the release of the declassified US intelligence report, and announcement of any US punitive measures, US President Joe Biden spoke to Saudi King Salman on Thursday for the first time since taking office more than a month ago. It was a later-than-usual courtesy call to the Middle East ally, timing seen as reflecting Biden’s displeasure. Still, a White House readout made no mention of the killing or the report. READ MORE

TIMES OF ISRAEL Declassified US report says Saudi crown prince ‘approved’ murder of Khashoggi Intel report on journalist’s killing published on Biden’s orders a day after first phone call between president and Saudi King Salman; could complicate ties between US and key ally. Killers included members of MBS’s personal protective detail

CAROLINEGLICK.COM The Khashoggi Passion Play The Biden administration’s decision to publish the intel report on Jamal Khashoggi’s death in late 2018 was as predictable as it was destructive to U.S. national security and to the security and stability of the Middle East.

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“Manfred Gerstenfeld was a Jewish renaissance man and a prodigious writer who leaves a rich legacy in many different realms. Born in Vienna in 1937, he and his family were forced to flee, and survived the Holocaust by hiding in a small apartment in Amsterdam”

Remembering Manfred Gerstenfeld – Jewish renaissance man
by Gerald M Steinberg
February 25, 2021

…In the past two decades, Gerstenfeld became a leading expert on antisemitism – particularly the European resurgence, and warning of the “new” manifestations such as the BDS movement. In his view, these ideological campaigns were anchored in post-Holocaust inversion that demonized and delegitimized Israel and Jewish national self-determination. Working with Prof. Dan Elazar, he became closely involved with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, chairing the Steering Committee, and founding the project on post-Holocaust studies and antisemitism.  He also edited the Jewish Political Studies Review. Between 2002 and 2013, he published 10 books on related topics, including Europe’s Crumbling Myths: The Post-Holocaust Origins of Today’s Anti-Semitism, and Anti-Semitism in Norway, as well as tens of articles. READ MORE

JNS Ben Cohen: Remembering Manfred Gerstenfeld: Truth against myth When what some observers called the “new anti-Semitism” began to gather pace at the turn of this century, there were a handful of scholars, Gerstenfeld among them, who were equipped to explain that while the wine was new, the bottles were old.

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“The Iranians didn’t realize that Biden is not Obama, and that in the end they will miscalculate and get hit”

Report: Israel ‘Very Pleased’ With US Strikes on Iranian Targets in Syria, Was Informed in Advance
by Staff
February 26, 2021

Israeli officials were “very pleased” with US airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria Thursday, and were informed by the Biden Administration before the attack, Walla reported Friday. The strikes were a retaliation for a Feb. 15 rocket attack in Erbil, Iraq that killed a civilian contractor and injured an American service member. They came as President Joe Biden navigates a tense standoff with Iran over a possible return to the nuclear deal struck in 2015 by Barack Obama and abandoned in 2018 by Donald Trump. Israeli officials said that the US gave advance notice about the strikes, as would be routine ahead of such actions, and that the attack would send a strong signal to Iran. READ MORE

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“Contrary to Stanisław Żaryn’s excuses, no reputable historian believes that ‘the Polish nation’ was responsible for Nazi German crimes in Poland. Which is why the Polish government should leave the writing of history to historians”

The Polish Government’s Holocaust ‘Truth Campaign’ Is a Weird Mix of Authoritarianism, Ignorance, and Injured Pride
by Havi Dreifuss
February 25, 2021

…[Poland’s] new law deputized the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN)—a central institution with state-sponsored prosecution powers—to “protect Poland’s good name” by law. We are now seeing the fruits of this law: a situation in which leading scholars in the field are targeted; journalists are intimidated for referencing well-documented involvement of a large number of Poles in the persecution of Jews; and high-ranking Polish officials are participating in an ongoing attempt to impose a distorted narrative of the Holocaust in Poland. According to this political abuse of history, the Polish nation, as a nation of heroes, enlisted, en masse, to assist persecuted Jews despite the draconian German occupation and regardless of some entirely marginal acts of betrayal. READ MORE

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“Tel Aviv University archaeologists Miki Ben-Dor and Ran Barkai proffer novel hypothesis, showing how the greed of Homo erectus set us careening down an anomalous evolutionary path”

Israeli Archaeologists Present Groundbreaking Universal Theory of Human Evolution
by Ruth Schuster
February 25, 2021

Why the human brain evolved as it did never has been plausibly explained. Apparently, not since the first life-form billions of years ago did a single species gain dominance over all others – until we came along. Now, in a groundbreaking paper, two Israeli researchers propose that our anomalous evolution was propelled by the very mass extinctions we helped cause. Or: As we sawed off the culinary branches from which we swung, we had to get ever more inventive in order to survive. As ambling, slow-to-reproduce large animals diminished and gradually went extinct, we were forced to resort to smaller, nimbler animals that flee as a strategy to escape predation. READ MORE

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A haunting question threatened the psyches of many Black Americans after the civil rights era: What do I do with my life when the “deliverance quest” for which I was searching finally has been delivered by the republic of the United States?

Reparations: A Black existential crisis and supremacy for liberal whites
by Jason D. Hill
February 22, 2021

The demand for reparations is a response to a crisis of meaning in the lives of many Black Americans living in an age of post-oppression. All their lives, their existence was forged in painfully oppressive conditions, and yet, few claimed to be real victims — largely, one could argue, because such talk had no moral traction in a world that did not take the moral suffering of Black people seriously. But that changed with the civil rights movement and the passages of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts and 1965 Voting Rights Act… And still that was not enough for some Black Americans. Their existential angst began to set in, cushioning a pathological ethos that would seek to denigrate the dream that America was predicated on — not economic equality, but political equality. READ MORE

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“Netanyahu swiftly expressed concern last Friday after Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the U.S. was prepared to begin nuclear talks with Iran aimed at restoring the 2015 deal”

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to convene strategic forum on Iran
by Barak Ravid
February 24, 2021

The United States and Israel have elected to reconvene a strategic working group on Iran, with the first round of talks on intelligence surrounding the Iranian nuclear program expected in the coming days, Axios has learned. Why it matters: President Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have sharply contrasting views of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, but the resumption of the working group is a signal that their governments are starting with a serious and professional dialogue rather than a political fight. Flashback: The working group was established in the early days of the Obama administration following a White House visit from Netanyahu in 2009. READ MORE

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In a letter to the incoming ICC prosecutor, a group of 16 leaders, including the former premiers of Canada, Australia, Spain and Uruguay, state their concern at the “unprecedented campaign of delegitimization against Israel.”

Former world leaders take stand against ICC investigation of Israel
by Ariel Kahana
February 22, 2021

A group of former heads of state and high-ranking ministers on Friday sent a letter to newly-appointed International Criminal Court prosecutor Karim Khan, warning him against launching a war-crimes investigation against Israel. Such an investigation, the letter states, would politicize the court and thus harm its standing. The letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Washington Free Beacon, was initiated by the Friends of Israel Initiative. Signatories include former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper; former Australian Prime Minister John Howard; former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar; former Uruguay President Luis Alberto Lacalle; and former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. READ MORE

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