Newsletter : 16fx0607.txt
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Netanyahu Seeks Role in Russian-US Duo in Syria
During his 48-hour trip to Moscow (Monday and Tuesday June 6-7), Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu will try and talk President Vladimir Putin into cutting Israel into the
military teamwork evolving between Washington and Moscow for combating the Islamic State
As a quid pro quo, he will offer to elevate Moscow to senior broker in the
Israeli-Palestinian dispute, with Moscow or Geneva selected as the venue for direct
Israeli-Palestinian talks, if they occur and with US participation. Netanyahu is
also keen on a role for Egypt's Presidents Abdek-Fattah al-Sisi.
DEBKAfile sources in Jerusalem and Moscow report exclusively that the floating of this
deal was the reason why Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov abstained from attending
the Mid East conference staged last weekend by France's President Francois Hollande in
Paris. The UK and German foreign ministers followed the Russian lead and stayed away.
And Friday, June 3, on the day of the Paris meeting, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Mikihail Bogdanov, who is in charge of Kremlin Middle East policy, offered a formula for
resolving the problem of Israeli settlements on the West Bank. That formula was very
similar to the land swaps plan proposed by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman a few years
It consisted essentially of the transfer to the Palestinian state of parts of Israel
with dense Arab populations, in return for Palestinian recognition of Israeli sovereignty
over the Israeli communities of Judea and Samaria.
In comments to Tass news service, Bogdanov said that Moscow is willing to host an
Israeli-Palestinian peace conference, and also offered to mediate between the rival
Palestinian factions, including Abu Mazen's Fatah and the radical Hamas which rules the
While some Israeli politicians see the French initiative as offering President Barack
Obama a handle for settling accounts with Netanyahu before he leaves the White House at
the end of the year, Moscow and Jerusalem are concocting a parallel strategy - not merely
to block the Franco-American move, but also to lift Washington's drive for an
Israeli-Palestinian accord from Paris to Moscow.
DEBKAfile sources say that this maneuver is based on the early stages of military and
political coordination between Washington and Moscow in the Syrian arena, including the
fight against ISIS. No such coordination exists between Washington and Paris.
Netanyahu envisages the tightening military cooperation between Russia and Israel for
Syria, along with Israel's active participation in the airstrikes against ISIS, as
becoming integral to American-Russian understandings, and extending also to the
Israeli-Palestinian issue. Moscow and Jerusalem both estimate that an offer of
US-Russian-Arab guarantees to the Palestinians, underwritten by Egypt and Saudi Arabia,
can move the negotiations forward.
Nun Who Hid Jews from the Nazis Receives Sainthood
By Israel Hayom
Pope Francis proclaimed two new saints on Sunday: a Swedish-born nun who converted from
Lutheranism and hid Jews during World War II, and a Polish man who founded the first men's
religious order dedicated to the immaculate conception.
During the canonization Mass in St. Peter's Square, the pope said Elizabeth Hesselblad
and Stanislaus Papczynski were "exemplary witnesses to this mystery of resurrection."
Polish President Andrzej Duda and first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda attended the
Hesselblad saved the lives of 12 Jewish members of the Piperno-Sed families by hiding
them in the convent in Rome where she was mother superior from December 1943 until the
Italian capital's liberation on June 4, 1944.
Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum bestowed on her the title of "righteous
among the nations." It said Hesselblad never tried to convert those she saved, "rather
insisting that they say their Hebrew prayers and fulfill other obligations of their
Hesselblad, who was baptized in the Reform Church, migrated to the United States where
she worked as a nurse and converted to Catholicism. She later moved to Rome, where she
became a nun and dedicated her life to her religious order. She died of natural causes in
1957 and was beatified in 2000.
She is Sweden's second saint in 625 years, following St. Bridget, who was canonized in
1391. Her canonization comes ahead of the pope's scheduled trip to Sweden later this year
to mark the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation.
Green Party Candidate Declares Support for BDS
By Reuters & IsraelNationalNews.com
The Green Party presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein, on Monday released a statement
in support of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
"The United States has encouraged the worst tendencies of the Israeli government as it
pursues policies of occupation, apartheid, assassination, illegal settlements,
demolitions, blockades, building of nuclear bombs, indefinite detention, collective
punishment, and defiance of international law," the Stein campaign said in a statement
quoted by the Jewish Insider website. Therefore, the Stein campaign calls for ending
military and economic support for the Israeli government while it is committing war crimes
and defying international law."
Stein, 64, a physician and a Jewish Chicago native, announced her candidacy for
president last February. In 2012, Stein was endorsed by Israel critic linguist Noam
Chomsky. She received 456,169 votes (0.36%), mostly in Alaska, Oregon and Maine, noted the
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, while criticizing Israel's conduct
during the 2014 war in Gaza and touting his empathy for the Palestinian cause,
acknowledged "there is some level of anti-Semitism" in the BDS movement.
Nevertheless, Sanders is associated with some pro-BDS supporters, noted the Jewish
Insider. Just recently, Sanders appointed Dr. Cornel West, a prominent supporter of the
BDS movement, to the Democratic Party drafting platform committee in order to push for
changes in the party's policy on Israel. Reports indicate that Sanders wants to make
"Palestinian rights" more of a priority in the Democratic Party platform.
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton has addressed the BDS issue
numerous times on the campaign trail, notes the Jewish Insider. In a letter sent to
Hollywood mogul and major Democratic donor Haim Saban last year, Clinton expressed her
"alarm" over the movement's efforts attempting to "punish Israel and dictate how the
Israelis and Palestinians should resolve the core issues of their conflict. "This is not
the path to peace," she wrote. "We need to repudiate forceful efforts to malign and
undermine Israel and the Jewish people
We need to make countering BDS a priority."
Stein's announcement in support of BDS comes a day after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
issued an executive order directing state entities to divest all public funds supporting
the anti-Israel movement.
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, who just last week held the largest anti-BDS
event yet at the UN General Assembly in New York, welcomed Cuomo's announcement.
"Following last week's `Ambassadors Against BDS' conference and the unprecedented show of
force against BDS, Governor Cuomo's announcement is another effective strike against those
seeking to harm Israel," said Danon. "America is Israel's largest and most important ally,
and the Governor's initiative emphasizes this special bond. This is another victory in the
battle against BDS and I am sure that more states will continue to join this fight in
stopping BDS across the U.S."
Muhammad Ali vs. The Jews
By Virtual Jerusalem & IsraelNationalNews.com
Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at 74, railed against Jewish promoters and
slammed Zionist control of the world, but he also attended his grandson's bar mitzvah and
appealed to Muslim extremists to release Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl.
Ali's grandson became a bar mitzvah at a Philadelphia synagogue in 2012. Jacob
Wertheimer, the son of Khaliah Ali-Wertheimer and Spencer Wertheimer, was called to the
Torah at the historic Congregation Rodeph Shalom in front of 150 people, including the
former heavyweight champion.
Ali's daughter, who was raised Muslim, said at the time, "No one put any pressure on
Jacob to believe one way or another. He chose this on his own because he felt a kinship
with Judaism and Jewish culture," and that it "meant a lot to Jacob" that Ali was
Ali, who was raised a Baptist named Cassius Clay, converted to Islam in the 1960s and
changed his name. He was esteemed by several prominent Jewish figures, including the
comedian-actor Billy Crystal, who imitated the boxer. Among his biggest supporters was
sportscaster Howard Cosell, who was among the first to call the boxer by his conversion
name and defended Ali when he was stripped of his title in the late 1960s for failing to
enter the U.S. Army because of his Muslim faith.
Ali called out Jewish promoters in 1970 when he returned to the ring after 3 1/2 years
away because of the draft-evasion charges. Asked by a New York Times reporter after the
fight about a subsequent contest with heavyweight champion Joe Frazier, Ali replied: "To
those who might want it, the fight will come. All those Jewish promoters they'll
see that it comes off." The reporter said the athlete smiled as he said it.
In 1985, Ali visited Israel to arrange for the freeing of some 700 Shiite Muslim
prisoners in the Atlit detention camp. Five years earlier, during a visit to India, Ali
charged that Zionists "control" America and the world, according to an interview reported
in a leading publication in India, the text of which was obtained by JTA.
In the biweekly India Today dated Feb. 1-15, 1980, Ali spoke of Zionists when asked
about the "militant revival" of Islam in Iran and the holding of "your countrymen
hostage." Ali, saying that "those people in Iran are fanatics" and that "the other Muslims
in the world have condemned their action," declared "religion ain't bad; it's people who
"You know the entire power structure is Zionist. They control America; they control the
world," said Ali, who was in India earlier as a special emissary of then-President Jimmy
Carter. "They are really against the Islam religion. So whenever a Muslim does something
wrong, they blames the religion."
But in January 2002, when Daniel Pearl of The Wall Street Journal was kidnapped by
Islamic extremists, Ali pleaded publicly for the Jewish journalist's release and life. "I
appeal to you to show Daniel Pearl compassion and kindness," Ali implored Pearl's
abductors, who would behead the journalist in Pakistan after nine days of captivity,
although his fate would not be known for another three weeks.
"Treat him as you would wish all Muslims to be treated by others," he entreated.
"Daniel should not become another victim of the ongoing conflict. It is my most sincere
prayer that Daniel Pearl be permitted to return safely to his family. May Allah have mercy
on us all." Ali attended the memorial service for Pearl in March 2002.
Ali's legacy goes far beyond the ring. His conversion to Islam in 1964 marked his
metamorphosis from mere athlete to cultural icon, becoming a symbol of "Black Power" and
radical black identity. Ali famously defied the draft in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam
War, using the opportunity to decry "white imperialism."
"No I'm not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation
simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world
over," said Ali. "This is the day when such evils must come to an end."
Mirroring militants like the Black Panthers, Ali embraced an ideology not of racial
reconciliation and egalitarianism, but of racial separatism, one which was rife with
disparaging views on non-blacks in general and Jews in particular.
Despite a long history of comments assailing Jews and decrying Zionism, Ali
nevertheless won many Jewish admirers, and on the occasion of his death won praise from a
slew prominent Jews. Former Israeli Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein will represent the
State of Israel at Ali's funeral, and the former boxing champ will be eulogized by Jewish
actor and comedian Billy Crystal.
Ali's hatred of Israel and support for anti-Jewish terrorism during his decades-long
boxing career, many of his Jewish supporters claim, were tempered with age later in life,
as they note his Jewish son-in-law and his participation in a Bar Mitzvah ceremony for his
For much of his life, however, little differentiated Ali's views both on race and the
Jewish people from the rhetoric emanating from white supremacist circles. Like his white
counterparts, Ali abhorred mixed race couples, saying that blacks engaged in romantic
relationships with people of another race deserved to be put to death.
"A black man should be killed if he's messing with a white woman," he said in a Playboy
interview. The same fate, he said, should also await any black woman guilty of dating
outside of her race. "Then she dies. Kill her too."
Like other racial separatists, Ali lambasted Zionism as an omnipresent threat. He
repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel and openly supported terrorists aiming to
kill Jews. "In my name and the name of all Muslims in America, I declare support for the
Palestinian struggle to liberate their homeland and oust the Zionist invaders," Ali said
during a trip to Lebanon.
Using Zionism as a code-word for Jews, Ali blamed Zionism for a plethora of cultural
issues, frequently asserting that "the Zionists" control America and by extension,
the world. Speaking to David Frost in 1969, Ali bluntly stated that he believed "all Jews"
are "devils." Mistakenly interpreting the word gentile to mean non-Jewish whites, Ali
stated "all Jews and gentiles are devils."
In 1984, Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, an affliction which gradually
reduced his involvement in public life. In his later years, Ali did abandon the kind of
harsh rhetoric and stark racial separatism that characterized his boxing career.
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