Archive for April 2019

Off Topic:  After cartoon uproar, Israel’s US envoy calls NY Times a ‘cesspool of hostility’ 

April 30, 2019

Source: After cartoon uproar, Israel’s US envoy calls NY Times a ‘cesspool of hostility’ | The Times of Israel

Dermer claims newspaper has become ‘a safe-space for those who hate the Jewish state’; Trump says Times has apologized for cartoon, but hasn’t apologized to him for fake news

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, speaks at an event in Detroit, on June 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya/File)

Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, in a speech Monday marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, attacked The New York Times in harsh terms, after it published a caricature that the paper has since acknowledged was anti-Semitic and for which it has apologized.

“We have… seen one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel that goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy,” Dermer said.

“The same New York Times that a century ago mostly hid from their readers the Holocaust of the Jewish people has today made its pages a safe-space for those who hate the Jewish state. Through biased coverage, slanderous columns and anti-Semitic cartoons, its editors shamefully choose week after week to cast the Jewish state as a force for evil.”

US President Donald Trump on Monday lashed the Times as well, though he appeared to be focused chiefly on the newspaper’s attitude toward him.

“The New York Times has apologized for the terrible Anti-Semitic Cartoon, but they haven’t apologized to me for this or all of the Fake and Corrupt news they print on a daily basis.” he tweeted.

A caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump published in The New York Times’ international edition on April 25, 2019, which the paper later acknowledged “included anti-Semitic tropes.” (Courtesy)

“They have reached the lowest level of ‘journalism,’ and certainly a low point in @nytimes history!”

Trump has often singled out the Times as a target for his ire, repeatedly dubbing its reporting on his presidency as “fake news.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The New York Times has apologized for the terrible Anti-Semitic Cartoon, but they haven’t apologized to me for this or all of the Fake and Corrupt news they print on a daily basis. They have reached the lowest level of “journalism,” and certainly a low point in @nytimes history!

The cartoon showed a blind, skullcap-sporting Trump being led by a dog-like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with a Star of David collar around the latter’s neck.

On Sunday, the paper said it was “deeply sorry” for printing the cartoon in its international edition last week. It attributed the misstep to a lack of oversight and vowed to revamp its editorial process to ensure “nothing like this happens again.”

It said, “Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable.

“We have investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”

It also published a column by its own columnist Bret Stephens who called the caricature “a textbook illustration” of anti-Semitism and said it “might have been published in the pages of [Nazi propaganda paper] Der Stürmer.”

He acknowledged that the cartoon’s printing was in error, but asserted that such an error could only occur because “torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper… has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry.”

Stephens also said the Times “owes the Israeli prime minister an apology,” though he did not say the same of Trump.

Bret Stephens. (Jason Smith via JTA)

The cartoon was previously condemned by US Vice President Mike Pence.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Sunday said the drawing was “shocking and reminiscent of Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust.”

Israel’s Channel 13 news reported Saturday night that Danny Dayan, Israel’s consul-general in New York, had protested to the newspaper about the cartoon.

ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt told The Times of Israel on Saturday that the cartoon was “anti-Semitic propaganda of the most vile sort.”

 

Off Topic:  Trump’s Mideast envoy blasts NY Times over ‘dangerous and despicable’ cartoon

April 30, 2019

Source: Trump’s Mideast envoy blasts NY Times over ‘dangerous and despicable’ cartoon | The Times of Israel

Jason Greenblatt calls on newspaper to apologize to Netanyahu and Trump; NYT drops syndication service that supplied anti-Semitic caricature

US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt attends a press conference regarding the water agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, on July 13, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/ Flash90)

US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt on Monday slammed the The New York Times after it published a caricature that the paper has since acknowledged was anti-Semitic and for which it has apologized.

The cartoon showed a blind, skullcap-sporting US President Donald Trump being led by a dog-like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with a Star of David collar around the latter’s neck.

“The cartoon wasn’t just dangerous — it was despicable,” Greenblatt wrote in a tweet. “NYT owes us a transparent plan of action to ensure this will never happen again & should share results of their investigation.”

On Sunday, the paper said it was “deeply sorry” for printing the cartoon in its international edition last week. It attributed the misstep to a lack of oversight and vowed to revamp its editorial process to ensure “nothing like this happens again.”

A caricature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump published in The New York Times’ international edition on April 25, 2019, which the paper later acknowledged “included anti-Semitic tropes.” (Courtesy)

It said, “Such imagery is always dangerous, and at a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise worldwide, it’s all the more unacceptable.

“We have investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”

The newspaper has since said it dropped the syndication service that supplied the cartoon.

“The cartoon that ran in the international print edition of The Times last Thursday was clearly anti-Semitic and indefensible and we apologize for its publication. While we don’t think this [second] cartoon falls into that category, for now, we’ve decided to suspend the future publication of syndicated cartoons,” the newspaper said in a statement to the Daily Beast.

A second cartoon published over the weekend showed Netanyahu dressed as Moses, descending from Mount Sinai with a selfie stick and a tablet inscribed with a Star of David.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO And National Director of the Anti-Defamation League testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on responses to the increase in religious hate crimes. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

“It looked like the Ten Commandments,” ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt told The Daily Beast. “It might not be as blatantly anti-Semitic as the first cartoon, but it was clearly insensitive and absolutely offensive after the first piece of propaganda.”

ADL’s Greenblatt told The Times of Israel on Saturday that the first cartoon was “anti-Semitic propaganda of the most vile sort.”

Jason Greenblatt also attacked the newspaper for the second cartoon, saying he was “confounded and shocked by another terrible decision by the NYT as our nation is grieving the deadly attack in Poway,” referring to Saturday’s shooting at a California synagogue in which one person was killed and three injured.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Dan Senor

@dansenor

Wait…the ⁦@nytimes⁩ featured ANOTHER Netanyahu cartoon? This one AFTER the Thursday cartoon depicting Netanyahu as a dog? Am I reading this right? Is the Times obsessed with Israel’s prime minister?

The New York Times published a column by its own columnist Bret Stephens who called the Netanyahu-Trump cartoon “a textbook illustration” of anti-Semitism and said it “might have been published in the pages of [Nazi propaganda paper] Der Stürmer.”

He acknowledged that the cartoon’s printing was in error, but asserted that such an error could only occur because “torrential criticism of Israel and the mainstreaming of anti-Zionism, including by this paper… has become so common that people have been desensitized to its inherent bigotry.”

Stephens also said the Times “owes the Israeli prime minister an apology,” though he did not say the same of Trump.

Bret Stephens. (Jason Smith via JTA)

Jason Greenblatt posted Stephens’ article on Twitter and took it a step further, saying that in his opinion, the newspaper should apologize to both Netanyahu and Trump.

Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, in a speech Monday marking Holocaust Remembrance Day, also attacked the newspaper.

Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, speaks at an event in Detroit, on June 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya/File)

“We have… seen one of the world’s most prestigious newspapers become a cesspool of hostility towards Israel that goes well beyond any legitimate criticism of a fellow, imperfect democracy,” Dermer said.

“The same New York Times that a century ago mostly hid from their readers the Holocaust of the Jewish people has today made its pages a safe-space for those who hate the Jewish state. Through biased coverage, slanderous columns and anti-Semitic cartoons, its editors shamefully choose week after week to cast the Jewish state as a force for evil.”

Trump on Monday lashed the Times as well, though he appeared to be focused chiefly on the newspaper’s attitude toward him.

“The New York Times has apologized for the terrible Anti-Semitic Cartoon, but they haven’t apologized to me for this or all of the Fake and Corrupt news they print on a daily basis.” he tweeted.

“They have reached the lowest level of ‘journalism,’ and certainly a low point in @nytimes history!”

Trump has often singled out the Times as a target for his ire, repeatedly dubbing its reporting on his presidency as “fake news.”

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The cartoon was previously condemned by US Vice President Mike Pence.

Raphael Ahren contributed to this report.

 

Iran vows to keep exporting crude oil despite US sanctions 

April 30, 2019

Source: Iran vows to keep exporting crude oil despite US sanctions – www.israelhayom.com

Meanwhile, Saudi energy minister tells Russian state news that Saudi Arabia is ready to meet oil consumers’ demand by replacing supplies from Iran.

Iran will continue to export oil despite U.S. pressure aimed at reducing the nation’s crude oil shipments to zero, Iran President Hassan Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on Iranian state TV on Tuesday.

“America’s decision that Iran’s oil exports must reach zero is a wrong and mistaken decision, and we won’t let this decision be executed and operational” Rouhani said.

“In future months, the Americans themselves will see that we will continue our oil exports,” he said.

If the United States is able to stop one method for Iran to export oil, then it will find other ways, Rouhani said.

Oil prices hit their highest since November last week after Washington said all waivers for sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end this week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply.

The United States demanded last Monday that buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers that had allowed Iran’s eight biggest customers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.

Ordinary Iranians are the ones who feel the pressure from U.S. sanctions, Rouhani said.

Meanwhile, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told Russian state news agency RIA on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia is ready to meet oil consumers’ demand by replacing supplies from Iran after the United States ends waivers granted to buyers of Iranian crude.

Falih said that the global deal to coordinate oil production levels could be extended after June.

“We will look at [global oil] inventories – are they higher or lower than the normal level and we will adjust the production level accordingly. Based on what I see now … I am eager to say that there will be some kind of agreement,” Falih told RIA.

 

Jihad rocket aimed at Israeli port was Tehran’s first riposte for Trump’s sanctions – DEBKAfile

April 30, 2019

Source: Jihad rocket aimed at Israeli port was Tehran’s first riposte for Trump’s sanctions – DEBKAfile

The rocket which exploded in the sea off Israel’s southern port-town on Monday night, April 29, was fired by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad from northern Gaza.

The IDF admitted as much the next morning, after initially playing down the long-range fire as a Palestinian rocket training test which did not reach Israel – in the same way as the IDF spokesman dismissed the two long-range rockets aimed at the Tel Aviv region a month ago as “errors.”

In its latest communique, the IDF named the Jihad position from which the rocket was launched as Al Atatra in northern Gaza and reported it had come down “several kilometers from the shore and not close by.” He added: “This was a deliberate attack by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad which is not subject to the authority of Hamas.” DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Jihad and Hamas’ rocket attacks are coordinated through a joint war-room they have established in the Gaza Strip. Israel reacted to the incident by reducing the Palestinian fishing zone off the enclave to 6 miles.

DEBKAfile adds: The rocket, whose explosion was heard across southern Israel, was deliberately aimed by the Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian proxy of Tehran, as a threat to the passage of shipping to one of Israel’s two main cargo ports. Its deep-water facilities handle the largest volume of cargo containers of either port, as well as cruise ships. A US Sixth Fleet destroyer visited the port last year.

This southern port is within range of Palestinian rockets from the Gaza Strip, whereas Haifa port in the north can be threatened by Iran’s Lebanese surrogate, Hizballah. Just as last month, Palestinian terrorist groups acted out their threat to Tel Aviv with high-precision missiles, in April they have shown willing to back Iran up in retaliating for the new round of US oil sanctions that go into effect on May 2.

Iran’s reprisals do not have to be direct or extreme, such as the closure of the Straits of Hormuz or Bab al-Mandeb to oil shipping. Shutting down Israel’s important southern port would suffice for starters.

Haifa could come next. Hizballah recently established “resistance militias” comprising Hamas activists enlisted in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps. They too stand at Iran’s disposal. The rocket which exploded harmlessly in the sea on Monday night carried this message: Iran has the resources to blockade Israel’s two main ports, one of which holds an Israel Navy headquarters, and both of which are visited by US Sixth Fleet warships.

Israel and the US Mediterranean fleet are clearly in Tehran’s sights, especially since last Wednesday, April 24, when the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier and its strike group of 10 warships took up position opposite the Syrian coast. Monday’s rocket may be the harbinger of further “events” centering on the Mediterranean shores of Israel, Lebanon and Syria.

 

Israel accused of “luring” U.S. into conflict with Iran – TV7 Israel News 29.04.19 

April 30, 2019

 

 

History Channel – Battlefield Detectives: Israe’ls Six Day War Victory 

April 30, 2019

The most lopsided victory of the 20th century.

 

 

Iranian general: We won’t talk to US under pressure of sanctions

April 29, 2019

Source: Iranian general: We won’t talk to US under pressure of sanctions | The Times of Israel

New IRGC chief says Washington trying to force Tehran to come to the table as exemptions for some countries over energy exports come to an end

In this undated photo released by Sepahnews, the website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Gen. Hossein Salami speaks in a meeting in Tehran, Iran (Sepahnews via AP)

The new head of Iran’s hardline Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps on Monday said the country wouldn’t negotiate with the United States while it maintains economic sanctions on his country.

“By putting economic pressure on Iran, America wants to force us to enter talks with this country … any negotiation under the circumstances is surrendering to America and it will never happen,” Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami said, according to Reuters.

Last week, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned the United States of “consequences” if it prevents Tehran from selling oil, after Washington ended sanction exemptions over the Islamic Republic’s energy exports.

President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would be willing to negotiate with the US if it reverses economic sanctions and apologizes for its “illegal” actions.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dedicates the final phase of a new oil refinery in the city of Bandar Abbas, Iran, February 18, 2019. (Official website photo)

Rouhani said reports that Iran had rebuffed American offers to negotiate were untrue.

Last Monday the US announced that, in a bid to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero, it would from May 2 end the waivers that had been been granted to eight countries including India, China, South Korea and Turkey on buying Iranian crude when it reimposed sanctions on Iran in November.

The move targets the Islamic Republic’s main economic earner and adds to sanctions pressure that has built up under Trump, who pulled his country out of a 2015 international deal aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear program. It will choke off more than $50 billion of annual Iranian income, which the US says the country uses to fund destabilizing activity in the Middle East and beyond.

Earlier this month the US designated the IRGC a terror organization, the first time it has ever blacklisted an entire military branch. Tehran has raged against the move, and responded by labeling the US military a terror group under its own designation.

Members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) march during the annual military parade marking the anniversary of the outbreak of the 1980-1988 war with Iraq, in the capital Tehran on September 22, 2018. (AFP/STR)

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps was formed after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, with a mission to defend the clerical regime, and the force has amassed great power both at home and abroad. The Guards’ prized unit is the Quds Force, headed by powerful general Qassem Soleimani, which supports Iran-backed forces around the region, including Syrian President Bashar Assad and Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. It also oversees the country’s ballistic missile program and runs its own intelligence operations.

Agencies contributed to this report.