News Roundup for September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017
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Top News and Analysis

Netanyahu’s son removes anti-Semitic meme from Facebook following outcry, Washington Post

“Yair Netanyahu, the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, removed an anti-Semitic meme from his Facebook page on Sunday after an outcry from Israeli politicians and Jewish community leaders in the United States. The image, posted by Yair Netanyahu on Friday, appeared to be a local take on a classic anti-Semitic cartoon suggesting that Jews control the United States. It has appeared widely on extreme alt-right websites. In this instance, it depicted his father’s perceived foes: American Jewish billionaire philanthropist and investor George Soros, outspoken former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, activist Eldad Yaniv, and Meni Naftali, a former housekeeper for the Netanyahus who successfully sued them for mistreatment. Yair Netanyahu, who goes by the name “Yair Hun” on Facebook, had captioned the meme “the food chain.” Over the weekend, his actions drew praise from neo-Nazi groups in the United States as well as from Holocaust denier David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.”

Sara Netanyahu, Wife of Israeli Prime Minister, to Face Fraud Charges, New York Times

“Israel’s attorney general said Friday that he intended to bring fraud charges against Sara Netanyahu, the wife of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accusing her of misusing some $100,000 in public funds in her management of the prime minister’s official residence.”

UN Atomic Chief Says Iran Meeting Terms of Nuclear Deal, New York Times

“The head of the U.N. agency monitoring Iran’s compliance with a deal crimping its nuclear program says Tehran is honoring the agreement — an assessment that the White House is questioning as it mulls upping the pressure on the Islamic Republic.”


Bannon: Don’t bet on Trump to certify Iran nuke deal in October, Times of Israel

Donald Trump’s recently ousted former chief strategist made a bold declaration this week: Don’t count on the president to certify the Iran nuclear deal come the next October deadline. In his first televised interview since exiting the administration, Stephen Bannon said in a ’60 Minutes’ segment aired Sunday that while the national security establishment is urging Trump to verify Tehran is abiding by the landmark 2015 pact, his old boss is inclined to do otherwise.

US commemorates 9/11; thousands expected at ground zero, Washington Post

While the U.S. contends with the destruction caused by two ferocious hurricanes in three weeks, Americans also are marking the anniversary of one of the nation’s most scarring days. Thousands of 9/11 victims’ relatives, survivors, rescuers and others are expected to gather Monday at the World Trade Center to remember the deadliest terror attack on American soil.

Israel’s Security Chief: West Bank Situation ‘Fragile,’ Hamas Ready for Another Gaza Conflict, Haaretz

The head of Israel’s Shin Bet security service told the cabinet meeting on Sunday that the relative calm in the West Bank is “fragile.” Nadav Argaman noted that a similar situation exists in Gaza. Hamas is in strategic distress, he said, but is nevertheless militarily prepared for a renewed confrontation with Israel.

Israeli satellite images show damage to Syrian weapons facility, Times of Israel

An Israeli satellite imaging company released photographs on Sunday showing the effects of last week’s airstrike on a Syrian weapons base that was attributed to the Israeli Air Force. Early Thursday morning, the Syrian military’s Scientific Studies and Research Center (CERS) facility near Masyaf, in the northwestern Hama province, was hit from the air, damaging several buildings and killing two Syrian soldiers.

Teen charged with racist assault for attacking Arab in Jerusalem, Times of Israel

A Jewish Israeli teenager was charged Sunday with committing a racist aggravated assault against Arab man in Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market. According to the indictment, Yehiel Weissenstern, 18, along with two other men, saw an Arab man walking with a Jewish female coworker along Jerusalem’s Agrippas street, which borders the market, on the evening of September 4.

Today: Sebastian Gorka to Headline Israeli Counter-terrorism Conference, Haaretz

Sebastian Gorka, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former adviser and deputy assistant, has come to Israel to deliver a keynote speech at a counter-terrorism conference being held at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya on Monday.

Opinions and Analysis

Shimon Peres, in Memoir, Takes On Israel Past and Future, New York Times

Isabel Kershner reviews “No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination and the Making of Modern Israel,” Shimon Peres’s last work, set to be published posthumously.

Liberal American Jews’ Feelings Towards Israel Now Include Conspicuous Contempt, Haaretz

Chemi Shalev argues: “The disdain for Netanyahu and his policies, once suppressed, emerges not only in conversations with anti-occupation American liberals but with moderates and some right-wingers as well. Many of these people may have felt uncomfortable with Israel in the past, but their criticism was specific and local and mostly kept to themselves. Now, their disdain is vocal and general. For someone who has been listening to American Jews for over four decades, the change is palpable. Contempt, once understated, is now clear and unequivocal.

Will Abbas be forced to choose war against Israel? Al-Monitor

Uri Savir writes: “A senior Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official told Al-Monitor that Israel has raised its concerns about Iran and its allies’ ambitions in the region in the strongest possible terms both with the Trump administration and with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Having said that, the Israeli diplomat completely rebutted the Palestinian position that a two-state process would prevent a violent deterioration. Yet one has to take the warnings of the senior PLO official seriously. In the Middle East, there is rarely a situation of no peace and no war. The vacuum will be filled, and war could, in the not too distant future, again become part of the region’s vocabulary.”

Why Every Jew Should Call For This Palestinian To Be Freed, The Forward

Batya Ungar-Sargon writes: “[Issa] Amro has a host of international supporters, including nine U.S. members of Congress, who recently signed a letter demanding Amro’s release. “Free and fair public debate is critical to establishing peace in the region,” write the members of Congress. But Amro’s cause is not only the cause of free speech and the right to self-determination. Amro embodies the belief that Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza can end in a nonviolent way. He represents the hope that Palestinians will achieve full human and civil rights without the spilling of more Jewish blood. He represents hope in a future that values Jew and Arab equally. And as such, Amro is the future of this conflict, if it will ever be resolved. Anyone invested in the future of the Middle East, Israel, Jews, and Palestinians, must take up Issa Amro’s cause as their own.”